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The Heart of Cambodia & Vietnam with Bangkok (Northbound) ea

The Heart of Cambodia & Vietnam with Bangkok (Northbound)

21 Day River Cruise Bangkok to Hanoi

Vacation overview

This inspiring Southeast Asia river cruise vacation begins in vibrant Bangkok, Thailand. A boat ride on the klongs, Bangkok’s famous canals, is the perfect way to start your sightseeing. Continue at the Grand Palace featuring the Temple of the Emerald Buddha followed by the Temple of the Reclining Buddha—the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in the city. Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and enjoy a walking tour of the famous landmarks of the city and try your hand in the kitchen with a Vietnamese cooking class. Go on an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels, the unbelievable network of tunnels used extensively during the war. Next, board your ship and begin your cruise along the mighty Mekong River.

As you cruise through Vietnam, you’ll stop in the villages for interactions with locals, such as a visit to the home of a skilled family who make handcrafted sampans for a living. In Cambodia, visit the capital city of Phnom Penh, with the magnificent Royal Palace featuring its striking Silver Pagoda and the National Museum. Take in the stunning views at the 8th-century temple of Wat Hanchey before walking through the rural village of Angkor Ban to visit with welcoming schoolchildren. Continue your river cruise adventure to Siem Reap, where you’ll see the magnificent Temples of Angkor. The famous temples here, such as Angkor Wat and the Bayon temple, featuring some 200 mysterious faces carved in its many towers, are a display of intricacy and architectural grandeur unmatched in the world.

Disembark your cruise ship and fly to Hanoi, where you’ll explore the famous Old Quarter with peddlers trading goods among its 36 ancient streets. From here, travel to Ha Long Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, where you’ll be amazed at the more than 3,000 limestone islands of varying shapes. Enjoy a 2-night cruise along the bay with visits to the Cua Van Floating Village, fascinating caves, and a chance to swim at Ti Top Island. The beautiful scenery, ornate temples, and interactions with locals make this Southeast Asia river cruise vacation one you won’t soon forget!

Budapest
WISB Map

Itinerary

 

Day 1   BANGKOK, THAILAND

Welcome to Thailand!

Day 2   BANGKOK

This morning, your Guided Sightseeing begins with a boat ride on the klongs, Bangkok’s famous canals. Stop at the stunning Grand Palace featuring the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Also, Visit the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. It houses more than 1,000 Buddha images, including the 49-foot-high and 151-foot-long massive Reclining Buddha.

The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Day 3   BANGKOK

Enjoy a full day at your leisure.

Day 4   BANGKOK–HO CHI MINH CITY

Today, fly to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Day 5   HO CHI MINH CITY

Motorbikes, Monuments, and Mouthwatering Cuisine

CLASSIC Take a Walking Tour of Ho Chi Minh City’s historic landmarks including a stop at the Rex Hotel for a refreshing drink at the rooftop bar where the U.S. Military held the infamous “Five O’Clock Follies” during the war. Then visit the War Remnants Museum and bustling Ben Thanh Market.

DISCOVERY For lunch, participate in a hands-on Vietnamese Cooking Class. Learn to prepare local dishes and how to recreate them at home. Last, but not least, sample your delicious creations!

Explore the city further during free time this afternoon.

This evening join your traveling companions for a special welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 6   HO CHI MINH CITY. EXCURSION TO CU CHI TUNNELS

Secret Passageways and Underground Hideouts

CLASSIC Drive out of the city for a Guided Visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels—an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles in length—used as a hideout and secret village by the Viet Cong.

Enjoy free time this afternoon and evening. Consider stopping for a drink at the famous rooftop bar at the Caravelle Hotel.

Day 7   HO CHI MINH CITY (EMBARKATION)

Your Suite Ship® is Ready for Boarding

Transfer to the port on the Saigon River for embarkation. Get acquainted with the ship and relax before your welcome reception this evening.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO VINH LONG

Day 8   VINH LONG–CU LAO GIENG

Sweets, Sampans, and Sun Hats

DISCOVERY 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.

DISCOVERY This afternoon, enjoy scenes of daily life on Cu Lao Gieng Island via sampan and local motor cart. Your Guided Excursion starts at a local workshop, where a skilled family hand-crafts sampan boats. 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, stop at one of Vietnam’s oldest Catholic churches.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO CHAU DOC

Day 9   CHAU DOC–LONG KHANH A–BORDER CROSSING, CAMBODIA

Colorful markets, Charming Locals, and Cotton Weavers

DISCOVERY In Chau Doc, take a Guided Walk through the local market and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce. Then embark on an 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.

