A lower Mekong cruise that modules the diversity of the rich, local and evergreen life of the Mekong Delta. The cruise gives a full insight on the Mekong at its last “meters” before the ocean and displays the importance of the delta to Vietnam and actually the whole planet.
Like pearls on a rope you will collect all your memories of this fascinating spot on our planet.A half day leisure cruise will provide “the” magic therapeutic Mekong River cruise moments as add-on. The displayed program below is a sample of a 3-night upstream cruise between Saigon and Phnom Penh.
High Water Season runs from mid-August to November and Low Water Season from December to mid-August. Upriver itineraries differ between seasons, Downriver itineraries remain the same year-round, however please note that all itineraries are dependent on the river water level, weather conditions, and accessibility to locations, so may vary.
DAY 1: SAIGON – MY THO – CAI BE
We gather before noontime at our welcome lounge in Saigon. Lean back with a drink as our staff welcomes you and collects your details for the boarding.
We bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon and travel 70 kilometers south overland to My Tho to embark your luxury floating home for your coming journey along the Might Mekong.
Upon boarding our crew warmly welcomes you and you check in to your prepared staterooms. The ship set sail and your fasctinating journey of exploring the Mekong can begin. Lunch buffet is served in the restaurant while the vessel steadily glides upstream to reach the overnight spot. Make yourself familiar with all the ship facilities. Now it is time to become one with one of the largest streams in Asia.
The afternoon allows you pastime at your private balcony or join our tea time at the open air bar as the twilight bathes the land of Mekong Delta into a golden haze.
During the time you savor your dinner the ship reaches Cai Be. Cai Be is a charming small town, famous for its Catholic French church and manufacturing of traditional crafts and food products. The floating market of Cai Be is getting smaller every year, since trading on the water is shifting more and more into modern central markets.
We drop anchor mid-stream and overnight near Cai Be.
DAY 2: CAI BE – SA DEC – TAN CHAU
Everyday, we offer to our guests an invigorating Tai Chi class on the sun deck. Set in your day like many local people do around Asia just as the sun begins its gentle glow.
A sumptuous buffet breakfast is the perfect start in your first exploration day in the Mekong Delta.
The morning tour takes you Cai Be. Cai Be still hosts a small floating market for boat to boat trading of local goods such as fruits and agricultural products. Our guide explains the particularities of this long lasting dealing cutlture. Each boat has a special marker to let buyers know what goods they are selling.
Cai Be is a rustic town criss-crossed by and many water canals. We go on-shore to visit a workshop where we learn about and observe how rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies or rice wine is manufactured. Cai Be and its surrounding areas are covered by palmtrees and hence the region is also famous for the production of coconut candies. With our local boat we continue to cruise through the lush and green canel network and can observe farmers working in the fields.
Back on board lunch is served and you have some time for yourself afterwards to either enjoy a true Vietnamese coffee at the bar or simply watch the life on the riverbanks floating by.
In the afternoon, we reach the area of Sa Dec. We embark a traditional sampan and tour towards Binh Thanh Island. This island is one of the larger ones in the vast stream of the Mekong. Some communities have settled here and make their living by growing water hyazinths. We visit exclusively one of those untouched areas. By wandering through the village we get a deep understanding of the native life. But moreover we can follow the whole process of ratt making. You can even try yourself the weaving which is still done manually. We will meet also an old local people who shares with us their story on this island and they are happy for any chit-chat with you.
Back on board you may like to pamper yourself with a spa treatment or take a dip in our pool on the sun deck. Our expert guides offer a presentation on the “Life on the Mekong Delta” as the ship continues sailing to Tan Chau - the boarder town to Cambodia. We moor mid-stream near Tan Chau.
Dinner is served and afterwards you can join our evening cinema session (offered every night) featuring selected classic movies.
DAY 3: TAN CHAU – BORDER CROSSING – PHNOM PENH
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the dining hall or in the quiet sanctuary of your balcony.
Brace yourself for an excursion around Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced town near the Cambodian border with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. Once arrived on-shore we hop on “xelois” to explore Tan Chau. A xelaoi is a local vehicle which is still used as taxi in this region. We slowly move around the streets to see all the workshops, houses and domiciles. Get to feel the laid back vibes of this place. We stop at the colorful local market near one of the ancient temples. This is the best time you can interact with the vendors of this friendly town to make your own bargain experience. We board our local boats and cruise along floating houses to finally reach a floating fish farm. This region is the source of fish production to be sold all over the world and we can see closely how fish farmings works.
Back on board our “home” we sail towards the Vietnamese-Cambodian border. Get ready for a fascinating and leisurely cruise through the deep Cambodia countryside towards Phnom Penh.
The whole afternoon is at your own arrangements. This is the cruise part when even the last passenger will turn into cruise mode and hopefully experience the therapeutical influence this mighty river radiates. It is time for massages, time for sun bed relaxations, time for private balcony kick-backs - forsooth the time to merge with the river.
A culinary class if offered during the afternoon to sharpen your knowledge and skills on the local cuisine. Some may like to do a flying visit at the bridge - the captain always has a story to share about “his” river. “The Highway Blues” beckons as we float into a state of mild bliss and before you totally drift away join our afternoon high tea for some treats.
Dinner is served before we arrive in the capital of Cambodia around 8 o’clock. The boat docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. You are free to go for your first exploration by yourself. Stroll along the river promenade and watch the locals chit-chating, selling odds and ends or have a drink in one of the numerous bars (kindly inform our crew once you are leaving the ship on your own).
DAY 4: PHNOM PENH
Welome to Phnom Penh - the once called Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. It is an amazing town to bespeak centuries of incredible history and culture which can still be felt at many street corners.
After breakfast we bid farewell to our passenger of the Pearl of the Orient Cruise (3-nights).
- Please note that all cruise itineraries are subject to change due to seasonal weather conditions (and resultant variations in river and tributary water levels) affecting accessibility to locations. Thus navigation routes, times and excursions may need to be modified at the cruise captain’s discretion.
- Passengers should also be aware that animal sightings cannot be guaranteed due to the unpredictability of wildlife behavior.