Mekong Discovery (Southbound)

8 Day River Cruise Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City

Cruise WSH

Was from

£2,979pp

Now from

£2,179pp

Prices shown exclude flights and transfers

Showing 2023 season

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Overview

On this unique and inspiring Southeast Asia river cruise through Cambodia and Vietnam, you’ll be immersed in the cultures and ancient traditions as you sightsee and spend time with locals in interesting places along the mighty Mekong River.

In the enchanting Cambodian countryside, go on an ox cart ride amongst rice paddy fields and witness the daily lives of farmers. In a Silversmith Village, see craftsmen making silver artwork using ancient techniques. French influences are still apparent in the lovely capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Here you’ll tour the National Museum and Royal Palace with its striking Silver Pagoda and enjoy a song and dance performance by children at a local orphanage. On a hilltop at the site of the 8th-century temple of Wat Hanchey, take in the stunning views before walking through the rural village of Angkor Ban to visit with welcoming schoolchildren.

Continue your river cruise into Vietnam where you’ll walk through a colorful market as the locals are busy with their daily routine of buying and selling produce. See firsthand how handcrafted sampans are built at the home of a family in Cu Lao Gieng. Via sampan, cruise into Vinh Long and experience Vietnamese culture with a visit to a workshop to learn how rice wine and traditional candies are made. This once-in-a-lifetime Southeast Asia river cruise vacation is sure to create lasting memories!
On this unique and inspiring Southeast Asia river cruise through Cambodia and Vietnam, you’ll be immersed in the cultures and ancient traditions as you sightsee and spend time with locals in interesting places along the mighty Mekong River.

In the enchanting Cambodian countryside, go on an ox cart ride amongst rice paddy fields and witness the daily lives of farmers. In a Silversmith Village, see craftsmen making silver artwork using ancient techniques. French influences are still apparent in the lovely capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Here you’ll tour the National Museum and Royal Palace with its striking Silver Pagoda and enjoy a song and dance performance by children at a local orphanage. On a hilltop at the site of the 8th-century temple of Wat Hanchey, take in the stunning views before walking through the rural village of Angkor Ban to visit with welcoming schoolchildren.

Continue your river cruise into Vietnam where you’ll walk through a colorful market as the locals are busy with their daily routine of buying and selling produce. See firsthand how handcrafted sampans are built at the home of a family in Cu Lao Gieng. Via sampan, cruise into Vinh Long and experience Vietnamese culture with a visit to a workshop to learn how rice wine and traditional candies are made. This once-in-a-lifetime Southeast Asia river cruise vacation is sure to create lasting memories!

Book your cruise with or without flights

Cruise prices are shown without flights included in case you wish to book them separately, or aren't ready to return home when you disembark! Or we can book your flights for you from most UK airports, with overseas transfers and ATOL protection included. The choice is yours!

Book your cruise with or without flights

Itinerary

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are three types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Classic
<p>Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.</p>
Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Day 1 PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (EMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Welcome to Cambodia. Your intimate Suite Ship® Awaits!
Get acquainted with the ship and relax before your welcome reception this evening.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO WAT HANCHEY


Day 2 WAT HANCHEY–ANGKOR BAN

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Water Blessings and Back-to-School Adventures

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Visit Wat Hanchey, a hilltop temple dating back to the 8th century. Climb or be driven to the top where you will enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area and partake in a traditional water blessing given by local monks.


Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

After lunch, enjoy a Walking Tour through the rural village of Angkor Ban. Here, you will visit a traditional Khmer house and interact with children at a local school.


EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO KONPONG LOUANG


Day 3 KAMPONG TRALACH–KONPONG LOUANG–PHNOM PENH

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Calm in the Cambodian Countryside

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Your Guided Sightseeing starts in Kampong Tralach with an Ox-Cart Ride through the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to meet a local farmer and learn about his daily life. At the silversmith village in Konpong Louang see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art.


Sail to the capital city of Phnom Penh this afternoon.

PHNOM PENH


A Dark History or Market Dynamics

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

After lunch, join a Guided a Visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and one of the Killing Fields for a glimpse into the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime, OR:


Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Visit the lively Central Market by tuk-tuk to see its unique Art Deco design.


