Overview

SERENITY CRUISE
Siem Reap – Phnom Penh  (or vice versa), 5 Days – 4 Nights

The best of rural Cambodia is offered with this cruise program. See the unseen, discover ancient pre-Angkorian temples, relish the cordial smiles of the region’s inhabitants and immerse yourself in the Tonle’s riverine landscapes. The Tonle is not only an enchanting waterway, but it also acts as a lifeline to the mighty Mekong River during the dry season.

The displayed program below is a sample of a 4-night downstream cruise between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh for high water cruises. The downstream Serenity Cruise is also available as 3-night option. Please visit our download page to review all programs for upstream and low water cruises.

Program

Day 1: Siem Reap - Ton Le River

We gather in the morning at our welcome lounge in Siem Reap. Relax with a drink as our staff collects your details for the boarding. We bid farewell to the iconic sight of Angkor and travel a short distance to the pier at Tonle Lake. By local boat we transfer to our beautiful ship. While you check in to your prepared staterooms the ship sets sail and your fascinating journey on the Mighty Mekong can begin.

You have lunch on board while the vessel gently glides over Tonle Lake. The lake can only be crossed during high water season (approx. from August to mid-November). Let your soul float and your eyes wander while the boat makes its way across.

In the afternoon we serve a afternoon tea at the bar. Enjoy your cruising day on board, relax on your balcony or relish a spa treatment before dinner. Our expert guide will also offer a presentation about the “Geography of the Mekong and Ton Le Sap”.

The boat moors at the Ton Le River. You can join our evening cinema session (offered every night) featuring selected classic movies.

Day 2: Kampong Chhnang - Kampong Tralach - Kampong Cham

Wake up early to witness the spectacular scenery at the break of down. Our morning Tai Chi class has the perfect backdrop today. Breakfast buffet is served in the dining hall.

We are at Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world”, where everything is on sticks balanced on water rich soil. Perhaps this is the most fascinating cruise locale in Cambodia.

We take a local boat to the shore. With mini buses we head to a rural village nearby and go on a walking tour. Our guides introduce the village specialties – Khmer style pottery and the making of palm sugar. Definitely you should bring some home. Before returning to the boat we explore the local floating villages and wetlands of the region.

Back on board lunch is served while the cruise continues with a languid meander along the Ton Le River towards Kampong Tralach. A Monks’ blessing ceremony on board delivers spirits and wishes for health and prosperity for all. Gliding through leafy swaths of this jungle-like landscape we arrive in Kampong Tralach. Cacophonous children wave enthusiastically while bringing their livestock for a bath in the meandering river. We will stop at the “Green School” which is supported in part by Heritage Line. Travel to see all this life - which is so much different than ours - by a local ox cart ride.

Back on board we sail downstream, passing the confluence of the Ton Le and Mekong Rivers. The boat cruises overnight and you can enjoy a fine dinner in the dining hall.

Day 3: Kampong Cham - Okhna Tey - Phnom Penh

After a sumptuous breakfast we stay on board to understand more about the education of the young Cambodian generation (NGO project). The children join us on board, always excited to show their skills in music and art. Be sure to be bathed in smiles upon your applause.

We leave the boat around 09:30am to arrive at the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). This small complex sits on a hill top right on the shore with breath-taking views on the Mekong.
After some refreshment back on the ship we serve lunch. During the afternoon our staff is keen to show you the variety of traditional Khmer fashion. Watch the riverbank life along the Mekong during our high tea as the ship proceeds to its next stop.

We arrive at the Island of Koh Oknha Tey. This spot in the middle of the Mekong owns its fame for the manufacturing of high class silk products. By tuk tuk we explore the island with its workshops and learn how silk is processed from its source, provided by little silkworms, to a final top quality product made of original Cambodian silk.

After some additional cruising time the boat arrives and docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. Feel free to have your first exploration by yourself after dinner. Stroll along the river promenade and watch the locals chit-chatting, selling odds and ends or have a drink in one of the numerous bars (kindly inform our crew once you are leaving the ship on your own).

Day 4: Phnom Penh

Welcome to Phnom Penh - the once called Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. It is an amazing town to bespeak centuries of incredible history and culture which can still be felt at many street corners.

We start with a full sight-seeing tour right after breakfast. By bus we visit the Killing Fields at the outskirts of the city and after the centrally located prison “S21”. Both historic sites display the sad and cruel chapter of Khmer history when once the Khmer Rouge ruled the country with terror and suppression. Those places have not changed much since the horrific time back in the early seven- ties and so it can be heart wrenching. There is the alternative to explore the city during the morning by your own pace individually before re-joining the group.

After breakfast it's time to bid farewell from your luxurious floating home.

We have lunch at a nice restaurant in town. Afterwards, our exploration of Phnom Penh focuses on its fascinating cultural heritage. The golden edifice of the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda and the exceptional Khmer crafts at the National Museum are the afternoon highlights. The day trip ends with a “cycle” ride back to the ship through the bustling streets of downtown Phnom Penh.

Take some rest in your spacious cabin or join other fellow passengers at the bar for some refreshing drinks before captivating evening activities start.

Early evening a barbecue dinner on the sun deck commences. The dinner is accompanied by an Apsara dance performance. You need to witness the brilliance and richness of this dance along with the soothing sounds of traditional music.

As the evening unwinds, enjoy your supper with a fine glass of wine and marvel at the skyline of Phnom Penh and the peaceful flow of the Ton Le River.

Day 5: Phnom Penh

After breakfast we will gather at the lounge for a great lecture before it's eventually time to bid a farewell to your luxurious, floating home.

What is the difference between Upstream and Downstream?
Upstream and Downstream indicate the direction the ship travels. Downstream means from Siem Reap to Saigon, whereas 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 decreases greatly in the Tonle Sap, so the vessel must dock in Kampong Cham for embarkation and disembarkation. It takes 4.5 hours for our coaches to transfer to the meeting point in Siem Reap (Victoria Angkor Hotel & Spa).
Low water season is approximately from mid-November to late August (exact dates vary yearly).
High water season: The Ship is able to cruise along the Tonle Sap lake and dock near the Siem Reap pier. It takes 45 minutes for our coaches to transfer to the meeting point (Victoria Angkor Hotel & Spa). The embarkation and disembarkation of the ship will take place near Siem Reap pier.
Approximate dates for high water season are from late August to mid-November (exact dates vary yearly).
Please see our Lower Mekong Embarkation and Disembarkation guide for meeting locations and schedules.

Do I need to arrange visa before arriving in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap?
For most foreigners, a visa is needed for Cambodia. Please check with the Cambodian embassy in your country.

Is an E-Visa accepted in Cambodia?
Passengers who wish to obtain their own Visas before the trip must apply directly at a Cambodian 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.

What does the tour include?
Please visit our download section www.heritage-line.com/download/. Our inclusions and exclusions are listed on our rate sheets.

Please see the following links:
Cruise Departures
Cruise Rates