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Mekong River Cruises 2021/2022

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Mekong Travel Guide

You will find plenty to do and see on a Mekong River Cruise, as the river is not only the longest river in Southeast Asia, it is the world's 12th longest stream, running about 4,350 km or 2,700 miles long. The river flows from China's Qinghai Province and runs through Tibet before continuing its journey through Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The waterway finally concludes its trek, draining, south of Ho Chi Minh City, into the South China Sea. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your Mekong river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.

Mekong Travel Guide
Showing 1 - 40 River Cruises

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Showing 1 - 40 River Cruises

Sail Date Operator Ship Departs Returns Length Price
Mar 22, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSaigonHo Chi MinhSiem Reap13$4,934
Jul 02, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapBangkokHanoi21$6,579
Jul 02, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHanoiBangkok19$5,954
Jul 02, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHanoiSiem Reap16$5,034
Jul 05, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHo Chi MinhSiem Reap13$4,114
Jul 05, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHo Chi MinhBangkok16$5,064
Jul 05, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHo Chi MinhHanoi18$5,659
Jul 08, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHo Chi MinhPhnom Penh8$2,749
Jul 09, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapBangkokHanoi21$6,504
Jul 09, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHanoiBangkok19$5,959
Jul 09, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHanoiHo Chi Minh16$5,079
Jul 12, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapSiem ReapHanoi18$5,534
Jul 12, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapSiem ReapHo Chi Minh13$4,074
Jul 12, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapSiem ReapBangkok16$4,974
Jul 15, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapPhnom PenhHo Chi Minh8$2,739
Jul 16, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapBangkokHanoi21$6,579
Jul 16, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHanoiBangkok19$5,954
Jul 16, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHanoiSiem Reap16$5,034
Jul 19, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHo Chi MinhSiem Reap13$4,114
Jul 19, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHo Chi MinhBangkok16$5,064
Jul 19, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHo Chi MinhHanoi18$5,659
Jul 21, 2021Emerald WaterwaysEmerald HarmonySiem ReapHo Chi Minh City13$3,695
Jul 21, 2021Emerald WaterwaysEmerald HarmonySiem ReapHanoi21$5,695
Jul 22, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHo Chi MinhPhnom Penh8$2,749
Jul 23, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapBangkokHanoi21$6,504
Jul 23, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHanoiBangkok19$5,959
Jul 23, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHanoiHo Chi Minh16$5,079
Jul 24, 2021Emerald WaterwaysEmerald HarmonySiem ReapHo Chi Minh City8$2,395
Jul 26, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapSiem ReapHanoi18$5,534
Jul 26, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapSiem ReapHo Chi Minh13$4,074
Jul 26, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapSiem ReapBangkok16$4,974
Jul 29, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapPhnom PenhHo Chi Minh8$2,739
Jul 30, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapBangkokHanoi21$6,579
Jul 30, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHanoiBangkok19$5,954
Jul 30, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHanoiSiem Reap16$5,034
Jul 30, 2021ScenicScenic SpiritHanoiSiem Reap22$9,195
Jul 30, 2021ScenicScenic SpiritHanoiBangkok27$10,890
Jul 31, 2021Emerald WaterwaysEmerald HarmonyHanoiHo Chi Minh City17$5,195
Aug 02, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHo Chi MinhSiem Reap13$4,114
Aug 02, 2021Avalon WaterwaysSiem ReapHo Chi MinhBangkok16$5,064

Mekong Travel Guide

Mekong River Cruises Highlights

  • Formerly known as Saigon, most Mekong River cruises begin and/or end in this hustling and bustling Asian metropolis. Here, you can see ancient temples sitting placidly among skyscrapers as vendors dish out the local cuisine. The continuing flow of motorbikes gives this city its unique signature and cultural charm.
  • Check out delta life from your ship's observation deck, a place that will give you plenty of time to savor and see one-of-a-kind attractions and sights.
  • You and enjoy indoor and outdoor eating options when you sail the luxury lines.
  • Watch the flow of the Mekong River as you use the fitness machines and free weights featured onboard your cruise vessel.
  • Find souvenirs crafted by local Mekong artisans in your cruise ship's boutique or gift store.
  • Open-air decks on your cruise ship enable you to view the magnificent Mekong sunset.
  • Rejuvenate your senses by relaxing and getting pampered in a spa suite on one of the Mekong luxury ships.

