Day 1 Arrive Bangkok, Thailand
Welcome to Bangkok! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2 Bangkok
This morning, your sightseeing begins with a BOAT RIDE through the klongs, Bangkok’s canals, to see the family homes, temples, and the way of life that give this city the nickname “Venice of the East.” Stop at the stunning GRAND PALACE, featuring the TEMPLE OF THE EMERALD BUDDHA. Also visit the TEMPLE OF THE RECLINING BUDDHA, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. It houses more than 1,000 Buddha images, including the 49-foot-high and 151-foot-long massive Reclining Buddha. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B, L)
Day 3 Bangkok
Enjoy a full day at your leisure.
Day 4 Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia
Today, fly to Siem Reap, your base during your visit to Angkor, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 5 Siem Reap
This morning, start your sightseeing of the TEMPLES OF ANGKOR. 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, enjoy a PRIVATE APSARA DANCE PERFORMANCE, where the ancient Khmer culture is brought to life by talented dancers, singers, and musicians.
Day 6 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 to explore this charming town.
Day 7 Siem Reap (Embarkation)
This morning, transfer to the port and board your river cruise vessel for your CRUISE down the Mekong through Cambodia and Vietnam. This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as you cruise through Tonle Sap (Great Lake). After the rainy season, this massive body of water can cover around 10,000 square miles and provides the perfect breeding ground for fish, which provide food for people living on the lake. This evening, enjoy a welcome reception.
NOTE: During low water conditions, generally mid-December to August, we will not be able to cruise on Tonle Sap. In these cases, we will fly from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh for embarkation. No included sightseeing will be missed. Low water conditions vary from year to year, so this will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.
Day 8 Cruising: Kampong Tralach–Konpong Louang–Phnom Penh
Today, visit Kampong Tralach for an OXCART RIDE past rice paddy fields and the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to MEET WITH A LOCAL FARMER and learn more about his daily life. Lastly, visit the SILVERSMITH VILLAGE of Konpong Louang. Here you will see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art. Then sail to the capital city of Phnom Penh. After lunch, 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.
Day 9 Cruising: Phnom Penh
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 less 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. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore the city. Just before dinner, children from a local orphanage will put on a SHOW featuring local song and dance.
Day 10 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.
Day 11 Cruising: Border Crossing–Long Khong A, Vietnam–Chau Doc
Cross the border this morning into Vietnam. A sampan brings you to the village of LONG KHONG A, 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. After lunch, join a sampan excursion around the town of Chau Doc. Along the way you will see scenes of local life, including traditional Vietnamese floating markets and villages. Learn about some of the different species of fish living in the Mekong and see how traditional fishing nets are thrown at a LOCAL FISH FARM. Then, continue down the backwaters of the river to the religious sites at the base of SAM MOUNTAIN. You will also stop to see a LOCAL MARKET, where shop owners are selling dried goods.
Day 12 Cruising: Sa Dec
This morning, enjoy time at leisure on board the ship as we sail to Sa Dec. In the afternoon, board a sampan and enjoy scenes of daily life along the river. Stop at a BRICK FACTORY to see workers forming the clay bricks that fill the local landscape. Here you will also learn about the importance of the rice husk in fueling the brick kilns. Next, visit the ancient HOUSE OF MR. HUYNH THUY LE, the lover of French novelist Marguerite Duras and inspiration for the film L’Amant (The Lover), directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Afterward, take a walk through the LOCAL MARKET and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce.
Day 13 Cruising: Cai Be
After breakfast, take a sampan cruise through Cai Be Harbor, passing the city’s beautiful French Gothic cathedral. First stop is a local establishment to see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candies are made. Lastly, take a walk through town to visit the beautiful CATHEDRAL. This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as we sail to exciting Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 14 Ho Chi Minh City (Disembarkation)
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. 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.
Day 15 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 remainder of the afternoon at your leisure. This evening, join your traveling companions for a special farewell dinner hosted by your Cruise Director.
Day 16 Ho Chi Minh City
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
Immerse yourself in fascinating cultures and ancient traditions as you embark on an inspiring journey through Bangkok, Cambodia, and Vietnam. 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!
Start in Bangkok for a tour of the stunning Grand Palace and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, home to the 49-foot-high and 151-foot-long massive Reclining Buddha. On to Siem Reap, where you will 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. Then, start your cruise on the Mekong River, the thread that connects the people of Southeast Asia. Visit a colorful local market, a fish farm, and a local establishment to see how rice paper and traditional candy are s 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 Long Khong A and Angkor Ban and an oxcart 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. Finally, in bustling Ho Chi Minh City, your 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.
All of this and more await you on this fabulous journey!
American breakfast daily, 10 lunches, 9 dinners, including a farewell dinner in Ho Chi Minh. While on board the ship, enjoy complimentary wine with dinner and complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer, and local spirits throughout the day.
Included excursions with Certified Local Guide; sightseeing as outlined in the day by-day itinerary; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE.
Deluxe cruise in an outside stateroom with hotel-style beds
Headsets for shore excursions
Complimentary Wi-Fi access
Personalized room options & excursions