HO CHI MINH CITY – JAYAVARMAN CRUISE, THE LOST CIVILIZATION (MEKONG) (VMS09)

The day – in fact everyday – starts with an invigorating Tai Chi lesson on the sun deck, just as the sun begins its gentle glow. Coffee and tea await the early bird. The day’s tour starts with a visit to Cai Be’s boisterous and colorful floating market on board a traditional sampan (a flat bottomed traditional Vietnamese wooden boat). During the languid ride, discover breathtaking landscapes along the river and soak up the rustic life all around in the Mekong Delta. The cruise will halt intermittently, a great chance 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 having lunch on board. In the afternoon, cruise to Sa Dec. Upon arrival, take a traditional sampan and tour Binh Thanh Island and its manmade canals. Here, every villager is involved in the process of growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fiber floor mats and rattan baskets. Return to the Ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards Chau Doc.

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Day 1

HO CHI MINH CITY – MY THO – CAI BE (L – D)

Bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon and head to My Tho for embarkation. My Tho is 70km South of Saigon and located on the upper Mekong river in Vietnam. Enjoy a cocktail reception at the Funnel Bar and Lounge followed by a Welcome Dinner on the Sun Deck. Drop anchor just outside of My Tho for the night.

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Day 2

CAI BE – SA DEC – CHAU DOC (B – L – D)

The day – in fact everyday – starts with an invigorating Tai Chi lesson on the sun deck, just as the sun begins its gentle glow. Coffee and tea await the early bird. The day’s tour starts with a visit to Cai Be’s boisterous and colorful floating market on board a traditional sampan (a flat bottomed traditional Vietnamese wooden boat). During the languid ride, discover breathtaking landscapes along the river and soak up the rustic life all around in the Mekong Delta. The cruise will halt intermittently, a great chance 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 having lunch on board. In the afternoon, cruise to Sa Dec.

Upon arrival, take a traditional sampan and tour Binh Thanh Island and its manmade canals. Here, every villager is involved in the process of growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fiber floor mats and rattan baskets. Return to the Ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards Chau Doc.

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Day 3

CHAU DOC – BORDER CROSSING (B – L – D)

Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin the day with a hearty breakfast at the Dining Hall or in the quiet sanctuary of the Ship’s balcony. Then take a short excursion in Chau Doc, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer communities. Pay a visit to the colorful local market near an ancient temple. This is followed by a trip to the quay and an excursion by boat to the floating villages and catfish farms to learn about the breeding of Basa fish in the Mekong Delta. Then, it is back to the ship for a lunch.

By mid-afternoon, the cruise liner will make its way to the border and on to Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. It is an opportune time to relax on board, take part in some hands-on cooking classes or tour the ship with the Cruise Director. Or, better yet, do all three. Overnight midstream near Phnom Penh
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Day 4

PHNOM PENH (B – L – D)

Phnom Penh was once the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. Disembark the ship at 07.30 AM and enjoy a comprehensive lecture on Cambodia’s modern history. This will be followed by a tour of this dynamic, historical capital city of Cambodia, which has managed to preserve huge slices of its French colonial allure. Sightseeing in the morning will include a visit to the dazzling white and gold edifice of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and a tour of the exceptionally beautiful Khmer craft at the National Museum.


After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields in town. Be prepared to be heart wrenched by this stark reminder of the genocide that transpired during Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime.


Then go back to the ship, take a rest on your cabin balcony or the lounge and prepare for an exciting evening event. The evening starts with a variety of cocktails served on the sun deck. Take a seat and enjoy the subsequent Apsara dance performance. Experience the brilliance and richness of this culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a barbeque on the sun deck with the stars and the moon as companions.

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Day 5

PHNOM PENH – KAMPONG CHAM (B – L – D)

Depart before the break of dawn from Phnom Penh with a stop at the little-known Chong Koh silk weaving village.Then return to the Ship and cruise past the Mekong’s tranquil villages, exhilarating river life and sun-hardened fishermen on their shift boats.

Tour the rural Angkor Ban village where time seems to have stood still. Be transported back a hundred years into an era unsullied by modernity. The houses here are made by hand without any concrete. Experience the unbridled warmth of the villagers.

Travelers can take part in the daily activities of the villagers to experience village life first hand. Then, back to the Ship and cruise towards Kampong Cham. Overnight on the Jayavarman Cruise

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Day 6

KAMPONG CHAM – WAT HANCHEY (B – L – D)

Wake up in the small hours of the morning, energized to embark on a land journey to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Either take a motor-taxi or climb 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. Built in the 8th century, this ancient structure, together with a bigger and newer addition underscores the superb architecture of the Chenla Empire, which predates the mighty Angkor temple complex. Take the opportunity to engage some of the local monks in conversation. Then return to the Ship to witness a blessing ceremony performed by Saffron-clad local monks.

When the tide allows, enjoy a surprise sojourn in our zodiacs (inflatable boats) to the nearby bank for an unforgettable swim in the tea-colored Mekong River. Then cruise towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor, a wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple, which holds a timeless story. On the way back to the Ship, visit an orphanage. Along the way, cross a 2-kilometer rickety bamboo bridge. Our sense of balance lies in the balance.
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Day 7

KAMPONG CHAM – KAMPONG CHHNANG – TONLE SAP (B – L – D)

Before the sun peeks over the horizon, the cruiser sets sail towards Kampong Chhnang on the Tonle River – an amazingly narrow river – which glides through leafy swaths of the Southeast Asian jungle. We are greeted by cacophonous children who wave enthusiastically early in the morning when they bring their livestock for a bath in the meandering Tonle River. Then approach Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world” where everything is on stilts balanced on water rich soil– it’s an awesome sight whilst practicing Tai Chi on the deck.


Take a motorboat excursion to the landing, followed by a short bus trip to see the Khmer-styled pottery at the Aundaung Russey village. Then, it is back to the river for an adventurous motorboat excursion to the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region.
Return to the Ship for lunch whilst cruising the narrow and meandering Tonle River for a relaxing afternoon. In the evening, a sumptuous spread will be served. And for the big surprise – bring along your dance shoes and learn to jiggle the Cambodian way with our staff doubling up as dance instructors.

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Day 8

TONLE SAP – SIEM REAP (B)

This great lake dominates Cambodia and is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia with abundant birdlife. This lake is so wide that one cannot see its shores from the middle of the lake.
Enjoy the stillness of the water and the quiet tranquility on the way to Siem Reap. The water level varies a great deal according to the time of the year and the amount of rainfall recorded. Thus, minor changes to the itinerary may occur during different seasons.

The cruise liner comes to an end as we reach Siem Reap - the city of the fabled Angkor temple complex. We bid farewell to the cruise as our journey comes to a close. The Ship will cross the Tonle Lake at dawn and at 9.00h disembark at the Siem Reap Port for an onward coach transfer to the drop off point in town.

Our prices include:

  • All cruises include group shore-excursions
  • Entrance fees, transportation, tour guide services (English speaking), taxes, fuel, river pilots, port dues,
  • Transfers in Saigon and Siem Reap from/to the meeting point to/from embarkation/disembarkation point or vice versa.
  • Food and beverages include full board. Mineral water, coffee/tea (from jug) is included all day. Fresh fruit juices are included in addition during breakfast and afternoon tea.

Our prices do not include:

  • Port tax per passenger of US$65 (levied by Vietnamese Port authorities and port taxes appear on our invoice).
  • Crew gratuities (US$8-US$10 per passenger/day are recommended) and fuel surcharges if any.

Tour info