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Classic Mekong River Cruise: Cambodia & Vietnam

Duration
13 Days
Prices:
On request

FIRST-CLASS | CRUISE: Cruise the Mekong River from Siem Reap in Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to discover some of the cultural highlights, natural landmarks, and historical treasures of Southeast Asia. Before and after, you’ll also explore the temples of Angkor and Ho Chi Minh City, respectively.


This 13-day Southeast Asian vacation takes on a cruise along the Mekong River through Cambodia and Vietnam, and includes visits to the temples of Angkor and Ho Chi Minh City. It features first-class accommodations aboard a cruise vessel and a mix of private and group tours. 

Your journey along the Mekong starts in Cambodia and the resort city of Siem Reap, the gateway to the temples of Angkor. A full day private tour lets you explore several of the ruins, including the 12th-century Khmer capital, Angkor Thom, and the hidden ruins of Ta Prohm, which was only rediscovered in the late 19th-century and is still largely overgrown with banyon trees and jungle vines. In the afternoon, see the slanting light hit the walls and carvings of Angkor Wat, the largest temple structure on the planet and undoubtedly the peak of Khmer architecture. It’s a masterwork unlike any other temple. Spend another day relaxing at your French Riviera-style resort in Siem Reap. You have the option of booking additional excursions to the temples if you wish or simply exploring the township. 

Connect onward to Kampong Chhnang City where you’ll board the RV Mekong Pandaw, your 4-star cruise vessel and home for the next 7 nights. Enjoy spacious accommodations on board and intimate views of the Mekong during your journey. First stop is Tonle Sap Lake, the largest lake in Cambodia and the centre of the nation’s fishing industry. Explore the floating villages and wet markets atop the lake before connecting back to Kampong Chhnang City to stroll along the new river walkway. Then weave through the canals around Tonle Sap, visiting tiny villages, markets, and temples along the way, before spending that evening meeting new friends around a fire pit in a Khmer village.

During your cruise down the Mekong, you’ll visit ancient capitals, modern cities, and remote fishing villages, which together provide a full vision of life along this mighty river. First stop is the Vipassana Dhura Buddhist Centre where you’ll centre yourself with some meditation on route. Then reach the ancient Khmer capital of Oudong before continuing to Koh Nghe Tei or Silk Island, whose inhabitants are masters of silk-making. Observe the silk-making process before learning a thing or two about the ancient martial art of L’bokator. Reach Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital. This faded city used to be the most beautiful spot in French Indochina, but today is mostly known for the spectacular Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, both of which you’ll tour. You’ll also learn about the nation’s history at the National Museum and the tragic genocide committed by the Khmer Rouge at the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. 

Cross the border into Vietnam and explore the floating markets and fish farms around the border town of Chau Doc. You’ll also learn about the Vietnamese Muslim minority around Chham Village and climb the 400 steps up Sam Mountain to the beautiful pagoda of Phuoc Dien Tu. Navigate the canals of the Mekong Delta to reach Cao Lanh, where you’ll catch a coach ride to Gao Giong Green Oasis, a 1,000ac large eucalyptus forest, where tens of thousands of egrets gather each year to breed. You’ll have more photo opportunities at Ben Tre, known for its birds living among the bamboo-covered canals. Cap off your journey along the Mekong with a Vietnam Cultural Group performance, which will celebrate life along the mighty river. 

Reach My Tho City, where you’ll disembark and bid farewell to the Mekong. Connect by road to Ho Chi Minh City, the city formerly known as Saigon and the largest centre in the country. A half-day tour will take you across the city to learn about the end of the Vietnam War, as well as Vietnam’s imperial and colonial past. During your tour, you’ll visit the Reunification Palace, formerly the Presidential Palace of South Vietnam, the city’s Notre Dame Cathedral, the Museum of Vietnamese History, and the Jade Emperor Pagoda, known for its intricate Taoist carvings and enchanting atmosphere. 

At the end of your stay, connect to the airport for your departure. 


