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Charms of the Mekong

Exploring the Wonders of indochine aboard a Premier River Vessel

Additional dates available

Additional dates available on the reverse itinerary Riches of the Mekong


The lively city of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) provides the perfect start to your incredible journey through Vietnam and Cambodia. Cruise along the mighty Mekong, visiting rural villages, historic pagodas, local markets, and a Buddhist monastery where you’ll be treated to a special blessing by monks. Get a glimpse into another era; one where people still happily honor the timeless traditions passed down through the centuries from their ancestors.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.


Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Day 1
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam / Embark

Board the AmaDara at My Tho Port. Meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Dinner as the ship cruises to Cai Be.

Day 2
Cai Be / Sa Dec

Take a local boat to Cai Be. You will have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper making workshops and the historic Kiet Old House. Later in the day, journey to Sa Dec, a sprawling town on the Mekong Delta, where French writer Marguerite Duras spent part of her youth. You will visit the local market, Cao Dai Temple and the house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Duras’ Chinese paramour, which her prize-winning novel, “The Lover,” is said to be based on.

Day 3
Tan Chau / Border Crossing

Enjoy a visit to Tan Chau, a small Mekong River town unspoiled by tourism. You will have the opportunity to take 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, simply take the boat ride to Evergreen Island and return to Tan Chau, where you will visit a rattan mat workshop. Later in the day, cruise from Vietnam to the Cambodian border en route to Phnom Penh.

Day 4
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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) just outside the city. After lunch on board, you’ll 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. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge.

Day 5
Phnom Penh / Okhatey Village

Experience Phnom Penh via an authentic Tuk Tuk ride and be enchanted by the city's French Colonial architecture and tree-lined boulevards set amidst monumental Angkorian architecture. Alternatively, you may wish to shop for unique treasures at the bustling yellow-colored Central Market. Later in the morning, set sail for Oknhatey Village. Oknhatey is “Silk Island,” located on the lush banks of the Mekong River and known for its rich tradition of silk weaving. While here, you’ll visit a local elementary school and observe the traditional silk weaving of handicrafts. Afterwards, the ship set sail to Kampong Chhnang.

Day 6
Kampong Chhnang

A local motorboat takes you into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of Tonle Sap River. Enjoy the stunning variety of bird life here as well as tranquil floating villages and its busy market. Later in the day, the ship sails to Kampont Tralach.

Day 7
Kampong Chhnang / Oudong / Koh Chen

In Kampong Tralach, you’ll have a truly authentic excursion – an oxcart ride through a local village. Afterwards, you’ll go 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. During the afternoon, take a leisurely walk through Koh Chen and visit home workshops specializing in silver- and copper-smithing. You’ll get an up-close view of how local artisans make ornamental items often used in traditional ceremonies.

Day 8
Prek Kdam / Disembark

Your cruise comes to an end as you disembark at Prek Kdam, a small village on the Tonle River. You will be transferred by motorcoach to Siem Reap. 
Note: If not participating in the post-cruise package we recommend that you schedule your onward flight to depart after 7:00 pm today to avoid potential missed connections.



Day 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

After arriving, check into your hotel. Ho Chi Minh City, still affectionately referred to by locals as Saigon, is Vietnam’s former capital. Once known as the “Paris of the Orient,” it is now an industrial, cultural and educational hub.

Day 2
Ho Chi Minh City

Always bustling, Ho Chi Minh City is a city of contrasts blending old and new, and east and west. In the morning, explore some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the former Presidential Palace, the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum. In the afternoon, visit Cu Chi, an immense underground network built during the Vietnam War.

Days 3-10
Cruise-Only Program

In the morning, visit Ben Thanh Market - one of the oldest and most iconic structures in Ho Chi Minh City. Board the AmaDara at My Tho Port. The Cruise-Only Program begins with embarkation on Day 3 in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and disembarks in Prek Kdam, Cambodia, on Day 10.


Day 11
Siem Reap / Angkor

Begin your morning exploration of the temple complex at Angkor Wat, the most iconic of all Angkorian temples. 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. You’ll also see the fascinating jewel in the crown of Angkorian art, Banteay Srei, which means “Citadel of Women,” as it has been said that the carving is too fine to have been done by the hand of man. Later in the day, visit the English-language school sponsored by AmaWaterways in the village of Ta Toum. During the evening, be treated to a special “Apsara Dancing Show” at your hotel, featuring local Cambodian/Khmer folk dancers. *Note: The English-Language school visit is capacity controlled

Day 12
Siem Reap / Hanoi

After breakfast, you will have a guided sightseeing tour of 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. Later in the day, take a short flight to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam.

Day 13

From ancient temples to French colonial architecture and modern-day skyscrapers, along with beautiful parks and lakes, Hanoi is an eclectic and lively city. A morning sightseeing tour will showcase some of Hanoi’s most famous historic and cultural sites, including Ba Dinh Square, One Pillar Pagoda and The Temple of Literature. You will also visit the infamous prison that American POWs sarcastically dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War. In the afternoon, experience an authentic rickshaw ride (known as a “cyclo”) in the Old Quarter, followed by a traditional Water Puppet Show.

Day 14
Hanoi / Ha Long Bay

Take a scenic drive from Hanoi to one of Vietnam’s most renowned locations, Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Board an elegantly appointed ship designed with all the modern conveniences to ensure smooth sailing for an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience and an Amawaterways exclusive. The backdrop of the bay’s magnificent scenery and dramatic limestone cliffs and rock formations provide you with the perfect setting for a memorable dinner.

Day 15
Ha Long Bay / Hanoi

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 back to Hanoi where you can enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 16

Bid farewell to Vietnam and prepare for your homeward flight.



Visit small Mekong river villages, watch how silk and rattan mats are made at a workshop
Explore Tonle Sap, with its stunning variety of bird life as well as tranquil floating villages
Experience Phnom Penh's vibrant culture and French Colonial architecture
Pre- and post-cruise land programs available


Length: 8 days
Cost From: $2599  
Arrive: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
Depart: Prek Kdam, Cambodia
Lodging: 7 nights aboard a deluxe river vessel
Meals: All meals on board including unlimited wine with lunch and dinner
Activity: River Cruising, Cultural Adventures, Archaeology, Walking
Trip Level:

Cultural exploration and walking tours

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