Day 1 – Depart UK
Depart Uk and fly to Ho Chi Minh international airport (Saigon).
Day 2 – Arrive Ho Chi Minh and explore the city (Vietnam)
Officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City after reunification in 1975, most people here still prefer to use the old name, Saigon. On arrival in Ho Chi Minh you will be transferred to your hotel. Later you are free to explore the city at your own pace.
Day 3 – Escorted tour of Ho Chi Minh city (Vietnam)
Tour of Ho Chi Minh city. Visit the Reunification Palace (formerly South Vietnam’s Presidential Palace), War Remnants Museum, the French-built Notre Dame Cathedral and the Gustav Eiffel designed Central Post Office. The rest of the day is free to explore.
Day 4 – Leave Ho Chi Minh and transfer to My Tho to board cruise (Vietnam)
After breakfast, travel 70 kilometers south by land to My Tho to embark on your boutique cruise ship. You will be served a refreshing welcome drink as the ship steadily glides along the Mekong River whilst bathing in the fading sunset on the balcony, followed by a briefing at the lounge. Later, a welcome dinner awaits you.
Day 5 – Onboard: visit floating market of Cai Be, manmade canals of Sa Dec and cruise on to Chau Doc (Vietnam)
Start the morning with an invigorating tai-chi lesson on the sun deck, just as the sun begins its gentle rise. Coffee and tea await the early birds. The day’s tour starts with a visit to Cai Be’s boisterous and colourful floating market on board a traditional sampan. During the languid ride, discover breathtaking landscapes along the river. The cruise will halt intermittently to allow you to observe how rice paste, rice cookies and coconut candies are made, along with the Longan fruit drying process. After touring the canals, head to an ancient house surrounded by fruit orchards before heading to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon cruise to Sa Dec. Upon arrival, join a traditional sampan to tour Binh Thanh Island and its man-made canals. Here, every villager is involved in the process of growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fibre floor mats and rattan baskets. Board the ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards Chau Doc.
Day 6 – Onboard: village Vietnamese visits and cross the border into Cambodia
Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the Indochine Dining Hall or in the quiet sanctuary of your balcony. Visit Chau Doc, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer communities. Visit a colourful local market near an ancient temple. This is followed by a trip to the quay, where you will join a boat excursion to the floating villages and rustic catfish farms followed by a shore excursion to the local Cham Muslim community village. Then, it is back to the ship for lunch. By mid-afternoon, the cruise liner will make its way to the border for Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia.
Day 7 – Visit Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
After breakfast, be captivated by a comprehensive lecture on Cambodia’s modern history. This will be followed by a city tour of Phnom Penh, a dynamic, historical capital city. Sightseeing in the morning will include visiting the dazzling white and gold edifice of the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda and the National Museum. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Genocide museum and the Killing Fields in town. Return to the ship after the museum visit. A variety of cocktails will be served followed by a traditional Apsara dance performance, with a barbecue on the sundeck.
Day 8 – Cambodian village visits then cruise on to Kampong Cham (Cambodia)
Depart before the break of dawn from Phnom Penh with a stop at the little known Chong Koh, a silk weaving village. Return to the ship and cruise past the Mekong’s tranquil villages and exhilarating river life. Tour the rural Angkor Ban village where time stood still. The houses here are truly rustic, made by hand and without any concrete. Then reboard the ship to cruise towards Kampong Cham.
Day 9 – Kampong Cham – Wat Hanchey (Cambodia)
Disembark the ship for a land journey to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey, either via a motor-taxi or climb the 291 steps to the top. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers one of the most breath- taking views in Cambodia. Return to the ship to witness a blessing ceremony performed by orange-clad local monks. When the tide allows, enjoy a surprise sojourn in the ship’s zodiacs (inflatable boats) to the nearby beach to swim in the tea-coloured Mekong river, an experience that may well dominate dinner conversations in the weeks to come. Cruise towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor. Visit an orphanage on the way back to the ship.
Day 10 – Cruise to stilt village of Kampong Chhnang and Tonle Sap river (Cambodia)
Cruise on towards Kampong Chhnang on the Tonle Sap River – an amazingly narrow river – which glides through leafy swaths of the Southeast Asian jungle. Kampong Chhnang is an awesome sight as everything is on stilts balanced on rich soil. Take a short bus trip to see the Khmer-styled pottery at the Aundaung Russey village. Then, join an adventurous motorboat excursion to the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region. After lunch, cruise along the narrow and meandering Tonle Sap. In the evening, a farewell dinner will be served.
Day 11 – Disembark ship and transfer to Siem Reap (Cambodia)
Your cruise aboard the ship comes to an end as you dock a few hours drive from the Angkor temple complex. Bid farewell to the cruise and take a coach transfer to Siem Reap.
Day 12 – Sightseeing in Siem Reap (Cambodia)
Another exciting day of sightseeing with the Roluos group of temples. Continue to Lolei and later discover Preah Ko. Afterwards visit the Banteay Srei temple, considered to be the jewel of classical Khmer art because of its small size. You will also see Pre Rup temple.
Day 13 – Transfer to Siem Reap airport and fly home to UK
Following breakfast at your hotel, your time is at leisure until you transfer to the airport for your onward flight home to the UK.