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Viking Enters the Southeast Asia Market

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RV Tonle

Viking River Cruises, the world’s leading river boat cruise company, has announced a new itinerary along the Mekong River for 2011.  While this does not entail the introduction of a new vessel on the river, it does mark the entry of the major supplier into the region.

Viking will partner with Pandaw River Cruises, chartering their ship RV Tonle for the season.  This partnership will bring Viking’s expertise and experience into the area, enabling them to craft an inclusive land/river itinerary that presents the best of Vietnam and Cambodia to the traveler.

Magnificent Mekong, as the new itinerary is billed, will have as its centerpiece an 8 day cruise on the Mekong River between Siem Reap in Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam.

“Our guests have requested that we expand to other destinations so they can experience even more of the world,” said Chairman Torstein Hagen. “With the addition of this new Mekong River program, Viking now offers itineraries in six regions, which is more than any other river cruise line worldwide.  We are proud to launch this new Mekong River program and know that it will soon become a favorite of both past and new Viking guests,” adds Hagen. “This itinerary was created by the same expert Viking team who developed our award-winning and highly rated China cruisetours. We have partnered with the world’s best hosts to provide a once-in-a-lifetime journey highlighted by the history, culture and charm of the region at a value-packed price.”

Guests on the Magnificent Mekong tour will see lively floating markets and sleepy riverside villages; Hanoi, Phnom Penh, and Saigon with all their hustle and bustle amidst often charming French colonial architecture; and Siem Reap, site of the Angkor Archeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and masterpiece of Khmer architecture.

Siem Reap alone is worth the trip and should be on everyone’s bucket list.  In addition to the great Angkor Wat, there are several smaller sites which simply must be visited.  Two in particular, the mystical Angkor Thom and the haunting Ta Prohm, are not to be missed.

Add to all this two optional “Explore More” land extensions to either Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, achingly beautiful, or Bangkok, Thailand, and you have an extraordinary vacation experience, currently on sale at 2 for 1 prices.

Technorati Tags: Mekong River cruises, Pandaw Cruise Company, river boat cruises, Southeast Asia cruises, Viking River Cruises