VISA, OTHER TERMS
Please ensure that your passport has sufficient validity (over six
months) before travelling.
All travelers to Vietnam must get a visa before travel and should
contact the nearest consulate. For Cambodia and Malaysia visas may
be issued at the border on arrival with payment of the appropriate
fee and make sure to have two passport photos. The cost of visas are
not included in the cost of your holiday.
Your cabin has its own air-conditioning unit, which can be adjusted
for your comfort. We recommend you do not over- cool your cabin as
the sudden change from the outside temperature to a chilled cabin
can bring on colds, respiratory illnesses and even stomach upsets.
For upper and main deck cabins: At night you may prefer to use the
fan only, and have the windows open. Insect netting covers the
windows to enable you to do this. Please do not leave your
air-conditioner on with the window open - this results in energy
Bar and Dining Room and Shop Bills
You will be asked to sign a bill for all items ordered and you will
be presented with the account in US$ on the last day aboard. All
soft drinks, local beers, mineral water, coffee and tea as well as
local spirits are free of charge. Only imported spirits and liquors,
wine, espresso and imported mineral water will be charged. A
complimentary daily cocktail will be served made by local spirit.
Blankets are to be found in the drawer or closet under your bed.
These may be needed in the Cool Season when night time temperatures
on certain rivers can drop to below 15°C.
Bargaining is quite normal in all Asian countries. The best
technique is to ask for a discount as if you are asking for a favour.
There are few souvenirs on offer in the non-touristic villages we
Cabin Mini Safes
All cabins have been fitted with European made mini-safes.
Email : info(at)riversaigoncruise.com
PAmerica Office : + (1) 970 453 9310
Saigon Office : + 84 903 711 239
If you get our voicemail please leave your name and number and we
will call you back Monday - Friday within 24 hours.
Contact the Ships
RV RiverSaigon in Cambodia : + 855 (0) 12 333 158 In Vietnam : + 84
(0) 122 777 3314
RV RiverSaigon in Cambodia : + 855 (0) 99 963 302 In Vietnam : + 84
(0) 121 235 3601
RV RiverSaigon in Cambodia : + 855 (0) 12 711 239 In Vietnam :
+ 84 (0) 936 240 527
Disembarkation from the Ship
Exact details will be posted on the 'Daily Schedule' on board and if
there is to be an early departure then we will ask you to settle the
bill the evening before we disembark. Onward transfers, if included
in the package you booked with us, will be arranged as per the
230 volts two round pin type as found in Continental Europe - we
carry adapters for other types of plug you might bring (i.e. UK
The ship is fitted with modern smoke detectors, and fire alarms,
extinguishers and hoses. Alarms are situated at regular intervals
along the Promenade Decks. Fire extinguishers are located at regular
intervals around the promenade decks and outside all public rooms.
South-East Asians are generally tolerant and easy going. Please try
to avoid political discussion and remember that the Vietnamese
national hero "Uncle" Ho Chi Minh enjoys near divine stature and any
disrespect shown to his name or memory can cause extreme offence.
Despite opening the door to Capitalism Vietnam remains a fervently
Communist society with a dominant Communist Party. Likewise in
Myanmar please do not raise political issues with people - let them
raise them with you. You could compromise people and even get them
into trouble by talking politics.
In Myanmar and Cambodia, one thing that does cause upset is any form
of disrespect for the national religion, Theravada Buddhism. Unlike
many faiths, Buddhists make their temples open to us foreigners,
permitting the snapping of cameras and invasion of their sacred
space. They ask only one thing: that we take our shoes off. Even
socks are forbidden. In addition please observe the following:
- Try not to point with your feet.
- In the company of monks or elders never cross your legs.
- Do not touch people on the head or upper body.
- When beckoning someone to come over do not flap your hand in the
'come here' motion; instead turn the hand round so that your palm
flaps down towards yourself.
- Do not shake hands with monks or nuns as people in general rarely
rather smile and nod away.
- Ladies should never sit down next to a monk.
- Shorts and skirts should be longish (below the knee) for both
sexes but it is OK to expose arms.
When moored you are welcome to come and go from the ship as much as
you like. Our next sailing time will be advised on the Daily
Schedule and passengers are requested to note this before
disembarkation. Group shore excursions are organised by the Purser
and you will be accompanied by a member of the ship's company.
