The Heart of Cambodia & Vietnam with Hue & Danang – Northbound 2019

22 Day River Cruise Ho Chi Minh to Danang

2019 Information. Switch to 2020 »

This magical Southeast Asia river cruise along the Mekong River will take you through Vietnam and Cambodia, showing you the culture and local traditions of each country and the must-see sites along the way.

Your adventure begins in bustling Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where you’ll get a taste of the culture first-hand with a Vietnamese cooking class and go on a fascinating excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an extraordinary network of tunnels used extensively during the war. Immerse yourself in the everyday life of locals with a stroll through a busy market, and visits to a family’s home for a cotton-weaving demonstration and a local workshop to see how rice wine and traditional candies are made.

Continue your journey into Cambodia where you’ll visit the famous sites, such as the temple of Wat Hanchey, providing spectacular views, and take part in a traditional water blessing with local monks. Enjoy an ox cart ride around the Cambodian countryside and meet a local farmer to learn about his daily life. Siem Reap offers the magnificent Temples of Angkor, ancient ruins that are a display of architectural complexity and grandeur unlike anything else in the world. See the most famous temples here, such as Angkor Wat and the Bayon temple, which features some 200 mysterious faces carved in its many towers. Enjoy an inspiring Aspara dance performance and other treasures of the city.

Fly to Hanoi and explore the famous sites, such as the Old Quarter, where peddlers have traded goods for centuries on its 36 ancient streets. Next, a remarkable 2-night cruise along Ha Long Bay will show you its beautiful Limestone Islands. Next, sightseeing in Hue, a former capital of Vietnam, will show you the imposing Imperial Citadel; Thien Mu Pagoda, the unofficial symbol of the city; and the Royal tombs of past emperors. Arrive in Danang, known for its beautiful beaches and culinary scene. Visit the Cham Museum and explore Hoi An Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where architecture influenced by traders from around the world has been largely preserved. You’ll have free time to explore the area or perhaps relax at your beach resort. The perfect ending to an unforgettable Southeast Asia river cruise vacation!


Dates & Prices Get a Quote Book Online

Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Ho Chi Minh City:Welcome to VietnamDay 2 Ho Chi Minh City:Walking tour; visit the famous Rex Hotel for a drink, War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market; cooking classDay 3 Ho Chi Minh City:Cu Chi Tunnels excursionDay 4 Ho Chi Minh City (Embarkation):Onboard welcome receptionDay 5 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 workshop, a local home to see how Vietnamese conical hats are made, and a Catholic church in Cu Lao GiengDay 6 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 demonstrationDay 7 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 8 Phnom Penh:Visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and visit one of the Cambodian Killing FieldsDay 9 Wat Hanchey –Angkor Ban:Visit Wat Hanchey and partake in a traditional water blessing by local monks; walking tour in Angkor Ban with school visitDay 10 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 TralachDay 11 Phnom Penh (Disembarkation)–Siem Reap:Fly to Siem Reap; visit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Bayon TempleDay 12 Siem Reap:Visit Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei, and a noodle-making village; Apsara dance performanceDay 13 Siem Reap–Hanoi:Fly to HanoiDay 14 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 performanceDay 15 Hanoi–Ha Long Bay (Embarkation):Drive to Ha Long Bay; visit Cua Van floating villageDay 16 Ha Long Bay:Cruise the bay; visit Ti Top Island, Luon Cave, and Dark and Bright Cave; opportunity to explore by kayakDay 17 Ha Long Bay–Hanoi–Hue:Drive to Hanoi; fly to HueDay 18 Hue:Visit the Imperial Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda, and the tombs of the Nguyen EmperorsDay 19 Hue–Danang:Drive to Danang; visit the Cham Museum and Monkey MountainDay 20 Danang:Excursion to Hoi An including a cruise on the Thu Bon River and a walking tour of the Ancient Town Day 21 Danang:Day at leisure Day 22 Danang: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

HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Day 2

(B, L, D)

HO CHI MINH CITY

Motorbikes, Monuments, and Mouthwatering Cuisine

Classic
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
DISCOVERY For lunch, participate in a hands-on Vietnamese Cooking Class. Learn to prepare several 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 3

(B)

HO CHI MINH CITY. EXCURSION TO CU CHI TUNNELS

Secret Passageways & Underground Hideouts

Classic
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 4

(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 5

(B, L, D)

VINH LONG–CU LAO GIENG

Sweets, Sampans, and Spires

Discovery
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
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 6

(B, L, D)

CHAU DOC–LONG KHANH A–BORDER CROSSING, CAMBODIA

Colorful markets, Charming Locals, and Cotton Weavers

Discovery
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
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 7

(B, L, D)

PHNOM PENH

Bonjour! French Charm Lives in Cambodia’s Capital City

Classic
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 8

(B, L, D)

PHNOM PENH

Shining a Light on a Dark History

Classic
CLASSIC This morning, a Guided Visit of 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.

