About the Trip
OCTOBER 13 – 25, 2022
We invite you to join Brand g Vacations for a 13-day, LGBT+, all-inclusive, guaranteed full ship charter, featuring the mighty Mekong River and the Temples of Angkor Wat.
There can be no more striking cultural contrast than tranquil Cambodia and bustling Vietnam. From the diverse countryside of Cambodia to the Mekong Delta, so rich in human life and endeavor, you’ll discover two countries, two cultures, and two ways of life linked by one river, the Mekong. Cruise aboard the all-suite, luxurious Mekong Jewel, specially built to ply the Mekong River from Kampong Cham, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City. Embracing an elegant French-colonial design similar to the many homes that once lined the streets of old Saigon, she boasts spacious suites from 323 square feet up to an expansive 915 square feet in size. From here, you will enjoy all the wonders the Mekong has to offer in sophisticated, yet comfortable style. With never more than 24 guests per expert guide, you will enjoy enriching lectures, a comprehensive series of well-planned excursions, and most meals and beverages! Also included is a three-night stay in Siem Reap including an in-depth visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat, and a two-night stay in bustling Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), each featuring five-star, centrally-located hotels.
With just 34 custom-designed suites, space is limited.
Luxury Level: **** Five Star
Activity Level: Low to Moderate
Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa – Siem Reap, Cambodia
The five-star Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa provides a sense of serenity with the nostalgic comfort and elegant refinement of the French Art de Vivre. Conveniently located in the heart of Siem Reap, in close proximity to the Angkor Archeological Area, the quaint Old Market, and the dynamic night markets, Victoria Angkor has been designed in total harmony with its natural surroundings. All accommodations have wooden floors, colonial style furnishings, and original artifacts, adding a warm touch of local culture, and open onto large balconies overlooking the saltwater pool set in lush, tropical gardens.
Dates of included stay: October 14-17, 2021.
Additional pre-program nights available for $220 per room per night including breakfast and all taxes.
Reminiscent in design of the French colonial-era manor homes that once lined the streets of old Saigon, the 34-suite/68-passenger Mekong Jewel lends a sophisticated, yet comfortable, ambiance while cruising the mighty Mekong River. Around every corner, guests will enjoy a blend of timeless elegance and modern luxuries as they experience the sights and sounds of a landscape that forever changes its visitors.
Accommodations on board the Mekong Jewel provide all the comfort and convenience of a five-star hotel, without denying you the thrills of complete immersion in the Mekong River experience. Spacious, well-appointed suites offer individual climate control, daily housekeeping with turn-down service, the finest bed linens and duvets, luxuriously soft robes and slippers, all-natural, therapeutic bath amenities, premium mattresses and pillow menu, flat-screen satellite TV, in-room electronic safe, complimentary minibar and complimentary wireless internet in all public areas, when available.
Dates of stay: October 17-24, 2021.
The Reverie Saigon
The Reverie Saigon has debuted as the most spectacularly extravagant hotel in Vietnam, and as the one and only member property of The Leading Hotels of the World in Ho Chi Minh City.
Taking pride of place on the topmost floors of the landmark Times Square Building in prestigious District 1, the much-lauded hotel presents world-class hospitality with its impeccable service and its unique celebration of haute Italian design and inimitable luxury.
Transcending expectations of place to a modern-day exploration of fanciful splendor, the sky-high Reverie Saigon offers an incomparable perspective on the city with its spectacular views.
Dates of included stay: October 24-26, 2021.
Additional post-program nights may be available. Please contact us for pricing and availability.
Hanoi and Halong Bay – Optional Pre-Program
October 10 – 14, 2021
Double occupancy $2,499 per person / Single occupancy pricing: $3,499
Begin your journey with an optional four-night pre-program extension, featuring three nights in historic Hanoi and one night aboard the Paradise Elegance ‘junk’ boat on the famed UNESCO World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay.
- 3-night hotel accommodations at the Intercontinental Westlake Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam, including buffet breakfast and luggage porterage. Accommodation in Lotus Suites, which include Club Lounge access, dedicated check-in, afternoon tea, twilight canapes and cocktails from 5-7pm, refreshments throughout the day, and complimentary pressing of two pieces per stay.
