Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong (Northbound) 2019

13 day River Cruise Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap

Cruise WHS

From 

£2,941  pp

Cruise only

Departing 25 November 2019

From 

£3,781  pp

Cruise with flights & transfers

From London Heathrow

Showing 2019 information. Switch to 2020/21

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Overview

On this unique and inspiring Southeast Asia river cruise through Vietnam and Cambodia, you’ll be immersed in the cultures and ancient traditions as you sightsee and spend time with locals in the most fascinating places along the mighty Mekong River.


Spend time in the bustling Ho Chi Minh City which combines historic architecture with modern skyscrapers. See the famous landmarks and try your hand in the kitchen - Vietnamese-style, with a cooking class. Go back in time with an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels where you’ll have an opportunity to walk through a section of the immense underground tunnel system used extensively during the Vietnam War. Embark on your river cruise along the Mekong River and immerse yourself in the local cultures with a visit to a colorful market, the home of a local family making handcrafted sampans, and a workshop to learn how rice wine and traditional candies are made.

In the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, tour the National Museum and Royal Palace with its striking Silver Pagoda. On a hilltop at the site of the 8th-century temple of Wat Hanchey, take in the stunning views before walking through the rural village of Angkor Ban to visit with welcoming schoolchildren. Go on an ox cart ride amongst rice paddy fields and witness the daily lives of farmers.

The grand finale of this memorable Southeast Asia river cruise is a stay in Siem Reap, home to the phenomenal Temples of Angkor with an intricacy and architectural grandeur unmatched in the world. See the splendor of the Bayon temple featuring some 200 mysterious faces carved in its many towers. Then enjoy an inspiring Aspara dance performance - a perfect ending to this remarkable and cultural journey!

On this unique and inspiring Southeast Asia river cruise through Vietnam and Cambodia, you’ll be immersed in the cultures and ancient traditions as you sightsee and spend time with locals in the most fascinating places along the mighty Mekong River.


Spend time in the bustling Ho Chi Minh City which combines historic architecture with modern skyscrapers. See the famous landmarks and try your hand in the kitchen - Vietnamese-style, with a cooking class. Go back in time with an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels where you’ll have an opportunity to walk through a section of the immense underground tunnel system used extensively during the Vietnam War. Embark on your river cruise along the Mekong River and immerse yourself in the local cultures with a visit to a colorful market, the home of a local family making handcrafted sampans, and a workshop to learn how rice wine and traditional candies are made.

In the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, tour the National Museum and Royal Palace with its striking Silver Pagoda. On a hilltop at the site of the 8th-century temple of Wat Hanchey, take in the stunning views before walking through the rural village of Angkor Ban to visit with welcoming schoolchildren. Go on an ox cart ride amongst rice paddy fields and witness the daily lives of farmers.

The grand finale of this memorable Southeast Asia river cruise is a stay in Siem Reap, home to the phenomenal Temples of Angkor with an intricacy and architectural grandeur unmatched in the world. See the splendor of the Bayon temple featuring some 200 mysterious faces carved in its many towers. Then enjoy an inspiring Aspara dance performance - a perfect ending to this remarkable and cultural journey!

Itinerary

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are three types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Classic

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Day 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many.

Day 2 Ho Chi Minh City

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Motorbikes, Monuments and Mouthwatering Cuisine

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City’s historic landmarks, including a stop at the Rex Hotel for a refreshing drink at the rooftop bar where the U.S. Military held the infamous “Five O’Clock Follies” during the war. Then visit the War Remnants Museum and bustling Ben Thanh Market.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

For lunch, participate in a hands-on Vietnamese cooking class. Learn to prepare several local dishes and how to recreate them at home. Last, but not least, sample your delicious creations!

Explore the city further during free time this afternoon.

This evening join your travelling companions for a special welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 3 Ho Chi Minh City. Excursion to Cu Chi tunnels

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Secret Passageways and Underground Hideouts

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Drive out of the city for a guided visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels - an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles in length - used as a hideout and secret village by the Viet Cong.

