About the Trip
JANUARY 3 – 15, 2019
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.
Join us on a comprehensive 12-night journey through the heart of Cambodia and Vietnam, featuring a seven-night all-gay cruise charter along the mighty Mekong River. Cruise aboard the all-suite, luxurious Mekong Navigator, specially constructed to ply the Mekong River from fabled Siem Reap, 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 258 square feet up to an expansive 584 square feet in size. From here, you will enjoy all the wonders the Mekong has to offer in a sophisticated, yet comfortable style.
With never more than 22 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), and each featuring five-star, centrally located hotels.
You’ll also enjoy complimentary beverages, locally produced beer, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks as well as house wines with dinner. Dine on European cuisine and regional specialties infused with flavors from Asia’s celebrated culinary tradition.
Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa – Siem Reap, Cambodia
The five-star Victoria Angkor Resort & 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.
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 all of 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.
Sofitel Metropole Legend – Hanoi, Vietnam
The Hotel Metropole Hanoi is an award-winning French colonial-style hotel lying in the heart of Hanoi, near Hoan Kiem Lake and the magnificent Opera House.
Boasting a classical white façade, green shutters, original wrought iron detail, wood paneling and a lush courtyard lawn, the hotel is one of the region’s few remaining hotels of its era. The property offers 364 rooms & suites, complemented by a choice of three restaurants (French, Vietnamese and Italian), three bars, seven function rooms, a heated swimming pool, health club, the luxurious Le Spa du Metropole, complimentary wifi and for hotel guests a daily tour of the recently opened war-time bomb shelter and Path of History guided by hotel’s Ambassador of History.
Reminiscent in design of the French, colonial-era, manor homes that once lined the streets of old Saigon, the 34-suite/56-passenger Mekong Navigator 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 Navigator 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, and much more.
• Premium mattresses and pillow menu
• Luxurious, 500-thread-count linens and duvet
• Flat-screen satellite TV
• In-room electronic safe
• Complimentary Minibar
• Generous closet space and under bed storage
• Daily housekeeping and turn-down service
• Complimentary bottled water replenished daily
• Complimentary wireless Internet in all public areas, when available
4 Night Post Program Extension – January 15–19
Hanoi and Ha Long Bay
End your journey with an optional four-night post program extension, featuring the famed UNESCO World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay, including two nights at the luxurious Sofitel Metropole Hotel and two overnights aboard the Paradise Elegance ‘junk’ boat in beautiful Ha Long Bay.
January 15, 2019
- Morning: Fly from Saigon to Hanoi (Flight around 10am)
- Afternoon: Hanoi City tour
- Overnight at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel
January 16, 2019
- Morning: Transfer from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay
- Overnight on junk
January 17, 2019
- Overnight on junk
January 18, 2019
- Morning: Transfer from Ha Long Bay to Hanoi
- Afternoon: Enjoy the electronic cart and Water Puppet Show.
- Overnight at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel
January 19, 2019
- Transfer to Hanoi airport for return flight home.
- International airfare from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi (one way, economy class)
• 2-night hotel accommodations in at the Sofitel Metripole Legend, Hanoi, Vietnam, including buffet breakfast and porterage
• Ha Long Bay overnight cruise package including: 2 nights cabin accommodations on Paradise Elegance junk boat; lunch, dinner, brunch; excursions to Thien Canh Son cave and beach.
• Bottled water, coffee/tea, soft drinks with included meals
• Hanoi to Ha Long Bay round-trip transfer by coach
• Hanoi sightseeing
• Luggage assistance at airport, hotel and junk boat
• Arrival or departure assistance at airport
Double occupancy pricing: $2,199 per person
Single occupancy pricing: $3,099
Pre and Post Hotel Nights
Additional pre and post hotel nights are available. Please contact us for pricing and availability
• 3 nights deluxe hotel accommodations in Siem Reap, including daily breakfast, two 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 land and cruise.
• 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 cycle 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.
• 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.
