Lower Mekong Cruising at its best – Our new on-shore Cruise Program

At Heritage Line, crafting exceptional itineraries and personalized on-shore experiences for guests in every cruise destination is of utmost importance in managing cruise products. Despite its outward simplicity, a cruise product is a highly intricate matter. It involves combining nautical logistics with various elements of onshore experiences to create a unique touring product (referred to as software), meticulous ship design and construction (the hardware), and comprehensive hotel operations with top-tier F&B and luxury hospitality services expected at any 5-star property. For us, the on-shore touring experiences are among the most crucial elements of a cruise product. It’s essential to showcase destinations in all their authenticity, history, culture, and local flavor to ensure guests take home lasting memories.

The Lower Mekong River, spanning Vietnam and Cambodia, is a treasure trove of discovery, encompassing four distinct regions. From the bustling and vibrant Mekong Delta to the cultural richness of Phnom Penh, from the biodiverse heartland of the Tonle River Region to the serene and enchanting areas along the Cambodian Mekong, the river offers diverse experiences unlike any other.

In recent months, Heritage Line has dedicated efforts to enhancing Lower Mekong River cruise experiences onshore, culminating in today’s cruise itinerary and program, which we believe is unparalleled on this river in terms of uniqueness and authenticity.

Mekong Delta

Tan Phong Island I Nestled in the heart of one of the expansive Mekong River tributaries, Tan Phong Island offers a very authentic glimpse into Delta’s River life. While guests will still visit the interesting local workshop in Cai Be to witness the various products that can be made of rice, most of the excursion time will be spent on Tan Phong Island. Here, guests can immerse themselves in unspoiled river life, explore fruit orchards, try unknown local fruits, wander along small island pathways, and visit a family-run water hyacinth workshop.

Tan Chau I A pivotal destination for understanding the Mekong Delta’s fishing industry, Tan Chau now offers a unique encounter with a Cao Dai priest and a visit to a Cao Dai temple. Guests can delve into the intricacies of Caodaism, a fascinating fusion of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism.

Phnom Penh

This city is and always will be a place that is strongly tied with cultural and historical events in Cambodia, in particular the Khmer Rouge era. Our excursion still includes the poignant Tuol Sleng Museum, gaining insights into the Khmer Rouge era, however we have removed the visit of the Killing Fields (a Khmer Rouge mass cemetery 45 min drive outside town). Instead, we have added more enriching historical activities and sightseeing with a guide tour at the Sosoro Museum of Cambodia history and heritage. A leisurely walking tour through the French Quarter adds colonial charm. Also, a new addition is an onboard expert lecture by Dr. Him Sophy offering a personal perspective on the Khmer Rouge era.

Tonle Region

Upstream cruises now include a visit to Koh Chen’s silversmith community. Guests will visit a family that is the purveyor to the royal court in Phnom Penh with fine silverware. We also call at the new port of Kampong Laeang at the Tonle River (replacing Kampong Chhnang). A very unspoiled and authentic place to witness local pottery making and get a feeling of the rural heartland of Cambodia.

Cambodian Mekong

Prek Bangkong I A small village known for its silk weaving community, replaces Okna Tey. Guests can learn about silk production from local weavers and discover the heritage house of H.E. Sam-El, a renowned architect for the royal family. We are also have added now an excursion at Kampong Cham with sight-seeing of some of the best local craftsmanship or artisanry and agricultural. This region is also important for the Cambodian agricultural trade of vegetable or tabaco. Stueng Trang is a new port for embarkation/disembarkation that prologues sailing time on the river and reduces transfer durations to/from Siam Reap (by 30 min) during cruise operation in the low water period (mid-Nov to mid-Aug).

We invite our guests to embark on our enhanced cruise itinerary, designed to offer unmatched experiences along the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia. Explore the detailed daily program for more information.