Top 12 Reasons to Cruise the Mekong River with Uniworld

Uniworld River Orchid - A Sampan Approaching on Mekong River.

Uniworld River Orchid – A Sampan Approaching on Mekong River.

Top 12 Reasons to Cruise the Mekong River with Uniworld

WAVEJourney loves river cruising! What’s not to love about it? We get to unpack once, make new like-minded friends, choose our dining companions, experience new cultures from a local perspective and enjoy the luxury of being pampered on a small ship. We’ve taken 5 previous river cruises (all in Europe), but had no clue what to expect on Uniworld’s Timeless Wonders of Vietnam and Cambodia river cruise on the Mekong. Now we’ve given this adventure the number 1 favorite spot on our list of river cruises.

Take a look at our top 12 reasons to cruise the Mekong River with Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection:

1. DESTINATION

Cambodian Monk at Temple

Cambodian Monk at Temple

The Uniworld river cruise and land tour is an excellent option for discovering the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and Cambodia. It provides a fascinating itinerary, amazing scenery and a unique opportunity to witness local culture in a safe, informative and comfortable manner. Experience life along the Mekong River in a way not otherwise available to most tourists.

2. TOURS AND ACTIVITIES

Visiting Cambodian Village School Kids

Visiting Cambodian Village School Kids

Incredible value with most tours (using the VOX system) and activities being included. Passengers are divided into groups with a maximum of 20 passengers and 1 tour guide, plus at least one assistant and driver (if a coach is used). Motorcoaches were clean and well-maintained and we felt very comfortable with the experienced and careful drivers.

3. GUIDES

Learning about a spirit shrine in Cambodia.

Learning about a spirit shrine in Cambodia.

English speaking local guides that excel at their profession and are passionate about sharing information on the culture, history, scenery, drinks and food. Vietnamese guides take care of passengers in Vietnam and Cambodian guides are with passengers for the portion in Cambodia.

4. SHIP

Uniworld River Orchid on the Mekong River

Uniworld River Orchid on the Mekong River

Classic, colonial, reminiscant of another time and place. The dark hardwood on the ship makes for a romantic and completely different river cruise experience from river ships in Europe. Staterooms are compact and can be configured with either 2 twin beds or a double bed. Storage space is limited, so packing light and tight is recommended. If you enjoy lots of extra space in your stateroom, be sure to book a suite. There is a bar/lounge on the same level as the sundeck, and the dining room is on the lower deck of the ship.

5. CREW

Executive Chef Gives a Tropical Fruit Demonstration

Executive Chef Gives a Tropical Fruit Demonstration

Superlative service and always with a smile. With a maximum of 60 passengers, the crew of 29 provided the best service we have ever encountered. (2:1 passenger/crew ratio on full cruises – our cruise had almost a 1:1 ratio.)

6. DINING AND BEVERAGES

Uniworld River Orchid - Lunch Buffet Hot Selections

Uniworld River Orchid – Lunch Buffet Hot Selections

Western and Asian influenced breakfast, lunch and dinner menus with enough variety to satisfy every palate. Wine and beer included with lunch and dinner. Some excellent onshore dining experiences at local restaurants were also included.

7. LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT

Orphanage Monkey Dancers

Orphanage Monkey Dancers

Cultural dances, indigenous musical instruments and expressive performances.

8. BOTTLED WATER

Water Pouch for Excursions

Water Pouch for Excursions

With the heat and humidity it’s too easy to get dehydrated. The guides and crew make sure bottled mineral water is plentiful, and it is included throughout the entire cruise, at hotels and during land tours/excursions.

9.  BATHROOM AMENITIES

Uniworld River Orchid Stateroom 306

Uniworld River Orchid Stateroom 306

Top-notch bathroom amenities aboard the ship add to the luxury and opulance of the cruise. Each hotel has their own luxury brand of bathroom amenities.

10. CASUAL DRESS CODE

Jill and Viv visit a temple during Uniworld Mekong Cruise

Jill and Viv visit a temple during Uniworld Mekong Cruise

Leave the gowns and suits at home. This is a tropical destination and it’s time to dress according to the temperature, humidity and for comfort. Resort casual is encouraged during dinner and appropriate attire is required to visit temples (guides and the cruise director give advance notice).

