Jayavarman - Saigon to Siem Reap Cruise

This 8-day cruise is a wonderful way to start your journey to the magnificent temples of Angkor. Discover the Mekong River, its Delta, and the Tonle Sap Lake and follow the lifelines of the ancient Angkor Empire. Observe remote lifestyles that have changed little since the height of this civilization.

Inspired by the golden age cruise liner Normandie, "The Jayavarman" is a 20th century boutique style marvel that marries avant-garde French colonial design with enchanting Indochina architecture. "The Jayavarman" is Indochina's first of its kind boutique style river cruise liner and offers uncompromising luxury on 800 m² public space including 4 decks.

Experiencing a cruise holiday in Vietnam and Cambodia and you will discover the allure of an unspoilt and little explored countries which for many travelers with a sense of adventure is irresistible.

Jayavarman Saigon to Siem Reap 8D7N

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Cruise from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to My Tho
Your cruise holiday starts in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) where you will travel 70 kilometers (44 miles) south by land to My Tho to embark your boutique river cruise ship. You will be served a refreshing welcome drink as the ship steadily glides along the Mekong. Bathe in the fading sunset on the balcony followed by a short briefing at the lounge. Later, a delicious welcome dinner awaits you. When approaching Cai Be, the ship drops anchor to moor midstream where the river is several kilometers wide.

Meals included: D

Day 2: Cruise from Cai Be to Sa Dec & Chau Doc
The day – in fact everyday - 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's tour starts with a visit to Cai Be's boisterous and a colorful floating market on board a traditional sampan, which is a flat bottomed traditional Vietnamese wooden boat. Discover breathtaking landscapes along the river and quaff the rustic life on the Mekong Delta. The cruise will halt intermittently to allow you to observe how rice paste, rice cookies and coconut candies are made, along with the Longan fruit drying process. After touring the canals, head to an ancient house surrounded by fruit orchards before heading to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon you cruise to Sa Dec. Upon arrival, you embark a traditional sampan to tour Binh Thanh Island and its man-made canals. Here, every villager is involved in the process of growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fiber floor mats and rattan baskets. You then board the ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards Chau Doc. The boat will moor midstream overnight.

Meals included: B, L, D

Day 3: Border crossing into Cambodia
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the Indochine Dining Hall or in the quiet sanctuary of your balcony. Brace yourself for a short excursion in Chau Doc, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer communities. Visit the colorful local market near an ancient temple. This is followed by a trip to the quay, where you will be feted to a boat excursion to the floating villages and rustic catfish farms. Enjoy watching schools of basa fish being fed by hand followed by a shore excursion to the local Cham Muslim community village. Then, it is back to the cruise ship for a mouth-watering lunch. By mid-afternoon, the cruise liner will make its way to the border towards Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. It is an opportune time to relax on-board, sharpen your culinary skills with our hands-on cooking classes or tour the ship with your impeccable cruise director. "The Highway Blues" beckon as you float into a state of mild bliss caused by the hypnotic murmur of the ship's engine. After hours of cruising, you will feel the rush of entering into a new country and to embrace new adventures.

Meals included: B, L, D

Day 4: Explore Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh was once the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. After breakfast, you will be captivated by a comprehensive lecture on Cambodia's modern history. This will be followed by a city tour of this dynamic, historical capital city of Cambodia which has managed to preserve huge slices of its French colonial allure. Sightseeing in the morning will include visiting the dazzling white and gold edifice of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and witnessing exceptionally beautiful Khmer craft at the National Museum. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Genocide museum and the Killing Field in town. Be prepared to be heart wrenched by this stark reminder of the genocide that transpired during Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime. You go back to the ship after our museum visit. A variety of cocktails will be served followed by a traditional Apsara dance performance onboard. Experience the brilliance and richness of this culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a barbeque on the sundeck. It is indeed a truly marvelous experience, dining in the open with the stars and the moon as your companions.

Meals included: B, L, D

Day 5: Cruise from Phnom Penh to Kampong Cham
You will depart before the break of dawn from Phnom Penh with a stop at the little known Chong Koh silk weaving village. Then return to the ship and cruise past the Mekong's tranquil villages, exhilarating river life and sun-hardened fishermen on their make shift boats. Moreover you tour the rural Angkor Ban village where time stands still. You are transported back a hundred years into an era unsullied by modernity. The houses are truly rustic, made by hand and without any concrete. But most of all, you feel overwhelmed by the unbridled warmth of the villagers. Travelers can take part in the daily activities of the villagers to experience village life firsthand. Then, you return to the ship to cruise towards Kampong Cham.

