La Marguerite Cruise on Mekong River from Siem Reap to Saigon
Duration: 8 Days 7 Nights
Departure Date: On Request
Depart from: Siem Reap
Routes: Siem Reap - Tonle Lake - Kampong Chhnang - Kampong Cham - Wat Hanchey - Phnom Penh - Tan Chau - Sa Dec - Cai Be - Saigon
Launched in 2009, AmaWaterways’ 92-passenger, 235-foot-long La Marguerite spends its time cruising along Southeast Asia’s Mekong River, stopping at ports in Vietnam and Cambodia. The boat was specifically built to sail the region, and the interior decor features exotic designs and local artifacts from the Mekong. La Marguerite sails a mix of 8- and 15-day itineraries from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap.
- All 46 cabins are outside, with 82 percent featuring a balcony (perfect for the balmy Asian weather). There are 38 226-square-foot standard cabins, 30 of which feature balconies; the remaining eight have portholes. For a little added space, six Sadec Jr. Suites with balcony come in at 290 square feet.
- As befits a ship of this size, there are a small number of restaurants and lounges onboard, including the Mekong Restaurant, the Saigon Lounge, a library and the Sun Deck Bar.
- A small wellness area features a fitness mini-room, mini-spa, beauty salon and outdoor whirlpool.
- During the cruise, free local beer, soft drinks, house branded spirits, local bottled water and filtered coffee and tea is available with meals.
Day 1: Embarkation – Siem Reap – Kampong Chhnang (L, D)
Register between 7:00 – 7:45 at Le Meridien Angkor. At 8:00, transfer by coach to Prek K’dam with a stop en route at Kampong Thom. The coach ride takes approximately about 5 hours and a half. Embark the ship in PrekK’dam at 13:30. Short briefing and welcome drink served in Saigon Lounge. Lunch onboard at 13:45. Cabins are ready for check-in after lunch. Captain raises the anchor and cruises towards Kampong Chnang province. Join the safety briefing at Saigon Lounge at 18:00 followed by the Captain’s Welcome Cocktails. Enjoy the first gourmet dinner onboard with fellow travelers at 19:00. Pianist entertains from 21:00 to 23:00 in Saigon Lounge. Moor midstream overnight in Tonle River.
Day 2: Kampong Chhnang – Kampong Tralach – Oudong (B, L, D)
Kampong Chhnang is a busy rural port town with bustling markets. Mooring mid-stream, we make a truly wonderful motorboat excursion into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the river. Here a stunning variety of birdlife may be seen, and of considerable interest are local life and floating village. Go back to the boat and cast off towards Kampong Tralach. Attend lecture on Cambodia – The Past & Present in Saigon Lounge. Our vessel moors at Kampong Tralach. Today’s afternoon tour starts with a 20-minute ox-cart ride from the riverbank. Traveling through countryside and a small village on a dusty road, past rice fields and amused locals. We end the ox-cart ride at the beautiful Vihara belonging to Wat Kapong Tralach Pleu. Visit to pagodas. Our buses are there and we travel about 45 minutes to Oudong Between 1618 and 1866 Oudong was the capital of Cambodia. On the top of Phnom Oudong there is series of stupas and shrines in a variety of conditions. However we do not climb the hill as we visit Oudong Buddhist Monastery. We will attend the Buddhist blessing ceremony, visit Buddhist meditation center. After the visit we take a bus ride back to our ship at Prek K’dam, which is only 10 km from Oudong. Our ship will sails towards little known village Chong Koh passing by Phnom Penh and dock midstream near Chong Koh. After dinner, you can join the movie show “Killing Fields” at the Saigon Lounge.
Day 3: Chong Koh – Phnom Penh (B, L, D)
After breakfast we go spend time in Chong Koh silk weaving village for a morning walk at leisure. Back on board at 10:30 as the ship sets sail toward the capital Phnom Penh. The capital of Cambodia retains its French charm. The city has several impressive wats, including Wat Ounalom, Wat Phnom and the newly-painted Wat Lang Ka. Pride of place goes to the Royal Palace and to the spectacular Silver Pagoda, one of the few places in Cambodia where artefacts embodying the brilliance and richness of Khmer culture were preserved by the Khmer Rouge. At 15:00 a walking tour to Wat Phnom to give you an orientation of Phnom Penh’s downtown. Cocktails and briefing hour followed by a dinner. After dinner, a special Khmer folk performance awaits at the Saigon Lounge. After the performance you can explore Phnom Penh by night by yourself.
