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WHY IT RATES: Emerald Cruises is offering a longer sailing season for its Mekong River voyages to allow for travelers to relax and enjoy the region's less crowded travel season. — Lacey Pfalz, Associate Writer, TravelPulse
Emerald Cruises has opened the books on their 2024-2025 Mekong River cruise season through Cambodia and Vietnam aboard the line’s most intimate Star-Ship, Emerald Harmony. Exploring this fascinating region of the world via river ship allows travelers to experience small villages and historic capitals and gain an appreciation for the scenic beauty as well as the local culture and people. Emerald Cruises has expanded the sailing season for 2024-2025, offering more options to guests looking to explore the beauty and history of the Mekong region.
New this season, the 10-day Meandering Majestic Mekong itinerary between Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh sails exclusively in August, September, and October, during the region’s less crowded “green season.” This longer sailing takes a more relaxed pace, and adds extra time in Cambodia, continuing northeast past the capital city. An additional port of call in Angkor Ban reveals a remote village where guests can explore the hundred-year-old wooden houses that survived the Khmer Rouge and receive a blessing from the local Monastery. This itinerary also includes more daytime sailing, allowing guests to take in the sights on daily excursions as well as from onboard the deluxe Emerald Harmony. Travelers looking to sail the Mekong between mid-October and mid-May can opt for the classic eight-day Majestic Mekong, also sailing between Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh.
Traveling from North America to Southeast Asia is a long haul—and most guests choose to make the most of their trip by booking one of the seamless cruise-and-land tours curated by Emerald Cruises. These journeys combine the eight- or 10-day river cruise, depending on season, with an in-depth land tour itinerary. The 13- or 15-day Wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong adds three days in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where guests can visit the ancient temples of Angkor Tom and watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat; take a Vespa tour of the city or a boat tour of nearby Tonle Sap lake; take in an Aspara dance show and traditional Cambodian dinner; and embark on an evening street food tour. Two longer itineraries feature more time touring before and after the cruise: the 17- or 19-day Treasures & Temples of Vietnam & Cambodia adds tours in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi and a two-night cruise onboard a traditional-style junk boat on stunning Halong Bay as well as the Siem Reap program. The epic 21- or 23-day Grand Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia itinerary adds tours in the Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam, and Hoi An, known for its well-preserved Ancient Town and eclectic architecture, as well as the tour program in Hanoi, Halong Bay, Siem Reap. To offer more choice of ports, each itinerary offers an upstream and downstream option.
No matter which itinerary guests opt for, they will pay a visit to the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, a city that continues to modernize while maintaining roots in strong traditions. Vietnam War reminders are never far away, whether the Cu Chi Tunnels, a fascinating network of underground passageways constructed by the communist guerillas, or the War Remnants Museum. In the Mekong Delta region, highlights include a visit to a unique family-owned silk producing factory and the unspoiled My An Hung village. A visit to Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh contrasts the elaborate Royal Palace complex with the tragic reminders of the Khmer Rouge regime at the Killing Fields. A night tour of Cambodia’s capital on traditional tuk-tuks offers a different take on this lively city.
With only 84 guests in 42 staterooms and suites, Emerald Harmony offers an intimate and upscale sailing experience on the Mekong. The ship features spacious cabins, a pool located on the ship’s aft, an Asian-themed Horizon Bar & Lounge, and an impressive 2:1 guest to crew ratio. Perhaps the most innovative feature of the newest Star-Ship is in its clever design—unlike most similar-sized Mekong river ships, the Emerald Harmony will be built to allow access to the center of Ho Chi Minh City, meaning guests will disembark in the center of the action rather than needing to be coached in from outside the city. The complete brochure is available for viewing here.
Emerald Cruises offers a diverse lineup of river and yacht cruises on three continents. Emerald Azzurra, the line’s first ocean-going vessel which debuted in March 2022, is a 100-guest, luxury yacht sailing the warm waters of the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas, and new for the 2023/2024 season, the Caribbean and Central America. In November 2022, Emerald Azzurra was named Best New Luxury Ship in Cruise Critic’s 2022 Editors’ Picks Awards. Emerald Sakara, the brand’s second luxury yacht, launched in August 2023. On the rivers, Emerald Cruises sails eight branded Star-Ships in Europe and one on the Mekong. The brand offers innovatively-designed ships, outstanding service and a focus on active shore excursions and onboard wellness offerings through their signature EmeraldACTIVE program. Emerald Cruises is part of Scenic Group, which includes Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Mayflower Cruises & Tours and Evergreen Tours in Australia.
Emerald Cruises can be found on Twitter at @emerald_cruises, on Facebook as EmeraldCruisesGlobal and on Instagram as @EmeraldCruises.global.
Additional information can be found by contacting your local travel advisor; on Emerald Cruises’ website, www.emeraldcruises.com; or by calling the consumer/travel agent reservations line at 844-428-8389. Digital brochure downloads are available on the website.
SOURCE: Emerald Cruises press release.
Frank Belzer is the chief sales and marketing officer at Icon Park in Orlando and also serves on the board of the Grand Canyon...
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