Enjoy free time this afternoon and evening. Consider stopping for a drink at the famous rooftop bar at the Caravelle Hotel.

Day 4 Ho Chi Minh City (Embarkation)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Your Suite Ship is ready for boarding.

Transfer to the port on the Saigon River for embarkation. Get acquainted with the ship and relax before your welcome reception this evening.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO VINH LONG

Day 5 Vinh Long - Cu Lao Gieng

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Sweets, Sampans and Spires

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Board a sampan this morning for a local workshop visit in Vinh Long to see how rice paper, rice wine and traditional candies are made.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

This afternoon, enjoy scenes of daily life on Cu Lao Gieng Island via sampan and local motor cart. Your Guided Excursion starts at a local workshop, where a skilled family hand-crafts sampan boats. Then, visit the home of a local family that makes Vietnamese conical hats, or “Non la,” from materials available to them such as palm leaves and bamboo. These iconic hats are primarily used as protection from the sun and rain but you may also see them used as a basket to carry home goods from the market. Lastly, stop at one of Vietnam’s oldest Catholic churches.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO CHAU DOC

Day 6 Chau Doc - Long Khanh A - Border Crossing, Camodia

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Colourful Markets, Charming Locals and Cotton Weavers

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

In Chau Doc take a guided walk through the local market and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat and produce. Then embark on a river excursion down the backwaters of the Mekong. Along the way, see traditional floating homes, speedboat merchants, religious sites, a market selling dried goods and more.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

After lunch, a sampan brings you to the village of Long Khanh A for a cotton-weaving demonstration of a well-preserved artisan’s tradition. Return to the ship to set sail for the Cambodian border.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PHNOM PENH

Day 7 Phnom Penh

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Bonjour! French Charm Lives in Cambodia’s Capital City

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a city tour by private cyclo to visit the Royal Palace with the spectacular Silver Pagoda and the National Museum featuring an outstanding display of Khmer artefacts. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the city at your leisure.

Consider a guided optional tour of a local brewery with free-flowing local beer!

Just before dinner, children from a local orphanage will perform a show featuring local song and dance.

Day 8 Phnom Penh

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Shining a Light on a Dark History

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

This morning, a guided visit of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and one of the Killing Fields offers a glimpse into the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime.

After lunch, depart Phnom Penh and enjoy some time at leisure on the ship.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO WAT HANCHEY

Day 9 Wat Hanchey - Angkor Ban

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Water Blessings and Back To School Adventures

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Visit Wat Hanchey, a hilltop temple dating back to the 8th century. Climb or be driven to the top where you will enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area and partake in a traditional water blessing given by local monks.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

After lunch, enjoy a walking tour through the rural village of Angkor Ban. Here, you will visit a traditional Khmer house and interact with children at a local school.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO KONPONG LOUANG

Day 10 Konpong Louang - Kampong Tralach

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Calm in the Cambodian Countryside

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Start your guided sightseeing at the silversmith village in Konpong Louang. Here, see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art. In Kampong Tralach board an ox cart for a ride through the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to meet a local farmer and learn about his daily life.

This afternoon, enjoy scenic cruising on the Tonle River.

EVENING CRUISE TO PHNOM PENH

Day 11 Phnom Penh (Disembarkation) - Siem Reap

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

A Pilgrimage of Inspirational Beauty

Fly to Siem Reap, home to the Temples of Angkor, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth!

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

After lunch, begin your sightseeing tour by tuk-tuk to explore the temples. Start at the best preserved and most famous of all the temples: Angkor Wat. Featuring five trademark towers, it is the symbol of Cambodia. Then, visit Angkor Thom, where you will explore Bayon Temple with its 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas-relief sculptures, OR:

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Visit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Bayon Temple by bike.

The evening is yours to explore charming Siem Reap, stay to witness the sunset at Angkor Wat, or consider a guided optional excursion to the Cambodian circus.

Day 12 Siem Reap

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Roots Carved in Stone and Celebrated in Dance

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Continue your guided sightseeing of the Angkor temples at Ta Prohm. Tree roots cover the ruin walls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as early explorers. Then visit Banteay Srei, a unique temple built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. En route stop at a local village famous for making Khmer noodles by hand.

