Best Asian Cruises: River Cruises on the Mekong River

Asia is a continent teeming with cultural diversity, historical richness, and natural beauty. One of the best ways to experience the essence of Asia is through a river cruise on the majestic Mekong River. Flowing through six countries, including China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, the Mekong offers a unique and immersive journey that allows travelers to witness captivating landscapes, ancient temples, bustling cities, and vibrant local cultures. Embarking on a Mekong River cruise promises a mesmerizing voyage through some of Southeast Asia’s most enchanting destinations. From the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to the serene countryside of Cambodia, each stop along the Mekong unveils a tapestry of sights, sounds, and flavors waiting to be discovered.

The Mekong River Cruise Experience

The Mekong River cruise offers a unique and immersive experience in the heart of Southeast Asia. According to the search results, some of the top experiences you can expect on a Mekong River cruise include:

  1. Experiencing the floating life: The Mekong Delta is known for its vibrant floating villages, stilt houses, and bustling floating markets. Cruising along the river allows you to witness the daily life of the local people and interact with them, as well as shop for unique souvenirs and sample local cuisine.1
  2. Discovering historical and cultural sites: The Mekong River is rich in history and home to many important cultural sites and temples along Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. A Mekong River cruise provides an excellent opportunity to visit these sites and learn about the history and traditions of the region, such as the ancient traders’ villa and pagoda, the Angkor Wat temple complex, and the ancient city of Luang Prabang.1
  3. Witnessing stunning scenery: The Mekong River is known for its rich biodiversity and unique landscapes, including lush jungles, towering cliffs, and serene waterways. Cruising down the river allows you to take in these beautiful views from the comfort of your boat, and even participate in shore excursions to get up close and personal with the natural wonders of the region.1
  4. Enjoying delicate local cuisine: The Mekong Delta region is home to some of the most delicious and unique cuisine, and a Mekong River cruise provides the opportunity to sample these local delicacies.1

Overall, a Mekong River cruise is an unforgettable experience that allows you to explore a region rich in natural beauty, culture, and tradition. Whether you’re traveling with friends or family, a Mekong River cruise is the perfect way to enjoy a luxurious and stress-free vacation.

The Best Companies that offer Asian River Cruises

The Mekong River, the seventh longest river in Asia, is a mystical and enchanting waterway that weaves its way through six countries, including China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. A river cruise on the Mekong is a captivating journey that offers a unique blend of cultural experiences, historical exploration, and natural beauty. Here are some of the best Asian cruises that ply the waters of the mighty Mekong River.

  1. Avalon Waterways: Mekong River Cruises

Avalon Waterways offers an immersive 13-day cruise from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap (or vice versa), taking you through the heart of Vietnam and Cambodia. Their state-of-the-art ship, the Avalon Siem Reap, offers panoramic suites with wall-to-wall windows, allowing you to soak in the ever-changing landscape of the Mekong. The cruise includes visits to local villages, historic sites, and bustling markets, as well as an excursion to the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat temple complex.

Find special deals, best itineraries and reserve today on the Avalon River Cruises by clicking here.

  1. Aqua Expeditions: Mekong River Cruises

Aqua Expeditions’ Mekong River cruises focus on the rich culture, history, and wildlife of Cambodia and Vietnam. Their luxurious, all-suite ship, the Aqua Mekong, boasts spacious accommodations, an outdoor plunge pool, and a world-class dining experience. The 7-night cruise between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City takes you on an unforgettable journey through floating villages, lush landscapes, and ancient temples, with expert guides providing insight into the region’s fascinating history and customs.

  1. Pandaw River Cruises: Mekong River Cruises

Pandaw River Cruises offers a variety of itineraries on the Mekong River, ranging from 7 to 14 nights. Their colonial-style ships are designed to navigate the shallow waters of the Mekong, allowing you to explore remote areas that larger vessels cannot reach. The cruises focus on authentic cultural experiences, with shore excursions that include visits to local schools, markets, and workshops. Pandaw’s 10-night cruise from Siem Reap to Saigon is particularly popular, combining the wonders of Angkor Wat with the vibrant energy of Ho Chi Minh City.

  1. AmaWaterways: Mekong River Cruises

AmaWaterways’ 15-day “Charms of the Mekong” cruise takes you on an unforgettable journey from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, with stops in Vietnam’s bustling Mekong Delta, Cambodia’s capital city Phnom Penh, and the ancient temples of Angkor Wat. Their luxurious ship, the AmaDara, features spacious staterooms, a spa, and a sun deck pool. The cruise includes expertly guided shore excursions, as well as opportunities to engage with local communities through AmaWaterways’ partnership with the non-profit organization, OTARES.

