A mysterious body of water. Flowing through six countries in Asia. Giving love and life to millions. Received its fame by the legendary God King of ancient Cambodia, King Jayavarman VII, who linked hands with the waters of the Mekong to build the magnificent Angkor civilization.
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We gather in the morning at our welcome lounge in Siem Reap. Relax with a drink as our staff collects your details for the boarding. We bid farewell to the iconic sights of Angkor and travel a short distance to the pier at the Tonle Sap Lake. By local boat we transfer to our luxurious “home” for the next days. While you check in to your prepared staterooms the ship sets sail and a fascinating journey on the Mighty Mekong begins. Have lunch on board while the vessel gently glides over the Tonle Sap Lake. The lake can only be crossed during high water season (approx. from August to mid-November). Let your soul float and your eyes wander while the boat makes its way across. In the afternoon we serve a High Tea at the bar. Enjoy your cruising day on board, relax on your balcony or relish a spa treatment before dinner. Our expert guide will also give a presentation about the “Geography of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Lake”. The boat moors on the Tonle River. You can join our evening cinema session (offered every night) featuring selected classic movies.
Wake up early to witness the spectacular scenery at the break of dawn. Our morning Tai Chi class offers the perfect start into the day. Afterwards, the breakfast buffet is served in the dining hall. We are at Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world”, where everything is on sticks balanced on water rich soil. It’s perhaps the most fascinating cruising spot in Cambodia. We take a local boat to the shore. By mini buses, we head to a rural village nearby for a walking tour. Our guides introduce us to the village specialities – Khmer style pottery and the making of palm sugar. You should definitely bring some home. Before returning to the boat, we explore the floating villages and wetlands of the region. Back on board, lunch is served while we continue cruising with a languid meander along the Tonle River towards Kampong Tralach. A Monks’ blessing ceremony on board delivers spirits and wishes for health and prosperity for all. Gliding through leafy swaths of this jungle-like landscape we reach Kampong Tralach. Cacophonous children wave enthusiastically while bringing their livestock for a bath in the meandering river. We will stop at the “Green School” which is partly supported by Heritage Line. See all of the river life - which is so different than ours - by a local ox cart ride. Back on board, we sail downstream passing the confluence of the Tonle and Mekong Rivers. The boat cruises overnight while you enjoy dinner in the dining hall.
After a sumptuos breakfast we stay on board to learn more about the education of the young Cambodian generation (NGO project). The children will join us on board, excited to show their skills in music and art. Be sure to be bathed in smiles upon your applause. We leave the boat around 09:30 am to the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). This small complex sits on a hill top right on the shore with breath-taking views over the Mekong. After some refreshment back on the ship, lunch will be served. Our staff is keen on showing you the variety of traditional Khmer fashion in the afternoon. Watch the riverbanks’ life along the Mekong during our High Tea as the ship proceeds to its next stop. We arrive at the Island of Koh Oknha Tey. This spot in the middle of the Mekong owns its fame for manufacturing high class silk products. By tuk tuk we explore the island with its workshops and learn how silk is processed from its source, provided by little silkworms, to a final top quality product made of original Cambodian silk. After some additional cruising time the boat arrives and docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. Feel free to have your first exploration by yourself after dinner. Stroll along the river promenade and watch the locals chit-chatting, selling odds and ends or have a drink in one of the numerous bars (kindly inform our crew once you are leaving the ship on your own).
Welcome to Phnom Penh - the once called Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. It is an amazing town with centuries of incredible history and culture which can still be felt at many street corners. After breakfast we will start with a full sight-seeing tour right after breakfast. By bus we visit the Killing Fields at the outside of the city and afterwards the centrally located prison “S21”. Both historic sites display the sad and cruel chapter of Khmer history when the Khmer Rouge ruled the country with terror and supression. Those places have not changed much since this horrific time back in the early seventies and it can be quite heartbreaking. Alternatively, you can explore the city in the morning by your own before re-joining the group. We take lunch at a fine restaurant in town. Our exploration of Phnom Penh continues on the fascinating cultural heritage of Phnom Penh. The golden edifice of the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda and the exceptional Khmer crafts at the National Museum are our afternoon highlights. The day trip ends with a “cyclo” ride back to the ship through the bustling streets of downtown Phnom Penh. Take some rest in your spacious cabin or join other fellow passengers at the bar for refreshing drinks before our captivating evening activities start. In the early evening a barbecue dinner on the sun deck commences. The dinner is accompanied with an Apsara dance performance. You have to witness the brilliance and richness of this dance along with the soothing sounds of the traditional music. As the evening unwinds, enjoy your supper with a good glass of wine and marvel at the skyline of Phnom Penh, and the calming flow of the Tonle River.