DISCOVERY After lunch, take a Sampan Ride to the village of Long Khanh A for a Cotton-Weaving Demonstration of this well-preserved tradition.

Return to the ship and head for the Cambodian border.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PHNOM PENH

Day 10   PHNOM PENH

The Royal Treatment

CLASSIC Take a City Tour by private cyclo to visit 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 at your leisure to enjoy the city, 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.

Day 11   PHNOM PENH

A Dark History or Market Dynamics

CLASSIC This morning, a Guided Visit of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and one of the Killing Fields offers a glimpse into the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime, OR:

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

After lunch, depart Phnom Penh and enjoy some time at leisure on the ship.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO WAT HANCHEY

Day 12   WAT HANCHEY–ANGKOR BAN

Water Blessings and Back-to-School Adventures

DISCOVERY 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 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 13   KONPONG LOUANG–KAMPONG TRALACH

Calm in the Cambodian Countryside

DISCOVERY Start your Guided Sightseeing at the silversmith village in Konpong Louang. Here, see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art. In Kampong Tralach, board an ox cart for a ride through the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to meet a local farmer and learn about his daily life.

This afternoon, enjoy scenic cruising on the Tonle River.

EVENING CRUISE TO PHNOM PENH

Day 14   PHNOM PENH (DISEMBARKATION)–SIEM REAP

A Pilgrimage of Inspirational Beauty

Fly to Siem Reap, home to the Temples of Angkor, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth!

CLASSIC After lunch, begin your Sightseeing Tour by tuk-tuk to explore the temples. Start at the best preserved and most famous of all the temples: Angkor Wat. Featuring five trademark towers, it is the symbol of Cambodia. Then, visit Angkor Thom, where you will explore Bayon Temple with its 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas-relief sculptures, OR:

ACTIVE Visit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Bayon Temple by bike.

The evening is yours to explore charming Siem Reap, stay to witness the sunset at Angkor Wat, or consider a Guided Optional Excursion to the Cambodian circus.

Day 15   SIEM REAP

Roots Carved in Stone and Celebrated in Dance

CLASSIC Continue your Sightseeing Tour of the Angkor temples at Ta Prohm. Tree roots cover the ruin lls, allowing you to experience the temple with the same wonder as early explorers. Then visit Banteay Srei, a unique temple built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. En route, stop at a village famous for making Khmer noodles by hand.

Spend the afternoon at your leisure. You may choose a Guided Optional Excursion to further explore Siem Reap, or visit the temple complex by tuk-tuk.

DISCOVERY This evening, a private Apsara Dance Performance brings ancient Khmer culture to life through music, song, and dance.

Day 16   SIEM REAP–HANOI

Today, transfer to the airport and fly to Hanoi. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night.

Day 17   HANOI

Historic Hanoi and Water Puppets

CLASSIC First, join a Guided Visit of the mausoleum and the humble cottage from which “Uncle Ho” ruled Vietnam until his death in 1969. Next, see iconic sites, including One Pillar Pagoda, the Presidential Palace, and the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.” Lastly, visit the 900-year-old Temple of Literature, Hanoi’s first university.

Enjoy lunch at Koto, a non-profit restaurant and hospitality program that teaches local street children restaurant skills for stable employment opportunities.

CLASSIC After lunch, enjoy an Electric-Cart Ride through the fascinating Old Quarter—with its 36 ancient streets where merchants trade as they have for centuries.

DISCOVERY An early dinner this evening is followed by a fascinating Live Performance of Hanoi’s renowned water puppets, a traditional 11th-century artform.

Day 18   HANOI–HA LONG BAY

Island Shapes and a Floating Village

Travel from Hanoi through the fertile countryside to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The bay is dotted with more than 3,000 limestone islands carved into fanciful shapes. Board the luxurious Paradise Elegance for a 2-Night Cruise on the bay.

DISCOVERY Visit the Cua Van Floating Village, home to more than 700 people—by bamboo raft, OR:

ACTIVE Take a Kayak Ride to visit Cua Van Village.

Enjoy scenic sailing for the remainder of the day before anchoring for the night.

Day 19   HA LONG BAY

Caves, Kayaks, and Scenic Climbs

DISCOVERY Visit Ti top Island for a Guided Excursion to take a swim, or climb 400 steps to the top for stunning views. You can also visit Luon Cave by boat, and explore Dark & Bright Cave by bamboo raft, OR:

ACTIVE Explore Luon Cave and Dark & Bright Cave by Kayak Ride.

After a day of exploring, consider a spa treatment or simply relax for happy hour prior to dinner!

