The ship sails 11-day itineraries between Siem Reap, Cambodia, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, from August to April. Its shallow draft allows it to navigate Cambodia’s vast Tonle Sap Lake and river (a tributary of the Mekong) later into the season than many other river vessels. With dimensions of 213 feet in length and 43 feet in width, Indochine II can pass through the Cho Gao Canal in Ho Chi Minh City. This means that passengers can overnight on board at the beginning or end of a cruise for easy access to the bustling Vietnamese city, a perk not offered by the majority of other cruise lines in the region.
Indochine II’s maiden voyage, which began in September 2017 in Phnom Penh, was not without hiccups. The cruise director exhibited signs of distress. (Management, take note: She could use an assistant!) As the trip began, the cruise director was still brushing up on her English after having recently transferred from a CroisiEurope ship in Russia. And some fundamental procedures, such as scheduling spa appointments or reporting cabin malfunctions, did not appear to be in place.
However, the majority Cambodian crew is accommodating and friendly. And shore excursions are led by local, knowledgeable, professional guides. With years of experience in the region, CroisiEurope is well-equipped to move quickly past any initial hiccups and provide a stylish and comfortable means of exploring Southeast Asia.
CroisiEurope, a family-owned business, caters to an international clientele. Given that it is a French company, however, it is not surprising that roughly half of its customers are French. However, crew members who interact with passengers communicate exclusively in English.
The majority of guests are between 60 and 75 years old, with the majority being Baby Boomers and their seniors. On Asia-bound itineraries, however, passengers are typically more physically active. To fully appreciate this cruise, you must be able to confidently traverse rocky, uneven terrain, climb in and out of tuk-tuks (motorized rickshaws), and board small boats for some excursions.
Indochine II Dress Code
Daytime attire is strictly casual, and in the humid climate of the Mekong, lightweight, breathable clothing is recommended. Dinner attire is somewhat formal, but you do not need to bring finery. Sundresses, skirts, or cotton pants are the most formal attire for women, while nice slacks and button-down shirts are the most formal attire for men. Pack modest clothing when visiting a temple. In certain locations, notably, Angor Wat, shoulders and knees must be covered; tying a scarf or sarong around your shoulders or waist will not suffice. At temple sites, you will be climbing over stones and walking on uneven ground, so sensible footwear is essential. Since the rainy season (May to November) can bring sudden, torrential downpours, it is a good idea to bring along waterproof footwear.
CroisiEurope is proud to offer all-inclusive packages at competitive prices. Therefore, the cruise fare includes shore excursions and gratuities to shipboard staff. Gratuities for tour guides and drivers are not included. To expedite the tipping process, the cruise director will collect gratuities at the beginning of the cruise (suggested amount of $30 per person for an 11-day itinerary) and distribute them throughout the journey. (A small cash donation is a kind gesture at temples and pagodas.)
On the Sun Deck, coffee, tea, and cold bottled water are always available. Additionally, bottled water is provided in the cabins. One complimentary beer, mineral water, or soft drink is provided at lunch and dinner.
Wi-Fi is free in the ship’s public areas, but it is not always quick or reliable.
The onboard currency is the United States dollar, which is also Cambodia’s preferred currency. In Vietnam, the dong is the official currency, although some larger shops may accept U.S. dollars for a fee. In Vietnam’s off-the-beaten-path locations, it is advisable to carry local currency.
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