7 Night Classic Mekong Downstream River Cruise from Kampong Cham to My Tho Exclusive Francis Travel Marketing Offer on this magnificent itinerary!
7-Nights accommodation aboard Tonle Pandaw
Main meals from a local master chef heading an experienced international culinary team
Local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes
Welcome drink on arrival, welcome cocktail, farewell reception
Series of cultural performances, educational talks, cooking classes, and ship tour
Guide services (English language)
Transfers between the meeting point and the ship at the start and end of a voyage
Complimentary Free Flow Drinks Package
7 Night cruise sailing from Siem Reap to Saigon onboard Tonle Pandaw.
There can be no tapestry of river life as fascinating and varied as the River Mekong. Indeed there can be no more striking a cultural contrast as that between the bustling Vietnam delta and the tranquility of Cambodia. We pass from the vibrant French colonial port of Saigon, through the vast delta so rich in human life and endeavour, to travel along the main channel into the rich countryside of Cambodia. With a full day in charming Phnom Penh we then explore remoter waterways as we progress to the great monuments of Angkor.
Highlights of this cruise:
DAY 1 SIEM REAP
Embark on your Pandaw at Kampong Cham. The vessel will proceed upstream to moor midstream for cocktails and to meet key crew.
DAY 2 WAT HANCHEY, OBT CHIRO VILLAGE & WAT NOKOR BACHEY
Sunrise cruise to Wat Hanchey an important centre of worship during the Chenla period located on top of a hill above the mighty Mekong River with some of the best Mekong views in Cambodia. Visit 8th century structures some destroyed by American bombings during the Vietnam War. Well noted for its bizarre Fruit and Animal statues.
We cruise back downstream to Kampong Cham where after lunch we travel by Bus to the local OBT Chiro Village where the education of local children is high on the agenda. Pre-Hospitality training courses, plastic recycling, bee keeping, farming and handicraft skill projects are set up to improve the skill set of local children. We then travel to the Wat Nokor Bachey dating back to the Jayarvaman VII period. Built completely from Black Sandstone which makes it standout from other temples built during this period. Many legends surround this complex one being it was built by a king who accidently killed his father then married his mother as per Greek legend. This temple was built in penance fir his crime.
DAY 3 SILK ISLAND
Sailing downstream all morning, with lectures and film presentations, past Phnom Penh and up the Tonle River to board our expedition vessel, the Pandaw Explorer, to visit Koh Okhna Tey, or ‘silk island’ to study the entire silk making process from worms to weavers. There will be a demonstration of the ancient Khmer martial art of Bokator. Return to ship and return down the Tonle River to turn up the Mekong at the confluence. Evening lecture on Angkor and Khmer culture.
DAY 4 PHNOM PENH
Morning orientation of Phnom Penh by cyclo visiting the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda followed by the National Museum with its marvellous collection of Angkorian statuary. Afternoon optional visit to the Killing Fields and Genocide museum or take a tuk-tuk to explore the riverfront and finish with High Tea at Raffles Hotel. Overnight in Phnom Penh city port with its lively bars, restaurants and night life.
DAY 5 VIETNAM BORDER
Early sailing to the Vietnam border for formalities and during this stationary period there is an optional tour of the working ship and fruit carving classes on deck. Afternoon, explore the labyrinthine canal system around Tan Chau to visit a Taoist temple where the monks will read fortunes. Continue through local villages by Xi Loi stopping off to help locals tend their fields before stopping off to visit a fish farm and earn merit by releasing fish back into the Mekong.
DAY 6 CON PHUOC ISLAND
In the morning sail up a small canal to moor off Con Phuoc Island and go ashore to explore the island by tuk-tuk seeing basket production and visiting a 100-year old Catholic Church and local woodworking artisans.
After a short cruise downstream in the afternoon we take a short coach trip where we visit Gao Giong ‘green oasis’ with its bird sanctuary. Here a diverse selection of water birds and egrets that gather in the tens of thousands across the Duong Tharp Muoi or ‘Plain of Reeds’. Rowing boats traverse the canals to take us to see the principal nesting areas.
DAY 7 BEN TRE
After breakfast the ship moors off Cho Lach island for pot making and further glimpses of Delta life, agriculture and local Viet hospitality including a culinary lesson in making traditional Banh Xeo. Upon return to the boat we take a cruise downstream to Ben Tre. Where we travel by sampans through mangroves and bamboo groves to the fruit orchards of Ben Tre. In these local artisans are at work and are invite visitors into their homes for tea, fruit and honey products made from their own honey. This is an area rich in bird life and on our return journey we travel by horse cart through the lush countryside.
DAY 8 MY THO TO SAIGON
Moor at My Tho for road transfer to Saigon.
Cruise costs are in New Zealand Dollars (NZD). Offer subject to availability at time of booking. Prices are per person share twin based on best available cruise fare, inclusive of all discounts unless otherwise stated. Subject to availability and currency fluctuations. All fares and taxes are subject to change without notice up until full payment is received. Itinerary may be subject to change. Credit card payments will incur a fee. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. Cruise Line reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all guests up to US$9 per person per day if the price of light sweet crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) exceeds US$70 per barrel. Please consult cruise line website for current information.