Ho Chi Minh - My Tho - Cai Be (L,D)
We gather before noontime at our welcome lounge in Ho Chi Minh. 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 Ho Chi Minh and travel 70 kilometres southwards by land to My Tho where we embark our luxury floating home for the upcoming journey along the Might Mekong.
Upon boarding our crew warmly welcomes you and you check into your prepared staterooms. The ship set sail and your fascinating journey of exploring the Mekong can begin. 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 pass time at your private balcony or join our tea time at the open-air bar as the twilight bathes the land of the Mekong Delta into a golden haze.
During the time you savour your dinner, the ship reaches Cai Be, 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 the modern central markets.
We drop anchor mid-stream and stay overnight near Cai Be.
Cai Be - Sa Dec - Tan Chau (B,L,D)
Every day, we offer an invigorating Tai Chi class on the sun deck to our guests. Start 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 for your first exploration day in the Mekong Delta.
The morning tour takes you to 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 crisscrossed by many water canals. We go on-shore to visit a workshop where we learn about the manufacturing of rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies or rice wine. 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 observe farmers working in the fields.
Back on board, lunch is served. Afterward, you have free time for yourself 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 take a 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 mat making. You can even try the weaving yourself which is still done manually. We will meet also an old local couple who shares their story on the island with us.
Back on board, you may like to pamper yourself with a spa treatment or take a dip into our pool on the sun deck. Our expert guides offer a presentation on the “Life in the Mekong Delta” as the ship continues sailing to Tan Chau, near the border to Cambodia. We moor mid-stream near Tan Chau.
Dinner is served and afterward, you can join our evening cinema session (offered every night) featuring selected movies.
Tan Chau – 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 privacy 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 onboard our “home” we sail towards the Vietnamese-Cambodian border. Get ready for a fascinating and leisurely cruise through the deep Cambodian countryside towards Phnom Penh.
The whole afternoon is at your own arrangements. This is the cruising part when even the last passenger turns on their cruise mode and hopefully experience the therapeutic influence this mighty river radiates. It is time for massages, time for sun bed relaxations, time for private balcony kick-backs - it's the time to merge with the river.
A culinary class is offered during the afternoon to sharpen your knowledge and skills on the local cuisine. Some may like to do a flying visit at the ship's bridge - where the captain is always happy about a little chit-chat. “The Highway Blues” beckons as we float into a state of mild bliss and before you totally drift away join our afternoon high tea for some treats.
Dinner is served before we arrive in Cambodia's capital 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-chatting, selling odds and ends or have a drink in one of the numerous bars (kindly inform our crew when you are leaving the ship on your own).
Phnom Penh (B,L,D)
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 of century-long, incredible history and culture which can still be felt at many street corners.
After breakfast, we bid farewell to our passengers of the Pearl of the Orient Cruise (3-nights). At the same time around 8 o’clock, we welcome our passengers of the Serenity Cruise (4-nights).
We start with a full sight-seeing tour right after breakfast. By bus, we visit the Killing Fields on the outskirts of the city and after 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 suppression. Those places have merely changed much since the horrific time back in the early seventies and so it can be heart-wrenching. There is the alternative to explore the city during the morning individually at your own pace before re-joining the group.
We take lunch in a nice restaurant in town. Our exploration of Phnom Penh focuses afterward 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 the afternoon highlights. The day trip ends with a cycle 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 some refreshing drinks before our capturing evening activities start:
It begins with a variety of cocktails served on the sun deck or at the open bar. We move to the lounge which is set up for a captivating lecture about Cambodian modern history, held by a professor of the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Definitely among the highlights of this cruise to receive knowledge out of first hand as our lecturer knew the former King of Cambodia privately and many other high ranking politicians.
After the lecture, a feast of a barbecue dinner commences on the sun deck. The dinner is accompanied by an Apsara dance performance. You have to witness the brilliance and richness of this dance along with the soothing sounds of 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.
Phnom Penh - Kampong Cham/ Kampong Chhnang (B,L,D)
High Water Cruise Phom Penh - Kampong Cham
We depart before the break of dawn from Phnom Penh towards the small Angkor Ban village on the Mekong River. Wake up to the gentle cruise motion and get ready for breakfast in the dining hall. The Angkor Ban village is famous for its unspoiled community and beautiful, traditional houses. It feels like being transported back a hundred years into an era unaffected by modernity. Villagers characterize an unbridled warmth.
Back on board, our staff is keen to show you a variety of traditional Khmer fashion.
Lunch is served after this performance. We cruise further up the Mekong to visit a local school to understand more about the education of the young Cambodian generation (NGO project). The children here are always excited to show their skills in music and art and will bathe you in smiles upon your applause. We continue to travel by road to the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). This small complex sits on a hilltop right on the shore with breath-taking views on the Mekong. Another temple on the way is the tiny, colorful monastery of Wat Nokor. Here we might get the chance to engage in light banter with some of the monks living in the area.
Relax back on board until dinner is served. The boat moors mid-river near Kampong Cham.
