This delightful cruise of the Mekong River departs from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and travels through the Mekong delta visiting the famous floating market at Cai Be, Sadec, Phnom Penh, Kampong Chhnang and culminating with a journey up the Tonle Sap River to the vast lake and Siem Reap. As well as being a great holiday experience in its own right, this cruise is highly suited to combining with a companion tour of the magnificent monuments of ancient Angkor, or for those with longer time to spend travelling Indochina, the cruise also offers a luxurious and leisurely alternative to flying between the cities. The cruise can also be arranged in reverse.
Your cruise ship is the RV La Marguerite, named after distinguished novelist and filmmaker Marguerite Duras, born in Vietnam of French parentage during the colonial era. Her most famous work, “The Lover” a largely autobiographical novel, later released as the film of the same name, is a cross-cultural love story set against the evocative backdrop of the of the Mekong River and its floating lifestyle. The inspiration of Marguerite’s love of the Mekong is also reflected in the plush French-colonial flavour of the vessel’s staterooms and interior.
Option 1: Mekong Cruising from Saigon to Siem Reap with RV LA MARGUERITE 8 Days
Day 1: Embarkation - My Tho - Cai Be (Lunch, Dinner, Driver pickup)
After breakfast by your own account, you’ll be transferred to to My Tho port for embarkation aboard the RV La Marguerite for the journey from the Mekong Delta to Holy Angkor. Embark ship at 13:30. Welcome drinks served in Saigon Lounge. Short briefing is conducted before adjourning for lunch in Mekong restaurant. The cabins are ready for check-in after lunch. After port clearance formalities, captain raises the anchor and cruises towards Cai Be. Join the Cruise Director at Saigon Lounge for safety demonstration and briefing at 18:00, followed by Captain’s Cocktails. Enjoy the first gourmet dinner onboard with fellow travelers. Enjoy folk performances of the Mekong Delta from 21:00 to 21:45 in Saigon Lounge The ship moors overnight midstream at Cai Be.
Day 2: Cai Be - Vinh Long - Sa Dec (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide on board)
After breakfast take a morning junk trip around Cai Be. See floating market, go ashore to visit French Gothic Cathedral and colorful port area, filled with colonial buildings, delightful flower gardens and local rice paper manufacturers. Return to the boat at noon. After enjoying lunch while ship sails toward Vinh Long – the second largest city on the Mekong Delta. In the afternoon, take a short boat ride to get ashore for a walking tour of Vinh Long and visit a bustling market. Return to the ship at 17:00. Cocktail and briefing with Cruise Director at 18:00. After dinner, ship sails to Sadec and arrives Sadec around 23:00. The ship moors overnight midstream at Sadec.
Day 3: Sa Dec – Tan Chau (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide on boat).
This morning, follow guides to the hometown of Marguerite Duras’ lover, Sadec, a quaint little city. Visit the old house of Huynh Thuy Le, partake in the bantering of local markets along the paved river banks, pagoda and the Fujian Temple, build and donated to the city by the late Le family. Pass by the home of Marguerite Duras from across the riverbanks. Re-board ship at 11:00 for lunch. After that, ship sets sail to Tan Chau. In the afternoon, Vietnamese tour guides will give a lecture about Vietnam – the Past and the Present in the Saigon Lounge at 16:00. Cocktails and briefing at 18:00 followed by dinner at 19:00. Ship arrives at Tan Chau around 18:30. After dinner, join the crew show in the Saigon Lounge. More music, more dancing afterwards. Tonight the ship moors midstream at Tan Chau.
Day 4: Tan Chau - Border Crossing (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide on boat).
Today’s highlight is a visit of Tan Chau - a small town untouched by tourism. In the morning, the excursion starts with sightseeing by local boats, navigating narrow channels to visit an evergreen island. Chance to visit floating fish farm and travels along the tiny tributaries where slit houses are haphazardly leaning on each other. Afterwards, go ashore and tour the town on rickshaw (XeLoi). Visit rattan mats and slippers making factories. Return to the ship and enjoy lunch while the ship departs for border. In the afternoon, enjoy Fruits Carving and Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls demonstration by Executive Chef at Saigon Lounge. Border formalities are carried out concurrently. Cocktail hour from 18:00 – 19:00, dinner at 19:00. After dinner catch movie “The Killing Fields” in the Saigon Lounge. In the evening, sail overnight up the broad Mekong River, an international shipping route and moor mid-stream just outside of Phnom Penh.
