Welcome to vibrant Vietnam. Enjoy the day at leisure and settle into a two night Special Stay at your iconic hotel in Hanoi. Tonight meet your Scenic Tour Director at your welcome briefing and dinner.
Freechoice: Visit the History Museum and Hoa Lo Prison, or join an authentic cooking class. Alternatively, visit Ho Chi Minh Quarter and Mausoleum, including a visit to the Temple of Literature.On your cyclo ride this afternoon, discover the maze of back streets through the Old Quarter.EnrichAfter attending a customary performance of Hanoi’s famous water puppets, learn the secrets behind this illusionary show thanks to your special backstage pass.
Hanoi > Halong Bay Cruise
Journey to Halong Bay and board the elegant Au Co for an awe-inspiring special two night cruise through the picturesque waters of this spectacular World Heritage-listed icon.
Halong Bay Cruise
Begin the day with a Tai Chi lesson on the Sun Deck. Later, visit Cat Ba Island before cruising deeper into the National Park.
Halong Bay Cruise > Hanoi
Relax during your morning cruising before returning to Hanoi for another Special Stay and a historical tour of the property.Freechoice Dining: Tonight choose to dine at KOTO on Van Mieu, or La Terrace at Sofitel. Alternatively, sample Ly Club.
Hanoi > Hoi An
Fly to Danang and continue to the ancient town of Hoi An where you will enjoy a three night stay at your hotel, which includes a daily 90-minute spa journey as part of your stay.Freechoice Dining: Dine at Cargo Club Restaurant or Little Faifo (formerly known as Ancient Faifo). Alternatively, visit Brother’s Café down along the river.
Step back in time as you take a walking tour of Hoi An’s World Heritage-listed Old Quarter including the Japanese Bridge and central market before stopping at the home of a former merchant to learn all about what life is like in Hoi An.SundownersThis evening relax at a reception in the Blue Bar with included beer and wine.
Freechoice: Visit the ancient temple ruins of My Son. Alternatively, enjoy an interactive cooking class at Red Bridge Restaurant or cycle to a nearby farming village.
Hoi An > Hue
Travel via the breathtaking Hai Van Pass to Hue, the former imperial capital.EnrichDuring an inspiring visit to Duc Son Pagoda, talk with the nuns and learn how they are supporting their orphanage through different initiatives, including the proceeds from your lunch.Learn about the history of Hue via a visit to the Mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc and the grandeur of Hue’s Imperial Citadel.Cruise along the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda before checking into your hotel in Hue, your home for the night.EnrichThis evening’s Royal Dinner is held in a traditional private garden house accompanied by wine and Hue Royal Court music.
Hue > Ho Chi Minh City
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and take lunch at a Pho restaurant to learn all about this famous Vietnamese dish. After arriving at your elegant hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, your Special Stay for the next two nights, take a leisurely guided orientation walk of sites near your hotel.
Ho Chi Minh City
Travel to the Cu Chi Tunnels. After lunch, stop for some bargaining at Ben Thanh Market.Freechoice Dining: Enjoy a Vespa foodie tour of Saigon by night or enjoy a meal in the surroundings of an old French colonial house. Alternatively dine at Restaurant Nineteen, Square One or Di Mai Restaurant.
Ho Chi Minh City > Mekong Cruise
Discover Vietnam’s modern history through a visit to the Reunification Palace and War Museum before lunch. Then travel by coach to My Tho to board the luxurious Scenic Spirit starting with a cocktail reception on the sundeck.
Cai Be > Sa Dec
Freechoice: Board a sampan to visit Cai Be before stopping at local cottage industries and a French colonial or traditional Vietnamese house. Alternatively savour morning tea at a French colonial house or choose to stay on board for your special Freechoice activity.Later, immerse yourself in the historic town of Sa Dec and explore and interact with the sellers in the lively market, then visit the home of Mr Huynh Thuy Le who inspired Marguerite Duras’ novel L’Amant.
Freechoice: Visit the farmers on Evergreen Island and enjoy a ride in a Xe Loi. Alternatively visit the Tay An temple located at the foot of Sam mountain and visit a family-operated fish farm or visit Tra Su Bird Sanctuary.Tonight enjoy a themed evening dinner to say farewell to Vietnam.