Spend the afternoon at leisure. You may choose a guided optional excursion to further explore Siem Reap or the temple complex by tuk-tuk.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

This evening, a private Apsara Dance Performance brings ancient Khmer culture to life through music, song and dance.

Day 13 Siem Reap

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.

Questions? Our travel specialists can help with any queries, quotes or special requirements.  Request a callback or email us.

Notes

Note: During low water conditions we may not be able to cruise upriver to Tonle Sap. Low water levels vary each year, depending on rainfall, but are generally between mid-December and June. Our ability to cruise to Tonle Sap will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.

2020 departures may be subject to itinerary modifications and full details will be published in February 2019. If we have to modify an itinerary, you will have an opportunity to cancel without penalty. See our full terms and conditions for more details.

Ship details

Onboard every one of our Suite Ships you'll find the same exacting standards and attention to detail. They all feature our one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites, with the widest opening windows in river cruising, and beds facing the incredible views. This cruise operates on the following ships.

Avalon Saigon

With its colonial charm and modern features, Avalon Saigon is specifically designed to offer the best cruise experience on the Mekong River, and is one of only two ships cruising from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap and vice versa. Accommodating up to 36 passengers, the ship is built as long and wide as other ships that carry twice as many guests, so the public spaces never feel congested. From the air-conditioned Panorama Lounge to the open-air observation lounge, there are plenty of places to relax, and with lounges located at the front of the ship, you’ll always have a great view.

Panorama Suite (B,A)
245 sq. ft.
Category A - Tonle Deck - floorplan
Picture of Category A Stateroom (245 sq ft) with large open-air balcony - Tonle Deck
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium mattress covers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, woolen blankets and European-style duvets
  • Soft and firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration - two twin beds or one king-size bed
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Wall-to-wall panoramic window measuring 14-feet wide that opens to transform the living space into a large, Open-Air Balcony®
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium bath amenities
  • Spacious wardrobe with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror & chair
  • In-house telephone
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
Deck Plans
deck plan

Deck plan key

  • Open-air observation lounge with premium lounge chairs
  • Panorama Lounge
  • Bar
  • Reception
  • Spa treatment room
  • Dining room
  • Kitchen
  • Navigation Bridge
  • Fitness centre

Stateroom categories

  • Category A
  • Tonle Deck
  • Category B
  • Mekong Deck

Avalon Siem Reap

The all-suite Avalon Siem Reap has been designed to provide a luxurious and intimate experience for just 36 guests and give you the chance to experience life along the Mekong. Built by local craftsmen, the ship has modern features yet still retains and reflects the charms of Vietnam and Cambodia. Avalon Siem Reap also delivers a refreshing outdoor experience, with all suites opening to the outside and two comfortable lounges offering unrivalled panoramic views. From the air-conditioned Panorama Lounge to the open-air observation lounge, there is plenty of seating and spots to relax. Plus, our lounges are located at the front of the ship, so no matter where you sit you'll always have a great view.

Panorama Suite (B,A)
245 sq. ft.
Category B - Mekong Deck - floorplan
Picture of Category B Stateroom (245 sq ft) with large open-air balcony - Mekong Deck
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium mattress covers
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, woolen blankets and European-style duvets
  • Soft and firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration - two twin beds or one king-size bed
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Wall-to-wall panoramic window measuring 14-feet wide that opens to transform the living space into a large, Open-Air Balcony®
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer and premium bath amenities
  • Spacious wardrobe with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror & chair
  • In-house telephone
  • Bathrobes and slippers
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
Deck Plans
Avalon Siem Reap deck plan

Deck plan key

  • Open-air observation lounge with premium lounge chairs
  • Panorama Lounge
  • Bar
  • Reception
  • Spa treatment room
  • Dining room
  • Kitchen
  • Navigation Bridge
  • Fitness centre

Stateroom categories

  • Category A
  • Tonle Deck
  • Category B
  • Mekong Deck

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