Day 5: Phnom Penh (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide on boat).
A busy day with many interesting sightseeing and activities, in the morning, sightsee Phnom Penh by bus. Visit Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda and the National Museum where outstanding Khmer crafts are exhibited. Afternoon excursion facilitates understanding of a crucial part of the Cambodia’s history: the Khmer Rouge’s grim ToulSleng (S21 detention center) and the Killing Fields. (For a free and easy afternoon, please inform Cruise Manager). Cocktail hours are served from 18:00 to 19:00. Dinner is served from 19:30 to 21:00. After dinner, join the Khmer folk dances and songs at the Saigon Lounge. Before midnight, opt to chill in one the bars located across the road from the pier.
Day 6: Chong Koh – Oudong – Kampong Tralach (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide on boat).
Early in the morning the ship sails towards little known village Chong Koh. After breakfast, take leisurely morning stroll through Chong Koh silk weaving village. Visit a school, some home workshops manufacturing traditional silk and cotton handicrafts and buy some local products. Return to the ship at 10:00.Enjoy a hearty lunch onboard at 12:30 as the ship sails to PrekK’dam. Interesting afternoon tour starts with a bus ride to visit Oudong – the second capital city of Cambodia. Visit a Buddhist Center here and join a blessing. After that, take another bus ride to Kampong Tralach, see Kampong TralachPleu temple and take a 20-minute ox-cart ride back to the ship. Re-board ship in Kampong Tralach. Ship sails to Kampong Chhnang afterwards. Cocktail hour from 18:00 to 19:00, dinner is served at 19:00. After dinner, join together in the Saigon Lounge with Cruise Director for a “Nasty Quiz” night. Ship arrives at Kampong Chhnangaround 23:00 and moors midstream overnight.
Day 7: Kampong Chhnang – Prek K’dam (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide on boat).
Kampong Chhnang is a busy rural port town with bustling markets. Mooring mid-stream, take a truly wonderful motorboat excursion into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the river. Here a stunning variety of birdlife may be seen, and of considerable interest are local life and floating village. Return to the boat and cast off towards Tonle Lake. The great lake dominates Cambodia and is over 150 km in length. Here bird life is profuse, and from the middle of the lake one cannot even see the shores. There is a great stillness and tranquility as the boat sails past floating fishing villages.
Enjoy the great afternoon views to the boat cruise over the lake. Time for packing and prepare for Farewell Cocktail this evening. The ship moors overnight near Siem Reap.
Day 8: Prek K’dam - Siem Reap (Breakfast, Driver pickup)
Enjoy breakfast onboard. Bid farewell to the crew and guides. Disembark around 8:30 and take motorized boats to local jetty approximately 5 to 6 km away from the middle of the lake. After disembarking, you’ll be met and driven to Siem Reap International airport for your departure or onward flight. Alternatively, passengers who have added an extension to visit the temples of Angkor will be transferred to their hotel in Siem Reap.
Option 2: Mekong Delta Odyssey Siem Reap To Saigon By RV LA Marguerite 8 Days
Day 1: Siem Reap - Tonle Sap Lake - Embarkation - Kampong Chnang (Lunch, Dinner, Guide on boat)
After breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up and taken to the harbor. Embark the ship 13:00. Welcome drink served in Saigon Lounge. Attend a short briefing followed by a lunch served in Mekong restaurant at 13:30. Captain raises the anchor and cruises towards Kampong Chhnang. The great lake dominates Cambodia and is over 150 km in length. Along the way, enjoy a scenic view of the wild lives while passing through inspirational floating villages.
