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Mekong Explorer River Cruise

There can be no tapestry of river life as fascinating and varied as the Mekong River. Indeed there can be no more striking a cultural contrast as that between bustling Vietnam and tranquil Cambodia. We pass from the vibrant French colonial port of Saigon, now called Ho Chi Minh City, through the vast delta so rich in human life and endeavor. We continue to travel along the main channel into the beautiful countryside of Cambodia to Phnom Penh; the historical Cambodian capital. At Siem Reap we suggest you extend your stay and enjoy the stupendous World Heritage monuments of Angkor Wat. Traveling by boat allows us exclusive access to fascinating natural and cultural wonders few travellers have the opportunity to visit; from areas of prolific bird life, to small rice paper and silk making villages and a locally supported orphanage. This deeply tranquil, luxury cruise will take you to the heart of Indochina in absolute comfort and style. Please note that this trip will often run in reverse.

Inclusions

7 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners
expert bilingual ship guide
luxury air conditioned twinshare cabins on main deck (berth in upper deck cabin - supplement applies)
all day tea and coffee
water and soft drinks
sightseeing and entry fees as listed in the itinerary
group shore excursions as listed in the itinerary
Hightlights
Cruise the Mekong River
Visit floating markets
Cham tribal village visit
Experience Khmer culture in Phnom Penh
Sail the Tonle Sap
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
8
Price From
AUD $3,290
Start Location
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
End Location
Vietnam
Age Range
Min :14
Group Size
2 to 16
Tour Style
Original
Tour Themes
Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Mild
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
16 Jun 201823 Jun 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
23 Jun 201830 Jun 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
30 Jun 201807 Jul 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
07 Jul 201814 Jul 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
14 Jul 201821 Jul 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
21 Jul 201828 Jul 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
28 Jul 201804 Aug 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
04 Aug 201811 Aug 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
11 Aug 201818 Aug 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
18 Aug 201825 Aug 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
25 Aug 201801 Sep 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
01 Sep 201808 Sep 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
08 Sep 201815 Sep 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
15 Sep 201822 Sep 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
22 Sep 201829 Sep 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
29 Sep 201806 Oct 2018AvailableAUD $3,290
06 Oct 201813 Oct 2018AvailableAUD $4,370
13 Oct 201820 Oct 2018AvailableAUD $4,370
20 Oct 201827 Oct 2018AvailableAUD $4,370
27 Oct 201803 Nov 2018AvailableAUD $4,370
03 Nov 201810 Nov 2018AvailableAUD $4,370
10 Nov 201817 Nov 2018AvailableAUD $4,370
11 Nov 201818 Nov 2018AvailableAUD $4,370
17 Nov 201824 Nov 2018AvailableAUD $4,370
24 Nov 201801 Dec 2018AvailableAUD $4,370
01 Dec 201808 Dec 2018AvailableAUD $4,370
08 Dec 201815 Dec 2018AvailableAUD $4,370
15 Dec 201822 Dec 2018AvailableAUD $4,370
22 Dec 201829 Dec 2018AvailableAUD $4,370
29 Dec 201805 Jan 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
05 Jan 201912 Jan 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
12 Jan 201919 Jan 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
19 Jan 201926 Jan 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
26 Jan 201902 Feb 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
02 Feb 201909 Feb 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
09 Feb 201916 Feb 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
16 Feb 201923 Feb 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
23 Feb 201902 Mar 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
02 Mar 201909 Mar 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
09 Mar 201916 Mar 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
16 Mar 201923 Mar 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
23 Mar 201930 Mar 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
30 Mar 201906 Apr 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
06 Apr 201913 Apr 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
13 Apr 201920 Apr 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
20 Apr 201927 Apr 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
27 Apr 201904 May 2019AvailableAUD $4,370
04 May 201911 May 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
11 May 201918 May 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
18 May 201925 May 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
25 May 201901 Jun 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
01 Jun 201908 Jun 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
08 Jun 201915 Jun 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
15 Jun 201922 Jun 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
22 Jun 201929 Jun 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
29 Jun 201906 Jul 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
06 Jul 201913 Jul 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
13 Jul 201920 Jul 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
20 Jul 201927 Jul 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
27 Jul 201903 Aug 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
03 Aug 201910 Aug 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
10 Aug 201917 Aug 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
17 Aug 201924 Aug 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
24 Aug 201931 Aug 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
31 Aug 201907 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
07 Sep 201914 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
14 Sep 201921 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
21 Sep 201928 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
28 Sep 201905 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
05 Oct 201912 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
12 Oct 201919 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
19 Oct 201926 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
26 Oct 201902 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
02 Nov 201909 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
09 Nov 201916 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
16 Nov 201923 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
23 Nov 201930 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
30 Nov 201907 Dec 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
07 Dec 201914 Dec 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
