Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong - Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City

Price per person
from £4,499

Price based on
London Heathrow
8th Jul 2018 departure

Key inclusions

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • 15 days

  • Cambodia

  • River cruise

Start in Siem Reap with a visit to the spectacular Angkor temple complex, including the spectacular Angkor Wat. Then, start your cruise on the Mekong River with a visit to a colourful local market and a sampan builder. In Phnom Penh, take a tour of the city by private cyclo with visits to the National Museum and the Royal Palace with its stunning Silver Pagoda. Finish your holiday in bustling Ho Chi Minh City with a walking tour of the city’s landmarks, a hands-on Vietnamese cooking class and a trip down the Cu Chi Tunnels.

At a glance


Temples of Angkor Visit the majestic Angkor Wat and vine-covered Ta Prohm.
Phnom Penh See the Royal Palace with the spectacular Silver Pagoda and the National Museum on a private cyclo sightseeing tour.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Explore the imposing Reunification Palace left as it was on the day Saigon fell to the north.

What's included

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Services of a cruise director
  • Accommodation
  • Selected meals
  • All inclusive drinks on cruise
  • Excursions
  • Gratuities on cruise
  • All airport and port taxes
VIP home pick-up service

Our VIP home pick-up service is included up to 50 miles to your departure airport. Your driver will happily load and unload your luggage, and drive you to your departure terminal. At the close of your trip, you'll be welcomed by your driver in the arrivals hall and returned home again. A supplement is payable per mile over 50 miles.

Overview

Note: During low water conditions we may not be able to cruise up river to Tonle Sap. Low water levels vary each year, depending on rainfall, but are generally between mid-December and June. Our ability to cruise to Tonle Sap will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.

Total meals included:

  • 12 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 10 dinners

UK - Siem Reap

Day
1

Depart the UK

No meals included

Siem Reap

Day
2

Welcome to Siem Reap, your base during your visit to Angkor, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth.

NOTE: Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

No meals included

Siem Reap

Day
3

This morning, start your sightseeing of the Temples of Angkor. Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the temples were built around the Khmer interpretations of Indian religious and political beliefs that ultimately evolved from Hinduism to Buddhism. The complex architectural grandeur of the Angkor temples is arguably unmatched among ancient ruins anywhere in the world. First, visit the best preserved and most famous of all the temples: Angkor Wat, honouring the Hindu god Vishnu. Featuring five trademark towers and stunning bas reliefs, it has become a symbol of Cambodia. Then, visit Banteay Srei, a unique temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Unlike other temples, it is built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. This evening, enjoy a private Apsara Dance performance, where the ancient Khmer culture is brought to life by talented dancers, singers, and musicians.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Siem Reap

Day
4

Today, continue your sightseeing of the Angkor temples by tuk-tuk. Start at Angoer Thom where you will explore Bayon Temple. One of the few Buddhist temples in Angkor, it features some 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas reliefs. Next stop is Ta Prohm, which, unlike the other temples, has been left relatively untouched. Tree roots grow over and through the ruin walls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it. Lastly, stop at Les Artisans D' Angor, a development project teaching young adults traditional handicraft techniques. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore this charming town.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Siem Reap (Embarkation)

Day
5

This morning, transfer to the port and board your river cruise vessel for your cruise down the Mekong through Cambodia and Vietnam. This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as you cruise through Tonle Sap (Great Lake). After the rainy season, this massive body of water can cover around 10,000 square miles and provides the perfect breeding ground for fish, which provide food for people living on the lake. This evening, enjoy a welcome reception.

NOTE: During low water conditions, generally mid-December to August, we will not be able to cruise on Tonle Sap. In these cases, we will fly from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh for embarkation. No included sightseeing will be missed. Low water conditions vary from year to year, so this will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Kampong Tralach – Konpong Louang – Phnom Penh

Day
6

Today, visit Kampong Tralach for an Ox Cart Ride past rice paddy fields and the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to meet with a local farmer and learn more about his daily life. Lastly, visit the silversmith village of Konpong Louang. Here you will see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art. Then sail to the capital city of Phnom Penh. After lunch, your sightseeing tour by private cyclo (a three wheeled taxi) includes visits to the Royal Palace with the spectacular Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, featuring an outstanding display of Khmer artifacts.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Phnom Penh