After breakfast we gather at the lounge for a great lecture. After breakfast we will join in a captivating lecture about Cambodian mordern history, held by a professor of the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Definitely a highlights of this cruise receiving knowledge first hand as our lecturer has studied the subject extensively and personally. The whole afternoon is at your own arrangements. From now on, even the last passenger will turn on his cruise mode and hopefully experience the therapeutic influence that this mighty river radiates. It is time for massages, relaxation on the sun bed, and private balcony kick-backs - it’s time to merge with the river. Some may like to visit the bridge as the captain always has a little story to share about “his” river. Float into a state of mild bliss. Before totally drifting away, do not forget lunchtime around noon. A culinary class is offered in the afternoon to sharpen your knowledge and skills on the local cuisine. Before slumbering in a nap, join our High Tea with coffee and snacks if you like to. We reach the border and finally arrive in Vietnam. From here it is just a short distance to Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced border town with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. We moor near the city with views on the riverbanks. Dinner will be served soon and you can join our evening cinema with another selected classic movie afterwards.
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the dining hall or in the quiet privacy of your balcony. Brace yourself for a tour around Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced town near the Cambodian border with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. Once arrived on-shore we hop on “xelois” to explore Tan Chau. A “xeloi” is a local vehicle which is still used as a taxi in this region. We slowly move around the streets to see all the workshops, houses and domiciles. Get to feel the laid- back vibes of this place. We stop at the colorful, local market near one of the town’s temples. This is the best time to interact with the vendors of this friendly town and make your own bargain experience. We board our local boats and cruise along floating houses until we finally reach a floating fish farm. This region is the source of a fish production that is sold all over the world. We get an exclusive insight in how fish farming works. Back on board before lunch is served, you may like to pamper yourself with some spa treatments or take a dip into the pool on the sun deck. Our expert guides offer a presentation on the “Life on the Mekong Delta” as the ship continues to My An Hung near the Sa Dec province. Before we arrive mingle with fellow passengers and share some stories. We will set off for the My An Hung Village. In the village we receive wonderful insights into the private household of a local family. We are allowed to visit their vegetable garden and access the seasonal vegetable fields via crossing a monkey bridge. We are also invited to their house for a Vietnamese tea tasting. Vietnamese tea is often bitter and locals sweeten it with honey. The honey is produced by the family, a true delicacy in this region. We are offered fruits - juicy, fresh, and right from the tree. A local artist group performs a typical traditional dragon dance while we munch on those natural “vitamins bombs”. As the sun sets and the light bathes everything golden, we settle on a riverbank gathering with cocktails to recap the day. Back on the ship we cruise downstream the Mekong. Refresh yourself and get ready for dinner. The ship moors mid-river near Sa Dec.
In the morning we arrive at the island of Binh Thanh. We embark on a local boat and head towards Binh Thanh Island. Binh Thanh is one of the larger islands in the vast stream of the Mekong. Some communities have settled here and make their living by growing water hyazinths. We exclusively visit one of those untouched areas. By wandering through the village we get a deep understanding of the native life. But moreover, we can follow the whole process of their traditional mat making. You can try weaving yourself which is still done manually. We will also meet an old local couple who share their story on this island. They are happy for any chit-chat with you. Back on board lunch is served and you have some time to leasurely spend onboard while we cruise along the Mekong. In the early afternoon we arrive in Cai Be, a charming town which is famous for its Catholic French church and their manufacturing of traditional crafts and food products. The floating market of Cai Be is getting smaller every year, since trading on the water is shifting more and more to the modern central markets. We can still see some boat to boat trading of local goods, such as fruits and agricultural products. Our guide will explain all the particulars of this long lasting trading culture. Each boat has a special marker that lets buyers know what goods they are selling. Afterwards we go on-shore to visit a workshop where we learn how rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies and rice wine is manufactured. Cai Be and its surrounding areas are covered by palm trees and hence the region is also famous for the production of coconut candies. The city is criss-crossed by many water canals. By local boat we will explore the lush and green canal network and observe the farmers working in the fields. As the sun sets, our crew invites you to a farewell event. Before dinner, you can enjoy dances and music together with the crew. The ships moors at My Tho.
Enjoy your last breakfast aboard your floating home. We will disembark the ship after breakfast and take a bus transfer from My Tho to the drop off point in Saigon. It is only around 70 kilometers on the highway. You will arrive in Saigon by mid-morning. We hope you enjoyed this fascinating river cruise, just as our crew does every single time. Moreover, take the enchanting memories and friendships along with you that will linger on with the stories of this amazing river - the Mighty Mekong.