Your journey begins in Siem Reap, the gateway of the ancient Khmer empire where you’ll explore the temples of Angkor Archeological Park. Unleash your inner adventurer as you explore Angkor Wat’s amazing temples, including Banteay Srei, Angkor Thom, the Terrace of the Elephants, the pyramid temple of Bayon, Ta Prohm—the vine-covered “jungle temple”—Angkor Wat and other key sites. Cruise along the Mekong as you are transported back in time to another era, where the rhythms of the countryside move at a slower pace and allow for fascinating glimpses into a traditional way of life. After visiting rural villages, local workshops and markets, a monastery and two capital cities, conclude your cruise in Ho Chi Minh City—once known as Saigon and the “Paris of the Orient”—now a bustling economic boom-town that offers a heady mixture of historic and modern delights.
Pre and post cruise options include a stay in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, followed by an excursion to breathtaking Ha Long Bay for an overnight stay aboard an elegantly appointed ship.
At the conclusion of your cruise you will enjoy a two-night stay in Ho Chi Minh City, where you are free to explore all of its historic and modern highlights.
Prices starting at $7,087 per person, based on double occupany, including intra-Asia air
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Maximum 124 guests on the AmaDara!
This distinctive ship is in a class of her own! AmaWaterways’ sole cruise ship on the Mekong River, the AmaDara features French Colonial décor and richly carved wood furniture inspired by the history of the region, as well as local artifacts made by native craftsmen. Air-conditioned interior corridors lead to spacious staterooms and suites, most featuring twin balconies that invite the ever-changing scenery of Southeast Asia inside. On board, the AmaDara caters to your every whim, with massage rooms, fitness room, gift shop, hair salon and Sun Deck pool. Her stunning Saigon Lounge provides respite by day and unites guests over intriguing local entertainment by night. Savor authentic regional delicacies and Western cuisine in the Main Restaurant or dine at The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant; and throughout your cruise, be treated to unlimited complimentary wine with lunch and dinner, as well as house brand spirits, local beer and soft drinks throughout your cruise.
Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city boasts a rich cultural heritage that blends in harmony with its vibrant present. From ancient temples to French Colonial architecture and modern-day skyscrapers, along with beautiful parks and lakes, Hanoi is an eclectic and lively city.
Discover some of Hanoi’s most famous historic and cultural sites on your guided tour that includes: Ba Dinh Square and The Temple of Literature. You’ll also visit the infamous prison that American POWs sarcastically dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War. Take an authentic rickshaw ride, known as “cyclo,” in Hanoi’s bustling Old Quarter, and then enjoy a traditional water puppet show. (B)
Ethereal Ha Long Bay is considered by many to be the Eighth Natural Wonder of the World. Board an elegantly appointed ship designed with all the modern conveniences to ensure smooth sailing for an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience. The backdrop of the bay’s magnificent scenery and dramatic limestone cliffs and rock formations provide you with the perfect setting for a memorable sojourn. (B,L,D)
Spend the morning sailing across the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay with more than 2,000 small islands rising from the water like a dragon’s back. Later in the morning, disembark the ship and transfer to Hanoi Airport for a short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia, the gateway to Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former capital of the Khmer empire. (B,L)
Begin your morning exploration of the Angkor temple complex at Angkor Thom, meaning “the great city.” This is home to Bayon Temple, best known for its gigantic smiling stone faces, as well as the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. You’ll then visit nearby Ta Prohm, known as the “Kingdom of Trees,” for the way in which the temple stones have become intertwined with thick forest vegetation over the centuries. Afternoon excursions take you to the fascinating jewel in the crown of Angkorian art, Banteay Srei, meaning “Citadel of Women,” as it has been said that the carving is too fine to have been done by the hand of man. Cap this memorable day off with a special “Apsara Dance Show” at your hotel, featuring local Cambodian/Khmer folk dancers. (B,D)
