Summary : Embark on a journey along the Mekong River in true style on this four-night Mekong River Discovery cruise, roundtrip from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Set off from the modern marvels and colonial charms of Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, admire Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving, visit a silversmith village known for its fine craftsmanship, head into the lush countryside in the Tonle Sap channel, and return in Phnom Penh for an optional city visit.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
NEW – Summer Season Rates (30% Off Standard Rates)
$3,780 to $5,600
Meet at the Phnom Penh TS1 Port for check-in to your 3-story, five star Mekong abode. Welcome aboard. Settle into your floating retreat, with its window wall conferring an endlessly captivating panorama. Enjoy these private Mekong moments on your California king bed, terrace or daybed. Celebrate the onward journey towards the heart of this mighty river with a Khmer apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.
In the silversmith village of Koh Chen, watch artisans producing the magnificent silverware favored by Khmer royalty. Continue to Udong, the royal capital from the 17-19th centuries, where you will learn about a uniquely challenging Buddhist practice at the Vipassana Dhura Mandala, a meditation center. In the afternoon, a walking tour of Kampong Prasat offers a close up perspective on local lives and their riverside environment.
In the cooler hours, head into the lush countryside to visit traditional potters and palm-sugar producers, astride mountain bikes or chauffeured by shaded tuk-tuk. Into the rice paddies you will pedal to watch wizened masters scale sky-piercing palms towering over you. Cruise across the glassy water and disembark among the lotuses for an ox-cart ride along the Tonle Sap riverbanks, past lacquered wooden houses where during these dry months residents take refuge in the relative cool of these outdoor impromptu living rooms.
On this river of time you will admire dexterous Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma, the ubiquitous item no Khmer lives without. Explore the riverbank on two wheels if you wish, past Buddhist temples and thatch houses perched on spindly wooden stilts while white oxen wade just offshore. After lunch, you will board your marine-grade aluminum skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.
Today you will have a chance to experience the Cambodian capital by motorized tuk-tuk, including the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, you will visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or go shopping at the Russian Market.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to weather conditions—and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
2019 Summer Season: 5/3/2019–8/13/2019
What to Expect in High or Low Water Season:
Whether you choose the high water or the low water season on the Mekong for your cruise, traveling aboard the Aqua Mekong extends your options from the very limited dry season in Cambodia and Vietnam (November to February) to almost anytime of the year. Tropical temperatures across Southeast Asia generally fluctuate between 78°F and 86°F. In the warmest months of March and April, this figure may climb as high as 100°F but Mekong River waters flow from the icy Tibetan Plateau, taking the edge off this equatorial swelter and making river travel the ideal way to experience this captivating region. Even when it rains, as it does throughout the year, off-ship and water-based excursions remain extremely comfortable during these usually short cloudbursts. Rainy season arrives with the southwest monsoon in May and lasts through October. This actually creates the high water conditions that allow the Aqua Mekong to cruise deeper into Vietnam’s emerald flooded forest, to Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake, and along otherwise inaccessible yet fascinating tributaries. Despite the name, rain only falls around an hour each day and usually in the afternoon. Excursions are timed so that guests may soak up the timeless romance of rain on the river while comfortably under cover.
Group transfers to/from vessel and the meeting points in Phnom Penh and Saigon; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; beverages (non-alcoholic, house wine, and beer); all shore excursions; entrance fees en route; Wi-Fi/internet; and gear on loan (bikes); laundry. Subject to change without notice.
Air transportation; private transfers; passport/visa fees; travel insurance; items of a personal nature; boutique purchases; spa treatments; guide and crew gratuities.