Unforgettable Travel Company

Mekong River Small Ship Cruises 2024/25

The exotic waterways of the Mekong River offer one of the world’s greatest cruising destinations. You’ll be transported to another world, for a glimpse of ancient cultures and history, awe-inspiring scenery, and wildlife, from otters, crocodiles, and giant catfish to a remarkable diversity of birdlife. Sail through the channels and open stretches of water framed by lush jungle, all while enjoying plenty of luxuries on board. Traveling on a boutique ship, you’ll be able to take in more of the destinations on the water and land, witnessing life and spending time relaxing at a slower pace. Both our vessels and the service of the crew are five-star, complete with spacious en-suite cabins.

This is the world’s most diverse and largest continent, filled with dramatic extremes, while the temperatures remain about the same throughout the year, sailing in the dry season, from October through May, is best. Pick up bargains in the colourful and lively markets, discover traditional floating homes and charming villages, and unwind while gazing out at a mesmerizing, tranquil landscape. Of course, you can expect plenty of delicious food and drink throughout your journey, with meals freshly prepared on the ship as they are on all of our itineraries.

Our Cruises on the Mekong River

Get in touch with our travel experts today.

+1 844 879 7838OR

Ports of Call

  • Ho Chi Minh City 1

    Ho Chi Minh City

    Known for its eclectic mix of modern and historic attractions, countless shopping opportunities, and lively nightlife, Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s cultural hub. There is a wealth of restaurants, sure to please foodies, and many cultural attractions, including the impressive HCMC Museum with its wide range of remarkable artefacts. The 19th-century Notre Dame Cathedral is a must-see, and for the best views of the city, the Saigon Skydeck can’t be beat. Hopping on a vintage Vespa like the locals do brings the opportunity to sample the tastiest local fare, including Vietnamese versions of French foods and indulgent Vietnamese desserts.

  • Can Tho

    Can Tho

    The largest city along the Mekong Delta in South Vietnam, Can Tho lies on the banks of the Hau River. It’s the commercial and political centre of the Mekong, renowned for its magnificent temples, delicious food, and captivating floating market, the latter of which is the main attraction. There are many different markets to choose from where one can witness the friendly negotiating between vendors and customers while bobbing along the river or sample the fresh local produce. With its location on some of the most fertile lands, surrounded by rivers, signature dishes are often served utilising the fresh, locally grown produce.

  • Phnom Penh 1

    Phnom Penh

    The capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh sits at the junction of the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac Rivers. A cultural and historical hub as well as the commercial and political core, it’s home to iconic landmarks, bustling markets, and vibrant nightlife. The National Museum of Cambodia showcases an excellent collection of art from the country’s “golden age” of Angkor, with the main attraction the station of King Jayavarman VII (1181-1219). There’s a picturesque riverside promenade and many impressive palaces, Cambodian Buddhist wats, and infrastructure that caters to tourists. Many have called it one of Asia’s friendliest capital cities.

  • Tonle Sap 1

    Tonle Sap Lake

    Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in all of Southeast Asia. It’s so massive at 155 miles in length and 62 miles wide at its widest point, it feels more like an inland ocean, yet it shrinks and expands dramatically with the seasons. One of the most vibrant ecosystems in the world, it’s home to many Cham and ethnic Vietnamese communities set within floating villages, scattered throughout the water. Visitors can take boats to the floating villages, witnessing livestock in floating pens, shacks on stilts, and children paddling alongside babies in canoes. The 75-mile-long Tonle Sap River connects the lake to the Mekong River.

  • Siem Reap 1

    Siem Reap

    Siem Reap is one of the liveliest and most popular towns in Cambodia. It’s often the starting point for an exotic cruise on the Mekong River as well as being the gateway to the renowned historic ruins of Angkor. It’s one of the main reasons to visit, with many rising early to catch one of the world’s most famous sunrises, with the colours that dance above the ancient temple spires. Visitors can also see carvings placed in riverbeds and waterfalls, said to infuse the flowing water with spiritual power. There are markets to explore and at Kompong Phluk, the Floating Forest to visit.

  • Luang Prabang

    Luang Prabang

    The ancient capital of the Luang Prabang province in northern Laos, Luang Prabang sits in a valey at the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers. It was the royal capital of Cambodia until 1975 and has been inhabited for thousands of years. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s one of the finest examples of the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures built by European colonial authorities in the 19th– and 20th-centuries. There are many Buddhist temples, including the 16th-century gilded Wat Xieng Thong and a remarkably well-preserved townscape, illustrating the blending of the two distinct cultural traditions.

 
Jayavarman

MV Jayavarman

Our Cruise Ships in the Mekong Region

The Jayavarman is a comfortable 4* cruiser: an evocative call back to the golden age of travel, with spacious cabins, private balconies, fine dining, and thoughtful itinerary content. She carries a wide range of facilities onboard including semi-outdoor dining hall and bar, spa room, plush communal lounge, and open sun-deck with small plunge pool.

Jahan Life on Board

Life On Board a Mekong River Cruise

A Mekong River cruise really is the finest way to travel. Find yourself back in the golden age of travel on-board these elegant and evocative small ships, watching the alluring Mekong scenery slip by from the airy sundeck or your private balcony.

Each day includes immersive activities to tiny villages, hidden pagodas, and historic ruins. All shore excursions are included, and cover a rich tapestry of local culture, history, tradition, and cuisine, ensuring you truly get under the skin of these eclectic destinations.