Find special deals and reserve today on the Amawaterways River Cruises by Clicking Here.

  1. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection: Mekong River Cruises

Uniworld’s all-inclusive 13-day “Vietnam, Cambodia & The Mekong River” cruise offers a luxurious and immersive experience, combining the best of both countries. The cruise begins in Ho Chi Minh City and ends in Siem Reap, with stops at the Cu Chi Tunnels, Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace, and the stunning temples of Angkor Wat. Uniworld’s elegant ship, the Mekong Jewel, features beautifully appointed suites, a spa, and a pool, ensuring that your journey along the Mekong River is as comfortable as it is memorable.

Find special deals and reserve today on the Uniworld River Cruises by Clicking Here.

The Top 5 Best River cruises

  1. Aqua Mekong:
    • Rating: 4.8/5
    • Highlights: This luxury cruise ship offers a blend of elegance and adventure. Sail through Vietnam and Cambodia, exploring vibrant cities, ancient temples, and lush landscapes. The Aqua Mekong provides personalized service, gourmet dining, and spacious suites.
    • Operator: Aqua Expeditions
  2. MS Amadara:
    • Rating: 4.5/5
    • Highlights: The MS Amadara takes you on a cultural journey along the Mekong. Explore bustling markets, visit historic sites, and enjoy onboard amenities like fine dining and comfortable cabins.
    • Operator: AmaWaterways
    • Find special deals and reserve today on the Amawaterways River Cruises by Clicking Here.
  3. RV Indochine II:
    • Rating: 4.5/5
    • Highlights: This boutique-style ship offers an intimate experience. Cruise from Vietnam to Cambodia, discovering local traditions, floating villages, and iconic landmarks. Enjoy personalized service and well-appointed cabins.
    • Operator: CroisiEurope
  4. Scenic Spirit:
    • Rating: 4.5/5
    • Highlights: Scenic Spirit combines luxury with cultural immersion. Explore the Mekong’s treasures, from the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City to the serene temples of Angkor Wat. Enjoy all-inclusive amenities and spacious suites.
    • Operator: Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours
  5. Jahan:
    • Rating: 4.5/5
    • Highlights: The Jahan offers a colonial-era ambiance with modern comforts. Sail through Vietnam and Cambodia, stopping at historical sites, local villages, and vibrant markets. Enjoy gourmet dining and elegant cabins.
    • Operator: Heritage Line


One of the highlights of a Mekong River cruise is the opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich cultural heritage of the region. Travelers can explore ancient temples like the Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia, witness traditional dance performances, and visit local villages to gain insights into the daily lives of the people living along the riverbanks. Whether it’s participating in a traditional almsgiving ceremony in Luang Prabang or sampling authentic street food in Saigon, every moment offers a chance to connect with the soul of Asia.

River cruise ships that ply the Mekong River offer a blend of comfort, luxury, and personalized service. From spacious staterooms with panoramic views to gourmet dining experiences featuring local and international cuisine, travelers are treated to the highest standards of hospitality throughout their journey. Onboard amenities such as spa facilities, swimming pools, and evening entertainment ensure that guests have everything they need for a truly memorable voyage.

Beyond the comforts of the cruise ship, Mekong River cruises also offer opportunities for adventure and exploration. Excursions to off-the-beaten-path destinations, guided tours of UNESCO World Heritage sites, and encounters with indigenous communities provide travelers with a deeper understanding of the region’s history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether it’s kayaking through the tranquil waters of Tonle Sap Lake or cycling through the rice paddies of rural Vietnam, there’s no shortage of exhilarating experiences to be had along the Mekong.

As travelers embark on their Mekong River journey, there’s a growing awareness of the need to protect and preserve the fragile ecosystems of this vital waterway. Many cruise operators are committed to sustainable practices, including minimizing waste, conserving energy, and supporting local conservation efforts. By choosing eco-friendly options and respecting the natural environment, travelers can help ensure that future generations will continue to enjoy the beauty of the Mekong River for years to come.

A river cruise on the Mekong River offers an unforgettable blend of cultural immersion, scenic beauty, and luxurious comfort. Whether you’re a history buff, an adventure seeker, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, exploring Asia’s iconic waterway is sure to leave you with memories to last a lifetime. So, pack your bags, embark on a voyage of discovery, and experience the best that Asia has to offer aboard a Mekong River cruise.

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