 

 

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Duration
13 Days
Prices:
On request

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Siem Reap Airport to Siem Reap City Hotel

Duration25 Minutes

Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa

Within the Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa enjoy the comfort, elegance and superb refinement of the French Art de Vivre in the heart of Siem Reap. The building's graceful colonial architecture of the 1930's provides a sense of peaceful tranquillity. The hotel has been designed to be in total harmony with its natural surroundings and is enchantingly situated in the heart of Siem Reap, opposite the Royal Park. The Hotel is located within close proximity to World Heritage listed Angkor Temples, the quaint old market town of Siem Reap and only 7km from the International airport.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa



    Within the Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa enjoy the comfort, elegance and superb refinement of the French Art de Vivre in the heart of Siem Reap. The building's graceful colonial architecture of the 1930's provides a sense of peaceful tranquillity. The hotel has been designed …

    Within the Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa enjoy the comfort, elegance and superb refinement of the French Art de Vivre in the heart of Siem Reap. The building's graceful colonial architecture of the 1930's provides a sense of peaceful tranquillity. The hotel has been designed to be in total harmony with its natural surroundings and is enchantingly situated in the heart of Siem Reap, opposite the Royal Park. The Hotel is located within close proximity to World Heritage listed Angkor Temples, the quaint old market town of Siem Reap and only 7km from the International airport.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Boutique(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Children's Activities
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Gift Shop
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Library
    • Mail and Postal Facilities
    • Massage Treatments
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Sauna
    • Spa
    • Spa(Hot-tub)/Jacuzzi

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 2

Full Day Angkor Temples incl Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm and Angkor Wat

This morning, you will visit the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom, last capital of the Khmers, with its Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the stunning Bayon temple. This 12th century masterpiece lies at the very centre of Angkor Thom and is an archaeological wonder of symmetry and grandeur. Continue to visit Thommanon, Ta Keo and Ta Prohm. Ta Prohm, the temple that has been left largely in it's natural state since its 're-discovery' by French explorers. Surrounded by jungle, its labyrinth of stone hallways is overgrown with the roots and limbs of massive banyan trees. This afternoon, you will visit to Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world, with a volume of stone equalling that of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt. It is unlike all the other Khmer temples in that it faces west, and is inspired by 12th Century Hinduism.

Duration10 Hours
Day 3

Day at Leisure

Today is totally free and at leisure. You can take advantage of any optional activities available or simply relax.

Day 4

Depart Siem Reap

Morning pick up from your hotel in Siem Reap to travel through the local countryside, skirting the Tonle Sap Lake, before arriving in Kampong Chhnang to embark your vessel and the commencement of your adventure. Enjoy your first lunch on board.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration7 Nights
Accommodation

RV Mekong Pandaw

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    RV Mekong Pandaw



    Built in Rangoon in 2002, RV Mekong Pandaw was sailed round to Saigon under it's own power and many drama described in Paul Strachan's Pandaw Story. This ship was designed specially for the Mekong and unlike the other P class ships does not have a …

    Built in Rangoon in 2002, RV Mekong Pandaw was sailed round to Saigon under it's own power and many drama described in Paul Strachan's Pandaw Story. This ship was designed specially for the Mekong and unlike the other P class ships does not have a flying bridge. RV Mekong Pandaw is a spacious ship with wide promenades, a large dining hall and more public space per passenger than any known ship afloat.

    Facilities

    • Deck
    • Guest Services Desk
    • Laundry Service
    • Library
    • Meeting Facilities
    • Restaurant
    • Sundeck
    • Turn down service

    More Details

Day 5

Tonle Sap Floating Villages and Markets

After breakfast we board our tender boat to visit the famous Tonle Sap Floating Villages and Markets, observing locals fishing and tending their floating vegetable gardens. We then cruise back to Kampong Chhnang City and disembark our Tender for a walk along the newly constructed River Walkway. Upon returning to the ship, we navigate the very narrow canals of the Tonle Sap River and get up close and personal with the local riverside villagers. After lunch, we board our local limousines (Ox-Carts) for a meander along the Tonle Sap River visiting local villages, markets and temples. Tonight, we will host our Cocktail Hour around a fire pit in one of the local Khmer Villages where we will join the villagers dancing and learning about the local culture.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Silk Island