Details of these are posted on the Daily Schedule. Fifteen minutes
prior to casting off the captain will sound the ship's horn to warn
you to return to the ship. Passengers should hang their keys on the
key board hanging adjacent to the gang plank when disembarking so
that we know if anyone has not returned. If you go ashore with your
cabin keys and we leave without you we can not be held responsible
for this. We will attempt to devise on shore time in the cool of the
early morning or late afternoon
Fire Risk and Smoking
Smoking is not permitted in your cabin or any internal areas.
Smoking is permitted in outside areas only, namely the Observation
Deck and Promenade Decks but please be considerate of people sitting
down wind. This is a wood-finished ship and the danger of fire
should never be ignored.
Food Safety and Hygiene
Bottled water is used for cooking and food preparation onboard. Off
the vessel never accept ice in drinks and avoid ice creams, crushed
sugar cane, salads and the skins of fruits.
Pandaw slippers are provided for your comfort on board the vessel.
When ashore guests should use comfortable but safe walking shoes. At
certain times the river banks and paths used can be muddy and
therefore slippery or very dusty and we ask you to remove your
footwear when returning on board so that we can clean your shoes for
you and return them to you later.
Because of the varying nature of the river bank the method of
getting ashore may differ from time to time and on occasions access
may be difficult. We will ensure the gangways are safe and that crew
and team are on hand to assist you.
Gratuities to the Pandaw crew are included in the price of your
ticket. Kindly note that gratuities to local guides are not included
and are completely at your discretion.
All guides services are in the English language. Guides in other
languages may be supplied by special arrangement at additional cost
which may include using guest accommodation at guest rates.
Hairdryers are installed in all cabins.
External doors and the gauze windows should be kept closed at all
times -day and night. At night, if on deck or going ashore make sure
to rub ankles and other exposed parts with repellent. However,
outside urban areas mosquito is less of a problem than other forms
of insect life. Make sure to switch off lights when leaving your
cabin so as not to lure them in. Between January and March insects,
but not mosquito, can be a real problem and invade the ship.
Fortunately these are relatively harmless. Mosquito on the river,
which is fast flowing, are rarely to be seen.
Joining the Ship
Your attached itinerary contains exact details of the rendezvous for
embarkation or transfer to embarkation if this is included in the
package you have booked with us. Please note that we will not
collect passengers from other hotels as this will lengthen the
travel time for those who checked in at the right time and at the
right place. We are under no obligation to look for passengers who
do not check in on time. Such passengers will have to find their own
way to join the ship at their own expense. The only exception to
this is by prior arrangement for full charter party passengers.
A laundry bag is provided for your laundry needs, and a laundry list
is to be found in the rattan folder by your bed. Laundry is
collected each morning when your room is made up and will be
returned to you by the following day. Please leave items in the bag
provided and mark up the list. The charges will go on your bill in
US$. If there is an item that you do not wish ironed please advise
These are kept in the wardrobe in your cabin
Meals on board
Breakfast is a buffet, lunch and dinner served at the tables. We
offer a fusion of Asian and Western cuisine and there are always
vegetarian dishes offered. Special diets may be catered for with
advance notification and agreement. Our policy is to use as much
locally purchased produce as possible to help the economies of the
villages and towns we stop at. We try and avoid imported products
and give our passengers a real taste of the lands through which they
pass. Exotic fruit, fresh organic vegetables, locally caught fish
and prawns are the preference of most of our passengers.
You should check with your doctor that you are fit for travel and
your doctor would check with the relevant organization in your
country as to whether any prophylactic drugs or inoculations are
required. We do not have facilities for disabled people or wheel
chair access. There are no stair lifts. River banks can be steep and
slippery. If a passenger is seen to be unfit or unable to access a
ship and mount stairs unaided then the management reserves the right
to refuse to carry that passenger.
We carry first aid equipment and some medicines. All our senior
staff has attended First Aid courses. On the river we are never far
from a local medical station and we have found that some local
doctors usually speak English or French and practice a good standard
of field medicine. In the event of serious illness or accident we
are never more than 2 hours by car or speed boat from a hospital or
clinic. In the Conditions of Carriage you are required to take out
an insurance policy that includes repatriation in the event of an
Mobile phones work on all the rivers we ply in most places, except
Myanmar, where there is a local mobile network that is not connected
to the international roaming networks.