Mekong River Cruises Travel Tips

  • Itineraries that feature the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia may be changed, as the lake's level tends to fluctuate. Therefore, take note of this fact before embarking on your cruise holiday.
  • Mekong River cruises run during both wet and dry seasons. The wet season covers May through October while the dry season runs November through April.
  • While temperatures are hot year-round, averaging around 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you won't feel much of a difference if you go when they are the lowest in November or February.
  • If you plan to head toward Siem Reap, it usually is better to choose the wet season, which means an easy crossing of the Tonle Sap Lake. You need to cross the lake to reach Siem Reap, where the Angkor Wat temple complex lies.
  • Rain showers, during the wet season last about 30 minutes at a time.
  • If you choose to go during the dry season, you may have to rely on a different form of transportation or change destinations because of the low water level, which bars the ship's ability to travel.
  • Make sure you have some understanding of Vietnamese or some of the languages you'll come across on your cruise holiday. While most of the cruise staff speak English, knowing a little bit about your destinations' languages will make your trip more interesting.
  • Pack clothes that will cover the knees and shoulders – essential when you visit religious sites or temples. Comfortable footwear is also a must-have accessory.
  • Check your vaccinations before traveling.

Mekong River Cruises Things To Do

  • Ho Chi Minh City
    Ho Chi Minh City

    Because Ho Chi Minh City is the beginning and ending point for many Mekong River Cruises, you certainly want to spend some time exploring this vibrant Vietnamese capital. If you are interested in Vietnam's war history, you don't want to miss a visit to the Cu Chi tunnels, located in the Cu Chi district. If you only have about four hours to explore the city, take a taxi and begin with a visit to the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. Next door, you can check out the Central Post Office, a prime example of French Colonial period architecture. You only have to stroll two blocks up the street to see the city's Independence Palace, which was a former seat of power for the South Vietnamese.

    Best Time To Visit

    Many people like to visit Ho Chi Minh City from December through March when it is not as rainy. If you want to enjoy Ho Chi Minh City when it is more festive, choose to go during the Tet Festival or Vietnamese New Year, which takes place in the latter part of January or early February.  

     

    You Should Know

    Ho Chi Minh City has two seasons – the northeast monsoon period, which goes from November through April, and the southwest monsoon months covering May through October. The area's humidity averages around 75%, but is higher in the monsoon areas during the wet season
  • The Mekong Delta
    The Mekong Delta

    On your luxury cruise down the Mekong River, you will also experience the Mekong Delta, which lies directly west of the capital, or Ho Chi Minh City. Enjoy the floating markets, the expanse of rice paddies, and the stilt houses of the locals. Local artisans show off their skills, crafting paper or sweets from the region's local rice crop. 

    Best Time To Visit

    Most people like to visit the Mekong Delta between November and April when it tends to be drier and more temperate. However, accommodations may be harder to find, as this is considered the high season. Many people also like to visit during the rainy season, from June to September, as they often can find lodging – something that is not as easy to do during the drier season from November through April.  

     

    You Should Know

    In ancient times, the Mekong Delta was an ancient Khmer land and was primarily marshland and woods. The landscape changed when Nguyen Lords took over the area, building a series of canals to facilitate travel. While many people visit the Delta on an organized tour, travel to little-visited areas is possible if you prepare for your trip and visit the Delta on your own.
  • Phnom Penh
    Phnom Penh

    The capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh is another delightful highlight of a Mekong River Cruise. People who visit the city are immediately impressed with the pairing of French architecture and Indochinese designs. You might say this part of Cambodia is the country's core and stronghold – the heartbeat that causes the country to thrive. The capital which spreads along the banks of the Mekong River and Tonle Sap is home to broad boulevards and thin alleyways – a metropolis where the ancient and new collide. Visitors to the city frequently make a stop at the National Museum of Angkor as a prelude visit before continuing to the nearby Angor Wat. Other sights to see include the Tuol Sleng Museum, a site that provides an insight into the terror experienced by residents under the Khmer Rouge regime. The killing fields of Choeung Ek are another reminder of Cambodia's sobering history.

