The COVID-19 has left a long-lasting effect on international tourism for the Indochina region including the Mekong river cruise trips in the last few months. When many countries start to ease lockdown, together, we are planning a successful and memorable Mekong river cruise after the tourism resume in 2021.
Mekong Delta is undeniable becoming one of the top tourist attractions to Indochina countries including Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos for the upper Mekong. The whole region has been recovered from the pandemic and we are ready to welcome travelers again to enjoy the most amazing Mekong river cruises.
As the most common way to discover life on the Mekong River is by boat, the best time to travel to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam & Cambodia is between November and February. It is the time when the weather is pleasantly cool and dry, but the water level is at its highest.
There are two seasons in the Mekong Delta: rainy season and dry season. The dry season of 2021 starts from December till April the next year when you can expect the clear blue sky, shiny days, brilliant landscape along the river banks, and lower level of humidity. You may expect a higher temperature of 35 – 40ºC when it gets closer to the end of this season, mainly in March & April.
The wet season of 2021 begins in May then continues till November. Though it has the uncomfortably high humidity of the hottest and wettest days, summer is still a great time to travel to enjoy the tropical fruit harvest season of the year with less demand for travel and lower price.
How to plan a desired Mekong Delta tour
The Mekong river cruise can vary for a one-day trip, 2 days/ 3 days, or up to 7 days & 6 nights for cruising between Southern Vietnam & Cambodia. The cruise can even last longer for 10 days & 9 nights for upper Laos Mekong. The longer you spend cruising over the Delta, the deeper you get an insight into the local life and this region.
One of the most typical trips that our guests choose for a 17 – 20-day tour of two countries is a 2 – 3 days over the Mekong Delta tour. To focus more on South Vietnam tours, a longer itinerary is more recommended to sail through the heritage of Cambodia as well.
Type of accommodation
Apart from the classic choice of overnights at the hotels or traditional homestay and join the day cruise, you will be awed to see how various options for overnight on the wooden or modern cruises.
Choosing the local homestay, you may have many chances to interact more with the local people, enjoy the tasty fruits right inside the host’s gardens and try your hands with authentic cuisine with very friendly people. The short cruise lasting for half a day will fit for any travelers with a time limit but maximize the experiences at the Mekong Delta.
By taking a longer trip, you may spend at least one or two nights onboard like a floating hotel with full services and amenities. The trip will be more amazing to enjoy your cocktails from the sundeck, from your private balcony for an incredible view of sunset and sunrise over the lush Mekong Delta landscapes.
Route of cruising
For a short cruise trip starting from Ho Chi Minh city, the most popular route for first-time visitors and group tours is My Tho and Ben Tre. There are a few enjoyable experiences including taking a small sampan through the canals, relaxing on the motorboat to reach the islets, visiting the local workshops of coconut candies and honey farms, and tasting the local tea with a special flavor.
To explore a less touristy route of the delta, let’s think about Vinh Long which owns dozens of islets with tropical fruits. The highlight of this route is a world of handicraft workshops like rice-paper & rice-flour making, brick kilns and fruit gardens on the islets.
If time permits, you can combine Mekong Delta in the south of Vietnam and Phnom Penh & Siem Reap in Cambodia and the expected duration is at least 4 – 7 nights. From Can Tho, you may be transferred to Chau Doc to pass the border of the two countries by land and take the speedboat to reach Phnom Penh before discovering the world’s heritage.
Best Mekong river cruises 2021
Besides the above ways to choose your desirable Mekong river cruises, the budget limit is also the reason to pick a cruise to sail through Mekong Delta. Here are the top three choices of deluxe and luxury cruises with interesting itinerary and fits for both individuals and group travel.
Mekong Eyes Cruises
Mekong Eyes Classic & Mekong Eyes Explorer cruises were built in the traditional style of the Mekong Delta riverboats. There are 14 cabins of up to 28 passengers on board with crew team so these are great choices for friends, big families, and individuals to join in a big group at a medium price.
The two sister boats named Dragon Eyes is a vacation paradise for smaller families and couples with only 2 cabins and 5 members of the crew team to bring the highest level of comfort and private space for travelers.
Song Xanh Sampan
Song Xanh Sampan is designed for people looking for private sampan cruise experiences in the delta. There are cruises of 2 – 3 cabins taking you to the off-the-beaten-path waterways of Mekong Delta: Long Xuyen, Sa Dec, Chau Doc. In the most relaxing and charming atmosphere, couples or families with kids will enjoy the best of the beautiful life here for a three-day itinerary.
Heritage Line Cruises
The Heritage Line Jahan & Jayavarman Cruises are the top choices of luxury types with boutique design and romantic style. Sailing for a longer itinerary than the two above, the cruises can accommodate up to 27 staterooms or 54 guests. From a 4-day 3-night itinerary, travelers can explore the most famous sites of the delta such as My Tho, Cai Be, Sa Dec, and reach Phnom Penh to continue the Cambodia tours.
Enjoy your Mekong river cruise trip!
Linh Chu – Travel Specialist