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Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong with Hanoi, Ha Long Bay & Luang Prabang (Northbound)

20 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Save $2,000 to $3,000 per couple off 2017 Mekong cruises. Expires June 6. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay no single supplement in certain cabin categories on select Southeast Asia river cruises. Expires June 6. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Avalon Journeys Club members save 5% off the cruise/land price. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam
Welcome to Vietnam! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
 
Day 2 Hanoi
This morning, take time to look at the life of Ho Chi Minh, the father of modern Vietnam. First, visit the MAUSOLEUM and the humble cottage from which “Uncle Ho” ruled Vietnam until his death in 1969. Next on the agenda: ONE PILLAR PAGODA, the HO CHI MINH MUSEUM, and the Presidential Palace. Stop at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” before continuing to mystical Hoan Kiem Lake, where you will enjoy a brief guided walk. Also visit the ancient TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, over 900 years old and Hanoi’s first university. Lunch is at KOTO, a non-profit restaurant and hospitality program that trains local street children in restaurant skills they can use to find a job and build a stable life. After lunch, enjoy a CYCLO ride through the fascinating Old Quarter, 36 ancient streets where peddlers trade as they have for centuries. An early dinner this evening is followed by a fascinating performance of Hanoi’s renowned WATER PUPPETS, a traditional art form dating back to the 11th century. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 3 Hanoi–Ha Long Bay
Travel from Hanoi through the fertile countryside to Hon Gai, gateway to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, the Bay is dotted with over 3,000 limestone islands carved into fanciful shapes by the action of the water. Tunnels, caves, and weirdly shaped outcroppings with imaginative names can be found on many of the small islets sprinkled across the bay. Board a CRUISE that explores the caves, and admire the beauty and scale before stopping at one of the many secluded bays. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 4 Ha Long Bay–Hanoi–Ho Chi Minh City
This morning, drive to Hanoi and board your flight for Ho Chi Minh City. (Breakfast)
 
Day 5 Ho Chi Minh City
This morning, enjoy a WALKING TOUR of the city’s famous and historic landmarks as you stroll through the heart of the city along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) past Ho Chi Minh Square, the Municipal Theatre, the Central Post Office, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Stop at the Rex Hotel for a refreshing DRINK at the popular ROOFTOP BAR where the U.S. Military held the infamous “Five O’Clock Follies” during the war. Next, visit the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM followed by BEN THANH MARKET, the largest and oldest in the city. For lunch, participate in a hands-on VIETNAMESE COOKING CLASS. Head into the classroom and learn how to prepare different local dishes and the techniques necessary to recreate them once you return home. Last but not least, sample your delicious creations! The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this lively city. Tonight, enjoy a special welcome dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 6 Ho Chi Minh City. Excursion To Cu Chi Tunnels
This morning, leave the city and drive through vast expanses of rice paddies to visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles in length that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during the war. Here you will learn about how the tunnels were constructed and have a chance to walk through a section to experience what life would have been like underground. Return to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening at your leisure. Maybe stop at the famous Rex Hotel for a drink and sweeping views of the city. (Breakfast)
 
