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AmaWaterways Charms of the Mekong River Cruise

AmaWaterways Charms of the Mekong River Cruise

Come alive in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as the “Pearl of the Orient,” where old and new converge to kick off an incredible journey through Vietnam and Cambodia on AmaWaterways‘ Charms of the Mekong river cruise.

Whilst you can choose this cruise as a 7-night holiday, we highly recommend adding the full land package for an in-depth exploration  –

⦿ 2-Night stay in Ho Chi Minh City
⦿ 7-Night all-inclusive Mekong Cruise
⦿ 2-Night stay in Siem Reap
⦿ 2-Night stay in Hanoi
⦿ 1-Night Cruise in Ha Long Bay
⦿ 1-Night stay in Hanoi

Sail along the mighty Mekong River and catch a glimpse of a bygone era where people still honour the timeless traditions of their ancestors with joy. Delve into the rich culture and heritage of the region with visits to rustic villages, historic pagodas, and vibrant markets. Take in a special blessing from monks at a Buddhist monastery, adding a spiritual dimension to your adventure. In Siem Reap, indulge your inner explorer as you discover the grand temples of the UNESCO-designated Angkor Archeological Park, including the vine-covered Ta Prohm and the iconic Angkor Wat. Conclude your journey in Hanoi, Vietnam’s current capital, and enjoy an overnight stay on a luxurious ship in the UNESCO-designated Ha Long Bay.

See All Charms of the Mekong Sailing Dates

Charms of the Mekong (with full land package) Itinerary

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, still affectionately referred to by locals as Saigon, is Vietnam’s former capital. Once known as the “Paris of the Orient,” it is now an industrial, cultural and educational hub.

Hotel: Sofitel Saigon Plaza hotel (or similar) – 2 nights
Meals included: Dinner

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City

Always bustling, Ho Chi Minh City is a city of contrasts blending old and new, and east and west. In the morning, explore some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the former Presidential Palace, the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum. In the afternoon, visit Cu Chi, an immense underground network built during the Vietnam War.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City & My Tho for cruise embarkation

In the morning, visit Ben Thanh Market – one of the oldest and most iconic structures in Ho Chi Minh City.
Transfer via motorcoach from Ho Chi Minh City to AmaDara at My Tho Port for your river cruise and meet your fellow travellers at a Welcome Dinner as the ship cruises to Cai Be.

Cruise: 7 nights aboard the AmaDara
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Sa Dec & Cai Be

Take a local boat to Cai Be. You will have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper making workshops, as well as the historic Kiet Old House. Later in the day, journey to Sa Dec, a sprawling town on the Mekong Delta, where French writer Marguerite Duras spent part of her youth. You will visit the colorful market, Cao Dai Temple , the home to a unique religion Caodaism in Southern Vietnam. It is a fusion of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Confucianism.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Tan Chau & Border Crossing to Cambodia

Enjoy a visit to Tan Chau, a small Mekong River town unspoiled by tourism. Be treated to an authentic experience on a traditional “xeloi” (trishaw) ride around the town, with stops at silkmaking 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 from Vietnam to the Cambodian border en route to Phnom Penh.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Phnom Penh

This morning’s excursion takes you to Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention centre (Genocide Museum). After lunch on board, you will 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. Alternatively, you may wish to shop for unique treasures at the bustling, yellow-coloured Central Market after your visit to Royal Place. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Oudong, Kampong-Tralach & Phnom Penh

Visit 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. You may walk around Oudong’s monastery or take an active walking tour to see panoramic views of the Oudong plain. In Kampong Tralach, you will have a truly authentic excursion – an oxcart ride through a local village. Later in the day, experience Phnom Penh via a tuk-tuk ride and be enchanted by the city’s French Colonial architecture and treelined boulevards set amidst monumental Angkorian.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Oknhatey Village

In the morning, set sail for Oknhatey Village. Oknhatey is the “Silk Island,” located on the lush banks of the Mekong River and known for its rich tradition of silk weaving. While here, you will visit a local elementary school and observe the traditional silk weaving, an art that has been preserved for centuries. Your cruise continues to sail to Angkor Ban.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Angkor Ban & Kampong Cham

Go on a walking tour of 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 ongoing of the local villagers. After visiting here, the ship sets sail for Kampong Cham, where you will go on an afternoon excursion via 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. Cap the day off with a festive Farewell Dinner on board. (B,L,D)

*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.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Kampong Cham & Siem Reap for disembarkation

Disembark in Kampong Cham and transfer by motorcoach to Siem Reap, gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former capital of the Khmer empire. You’ll visit nearby Ta Prohm, known as the “Kingdom of the Trees,” for the way in which the temple stones have become intertwined with thick forest vegetation.

