Riches of the Mekong 2022 AmaWaterways River Cruise
As seen on Cruising with Jane McDonald on Channel 5
Cruise along the Mekong as you are transported back in time to another era, where the rhythms of the countryside move at a slower pace and allow for fascinating glimpses into a traditional way of life. Experience the lively hustle and bustle of open-air and floating markets, offering exotic produce. Delve into the peaks and valleys of Cambodia’s history in the museums of its beautiful capital, Phnom Penh. Browse the local workshops throughout Vietnam, where exquisite handmade silks, rattan mats, and other crafts make memorable souvenirs. On this transformative journey, the Mekong truly reveals a vibrant world along its shores.
Arrive in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the gateway to Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former capital of the Khmer empire.
Begin your morning exploration of the Angkor temple complex at Angkor Thom, meaning “the great city." This is home to Bayon Temple, best known for its gigantic smiling stone faces, as well as the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. You’ll then visit nearby Ta Prohm, known as the “Kingdom of Trees,” for the way in which the temple stones have become intertwined with thick forest vegetation over the centuries. Afternoon excursions take you to the fascinating jewel in the crown of Angkorian art, Banteay Srei, meaning “Citadel of Women,” as it has been said that the carving is too fine to have been done by the hand of man. Cap this memorable day off with a special “Apsara Dance Show” at your hotel, featuring local Cambodian/Khmer folk dancers.
Discover the heart and soul of Cambodia and the most iconic of all Angkorian Temples, Angkor Wat. This is one of the largest religious monuments ever constructed and a true masterpiece of Khmer architecture built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century to honor the Hindu god, Vishnu.
Transfer via motorcoach to the AmaDara in Kampong Cham for your seven-night cruise. Board a motorcoach to the Twin Mountains, known as Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (male and female mountains). In the annals of Khmer legend, the twin mountains were formed as the result of a competition between the men and women of an ancient Cambodian kingdom to resolve which gender would be responsible for wedding proposals. Later, join fellow guests for an evening Welcome Dinner.
During the morning, go on a walking tour to Angkor Ban, one of the few villages in Cambodia that was not destroyed under the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. Here people still live in their traditional wooden abodes and keep their old cultural traditions alive. Hundreds of wooden houses stand intact on stilts, shaded with banana trees, among the hustle and bustle of the daily agricultural on-going of the local villagers. After visiting here, the ship sails to Oknhatey or “Silk Island,” located on the lush banks of the Mekong River. This island is known for its rich tradition of silk weaving. While here, you’ll visit a local elementary school and observe the traditional silk weaving that have been preserved for centuries. Your ship moors in Oknhatey village.
*Based on seasonality, the port of Angkor Ban may be inaccessible from August - September. During this time, Wat Hanchey will replace Angkor Ban as the port of call.
Your cruise continues to sail to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The morning excursion takes you to Oudong, Cambodia’s former royal capital from the early 17th century until 1866. Today, Oudong is a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians. While here, be treated to a memorable Buddhist Blessing Ceremony at a monastery. After visiting Oudong, be treated to a truly authentic excursion, an oxcart ride through a local village Kampong Tralach. Later in the day, experience Phnom Penh via a tuk tuk ride and be enchanted by the city's French Colonial architecture and tree-lined boulevards set amidst monumental Angkorian architecture. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge.
This morning’s excursion takes you to Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention center (Genocide Museum). Alternatively, you may wish to shop for unique treasures at the bustling yellow-coloured Central Market. After lunch on board, you’ll explore the highlights of the city, followed by a visit to the Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, which has an outstanding collection of Khmer crafts.
Spend the day cruising the Mekong River as your ship crosses the border into Vietnam.
Visit Tan Chau, a small Mekong River town unspoiled by tourism. You will have the opportunity to enjoy an authentic experience via a traditional “xe-loi” (trishaw) ride around the town, with stops at silk-making and rattan mat workshops, followed by a boat ride through the narrow channels of the Mekong River to “Evergreen Island.” Alternatively, take a boat ride to Evergreen Island and return to Tan Chau, where you will visit a rattan mat workshop. Later in the day, cruise to Sa Dec.
Once ashore in Sa Dec, tour the town where French writer Marguerite Duras spent many years in her youth. Visit a colourful local market and the 19th-century house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Duras’ Chinese paramour, on whom her prize-winning novel “The Lover” is said to be based. Later, board a motorcoach for Xeo Quyt, once used as a military base during the French war and now an important ecological site. You will have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper making workshops. In Cai Be, cap the day off with a festive Farewell Dinner on board.
Disembark the AmaDara in My Tho Port and transfer to Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s former capital of Indochina was once known as the “Paris of the Orient,” and today, it is an industrial, cultural and educational hub. Explore such famous landmarks as the former Presidential Palace, the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum before visiting the Ben Thanh Market—one of the oldest and most iconic structures in Ho Chi Minh City.
Visit Cu Chi Tunnels, an immense underground network built during the Vietnam War. Spend your afternoon at leisure exploring more of Ho Chi Minh City.
Bid farewell to Ho Chi Minh City.
Extend Your Cruise
Add 2 nights Hanoi & 1 night Ha Long Bay - Call for details!
Flights are not included in the fares below, please call our team for the latest flight prices and availability
|Date||Twin Balcony (pp)||Flights|
|21 October 2022||£4,399||Included!|
|2 December 2022||£3,919||Included!|
|16 December 2022||£4,369||Included!|
Visas are required for travel to Vietnam and Cambodia. Passengers with a 15-night cruise and land itinerary must obtain a multiple entry visa for Vietnam (as there are two different points of entry into the country) and a single entry visa for Cambodia. For itineraries shorter than 15 nights, please consult with your Embassy or Consulate for more information. Please note that when entering Cambodia by ship, E-Visas are not accepted.
If you are unsure regarding how to obtain a visa or would like more information then please give us a call and one of our river cruising experts will be more than happy to assist.
- Savings of up to £575pp for 7 Night Mekong Cruises
- Non UK transfers
- 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in a twin-balcony stateroom
- 3 nights pre cruise stay in Siem Reap at the Sofitel Angkor (or similar)
- 2 nights post cruise stay in Ho Chi Minh City at the Sofitel Plaza (or similar)
- Immersive excursions and authentic local encounters
- Fine dining with all meals included during your cruise
- Complimentary unlimited wine with lunch and dinner
- Complimentary house-brand spirits, local beer and soft drinks during cruise
- Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
- Welcome and farewell dinner
- Daily entertainment including cultural performances