Day 1: Phnom Penh - border crossing ” (L, D)
Board the cruise liner at 07:30. The Ship then sets sail for a lazy day of cruising along the main Mekong Channel. As this is an international shipping route, you will witness large commercial ships plying this route. Later, in the afternoon, we set off to the Vietnamese border for the requisite cross border paperwork. As the process tends to take some time, we bask in the glow of the afternoon sun on the Sun Deck, pamper ourselves silly at the Spa, or sharpen our culinary skills with the our Cambodian and Vietnamese cuisine cooking class. The ship moors midstream overnight. The ship moors midstream overnight.
Day 2: Chau Doc - Sa Dec (B, L, D)
Welcome to the circus of fish. Embark the ship at 07:30 and we will brace ourselves for a short excursion in Chau Doc, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer communities. We will also visit the colorful local market near an ancient temple. This is followed by a trip to the quay, where we will be feted to a boat excursion to the floating market and rustic catfish farms. We will certainly enjoy watching schools of basa fish being fed by hand. Then, it is back to the ship for a lunch. In the late afternoon, we will set off for Sa Dec.
Day 3: Cai Be - Sa Dec - My Tho (B, L, D)
We arrive in Sa Dec late at night and the following morning, we embark a traditional sampan* to tour Binh Thanh Island and its man-made canals. Here, every villager is involved in the process of growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fibre floor mats and rattan baskets. After lunch onboard, the ship arrives in Cai Be. The tour starts with a visit to Cai Be’s boisterous and colorful floating market where traders gather in a cacophonous congregation. During the languid ride, we discover breathtaking landscapes along the river and quaff the rustic life on the Mekong Delta. The evergreen islands along the Mekong River remains unknown to many people. The cruise will halt intermittenly to allow us to observe how rice paste, rice cookies and coconut candies are made, along with the Long An fruit drying process. After touring the canals, we head to an ancient house surrounded by fruit orchards before heading to the ship for dinner. We then board the Ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards My Tho. A wonderful farewell party awaits us on the cruise.
*sampan - a flat bottomed traditional Vietnamese wooden boat.
Day 4: My Tho - Saigon (B)
Our cruise on the magnificent ship comes to an end as the ship winds its way to My Tho, approximately 70km south of Saigon on the upper Mekong river in Vietnam. We bid farewell to the cruise as our journey comes to a close. But the memories - and the friendships made on board - linger on for a lot longer. We disembark at around 09:00 and we join the transfer to madding crowd of Saigon.