Day
7

Sightseeing this morning provides a glimpse of the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime. Visit the Tuol Slenf Genocide Museum, a former high school that housed over 17,000 prisoners. Of this number, it is believed that less than 15 survived the torture and avoided being sent to the Killing Fields. You will also visit one of the Killing Fiewlds, where over 200,000 people were killed by the Khmer Rouge. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore the city. Just before dinner, children from a local orphanage will put on a show featuring local song and dance.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Wat Hanchey – Angkor Ban

Day
8

This morning, visit Wat Hanchey, a temple dating back to the 8th century and the Chenla Empire. Located on a hilltop, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area and partake in a traditional Water Blessing given by local monks. After lunch, enjoy a walking tour through the rural village of Angkor Ban. Here you will see traditional Khmer houses and visit a local school.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Vietnam Border Crossing - Chau Doc

Day
9

Cross the border this morning into Vietnam. A sampan brings you to the village of Long Khong A, where cotton weaving is a well preserved tradition. Spend time at one house for a cotton weaving demonstration and a chance to talk with the family. After lunch, join a sampan excursion around down the backwaters of the river to the religious sites at the base of Sam Mountain. Along the way, see traditional floating homes, speedboat merchants, a market selling dried goods, and more. Before returning to the ship, walk through the local market and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cu Lao Gieng

Day
10

This morning, enjoy time at leisure on board the ship as we sail to Cu Lao Gieng. In the afternoon, board a sampan and enjoy scenes of daily life along the river. Stop at a local home, where a skilled family works together to hand-craft sampans for a living. Then, ride a specially designed motor cart to one of Vietnam’s oldest churches.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Ben Tre

Day
11

This morning, board a sampan for a scenic cruise to Ben Tre. Visit a local workshop to see how rice wine and traditional coconut candy is made. Then, continue on to a garden where several types of fruit indigenous to the area are grown. This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as we sail to exciting Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Ho Chi Minh City (Disembarkation)

Day
12

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. This morning, enjoy a walking tour of the city’s famous and historic landmarks as you stroll through the heart of the city along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) past Ho Chi Minh Square, the Municipal Theatre, the Central Post Office, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Stop at the Caravelle Hotel for a refreshing drink at the popular roof top bar where the U.S. Military held the infamous 'Five O’Clock Follies'. Next, visit the War Remnants Museum followed by Ben Thanh Market, the largest and oldest in the city. For lunch, participate in a hands-on Vietmanese cooking class. Head into the classroom and learn how to prepare different local dishes and the techniques necessary to recreate them once you return home. Last but not least, sample your delicious creations. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this lively city.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Ho Chi Minh City

Day
13

This morning, leave the city and drive through vast expanses of rice paddies to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles in length that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during the war. Here you will learn about how the tunnels were constructed and have a chance to walk through a section to experience what life would have been like underground. Return to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at your leisure. This evening, join your travelling companions for a special farewell dinner hosted by your Cruise Director.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Ho Chi Minh City - UK

Day
14

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Arrive in the UK

Day
15

No meals included

Things to note

Note: During low water conditions we may not be able to cruise upriver to Tonle Sap. Low water levels vary each year, depending on rainfall, but are generally between mid-December and June. Our ability to cruise to Tonle Sap will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.

Avalon Siem Reap

The all-suite Avalon Siem Reap has been designed to provide a luxurious and intimate experience for just 36 guests and give you the chance to experience life along the Mekong. Built by local craftsmen, the ship has modern features yet still retains and reflects the charms of Vietnam and Cambodia. Avalon Siem Reap also delivers a refreshing outdoor experience, with all suites opening to the outside and two comfortable lounges offering unrivalled panoramic views. From the air-conditioned Panorama Lounge to the open-air observation lounge, there is plenty of seating and spots to relax. Plus, our lounges are located at the front of the ship, so no matter where you sit you'll always have a great view.

Ship facts

  • Style: Classic
  • Class: Suite
  • Size: Boutique
  • Number of crew: 24
  • Number of cabins: 18
  • Number of wheelchair cabins: 0
  • Number of large cabins: 0
  • Capacity: 36 passengers
  • Main language on board: en-GB
  • Currency on board: USD
  • Number of decks: 2
  • Gross tonnage: 1000
  • Length (m): 59.4
  • Speed in knots: 9
  • Launch year: 2015

Amenities

  • Smoking
  • Adults only
  • Childrens facilities
  • Nursery

Cabins on this ship

All Staterooms are furnished with hotel beds- either “Comfort Collection” two twin beds or one king size bed, along with deluxe bedding consisting of a premium mattress, deluxe Egyptian cotton linens, duvets and woollen blankets, and soft/firm pillows. Guests are also provided with terry bathrobes, slippers, 3-door closet with shelves, under beds storage space, bedside tables with lamps, individual climate control, and 220V voltage outlets.