    Best Time To Visit

    Travel experts advise that you see Phnom Penh from November through April, or during the drier time of the year. While Phenom Penh lies in the southcentral region of Cambodia, you can enjoy splendid temperatures on Cambodia's southern coast, which averages around 68-degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year.  

     

    You Should Know

    If you wish to see the temples when they are the quietest, choose to see Phnom Penh during its rainy season, or from May through October. At this time of year, the landscape is lusher and greener, and cruise travel is easier, as the water levels are higher. Similar to Thailand's tuk-tuk, the remok, in Phnom Penh is comprised of a passenger carriage that is pulled by a motorbike. It is the most common mode of transportation for tourists, as it can hold four or more people at one time.
  • Angkor Wat and the Temples of Angkor – Cambodia
    Angkor Wat and the Temples of Angkor – Cambodia

    Dating back to ancient times, or the seventh century, the Angkor Wat complex was built over a time spanning 6 centuries. Angkor Wat is located in Siem Reap, which is part of Northern Cambodia. This site is considered to be one of Cambodia's most important archeological destinations as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All the temples at the site feature their own unique features and characteristics. Therefore, you will not tire of visiting the different buildings.

    Best Time To Visit

    Normally, you can see the attraction in the wet season or dry season. However, the time of the day you go should be carefully planned. If you go early in the morning, you will miss most of the visitors who journey to the facility shortly after breakfast. If you want to see even fewer people, plan to go during lunch when the sun is at its peak and everyone is lunching in the shade.   

     

    You Should Know

    The Angkor temple is shown on Cambodia's flag. The Angkor Wat is notably the largest religious monument in the world. Built by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century, the Angkor Wat was erected to pay tribute to the Hindu god named Vishnu. While it features Buddhist designs, the Angkor Wat also includes a tall tower in its center – meant to represent Mount Meru, which is a mount that was woven into the Hindu explanation of heaven and hell.
  • Luang Prabang – Laos
    Luang Prabang – Laos

    One of the must-see excursions on a Mekong River cruise is a trip to Luang Prabang in Laos. Also known as the "Jewel in Laos's Crown," the city still has an old-fashioned charm that is replete of any modern vibe. What is nice about Luang Prabang is that you can see most of the sights on foot. Therefore, make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes. You can also take your time visiting the surroundings. If you like to hike, this is the place to go, as can also hike outside the town center and visit beautiful cascades and limestone caves.

    Best Time To Visit

    Usually, the best time to see this attraction is when it is drier, or from November to March, as hiking can become treacherous when it rains. If you go during January, book ahead for accommodations or be prepared for crowds, as festivals are held this time of year.  

     

    You Should Know

    The town is home to 33 Buddhist temples. Pak Ou Caves, in Luang Prabang, is filled with 4,000+ Buddhist icons, believed to have been housed there for thousands of years. Two caves are found in limestone cliffs where the Nam Ou River meets the Mekong River. The Tham Ting, a lower cave, and the Tham Theung, an upper cave, serve as shrines to Buddha and the spirit of the river.  
  • Vientiane, Laos
    Vientiane, Laos

    The capital of Laos, Vientiane is a quiet city with unique sights and attractions. One of the major attractions is a gold-covered Buddhist stupa, Pha That Luang, which is located in the city's center. The Buddhist monument is both a national symbol and monument. It was constructed around the third century and has undergone several renovations due to foreign conflicts. The most recent remodel was made in the 1930s. 

    Best Time To Visit

    The best time to see Vientiane is from November through March when it is drier. Be prepared to pay higher prices during the drier season.  

     

    You Should Know

    Wat Si Saket, in the city, is the only Laos temple that was left standing after a Siamese invasion annihilated most of the city in 1828. The temple features 10,000+ Buddhist sculptures of various sizes and designs. You will want to take a photo of the temple's ornate tiered roof. Be sure to plan to visit the Vientiane Night Market, which sets up around sunset. You will avoid the crowds if you visit the market before its peak hour of 8:00 p.m. Some of the popular items include Buddhist paintings, backpacker-friendly clothing, and inexpensive sunglasses.
  • Pakbeng, Laos
    Pakbeng, Laos

    This sleepy village in Laos is the ideal way to see Laos's rustic side. Not only can you visit some quiet Buddhist temples, but you can also enjoy the local flavor and see, up-close, how the village locals live. While you won't be able to shop at malls or enjoy 5-star cuisine, you will get to see Laos the same way that local villagers do.

