Enjoy a three day cruise through Vietnam along the Mekong and get a riverside view of life along this famous river. Winding almost 3,000 miles from the Tibetan plateau down to the South China Sea, the Mekong River boasts the world’s largest inland fishery. It accounts for up to 25 percent of the global freshwater catch and provides livelihoods for at least 60 million people. The Mekong holds irreplaceable riches-ranging from rare wildlife in spectacular natural landscapes to communities with distinct cultural heritages.
Depart London Heathrow for international economy flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). We can also arrange departures from your local airport at no extra cost.
Upon arrival at Saigon’s International Airport, we’ll be cordially welcome and transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day will be free time.
This morning we will leave the city to visit the amazing tunnel network of Cu Chi. This incredible system, covering almost 250 km in length, was shelter to over 16,000 Vietcong guerrillas during the wars. Initially started in 1948 to provide shelter against the French air and ground sweeps, the network went on to serve as communication routes, storage facilities, hospitals and living quarters for Vietnamese fighters throughout the wartime. We can even descend into the tunnels to learn more about the tunnel life. In the afternoon, we’ll be on a city tour of Ho Chi Minh City, once the capital of French Indochina, taking in the historic landmarks such as the Reunification Palace, the Old Saigon Post Office, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Opera House, and Ben Thanh Market.
This morning we’ll be picked up from the hotel between 8:00 and 8:30 and transferred to Cai Be in the Mekong Delta, a world that lives and works on the waters of the mighty Mekong River. Board the cruise vessel in between 11:00 and 11:30 and enjoy a refreshing welcome drink then check in. As lunch is served, the boat starts cruising towards Sa Dec. Sit back and watch the fantastic scenery and exotic river life along the Mekong River. After lunch, we disembark for a guided walk through the charming town of Sa Dec where the French author of “The Lover”, Marguerite Duras, spent parts of her childhood. Both the school where Duras’ mother taught and the small house behind it where the family lived still stand. We’ll see the house of Marguerite’s Chinese Lover, now a small museum of “The Lover” in Sadec. As the sun goes down, we get back to the boat and enjoy a drink at the bar. When the boat anchors for the night, we’ll savour another lavish Mekong meal. The vessel anchors near Xeo Quyt for the night.
Wake up to the morning sounds of river life. After breakfast we land to visit Xeo Quyt, formerly a base of the northern army during the Vietnam War. Following lunch, we land at the island of Cu Lao Gieng to visit the village as well the secluded Catholic monastery built back in 1875 by French nuns of Saint Paul de Chartres, which now serves as a retreat for retired nuns. In the late afternoon we return to the vessel and enjoy sunset views from the top deck.
Early in the morning, the vessel departs Cu Lao Gieng and cruises toward Chau Doc. Once arrived, we’ll hop on a sampan to visit a floating village where people that farm fish under their living quarters. We also visit a Cham village marked by stilt houses and a mosque and learn of this unique Islamic community. Back to the vessel to check out and enjoy lunch. Disembark around 12:00 and be transferred to the hotel in Chau Doc city. In the afternoon, we’ll explore the beautiful cajuput forest of Tra Su or the temples and pagodas on the Sam Mountain.
After breakfast today you have a choice as follows*:
(1) Take a speedboat to Phnom Penh, Cambodia;
(2) Drive for 04 hours to Can Tho and continue exploring the Mekong Delta;
(3) Drive back to Saigon, approximately 07 hours of driving away;
(4) Drive to Rach Gia and board a speedboat to Phu Quoc Island for a beach holiday.
*Package price excludes optional choice – to extend your holiday with one of the above choices please enquire for further details.
Tour Price includes:
Tour Price excludes:
We used Emperor for a group trip to India. they were fantastic with their choice of hotels (some truly incredible) their tour guide, the whole programme and their choice of airlines for the trip. We made things quite tough for them with different members of the group travelling for different periods and arriving in and out of different airports. We specifically had some issues with one of the airlines on the return leg of our trip, through no fault of Emperor, but they did their utmost to put things right and made the journey home as pleasant as possible by meeting the cost of a lounge at the airport for us do to the shortcomings of one of the airlines checking in procedures. The pre holiday package of information was very comprehensive and we were presented with very durable luggage tags. We would have no hesitation in recommending Richard and his team in tailoring a package for a trip to India. We had an amazing culturally stimulating trip and will certainly go back to India in the future.