Viking Mandalay

3 out of 5
(2 Reviews)

Specifically designed to navigate the Irrawaddy River, Viking Mandalay is a beautifully handcrafted ship, refurbished in 2013 and offering a river view from every stateroom. With only 60 lucky guests, attentive English-speaking crew, and exceptionally friendly atmosphere, the elegant Viking Mandalay is the perfect ship for exploring the sights, sounds, and culture of one of the most fascinating areas of the world.

5 out of 5

Burma Very Worthwhile by WGT

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

This trip began with a 2-night stay at the Shangri La Hotel in Bangkok, a gorgeous hotel with wonderful buffets in the dining room for breakfast (included) and dinner.  The first morning included a visit to the Grand Palace/Temple which we did not take because we had been there twice.  Other travelers complained about how crowded and hot it was, but they enjoyed the shopping.

Our boat was very nice - small and sort of "African Queen".  The rooms were teak - pretty small but adequate with private bathrooms and access to the communal veranda with chairs.  The boat could hold 58 passengers but we were a group of 12.  This made for a nice "family" tour, but didn't provide the desired tips for the crew.  

Burma has only been open to tourists for a few years and this is a good chance to see it while still relatively unspoiled.  We saw many fascinating small villages and lots of beautiful temples and pagodas.  All the shore excursions were rated 2 (moderate) but this did not take into account the fact that the river was VERY low, so that we had to climb to the river bank to get to where the busses could come.  In the hot (102) and humid weather this was difficult - mostly a fairly high bank of sand into which the crew cut steps.  Our tour guide was excellent, the crew was wonderful, and the food was exceptionally good.  The excursions were just the right length, and any "down time" was appreciated.  We appreciated the opportunity to pay a lump sum to include tipping for the crew and excursion expenses.

This is unlike other river cruises, as the boat is much smaller than most and does not offer a beverage package.  The spots where we anchored are not conducive to leaving the boat unattended to look around although occasionally someone did.  It is not dangerous - only difficult to climb up and pretty isolated.  The nightly cocktail hour (drinks with local beverages were included) watching the beautiful sunsets were very pleasant.


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1 out of 5

Cruise was nice, problems during the booking and with transfers. Viking didn't respond to my complaints. by LAGuy90019

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

I have sailed on Viking several times and have been pleased with them in the past.  This trip was very different and I feel that Viking misrepresented the trip.


When I booked the trip, I was told that there was no custom airfaire.  The routing of flights had me stopping serveral times away.  I called twice asking if we could look into other flights and I was told no.  I commented on both calls that at least I was going to make a lot of Frequent Flyer Points.  It was only after I took the trip that I learned the flights we were put on didn't earn any frequent flyer miles.


On our way over, Viking had booked day use rooms in Singapore's airport.  When we arrived, we were told Viking had not secured funding for the rooms and I had to pay.


Although I had paid for transfers, our Viking Rep took us to the airport only to learn that the flight we were on had been cancelled and although Viking had been notified, the "Bangkok Office" had not been notified.  I had to spend another night in Bangkok.  Viking did not put us up, Singapore Airlines did.


Although Viking said there was internet available, the internet was available on the sundeck - a tablet hotspot connected via cellular service.  With 53 people on board with phones and iPads, the talk on the sundesk was constantly, "Is anyone getting internet".  A shared cellular connection for 53 people is hardly internet on-board.  Making matters worst, on 2 occassions, I discovered that the Viking River account had run out of funding preventing any internet connection.


The cruise itself went well.  The crew was friendly and warm, the sights were inteteresting and the food was good.  Unforutnatly, I feel that Viking deceived me when it came to the airfare, had I known what I know now, I would have never let them book the airfare. When I emailed them my complaints, the didn't repond at all.  I personally won't use Viking again.

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