Day 7 Ho Chi Minh City (Embarkation)
This morning, transfer to the port on the Saigon River and board your river cruise vessel to start your CRUISE up the Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia. Get acquainted with the ship and relax before your welcome reception this evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 8 Cruising: Cai Be–Cu Lao Gieng
This morning, board a sampan for a scenic cruise through Cai Be Harbor. Visit a LOCAL WORKSHOP to see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candies are made. Then, take a WALKING TOUR through town to see the local homes and manicured gardens. After lunch on the ship, enjoy scenes of daily life along the river near Cu Lao Gieng via sampan. Stop at a LOCAL HOME, where a skilled family works together to hand-craft sampans for a living. Then, ride a specially designed MOTOR CART to one of Vietnam’s oldest churches for a special INTERACTION WITH A CATHOLIC PRIEST. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 9 Cruising: Chau Doc–Cambodian Border Crossing
After breakfast, walk through the LOCAL MARKET and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce. Then join a sampan excursion down the backwaters of the Mekong to the religious sites at the base of SAM MOUNTAIN. Along the way, see traditional floating homes, speedboat merchants, a market selling dried goods, and more. Return to the ship for lunch and head for the Cambodian border. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 10 Cruising: Phnom Penh
The capital city of Phnom Penh retains its French charm to this day. This morning, your sightseeing tour by private cyclo includes visits to the ROYAL PALACE with the spectacular SILVER PAGODA and the NATIONAL MUSEUM, featuring an outstanding display of Khmer artifacts. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to enjoy the city. Just before dinner, children from a local orphanage will put on a SHOW featuring local song and dance. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 11 Cruising: Phnom Penh–Prek Bang Kong
Sightseeing this morning provides a glimpse of the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime. Visit the TUOL SLENG GENOCIDE MUSEUM, a former high school that housed over 17,000 prisoners. Of this number, it is believed that fewer than 15 survived the torture and avoided being sent to the Killing Fields. You will also visit one of the KILLING FIELDS, where over 200,000 people were killed by the Khmer Rouge. After lunch, visit the village of PREK BANG KONG, where silk weaving is a well-preserved tradition. Spend time at one house for a SILK WEAVING DEMONSTRATION and to learn more about how silk is produced. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 12 Cruising: Wat Hanchey–Angkor Ban
This morning, visit WAT HANCHEY, a temple dating back to the 8th century and the Chenla Empire. Located on a hilltop, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area and partake in a TRADITIONAL WATER BLESSING given by local monks. After lunch, enjoy a WALKING TOUR through the rural village of Angkor Ban. Here you will see traditional Khmer houses and visit a LOCAL SCHOOL. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 13 Cruising: Konpong Louang–Kampong Tralach
Today, start your sightseeing at the SILVERMITH VILLAGE of Konpong Louang. Here you will see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art. Continue on to Kampong Tralach for an OX CART RIDE past rice paddy fields and the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to MEET A LOCAL FARMER and learn about his daily life. Return to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, cruise up the Tonle River to Tonle Sap (Great Lake). After the rainy season, this massive body of water can cover around 10,000 square miles and is the perfect breeding ground for fish, which play a vital role in providing food for people living on the lake. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 14 Cruising: Siem Reap (Disembarkation)
This morning, arrive in Siem Reap and start your sightseeing of the TEMPLES OF ANGKOR, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth! Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the temples were built around the Khmer interpretations of Indian religious and political beliefs that ultimately evolved from Hinduism to Buddhism. The complex architectural grandeur of the Angkor temples is arguably unmatched among ancient ruins anywhere in the world. First, visit the best preserved and most famous of all the temples: ANGKOR WAT, honoring the Hindu god Vishnu. Featuring five trademark towers and stunning bas reliefs, it has become a symbol of Cambodia. Then, visit BANTEAY SREI, a unique temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Unlike other temples, it is built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. This evening is at leisure to explore charming Siem Reap—or stay to witness sunset at Angkor Wat!  (Breakfast, Lunch)
 
Day 15 Siem Reap
Today, continue your sightseeing of the Angkor temples by tuk-tuk. Start at ANGKOR THOM where you will explore BAYON TEMPLE. One of the few Buddhist temples in Angkor, it features some 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas reliefs. Next stop is TA PROHM, which, unlike the other temples, has been left relatively untouched. Tree roots grow over and through the ruin walls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it. Lastly, stop at LES ARTISANS D’ANGKOR, a development project teaching young adults traditional handicraft techniques. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. This evening, enjoy a PRIVATE APSARA DANCE PERFORMANCE, where the ancient Khmer culture is brought to life by talented dancers, singers, and musicians. (Breakfast, Dinner)
 