After a short morning cruise along the Tonle Sap River we will disembark at Kampong Trollach and travel by coach to the Ancient Capital of Cambodia, Oudong. We visit the VipassanaDhura Meditation Centre for a morning of relaxation and meditation before taking a drive around the old capital. After lunch we visit KohNgheTei (Silk Island) to study the entire silk-making process from worms to weavers. You will have the chance to visit local silk purveyors and purchase the locally made products before we enjoy a demonstration of the ancient martial art of L'bokator. L'bokator, which roughly translates as pounding a lion' includes weapons techniques and is one of the oldest existing fighting systems in Cambodia. Oral tradition indicates that L'bokator, or an earlier form thereof, was the close quarter combat system used by the armies before Angkor 1,700 years ago.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Phnom Penh

We dock in the Cambodian Capital of Phnom Penh where we will partake in a morning orientation of the city by cyclo, visiting the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda followed by the National Museum with its marvellous collection of Angkorian statuary. In the afternoon, we visit the Killing Fields and TuolSleng Genocide Museum to learn about the tragic history of the area and local people. Optional half-day and full-day tours are available during our stay in Phnom Penh at extra cost. Please contact us in advance or see your in-cabin information manual for further details. Overnight in Phnom Penh city port with its lively bars, restaurants and nightlife.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Cambodia Vietnam Border

We up anchor early morning and cruise downstream along the Mekong River to the Cambodia/Vietnam Border to undergo Immigration Formalities. After lunch our boat docks alongside the picturesque border town of Chau Doc where we visit the famous floating markets and fish farms by Sampan. We make a stop at a local Chham Village and observe the lives of these local Vietnamese Muslims before boarding minivans for a short drive to Sam Mountain, location of PhuocDienTu or the Hang Pagoda. We climb the 400 steps to the top to visit the pagoda, proclaimed an official historic monument on 10th July 1980 by the Ministry of Culture and Information of Vietnam. In the evening, feel free to wander along the Chau Doc Riverside.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9

Cao Lanh

Early morning, we leave Chau Doc and travel through the canals of the delta as locals awake to a hive of activity. After lunch, we drop anchor upstream of Cao Lanh and take a short coach journey through the lush countryside to GaoGiong green oasis, a 1,000-acre eucalyptus forest and listed wildlife sanctuary. Here a diverse selection of water birds and egrets gather in their tens of thousands across the Duong Tharp Muoi or Plain of Reeds. Rowboats traverse the canals to take us to view the principal nesting areas where photo opportunities abound.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10

Ben Tre

A morning of sailing passing towns such as Sadec andCai Be provides an insight into life along this mighty waterway. After lunch, we travel by sampans through mangroves and bamboo forests to the fruit orchards of Ben Tre. This is an area rich in birdlife which we will explore via local transport before transferring to a rowboat. We will journey slowly through the bamboo covered canals before arriving at a villagespecializing in coconut candy and rice wine. Here you can view the process of manufacturing these specialties and try them for yourself, including the local Moonshine. In the evening, you will be entertained by a Vietnamese Cultural Group highlighting Life on the Mekong Delta.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 11

My Tho to Ho Chi Minh

We disembark our boat and travel by coach from My Tho City through the countryside to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel

Located along the active Saigon River, the Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel provides a romantic, tranquil vibe within an easy walk of many of the city's prominent landmarks. This award-winning hotel offers 170 comfortable, stylish rooms with city or river views. Facilities include an entire floor dedicated to health and wellness, swimming pool, in-house bistro, sky bar and restaurant.

Meal Plan Full Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel



    Located along the active Saigon River, the Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel provides a romantic, tranquil vibe within an easy walk of many of the city's prominent landmarks. This award-winning hotel offers 170 comfortable, stylish rooms with city or river views. Facilities include an entire …

    Located along the active Saigon River, the Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel provides a romantic, tranquil vibe within an easy walk of many of the city's prominent landmarks. This award-winning hotel offers 170 comfortable, stylish rooms with city or river views. Facilities include an entire floor dedicated to health and wellness, swimming pool, in-house bistro, sky bar and restaurant.

