The Mekong River is one of the world’s greatest, its waters flowing almost 5,000 kilometres across six countries. It acts as a major lifeline, particularly for Vietnam and Cambodia. The Mekong is a major transport route between the two countries for ships of all sizes sailing on the river. 

Mekong River

While most of Avalon Waterways’ river cruises are in Europe, we can’t look past its itinerary along the mighty Mekong. Sailing between Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, embark on an epic journey. The juxtaposition between the bustle of the big capital cities and the sleepy villages will be an adventure that you’ll treasure for life! Here are 5 reasons to add an Avalon Waterways Mekong cruise to your bucket list.  

1. Spend your time wisely 

Avalon Mekong
Sit back and relax in the Observation Lounge

Naturally, river cruising is about spending your valuable holiday time sailing – not travelling by coach on land (when you can help it, of course!). Avalon have taken this into consideration when building their Mekong ships. The Avalon Saigon is the only ship in the industry that can cruise directly from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (or vice versa). This eliminates hours of land-based travel, meaning you’re spending your time wisely by actually cruising!  

2. Your home away from home 

Avalon Siem Reap

Avalon puts their guests’ happiness at the forefront of all they do, with their ship’s craftmanship and fit out no exception. The Avalon Saigon has been meticulously crafted to be a seamless cross between Vietnam and Cambodia’s colonial charm and keeping it modern.  

Avalon Mekong Panorama Suite
Home sweet home during your cruise

With just 18 Panorama Suites onboard you’re guaranteed an intimate experience with a maximum of 36 guests. While this may seem small, the ship certainly isn’t with plenty of open, shared spaces. In fact, it has been built to be the same size as others who carry twice as many guests.  

Take a seat and watch life on the Mekong pass you by in the air-conditioned Panorama Lounge or open-air Observation Lounge; or retire to your 245 square foot Panorama Suite with its Open-Air Balcony – bliss!  

3. The food – need we say more?  

Avalon Mekong onboard food

You’ll be spoilt for choice with the local specialties in Vietnam and Cambodia. The herbs, spices and produce combine to create bold and fresh flavours that will have you wanting more! Whilst cruising, lunches and dinners will include the choice of Western or locally inspired meals to suit whatever takes your fancy on the day.  

4. Dive the heart of Vietnam and Cambodia 

Angkor Ban
Some of the local children in Angkor Ban, Cambodia

The Local Guides that accompany you on excursions are a wealth of knowledge, taking you right into the heart of local towns and villages for an incredible experience. They will introduce you to the locals to learn about their way of life, all so welcoming and happy to share their stories with you. 

Angkor Ban school
Angkor Ban’s local school

Take the small village of Angkor Ban, Cambodia for example. Once you’ve met with a local family and had your questions translated by your Local Guide, you’ll walk through the village – all the while being greeted by smiling and waving children – and go to the local school. Dive into helping them practice their English by reading a book or having a Q&A session with them. The warm fuzzies will abound after this heart-warming experience! 

5. The treasured memories 

Avalon Saigon

The combination of the friendly onboard crew, the local excursions to fascinating villages, the tasty food, and incredible history and culture all weaves together to create an absolute treasure trove of memories. The entire journey is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences and we have no doubt that you will talk about it for years to come!  


Planning on a 2022 or beyond cruise down the Mekong now? Click here for all of Avalon’s Mekong itineraries available. 

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