Bassac River Cruisers
The traditional, wooden-built river cruisers Bassac I or Bassac II depart from Can Tho or Cai Be for overnight cruises, navigating some of the many river channels and canals that bisect the delta.
Bassac I is an 80ft boat, based on a rice barge, and sleeps up to 12 passengers in six comfortable cabins, each with air-con and a private bathroom. She has an open-air restaurant area, a galley that provides good Vietnamese food, a bar and a partly shaded upper deck for sunbathing or watching the scenery drift by.
Bassac II is a larger version, sleeping a maximum of 24.
Both vessels have a very shallow draft, which enables them to go through all the main waterways regardless of the season, the tide or the current.
Why We Love It
When relaxing, the best way to see Vietnam's Mekong delta region is to take to the water.
Victoria Hotel, Can Tho
The Victoria Hotel is a four-star colonial-style luxury hotel in the centre of the Mekong Delta. Sitting on the banks of the Hau River, and close to Can Tho town, the hotel acts as a quiet retreat amidst lush green gardens.
92 rooms make up the property and all combine traditional Vietnamese style with modern luxury. All of the Deluxe and Superior rooms offer views out over the neighbouring river, pool or green gardens and plenty of space to relax in. The eight Suite's also benefit from a large separate living area and two balconies overlooking the river.
When it comes to dining at the Victoria, guest can enjoy a mix of European and Vietnamese cuisine at the river front restaurant and evening drinks at the open air bar. Food is fresh and locally sourced, producing authentic regional and national dishes for guests to try, as well as several classic international options.
Facilities include a swimming pool, tennis court, fitness area and tranquil spa which offers a range of spoiling treatments, ensuring ultimate relaxation For guests wanting to explore the local area, mountain bikes can be hired out and the hotels cooking class takes guests on a trip to the local market before experimenting with Vietnamese cuisine back in the kitchen.
Why We Love It
The gardens and surrounding area are completely idyllic, full of colourful and exotic plants and flowers and ideal for just wandering around and enjoying a slower pace of life.
Plying the waters of the Mekong Delta since 2003, the Pandaw fleet are the pioneers of the Saigon to Phnom Penh route and are still our favourite choice for Mekong cruises. With crews who know the waters like the back of their hands and shallow drafts which mean they can access low water areas, the Pandaw boats are hard to beat.
The traditional ships feature lots of teak panelling and polished brass furniture, creating elegant spaces which transport you back to the opulence of the colonial era. All of the fleet have large deck areas to sunbathe and enjoy the river views from, and also feature on board restaurants serving fresh buffets and authentic themed dinners. There are also fully stocked bars, luxurious saloon lounges and spa facilities on board all boats.
The route from Saigon actually begins with a transfer to My Tho on the edge of the delta. From there the boat cruises upstream over the course of the four days, visiting Cai Be floating market, Sa Dec town, a Moslem Cham tribal village, and a cat fish farm in Chau Doc along the way. Aside from these guided excursions there is also time to spend at your leisure, perhaps using the mountain bikes found on board or simply sunbathing on deck.
Please note the cruise also runs downstream in the opposite direction, from Phnom Penh to Saigon, but this involves an extra night on the ship.
Why We Love It
With over 15 years of experience the Pandaw crews really know their stuff, and the beautiful teak decks aren't bad either!