Mekong Meander

19 July 2016
Read Time: 1.9 mins

When Travel Expert Courtney from Flight Centre Galleria had the chance to explore Vietnam and Cambodia with APT, she made the most of every moment.

Courtney had only ever done one cruise before, an ocean cruise, which she loved, but the intimate setting on the RV AmaLotus offered a truly unique and one-off experience.

“I’m quite used to more ‘backpacker-style’ style holidays, so my colleague Mel and I were definitely excited to see how ‘the other half’ travel,” Courtney says of her first APT experience.

Travel Inspiration The RV AmaLotus (image: Courtney Griffin)

“Our ship, the RV AmaLotus, was visually stunning and the cities, towns and villages along the Mekong River made for a spectacular backdrop.”

The RV AmaLotus is already one of the most luxurious ships cruising the Mekong, with elegant spaces to unwind, exquisite dining options and beautifully appointed suites. Having undergone a recent refurbishment, RV AmaLotus’ soon-to-be-revealed makeover will catapult the onboard experience to greater heights of luxury, complete with new dining venues and a fresh look for the Sun Deck and swimming pool.

Gliding through Vietnam and Cambodia, each day on the eight-day Luxury Mekong River Cruise offered new experiences for Courtney and her colleague Mel, from meeting different people to exploring destinations and trying regional food.

Chef Luke Nguyen talks about his role as an APT Ambassador and shares tales from the Mekong

Travel Inspiration You could be dining on decadent dishes like this on board (image: APT)

“The mornings would start with breakfast and a daily run down from the tour director. We would then venture ashore in designated groups to explore and be back on board for lunch. The afternoon was either free time on board (cold showers and nanna naps for us!) or another shore excursion if we weren’t cruising,” she says.

Courtney loved all the shore excursions, but particularly the included experiences in Cai Be, Sa Dac and Phnom Penh. APT shore excursions go beyond the tourist trail. In Cai Be, it’s all about the art of making rice paper, while in Sa Dac, you can learn the real story behind the best-selling novel, The Lover, by Marguerite Duras. Over in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Freedom of Choice activities include everything from dazzling temple visits to a moving immersion into Cambodia’s turbulent past.

Travel Inspiration Mekong River views along the journey (image: Courtney Griffin)

Shore excursions aside, mingling with the other guests was Courtney’s favourite part of the experience.

“We spent every night upstairs on the deck having great conversations, enjoying lots of laughs and many dances with amazing people – both passengers and crew!

“The entire APT experience was exceptional. There’s certainly a reason APT have the great reputation that they do.

“The food on board was outstanding; think 5-star a la carte menus and buffets with every dish you could ever crave. It was exciting to see what the cocktail of the night would be too!

Travel Inspiration Courtney made the most of every moment on her APT river cruise (image: Courtney Griffin)

“From the moment we boarded to the moment we left, the cabin, the tours, the guides and particularly, the crew, were incredible.”

Get in touch with Courtney:

Phone: (08) 9276 5000


In store: Shop 1038, Morley Galleria, Corner of Collier & Walter Road, Morley, WA 6062

Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals.

Anna Howard

Give me street food over Michelin stars, cellar doors over wine bars and small towns and wide open spaces over big cities any day. Travel for me means ticking off the 'to eat and drink' list one regional flavour and wine bottle at a time.