Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
VANCOUVER — Emerald Waterways has opened Mekong River bookings for the 2020-2021 season ahead of the highly anticipated debut of its new Star-Ship, Emerald Harmony.
With the 2019-2020 season nearly sold out, the company is encouraging guests to book the following season early through an early booking incentive: those who book a sailing of 12 days or more will receive free roundtrip airfare to Asia when booked by Aug. 31, 2019. Guests booking the eight-day sailing will receive $500 off the price of the cruise, while all guests who book by May 31 will receive an additional $150 savings per person.
With only 84 guests in 42 staterooms and suites, Emerald Harmony, whose debut is just a few months away, will offer an intimate, upscale sailing experience on the Mekong. There will be 32, 273 square-foot Panorama Balcony Suites with drop-down windows; four 398 square-foot Grand Balcony Suites; and two 450 square-foot Owner’s Suites with wraparound terraces with private hot tubs.
The ship will also boast a pool, an Asian-themed Horizon Bar & Lounge, a 2:1 guest-to-crew ration, and locally-inspired cuisine at Reflections Restaurant. But perhaps its most innovative feature is its design; unlike most Mekong ships, the Emerald Harmony is built to allow access to the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. This means guests will disembark in the centre of the action rather than needing to be coached in from outside the city.
Emerald Waterways will offer four itineraries on the Emerald Harmony: the eight-day ‘Majestic Mekong Cruise’, sailing between Prek’kdam and Ho Chi Minh City; the 13-day ‘Majestic Mekong Discovery Cruise; sailing between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap; the 17-day ‘Treasures & Temples of Vietnam & Cambodia’ river cruise and tour with stops in Hanoi and Halong Bay; and the 21-day ‘Grand Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia’ river cruise and tour, featuring stops in Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Hue and Siem Reap.
Cruise fares include all transfers, all port charges, all onboard (and some on-shore) meals; unlimited specialty tea and coffee, wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, bottled water in cabins replenished daily, continental breakfast, pre-dinner canapes and after-dinner treats served in the top suites, complimentary Wi-Fi onboard, most shore excursions, and all onboard and excursion gratuities. On touring days, hotel accommodations, internal flights and transfers are also included.
Part of Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Waterways’ eight Star-Ships offer river sailings in Europe and on the Mekong, as well as the MS Rossia along the Volga River in Russia, the Adriatic Princess and Adriatic Pearl yachts in Croatia, and the MS Hamees on the Nile.
For more information go to emeraldwaterways.ca.