Day 16 Siem Reap–Luang Prabang, Laos
Today, fly to Luang Prabang. (Breakfast)
 
Day 17 Luang Prabang
Today, enjoy a full day of sightseeing in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin your morning by witnessing the Tak Bat (almsgiving ceremony), with a visit to a local market. Each morning before dawn, Buddhist monks don their distinctive saffron-colored robes and walk through the streets to collect alms (offerings of food). This is a truly memorable sight you will not soon forget as you personally present alms to the monks and receive their blessings. Afterward, walk through the colorful morning market on the banks of the Mekong River in the center of town and watch as locals buy and sell their produce and meats. Then visit the NATIONAL MUSEUM, formerly the Royal Palace. Nearby is WAT MAI, famous for its 5-tiered roof built in the traditional style of Luang Prabang. You will also visit WAT VISOUN and WAT XIENG THONG, often thought to be the most beautiful wat, or monastery, in the city. This afternoon, visit the village of BAN XANG KHONG. Here you will witness a WEAVING DEMONSTRATION and learn about how sa paper is made by hand from the pulp of mulberry trees. (Breakfast)
 
Day 18 Luang Prabang
Enjoy a full-day at your leisure. (Breakfast)
 
Day 19 Luang Prabang–Bangkok, Thailand
Today, transfer to the airport and fly to Bangkok. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. (Breakfast)
 
Day 20 Bangkok
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Cruise: deluxe 7-night cruise from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap in a Panorama Suite with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection BedsSM. Enjoy an intimate river cruise experience with a maximum of 36 guests on board.
  • Hanoi: visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Museum, and Temple of Literature; lunch at Koto; take a cyclo ride through the Old Quarter; water puppets performance
  • Hanoi–Ha Long Bay: cruise on Ha Long Bay
  • Ha Long Bay–Ho Chi Minh City: fly to Ho Chi Minh City
  • Ho Chi Minh City: walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit the famous Rex Hotel for a drink, War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market; cooking class
  • Ho Chi Minh City: Cu Chi Tunnels excursion
  • Ho Chi Minh City (Embarkation): onboard welcome reception
  • Cai Be–Cu Lao Gieng: visit a cathedral and see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candy are made in Cai Be; visit a sampan-making family and interact with a Catholic priest in Cu Lao Gieng
  • Chau Doc–Cambodian Border Crossing: visit a local market and the religious sites at Sam Mountain
  • Phnom Penh: sightseeing by private cyclo including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum; afternoon at leisure; show by children from a local orphanage
  • Phnom Penh–Prek Bang Kong: visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and one of the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh; walking tour through Prek Bang Kong village with silk-weaving demonstration
  • Wat Hanchey–Angkor Ban: visit Wat Hanchey and partake in a traditional water blessing by local monks; walking tour through Angkor Ban village with school visit
  • Konpong Louang–Kampong Tralach: visit the silversmith village of Konpong Louang; ox cart ride through the countryside and visit a local farmer’s home in Kampong Tralach
  • Siem Reap (Disembarkation): visit Angkor Wat & Banteay Srei
  • Siem Reap: visit Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm, and Les Artisans d’Angkor; Apsara dance performance
  • Siem Reap-Luang Prabang: fly to Luang Prabang; time at leisure
  • Luang Prabang: participate in morning almsgiving ceremony; visit the morning market, National Museum, Wat Mai, Wat Visoun, Wat Xieng Thong, and Ban Xang Khong; weaving and sa paper-making demonstrations
  • Luang Prabang: full day at leisure
  • Special experiences by local entertainers, artisans, and experts, designed to enrich your cruise.
  • Vietnamese cooking class
  • Dance show by children from a local orphanage
  • Traditional water blessing by monk
  • Visit a local farmer’s home and learn about his daily life
  • Private Apsara dance performance
All This Included
Immerse yourself in fascinating cultures and ancient traditions as you embark on an inspiring journey through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Along the way, learn more about the history of each country, marvel at spectacular scenery, and interact with the friendly locals. This is a journey that will create memories you won’t soon forget!

