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I am totally captivated by Asia. Having lived in Singapore, Nepal, South Korea, and Hong Kong, travelled extensively across all of our destinations in Asia, and worked in luxury travel for many years, curating exceptional trips comes naturally to me.
- from $2,854 PP
- 7 Nights
- Oct - Mar
- 12hrs from London / 20hrs from NYC
The mesmeric Mekong Delta, with its innumerable offshoots, tributaries, and canals, can only really be experienced properly on the water. This seven-night cruise itinerary takes you from Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in southern Vietnam, through the floating markets and rich agricultural scenery of Vietnamese Mekong Delta, before turning upriver and heading across the border to Cambodia. Discover the incredible floating villages and ancient temples of Cambodia, contrasted with its thriving, eclectic capital city Phnom Penh. This week-long journey can easily be extended pre- and post-cruise. Before embarking we recommend a night or two getting acclimatized in energetic Ho Chi Minh City, or arriving even earlier to experience the many highlights of Vietnam such as Hanoi, Halong Bay, or Hoi An. Post-cruise, the incredible temples of Angkor are a must-see, and there are innumerable tropical beach options down in coastal Cambodia or across the border in Thailand.
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Book your trip with us and pay a reduced deposit with the rest 90 days before your departure
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At a Glance
- Accommodation in attractive balcony cabin on-board an elegant river cruiser
- Friendly and enthusiastic local crew on hand at all times
- Access to luxurious facilities on board, including lounge, spa, bar, and dining area
- Thoughtfully curated program of activities and excursions led by expert local guides
- Enlightening lectures on Mekong history and geography from local academics
- Three courses of high-end dining served each day
- Gala BBQ dinner in Phnom Penh
- Speak to our consultants to discuss private transfers and pre/post arrangements. Adding tailor-made nights in Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap highly recommended
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Ho Chi Minh City: Embark and cruise to Cai Be
Your journey begins in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. At the cruise welcome lounge, you’ll meet staff and check-in, before joining a shared transfer out of the city to your embarkation point in My Tho, 70km south in the fringes of the Mekong Delta. Get settled into your spacious balcony cabin as you cast off and join the main body of the Mekong river. Get further acquainted with the ship and your fellow travelers during a sumptuous introductory lunch, and then sit back and relax during the remainder of this cruising day. In the evening the ship will draw into Cai Be, where you will moor overnight. Dinner is served onboard. This evening you might enjoy a classic movie or documentary, shown nightly in the main lounge.
Day 2 Cruising the Mekong: Sa Dec, Binh Thanh, Tan Chau
This morning you have the option of an early start to join the daily sun deck Tai Chi class. A hearty breakfast is then served – or can be taken in your cabin if you prefer. This morning you’ll explore Cai Be, taking in the swarming floating market and the charming riverside town behind. You’ll transfer to small local paddle boats to explore the emerald green canals off the main river, observing farmers at work and stopping to visit local craftspeople producing rice paper, cookies, rice wine, and coconut candy. Lunch is back onboard as the ship continues upstream. In the afternoon you’ll arrive at the large riverine island of Binh Thanh, where you’ll meet local communities making a living from growing water hyacinth and weaving traditional mats. In the evening you’ll arrive at Tan Chau on the border with Cambodia, where you moor overnight.
Day 3 Cruising the Mekong: Cross the border to Cambodia
Come aboard this morning in Tan Chau, joining a fleet of ‘xe loi’ (Vietnamese pedal rickshaws) to explore this vibrant town. Stop at the lively local market and then later one of the town’s busy temples. Tan Chau is most well known for its floating fish farms – together making up the world’s largest inland aquaculture industry – which produces vast quantities of tilapia and catfish. Visit one such farm before returning to the boat. The afternoon is spent relaxing as you cross the border into Cambodia and turn upstream towards Phnom Penh. Join the chef on a culinary demonstration, or book yourself in for a massage or spa treatment. Arrive in Phnom Penh in the evening and head ashore to explore its lively riverside dining and nightlife districts.
Day 4 Phnom Penh: Explore the Cambodian capital
Today the ship spends all day moored in Phnom Penh. You’ll enjoy a comprehensive tour of this fascinating and many-storied city, once famed as the ‘Paris of the East’. The morning covers the more somber recent history of the city, visiting heartbreaking relics of the Khmer Rouge at the Killing Fields of Tuol Sleng and the S21 prison. These visits, while important to understand contemporary Cambodia, can be challenging so you may prefer to skip and explore the city on your own. Lunch is taken in a renowned city restaurant, after which the afternoon tour covers the city’s most famous sights: the glittering Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, and the extensive National Museum. End the day with a ‘cyclo’ ride through town before returning to the ship, where you are joined by respected local professor Mr. Jean-Michel for an eye-opening lecture on modern Cambodia. Tonight a gala BBQ dinner is served on the sundeck.
Day 5 Cruising the Tonle River: Kampong Tralach & Kampong Chhnang
Your river cruiser departs early this morning, drawing away from Phnom Penh and heading up the Tonle River to Kampong Tralach. At points, the river narrows, with the verdant jungle scenery closing in on both sides – perfect to watch from your balcony. In Kampong Tralach you’ll board a simple ox-cart and be drawn slowly towards a tiny village, where you’ll pay a visit to a noisy local school. Later continue upstream, arriving at Kampong Chhnang: Cambodia’s ‘waterworld’, where villages float on stilts above the fertile tidal soils. Explore a second authentic Cambodian village, before returning to the ship for dinner onboard.
Day 6 Cruising the Tonle & Mekong: Koh Oknha Tey & Angkor Ban
Today you return back down to Phnom Penh and re-join the Mekong. Stop at the river island of Koh Oknha Tey, famed for its quality silk products, which you will explore on a fleet of tuk-tuks. A lunchtime lecture on the geography of the Mekong and famed Tonle Sap lake follows, before you continue up to the pristine and highly photogenic village of Angkor Ban. Enjoy the sunset over this tranquil landscape before arriving at Kampong Cham, where the ship moors overnight.
Day 7 Cruising the Mekong: Kampong Cham, Wat Hanchey & Koh Paen
After a sumptuous breakfast, you’ll come ashore to visit the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). This hilltop temple commands outstanding views across the surrounding landscape and is home to a small community of young novice monks, who you will have time to stop and chat to. After lunch, a second visit follows to the quiet monastery of Wat Nokor, with its distinctive black sandstone walls. Later you’ll visit another local school, with the remainder of your final day spent relaxing onboard. A final dinner is served this morning as you moor near Kampong Cham.
Day 8 Siem Reap: Disembark and transfer to Siem Reap
Enjoy a final breakfast on-board, after which it is time to disembark. Join a shared coach transfer overland to Siem Reap and then say goodbye to your crew and fellow passengers.
Please speak to our consultants to arrange a tailor-made extension in Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor. Further post-cruise options include the idyllic beaches and islands of coastal Cambodia or a short flight across to the Thai capital Bangkok or the magical ancient city of Luang Prabang in Laos.
- 7 nights on-board a deluxe river cruiser with balcony cabin
- Full-board meals throughout including gala BBQ dinner
- Fresh coffee, tea, and purified water available 24/7
- Complimentary Wifi (subject to cellular signal)
- All activities and excursions mentioned
- Professional English-speaking local guides
- Guest lectures from local experts
- Shared transfers to and from the ship in Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them
- We strongly advise all guests to purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Gratuities for local guides
- Visas if required
Let’s get started making this itinerary yours.
Speak to experienced Destinations Experts about designing this itinerary around your budget and trip preferences
Why book with Unforgettable Travel Co.
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