Mekong Discovery – Cruise Only Southbound 2019

8 Day River Cruise Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City

2019 Information. Switch to 2018 »

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

In the enchanting Cambodian countryside, go on an ox cart ride amongst rice paddy fields and witness the daily lives of farmers. In a Silversmith Village, see craftsmen making silver artwork using ancient techniques. French influences are still apparent in the lovely capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Here you’ll tour the National Museum and Royal Palace with its striking Silver Pagoda and enjoy a song and dance performance by children at 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 your river cruise into Vietnam where you’ll walk through a colorful market as the locals are busy with their daily routine of buying and selling produce. See firsthand how handcrafted sampans are built at the home of a family in Cu Lao Gieng. Via sampan, cruise into Ben Tre and experience Vietnamese culture with a visit to a workshop to learn how rice wine and traditional candies are made. This once-in-a-lifetime Southeast Asia river cruise vacation is sure to create lasting memories!


Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Phnom Penh (Embarkation):Onboard welcome reception
Day 2 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 3 Kampong Tralach–Konpong Louang–Phnom Penh:Ox cart ride through the countryside and visit a local farmer’s home in Kampong Tralach; visit the silversmith village of Konpong Louang; visit the Tuol Sleng Museum and one of the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh
Day 4 Phnom Penh:Sightseeing by private cyclo, including the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum; show by children from local orphanage
Day 5 Border Crossing–Chau Doc:Visit a local market and the religious sites at Sam Mountain in Chau Doc
Day 6 Long Khanh A–Cu Lao Gieng:Walking tour of Long Khanh A with cotton-weaving demonstration; visit a Catholic church, a local home to see how Vietnamese conical hats are made, and a sampan-making workshop in Cu Lao Gieng
Day 7 Ben Tre:Visit a local garden and a local workshop to see how rice wine and traditional candy are made
Day 8 Ho Chi Minh City (Disembarkation):Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

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

(L, D)

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (EMBARKATION)

Welcome to Cambodia. Your intimate Suite Ship® Awaits!

Get acquainted with the ship and relax before your welcome reception this evening.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO WAT HANCHEY

Day 2

(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 3

(B, L, D)

KAMPONG TRALACH–KONPONG LOUANG–PHNOM PENH

Calm in the Cambodian Countryside

Discovery
Your Guided Sightseeing starts in Kampong Tralach with an Ox-Cart Ride through the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way, stop to meet a local farmer and learn about his daily life. At the silversmith village in Konpong Louang see talented craftsmen use age-old techniques to turn pure silver into works of art.

Sail to the capital city of Phnom Penh this afternoon.

PHNOM PENH

Shining a Light on a Dark History

Classic
After lunch, join a Guided a Visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and one of the Killing Fields for a glimpse into the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime.

This evening, spend some free time to explore the city on your own. Perhaps follow the riverfront promenade to the historic Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC).

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN PHNOM PENH

Day 4

(B, L, D)

PHNOM PENH

Bonjour! French Charm Lives in Cambodia

Classic
Join a Guided Tour of the city by private cyclo with visits to 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 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.

EVENING/OVERNIGHT CRUISE TO VIETNAM/CAMBODIA BORDER

Day 5

(B, L, D)

BORDER CROSSING–CHAU DOC, VIETNAM

Good Morning Vietnam!

Discovery
Take a Village Walk through the Chau Doc market, and absorb the atmosphere as locals are busy buying and selling fish, meat, and produce. After lunch, embark on a Guided 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.
EVENING CRUISE TO LONG KHANH A

Day 6

(B, L, D)

LONG KHANH A–CU LAO GIENG

Cotton Weavers & Sampan Makers

Discovery
This morning, a sampan brings you to the village of Long Khanh A, for a Cotton-Weaving Demonstration of this well-preserved tradition.
Discovery
This afternoon, enjoy scenes of daily life on Cu Lao Gieng Island via sampan and local motor cart. Your Guided Excursion starts with a stop at one of Vietnam’s oldest Catholic churches. 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, visit a local workshop where a skilled family hand-crafts sampan boats.
EVENING CRUISE TO BEN TRE

Day 7

(B, L, D)

BEN TRE

Sweets and Sampans

Discovery
Board a sampan this morning to Visit a Local Workshop in Ben Tre to see how rice paper, rice wine, and traditional candies are made. Continue on to a local garden, where several types of fruit indigenous to the area are grown.

This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as we sail to exciting Ho Chi Minh City.

AFTERNOON CRUISE TO HO CHI MINH CITY

Day 8

(B)

HO CHI MINH CITY (DISEMBARKATION)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Ship Details

Saigon
Siem Reap

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 is not. 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 will 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
  • 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

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

 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). Optional excursions are available for purchase on our MyAvalon site 90 days prior to the tour start date.

Price Ranges

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


Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

Kingdom Brewery Tour

Kingdom Brewery Tour

Take a guided tour through the brewery and sample several different beers in the tasting room!

Price Range: $

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Cruise Details