Join the Cruise Manager at Saigon Lounge for safety demonstration and briefing at 18:00. Enjoy Captain’s Cocktails afterwards and adjourn to the first gourmet dinner onboard with fellow travelers. The boat moors overnight at Kampong Chhnang.
Day 2: Kmapong Chnang - Kampong Tralach – Oudong (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide on boat)
After breakfast, a motor boat excursion takes you into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the Tonle Sap River. Enjoy a stunning variety of bird life and see numerous great fish traps some over a half-mile long. After the excursion, you will return to your vessel and cast off towards Kampong Tralach. An afternoon tour includes an oxcart ride from the river bank through the countryside to the beautiful Wat Kampong Tralach Pleu. Tour the pagodas, and then board a motor coach to Oudong, the former capital of Cambodia, where you will tour the Buddhist monastery. After the visit, you motor coach will take you to your vessel, which will cruise towards the village of Chong Koh. You will spend the night on the boat.
Day 3: Chong Koh - Pnom Penh (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide on boat)
This morning, visit the Chong Koh silk weaving village for a leisurely walk. Your vessel then departs for Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. An afternoon walking tour provides an orientation to this spectacular city. Return to the vessel for dinner followed by a special Khmer folk performance on board. The vessel moors overnight in Phnom Penh. You will spend the night on the boat.
Day 4: Phnom Penh (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide on boat)
A morning tour explores the highlights of Cambodia’s capital city, famous for its French colonial architecture, busy cafes, vibrant nightlife and renovated river “corniche.” You will then visit the Royal Palace and the spectacular Silver Pagoda. The National Museum is another highlight, with outstanding displays of Khmer crafts. After lunch onboard, another excursion leads to the infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre (Genocide Museum) situated in the suburbs of the city. An overnight on the waterfront provides an opportunity to dine in one of many nearby restaurants and experience Phnom Penh’s vibrant nightlife, should passengers so choose. You will spend the night on the boat.
Day 5: Phnom Penh - Border Crossing - Tan Chau (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide on boat)
You will spend a day to cruise the Mekong River and cross the border into Vietnam. Your vessel moors at the small town of Tan Chau, Vietnam. You will spend the night on the boat.
Day 6: Tan Chau - Sa Dec (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide on boat)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to small boats, which will navigate through narrow channels to visit an evergreen island. You will also visit a catfish farm and a rattan mat and slipper-making workshop. Back ashore, a traditional “xe-loi” (trishaw) awaits to transport you around Tan Chau. In the afternoon, your vessel cruises downstream to Sa Dec, where it will moor overnight.
Day 7: Sa Dec - Xeo Quyt - Cai Be (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide on boat)
In the morning board a local boat for Sa Dec. Once ashore, you will visit the town noteworthy as the place where the French writer Marguerite Duras spent many years in her youth. You will then visit a local market, Fujian Temple and the house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Duras' Chinese paramour, which is now a small museum. Afterwards board a motor coach for Xeo Quyt, used as a base during the French and U.S. wars and now an important ecological site, with its jungle overgrowth. After lunch on board, a local boat will take you to Cai Be’s spectacular floating market; then you will go ashore to see candy and rice paper workshops. This evening, enjoy a gourmet Farewell Dinner on board. You will spend the night on the boat
Day 8: Ho Chi Minh City - Disembarkation (Breakfast, Driver pickup)
Your cruise comes to an end as the ship docks at My Tho Port where the driver is waiting for you to transfer to Ho Chi Minh City airport for the departure flight.
- Free Vietnam Visa invitation letter.
- Private door-to-door pick-up & drop-off services.
- Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver.
- Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
- The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary
- Boat cruises as specified in the programme. All boats will be fully licensed and comply with current safety regulations.
- Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants and full board on the boat in The Mekong Delta River
- All sightseeing tickets.
- VAT and other taxes
- 24/7 hotline support guaranteed
- International flight tickets and airport tax.
- Lunches and dinners, except as specified above.
- Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
- Travel insurance
- Surcharges for Peak seasons (if any)
- Vietnam visa stamp fee
- Other services not mentioned above.