Meals included: B, L, D

Day 6: Cruise from Kampong Cham to Wat Hanchey
Wake up early today in order to embark on a land journey to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Travelers either take a motor-taxi or climb the 291 steps to the top. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers one of the most breath-taking views in Cambodia. You even get to engage in light banter with some of the monks in the area. Afterwards, come back to the cruise liner to witness a blessing ceremony performed by orange-clad local monks. When the tide allows, you can enjoy a surprise sojourn in our zodiacs (inflatable boats) to the nearby beach to swim in the tea-colored Mekong River, an experience that will, no doubt, dominate dinner conversations in the week to come. Then cruise towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor, a wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple which holds a timeless story. On the way back to the vessel, you stop at an orphanage. Along the way, you have to maneuver a 2-kilometer (1 mile) rickety bamboo bridge.

Meals included: B, L, D

Day 7: Cruise from Kampong Cham to Kampong Chhnang
Before the sun peeks over the horizon, the cruise ship sets sail towards Kampong Chhnang on the Tonle Sap River which glides through leafy swaths of the Southeast Asian jungle. You are greeted by children who waive enthusiastically early in the morning when they bring their livestock for a bath in the meandering Tonle Sap River. Then you approach Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia's "waterworld" where everything is on stilts balanced on rich water rich soil– it's an awesome sight whilst practicing Tai Chi on the deck. Here you take a motorboat excursion to the landing, followed by a short bus trip to the town's specialty – Khmer-styled pottery at the Aundaung Russey village. Then, it is back to the river for an adventurous motorboat excursion to the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region. Later, return to the ship for lunch whilst cruising the narrow and meandering Tonle Sap. The water level rises and drops considerably throughout the year. Depending if your journey begins in high or low your tour itinerary will differ after lunch. Please see below for detailed information.

High Water Program (approx. between August and middle of December):
Your floating sanctuary will then cruise gently, in the afternoon, along the narrow and meandering Tonle Sap. In the evening, a sumptuous spread will be served. Bring along your dance shoes and learn to jiggle the Cambodian way with our staff doubling up as dance instructors. If you can't dance, do not fret. Neither can our staff.

Low Water Program (approx. between middle of December and August/ September):
When you reach Kampong Tralach, you will disembark in a traditional ox-cart rally before being introduced to the Heritage Line pro bono "literacy project". This is the day to truly experience rural Khmer life. In the evening, a sumptuous spread will be served. Bring along your dance shoes and learn to jiggle the Cambodian way with our staff doubling up as dance instructors. If you can't dance, do not fret. Neither can our staff.

Meals included: B, L, D

Day 8: Cruise the Tonle Sap Lake to Siem Reap
This great lake dominates Cambodia and is the largest freshwater lake in South-East Asia with abundant birdlife. Enjoy the stillness of the water and the quiet tranquility on the way to Siem Reap. The water level varies a great deal according to the time of the year and the amount of rainfall recorded. Thus, minor changes to the itinerary may occur during different seasons. Your cruise aboard the Heritage Line cruise liner comes to an end as you reach Siem Reap, famous for the ancient Angkor temple complex. Bid farewell to the cruise as our journey comes to a close, but the memories – and the friendships made on board - linger on for a lot longer.

High Water Program (approx. between August and middle of December):
Cross the Tonle Sap Lake at dawn and at 9am, you will disembark at Siem Reap Port for onward coach transfer to the drop off point in town.

Low Water Program (approx. between middle of December and August/ September):
Cruise in the early morning to Prek K'dam where you will disembark the ship after breakfast. Take a walk through the silversmith village of Koh Chen where the entire community of villagers is involved in making various silver items for sale. At 9am board a coach for transfer to the drop off point. You get to munch on snacks and enjoy cold drinks along the journey. Stop briefly at Skon, also known as Spiderville, for its fried tarantulas a delicacy in this country, before arriving in Siem Reap in the early afternoon.

Meals included: B, L (lunch box)

Please note: Although it is our intention to operate the itinerary as detailed proposal, we will do our utmost to stick to the set itinerary, however we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. It may be necessary to make some changes as a result of climatic conditions, alterations to cruise schedules or other operational factors.


Inclusions:
• All sightseeing tour services as detailed in the above itinerary
• English speaking local guide
• All accommodation on board Jayavarman based on 1 sharing a room
• All entrance fees for attractions included in the above itinerary
• All local boat trips
• All meals as detailed in the above itinerary (B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner)

Exclusions:
• Services not detailed in the above itinerary
• Transfers at arrival / departure port
• International flights
• Vietnam or Cambodian Visa fees
• Any airport taxes
• Expenditure of a personal nature
• Travel insurance
• Any payment / money transfer charges 

Click here for general travel information.