A Luxurious Journey onboard APT's Mekong Serenity
In this interview, meet Son Pham, the passionate Tour Director guiding the unforgettable journey aboard the Mekong Serenity. From navigating the distinctive features of the Mekong River to indulging in authentic Vietnamese cuisine, Son shares how each moment is thoughtfully crafted, offering guests an inspiring and luxurious experience.
What brought you to a career touring Southeast Asia?
Seeing how happy people are when travelling really inspires me. I wanted to share the beauty of Vietnam and Cambodia and show visitors the food, scenery, culture of my home country.
What does your role involve?
Together with the hotel manager and local guides I organise our guests time on tour and ensure they get an insider’s perspective on each destination they visit. It is my job to make sure all the guests feel involved, safe and looked after throughout their journey.
What makes APT’s new river ship, the Mekong Serenity, so special?
It is the most luxurious ship on the Mekong. She is very modern, but the interior is an exciting fusion of contemporary western and traditional Asian design.
What is your favourite feature on the new ship?
There are so many! The large swimming pool is very special and unique the Mekong Serenity.
What food would you recommend all visitors try?
All guests must try Vietnamese Spring rolls, Pho (Vietnamese style noodle soup), Banh Mi (a baguette filled with savoury ingredients) and Vietnamese coffee – an iced coffee made with condensed milk.
What makes river cruising so special?
It is an extraordinary experience to be able to visit some of the most scenic places in Vietnam and Cambodia and watching the breathtaking views and daily life along the Mekong as you travel.
Describe a typical day as Tour Director.
I like to get up early to exercise before starting the working day, by 7.30am I am at my desk in the foyer, chatting to guests, and answering questions on what to expect on today’s tour. For the rest of the day, I will be supervising the excursions, coordinating coaches and making sure everyone is looked after. I also note any details about guests’ physical ability and special requests, such as needing a room on ground floor. The day ends with preparing for tomorrows touring and briefing our guests on the itinerary in the Harmony Lounge before dinner.
What advice would you give to people cruising for the first time?
Not to worry - on an APT river cruise you can just relax as we take care of everything, so you can enjoy every moment.
Do you have a standout memory from your time touring with APT?
In 2017 I won APT’s Tour Director of the year and got to go on the Magnificent Europe Amsterdam to Budapest cruise. My wife and I had a wonderful time. I loved the European architecture, and it was so interesting to see how the European water locks worked.
Describe Mekong cruising with APT in three words.
Inspiring, authentic, luxury.
Why should guests choose Vietnam and Cambodia for their next river cruise?
Vietnam and Cambodia offer amazing culture, food, friendly people and of course, the new Mekong Serenity river ship means you will travel in style!
Discover the joy of cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia, a journey through vibrant cultures and captivating landscapes. Travel with APT in 2024, where every moment is designed for your discovery and delight.