Each of the staterooms has a large full bathroom (WC/sink) with separate glass-door shower, hair dryer, premium bath amenities, seating area, mini-bar/fridge, writing desk/vanity with a chair, alarm clock, safe, complimentary bottled water- this is supplied daily and also on all land tours and excursion.

Guests are given complimentary Wi-Fi in their Staterooms as well as complimentary laundry service, room service and a nightly turndown service.

Details

  • 245 Square Feet
  • Sleeps 2

Life on board

Age Restrictions

Avalon Waterways have found over the years that cruising holidays are not ideal for young children. For this reason, they do not take bookings for children under 8 years of age and there are no special arrangements or activities for children on board.

Disabled Facilities

Not all sightseeing stops/sites accommodate wheelchairs, and some locations and sightseeing activities require extensive standing, sitting, or walking—sometimes on unpaved or cobblestone streets. Avalon is not responsible for any missed activities due to a participant's inability to participate with the group. 

Most transportation services, including the touring coaches and river ships, are not equipped with wheelchair ramps. Motorised scooters and motorised wheelchairs are not permitted on Avalon cruises. Collapsible wheelchairs are permitted on board but for safety reasons, the number is limited and wheelchair maximum size must not exceed 1200mm/47.24 in length x 720mm/28.3 in wide. 

You must notify Avalon of your intention to bring a wheelchair at time of booking to ensure Avalon can accommodate within safety regulations. There is no separate storage for wheelchairs; they must be kept in your stateroom. Additionally stateroom doors and restrooms are not wide enough to allow access by standard wheelchairs, and bathrooms and other doorways may be fitted with coamings. For safety reasons, passengers in wheelchairs cannot be carried on ramps in ports where the ship is at anchor.

Dress Code

Dress aboard and on shore is casual. Please bring comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing. Dinner attire is casual—open-neck shirts, slacks, dresses. The Captain's Welcome and Farewell Dinners are dressy, but not formal- please note that ties for gentlemen are not recommended due to the warm humid climate.

Special Dietary Requirements

Avalon Waterways ask that all special dietary requirements are mentioned at the time of booking so that they can do their best to accommodate these requests. 

Fitness Centre & Spa Treatment Room

On the lower deck, guests can keep fit and release some tension in the small but well equipped Fitness Suite.

Up on the Top Deck, guests can also make use of the serene Spa Treatment room, managed by professional masseurs. Treatments range from massage to body wraps, and booked by appointment only.

Gift Shop

The onboard Gift Shop offers guests the chance to purchase Cambodian and Vietnamese hand-made souvenirs, traditional clothing, fashion accessories, special occasion gifts, and jewellery.

Observation Lounge

Observation Lounge, up on the Top Deck, gives guests a prime view to enjoy with a drink in hand

Panorama Lounge

For some casual relaxation and discussion guests can visit the Panorama Lounge, with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows for a stunning view. 

The Panorama Lounge is the Ship's entertainment venue, with stylish furniture, full-service bar and a self-serve beverage station. Here guests can watch a live evening show program by local performers, including dancers and musicians. 

Depending on the visited ports along the Avalon Siem Reap itinerary on Mekong river, the Panorama Lounge also hosts Cambodia and Vietnam culture and history related lectures and multimedia presentations by local speakers. Another entertainment options at the Lounge are the Afternoon Tea service, cocktail hours and movie nights.

Dining Room

The menu at the Dining Room features a selection of Southeast Asia cuisine and local specialties, based on season and made with fresh local ingredients as well as popular Western dishes. Breakfast and lunch here are buffet-style, the 4-course dinner is served with complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks.

Deck Plans

Deck 1

  • Open Air Observation Lounge
  • Panorama Lounge
  • Bar
  • Reception
  • Spa Treatment Room
  • Dining Room
  • Galley
  • Staterooms (Cat A)

Deck 2

  • Navigation Bridge
  • Gym
  • Staterooms (Cat B)

Why book with us?