Safety-briefing, cast off and cruise upstream.
DAY 1: KAMPONG CHAM / EMBARKATION (L / D)
Early this morning, transfer by motor-coach from Siem Reap to Kampong Cham and embark the RV Mekong Princess for lunch. After enjoying the afternoon at leisure, enjoy a Welcome Reception and Cambodian Welcome Dinner on board.
The ship sails to Angkor Ban and docks overnight.
DAY 2: ANGKOR BAN – PHNOM PENH (B / L / D)
We start the day with a visit to the charming and authentic town of Angkor Ban. Here, we witness the daily life of the local people, starting with a visit to the pagoda with a special blessing ceremony for our guests by local monks, then we keep going on visiting to a local family’s home, to meet them and discuss their lifestyle. We continue through the village to the local school where we join the children in their classroom and experience what their typical school day is like. Ship sails to Phnom Penh and docks at the centre port.
This afternoon, local cyclo drivers meet you for an exciting city tour of Phnom Penh. You begin your ride along the riverfront to the Royal Palace, where a leisurely walk takes you through the grounds, with opportunities to visit the Throne Hall and Moonlight Pavilion. Upon crossing into the second section of the complex, you walk amongst enormous stupas and spirit houses, on the way to the famous Silver Pagoda, home of Cambodia’s Emerald Buddha and Maitreya Buddha, encrusted with more than 9,000 diamonds. Following a short break, your cyclos take you to the National Museum. Housing the largest pre-Angkorian and Angkorian holdings in Cambodia, the National Museum ends the morning tour with a comprehensive look at many of the artifacts excavated around the Angkor Archeological Area in Siem Reap, as well as other areas around the former Khmer Empire.
This evening before dinner, enjoying the entertainment onboard with a cultural performance including Apsara, Cambodia’s national dance, as well as several traditional folk dances.
The ship docks in Phnom Penh overnight.
DAY 3: PHNOM PENH (B / L / D)
This morning, private motor-coach take you on a scenic 45-minute drive from the ship, arriving at Choeung Ek, the killing fields depicted in the movie, and the center of the darkest days of Cambodian history. You may walk through the fields, visit the small museum and Memorial Stupa, and learn more about the atrocities committed during the Khmer Rouge regime. On the return drive to Phnom Penh, a stop is made at Tuol Sleng (infamously known as S-21), which was converted by the Khmer Rouge from a large school to a prison and torture headquarters.
The afternoon is free at leisure for your own exploration the charming city of Phnom Penh. The ship docks in Phnom Penh overnight.
ONBOARD ACTIVITY: Lecture of Cambodia’s Geography and Life along the Mekong River by your local Cambodian host.
DAY 4: BORDER CROSSING – HONG NGU – GIENG ISLAND (B / L / D)
This morning we visit the local island village of Hong Ngu, not far from the Vietnam-Cambodia border. Hong Ngu produces a large number of the traditional, Khmer scarves exported to Cambodia. Woven in many homes around the village, here we have the opportunity to see the weaving process under several homes. Some villagers are also embroidery artists, displaying their art in and around the homes. The inhabitants of this area had only encountered one western visitor prior to the arrival of the RV Mekong Princess, they are especially friendly and welcoming. Guests will also visit the local temple dedicated to a unique religion founded in this area of Vietnam, Hoa Hoa.
In the afternoon, we board sampans that will take us into Gieng Island. After a short walk around the local sampan village, where hundreds of sampans are produced daily by local families, we take a canal drive to explore the untouched floating area with duck farms, monkey bridges, and tropical orchards along the riverside. We will try one of most popular local transportation named “xe loi” (motor trishaw) driving through this island to visit a Catholic Church, built around the same time as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon in the 1870s.
The ship sails to Hoa An and anchors overnight.
DAY 5: HOA AN VILLAGE – CAN THO (B / L / D)
This morning, continue excursion by boat to Hoa An village, where is untouched and well-known with flower growing and handmade craft. Our first stop at flower gardens where we will see many different kinds of flowers and learn how to grow and take care of them. Then, a short walking to a local house and chat with the host to see how they live and work in their daily life.
After a short break, continue our excursion on motor cart to another village. We stop by at the conical hat-making and mat weaving families, have memorable time chatting with local family members and learning how to create products though hands-on experience. Enjoy your walk in the peaceful village with rice fields, fruit trees in between visiting few local families.
This afternoon, the ship sails through an area of the Mekong Delta barely touched by tourism to Can Tho city, the capital riverside city of Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Guests will take a short and orientated city tour with visiting to the Zihuang Pagoda (Chua Ong) and enjoying the welcome unicorn dances. Explore yourself on own around the charming city before having dinner onboard. The ship docks in Can Tho overnight.
ONBOARD ACTIVITY: Fruit Carvings & Tropical Fruits Demonstration by our Executive Chef.
DAY 6: CAN THO (B / L / D)
We begin our morning after early breakfast aboard the sampans for a cruise through the fascinating Cai Rang floating market near Can Tho. The sampans will weave in and out of the many boats that sail into the market each morning to sell produce and other items the residents of the Mekong Delta need in their daily lives. As they weave through the market, there will be many opportunities for amazing photographs, while enjoying fresh fruit and the Vietnamese “anti-aging drink,” fresh coconut water. Before returning to the ship for breakfast, we stop at a local noodle factory, where we witness the amazing process of how they are made.
The Princess sails and anchors near Ben Tre.
ONBOARD ACTIVITY: Lecture of Vietnam, the Past & Present by your local Vietnamese host.
DAY 7: BEN TRE – HO CHI MINH CITY (B / L / D)
This morning, sampans take you through a channel lined with mangroves to visit a local coconut candy maker. After watching the candy-making process, walking through the village to visit an orchard where fruits native to Vietnam can be seen in various stages of maturity on the vine. After a fresh fruit tasting, you continue to a pier where you board small, local boats (two guests per boat) for a trip through the narrow creeks lined with Nipah palm before returning to the ship.
The ship sails through the beautiful Bassac River to Ho Chi Minh City, where it docks overnight at Saigon Port.
ONBOARD ACTIVITY: Cooking Class Demonstration by our Executive Chef.
DAY 8: HO CHI MINH CITY – SAIGON PORT / DISEMBARKATION (B)
After breakfast we disembark the RV Mekong Princess in Ho Chi Minh City – Saigon Port and transferred by motor-coach to the Meeting Point, the Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel.
This ship is an all suite ship.
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