CHARMS OF THE MEKONG WITH DICK AND LESLIE WEST – HO CHI MINH CITY TO SIEM REAP OR HANOI
DATE: FEBRUARY 17 to 28 / or to March 3, 2024
DURATION: 12 DAYS/11 NIGHTS / or 16 DAYS/15 NIGHTS
EMBARK: HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM
DISEMBARK: SIEM REAP / or HANOI
FROM: $4,448 Cat B Cabin, with Pre- and Post-Cruise tours to Angkor Wat
-After Savings + $224 Port Charges
Two lively cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, provide the perfect start and end to your incredible journey. Cruise along the Mekong, visiting rural villages, historic pagodas, local markets and a Buddhist monastery where you’ll witness a special blessing by monks. Indulge your inner adventurer in Siem Reap, exploring the grand temples of Angkor Archeological Park. And luxuriate in an AmaWaterways’ Exclusive—an overnight sojourn on board an elegantly appointed ship in Ha Long Bay. Throughout your trip, immerse yourself into the culture and heritage with visits to rural villages, historic pagodas and colorful markets. Experience all this and more on this life-enriching cruise along the Mekong.
Itinerary is also available the reverse direction, beginning in Hanoi, and ending in Ho Chi Minh City.
COUNTRIES: Cambodia, Vietnam
- 7 nights luxury accommodation in a twin-balcony stateroom
- Flat-panel screen that features in-house movies
- Desk and sitting area
- Bottled water replenished daily
AN ARRAY OF AMENITIES
- Personalized service from a highly trained Cruise Manager during both cruise and land programs
- Sun deck with pool
- Fitness room and three spas
- Saigon Lounge with panoramic views and bar
- Daily entertainment including cultural performances
- All onboard dining in a variety of venues
- Regionally inspired cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients
- The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant
- Welcome Cocktail and Dinner
- Unlimited wine with lunch and dinner
- Complimentary local beer, house-brand spirits and soft drinks during cruise
- Snacks and refreshments served daily in the Main Lounge
A WORLD OF EXPLORATION
- Airport transfers with purchase of air from AmaWaterways
- Immersive tours in every destination
- Knowledgeable guides
- Personal headset for easy exploration
- Gentle, regular, active and late-riser tour options
- Beverages other than those mentioned
- Gratuities to crew and Cruise Director
- Items of personal nature, gift shop purchases
- Pre and post cruise extensions and hotels
- Travel and Emergency Evacuation Insurance
- Port Charges – $224 per person
ARRIVE HO CHI MINH CITY (Saigon)
Welcome to 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. Transfer to your deluxe hotel.
We recommend that you fly into Ho Chi Minh at least one day prior to start of tour in order to avoid, or diminish, complications associated with international air travel.
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. (B,L)
MY THO, VIETNAM - EMBARKATION
Board the AmaDara at My Tho Port. Settle in and then meet fellow guests at a Welcome Dinner as the ship cruises to Cai Be. (L,D)
CAI BE - SA DEC, VIETNAM
Take a local boat to Cai Be. You will have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper making workshops, as well as 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 colorful 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. (B,L,D)
TAN CHAU BORDER CROSSING FROM VIETNAM to CAMBODIA
Enjoy a visit to Tan Chau, a small Mekong River town unspoiled by tourism. Be treated to an authentic experience on 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 from Vietnam to the Cambodian border en route to Phnom Penh. (B,L,D)
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). Alternatively, you may wish to shop for unique treasures at the bustling yellow-colored Central Market. 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. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge. (B,L,D)
OUDONG, KAMPONG-TRALACH, PHNOM PENH
Visit 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. You may also take a walking tour of Oudong. In Kampong Tralach, you will have a truly authentic excursion – an oxcart ride through a local village. 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. (B,L,D)
In the morning, set sail for Oknhatey Village. Oknhatey is the “Silk Island,” located on the lush banks of the Mekong River and known for its rich tradition of silk weaving. While here, you will visit a local elementary school and observe the traditional silk weaving, an art that has been preserved for centuries. Your cruise continues to sail to Angkor Ban. (B,L,D)
ANKGOR BAN - KAMPOING CHAM - PHNOM PROS & PHNOM SREI “Twin Mountain”
Go on a walking tour of 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 sets sail for Kampong Cham, where you will go on an afternoon excursion via 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. Cap the day off with a festive Farewell Dinner on board. (B,L,D)
KAMPONG CHAM SIEM REAP DISEMBARKATION
Disembark in Kampong Cham and transfer by motorcoach to Siem Reap, gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former capital of the Khmer empire. You’ll visit nearby Ta Prohm, known as the “Kingdom of the Trees,” for the way in which the temple stones have become intertwined with thick forest vegetation. (B,D)
Begin your morning exploration of the temple complex at Angkor Wat, the most iconic of all Angkorian temples, built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century to honor the Hindu god, Vishnu. An afternoon excursion takes you to 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. During the evening, be treated to a special “Apsara Dancing Show” at your hotel, featuring local Cambodian/Khmer folk dancers. (B,D)
SIEM REAP - HANOI
After breakfast, you will have a guided sightseeing tour of Angkor Thom meaning “the great city” and the last capital of the Khmer Empire. 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. (B,L)
From ancient temples to French Colonial architecture and modernday 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 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. (B)
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. 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)
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. (B,L)
Bid farewell to Vietnam and prepare for your homeward flight (B)
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.
Built – 2015
Built in – Vietnam
Length – 302 ft.
Width – 46 ft.
Crew – 52
Staterooms – 62
Passengers – 124
Registry – Vietnam
Enjoy panoramic views and plenty of fresh air in our lavish twin-balcony staterooms that feature both a French balcony and an outside balcony.
Dining and Cuisine
Savor regionally inspired cuisine as well as traditional favorites at a variety of dining venues, like the Main Restaurant and The Chef’s Table.
Meet fellow travelers in Saigon Lounge, enjoy a drink at the bar or soak in the passing scenery. The ship features convenient interior access as well as air conditioning in hallways, restaurants and lounges.
Sun Deck Pool
Soak up some rays or take a dip in our refreshing pool on your way to the next exotic stop on your cruise.
After a marvelous day of immersive shore excursions, return to the ship and treat yourself to a bit of pampering with a visit to one of three onboard spas.
Are you looking for a way to stay fit on vacation? Hit the treadmill or lift some weights while cruising from one destination to the next.