    Best Time To Visit

    It is best to visit Pakbeng from November through March, or during the drier time of the year, as you will participate in a lot of outdoor activities.

     

    You Should Know

    The most famous wat or temple in Pak Beng is the Wat Sin Jong Jaeng, which dates back to French colonial times. Visit the temple around sunset when you can see some stunning views from the temple's hillside location. One of the best restaurants in town (Hashan) is known for its delicious Indian cuisine.
  • Siem Reap
    Siem Reap

    Located in Northwest Cambodia, Siem Reap is a popular resort town that leads to the Angkor ruins and temples. It served as the seat of the Khmer Kingdom from the 9th century to the 15th century. Its historic temples make Siem Reap a favorite starting point or destination of anyone traveling on a Mekong River Cruise.

    Best Time To Visit

    Try to visit Siem Reap when the weather is rainier, as rain showers usually do not last more than 30 minutes at one time. Therefore, travel to Siem Reap from May through October, as it is easier to access this area from the Tonle Sap Lake. Otherwise, you may have to find another mode of transport.  

     

    You Should Know

    Besides the Angkor Watt temple, Siem Reap also is home to the Bayon Temple. Built in the latter part of the 12th century and early part of the 13th century, the temple stands in the middle of Angkor Thom. The main feature of the temple is its smiling faces of stone, which can be seen on many of the towers that project from the temple's upper terrace and sit along the center of the fortress. Another temple of note is Ta Prohm, which sits east of Angkor Thom.

Mekong River Cruises When To Visit

Quick Facts

The best time to take a Mekong river cruise is during the dry months when the weather is pleasant and the river has the best conditions for a river cruise. Although you should keep in mind that during this time, there are some parts of the river that have very low water levels.

  • Dry Season - November to May

    Most travel experts advise taking a Mekong River Cruise during November through March, or when it is not as rainy. However, if you do choose to go during this time and have planned to travel across Tonle Sap Lake, you may have to find another way to get to Siem Reap, which leads to Angkor Wat. That is because the river level subsides during the drier months.   

  • Rainy Season - May to October

    While the peak season of November through March is less rainy, you may find it more affordable and convenient to travel during rainier times, or from May through October.

Mekong River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is a Mekong Delta Cruise?

    Frequently this cruise holiday begins or ends in old Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City and has stops, based on the cruise's length. Cruises are offered that feature three-day, seven-day, and thirteen-day itineraries. For example, you might take a three-day journey that leads to a floating village, which ends in Phnom Penh. If the water level is low in Tone Sap Lake, you may need to change your travel plans. Many of the seven-day cruises end in Ho Chi Minh City (the capital of Vietnam).

  • What’s Included on a Mekong River Cruise?

    Depending on the boat and the pricing, you can experience various options. For example, a luxury cruise experience will include enjoying the Mekong River from an observation deck while taking advantage of spa amenities. If you wish to spend less money and take a sampan (flat bottom boat) cruise, the boating adventure will be both private and modern. It just does not come with 5-star Michelin meals or pampering.

  • What’s the Best Cruise for Mekong River Cruise?

    There is no one best cruise to take to see the Mekong River, as your choice will be based on the cruise itinerary and the type of cruise you can afford. To make sure you choose the right cruise line for you, select a cruise tour that features good reviews that can accommodate your preferences with respect to stopping-off points and duration.

  • How Much Does a Mekong River Cruise Cost?

    If you are seeking a more affordable adventure, expect to pay around $299 per person. Otherwise, cruises down the Mekong River average, in price, between $450 to $499 per person.

Learn More About Mekong Cruises

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    Review: Vietnam, Cambodia And The Riches Of The Mekong River With AmaWaterways

    By: Derek Miller, Travel Consultant Vietnam is country with a rich history. At the beginning of my cruise on the Mekong river with AmaWaterways, I went to the Independence Palace, which serves as one of the many museums that Saigon has to offer. It’s known as Saigon by its people who live there but Ho Chi Minh…

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