Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Cai Be (L/D)
We gather before noontime at our welcome lounge in Saigon. Lean back with a drink as our staff welcomes you and collects your details for the boarding.
We bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon and travel 70 kilometers south overland to My Tho to embark your luxury floating home for your coming journey along the Might Mekong.
Upon boarding our crew warmly welcomes you and you check in to your prepared staterooms. The ship set sail and your fascinating journey of exploring the Mekong can begin. The lunch buffet is served in the restaurant while the vessel steadily glides upstream to reach the overnight spot. Make yourself familiar with all the ship facilities. Now it is time to become one with one of the largest streams in Asia.
The afternoon allows you pastime at your private balcony or joins our tea time at the open-air bar as the twilight bathes the land of Mekong Delta into a golden haze.
During the time you savor your dinner the ship reaches Cai Be. Cai Be is a charming small town, famous for its Catholic French church and 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 into modern central markets.
We drop anchor mid-stream and overnight near Cai Be.
Cai Be – Sa Dec – Tan Chau (B/L/D)
Every day, we offer to our guests an invigorating Tai Chi class on the sun deck. Set in your day as many local people do around Asia just as the sun begins its gentle glow.
A sumptuous buffet breakfast is a perfect start in your first exploration day in the Mekong Delta.
The morning tour takes you Cai Be. Cai Be still hosts a small floating market for a boat to boat trading of local goods such as fruits and agricultural products. Our guide explains the particularities of this long-lasting dealing culture. Each boat has a special marker to let buyers know what goods they are selling.
Cai Be is a rustic town criss-crossed by and many water canals. We go on-shore to visit a workshop where we learn about and observe how rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies or 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. With our local boat, we continue to cruise through the lush and green canal network and can observe farmers working in the fields.
Back on board lunch is served and you have some time for yourself afterwards to either enjoy a true Vietnamese coffee at the bar or simply watch the life on the riverbanks floating by.
In the afternoon, we reach the area of Sa Dec. We embark on a traditional sampan and tour towards Binh Thanh Island. This island is one of the larger ones in the vast stream of the Mekong. Some communities have settled here and made their living by growing water hyacinths. We visit exclusively 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 ratt making. You can even try yourself the weaving which is still done manually. We will meet also old local people who share with us their story on this island and they are happy for any chit-chat with you.
Back on board you may like to pamper yourself with a spa treatment or take a dip in our pool on the sun deck. Our expert guides offer a presentation on the “Life on the Mekong Delta” as the ship continues sailing to Tan Chau - near the boarder to Cambodia. We moor mid-stream near Tan Chau.
Dinner is served and afterwards you can join our evening cinema session (offered every night) featuring selected classic movies.
Tan Chau – Border Crossing – Phnom Penh (B/L/D)
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the dining hall or in the quiet sanctuary of your balcony.
Brace yourself for a tour around Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced town with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. Once 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 to practice your bargaining skills. We board our local boat and cruise past floating houses and finally reach a floating fish farm. This region is the source of a fish production that is sold all over the world. Here we get a deep insight into how fish farming works.
Back on board our “home” we sail towards the Vietnamese-Cambodian border. Get ready for a fascinating and leisurely cruise through the deep Cambodia countryside towards Phnom Penh.
The whole afternoon is at your own arrangements. This is the cruise part when even the last passenger will turn into cruise mode and hopefully experience the therapeutical influence this mighty river radiates. It is time for massages, time for sun bed relaxations, time for private balcony kick-backs - forsooth the time to merge with the river.
A culinary class if offered during the afternoon to sharpen your knowledge and skills on the local cuisine. Some may like to do a flying visit at the bridge - the captain always has a story to share about “his” river. “The Highway Blues” beckons as we float into a state of mild bliss and before you totally drift away join our afternoon tea for some treats.
Dinner is served before we arrive in the capital of Cambodia in the evening. The boat docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. You are free to go for your first exploration by yourself. Stroll along the river promenade and watch the locals chit-chating, 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)
Phnom Penh (B)
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 to bespeak centuries of incredible history and culture which can still be felt at many street corners.
After breakfast, we bid farewell to our passenger of the Pearl of the Orient Cruise (3-nights).