14 Dec 201921 Dec 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
21 Dec 201928 Dec 2019AvailableAUD $3,290
28 Dec 201904 Jan 2020AvailableAUD $3,290
ItineraryExpand
Day 1
Registration is at 10:00am at the Intercontinental Asiana Saigon Hotel Purple Jade Bar (Level One) 39 Le Duan, Ben Nghe Ho Chi Minh City, Tel: (+84) 8 3520 9999 Then transfer at 10:30am to the Delta Port of My Tho by coach arriving at 1100 for check in followed by port and immigration formalities. My Tho is the hub of the Delta, but not of great cultural interest, so once on board we set sail at 13:00 and have lunch. In the afternoon we moor near Cai Be and make a fascinating trip by traditional junk to explore evergreen islands and at the former Imperial residence, the An Kiet House. Surviving members of the Kiet family will welcome us with tea and we can wander in the fruit orchards around the house. Overnight moor mid-stream Cai Be.
Day 2
Today a Sampan boat excursion to Sa Dec passing through Vinh Long along canals and backwaters is planned. Passengers will visit Sa Dec and see the local market and the ancient house of Mr Huyn Thuy Le, the 'lover' of Marguerite Duras, a famous French novelist. Sa Dec is said to be the 'little Venice of Asia' and it ds live up to this name with countless canals bustling with water borne craft of every size and description. The market is great - a typical hive of Vietnamese bustle and enterprise.
Day 3
From the main Mekong channel at Tan Chau we travel down the canals and backwaters by local ferry boat. At Chau Doc we transfer to small boats to visit a Cham tribal village. We also visit a cat fish farm. We take a trishaw ride round this fascinating town of fine French-colonial buildings and see its bustling market. Return to the ship by boat for lunch and cast off for the Cambodian border for the usual formalities, which in this part of the world, take time. Evening cruise up the broad Mekong channel, which is an international shipping route. We will moor overnight just downstream from Phnom Penh.
Day 4
The capital of Cambodia retains its French charm. The old colonial architecture makes an attractive backdrop to busy cafes, and the renovated river "corniche" is full of life. The city has several impressive wats, including Wat Ounalom, Wat Phnom and the newly-painted Wat Lang Ka. Pride of place gs to the spectacular Silver Pagoda, one of the few places in Cambodia where artefacts embodying the brilliance and richness of Khmer culture were preserved by the Khmer Rouge. The National Museum is another highlight, with outstanding displays of Khmer crafts. You will be provided with your own private cyclo, a map (with ship contact numbers) and you go off and do your own thing! We have teamed up with a charity 'The Cyclo Centre' who give training, language instruction and welfare assistance to often homeless cyclo drivers. These guys are all great fun and very enthusiastic. An afternoon excursion is arranged to the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge's grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre situated in the suburbs of the city. Phnom Penh has a lively night life, and some passengers choose to dine ashore or try one of the capital's many watering holes; a favourite being the Foreign Correspondents' Club.
Day 5
Early morning departure from Phnom Penh and a stop at the little-known Chong Koh silk weaving village for a morning walk at leisure. We cruise past the Mekong's timeless villages and river life with extensive fishing activities. The scenery is very lovely here, and in the distance, forested hills rise. On the river above Phnom Penh there is little shipping, just real Cambodian life. In the afternoon we stop at Peam Chi Kang village to visit the wat or monastery and school. You are at leisure to explore this peaceful and friendly community. In the wat you may see where the splendid village racing boats are stored.
Day 6
Morning walk at Angkor Ban and after an all day sail through delightful Cambodian countryside we reach charming French colonial town of Kratie in the evening. No other river ships get this high but thanks to our vessels shallow draft we can attempt it.
Day 7
This morning we will venture further upstream to view the dolphin grounds which are situated in a national park. As this is a protected area we cannot take the mother ship so we will travel there by local transport and sampan. These 'Irrawaddy' dolphins are unique to Asian rivers and can be found on the Ganges, Irrawaddy and Mekong. The Irrawaddy dolphin is one of only 3 whale and dolphin species that occupy both fresh and marine waters. We will travel sensitively and are mindful of the need to allow the animals to be undisturbed. Seeing them in their natural habitat really is a very moving sight and not to be missed. We will then return to our vessel and venture downstream once more, where the river winds through jungle, so narrow we feel we can almost reach out and touch the houses and people who come out to cheer our ship on. The afternoon will be spent visiting the very curious Monkey Temple and if time allows, Wat Hanchey and Angkor Ban. Wat Hancheay is a fascinating complex of temples from all periods of Khmer art history. A short climb up the hill from the river bank leads us to a large working monastic complex with a number of contemporary Buddhist structures. To the south are Cham period brick stupas of some note. Also of interest here is an Angkor period temple situated at the foot of the hill 500 meters from our mooring position up the main highway. This temple has been well restored. The monks have started a museum of old Khmer agricultural and domestic implements that can be viewed in a caged hut close to where the main flight of steps opens onto the hill top. In the countryside the eco village of Cheungkok supported by the French-Cambodian NGO AMICA is worth a visit as is the Kampong Cham orphanage, supported by the Pandaw Charity. There is an old French rubber factory across the river from Kampong Cham that some of our more nostalgic French passengers are keen to see. For wifi pop into J's Riverside Caf - J is a friendly American who somehow never went home. We will moor overnight close Kampong Cham. Please note between mid of February and end of March we are expecting low water levels. An alternative itinerary and excursions will apply should we not be able to reach Kratie and the river dolphins; the crew will advise of the details locally should the contingency be required.
Day 8
Following our farewell breakfast on board, we will join our coach for the journey back to Siem Reap. A packed lunch will be provided on the coach and we will stop at Kampong Thom along the way. The journey by coach to Siem Reap takes approximately 5 hours, arriving at the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa (Central Park, Siem Reap Town, Tel: +855 63 760 428) mid-afternoon (approx. 13.30pm) where our trip will conclude. *NB Please note this itinerary also runs in reverse. Please check direction at the time of booking. The reverse itinerary is shown below.