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

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO WAT HANCHEY

Day 9

(B, L, D)

WAT HANCHEY–ANGKOR BAN

Water Blessings and Back To School Adventures

Discovery
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
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 10

(B, L, D)

KONPONG LOUANG–KAMPONG TRALACH

Calm in the Cambodian Countryside

Discovery
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 11

(B, L)

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
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
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 12

(B, D)

SIEM REAP

Roots Carved in Stone and Celebrated in Dance

Classic
CLASSIC Continue your Guided Sightseeing of the Angkor Temples at Ta Prohm. Tree roots cover the ruin walls, 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 local 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 the temple complex by tuk-tuk.

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

Day 13

(B)

SIEM REAP–HANOI

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

Day 14

(B, L, D)

HANOI

Historic Hanoi and Water Puppets

Classic
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 trains local street children in restaurant skills they can use to become employed for a more stable life.

Classic
CLASSIC After lunch, enjoy an Electric Cart Ride through the fascinating Old Quarter—with its 36 ancient streets where peddlers trade as they have for centuries.
Discovery
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 15

(B, L, D)

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 Two-Night Cruise on the bay.

Discovery
DISCOVERY Visit the Cua Van Floating Village, home to more than 700 people, by bamboo raft, OR:
Active
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 16

(B, L, D)

HA LONG BAY

Caves, Kayaks, and Scenic Climbs

Discovery
DISCOVERY Visit Titop Island, for a Guided Excursion for a swim, or climb 400 steps to the top of the island for stunning views. You can also visit Luon Cave by boat, and explore Dark & Bright Cave by bamboo raft, OR:
Active
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 17

(B)

HA LONG BAY–HANOI

This morning, drive to Hanoi and board your flight for Hue. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.

Day 18

(B, L)

HUE

One of Vietnam’s former capitals, Hue is a beautiful, welcoming city that remains a cultural and religious center. Start your Guided Sightseeing with a visit to the Imperial Citadel and the Thien Mu Pagoda, the unofficial symbol of the city. In the afternoon, your excursion provides a unique window into Vietnam and its dynastic past. Visit the tombs of the Nguyen Emperors: the Khai Dinh Mausoleum and the Royal Tomb of Tu Duc.

Day 19

(B, L)

HUE–DANANG

Today, drive south over spectacular Hai Van Pass (weather permitting), considered to be one of the most scenic in all of Vietnam. In Danang, stop to Visit the Cham Museum and ascend Monkey Mountain to see the Lady Buddha and for panoramic views. Continue on to your resort for the evening.

Day 20

(B)

DANANG. EXCURSION TO HOI AN

Hoi An is Vietnam’s active trading center and a town that has been largely preserved, with architecture that reflects the influence of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, French, and British traders. Hoi An is also where French missionary Alexandre de Rhodes introduced Catholicism and Roman script to Vietnam. Start with a Cruise on the Thu Bon River, where you will meet a local fisherman to see how to throw and retrieve a traditional round fishing net called a ro. Next, enjoy a Walking Tour of Hoi An Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the way, visit an old merchant house, the Hoi An Museum, a Chinese assembly hall, and the Japanese Covered Bridge. Then, enjoy some time at your leisure.

Day 21

(B)

DANANG

A full day at leisure to further explore the area or relax at your beach resort!

Day 22

(B)

DANANG

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

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18 Day River Cruise Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

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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

Hotels

Ho Chi Minh City
Mekong River Cruise
Siem Reap
Hanoi
Ha Long Bay
Hue
Da Nang

 Optional Excursions

No matter what you’re into: food, wine, history, art, music or anything else, we give you the freedom to personalize your vacation with optional excursions that speak to your interests.

When you book your excursions with us, you can be assured that every optional excursion that we offer coordinates with the free time that you'll have in your destination, so you'll never have conflicts between included and optional activities. Our team of travel experts carefully selects each optional excursion that we offer to ensure that you receive the highest quality at a great value. Our tried-and-true partners have a finger on the pulse of the city in which they operate so they deliver the very best experiences. We offer experiences you cannot create on your own and because you’re booking with us, we coordinate all your transportation and timing needs.

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
Siem Reap

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: $

Siem Reap

Phare Cambodian Circus

Phare Cambodian Circus

Take in a performance of the Cambodian circus, Siem Reap's top rated evening entertainment, where the young performers will astonish you with their energy, emotion, enthusiasm, and talent.

Price Range: $