Discover the heart and soul of Cambodia and the most iconic of all Angkorian Temples, Angkor Wat. This is one of the largest religious monuments ever constructed and a true masterpiece of Khmer architecture built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century to honor the Hindu god, Vishnu. (B,D)
Transfer via motorcoach to the AmaDara in Kampong Cham for your seven-night cruise. Board a motorcoach to the Twin Mountains, known as Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (male and female mountains). In the annals of Khmer legend, the twin mountains were formed as the result of a competition between the men and women of an ancient Cambodian kingdom to resolve which gender would be responsible for wedding proposals. Later, join fellow guests for an evening Welcome Dinner. (B,L,D)
During the morning, go on a walking tour to Angkor Ban, one of the few villages in Cambodia that was not destroyed under the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. Here people still live in their traditional wooden abodes and keep their old cultural traditions alive. Hundreds of wooden houses stand intact on stilts, shaded with banana trees, among the hustle and bustle of the daily agricultural on-going of the local villagers. After visiting here, the ship sails to Oknhatey or “Silk Island,” located on the lush banks of the Mekong River. This island is known for its rich tradition of silk weaving. While here, you’ll visit a local elementary school and observe the traditional silk weaving that have been preserved for centuries. Your ship moors in Oknhatey village. (B,L,D)
*Based on seasonality, the port of Angkor Ban may be inaccessible from August – September. During this time, Wat Hanchey will replace Angkor Ban as the port of call.
Your cruise continues to sail to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The morning excursion takes you to Oudong, Cambodia’s former royal capital from the early 17th century until 1866. Today, Oudong is a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians. While here, be treated to a memorable Buddhist Blessing Ceremony at a monastery. After visiting Oudong, be treated to a truly authentic excursion, an oxcart ride through a local village Kampong Tralach. Later in the day, experience Phnom Penh via a tuk tuk ride and be enchanted by the city’s French Colonial architecture and tree-lined boulevards set amidst monumental Angkorian architecture. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge. (B,L,D)
This morning’s excursion takes you to Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention center (Genocide Museum). After lunch on board, you will explore the highlights of the city, followed by a visit to the Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, which has an outstanding collection of Khmer crafts. Alternatively, you may wish to shop for unique treasures at the bustling, yellow-colored Central Market after your visit to Royal Place. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge. (B,L,D)
Spend the day cruising the Mekong River as your ship crosses the border into Vietnam. (B,L,D)
Visit Tan Chau, a small Mekong River town unspoiled by tourism. You will have the opportunity to enjoy an authentic experience via a traditional “xe-loi” (trishaw) ride around the town, with stops at silk-making and rattan mat workshops, followed by a boat ride through the narrow channels of the Mekong River to “Evergreen Island.” Alternatively, take a boat ride to Evergreen Island and return to Tan Chau, where you will visit a rattan mat workshop. Later in the day, cruise to Sa Dec. (B,L,D)
Once ashore in Sa Dec, tour the town where French writer Marguerite Duras spent many years in her youth. Visit a colorful local market and the 19th-century house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Duras’ Chinese paramour, on whom her prize-winning novel “The Lover” is said to be based. Later, board a motorcoach for Xeo Quyt, once used as a military base during the French war and now an important ecological site. You will have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper making workshops, and the historic Kiet Old House. In Cai Be, cap the day off with a festive Farewell Dinner on board. (B,L,D)
Disembark the AmaDara in My Tho Port and transfer to Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s former capital of Indochina was once known as “Paris of the Orient,” and today, it is an industrial, cultural and educational hub. Explore such famous landmarks as the former Presidential Palace, the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum before visiting the Ben Thanh Market—one of the oldest and most iconic structures in Ho Chi Minh City. (B,L)
Visit Chu Chi Tunnels, an immense underground network built during the Vietnam War. Spend your afternoon at leisure exploring more of Ho Chi Minh City. (B)
Bid farewell to Vietnam as you prepare for your homeward flight. (B)