Cruise Operator in Mekong River

RIVERSAIGON

 

MEKONG CRUISE

 

       

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Departures

Saigon- Siem Reap Cruise

Siem Reap- Saigon Cruise

 

PASSPORT, VISA, OTHER TERMS

Passport Validity
Please ensure that your passport has sufficient validity (over six months) before travelling.

Visas
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.

Vietnam: http://www.vietnamembassy-usa.org/consular_services/visa_info/
Malaysia: www.imi.gov.my/index.php

Air-conditioning
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 loss.

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
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.

Buying Things
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 stop at.

Cabin Mini Safes
All cabins have been fitted with European made mini-safes.

Contacts
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 attached itinerary.

Electricity
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 ones).

Emergency Procedures
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.

Etiquette
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 standard Western
'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 shake hands;
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.

Excursions
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.

Footwear
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.

Going Ashore
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
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.

Guides
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
Hairdryers are installed in all cabins.

Insect Precautions
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.

Laundry
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 us.

Life Jackets
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.

Medical
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 emergency.

Mobile Phones
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.

Money
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 years now!

Morning Call
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.

Muster Stations
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.



River Conditions
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.

Security
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.

Ship's Office
These are located either in the bar or on the upper deck landing. The Purser and key team members are available to assist at designated times.

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 complimentary.

Time
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.



About the ship

Life on board

Fact & Figures

Ports of call

Saigon- Siem Reap Itinerary

Siem Reap- Saigon Itinerary

 

Deck Plan

Lower Deck Cabin

Jasmine Deck Cabin

Mekong River Stops

Restaurant

Departures

 

Rates

Brochures

Photos

Food & Beverage Outlets

Passport & Visa

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