From the heights of the Himalayas to the southern coasts of the South China Sea, winding over 2,700 miles, the Mekong is much more than just irrigation for Indochina—everywhere it flows, it fascinates men and shapes their lives. Come take an expedition on this grand and plentiful “water snake,” from Ho Chi Minh City, still largely influenced by the French colonial days, to Phnom Penh, Tonle Sap Lake and the ruins of Angkor, following the footsteps of Henri Mouhot. Our meditative trip takes you along the Mekong River on board a ship combining charm and colonial-style comfort.
Day 1 : HO CHI MINH CITY
Your program will begin according to your time of arrival in Ho Chi Minh City. If your flight arrives between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., your program will include:A tour of the city to see the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Saigon Central Post Office. We’ll have lunch in the city. Next, we’ll head to Cholon, the Chinese-influenced section of the city, to tour its hectic market and the Thien Hau temple. You’ll then be transferred to our ship. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our crew at a welcome cocktail. We'll have dinner and spend the night on the ship, which will remain moored in central Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 2 : HO CHI MINH CITY
We’ll leave by coach for the Cu Chi tunnels, an immense network of underground tunnels that were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War. After lunch, join us for a visit to the Museum of Vietnamese History. We’ll then begin to cruise to the splendid Cho Gao canal. We’ll spend the night on board.
Day 3 : CHAO GAO - MY THO - VINH LONG - CAI BE - SA DEC
During our passage through the Cho Gao Canal, you’ll discover the daily life in Vietnam—organized around fishing, farming, and transport. In My Tho, we'll visit a bee farm and enjoy some honey tea and exotic fruit. We'll then take a ride in small sampans along the canal lined with mangrove palms. After lunch, we’ll visit Vinh Long, located in the middle of the Delta region between two of the Mekong’s distributaries. We’ll discover a brick and pottery factory, a fruit-tree nursery, puffed riced, rice-paper wrappers, and rice alcohol.* We’ll spend the night on board.
Day 4 : SA DEC - CHAU DOC
We’ll enjoy a tour of Sa Dec to discover the local market and visit the former house of Huynh Thuy Le, the man who Marguerite Duras based her book The Lover on. After our excursion, we’ll return on board and cast off as you sit down to lunch. Our ship will begin to cruise to Cambodia. We’ll spend the night on board.
Day 5 : CHAU DOC - PHNOM PENH
After breakfast and our arrival in Chau Doc, we’ll visit a local fish farm, the Ba Chua Xu Temple, and the Tay An Pagoda. We’ll enjoy lunch on board and arrive in Phnom Penh in the evening. We’ll enjoy dinner on board this evening. Set out on a brief tour of the area by "tuk-tuk," the easiest way to get around the city. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Day 6 : PHNOM PENH
We’ll enjoy a tour of the fabulous Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, which is inlaid with more than 5,000 silver tiles. After, join us for a visit to the National Museum of Cambodia. We’ll have lunch in the city. In the afternoon, you can pay a visit to the Tuol Svay Prey School, a former detention, torture, and execution center run by the Khmer Rouge during the civil war. Afterwards, enjoy some free time at the market. We’ll return to the ship and enjoy a performance of classical Khmer dancing and music. We’ll have dinner on board and remain in port overnight. The rest of the evening is yours to do as you please.
Day 7 : KOH CHEN - KAMPONG TRALACH - KAMPONG CHHNANG
Once we arrive in Koh Chen, you can explore this small village where craftspeople specialize in silver and copper work. Enjoy lunch on board. We’ll head to Kampong Tralach to visit the beautiful Vihara at the Wat Kampong Tralach Leu pagoda. To access the pagoda, we need to cross the village of Kampong Tralach in ox carts, moving along a small road that runs perpendicular to the river in the middle of magnificent rice fields. Our ship will remain anchored overnight.
Day 8 : KAMPONG CHHNANG - LAKE TONLE
We’ll visit Kampong Chhnang, one of the largest fishing ports on Tonle Sap Lake. Fish farming is abundant here. The region is also known for its traditional pottery combining ancient knowledge with modern techniques—Chhnang itself means "pot." We'll also enjoy a tasting of regional products. Enjoy lunch on board. We’ll cruise to Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Tonight, we’ll have our final cocktail and dinner on the ship. Our ship will remain anchored overnight.
Day 9 : Siem Reap - Angkor
We’ll spend the morning cruising the river before disembarking and having lunch on shore. After, we'll visit the Angkor Wat temple: the epitome of Khmer architectural art and the most famous and imposing of all the monuments in Angkor. Enjoy a stroll through the Angkor Night Market. Dinner and overnight in hotel (Accommodations will be at either a 4-star or 5-star hotel according to the cruise you choose).
Day 10 : Siem Reap
This morning, we’ll visit the mysterious Beng Mealea temple, whose ruins were once utterly consumed by jungle. The temple was built in the 12th century and used the same floor plan as Angkor Wat. We’ll have lunch in the city. We’ll visit the Senteurs d'Angkor, a local business with a diverse collection of silk and carvings, as well as a superb range of traditional beauty products and spices, all made locally. We’ll also visit a silk farm to learn about the complex process of creating the luxurious fabric. We’ll end the day with Phare, the Cambodian circus, and spend the night at the hotel.
Day 11 : Siem Reap
This morning, we’ll tour Ta Prohm, a Cambodian temple dedicated to the family of Jayavarman VII. We’ll then explore Angkor Thom. Stroll through the grounds of the former Royal Palace and discover the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. Lunch will be served at the hotel.We’ll bid you farewell at approximately 2:00 p.m. Please do not book your flight before 5:00 p.m.