Scenic is bringing Southeast Asia closer to a reality for US travelers. Booking any departure between August and December 2017 means free air from 25 US gateways or $2,000 savings per couple on its 13-day “Treasures of the Mekong” and 14-day “Mystical Irrawaddy”; and $1,000 per couple savings on the eight-day “Luxury Mekong” and 11-day “Luxury Irrawaddy.” These itineraries exploring the culturally-rich Mekong and Irrawaddy River destinations of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. The deadline for the offer is based on availability and is for new bookings only.
Along the delta between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap, guests will see floating canal villages, verdant paddy fields and picturesque islands, as well as the magnificent 12th-century Angkor Wat. In Myanmar, the imprint of colonial legacies is revealed in iconic temples, Buddhist art and the gold- and diamond-encrusted Shwedagon Pagoda. Details are laid out in Scenic’s 2017 Southeast Asia brochure, available for viewing or ordering at www.scenicusa.com.
To explore the exotic treasures of the Mekong, the year-old purpose-built ship, Scenic Spirit, will provide an intimate boutique cruising experience with only 34 private balcony suites – the largest available on the Mekong River at sizes up to 861 ft². The Scenic Aura is a purpose-built boutique vessel for the Irrawaddy with only 22 suites – the largest available on the Irrawaddy at sizes up to 735 ft². And unique-to-Scenic Enrich immersion events and Freechoice activities will create remarkable memories from the regions’ kaleidoscope of customs and cuisine.
The captivating cultures of Indochina are uniquely iterated in a variety of itineraries. The 8- and 13-day Mekong itineraries sail between Siem Reap, Cambodia – home of the 12th-century Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument – and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, along a route that includes a stop in Kampong Cham for a visit to the Wat Nokor old-and-new fusion temple complex for a traditional monk’s blessing. Later, guests share high tea at the landmark Raffles, Hotel de Royal, followed by an exclusive private shadow dance puppet performance accompanied by a traditional Khmer orchestra. The 13-day version offers extra days in Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City. Fares start at $4,090 and $6,180 per person, double, respectively – before savings.
In Irrawaddy, guests will take in the cultural tapestry, threaded by more than 130 ethnic tribes, scenic geography that ascends from tropical rainforests to snow-capped highlands, and transport options that range from primitive trishaws to charter planes. Itineraries include the country’s economic hub of Yangon, where bustling markets are built on ancient cobblestones; a sea of Buddhist stupas tops colonial architecture; Inle Lake with its stilted bamboo houses, floating gardens and flat-bottomed fishing skiffs; and Sri Ksetra, Myanmar’s first World Heritage-listed city. Fares for the 11-day adventure start at $6,190 and $8,940 for the 14 days (before savings), which adds days in Mandalay and Yangon.
All-inclusive luxury experience is synonymous with all Scenic Space-Ships: private butler service, unlimited complimentary beverages, included gratuities, cultural entertainment and regional cuisine in customized settings: poolside to cabin, al fresco to fine dining, personal service with nearly 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio; elevator access to all service decks; on-board English-speaking guides for lectures and local insight; plus fitness center, steam sauna, beauty salon, guest laundry, library and open-air cinema.
An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com.