Why choose Victoria Mekong Cruises?
The Mekong Delta is one of Vietnam’s lesser-touristed destinations, but likely not for long. Its endless fields of rice, slow pace of life and natural attractions mean it’s probably just a matter of time before visitors discover this quiet corner governed by the ebbs and flows of the river.
Already in the past year, new flight routes have been opened, connecting Can Tho (the largest city in the Mekong Delta) with international destinations such as Taiwan, Seoul, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Victoria Mekong Cruises takes this off-the-beaten-track concept one further, becoming the only ship to sail out of Can Tho. While all the other ships plying the Mekong Delta leave from My Tho, which is closer to Ho Chi Minh City, and cruise the Tien River (the northern arm of the Mekong), Victoria Mekong sails on the Hau River (the southern arm of the Mekong), opening up a host of new shore excursions and destinations.
2. Insightful shore excursions
Life in the Mekong Delta has changed little in recent decades compared to most other places. Shore excursions on Victoria Mekong Cruises showcase the authentic, unvarnished side of life in the Delta, both on land and by the water. For instance, on a tuk-tuk and walking tour of a riverine island where few foreigners visit, guests have the opportunity to observe how incense sticks are made by hand using materials available right on the island, visit a wood carver in his home, and walk among rows of wooden looms turning out cotton textiles set up in the back of a family’s home. Water-based excursions include riding a sampan through the Cai Rang Floating Market – the last, large remaining one of its kind in the Delta where a flurry of boats, big and small, crisscross the river laden with rice, fruits and vegetables from the area.
3. Contemporary comfort
While most other Mekong Delta cruise ships go for the rustic look, the Victoria Mekong leaves the authenticity to the destinations. On board the 35-cabin, all-balcony ship, it’s all about bright, open public spaces. Some features include the impressive Horizon Lounge Bar, home to live performances of traditional Vietnamese music and classic Khmer apsara dances, and cosy cabins and suites, each with private balcony, en-suite bathrooms, and 40” or 49” TVs. A family-friendly feature of the ship is its louvred balcony doors which can be opened to create a super balcony for groups of family and friends travelling together.
4. “Green” ship and sustainable travel
One of the newest cruise ships in the Mekong Delta, the Victoria Mekong was conceived as a “green” ship, right from the design stage. A fresh water generator purifies river water to be used onboard, while further processes including reverse osmosis and UV sterilisation turns the fresh water into potable water. Solar panels on the ship’s rooftop deck are part of the hot water heating system, while a Wärtsilä Hamworthy treatment plant treats domestic waste to the highest environmental protection standards.
Guests are also invited to join in on sustainable travel initiatives by refilling the complimentary water bottles from portable water stations placed throughout the ship or by opting to go A/C-free, throwing open their balconies to the river breezes with the addition of mosquito nets over the beds. Guests can sail with peace of mind in one of the most naturally beautiful places in Asia, knowing that the ship is very nearly plastic-free, with no plastic straws, waste bins lined with washable inserts, and no plastic bags or containers used for food delivery.
5. Low and slow
Most itineraries travelling through the Mekong Delta between Vietnam and Cambodia comprise of long travel hours by road with a brief overnight stop in the border town of Chau Doc, with hardly any time to soak up the slow-paced beauty of the Delta. Instead of a perfunctory excursion bookended by long hours of driving, the Victoria Mekong offers a more leisurely way to fully appreciate the Delta, with a light schedule of shore excursions in the morning, followed by leisure time in the afternoons to take in the ever-changing riverscapes from the ship’s sun deck.
Other activities include engaging lectures, fun competitions, and even a state-of-the-art movie theatre to keep guests busy on board. Additionally, the three and four night cruises are easy to slot into a two-week tour through Cambodia and Vietnam, adding fascinating riverside destinations while making good use of time.