A First-Time Guide to Cruising the Mekong River

A First-Time Guide to Cruising the Mekong River


Explore the essence of South East Asian-inspired luxury as you set sail and embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, cruising along the meandering Mekong River to discover some of the most scenic regions in the world.
Extending approximately 4,350km, the Mekong River is the longest river in South East Asia. Starting its journey in the mountains of Tibet, before meandering through the lush tropical landscape to the south of Vietnam. 
 
One of the best ways to experience the culture, heritage and local life of this beautiful region is during a Mekong river cruise, and best of all, you only need to unpack once. Settle down in your spacious stateroom and suite on board Emerald Harmony, the Mekong's newest and most innovative cruise ship, launching in August 2019. Admire the passing temples and local life through the innovative drop-down glass window of your Balcony Suite. Start your day with a refreshing swim in the heated swimming pool, before relaxing on the sun loungers with the morning's newspaper. Tantalise your tastebuds at Reflections Restaurant and dine on a diverse variety of local delicacies or Western delights. 

When to cruise the Mekong River?

Whatever time of year you choose to cruise the Mekong River, you will be delighted by the sights and experiences. A cruise during the wet season from May to October makes for ideal cruising conditions, with higher water levels leading to smoother sailing. This time of year is also a quieter time to visit if you prefer to compete with less tourists at popular photographic destinations like Angkor Wat. In comparison, the dry season runs from November to April and offers lower humidity and slightly cooler temperatures, making it a more pleasant time to travel.
 
One of the benefits of cruising on board our specially designed Emerald Harmony Star-Ship, is that guests can sail right into the heart of Ho Chi Minh City and dock in the heart of Vietnam’s cosmopolitan city. All of our cruises begin either in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam or Siem Reap in Cambodia. Throughout the cruise, you have the chance to discover local villages such as My Tho, Sa Dec, My An Hung, Anh Long, Long Khan and Hong Ngu. 
 
Our 8-Day Majestic Mekong River Cruise offers a chance to cruise, wine, and dine on-board and also step off the boat to explore iconic destinations, like Tan Long Pagoda. Savour the delectable local coconut cream candy, explore grapefruit gardens, touch silk made from the mac nua fruit, receive a Buddhist Blessing, and explore the historic stories of Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, otherwise known as the “Pearl of Asia.” For a longer itinerary, explore our 13-Day Majestic Mekong Discoverer Cruise journey, 17-Day Treasures & Temples of Vietnam & Cambodia and our 21-Day Grand Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia.
 
Unique to Emerald Waterways, you can also enjoy exclusive local experiences as part of EmeraldPLUS. This is your chance to immerse yourself in the unique culture and enhance your journey. Highlights include the Phare Circus in Siem Reap, a cyclo ride through Dai Noi and a guided tour through the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City.

What to pack for a Mekong River Cruise?

When it comes to packing for your Mekong River cruise, you will need to bring comfortable walking shoes and lightweight clothing that can dry easily. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses are important as is rain gear, mosquito repellent and sunscreen. Make sure to pack your camera and spare batteries to photograph all the iconic moments of your holiday, plus your bathing suit to use our on board swimming pool after a busy day of exploring. On board Emerald Harmony, you can also make use of the free guest self-service laundry, helping to keep your bags lighter.
 
A Mekong River cruise is the perfect way to experience all the tastes, smells, sights and sounds of Vietnam and Cambodia, with plenty of free time to relax on board Emerald Harmony or spend as you wish.
 
Start planning your South East Asia river cruise today. 

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