Begin in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam. Ride a cyclo through the city, explore Hanoi’s fascinating Old Quarter on a walking tour, see a water puppet performance, and take a trip through the countryside to stunning Ha Long Bay for a cruise through the 3,000 limestone islands. Next, visit bustling Ho Chi Minh City, home to 7.5 million people. Sightseeing includes the Cu Chi Tunnels—a vast network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong. You will also partake in a walking tour of the city’s landmarks and a hands-on Vietnamese cooking class. Then, start your cruise on the Mekong River, the thread that connects the people of Southeast Asia. Visit a colorful local market, a sampan builder, and a local establishment to see how rice wine and traditional candy are made. In Phnom Penh, take a tour of the city by private cyclo, with visits to the National Museum and the Royal Palace with the stunning Silver Pagoda. Walking tours through the rural villages of Prek Bang Kong and Angkor Ban and an ox cart ride through the countryside at Kampong Tralach will grant you a memorable inside look at life along the river and interactions with the local people. In Siem Reap, visit the spectacular Angkor temple complex, whose architectural grandeur is arguably unmatched among the world’s ancient ruins. See several of the temples, including spectacular Angkor Wat and the mesmerizing faces of Bayon. Here you will also enjoy a private Apsara dance performance and will visit a development project teaching young adults traditional handicraft techniques. Finally, in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visit several prominent temples and a local village to see a weaving demonstration and learn how sa paper is made from the pulp of mulberry trees.

All of this and more await you on this fabulous journey!
  • Deluxe 7-night cruise from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap in an outside suite with Avalon’s exclusive Comfort Collection Beds
  • Intimate cruise experience with maximum capacity of 36 people
  • Unique cultural activities & interactions with locals
  • More cruising! Avalon has eliminated 7 hours of motorcoach travel time*
  • Expert Local Guide with all excursions
  • Headsets for all guided shore excursions
  • Bottled water on all excursions
  • Fresh fruit & tea after all ship excursions
  • Complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and local beer/spirits throughout the day at the bar
  • Complimentary wine, local beer/spirits, soft drinks, coffee & tea at dinner
  • Bar serving premium spirits
  • Daily early riser coffee & tea
  • Full buffet breakfast
  • Nightly option of entree
  • Complimentary local beer/spirits, soft drinks and coffee & tea at lunch
  • English-speaking crew
  • Non-smoking interior
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium mattress covers
  • Large private bathrooms featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer, and premium bath amenities
  • Spacious closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • And, much more.
Accommodations on this Tour
Hanoi: InterContinental Westlake 
Ha Long Bay: Novotel Ha Long Bay
Ho Chi Minh City: InterContinental Asiana Saigon
Cruising: Cabin onboard Avalon Siem Reap
Siem Reap: Park Hyatt Siem Reap
Luang Prabang: Maison Souvannaphoum 
Bangkok: InterContinental Bangkok
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra Nights per person in Hanoi: 
in single room $242; in twin room $127

Extra Nights per person in Bangkok: 
January-December 18, 2017-January 3, 2018: in single room $267; in twin room $139
December 19, 2017-January 3, 2018: in single room $317; in twin room $165
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades available.
  • Port charges of $85 are not included.
  • Triple accommodations not available.
  • The climb to Wat Hanchey features a steep incline. If you feel you are unable to make the climb, you will be driven to the top by car.
  • During low water conditions, generally mid-December to August, we will not be able to sail across Tonle Sap and will fly from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. No sightseeing will be missed. Low water conditions vary from year to year, so this will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.
  • Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Avalon Waterways, not included in pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only, starting at $794. Required intra-vacation air segment: Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City; Siem Reap/Luang Prabang; Luang Prabang/Bangkok. Air prices were effective on April 6, 2016 and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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