- Hanoi sightseeing
- Ha Long Bay one night cruise package including: meals and excursions
- Bottled water, coffee/tea and choice of 2 beverages with included meals (soft drinks, beer or wine)
- Hanoi to Ha Long Bay round-trip transfer by coach
- Luggage assistance at airport, hotel and junk boat
- Arrival and departure assistance at airport
- 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners
- Flight from Hanoi to Siem Reap
***Adding this extension will require you to obtain a multi-entry visa for Vietnam. We will remind you when it is time to obtain visas for this program.
Day 1 – Sunday, Oct 10, 2021: Hanoi Arrival
Upon arrival at Hanoi airport, proceed outside the terminal, meet your guide and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Hanoi at Intercontinental Westlake hotel
Day 2 – Monday, Oct 11, 2021: Hanoi – Half Day City Tour
Enjoy a morning at leisure at the hotel. Following lunch at your leisure, meet your guide for an afternoon of sightseeing including The Temple of Literature. Built in the early 11th century, it became Vietnam’s first university. After, we enjoy an electric cart ride through the city’s charming historic quarter to explore the hidden alleys, cafes and shops. Then watch a charming water puppet performance before returning to hotel. After some time to relax and refresh, we enjoy an included dinner at MAD Society restaurant. (B/D)
Overnight in Hanoi at Intercontinental Westlake hotel
Day 3 – Tuesday, Oct 12, 2021: Hanoi – Half Day City Tour
This morning we embark on a tour including a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex: The Vietnamese leader’s mausoleum, which overlooks Ba Dinh Square; Ho Chi Minh’s house, which is built on top of stilts surrounded by a botanical garden and lotus pond. Walk up the steps to see some of his belongings in his bedroom.
Afterwards we visit the Hoa Lo prison (“Hanoi Hilton”) and learn about the decades preceding its use as a place for holding American POWs. It was used by the French to imprison Vietnamese patriots. We then transfer back to the center to Hoan Kiem Lake & its legendary Ngoc Son Temple and The Huc Bridge.
Following an included lunch at Wild Lotus Restaurant, we return to the hotel for an afternoon of leisure or self-guided exploration. (B/L)
Overnight in Hanoi at Intercontinental Westlake hotel
Day 4 – Wednesday, Oct 13, 2021: Hanoi – Halong Bay
This morning following breakfast we transfer to Halong via motor coach. We’ll arrive to the Paradise Elegance around 12:30. After check-in and a short briefing about our cruise, we’ll enjoy our welcome lunch at Le Marin Restaurant. During lunch we sail toward Halong Bay, passing the famous Fighting Cocks Islet, and Thien Cung and Dau Go Caves.
Following lunch, your first excursion is a visit to Tung Sau Pearl Farm, an area in Halong Bay dedicated to growing pearls and practicing a handmade technique based on Vietnamese tradition and Japanese technology. This is also an ideal destination for kayaking. Later this afternoon we visit the magnificent Sung Sot Cave, where you can take in the panoramic views across Halong Bay after visiting the cave. Alternatively, you can opt for an afternoon of pampering at Le Parfum Spa or an afternoon tea in Le Piano Bar. Once back on board there will be a cooking demonstration and pre-dinner sunset cocktails. We anchor overnight at Coconut Tree Island.
After dinner in Le Marin restaurant, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy live music at Le Piano Bar. Or, take the opportunity for squid fishing, a spa treatment at Le Parfum Spa or watch movies in your cabin. (B/L/D)
Day 5 – Thursday, Oct 14, 2021: Halong Bay – Hanoi / Hanoi – Siem Reap
Early this morning watch the sunrise while taking part in a Tai Chi session on L’Odyssée Sundeck, followed by a light breakfast in Le Piano Bar.
Around 7:30 we make a visit to Titov Island, where you can go swimming or hike to the top for another stunning, panoramic view of the Bay. Once back on board, enjoy breakfast as we once again cruise past Thien Cung and Dau Go Caves and Fighting Cocks Islet.