Back on-board, you’ll enjoy stimulating lectures from resident professors, indulge in the on-board spa, or sample a refined a la carte menu of Asian, fusion, and Western fare. The charming crew and enthusiastic guides provide hospitality of the highest order, going out of their way to greet each guest by name from day one.

 

Excursions

  • Mekong Delta floating market

    Marvel at Floating Markets

    Scattered along the banks of the Mekong Delta, divided by fruit orchards, mangroves, and lush rice paddies, are the area’s famous floating markets. One of the most popular cruise excursions includes a visit to them, experiencing authentic life in the region, fed by the many arteries of one of the world’s largest rivers.

  • Monks waiting for alms Luang Prabang

    Donate Alms in Luang Prabang

    A long-standing tradition of Buddhist Laos culture is to rise early and prepare food for the monks. Dating back to the 14th-century, while the primary purpose is for the locals to give alms, small children may be seen kneeling with their baskets as the monks share with them so they can bring food to their families.

  • Angkor Wat sunrise Siem Reap

    Explore Breath-Taking Angkor

    An excursion to Angkor can bring you to witness one of the world’s must stunning sights, with the morning light washing across the magnificent temples and ruins, looking like a painting come to life. Afterwards, you can explore the greatest legacy of the mighty Khmer Empire and even receive a blessing from a monk.

  • Killing Fields Phnom Penh

    Pay your respects in Phnom Penh

    Cambodia’s more sober history can be experienced by visiting the “Killing Fields,” where some 21 percent of the population lost their lives during a genocidal reign of starvation, mass torture, and murder. It’s not for the faint of heart, but many feel it’s vital to learn about the dark underbelly of the country’s relatively recent past.

  • Friendly locals smiles Tonle Sap Siem Reap

    Experience ‘Water World’

    Kampong Chhnang is the alluvial plain of central Cambodia drained by the Tonle Sap Lake. The surrounding area is occupied by the Khmer, some of whom live on floating villages during the monsoonal high-water season. Many tend rice paddies, though the area’s major products are bananas, rice, and pottery, supplemented by fishing. .

  • Rural Koh Trong

    Sample Authentic Khmer Rural Life

    The small, charming hamlet of Koh Trong Island can be explored by bicycle or ox cart, bringing a taste of authentic Khmer rural life by visiting a local school One can even leave their mark by planting a tree at a nearby reforestation site. Nearby the rare Irrawaddy dolphin can be spotted.

 

Q&A

Luke S Pic e1614597158110
From

Luke our Asia Specialist

When is the best time to travel to the Mekong region?

As a tropical region, Southeast Asia is best visited during the northern hemisphere winter months of October through to March. Between late March and late May the temperatures rise considerably through the ‘hot season’, before breaking into the heavy rains from June through to September. The earliest part of the dry season – October and November – is arguably the best time for cruising, when water levels are at their highest and the landscapes are carpeting in lush green.

 

What parts of the Mekong do your cruises cover?

From its source in the foothills of the Himalayas the mighty Mekong river passes through six countries – China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and finally Vietnam – before ending its journey some 4,350km later at the South China Sea. Our cruises focus on two key sections: the lush Delta region at the foot of Cambodia and Vietnam, and the tranquil, authentic, mountainous regions further north around the ancient cities of Laos and northern Thailand.

Where else should we explore nearby?

With cruise itineraries a maximum of 7 nights in length, there’s no reason not to extend your trip and discover more of this incredibly enticing region. Immediate extensions would see you exploring more of coastal Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An) or inner Cambodia or Laos. Major nearby flight hubs include Bangkok, Singapore, and Hong Kong – magnificent cities all – which also open up discovery in Thailand and Malaysia.  

 

What is included in the cruise?

Our cruises on the Mekong are full-board: an expansive buffet breakfast, and multi-course lunches and dinners are all included as standard. Filtered water, fresh brewed coffee, and tea, are also available free of charge. A full range of local and international wines and spirits are available but would be payable locally, as would booking yourself in for any treatments in the on-board spa. All excursions, activities, and on-board lectures are included with expert local guides. Private transfers to and from the ships, plus any pre- and post- arrangements can be worked out with our enthusiastic specialists.

 

What are the cruise ships like?

Our guests are frequently surprised by the sheer quality and glamour of our Mekong cruise ships. These small cruisers carry a maximum of 50 other passengers on-board, and have a high staff-to-guest ratio keeping service levels impeccably high. These ships are deemed ‘floating art galleries’, tastefully decorated with Khmer and Cham artworks and artifacts, and furnishing to reflect the 1930s era ‘golden age of travel’. Accommodation is comfortable and high-class, carrying modern amenities and facilities whilst staying true to authentic Indochinese settings through which you travel.

 

Why book with Unforgettable Travel Co.

  • 100% Financial Protection

    100% Financial Protection

    We are a licensed and fully bonded tour operator financially protected by both the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL) and the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust (ABTOT). All clients that travel with us are fully financially protected.

  • Destination Experts

    Destination Experts

    Our travel experts live and breathe the destinations they specialise in. This shows in their passionate to create hand crafted trips for our clients. We don’t offer cookie cutter trips, just truly unforgettable journeys unlike any other.

  • The Best Guides

    The Best Guides

    What makes our trips extraordinary is the unique immersive experiences we include. We pride ourselves in our black book of sought after expert guides, game rangers and local contacts who believe in our philosophy, unforgettable.

  • We Care

    We Care

    From the moment you book your trip, we are on hand 24/7 to assist you throughout your journey. With regional offices around the world, we have ground logistics teams on hand to help you every step of the way.