Arrive at the Siem Reap airport, where you will be greeted by a 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. Tour the city center of Siem Reap by tuk tuk (motorcycle rickshaw), this afternoon 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.
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.
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.
This morning is yours to relax and enjoy the hotel property or do some last minute shopping. This afternoon we travel to Kampong Cham to embark the ship.
Following the informative Welcome Briefing, and meeting with the friendly crew, a Cambodian theme dinner is served in the Le Marche Dining Room.
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 bringing you up to 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.
After breakfast on board this morning, Tuk Tuk drivers meet you on the pier for an exciting morning tour of Phnom Penh. You are gently transported along the riverfront to the Royal Palace complex, where you enjoy a leisurely walk through the grounds.
After viewing Throne Hall and Moonlight Pavilion, you visit the famous Silver Pagoda, home of Cambodia’s Emerald Buddha and the Maitreya Buddha, which is encrusted with more than 9,000 diamonds.
Your Tuk Tuk is waiting outside to take you on the short ride to the open-air National Museum, housing the largest collection of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artifacts excavated at the Angkor Temple complex at Siem Reap, as well as other areas around Cambodia.
After returning to the ship, enjoy a free afternoon in Phnom Penh—shopping, dining at one of the many wonderful restaurants, or exploring the city independently.
*There is a scheduled shuttle coach with your local guide provided from the port to the Central Market for your shopping time.
Before dinner, local children entertain guests on the Sun Deck with a cultural performance including Apsara, Cambodia’s national dance, as well as traditional folk dances.
In the 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.
Departing Phnom Penh to sail downstream to the Cambodia-Vietnam border.
This morning we sail downstream to Tan Chau, Vietnam. Experience vastly different ways of life along the Mekong Delta today when sampans sail to a temple of the Cao Dai religion, one of the unique amalgam religions founded in Vietnam in an effort to stop the fighting between various faiths. Enjoy a 15-minute ride on a xe loi (local Vietnamese tuk-tuk), to a family-owned mat weaving workshop, before returning to the sampans to visit a floating fish farm and to walk through a local village on Evergreen Island.
In the afternoon, your sampans will bring you Gieng Island with visit to a local village where hundreds of sampans and rowing boats are made daily. Experience a sampan cruise to untouched canal and finally visiting to the Gieng Cathedral built in 1879 right after the Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon in 1863.
You will have a chance to interact with a local priest at the cathedral.
Upon arrival to Sa Dec, your sampans return for a leisurely, scenic navigation of the narrow canals of the Mekong, where you will observe daily routines of the villagers en route to the historic town of Sa Dec.
A stop at a local brick factory reveals the process of brick making by local men and women utilizing clay from the Mekong River. In the town of Sa Dec you visit the home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, the inspiration of Marguerite Duras’ novel, L’Amant (The Lover), and walk through the town’s market, experiencing the sights, sounds, smells, and wonderful photo opportunities found in the colorful fresh produce, meat, and live fish and seafood for sale.
Upon arrival to Vinh Long, your sampans then travel to a traditional rice factory where workers produce rice paper, rice wine, popped rice, and many varieties of traditional candies.
Following breakfast traditional sampans sail past the city’s beautiful French gothic cathedral to see the local floating market. You will experience a rowing boat through the natural canal under shades of water coconut trees.
On your walking tour, visiting to a traditional handicraft village making rice paper and “banh khot” (a kind of Vietnamese pancakes), seeing how local people using water hyacinth to make the baskets and bags.
In the evening, you gather in the Sun Deck in front of the Le Salon Lounge for a Farewell Reception with the entire crew, before enjoying a Cambodian Farewell Dinner in Le March Dining Room.
After breakfast, bid farewell to the Mekong Navigator and enjoy a scenic drive to Ho Chi Minh City, where we begin our tour of the city’s incredible French Colonial architecture of the Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Tonight is yours to enjoy at your leisure.
After breakfast at the hotel this morning, enjoy a tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels to experience the system of underground passages.
This evening we bid farewell, with a special farewell dinner.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home. Hotel check out is at Noon.
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