A fascinating, rewarding and multilayered adventure.
Two of the most beautiful, historic and friendly places in all of Asia, dynamic Vietnam and pastoral Cambodia are intriguing studies in contrast. Each possesses its own unique charm and social traditions, its own tragic history and complex past. In many ways, a visit here is less about the sights you see than it is about the people you meet and the experiences you have along the way.
Ho Chi Minh City offers a heady mixture of old and new while Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, surprises visitors with its charm. As the lifeblood of Southeast Asia, the Mekong teems with colorful floating villages and mementos of its French Colonial past. Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s thriving capital, is fast-forwarding to the future yet retains a provincial intimacy. And colorful Siem Reap provides the gateway to the vast UNESCO-designated jungle temple complex of Angkor Wat.
DAY 1: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to your luxury hotel. You will be greeted with a private check-in, welcome drink and information packet at the hotel. An elegant flower arrangement and fruit platter await you in your room. Tonight, consider popping out to explore the lively Ben Thanh Night Market or one of the city’s quintessential evening cafés—either choice would mark a splendid start to your adventure.
DAY 2: Ho Chi Minh City
As Asia’s “comeback kid,” there’s something so invigorating about Ho Chi Minh City, a busting metropolis with a youthful and innovative energy—and no wonder, given that more than half the population is younger than 35. Embrace the dynamic spirit of the city formerly known as Saigon on today’s panoramic tour. History melds with the boisterous present in Vietnam’s largest city, where skyscrapers tower over ancient temples and motorbikes putter along picturesque alleys. It was founded in 1690; became the capital of French Cochinchina in the 1860s, when it was known as Saigon; and acquired its modern moniker in 1976, when it was named for Communist leader Ho Chi Minh.
Dynamic Ho Chi Minh City
Dinner Cruise on Saigon Princess
DAY 3: Ho Chi Minh City, Transfer to My Tho (Embark), Cai Be
Ready for an adventure? Today’s featured excursion provides a fascinating glimpse of the Viet Cong’s vast network of incredibly narrow, booby-trapped tunnels dating from the Vietnam War. If you dare, you can even climb down inside for an up-close look.
Vestiges of war—Cú Chi Tunnels
DAY 4: Cai Be, Vinh Long
Get set for an authentic slice of daily life along the Mekong with visits to two quintessentially Vietnamese locales, Vinh Long and Cai Be, which you’ll see by sampan. Meet village elders, experience the lively floating market and visit workshops creating products made from rice. Today’s itinerary features two towns that have been shaped by the Mekong in this agrarian but densely populated region, Vinh Long and Cai Be.
Village life on the Mekong
DAY 5: Sa Dec, Cu Lao Gieng, Cruising the Mekong River
Dip into Vietnam’s colorful and culturally eclectic past in Sac Dec—the former haunt of author Marguerite Duras—and the island of Gieng, which boasts a rather unexpected array of Catholic churches and monasteries. Two very different destinations await you today: busy Sa Dec and peaceful Gieng Island. Both reflect Vietnam’s multicultural history.
Sampans and colonial romance
DAY 6: Tan Chau, Evergreen Island, Cruising the Mekong River, Phnom Penh
More authentic encounters await you today, starting with a sampan ride through the floating villages lining the banks of the great river. Stop at a temple devoted to Vietnam’s homegrown religion, then hop aboard a rickshaw for a ride to a factory that makes handwoven reed baskets. Later, cruise through the canals to Evergreen Island, where village houses are built on stilts. Thousands of boats ply the waters of the Mekong—wooden cargo boats, water taxis, dredges, fishing craft. Traditional and modern elements mingle in this region, but the river rules everything.
Daily life on the great delta
DAY 7: Phnom Penh
Once considered the loveliest of Indochina’s French-built cities, Phnom Penh has somehow retained much of its charm despite all the political and cultural turmoil of the 20th century. See how this fascinating city is rediscovering itself with an insightful panoramic tour and time to explore on your own. Founded in the 15th century, Phnom Penh is the thriving capital of the kingdom of Cambodia. It stands at the juncture of three rivers and is divided into three distinct districts: the French colonial area, a handsome residential district and a rapidly changing Old Town.
Cambodia’s capital—Phnom Penh
DAY 8: Phnom Penh, Cruising the Mekong River
Today’s featured excursion may be the most profound and memorable experience of your entire journey. You’ll learn about the infamous Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge and visit a former school-turned-prison that is now a genocide museum.
The Killing Fields—tragedy and reconciliation in Cambodia
DAY 9: Angkor Ban, Wat Hanchey
If yesterday was an exploration of Cambodia’s dark past, today is a celebration of the country’s bright future. You’ll meet young children at a local school and friendly villagers in their homes, and have a rare opportunity to receive a special water blessing from Buddhist monks. The mighty river carries you into the Cambodian countryside today, giving you an opportunity to meet and chat with locals.
Cambodia’s vibrant cultural life
DAY 10: Kampong Cham (Disembark), Transfer to Siem Reap
Siem Reap is your base for exploring Angkor Wat, the heart of the ancient Khmer empire. The city has an allure all its own, with sprawling markets, a lively dining scene and enticing street food. You’ll disembark in the morning and transfer via executive motorcoach to Siem Reap, a place name that means, literally, “Defeat of Siam”—which tells you something of its history. It is the gateway to Angkor, the legendary archaeological site.
Art School and Artisan visit by remork
DAY 11: Siem Reap
Today is a Bucket List Moment kind of day, as you unleash your inner Indiana Jones and explore the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, a gigantic religious complex that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Regarded as the pinnacle of the dazzling, inventive culture that flourished in medieval Cambodia, it is one of the most spectacular monuments you will ever lay eyes on. The next two days are devoted to the astonishing Angkor Wat complex.
Angkor Wat Temple
Khmer Noodle House at Preak Dak Village
Apsara show and dinner
Today’s lunch will be on your own. NOTE: Order of sightseeing may change on Days 11 and 12. Temple visits are subject to change due to factors beyond our control.
DAY 12: Siem Reap
Today you will enter the spectacular remnants of Angkor Thom, the royal city. Prepare to be amazed! Built during the heyday of the Khmer dynasty in the 12th century, this extraordinary complex of Hindu and Buddhist monuments was once lost to the world for many years, hidden under dense jungle vines.
South gate of Angkor Thom Bayon and Ta Prohm
NOTE: Order of sightseeing may change on Days 11 and 12. Temple visits are subject to change due to factors beyond our control.
DAY 13: Siem Reap
Check out of your luxury hotel and head to Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport for your flight home.
The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.
Ship: Mekong Navigator
|Dates||Superior Suite||Vista Suite||Signature Suite||Prestige Suite||Grand Suite|
- All fares are per guest in AU dollars based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted.
- Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice.
- Availability of all stateroom categories cannot be guaranteed.
- Single Supplement applies for single accommodation.
- Itineraries, hotels, and vessels may change, and substitute visits to other sites may occur during your trip due to water level fluctuations and other uncontrollable factors.
- The order of sightseeing and docking ports are subject to change according to port authority assignments.
For further detail on this or any other packages, please contact us on 1300 968 787