Travelmarvel La Marguerite
Launched in 2009, La Marguerite is a small, luxurious all-suite ship, designed to combine modern elegance and comfort with the French colonial heritage of the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia that she sails on. With only 46 cabins and 43 crew onboard, giving a fantastic 2:1 passenger to staff ratio, the atmosphere is intimate and the service and attention to detail is truly impeccable.
As an Australian company, Travelmarvel attracts lots of travellers from Australia and New Zealand, and on La Marguerite’s many itineraries, whose South East Asian locations are relatively close to Australia, this is especially true. She is also very popular with discerning Americans, Brits and many other nationalities who are attracted by her fascinating cruises on the Mekong River, as well as her luxurious interiors and the personal level of onboard service. Most Travelmarvel passengers board La Marguerite as part of a longer adventure in South East Asia, so for many people their experience on La Marguerite is a highlight of a much-dreamed of trip of a lifetime.
La Marguerite’s Mekong restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in stylish, air-conditioned comfort. Delicious Vietnamese and Cambodian specialities are offered alongside Western dishes, meaning you can experiment with exciting new flavours as well as enjoy familiar favourites. Soft drinks are available all day, and at lunch and dinner international wines and local spirits and beers are included in the price you pay.
Entertainment onboard La Marguerite is low key, with most passengers content to relax with a Sundowner on the Saigon Deck, or enjoy a drink in the air-conditioned Panoramic Lounge and Library or the Saigon Lounge and Bar where musicians are regularly invited onboard to perform on the stage. A regular evening of traditional Khmer music and dancing is a cruise highlight.
Local experts in the culture, history and geography of Vietnam and Cambodia are regularly welcomed onboard to give lectures. The chef also shares his secrets with demonstrations on how to carve fruit into shapes and perfect the art of making spring rolls.
Games and DVDs are on offer for passengers to borrow, and there is a gift shop for souvenirs and presents. Wi-Fi is available in selected areas.
As a Mekong cruise onboard La Marguerite is usually part of a longer itinerary, passengers are content to spend much of their time enjoying the mysteriously beautiful scenery from the ship. However there is ample opportunity to experience the places on the itinerary with a programme of guided excursions including trips on smaller boats, ox-cart rides, temple visits and even the chance to receive a Buddhist blessing!
The Sadec Sun Deck has a pool where you can cool off when the sun gets too hot, before settling back down on your reclining lounger. This deck is also home to a small spa and fitness centre. Tai Chi classes are also available on the Sadec deck meaning even your exercise regime can have an Asian theme.
All suites combine sumptuous French Colonial style décor with all the modern conveniences you would expect from a modern luxury boutique hotel. A safe, roomy wardrobe, flat screen TV, deluxe queen-size bed, mini bar and desk/dressing table come as standard in all cabins.
The Sadec Sun Deck is home to two vast 443 sq. ft. Indochina Balcony Suites, which boast their own private whirlpool and table and chairs on a balcony terrace overlooking the ship’s Bridge. Also to be found on this deck are six well-appointed Sadec Balcony Suites that offer the rare luxury in cruising of king size beds, baths and large external balconies. Both these suite categories also have conservatory-style sun lounges with a window.
On the Saigon upper deck you’ll find 14 Deluxe Balcony Suites. Measuring a generous 226 sq. ft, these suites feature balconies and private conservatory-style sun lounges and queen size beds. The Tonle main deck has more 16 Deluxe Balcony Suites and the Mekong lower deck is home to eight 226 sq. ft. Standard Suites with portholes rather than balconies.
Most itineraries on La Marguerite combine river cruising with exploration on land and can be part of packages as long as the 30 day Iconic Asia tour from Beijing to Ho Chi Minh, where you board La Marguerite for seven nights on day 21. Alternatively, the 8 day Majestic Mekong Cruising Adventure from Saigon to Siem Reap is cruise only and highlights include a visit to the breathtaking Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh in Cambodia, the chance to take a rickshaw tour of the tiny island of Tan Chau, and the opportunity to see a demonstration of how rice paper is made.