Hotel: Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort (or similar) – 2 nights
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Siem Reap & Angkor Complex

Begin your morning exploration of the temple complex at Angkor Wat, the most iconic of all Angkorian temples, built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century to honour the Hindu god, Vishnu. An afternoon excursion takes you to see the fascinating jewel in the crown of Angkorian art, Banteay Srei, which means “Citadel of Women,” as it has been said that the carving is too fine to have been done by the hand of man. During the evening, be treated to a special “Apsara Dancing Show” at your hotel, featuring local Cambodian/Khmer folk dancers.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Siem Reap to Hanoi

After breakfast, you will have a guided sightseeing tour of Angkor Thom meaning “the great city” and the last capital of the Khmer Empire. 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. Later in the day, take a short flight to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam.

Hotel: Sofitel Legend Metropole (or similar) – 2 nights
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 13: Hanoi

From ancient temples to French Colonial architecture and modernday skyscrapers, along with beautiful parks and lakes, Hanoi is an eclectic and lively city. A morning sightseeing tour will showcase some of Hanoi’s most famous historic and cultural sites, including Ba Dinh Square and The Temple of Literature. You will also visit the infamous prison that American POWs sarcastically dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War. In the afternoon, experience an authentic rickshaw ride (known as a “cyclo”) in the Old Quarter, followed by a traditional Water Puppet Show.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 14: Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

Take a scenic drive from Hanoi to one of Vietnam’s most renowned locations, Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Board an elegantly appointed ship, for an overnight cruise, designed with all the modern conveniences to ensure smooth sailing for an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience. The backdrop of the bay’s magnificent scenery and dramatic limestone cliffs and rock formations provide you with the perfect setting for a memorable sojourn.

Cruise: Overnight on board an elegantly appointed ship in Ha Long Bay
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Ha Long Bay to Hanoi

Spend the morning sailing across the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay with more than 2,000 small islands rising from the water like a dragon’s back. Later in the morning, disembark the ship and transfer back to Hanoi where you can enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Hotel: Sofitel Legend Metropole (or similar) – 1 night
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Depart from Hanoi

Bid farewell to Vietnam and prepare for your homeward flight.
Meals included: Breakfast

All Inclusive Cruising

On this AmaWaterways river cruise, you will enjoy an extensive lineup of included tours. It includes a large variety of activities so that you can choose how you want to explore. No matter your preference, your days will be full of discovery and wonder.

Included in your cruise fare:

  • Luxury accommodation in a twin-balcony stateroom
  • Flat-panel screen that features in-house movies
  • Desk and sitting area
  • Bottled water replenished daily
  • Unlimited wine with lunch and dinner
  • Complimentary local beer, house-brand spirits and soft drinks during cruise
  • Award-winning dining
  • Personalised service from a highly trained Cruise Manager during both cruise and land programs
  • Sun deck with pool
  • Fitness room and three spas
  • Saigon Lounge with panoramic views and bar
  • Daily entertainment including cultural performances
  • Immersive tours in every destination
  • All port taxes and fees

Staying Longer?

3 nights in Bangkok, Thailand

You can even add a Bangkok extension to your cruise! The capital and most populous city in Thailand, Bangkok is a fascinating centre of commerce and culture. During your unforgettable Bangkok land program, you’ll discover architectural riches from the Grand Palace to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, cruise along the city’s famed canals and enjoy leisure time to explore incredible museums or shop for distinctive souvenirs in its colourful markets – ask for availability and prices.

£0 Up to £10,000+

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