Cruise
Jahan
Heritage Line
The Jahan, Serenity Cruise Downstream ex Siem Reap to Phnom Penh
Ship: Jahan
Cruise Line: Heritage Line
Selected Sailing Date: 25 Jun 2022

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Prices displayed are retail per person, twin share, to the Australian Travel Trade. Consumers please contact your local cruise agent to request this Cruise Abroad package. At time of booking please check current cruise fare and any inclusions. Prices are indicative only, subject to currency fluctuations and may change at any time without notice.

Itinerary
Cruise Itinerary
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise lines discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.
Cruise Description

4 Night Cruise sailing from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh aboard The Jahan.

Detailed Itinerary:

(NOTE: Itinerary below is for the High Water programme. For details of Low Water programme please check at time of enquiry/booking)

Day 1 Siem Reap – Tonle Lake - Tonle River
We greet our guests in the morning at our welcome lounge in Siem Reap. Kick back with a second coffee this morning before we depart on a short bus ride to the pier. With a last glance back, we bid farewell to the iconic sights of Angkor and travel a short distance to the shore of Tonle Lake. A local boat brings you to the vessel and your luxurious “home” for the next several days. When moving into your staterooms, your first inclination may be to step on your balcony to watch the ship set sail on its fascinating lake crossing.

As you have lunch, the vessel gently glides over Tonle Lake. You can feel fortunate about this occasion, as generally this shallow lake can only be crossed during high water season, which is approximately from August to mid-November. In fact, the Tonle Sap (Sap means Lake in the Cambodian language) varies from 2,500 sqkm (965 sqmi) in size and 160 km (99 mi) in length during the dry season to an astonishing area of 16,000 sqkm (6,000 sqmi) and length of 250 km (160 mi) in the wet season. Not only is it the livelihood to the three million people who fish and farm along its banks, but this rich ecosystem and UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve is also home to over 100 avian and 300 species of fish.

Let your soul float and your eyes wander while the boat makes its way across. It is often stated that “nautical air” makes you hungry, so you are cordially invited to our afternoon tea. Get to know other travellers while enjoying some tasty treats. The rest of this cruising afternoon is fully yours to relax on your private balcony or be pampered by our therapists at the Apsara Spa.

Before dinner, our expert guide holds a presentation about the geography of the Mekong River and Tonle Lake along with the unique attributes of the area. If you are in the mood for some evening entertainment, there is a cinema in the lounge showcasing classic movies and interesting documentaries on a nightly basis.

Back on board you have some downtime before dinner. If you are feeling restless from all the excitement during your first day on the Mekong River, there is a cinema in the lounge showcasing classic movies and interesting documentaries on a nightly basis.

Day 2 Kampong Chhnang - Kampong Tralach - Kampong Cham
Wake up early to witness the spectacular scenery at the break of dawn. To make the experience complete, join our daily morning Tai Chi class. Afterwards, a rich breakfast buffet awaits, or if you prefer, we can serve breakfast directly to your room.

We now are at Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world”, where everything is balanced on sticks in water-rich soil. It is perhaps the most fascinating cruising spot in Cambodia. We take a local boat to the shore and hop on a mini bus to reach a quite unique, nearby rural village. As we explore the village on foot our guide reveals the village’s specialties – Khmer style pottery and the process of making of palm sugar from the Cambodian “skor t’not” palm tree.

We drive back to the shore where our local boat starts an exploration of nearby floating villages and the surrounding wetlands. Although we are still in the heartland of Cambodia, the residents of these floating villages are actually of Vietnamese descent who were expelled by the Khmer Rouge and soon returned after the ruling party was overthrown in 1979. No longer having land to settle on, they have since lived “on the water”.

Back on board and with lunch ready in the restaurant, the vessel continues cruising languidly along the Tonle River towards Kampong Tralach. This part of the Tonle River is quite interesting to watch from the terrace as the river at certain points is very, very narrow.