After a late morning check- out, we return to shore and journey back to Hanoi, with an included lunch en-route. Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport, we check-in for our included flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia with an estimated arrival at 7:40pm. After check-in to the beautiful Victoria Angkor Hotel, enjoy dinner on your own and rest up for the start of the main program tomorrow. (B/L)
Notes: Due to cruising conditions, itineraries may change without prior notice. Wi-Fi is available in the restaurant/bar area, but internet connectivity is limited due to the geography of Halong. Thank you for your understanding.
- Visit the 12th century Angkorian temple complex of Wat Nokor Bachey
- Glide in wooden sampans to the historic An Kiet House and gardens in Cai Be, Vietnam
- Ride a Vietnamese tuk-tuk, or xe loi, to a family-owned mat weaving workshop
- Take a cyclo tour of Phnom Penh, including the Royal Palace, Throne Hall, Moonlight Pavilion, and the National Museum collection of Angkorian artifacts
- See Phnom Penh’s famous Silver Pagoda, home of Cambodia’s Emerald Buddha and the diamond-encrusted Maitreya Buddha
- From Phnom Pehn travel to Choeung Ek and see the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields, the memorial stupa, and Tuol Sleng (S-21 Prison)
- Tour a local school in the village of Wat Hanchey and receive a traditional Buddhist water blessing from the monks at the local monastery
- See Kampong Cham’s Phnom Pros (Man Hill), Phnom Srei (Woman Hill), the 33-foot long reclining Buddha, and the 42-foot tall preaching Buddha
- Brand g hosts throughout the program
- 3 nights deluxe hotel accommodations in Siem Reap, including daily breakfast, three lunches and one dinner
- 7-night cruise including all meals
- 2 nights deluxe hotel accommodations in Ho Chi Minh City, including daily breakfast, one lunch and one dinner
- Cruise includes free-flowing local spirits, house wines (wines with dinner only) and locally-produced beer and soft drinks
- Daily shore excursions and touring on both land and cruise
Arrive at the Siem Reap airport, where you will be greeted by a Brand g representative, who will transfer you to the elegant and serene Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa. There will be an informal meet and greet around 5:30 for those who have arrived.
You’ll begin your day at Angkor Wat, the most recognizable landmark in Cambodia, and the largest religious monument in the world, with the longest continuous bas-relief sculpture in existence. Enjoy lunch at a local Khmer restaurant. This afternoon, tour the city center of Siem Reap by tuk tuk (motorcycle rickshaw) for an introduction to Siem Reap’s many dining and shopping options, and a stop at a traditional artists’ workshop. This evening, guests will enjoy a private dinner with Apsara show at our hotel. (B/L/D)
This morning, we enter through the south gate of Angkor Thom for a guided tour of Bayon (the temple with the faces), then walk around the back of Bauphoun, and along the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. We continue to visit Ta Prohm, which has been overtaken by the jungle, with tentacle-like tree roots spilling over centuries-old walls and roofs, enveloping much of the structure. Then enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. This afternoon, you’ll visit Banteay Srey, considered to be the pinnacle of artistic achievement at Angkor, and Banteay Samré. Enjoy this evening at your own leisure. (B/L)
This morning is yours to relax and enjoy the hotel property or do some last minute shopping. This afternoon we travel to Kampong Cham, with lunch en route, to embark the ship. Following the informative Welcome Briefing, and meeting with our friendly crew, a Cambodian themed dinner is served in the Topaz Dining Room. (B/L/Welcome Dinner)
This morning, you walk up the hill to the local monastery of *Wat Hanchey and receive a traditional Buddhist Water Blessing from the resident monks. After enjoying a walk around the monastery and the amazing views of the Mekong River valley, you descend 303 steps and return to the ship. *For gentle walkers, there is a coach provided to bring you up the hill. In the afternoon, we will visit the charming town of Angkor Ban. Here, you will have a glimpse into the lives of the local people, starting with a visit to a family’s home to see how the locals live, along with an opportunity to meet the family and discuss their lifestyle. Next, you will continue through the village to the local private school, where you will join the children in their classroom and experience what their typical school day is like. You will then walk back through the village to the ship, with an opportunity to take photos along the way, including a brief stop at the local monastery complex. Late this evening we arrive and dock in Phnom Penh. (B/L/D)
