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Expedition Cruise – Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City

Expedition Cruise – Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City

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Description

Embark on a cultural odyssey of a lifetime on a luxury Mekong river cruise

This classic Mekong river cruise itinerary places you in the footsteps of the legendary King Jayavarman VII, who sailed the Mekong in the late 12th century to build the grand Khmer empire. Aboard the luxury Aqua Mekong, the whole narrative of the region’s mysteries and wonders unravel before your eyes. Follow our expert English-speaking guides and discover magnificent carved temples, lush landscapes and rural villages where culture and craft flourishes — leaving no stone unturned.

Trip Name
Expedition Cruise - Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City
Days
8
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury River Expedition Length: 62.4 meters / 204 feet Passenger Capacity: 40 Year Built: 2014 Spacious and indulgent, yet intimate enough to feel entirely exclusive, the Aqua Mekong incorporates relaxed yet refined lounging and dining areas and can accommodate a maximum of 40 guests plus crew. Modern navigation technologies and the highest cruise ship standards as well as our experienced river pilot and crew ensure smooth travel and safety on the water. The Aqua Mekong has 20 air conditioned Design Suites, each one a generous 30 square meters (320 square feet), eight with balconies and all created entirely of local materials with the relaxed sophistication and contemporary comforts of a five star resort. Floor to ceiling panoramic windows allow guests to gaze upon the Mekong from the pillow top California king size bed that can be converted upon request into two full twin beds. More captivating views await on the plush, roomy daybed placed by the window wall or for our eight balcony accommodations, outside along with a romantic table for two. Those who wish to keep up on the world beyond these enthralling riverbanks will appreciate the flat screen television and complementary high speed wireless internet. Sunlit indoors and out, the top level Observation Deck aboard the Aqua Mekong has been designed to seamlessly connect guests with the constantly shifting landscape of floating Vietnamese villages, French colonial church spires and gilded Buddhist stupas along this mighty river, always in the utmost comfort. Whether one chooses to relax in the air conditioned Indoor Lounge, go horizontal under the sun outside at the ship’s Outdoor Lounge area or cool off with a plunge in the shimmering pool at the bow side, the Observation Deck ensures that the river always remains in full view. Guests gravitate to the Indoor Lounge in the mornings for cà phê đá, Vietnamese coffee poured over ice with sweet condensed milk, between excursions to swap travelers tales and for daily lectures from the expert local guides.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 – Friday Cambodia Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Our crew warmly welcomes you aboard the Aqua Mekong with our special refreshers, such as the salted watermelon crush with Thai basil. Together we celebrate our journey towards the heart of the Mekong river with the Khmer Apsara dance performance, a famous centuries-old tradition that is memorialized on the temple walls of Angkor Wat.
Day 2 - Day 2 – Saturday Cambodia Tonle Sap River – Koh Chen (Cambodia) – Kampong Prasat (Cambodia)
In the silversmith village of Koh Chen, witness artisans produce magnificent royal Khmer silverware. Keep an eye out for their famous silver bowls, regularly chosen by Cambodia’s king as gifts for visiting dignitaries. Continuing onwards to Udong, the royal capital from the 17th to 19th century, learn about the life of Buddhist monks and interact with them at the Vipassana Dhura Mandala meditation center. In the afternoon, a walking tour of Kampong Prasat offers an intimate look at local ways of life and their riverside habitat.
Day 3 - Day 3 – Sunday Cambodia Tonle Sap River – Kampong Chhnang (Cambodia) – Kampong Tralach (Cambodia)
As the sun rises on the lush countryside, we head to the residence of traditional potters and palm sugar producers, whose age-old techniques are still valuable today. On a bicycle or chauffeured tuk-tuk, head into the rice paddies to watch wizened masters scale sky-high sugar palm trees to harvest their fruit. towering over us. Cruise across the glassy water and disembark among the lotuses for an ox-cart ride along the Tonle Sap riverbanks, past lacquered wooden houses where during these dry months residents take refuge in the relative cool of these impromptu outdoor living rooms.
Day 4 - Day 4 – Monday Cambodia Mekong River – Koh Oknha Tey (Cambodia) – Preah Prosop (Cambodia)
Sail into the legendary land of the glittering former Khmer empire. At Koh Oknha Tey, watch how Khmer artisans dye and weave krama, a silk scarf loved by locals and a treasured cultural asset that dates back from the Angkor period. Then, cycle the idyllic riverbank past Buddhist temples and traditional thatched and stilted homes and see farmers with white Brahman oxen working the rice fields. After lunch, board Aqua Mekong’s private fleet of launch boats and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes and home to a startlingly colourful Buddhist temple.
Day 5 - Day 5 – Tuesday Cambodia Mekong River – Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Experience the vibrancy of the Cambodian capital on a motorized tuk-tuk and tour the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. Guests may also visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum or shopping at Russian Market before disembarkation.
Day 6 - Day 6 – Wednesday Vietnam Mekong River – Ka’om Samnor-Vinh Xuong Border Crossing – Chau Doc (Vietnam) – My An Hung (Vietnam)
Say ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’ while we cross the border and sail towards Tan Chau, a vibrant border town. Take the local rickshaw (xe loi) for a trip around town, or pedal 18 kilometers on a top-of-the-line mountain bike on the peaceful island of Long Khanh. In the afternoon, stroll through the verdant plantations in the Mekong Delta village of My An Hung, visiting a local’s home to savor local fruits, listen to traditional folk song performances by villagers and participate in a unique unicorn dance. A biking option is also available for those who wish to explore the idyllic countryside on wheels.
Day 7 - Day 7 – Thursday Vietnam Mekong River – Binh Thanh/Sa Dec (Vietnam) – Cai Be (Vietnam)
Begin the day learning about traditional mat weaving at Binh Thanh village or visit Sa Dec’s vibrant market and the beautifully-preserved home of Marguerite Duras’ legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le. We continue downstream for Cai Be, sailing in a traditional sampan past lone fishermen on their long tail boats. Later in Cai Be, walk or cycle among high-roofed open courtyard houses that date back more than 100 years, before arriving at one such house invited by a gracious local resident.
Day 8 - Day 8 – Friday Vietnam Mekong River – My Tho (Vietnam) – Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
Enroute to My Tho port for disembarkation, visit Vinh Trang Pagoda, one of the largest Mahayana Buddhist temple in the region. Admire the temple’s eclectic architectural style and see three large Buddha statues plus an impressive collection of bonsai trees.
Day 9 - Please Note:
All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions.

Trip Dates

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Inclusions

    • Tonle Sap. Home to the UNESCO-listed Angkor Wat temple complex at Siem Reap, Cambodia is a treasure trove of cultural relics from the Khmer empire. Today, intriguing remnants of Khmer culture exist alongside ethnic tribal traditions — with stunning green hills and sprawling rice fields as backdrop.
    • Culture. Peace and prosperity in the life-giving cradle of the the Mekong basin has led to a distinctive culture and many artforms that continue to flourish today.
    • Active Excursions. The Aqua Mekong offers excursion and activity options that run concurrently, so guests get to choose between an active outing or a more laid-back option according to their preferences.
    • Expert Guides and Crew. Our full-time, English-speaking guides grew up along the Mekong river and know its stories by heart. They’ve also built a solid rapport with local communities, which makes excursions pleasant, seamless and immensely insightful.
    • Luxury. As the premier river cruise line sailing the Mekong river, Aqua Expeditions is committed to delivering best-in-class personalized luxury hospitality on the 20-suite Aqua Mekong.

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