Lower Mekong cruising picks up steam

Viet Princess launching fine dining cruises; Saigon Princess pictured

A raft of new products, itineraries and activities, including more luxury options, is leading to greater interest in river cruises in the lower Mekong region.

Huynh Kim Bao, sales and marketing coordinator for Viet Princess Cruises, noted a year-on-year increase in bookings for Mekong River cruises, especially from the longhaul market, with the UK, Australia and the US strongest performing.

Viet Princess launching fine dining cruises; Saigon Princess pictured

Nguyen Son Thuy, general manager of Indochina Unique Tourist, said demand is increasing in line with a shift towards experiential travel. He said: “People are looking for new ways to really experience countries, and cruising is one way.”

Huynh said the longhaul silver market is a key source for Viet Princess, which is gearing up to launch an exclusive fine dining cruise in the next few months. “Most of our cruises are long luxury cruises, and retired people tend to have more time to travel, explore and enjoy life.”

Cruise operators are rolling out new ways to attract clients, with north-to-south Vietnam itineraries in the works for both Viet Princess Cruises and Heritage Cruises.

Said Heritage Cruises CEO and founder, Pham Ha: “(Cruising) demand is there. People are fed up with air travel and are looking for new experiences.”

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