Day 4: Phnom Penh (B, L, D)
In the morning, we will have a sightseeing by bus in Phnom Penh. Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda and the National Museum with outstanding displays of the Khmer crafts will be the places that you will visit. Places where you visit in the afternoon will help you know more about a part of Cambodia’s history: the Khmer Rouge’s grim Toul Sleng (S21 detention center) and the Killing Field. If you want to spend more free time for yourself shopping or taking a tour around the city instead, please inform to the Ship Purser. Cocktail hours from 18:30 to 19:30. Dinner is served from 19:30 to 21:00. After dinner you can hang out in the bars many of which are located just opposite the dock.
Day 5: Phnom Penh – Border Crossing – Tan Chau (B, L, D)
Enjoy a hearty breakfast as the ships departs for border. We cast off for a day cruising the main Mekong channel, an international shipping route. Leisure in the morning, in the afternoon Cooking Class peformed by our Executive Chef at Saigon Lounge, while the border formalities are going on. We arrive in Tan Chau – the first Vietnamese town on the Mekong River. Join us in the crewshow in Saigon Lounge. Our vessel moors safely at the river bank.
Day 6: Tan Chau – Sa Dec (B, L, D)
Today will truly be a highlight with a visit of Tan Chau – a small town untouched by tourism. Morning excursion will be really interesting, start with a sightseeing by local boats, navigate narrow channels to visit an evergreen island. You will have a chance to visit floating fish farm and travel along the tiny tributaries where slit houses are haphazardly leaning on one another. Then you will go ashore and have a tour around the town on rickshaw (Xe Loi). Then we will visit a rattan mats and slippers making factories. In the afternoon, we cruise downstream all the way to Sa Dec. Join us to the lecture on-board theme “Vietnam – The Past & Present”. The ship arrives in Sadec during dinner and moors midstream for overnight. Cocktails and briefing at Saigon Lounge. After dinner join the Mekong folklore performance in the Saigon Lounge.
Day 7: Sa Dec – Cai Be (B, L, D)
After the breakfast follow guides to the hometown of Marguerite Duras’ lover, quaint little city. Visit the old house of Huynh Thuy Le’s, partake in the bantering of local markets along the paved riverbanks. After that, take a 45-minute boat ride to the meeting point in Dong Thap Fruit Market to take a 30-minute bus ride to Xeo Quyt. Back to the ship in Cai Be for lunch. In the afternoon, we take a local boat for our afternoon excursion to Cai Be. We go ashore to visit the French Gothic Cathedral, coconut candy factory, rice paper and pop rice factory. Return to the boat and preparation for farewell cocktails and dinner.
Day 8: Disembarkation – My Tho – Saigon (B)
After breakfast bid farewells to crew and disembark at My Tho Port at 08:30. We take 2 hours bus drive to Saigon. Arrive at Sofitel Plaza Saigon around 10:00.
Prices quoted in US$ nett per person
Mekong State (Lower Deck)
Tonle State (Main Deck)
Saigon State (Upper Deck)
Sadec Suite (Sun Deck)
Indochina Suite (Sun Deck)
Inclusions of the trip
- Entrance fees
- Transportation and English-speaking tour guides’ services
- Taxes, fuel, pilot, port dues, passenger levies, full board during the itinerary
- Welcome and Farewell Dinners, daily breakfast, lunch and dinner including local beers, local brand spirits and local wines served during meals; coffee, selection of teas, selection of herbal infusions, local mineral water, local canned soft drinks served free through the day.
- Transfers between the ship and the to meeting points at the start and end of the voyage
Exclusions of the trip
- International flights
- All visa costs
- Imported beverages such as wines, premium beer, premium spirits and liqueurs, imported mineral waters, espressos and cappuccinos at bar
- Gratuities, laundry, shop purchases and other personal expense