Pearl of the Orient
Saigon – Phnom Penh (or vice versa)
4 Days / 3 Nights
A four-day cruise for cruise aficionados with less time on their hands connecting the Pearl of the Orient with the Paris of the East.
- Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Cai Be
- Day 2: Cai Be – Sa Dec – Tan Chau
- Day 3: Tan Chau – Border crossing – Phnom Penh
- Day 4: Phnom Penh
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Cai Be
Bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon as we travel 70 kilometers south by land to My Tho to embark your boutique Ship. We will be served refreshing drinks and light lunch as the Ship steadily glides along the Mekong. We will bathe in the fading sunset on the balcony followed by a briefing at the lounge. Later, a welcome dinner awaits us.
When approaching Cai Be, the Ship drops anchor midstream. Light lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are included. Overnight in Cai Be.
Day 2: Cai Be – Sa Dec – Tan Chau
Everyday, our journey starts with an invigorating Tai Chi lesson on the Sundeck just as the sun begins its gentle glow. Coffee and tea awaits the early bird.
The day-tour starts with a visit to Cai Be’s boisterous and colorful floating market on a traditional sampan (a flat bottomed traditional Vietnamese wooden boat). During the ride, discover breathtaking landscapes along the river and quaff the rustic life on the Mekong Delta. The cruise will halt intermittently to allow us to observe how rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies, rice pop, rice wine and coconut candies are made, enjoy local life along the canals on the way back to the Ship for lunch.
In the afternoon, we cruise to Sa Dec. Upon arrival, we embark a traditional sampan to tour Binh Thanh Island to visit an untouchable village. Here, every villager is involved in the process of making rattan mat and this give us the chance to interact with the old local people. We then board the Ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards Tan Chau.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. The Ship will moor midstream overnight near Tan Chau.
Day 3: Tan Chau – Border crossing – Phnom Penh
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the Dining Hall of your balcony. Brace yourself for a short excursion in Tan Chau, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community.
Firstly, the journey takes you to the “evergreen” islands where you will be thrilled to learn the life of the locals.
The inhabitants of these islands live on houses poised on high stilts – a centuries-old tradition in this part of the Mekong Delta.
We stop to visit a fish farm located in the Tan Chau canal – this farm consists of floating houses and the villagers make their living by cultivating fish. You continue by boat to Tan Chau pier, disembark here and stroll around this colorful local market with lots of regional products. You return to the cruise Ship after your market visit.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Overnight we anchor midstream near Phnom Penh.
What is the difference between Upstream and Downstream?
Upstream and Downstream indicate the direction, the Ships will travel. Downstream means from Siem Reap to Saigon. Upstream is the opposite direction from Saigon to Siem Reap.
What is the difference between Low Water and High Water season?
Low water season: The water level goes down and very low in Tonle Sap, so the Ships have to dock in Kampong Cham, where the embarkation and disembarkation will take place. It takes 4.5 hours for our coaches to transfer to the meeting point in Siem Reap (Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa).
For downstream (REP-SGN) we will meet at 08:00am for the check-in formality.
For upstream (SGN-REP) the coaches will drop you off around 13:30pm at Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa.
Low water season is approximate from January to middle of September.
High water season: The Ship could cruise along in Tonle Sap and dock near Siem Reap pier. It just takes 45 minutes for our coaches to transfer to the meeting point (Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa). The embarkation and disembarkation of the Ship will take place near Siem Reap pier.
For downstream (REP-SGN) we will meet at noon (12:00pm) at the meeting point for check in formality.
For upstream (SGN-REP) the coaches will drop you off around 10:00am at Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa.
High water season is approximate from middle of September to the end of December.
High water and low water season just make itinerary timing schedule changeable in Siem Reap, there will be no changes at other destinations.
Do I need to arrange visa before arriving in Saigon or Siem Reap?
For most foreigners visa are needed for both countries. Please check with the Vietnamese and Cambodian embassies in your country.
During the upstream cruises (SGN-REP), Heritage Line could support to arrange Cambodia visa at the border. The visa fee of USD 37 per person (subject to change during public holidays and others terms) will be added to their onboard account.
For downstream cruises (REP-SGN), Heritage Line could support to arrange Vietnam visa as well. But as the visa has to be issued in Phnom Penh, the processes is difficult and expensive (visa fee will be advised at the time you request for). We strongly recommend arranging Vietnam visa before arrival in Vietnam or Cambodia.
Is an E-Visa accepted in Vietnam and Cambodia?
Please note that both Vietnamese and Cambodian E-Visas are not accepted for waterway entry to either country.
Passengers who wish to obtain their own Visas before the trip must apply directly at a Cambodian or Vietnamese Consulate or Embassy, or by other methods, that will allow them to receive a normal Tourist Visa-for the country they will enter into on the water.
- For upstream journeys (Vietnam to Cambodia) a Vietnamese E-Visa is acceptable for entry by air to Vietnam-but for the water way entry to Cambodia, a Cambodian E-Visa is not acceptable.
- For downstream journeys (Cambodia to Vietnam) a Cambodian E-Visa is acceptable for entry by air to Cambodia-but for the water way entry to Vietnam, a Vietnamese E-Visa is not acceptable.
Passengers who have obtained E-Visas-for the country that will be entered by water-will be required to apply for new onboard and pay all visa fees.
What does the tour include?
a. General Inclusions
All cruises include group shore-excursions, entrance fees, transportation, tour guide services (English speaking), taxes, fuel, river pilots, port dues, transfers in Saigon and Siem Reap from/to the meeting point to/from embarkation/disembarkation point or vice versa. Meals are included full board. Drinking water, coffee/tea (from jug) is included all day. Fruit juices are included in addition during breakfast.
Port tax per passenger of 65 USD (levied by Port authorities and port taxes appear on our invoice). Crew gratuities (8 USD – 10 USD per passenger per day are recommended). Cambodian Visa (available on Upstream cruise only/37 USD)