DAY 1: SAIGON – MY THO (D) – “The Sea of Mangroves”
Bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon and onto My Tho for embarkation. My Tho is 70km South of Saigon and located on the upper Mekong river in Vietnam. Enjoy a cocktail reception at the Funnel Bar and Lounge followed by a Welcome Dinner on the Sun Deck. Anchor just outside of My Tho for the night. Overnight on board
DAY 2: CAI BE – CHAU DOC (B,L,D) – “Vietnamese inventiveness”
Start the cruise among local sampans coming from all provinces of the delta to buy and sell fruits and vegetables. Proceed to Dong Hoa Hiep island located between Vinh Long and Cai Be. During a 40 minute cruise, discover beautiful landscapes along the river and observe typical life on the Mekong Delta. These evergreen islands on the Mekong River still remain unknown to many people. Further stops will allow you to see traditional brick and tile factories and how locals use palm leaves for houses. After touring the canals, head to the Ba Duc ancient house to have know the descendants of the former imperial residents. Then you will observe the Cai Be colorful floating market.
Back on the sampans, cruise further to Phu An hamlet passing by Cai Be’s beautiful cathedral. Then you can choose to stay on the boat, go straight to the restaurant or explore the edges of the canals on bicycle. Lunch awaits you at Le Longanier, a superb Indochinese villa located in a lush tropical garden by the river, surrounded by fruit orchards. After lunch the cruise will continue with a visit to some interesting home factories to see how rice paste, rice cookies and coconut candies, are made, along with the longan fruit drying process.
Board The Jayavarman for a relaxing evening cruise towards Chau Doc. Overnight on board
DAY 3: CHAU DOC – CAMBODIA BORDER CROSSING (B,L,D) – “Taste of aqua cultural life”
Welcome to the circus of fish. Brace yourself for a short excursion around the town. After that you will have a short walk to visit the local market, then the temple nearby. Go back to the quay, you will start a boat excursion to the exciting floating villages and catfish farms witnessing masses of basa fish being fed, hand in hand with a shore excursion to the village of the local Muslim Cham community.
By mid-afternoon, The Jayavarman casts off for the border towards Phnom Penh. Overnight on board
DAY 4: PHNOM PENH (B,L,D) – “Pearl of the East”
After breakfast, embark on a city tour in this dynamic, historical capital of Cambodia which has retained its French colonial charm. Sightseeing in the morning will include the dazzling white and gold architecture of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, outstanding displays of Khmer crafts at the National Museum. After lunch in a local restaurant, examine the painful, heart wrenching reminders of Cambodia’s ugly past under the Khmer Rouge regime with an excursion to the Genocide museum. Then follows a traditional Apsara dance performance. Experience the brilliance and richness of the culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a delicious Khmer food buffet. Overnight on board.
DAY 5: PHNOM PENH – KAMPONG CHAM (B,L,D) – “Along the Mekong”
Depart before the break of dawn from Phnom Penh with a stop at the little known Chong Koh silk weaving village for a leisure walk. We cruise past the Mekong’s tranquil villages and river life with scores of fishermen on duty.
Visit the rural Angkor Ban with a beautiful pagoda and old houses. Travelers can visit the village and take part in activities to experience village life. Then back to the ship to cruise towards Kampong Cham. Overnight on board
DAY 6: KAMPONG CHAM – WAT HANCHEY (B,L,D) – “Cambodia’s province and the wetlands”
Wake up in the wee hours of the morning, truly energized to embark on a journey upriver to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers some of the best views in Cambodia. Dating from the 8th century, these ancient structures do justice to the architecture of the Chenla Empire which predated the glories of the mighty Angkor. Enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding well organized rice paddy plains, as well as a travelers blessing performed by the local monks.
Cast off and cruise towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor, a wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple that holds a timeless story. On the way back to the ship will be a visit to one of the many Orphanages in Kampong Cham. Overnight on board
DAY 7: KAMPONG CHAM – KAMPONG CHHHNANG – TONLE SAP (B,L,D) – “Waterworld”
Before the sun rises, The Jayavarman sets sail to Kampong Chhnang via Prek K’dam along the meandering Tonle Sap River, which narrows through leafy swaths of the South East Asian jungle. Enjoy lunch on The Jayavarman while cruising towards Kampong Chhnang.
After lunch, take a motorboat excursion from Kampong Chhnang to see the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region. Further down the river we take part in an ox cart rally before being introduced to the Heritage Line pro bono “literacy project”.
This is the day to truly experience rural Khmer life. In the evening, a mouth watering Farewell Dinner will be served. Overnight on board
DAY 8: TONLE SAP – SIEM REAP (B) – “Angkor Awaits”
This great lake dominates Cambodia and is over 150 km in length. The birdlife is profuse and from the middle of the lake one cannot even see the shores.
The water level varies a great deal according to the time of the year and the amount of rainfall recorded. Thus, changes may occur for the different seasons.
High Water Program (approx. between July and December)
Cross the Tonle Sap Lake at dawn and at 9:00 disembark at Siem Reap Port for an onward coach transfer to the hotel by 10:00 pm.
Low Water Program (approx. between December and June)
Cruise early morning to Prek K’dam where you will disembark The Jayavarman after breakfast. Board a coach at 8:30 am which will take you to FCC Angkor drop off point. A packed lunch and refreshments will be available along the way with a short break at the spider town of Skon. Arrive in Siem Reap early afternoon.