11. MOVIE THEATER

River Orchid on the Mekong River in Vietnam

River Orchid on the Mekong River in Vietnam

Lectures and the nightly movie on the ship take place in the movie theater. (Note: There are no TV’s in staterooms)

12. VALUE

Watching the sunset on a Uniworld River Orchid Mekong River cruise

Watching the sunset on a Uniworld River Orchid Mekong River cruise

Stay at first-class hotels, dine at upscale restaurants and enjoy the comforts of Uniworld quality beds, linens and service while on the cruise. Airport transfers are included at scheduled times (check with Uniworld for the exact dates and times these are included). This trip provides tremendous value for money and should be on every adventurer’s bucket list!

  • Click here to read more about this river cruise.

Want to find out more about river cruising or book a river cruise? Contact our favorite river and luxury canal cruise expert, Beth Hansen.

Mobility Issues? Lots of steps and uneven paths...

Mobility Issues? Lots of steps and uneven paths…

FYI – Mobility Issues? This is a trip that requires good mobility. There are lots of stairs and uneven ground during both the land and cruise portions. There isn’t an elevator on the ship (narrow and steep staircases) so those that have bad knees or aren’t steady on their feet will have challenges. Those that require a wheelchair should probably find a more suitable trip to take in another country (Europe has lots to choose from). Many times the ship’s crew needs to dig a path of stairs to get from the ship to an excursion, and often times the ground is wet, muddy and slippery.

Jill and Viv at Angkor Wat - Uniworld Mekong Cruise

Jill and Viv at Angkor Wat – Uniworld Mekong Cruise

Notes: WAVEJourney travelled from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Cambodia and onward to Hanoi, Vietnam as media guests of Uniworld River Cruise Collection from December 4 to , 2013. Read our full disclosure statement to see our review policy.

 

9 Responses to Top 12 Reasons to Cruise the Mekong River with Uniworld

  1. This trip looks incredible! This definitely looks like something exciting to do, especially for the summer!

    Nicole Pyles 06/19/2014 at 2:37 pm
  2. We are huge travelers in my family and I love Asia! Visited Singapore and Indonesia once and the thought of a river cruise is lovely!!! Bucket list!

    Debra @A Frugal Friend 06/19/2014 at 2:41 pm
  3. This place looks truly amazing. I love all the pictures.

    Danielle 06/20/2014 at 2:05 am
  4. Great pictures and very useful information about the place. Thanks for sharing this amazing experience. Hope to plan a trip there one day.

    Jay 06/22/2014 at 1:07 pm
  5. This looks like so much fun! I agree with you that sometimes the little things like bathroom amenities and even a movie theater can make a cruise wonderful. This looks like it would be a lot of fun.

    Micki 06/23/2014 at 11:08 am
  6. the pictures are amazing! I am going to have to put this on the visit one day list! thanks for sharing

    janelle 06/23/2014 at 11:42 am
  7. That sounds like a fantastic journey. The pictures you shared are all amazing!

    Jessica 06/23/2014 at 11:55 am
  8. Having traveled to Thailand, Laos and Cambodia independently by air and overland,and to Vietnam by ocean cruise boat, I can see the value in traveling by boat along the Mekong River. It seems like it is the Nile or Amazon of southeast Asia. The Uniworld ship looks really interesting—definitely very different from the boats used on river cruises in Europe. Were there experts on board who presented lectures about the history, culture and modern day political situation of the places you would be visiting? (I know you mentioned lectures on board, so I guess I’m asking about the subject matter).

    Suzanne Fluhr 07/26/2014 at 7:04 pm
    • Hi Suzanne – great question! We had a Cruise Director with us for the entire 14-day cruise/tour. He was from Vietnam and very knowledgeable about history, culture, the political situation, etc. He did give a couple of formal lectures while we were on the ship (various topics). We also had local guides (Vietnamese for the portion in Vietnam and Cambodian for that portion), assigned to each of our smaller groups (Uniworld divides passengers into group sizes of 20 or less). They were excellent – providing info on all topics during coach rides, boat rides, during excursions, onboard lectures (the Cambodian guides even gave a presentation on marriage traditions), and they were also available to answer questions on an individual basis. Also, while on the ship there were daily movies/documentaries that were related to places we would visit – very good way to learn more about the history and sites. This was our 6th river cruise (all others were in Europe) and we found this trip provided more information about all aspects of culture, history and political subjects than any we’ve previously experienced – and that’s saying something! Hope that answers your question :)

      Viv 07/28/2014 at 10:51 am
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