October 921, 2018
Viet Princess Cruises RV Mekong Princess
Exotic. Eye-opening. Extraordinary. Discover the Treasures of the Mekong River, from the elegant Vietnamese capital of Saigon to Cambodia's Phnom Penh, on a ship that embodies the gracious heritage and beauty of Southeast Asia. The opportunity to experience the mighty Mekong from such an intimate and up-close perspective is truly a rare experience even for the most intrepid traveler. We’ve sought to reveal a truly authentic side of the Mekong by including the most fascinating and unique ports of call in areas of the Mekong and Bassac Rivers virtually unknown to tourists.
The intimate and luxurious 12-suite Mekong Princess will welcome you aboard to a never before experienced level of gracious service, personal space, and unparalleled comfort as your floating home for seven captivating nights. With a better than one-to-one, guest-to-staff member ratio, it will redefine every concept of small luxury river cruising.
For the first time in Southeast Asia, a river cruise truly embraces the essence of the destination and incorporates your comfort and well-being throughout the journey.
From our selection of active and culturally-centered included and optional excursions, to our onboard activities such as yoga and meditation, and our state of the art fitness center, you will find a means to reconnect with yourself and this incredible destination.
The sumptuous French Indochine and gourmet Spa Cuisine options, along with an included complimentary spa treatment, together lead you to a path of education, relaxation, and rejuvenation.
Explorers, adventurers, missionaries and emissaries have recorded visits to the Angkor Temples for well over eight hundred years, describing the monumental remnants of what was once a thriving culture that spread from the Mekong Delta to the north of Laos and occupied most of modern day Thailand. This Cambodian empire has left some of the greatest buildings and sandstone carvings depicting the religious figures of Vishnu, Shiva, Uma, Hanuman and their epic deeds one the one hand. Deep in the north west of Cambodia lie the temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm, to name a few. While the Angkor complex is the reason the majority head to Siem Reap, the province also has other attractions such as the temples of Beng Mealea, Bantaey Srei and the ‘holy mountain’ range of Phnom Kulen.
However, Cambodia is much more than the wonders of Angkor. It offers a stunning scenery of beaches and rain forests, and enduring images of everyday life by the shores of the huge internal Tonle Sap Lake that rises and lowers according to the Mekong River’s annual flooding. Visitors will be transported back in time to a land that has been protected from the excesses of modernization.
Cambodia and especially its city of Siem Reap are a fantastic location as they have history, heritage, an abundance of un-touched countryside as well as excellent hotels and leisure facilities.
Vietnam, Cambodia and the Treasures of the Mekong River
All-Gay Cruise Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
Arrive in Saigon, transfer to Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel.
Day 2 - Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
After breakfast, depart for Saigon full day city tour.
Day 3 - Thursday, October 11, 2018
Saigon / Embark Mekong Princess
Make your way to Saigon Port and embark the RV Mekong Princess by noon and begin the journey up the Mekong. Lunch is served during the breathtaking sail out of Saigon. AFter enjoying time to settle into your suites and explore your Mekong River home, a welcome reception and Vietnamese welcome dinner are served this evening.
Day 4 - Friday, October 12, 2018
Ben Tre / Tra On
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 orcard where fruits native to Vietnam ca 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 for a trip through the narrow creeks lined with Nipah palm before returning to the ship. This afternoon, the ship sails thorough an area of the Mekong Delta barely touched by tourism to see Phuoc Hau pagoda and a local handicraft village and families.
Day 5 - Saturday, October 13, 2018
Can Tho / Thot Not
Your sampans return early this morning before breakfast for a cruise through the fascinating Cai Rang floating market near Can Tho. The sampan 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, you will have many opportunities for amazing photographs, while enjoying fresh fruit and the Vietnamese “anti aging drink”, fresh coconut water. After the market visit, a stop is made at a local factory to see the amazing process of making instant noodles. Later this afternoon, your sampans take you to the village of Thot Not, where you transfer to a “Lambro 555” that take you through the village, where you begin to hear the cacophony of a bird sanctuary. After a short walk into the sanctuary, you climb the steps to the viewing platform, and enjoy an incredible view over the treetops and down on the nesting area of a variety of protected birds.
Day 6 - Sunday, October 14, 2018
This morning, your sampans return to take you into Gieng Island. After a short walk around visiting to a local sampan village, where hundreds of sampans are produced daily by local families, we will 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 the most popular local transportation named “xe loi” (motor trishaw) driving through this island to visit a Catholic Church, which was built as old as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon in the 1870s.
Day 7 - Monday, October 15, 2018
Hong Ngu / Border Crossing
Your final Vietnam excursion takes you to 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, you will 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 Mekong Princess, and 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. This afternoon, the Mekong Princess will cross the border into Cambodia and continue up the Mekong River.
Day 8 - Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Phonm Penh, Cambodia
After breakfast this morning, 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. After a return cyclo ride to the ship, you may wish to take some time to have lunch at a local restaurant, walk along the quay, or visit some of Phnom Penh’s famous markets and lovely boutiques.
(B, L, D)
Day 9 - Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Angkor Ban, Cambodia
Today we will visit the charming town of Angkor Ban. Here, you will have a glimpse into the lives of the local people, starting with a visit to a family’s home to see how the locals live, along with an opportunity to meet the family and discuss their lifestyle. Next you will continue through the village to the local school, where you will jin the children in their classroom and experience what their typical school day is like. You will then walk back through the village to the ship, with an opportunity to take photos along the way, including a brief stop a the local monastery complex.
Day 10 - Thursday, October 18, 2018
Kampong Cham / Siem Reap
Following breakfast this morning you say good-bye to the Mekong Princess and her crew, and transfer and overnight at the Belmond La Redience D'Angkor Hotel.
Day 11 - Friday, October 19, 2018
Siem Reap, Cambodia
An elephant ride around the Temple of Bayon is the best way to soak up the atmosphere, under the shade of enormous trees. Witness this temple at the same level as victorious Khmer Generals and King Jayavarman VII centuries before visit the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom – last capital of the Khmers; we begin our visit at the Terrace of the Leper King and Phimeanakas, whose name means “Heavenly Palace”.
Day 12 - Saturday, October 20, 2018
Siem Reap, Cambodia
This morning visit Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world, with a volume of stone equaling that of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt. It is unlike all the other Khmer temples in that it faces west, and is inspired by 12th Century Hinduism. Its symmetrical towers are stylized on the modern Cambodian flag. Conceived by Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat took an estimated 30 years to build. It is generally believed to have been a funeral temple for the king. It has been occupied continuously by Buddhist monks and is well preserved. Intricate bas-reliefs surround Angkor Wat on four sides. Each tells a story. The most celebrated of these is the Churning of the Ocean of Milk, which is located on the east wing.
Day 13 - Sunday, October 21, 2018
Flight Home / Optional Bangkok Extension