Mekong Discovery – Cruise Only Northbound 2019

8 Day River Cruise Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh

2019 Information. Switch to 2018 »

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

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. See firsthand how handcrafted sampans are built at the home of a family in Cu Lao Gieng. Walk through a colorful market as the locals are busy with their daily routine of buying and selling produce. In the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, tour the National Museum and Royal Palace with its striking Silver Pagoda. Enjoy a song and dance performance by children from 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 this diverse river cruise and stop in a Silversmith Village to see craftsmen making silver artwork using ancient techniques. Go on an ox cart ride amongst rice paddy fields in the enchanting Cambodian countryside and witness the daily lives of farmers. This once-in-a-lifetime Southeast Asia river cruise vacation is sure to create lasting memories!


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Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Ho Chi Minh City (Embarkation): Onboard welcome reception
Day 2 Vinh Long–Cu Lao Gieng:Visit a local workshop to see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candy are made in Vinh Long; visit a sampan-making family and interact with a Catholic priest in Cu Lao Gieng
Day 3 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 4 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 5 Phnom Penh:Visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and visit one of the Cambodian Killing Fields
Day 6 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 7 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 8 Phnom Penh (Disembarkation):End of vacation

Always Included

You've always forged your own path...with your own distinct perspective of looking at the world. Avalon Waterways presents a river cruise experience with your unique style in mind—offering expansive views, wider perspectives, and more cruising. That's why we've designed an intimate cruise experience, with a maximum of 36 guests, that's just a bit different. Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships.

Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board. See the Ship Amenities Section below for more information about the amenities in our fleet’s unique ships.

Throughout the Ship
Suites
Avalon Choice®
Dining

Throughout the Ship:

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi in the lounges (when signal available)
  • Panoramic windows throughout
  • Locally inspired design & décor
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director
  • Air-conditioned Panorama Lounge
  • Covered open-air observation lounge
  • Bar serving premium spirits, wine & complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and local
  • beer/spirits throughout the day

Suites:

  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium mattress covers
  • Wall-to-wall, 14-foot-wide panoramic window that opens to transform the living space into a large Open-Air BalconySM
  • Comfortable sitting area with couch & chair
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with rain shower head
  • Premium L’Occitane bath products
  • Spacious closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Minibar with complimentary local beer, soft drinks & bottled water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • And, much more

Avalon Choice®:

Avalon has designed included excursions and onboard activities for a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the included tours, adventures, and events that interest you most, so you can enjoy your cruise your way.

  • 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.
  • Discovery: We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities designed to speak to your interests—from cooking classes to blessing ceremonies—making it easy to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.
  • Active: Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go—with guided walking through scenic locales.

Dining

  • Spacious, open-seating dining room
  • Delectable regional & Western cuisine with all onboard meals
  • Seasonal recipes featuring the freshest local ingredients
  • Vegetarian options available with all meals
  • Daily early-riser coffee & tea
  • Full breakfast buffet with live cooking station
  • Lunch buffet with live cooking station showcasing local specialties served by our Head Chef
  • Four-course à la carte dinners with choice of salads, soups, entrées, dessert or cheese
  • Complimentary wine, local beer/spirits, soft drinks, coffee & tea at lunch & dinner

Day-By-Day Itinerary

(B) = Breakfast   (L) = Lunch   (D) = Dinner

Day 1

(B, L, D)

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 2

(B, L, D)

VINH LONG–CU LAO GIENG

Sweets, Sampans, and Spires

Discovery
Board a sampan this morning for a local Workshop Visit in Vinh Long to see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candies are made.
Discovery
This afternoon, enjoy scenes of daily life with a Guided Excursion along the river near Cu Lao Gieng via sampan. Stop at a local home, where a skilled family hand-crafts sampan boats. Then, ride a motor cart to one of Vietnam’s oldest churches for a special interaction with a catholic priest.
AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO CHAU DOC

Day 3

(B, L, D)

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 a River 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, a sampan brings you to the village of Long Khanh A for a Cotton-Weaving Demonstration of a well-preserved artisan’s tradition.