Tan Chau > Phnom Penh
Cross the border into Cambodia and sail to the capital city, Phnom Penh.Freechoice: Journey to the Killing Fields and tour Tuol Sleng, or join a hands-on Khmer cooking demonstration. Alternatively, by Tuk Tuk explore Phnom Penh’s colonial buildings, the Central Market and the city’s modern architecture.EnrichArrive in style by Tuk Tuk and immerse yourself in the historically celebrated luxury of Raffles, Hotel Le Royal. Enjoy a guided history tour followed by an indulgent high tea prepared in front of you by the hotel’s chefs, all whilst sipping on your signature cocktail named in honour of Jacqueline Kennedy. Choose to retire to the Elephant Bar for happy hour before returning to the ship viewing the floodlit Independence Monument en-route.
Today marvel at the Royal Palace, with the famous Silver Pagoda within, on your included visit to this must-see attraction.Later sail down the Tonle River and wander through the silversmith village of Kho Chen before continuing your cruise to Kampong Cham via Phnom Penh.
Kampong Tralach > Oudong
In Kampong Tralach, experience an ox cart ride through a local village and fields to Wat Kampong Tralach. Board your coach to the ancient capital of Oudong to visit the impressive pagoda and monastery to observe the lifestyle of the resident monks and nuns.EnrichReceive a blessing from a monk and learn how to pray in a Buddhist pagoda before partaking in a ceremony, which contributes to the daily meal of the resident nuns and monks.
Wat Hanchey > Kampong Cham
Walk (or drive) to the top of Wat Hanchey, an ancient hilltop pagoda and monastery to meet the resident novice monks. Sail downstream to Kampong Cham.Freechoice: Learn about the history behind Phnom Pros (Man Hill) and Wat Nokor. Alternatively explore the ecotourism village of Cheung Kok or visit a rubber plantation factory and beetle nut village.
Mekong Cruise > Siem Reap
Discover the rural side of Cambodia on your drive to Siem Reap with stops at a stone cutters village and a stroll across the ancient Khmer bridge at Kampong Kdei. After lunch in Siem Reap, arrive at your stylish three night Special Stay located in the heart of the town.EnrichTake your Section A Reserved seat at the colourful Cambodian Circus, Phare.
Visit the colossal Angkor Wat before stopping at Angkor Thom and the multi-faced Bayon Temple. Later visit the atmospheric Ta Prohm Temple. Take advantage of your free night to visit the night markets.
EnrichMarvel at sunrise over the magnificent Angkor Wat before moving to a special location for a champagne breakfast with food prepared by an NGO supported local bakery school.Freechoice: Discover Banteay Srei and visit the Landmine Museum or explore Beng Mealea temples and Artisans D’Angkor. Alternatively, cruise on Tonle Sap (seasonal) or take a tethered balloon ride (weather dependent) above Angkor Wat before visiting a Pouk Silk Farm and Handicraft FactoryEnrichBe wowed by a magical themed gala dinner at an Angkor temple, with included free flow drinks and a show featuring Apsara dancers in front of candle lit temple ruins.
Siem Reap > Champasak
Fly to Pakse and discover this quaint city before travelling to the small town of Champasak and your boutique hotel for the next two nights.
Freechoice: Visit a local coffee plantation. Alternatively, explore the neighbouring villages by bicycle, or enjoy a traditional Lao or Thai massage.After lunch drive to visit Wat Phou, a spectacular World Heritage-listed Khmer temple complex.
Champasak > Luang Prabang
Fly to Luang Prabang, the spiritual capital of Laos, for a three night Special Stay.
Partake in morning alms by donating food to the local monks. Later following breakfast, visit the former Royal Palace, Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Mai before cruising to the mysterious Pak Ou caves to see hundreds of centuries-old sacred Buddha images. When returning stop at Ban Xang Hay, a village specialising in tradition rice wine before partaking in the sport of Petanque with the locals.
Freechoice: Journey to the serene Kuang Si Waterfalls or discover different traditional methods of weaving and dyeing textiles. Alternatively set off on a bike ride to discover the backstreets of Luang Prabang.EnrichImmerse yourself in local spirituality during a traditional Baci ceremony, where you will pay respects to ancient animist traditions.Watch the sun set from the top of Mount Phousi or shop in the local night market below before heading to your delicious farewell dinner.
Say farewell to Laos with many wonderful memories of the people and places you have visited.