When our motor launches pulled alongside La Marguerite, we boarded and were greeted by a very welcoming Captain and crew – cold towels and cool drinks were well received by all.

After a short briefing and safety talk we were escorted to our cabin to freshen up.

Our cabin was decorated with a vintage flair: the ceiling and walls were made of dark timber and a vintage fan and telephone nicely complimented one of the latest air conditioners.  The cabin was not huge, but practical. Large wardrobes were appreciated as well as the latest widescreen TV and DVD player.  The sliding doors opened to a balcony and we could lie in bed with an outstanding field of view.  The window seat was a real bonus and very comfortable to sit in and read or watch the river going by. The ensuite bathroom was practical and featured a large shower recess.

Our name badges helped everyone get to know each other over our first lunch on board.

Breakfasts and lunches were buffet style, with an enormous choice of hot and cold foods, mostly western with a hint of oriental cuisine.  Free soft drinks and local wines were served during meals.  There was also a fairly extensive wine list featuring Australian and international wines for an additional cost – most chose the complimentary local wines.  Local spirits were also included free and these could be had from the cocktail bar on the top deck.  The free alcohol and soft drinks proved most popular and meant that, along with the included tips, there was virtually no account waiting at the end of the trip. The only real extras were for massages or anything purchased at the small onboard shop.

All our daily excursions were included at no charge.

There was also an excellent free library of books and DVDs that enabled Sandra and I to catch up on some recently released movies.

After dinner, a talented musician provided entertainment, but most passengers went to bed fairly early as each day was packed with tours and things to do.