Return to the ship to set sail for the Cambodian border.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO PHNOM PENH

Day 4

(B, L, D)

PHNOM PENH

Bonjour! French Charm Lives in Cambodia’s Capital City

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 yours to enjoy the city 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.

Day 5

(B, L, D)

PHNOM PENH

Shining a Light on a Dark History

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.

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

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO WAT HANCHEY

Day 6

(B, L, D)

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 7

(B, L, D)

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 8

(B)

PHNOM PENH (DISEMBARKATION)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Notes

  • During low water conditions, generally mid-December to August, we will not be able to sail across Tonle Sap and will fly from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. No sightseeing will be missed. Low water conditions vary from year to year, so this will be evaluated on a cruise-by-cruise basis.

Ship Details

Siem Reap
Saigon

Siem Reap

The all-suite Avalon Siem Reap, one of our incredible new Suite Ships®, was specifically designed to offer the best river cruise experience on the Mekong River. She is the only ship in the industry cruising from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh (or vice versa) eliminating hours of motorcoach travel time, which means you enjoy more cruising along the Mekong River!

The ship has been meticulously crafted to offer all the modern features you expect, yet it retains the colonial charm fitting to Vietnam and Cambodia. While the number of guests on the ship may be small, the ship isn't. Built as long and wide as other ships that carry twice as many guests, the public spaces never feel congested. From the air-conditioned Panorama Lounge to the open-air observation lounge, there is plenty of seating and spots to relax. Plus, our lounges are located at the front of the ship, not the back, so no matter where you sit you'll always have a great view.

Our crew embodies the spirit of you first, no matter what. From the reception staff and bartender to wait staff and room attendant, we always deliver exquisite service that's comfortable and friendly, never stuffy! With Avalon, our ship becomes your home away from home.

Included Amenities

  • Air-conditioned Panorama Lounge
  • Spacious, open-seating dining room
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access in the lounges (where signal is available)
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms
  • Fitness Room
  • Open-air observation lounge with shade system & premium lounge chairs
  • Bar serving premium spirits, wine & complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and local beer/spirits throughout the day
  • Spa treatment rooms
  • Library and games

Staterooms & Suites

Category A & B - 245 sq. ft.
Features
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium mattress covers
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • 14' Wall-to-Wall Panoramic window measuring that opens to create a large Open-Air Balcony®
  • Spacious closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • In-room safe
  • In-house telephone
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, blankets & European-style duvets
  • Choice of bed configuration (two twins or one king)
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer, and premium bath amenities
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror & comfortable chair
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Individual climate control
DECK PLANS

Saigon

The all-suite Avalon SaigonSM, our newest Suite Ship® in Asia, was specifically designed to offer the best cruise experience on the Mekong River. She is one of only two ships in the industry, along with her sister ship the Avalon Siem ReapSM, cruising from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh (or vice versa) eliminating hours of motorcoach travel time, which means you enjoy more cruising! The ship has been meticulously crafted to offer all the modern features you expect, yet it retains the colonial charm fitting to Vietnam and Cambodia. While the number of guests on the ship may be small, the ship isn't. Built as long and wide as other ships that carry twice as many guests, the public spaces never feel congested. From the air-conditioned Panorama Lounge to the open-air observation lounge, there is plenty of seating and spots to relax. Plus, our lounges are located at the front of the ship, not the back, so no matter where you sit you'll always have a great view. Our crew embodies the spirit-you first, no matter what. From the reception staff and bartender to wait staff and room attendant, we always deliver exquisite service that's comfortable and friendly, never stuffy! With Avalon, our ship becomes your home away from home.

Included Amenities

  • Air-conditioned Panorama Lounge
  • Spacious, open-seating dining room
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access in the lounges (where signal is available)
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms
  • Fitness Room
  • Open-air observation lounge with shade system & premium lounge chairs
  • Bar serving premium spirits, wine & complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and local beer/spirits throughout the day
  • Spa treatment rooms
  • Library and games

Staterooms & Suites

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

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)

No Excursions are available at this time.

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Cruise Details