This evening, spend some free time to explore the city on your own. Perhaps follow the riverfront promenade to the historic Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC).

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN PHNOM PENH


Day 4 PHNOM PENH

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The Royal Treatment

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a Guided Tour of the city by private cyclo with visits to the Royal Palace with the spectacular Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum, featuring an outstanding display of Khmer artifacts.


The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure, Consider a Guided Optional Tour of a local brewery with free flowing local beer!
Just before dinner, children from a local orphanage will perform a show, featuring local song and dance.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VIETNAM/CAMBODIA BORDER


Day 5 BORDER CROSSING–CHAU DOC, VIETNAM

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Good Morning Vietnam!

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Take a Village Walk through the Chau Doc market, and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce. After lunch, embark on a Guided Excursion down the backwaters of the Mekong. Along the way, see traditional floating homes, speedboat merchants, religious sites, a market selling dried goods, and more.


EVENING CRUISE TO LONG KHANH A


Day 6 LONG KHANH A–CU LAO GIENG

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cotton Weaving, Conical Hats, and Handcrafted Sampans

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

This morning, a sampan brings you to the village of Long Khanh A, for a Cotton-Weaving Demonstration of this well-preserved tradition.


Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

This afternoon, enjoy scenes of daily life on Cu Lao Gieng Island via sampan and local motor cart. Your Guided Excursion starts with a stop at one of Vietnam’s oldest Catholic churches. Then, visit the home of a local family that makes Vietnamese conical hats, or “Non la,” from materials available to them such as palm leaves and bamboo. These iconic hats are primarily used as protection from the sun and rain but you may also see them used as a basket to carry home goods from the market. Lastly, visit a local workshop where a skilled family hand-crafts sampan boats.


EVENING CRUISE TO VINH LONG


Day 7 VINH LONG

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Sweets and Rice Treats

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Board a sampan this morning to visit a Local Workshop in Vinh Long where you will see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candies are made.


This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as we sail to exciting Ho Chi Minh City.

AFTERNOON CRUISE TO HO CHI MINH CITY


Day 8 HO CHI MINH CITY (DISEMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Questions? Our travel specialists can help with any queries, quotes or special requirements.  Request a callback or email us.

Start sooner, stay longer

Start sooner, stay longer. Start your vacation earlier or stay longer with destination options before or after your Avalon cruise.

Ship details

Avalon Saigon

Voted the "Best New River Cruise Ship" by TravelAge West in 2019, the all-suite Avalon Saigon delivers the best cruise experience on the Mekong River. Like her sister ship, the Avalon Siem Reap, the Avalon Saigon is designed to venture easily into areas where other cruise ships cannot, while measuring as wide and long as ships carrying twice the number of our just 36 guests. Cruising uninterrupted from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh (or vice versa), the Saigon eliminates hours of motorcoach travel time associated with other river cruise ship itineraries. The Avalon Saigon Suite Ship incorporates the classic colonial charm befitting the Vietnam and Cambodia experience with the modern features you expect from Avalon. Each Panorama Suite features 245-square-feet of living space with wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows to create river cruising's only Open-Air Balcony. With luxurious beds that face the window, you'll never miss a fascinating view on the Mekong. You'll also find ample room to roam on board, while never feeling crowded. From the air-conditioned Panorama Lounge to the open-air observation lounge, you'll find plenty of seating and inviting spots to relax. With lounges located at the front of the ship, you'll always have a great forward-focused view no matter where you sit. Our crew embodies Avalon's "you first" spirit from start to finish. From the reception staff and bartender to wait staff and room attendant, you'll experience exquisite service with a relaxed luxury that's come to encompass the Avalon difference.

Category A & B (Cat. A, B)
245 - sq.ft - (Tonle,Mekong)
  • In-house telephone
  • Comfort Collection Beds
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Choice of bed configuration
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • 14' Wall-to-Wall Panoramic window measuring that opens to create a large Open-Air Balcony
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer, and premium L'Occitane bath amenities
  • Spacious closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror & comfortable chair
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Complimentary water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • USB Ports
Deck Plans
Avalon Saigon deck plan

Hotels

It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative, similar standard, hotels to those shown