The classic one-week cruise on the mighty Mekong River combined with 5-star hotel stays in Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap
Day 1 - Flight
Day 2 - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Day 3 - Ho Chi Minh City
Day 4 - My Tho
Day 5 - Vinh Long / Sa Dec
Day 6 - Chau Doc
Day 7 - Phnom Penh
Day 8 - Kampong Trolach / Chong Koh
Day 9 - Angkor Ban / Kratie
Day 10 - Kampong Cham
Day 11 - Siem Reap (Angkor)
Day 12 - Siem Reap
Day 13 - Siem Reap
Day 14 - Return Flight
Rising in the Tibetan Plateau and cutting across six countries, the Mekong is the world’s 12th longest river eventually arriving in Vietnam and draining into the South China Sea. The river sustains all manner of life along its way through its food, water, transport and commerce, and supports one of the most diverse fisheries, second only to the Amazon. The cruise provides an excellent means of travelling in great comfort to places unreachable by road and makes possible exploration of the vast but little known region between the former French colonial city of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and the ancient Khmer capital of Angkor. Less well known is the association with Saigon (once known as the ‘Cambodian City’ or ‘Downstream Cambodia’) and the trading relationship between the Champa kingdom in Vietnam and the then flourishing Angkor empire; the common thread being the mighty Mekong River linking inland rivers to the delta and ocean beyond. Saigon’s Chinese, Cambodian and French influence is leavened further by a cross section of Asia’s merchant diaspora – Indian, Malay, Thai and Arab. Excellent food, lively nightlife and the bustling quarter of Cholon contrast with tree lined boulevards and the intricate waterways and tranquillity of the Mekong delta.
Culture & Riverscapes
UNESCO Site: Angkor
Free Cabin Selection
Group Size: 2 – 24
Day 1 Fly overnight from London Heathrow to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) direct or via Bangkok.
Day 2 Arrive in the morning. Orientation tour including the Opera House and General Post Office. Transfer to the central 5-star Caravelle Hotel for two nights.
Day 3 Half-day city tour including the Reunification Palace, History Museum and Jade Emperor Pagoda. This vibrant and cosmopolitan city contrasts modern buildings with a jumble of markets, sidewalk eateries and street vendors - it’s impossible not to be affected by the exhilarating atmosphere of this city conquered by the French in 1859. (B)
Day 4 Embark on RV Mekong Pandaw at My Tho, the hub of a delta of watery landscapes, overgrown tributaries and sleepy villages. Moor near Cai Be. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Cruise to Ben Tre to take sampan boats through the backwaters. Cruise to Cho Lach to visit the pot making village. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Take a short bus journey to Gao Giong bird sanctuary. Sail up a small canal to Con Phuoc Island and explore by tuk-tuk its basket weaving and Catholic church. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Visit the Taoist temple, local village and fish far at Tan Chau. Cruise across the border. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Visit Phnom Penh by private cyclo. The capital has several impressive wats (temples) and the National Museum is a highlight. The crumbling colonial architecture, street cafés and temples retain an undeniable charm. Optional afternoon excursion to the Killing Fields and the infamous Tuol Sleng prison. (B, L, D)
Day 9 Sail up the Tonle River and board the Pandaw Explorer to visit Silk Island and to see a Bokator demonstration, an ancient Khmer martial art. Sail down the Tonle River towards the confluence of the Mekong. A talk about Khmer and Angkor culture on board. (B, L, D)
Day 10 Morning visit to Koh Trong Island, a small Mekong River hamlet by bicycle or ox-cart. Continue towards the French colonial town of Kratie. By local boat to view the dolphin grounds in a national park. (B, L, D)
Day 11 Sail downstream to Kampong Cham. Disembark and transfer to Siem Reap (5 hrs), a pleasant and busy town with many restaurants and cafés, a few minutes drive from the temples of Angkor. Visit the Roluos group of temples and Prolung Khmer Pottery and Weaving Centre. Three nights at the 5-star Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa. Apsara dance theatre dinner. (B, D)
Day 12 Visit the temples of Angkor, including the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Royal Enclosure, Terrace of Elephants, Ta Prohm and other temples. The hundreds of temples surviving today at Angkor are the sacred skeleton of the vast political, religious and social centre of an empire that stretched from Burma to Vietnam. Built between the ninth and sixteenth centuries AD, the most spectacular temples are Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm, dramatically enveloped by jungle. (B)
Day 13 Visit Banteay Srei, the graceful 11th-century temple of Shiva and Banteay Samre temples, culminating with Angkor Wat itself, one of the world's largest religious monuments. (B)
Day 14 Fly from Siem Reap to Heathrow via Ho Chi Minh City (or via Bangkok, arriving later the same day). (B)
Day 15 Arrive London Heathrow.