After breakfast on board this morning, meet your cyclo/Tuk Tuk driver for an exciting morning city tour of Phnom Penh. You are gently transported by your driver along the riverfront to the Royal Palace complex. Here, enjoy a leisurely walk through the grounds, viewing Throne Hall and Moonlight Pavilion, before visiting the famous Silver Pagoda, home of Cambodia’s Emerald Buddha and Maitreya Buddha, encrusted with more than 9,000 diamonds. Return to your Cyclo for the short ride to the National Museum, ending the morning with a comprehensive tour of the many Angkorian-period artifacts excavated at the Angkor Temple complex at Siem Reap. Enjoy a free afternoon in Phnom Penh with a variety of optional excursions from which to choose, or simply enjoy your time independently shopping or dining at one of the many wonderful restaurants and pubs nearby. (B/L/D)
This morning, learn more about the darkest days of Cambodian history. After a scenic 45-minute drive from the ship, you arrive at the Choeung Ek killing fields, where you may walk through the fields, visit the small museum and Memorial Stupa, and learn more about the atrocities committed during the Khmer Rouge regime. Before returning to the ship, tour Tuol Sleng (also known as S-21), the former school converted to the main prison and torture headquarters of the Khmer Rouge. After returning to the ship, enjoy a free afternoon in Phnom Penh – shopping, dining at one of the many wonderful restaurants, participating in an optional cooking class, or exploring the city independently. This evening after dinner we’ll have an optional excursion visiting the local gay bars of Phnom Pehn. (B/L/D)
This morning, we depart Phnom Penh to sail downstream to the Cambodia/Vietnam border. Enjoy a leisurely cruise, taking in the sights along the Mekong River. Some activities will be offered on board, as well. Late this afternoon, we undergo border formalities, then cruise to Long Khanh Island. (B/L/D)
This morning, sampans take you to the local island village of Hong Ngu. Hong Ngu produces a large number of the traditional, Khmer scarves exported to Cambodia. Created in many homes around the village, you will have the opportunity to see the weaving process. Some villagers are also embroidery artists, displaying their art in and around the homes. The inhabitants of this area are especially friendly and welcoming. Before returning to the sampans, we will walk around this evergreen island and visit the home of a local War Veteran. In the afternoon, your sampans will bring you to Gieng Island, for a visit to a local village where hundreds of sampans and rowing boats are made daily. (B/L/D)
Upon arrival to Sa Dec, visit the home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, the inspiration of Marguerite Duras’ novel, L’Amant (The Lover), as well as the Chinese Temple which was build in honor of the Huynh Thuy Le Family. There, you will be welcomed by traditional Chinese Lions Dances. On your itinerary is a walk through the town’s market, where you experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the colorful fresh produce, meat, live fish and seafood for sale. After returning to the ship for lunch, guests enjoy an afternoon cruise to Cai Be. After, we board our sampans to visit a traditional rice factory, where workers produce rice paper, rice wine, popped rice, and many varieties of traditional candies. This evening, we will gather for a Farewell Reception with the entire crew, before enjoying a Cambodian Farewell Dinner in Le March Dining Room. (B/L/D)
After breakfast, bid farewell to the Mekong Jewel and enjoy a scenic drive to Ho Chi Minh City, where we begin our tour of the city’s incredible French Colonial architecture, including the Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Tonight is yours to enjoy at your leisure. (B/L)
After breakfast at the hotel this morning, enjoy a tour to the town of Cu Chi, where the local Vietnamese lived underground during the Vietnam war. This incredible complex features underground homes and tunnels, as well as examples of the traps used to maim and kill soldiers. This evening, we bid farewell, with a special farewell dinner. (B/D)
Transfer to the airport for your flight home. Hotel check out is at Noon. (B)
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