A MEKONG ADVENTURE ON BOARD SCENIC SPIRIT
In 2018, luxury travel blogger, Lyn Lindfield joined Scenic for a once-in-a-lifetime exploration of Southeast Asia, including a magnificent river cruise along the Mekong, on board our 5-star Scenic Spirit ship. She lets us in on her favourite features and shares some of her top tips for good measure.
My first impression of Scenic Spirit was long before we saw the ship. On the journey from Siem Reap in Cambodia to Kampong Cham, the tour bus stopped for what was euphemistically called a ‘happy stop’. Lining up for the loo I got talking to a small group of other women. Passengers on the cruise before ours, they had disembarked Scenic Spirit that morning and were travelling toward Siem Reap.
With some trepidation, I asked them what their cruise was like. I needn’t have worried. “Brilliant. We had a fantastic time, you’ll love it.”
Scenic Spirit is stunning. It fulfils its promise of 5-star luxury and then some. Purpose built for cruising the Mekong, Scenic Spirit sailed its maiden voyage in January 2016. It carries a maximum of 68 passengers (there were slightly less on our cruise), 56 crew, a restaurant, cafe, bar, swimming pool, wellness centre, sauna, gym, library, laundry and elevator. Don’t forget the elevator! Our cruise director was inordinately proud of the elevator and, for someone with a recently diagnosed heart condition, I have to say, it was very useful.
"Scenic Spirit is stunning. It fulfils its promise of 5-star luxury and then some"
Royal Panorama Suites
Scenic Spirit’s decks are named after jewels. Diamond, Sapphire, Jewel and Gem Decks, with an open Sun Deck at the top. The Royal Panorama Suites are the largest suites on the Mekong and come with a separate lounge area, walk-in dressing room, full-sized bathtub with a view and, best of all, a private, forward facing outdoor terrace complete with its own Jacuzzi.
MY TIP - If you want the best, or even the second best, suite on Scenic Spirit, book early. The more expensive suites fill up first.
Grand Deluxe Suites
Also on Diamond Deck, Scenic Spirit has eight Grand Deluxe Suites. Like the Royal Panorama Suites all eight were occupied. If you want one - book early!
A few of the Deluxe Suites were unoccupied so I was able to get a quick peek inside one. It was lovely. I wouldn’t have traded it for our Royal Panorama Suite, mainly because of our terrace, but it still looked very comfortable and of 5-star standard.
MY TIP - If you love to socialise and want to hang about the pool, bar, lounges or on the Pool Deck, go for a Deluxe or Grand Deluxe Suite. My husband and I are natural hermits,
most comfortable with our own company. For us the Royal Panorama Suite was a perfect fit.
Pool, lounges, bar & cafe
The swimming pool was stunning, particularly with the lights on at night. I would love to tell you I swam in it. I packed my swimmers specially so I could but somehow I just didn’t get around to it. Maybe it looked a bit too perfect to disturb.
Scenic Spirit’s Luxury Mekong River Cruise travels from Kampong Cham in Cambodia to My Tho in Vietnam. The ship sails the Mekong River in both directions so passengers either travel from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City, as we did, or the other way around depending on the date of their cruise.
With excursions most mornings and afternoons, we would leave the ship to explore temples, villages, markets and other wonderful sights.
MY TIP - ‘Don’t feel compelled to join them all. Trying to do everything would be exhausting.
- Watching the sun rise over Phnom Penh as the city came to life.
- Exploring as many villages and towns as we could, soaking up the feel of people’s lives.
- Spending hours watching the river banks glide by from the private world of our deck. Whether it was fishermen casting their nets, families in floating houses or other river boats passing us by, there was always something to see.
- Visiting temples and pagodas – I never got tired of them.
Luxury Mekong & Temple Discovery
14-Day Cruise & Escorted Tour
Ho Chi Minh City > Siem Reap
2020/21 cruises at 2019/20 prices
FREE Business Class flight upgrade≠
Highlights of Vietnam, Cambodia & Luxury Mekong
20-Day Cruise & Escorted Tour
Hanoi > Siem Reap