    More Details

Day 12

Half Day Saigon City Tour including Presidential Palace and History Museum

Beginning in the centre of the city, the first stop on today's itinerary is Reunification Palace. Formerly named the Presidential Palace, this important city landmark was assured its place in history on 30th April 1975, when the first North Vietnamese tanks rumbled past, signalling the Fall of Saigon and ultimately the end of the Vietnam War. Now a museum complete with period meeting areas, war rooms and a basement communication centre, after your visit, walk the short distance to Notre Dame Cathedral. At the centre of HCMC's government district, this romantic church dates back to the late 19th century and is a popular backdrop for wedding photographs. Across the street from the cathedral is the city's striking French colonial-era post office, whilst Hotel de Ville de Saigon, officially Ho Chi Minh City Hall, is another of the city's more prominent buildings. The Museum of Vietnamese History is housed in yet another fine example of Sino-French architecture. Dating back to the 1920s, it contains an excellent series of exhibits dating from the Bronze Age to the Nguyen dynasty, the last ruling family of Vietnam.

As an alternative to the Museum of Vietnamese History, visit the elegant Fine Arts Museum with its impressive collection of ancient and modern art and sculptures, or the War Remnants Museum, which is primarily dedicated to the Vietnam War but also includes exhibits dating back to the French colonialist period and the first Indochina War.

The final stop today is the unforgettable Jade Emperor Pagoda. With the pungent smell of incense hanging heavy in the air and an interior packed full of ornate carvings and fierce-looking statues, this Taoist temple is one of the most atmospheric places of worship in the city. Transfer back to your hotel after your visit or alternatively be dropped off at Ben Thanh market for personal exploration and a spot of souvenir hunting.

Duration4 Hours
Day 13

City Hotel to Ho Chi Minh Saigon Airport

Duration45 Minutes

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2021

Downstream from Siem Reap

Aug 11, 25; Sep 8, 22; Oct 6, 13, 20, 27; Nov 3, 10, 17, 24; Dec 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Upstream 
from Ho Chi Minh City*
Aug 4, 18; Sep 1, 15, 29; Oct 6, 13, 20, 27; Nov 3, 10, 17, 24; Dec 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

2022

Downstream from Siem Reap

Jan 5, 12, 19, 26; Feb 2, 9, 16, 23; Mar 2, 9, 16, 23; 30; Apr 6, 13, 20

Aug 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; Sep 7, 14, 21, 28; Oct 5, 12, 19, 26; Nov 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Dec 7, 14, 21, 28

Upstream 
from Ho Chi Minh City*

Jan 5, 12, 19, 26; Feb 2, 9, 16, 23; Mar 2, 9, 16, 23; 30; Apr 6, 13, 20

Aug 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; Sep 7, 14, 21, 28; Oct 5, 12, 19, 26; Nov 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Dec 7, 14, 21, 28

2023

Downstream
From Siem Reap

Jan 4, 11, 18, 25; Feb 1, 8, 15, 22; Mar 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; Apr 12

Upstream from Ho Chi Minh City* Jan 4, 11, 18, 25; Feb 1, 8, 15, 22; Mar 1, 8, 15, 22; Apr 5, 19

* Please enquire for detailed of the Upstream Itinerary

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Private arrival airport transfer in Siem Reap
  • Private departure airport transfer in Ho Chi Minh City
  • 3 nights first-class hotel accommodations in Siem Reap
  • 7 nights first-class cruise accommodations in private cabin
  • 2 nights first-class hotel accommodations in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Private-guided Full Day Angkor Temples incl Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm and Angkor Wat in Siem Reap
  • Private-guided Half Day Saigon City Tour incl. Presidential Palace and History Museum in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Guided group touring with English-speaking local guides as per itinerary
  • Local beverages on board cruise (soft drinks, beer, spirits)
  • Mineral water/jugged coffee/tea on board cruise
  • Crew gratuities
  • Arrival/departure coach transfers to/from meeting points in Saigon and Siem Reap for cruise
  • Breakfast daily (excluding day 1), 7 lunches, 7 dinners

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Airfare and all taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Imported beverages and espresso drinks
  • Optional excursions
  • Other gratuities
  • Port dues (if levied)
  • Fuel surcharges
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from", per person, based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates will apply, Limited seats/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request -- please inquire.

DP SIETPK13DHOCKH3
13 Oct 2021
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