Whilst the vessel carries up to 48 guests, our maximum group size for transfers and excursions is 24.
Ho Chi Minh City’s leading 5-star hotel opened in 1959 with a combination of French and Vietnamese architecture. Restaurant, bars, pool, spa and WiFi (free). 335 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities, safe and satellite TV.
Located in the heart of Siem Reap opposite the Royal Park, this colonial style hotel has a sense of peaceful tranquillity. Restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, spa, WiFi (free) and 129 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer and satellite TV.
Operated by the excellent Pandaw River Expeditions, our partner for many years, the fine RV Mekong Pandaw is well-run by a very helpful Vietnamese and Cambodian crew. The traditional decor is hand finished in brass and teakwood with an air-conditioned dining room, observation deck, sundeck and saloon bar, spa, gym, fair-trade shop, lecture room, library, art gallery and WiFi (free/limited). Enjoy a range of Asian and Western cuisine served either as a buffet or à la carte with the occasional themed dinner. Tea, coffee, water and locally made soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are included on board. Bottled drinking water is distributed before excursions and shoe cleaning, cold towels and a refreshing drink is offered post excursion. 24 air-conditioned, outside cabins with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, luggage storage, wardrobe, nightly turndown service, complimentary evening canapés and panoramic French windows that lead to personal deck space. Six twin Main Deck and 18 Upper Deck cabins (172 sq. ft.).
Hua Hin Extension
Travel to the Gulf of Siam for four nights at the 5-star Centara Hua Hin Resort & Spa. Breakfast daily.
Day 1 Transfer to Hua Hin for a four-night beach extension at the 5-star Centara Hua Hin. (B)
Day 2 Day at leisure. (B)
Day 3 Day at leisure. (B)
Day 4 Day at leisure. (B)
Day 5 Return to Bangkok for the return flight to London. (B)
Located in the Gulf of Siam lies the 5-star colonial style Centara Hua Hin Resort & Spa (the former Railway Hotel). Set amongst tropical gardens with restaurants, bars, pools, gym, spa and WiFi (chargeable). 249 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
per person in a twin room/Main Deck cabin
Vietnam Airlines from Heathrow
per person in a twin room/Main Deck cabin
Vietnam Airlines from Heathrow
Supplements per person
Single supplement £945
Upper deck £545
Single supplement £995
London/Ho Chi Minh City/London
Vietnam Airlines Deluxe Economy from £495
Vietnam Airlines Business Class from £1795
London/Bangkok/London Thai Airways £200
Thai Airways Royal Silk Class from £1895
Extension – Hua Hin
Centara Hua Hin Resort - 4 nights £495
(Jan/Feb £645; Apr-Oct £445)
Single supplement £295
Extra nights - Bangkok
(Thai Airways Only)
Amari Watergate (per night) £85
Single supplement £59
Bangkok departure transfer £25
Transfers to/from airport with group included
Air travel and taxes, all port charges, transfers, 7-night cruise, 5 nights' hotel, full board and most drinks on cruise, breakfast daily, 1 dinner, excursions, local guides and representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
Please complete this form and a member of our sales department will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your booking and take payment. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and Saturdays 10am to 2pm