A monks’ blessing ceremony delivers spirits and wishes for health and prosperity for all of us whilst the boat glides through leafy swaths of this jungle-like landscape. We reach Kampong Tralach, where laughing children wave enthusiastically at our arrival.

We are in the middle of Cambodia’s countryside where – surprise – traditional ox carts are still a common means of transportation. Our ox-powered vehicle takes us on a journey along the riverside and through back roads lined with rice-paddy fields until we arrive at a tiny village. Beginning a few short years ago, local children have had the opportunity to receive an education here. The “Green School” is a local project supported by Heritage Line in this remote area to support the underprivileged youth. The students, who are dressed in green shirts, are always happy to meet us every week as the principal gives an introduction and updates us on the current situation of the school.

After this outing, we sail downstream, passing the confluence of the Tonle and Mekong Rivers and making our way to the vessel’s overnight spot.

Day 3 Kampong Cham - Oknha Tey - Phnom Penh
After a sumptuous breakfast, we learn more about the education of the young Cambodian generation. Children from the small village of Chiro come on board, always excited to show their skills in music and dance. The Organization for Basic Training (OBT) provides a free, supplemental education in English, maths, and the arts to these local youths. Shower the young performers with applause and in return, you are bestowed upon with the most genuine and happy Cambodian smiles.

With smiles on our faces, we prepare to leave the ship for the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). Formerly built to honor the Hindu god, Hirahara, the complex is now a Buddhist temple, a testament to the country’s past and present religious beliefs. This small complex sits on a hilltop with breath-taking views over the Mekong. Many young, novice monks live on the compound of Wat Hanchey, and we have the chance to observe a bit of their daily lives: eating simple meals, praying, studying, or hanging out and making conversation while in their saffron-coloured robes.

While we sail downstream, lunch is served and afterwards our staff is keen to show you a variety of traditional Khmer fashion the local people still wear on special occasions. Conversely, the ubiquitous Cambodian scarf, the Krama, is a garment worn by people of all ages and walks of life. This multi-functional attire is worn not just around the neck, but also as a bandanna, facemask, belt, swimwear, and even as a hammock to carry children.

Meanwhile we arrive at the island of Koh Oknha Tey. This spot in the middle of the Mekong owes its fame to manufacturing high-class silk products. We go sightseeing along the island’s roads a bit via tuk tuk before arriving at the village’s workshops and witnessing the curious process of making silk, starting from a tiny silkworm larva to cocoon, then dyeing, spinning and weaving the fibres into high-quality Cambodian silk.

After some additional cruising time, the boat arrives and docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. Feel free to go out and explore 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.

Day 4 Phnom Penh
Welcome to Phnom Penh - the city once named Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained its rustic charm and elegance. It is an amazing town with 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 outside the city and afterwards the centrally located prison “S21”. Both historic sites display the sad and cruel chapter of the country’s history when the Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia with terror and oppression. Those places have not changed much since this horrific time back in the early seventies and it can be quite heart-breaking. Alternatively, you may explore the city on your own in the morning before re-joining the group.

We have a lunch at a well-renowned restaurant in town and experience the elegant air Phnom Penh’s top addresses are known for. Our exploration of Phnom Penh continues with the cultural highlights of the city’s heritage. The golden edifice of the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda and the exceptional Khmer crafts at the National Museum top the list of the city’s must-sees. The day trip ends with a “cyclo” ride along the bustling streets of downtown Phnom Penh and back to the ship.

Take some rest or join fellow passengers at the bar for refreshing drinks. Today’s evening is a special one: let us invite you to a wonderful open air gala featuring a barbecue dinner feast. The dinner is accompanied by a classic Apsara dance performance along with other folklore dances.

As the evening unwinds, enjoy your supper with a good glass of wine and marvel at the skyline of Phnom Penh and the calming flow of the Tonle River.

Day 5 Phnom Penh
Enjoy your last breakfast aboard your floating home before disembarking the ship. We hope you enjoyed this fascinating river cruise, just as our crew does every single time. Moreover, take the enchanting memories and friendships along with you and share the stories of this amazing river - the Mighty Mekong.

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