Day 20   HA LONG BAY–HANOI

Surprising and Amazing Beauty

This morning, relax onboard your ship, or visit Sung Sot Cave, considered one of the most beautiful in the area with its magnificent formations. Afterwards, return to Hanoi and check in to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to spend at your leisure.

Day 21   HANOI

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Vacation Highlights

Day 1 Bangkok: Welcome to Thailand

Day 2 Bangkok: Boat ride on klongs; visit the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Day 3 Bangkok: Day at leisure

Day 4 Bangkok–Ho Chi Minh City: fly to Ho Chi Minh City

Day 5 Ho Chi Minh City: Walking tour; visit the famous Rex Hotel for a drink, War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market; cooking class

Day 6 Ho Chi Minh City: Cu Chi Tunnels excursion

Day 7 Ho Chi Minh City (Embarkation): Onboard welcome reception

Day 8 Vinh Long–Cu Lao Gieng: Visit a local workshop to see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candy are made in Vinh Long; interact with sampan-making and conical hat making families in Cu Lao Gieng

Day 9 Chau Doc–Long Khanh A–Cambodian Border Crossing: Visit a local market and the religious sites at Sam Mountain in Chau Doc; walking tour of Long Khanh A with cotton-weaving demonstration

Day 10 Phnom Penh: Sightseeing by private cyclo, including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum; afternoon at leisure; show by children from a local orphanage

Day 11 Phnom Penh: Visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and visit one of the Cambodian Killing Fields, or visit the lively central market

Day 12 Wat Hanchey –Angkor Ban: Visit Wat Hanchey and partake in a traditional water blessing by local monks; walking tour in Angkor Ban with school visit

Day 13 Konpong Louang–Kampong Tralach: Visit the silversmith village of Konpong Louang; ox cart ride through the countryside, and visit a local farmer’s home in Kampong Tralach

Day 14 Phnom Penh (Disembarkation)–Siem Reap: Fly to Siem Reap; visit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Bayon Temple

Day 15 Siem Reap: Visit Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei, and a noodle-making village; Apsara dance performance

Day 16 Siem Reap–Hanoi: Fly to Hanoi

Day 17 Hanoi: Visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, and Temple of Literature; lunch at Koto; electric cart ride through the Old Quarter; water puppets performance

Day 18 Hanoi–Ha Long Bay (Embarkation): Drive to Ha Long Bay; visit Cua Van floating village

Day 19 Ha Long Bay: Cruise the bay; visit Ti Top Island, Luon Cave, and Dark and Bright Cave; opportunity to explore by kayak

Day 20 Ha Long Bay (Disembarkation)–Hanoi: Visit Sung Sot Cave; drive to Hanoi

Day 21 Hanoi: End of vacation

No Excursions are available at this time.


Travel Terms & Conditions
The purchase of any travel services offered by Avalon Waterways, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you (the Traveler) and Avalon Waterways, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions cover Deposit & Final Payment information, Air-Inclusive Deposits & Final Payment, Revisions & Revision Fees, Air Arrangements, Participation, Travelers Who Need Special Assistance, Young Travelers, Smoking, Price Policy, Visas and Passports, Hotels & Accommodations, Baggage Allowance, Travel Documents, Not Included in the Land Price, Refunds, Service Inquires After the Vacation, Holidays, Safety, Photos & Pictures, Optional Excursions, and Responsibility.
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Important Notes

  • Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.
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  • The following charges are not included in the land/cruise vacation price unless otherwise noted: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; intra-vacation air, unless specified in the itinerary; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; International Air Transportation tax; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; airport taxes and fees, including the September 11th Security fee up to $11.20 per person, passenger facility charges up to $18 per person, Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $4.10 per segment, and U.S. and international arrival and departure and other government-imposed added by the airline and applicable at time of booking; port taxes; passports; visas and vaccinations; tips to your Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship's crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted Avalon menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant or onboard your vessel (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); airport transfers on non-qualifying flights; optional excursions; additional activities and excursions purchased online; porterage at airports and train stations; Travel Protection; and all other items of a personal nature.
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Our volume buying power saves you money. We may be able to provide you with flight arrangements from your gateway city. Avalon Waterways offers 2 air options: Flex Air and Instant Purchase Air. Early Airfare Price Guarantee locks in a price that is guaranteed not to increase. Air pricing and schedules are available approximately 330 days prior to last travel date in the itinerary. At that time the best air price will be utilized and a new invoice with the air cost and confirmed schedule will be sent. The identity of the carrier, which may include the carrier’s codeshare partner, will be assigned and disclosed at this time. If the guaranteed price is the lowest, the schedule with the lowest fare per contracted classes of service will be booked. Any voluntary change to the confirmed flights negates the guaranteed price and is subject to air pricing at the time of the change.

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