Low Water Cruise Phnom Penh - Kampong Chhnang
Before the sun peeks over the horizon, the cruiser sets sail towards Kampong Tralach on the Tonle River – an amazingly narrow river. Gently gliding through leafy swaths of this jungle-like landscape we reach Kampong Tralach. Breakfast is served before we anchor and get ready for our first Tonle discovery. We will stop at the “Green School” which is partly supported by Heritage Line. See all the river life, which is so different than ours - by a local ox cart ride. Back on board, our staff is keen on showing you a variety of traditional Khmer fashion. Lunch is served afterward. The ship cruises along the narrow Tonle River towards Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world”, where everything is on sticks and balanced on water-rich soil. Then we take minibusses to a rural village nearby for a walking tour. Our guides introduce you to the village specialties – Khmer style pottery
and the making of palm sugar. Before returning to the boat we explore the floating villages and wetlands of the region. Relax back on board until dinner is served. The boat moors mid-river in the Tonle area.
Kampong Cham - Kampong Chhnang - Tonle Sap - Kampong Cham (B,L,D)
High Water Cruise Kampong Cham - Kampong Chhnang
We sail downstream on the Mekong and stop at the Island of Koh Oknha Tey. This spot in the middle of the Mekong owns its fame for the manufacturing of 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.
Before lunch, our expert guides offer a presentation about “Geography of the Mekong and Tonle Sap”. Afterwards, a Monks’ blessing ceremony on board delivers spirits and wishes for our health and prosperity for all.
The ship continues its journey, passing by the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Rivers towards Kampong Tralach. We will stop at the “Green School” which is partly supported by Heritage Line. See all this life, which is so different than ours - by a local ox cart ride. The boat finds its anchor spot in the Tonle River near Kampong Chhnang allowing you to observe the close-by river life until dinner is served in the dining hall.
Low Water Cruise Tonle river - Kampong Cham
In the early morning during breakfast, we sail from the lower Tonle River towards the Mekong passing their confluence at Phnom Penh. We arrive at the island of Koh Oknha Tey. This spot in the middle of the Mekong owns its fame for the Day 6 Kampong Cham - Kampong Chhnang/ Tonle river - Kampong Cham manufacturing of 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. Before lunch, our expert guides offer a presentation about “Geography of the Mekong and Tonle Sap”.
Afterwards, a Monks’ blessing ceremony on board delivers spirits and wishes for our health and prosperity for all.
The ship sails towards the small Angkor Ban village up in the Mekong River. The Angkor Ban village is famous for its unspoiled community and beautiful, traditional houses. It feels like being transported back a hundred years ago into an era unaffected by modernity. Villagers are characterized by their unbridled warmth. We continue cruising for a while until dinner is served. The boat finds its overnight spot at the riverbank of Kampong Cham
Kampong Chhnang - Tonle Sap Lake/ Kampong Cham (B,L,D)
High Water Cruise Kampong Chhnang - Tonle lake
Our morning Tai Chi class has the perfect scenery today.
Breakfast is served in the dining hall. We are now at Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world”, where everything is on sticks balanced on water-rich soil. This is perhaps the most fascinating cruising spot in Cambodia.
We take a local boat to the shore. With minibusses, we head to a rural village nearby for a walking tour. Our guides introduce you to the village specialties – Khmer style pottery and the making of palm sugar. Before returning to the boat we explore the local floating villages and wetlands of the region.
Back onboard lunch is served as your floating sanctuary cruises gently along the narrow Tonle River, towards the Great Tonle Sap Lake. The river opens up to a vast “sea”, the biggest freshwater lake in Asia. This lake can only be crossed during high water season (approx. from end-July to mid-November). Let your soul float and your eyes wander while the boat makes its way towards Siem Reap. In the afternoon we serve a High Tea at the bar and as the sun sets, our crew invites you to their farewell event. Enjoy some dancing and music together with the crew before dinner is served. The boat moors mid-lake near Siem Reap.
Low Water Cruise Kampong Cham
After breakfast by bus, we visit the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey, built in the 7th century. This small complex sits on a hilltop right on the shore with breathtaking views over the Mekong. We return to the ship for lunch and some relaxation. In the afternoon we head to the tiny, colorful monastery of Wat Nokor. Here we might get the chance to engage in light banter with some of the monks living in the area. As it is a low water season we are able to see a bamboo bridge that connects the mainland with the island. We continue our journey and visit a local school to understand more about the education of the young Cambodian generation (NGO project). The children here are always excited to show their skills in music and art and will bathe you in smiles upon your applause. As the sun sets, our crew invites for a farewell event. Enjoy some dancing and music together with the crew before dinner is served. The boat moors at the riverbank of Kampong Cham.
Tonle Sap - Siem Reap/ Kampong Cham - Siem Reap (B,L,D)
High Water Cruise Tonle Sap - Siem Reap
The Tonle Sap (The Great Lake) is the flowing heart of Cambodia, giving love and life to millions of people. It has more fish than any other lake in the world and is home to an incredible variety of birds, including rare and endangered feathered life. Our Heritage Line cruise comes to an end.
We prepare to disembark the ship and take a local boat to the shore, passing a vast floating community. Around nine o’clock, we arrive at the Siem Reap pier and bring you to the drop off point in the city center. We hope that you enjoyed this fascinating river just as our crew does every single time.
Low Water Cruise Kampong Cham - Siem Reap
Enjoy your last breakfast onboard our floating sanctuary. We disembark the ship for a transfer by bus
to the drop off point in Siem Reap. The transfer takes about 4.5 hours. Snacks are provided during the trip. You will arrive in Siem Reap in the early afternoon. We hope that you enjoyed this fascinating river just as our crew does every single time.