The currency on board in Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia is US$. In
Malaysia it is the Ringiit. All passengers will have their own ship
account, which allows you to sign a bill for all purchases and
services throughout your cruise. All bills on board the ships will
be in in one of the above currencies or credit card (Master or Visa
card not Amex). Please note that we do not accept traveller cheques
on board. In Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar most vendors ashore take
dollars. If required, there is a limited money exchange service
available on board but please try and change money at a bank or
hotel before embarkation. ATMs are available in major cities in
Cambodia and Vietnam, but are non existent in Myanmar. Travellers’
cheques can be exchanged in local banks in all countries. Do not
believe the guide books when they say you are forced to change money
at the airport on arrival – that has not been the case for several
If you would like to be woken up at any time please advise the
Purser the night before.
Moving About the Ship
It goes without saying that this is a ship rather than a hotel, and
as such you will need to take care when moving about the decks ~
they can be slippery. Please take extra care when using the stairs ~
which on board ship are steeper than you may be used to. It's best
to always use the handrails.
In the event of an emergency the ship's whistle will blast
repeatedly and the alarm bells be rung. If either in or very close
to your cabin, put on your life jacket and proceed immediately to
MUSTER STATION ONE, and await instructions. On the back of your
cabin door is a plan of the ship showing the position of your cabin
in relation to the Emergency Muster Stations.
MUSTER STATION ONE in all ships is located on the MAIN DECK mid
ships (where the main gang plank is). In the event that MUSTER
STATION ONE is not safe you will be directed by the crew to MUSTER
STATION TWO on the SUN DECK.
Both muster stations are clearly indicated with signs. If you are
not in your cabin when you hear the alarm, do NOT return to it, but
proceed at once to the Muster Station to await instructions. There
will be an Emergency Drill during your voyage. Note that as with
inland water class cruise ships on European rivers we are not
required by Class Societies to carry life boats - the reason for
this is that it is far quicker to beach the vessel on the nearest
sand bar or river bank and evacuate by foot than to transfer
passengers onto ship's boats.
No Go Areas
These areas are clearly indicated as 'Crew Only'. We ask you to
respect these areas as the crew may be working there and your safety
can not be guaranteed. These areas include: Main Deck bow area,
galley, engine rooms, crew accommodation, gang ways aft of Sun Deck.
Crew have been instructed to escort any unauthorised persons from
these areas and make a report to the Captain.
Paying Your Bill
All bills on board ship will be in US$ in cash or credit card. In
the case of credit card payments, we must follow an 'off line
procedure' whereby the client must sign a paper whereby s/he allows
the company to charge his credit card for a stated amount. We take
Visa and MasterCard only, not Amex or JCB. We do not take personal
cheques or traveller's cheques.
For Myanmar and the Mekong conditions vary depending on the season.
In the dry season (November-March) the water level of the river will
be quite low and in places will have dropped more than 50 foot from
its monsoon level (June-Sept). Though the river can be miles wide,
channels may be narrow and hard to follow. There is thus some risk
of running aground on submerged sand banks and our captain has to
take extreme care. The Tonle Sap lake in Cambodia is not navigable
approximately from November to August due to extremely low water. In
Borneo there is less seasonal change in water level. Though the
river can be wide, channels may be narrow and hard to follow. There
is thus some risk of running aground on submerged sand banks and our
captain has to take extreme care.
In the countries in which we operate tourists are rarely targets for
theft and when sailing most of passengers do not bother to lock
their doors. When in port a 24 hour watch is kept on the gangplank
controlling access to the ship but please then keep your deck door
locked when not in use and at night. All cabins have a combination
type safe - please use a number you can remember like the last 4
digits of your phone number or your date of birth. The company
cannot be held liable for loss of money, jewellery or other valuable
items from the ship or whilst on an excursion ashore during a
voyage. In the Conditions of Carriage you are required to have taken
personal travel insurance cover this.
These are located either in the bar or on the upper deck landing.
The Purser and key team members are available to assist at
Ship's Shop, Post Cards and Stamps
We have a small boutique on board with a collection of locally made
handicrafts. Post Cards and stamps are also from the Ship's Shop.
Outside of the tourist centres of Saigon, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap,
opportunities to buy postcards are virtually non-existent.
Tea, Coffee and Beverages
Complimentary tea and coffee are available from 6 a.m. on the Sun
Deck for throughout the day. Mineral water (local) is provided in
all cabins daily. Additional bottles are available on request. Water
is provided at all meals. Local soft drinks, beers and some spirits
depending on suitability and availability by country are also
Vietnam and Cambodia: 7 hours ahead of GMT
Myanmar: 6 hrs 30 mins ahead of GMT
Malaysia: 8 hours ahead of GMT
One less hour for summer time and one less hour for European time.