Cruise
Jayavarman
Heritage Line
Jayavarman, Pearl of the Orient Upstream ex Saigon (My Tho) to Phnom Penh
Cruise Line: Heritage Line
Selected Sailing Date: 13 Nov 2021

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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

3 Night cruise departing from Saigon (My Tho) to Phnom Penh onboard The Jayavarman.

Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1: Saigon – My Tho – Cai Be
We greet our guests in the morning at our welcome lounge in Saigon. Kick back with a second coffee as our staff collects your details for boarding. We bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon and travel 70 kilometres south over land towards My Tho to embark on our vessel. After checking into your luxurious floating “home” for the next several days, your first inclination may be to step on your balcony to watch the ship set sail on its fascinating Mekong River voyage.

A lunch buffet is served in the restaurant while the vessel steadily glides upstream. Now it is time to get acquainted with one of the largest streams in Asia, which runs an estimated length of 4,909 km (3,050 mi) and discharges 475 cu km (114 cu mi) of water annually. Millions of people – from China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam – pay tribute to this mighty river which provides sustenance and protection over its inhabitants.

Let your soul float and your eyes wander while the boat makes its way upstream. It is often stated that “nautical air” makes you hungry, so you are cordially invited to our afternoon tea in the open-air bar as twilight bathes the Mekong Delta in a golden haze. Get to know your fellow travellers while enjoying some tasty treats. The rest of this cruising day is fully yours to relax on your private balcony or be pampered by our therapists at the Apsara Spa.

While you savour your delightful dinner, the ship reaches Cai Be. This historic town was established in the 19th century by Vietnam’s last ruling family, the Nguyen dynasty, on the Mekong River where three provinces meet: Tien Giang, Vinh Long, and Ben Tre. Cai Be would later become the surrounding region’s predominant water-based trading hub, as we will see in tomorrow’s visit to the floating market. We anchor mid-stream near Cai Be and moor there overnight. 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.

Day 2 Cai Be - Sa Dec - Tan Chau
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 arrive at Cai Be, a charming market town which is famous for its Catholic French church and the manufacturing of traditional crafts and food products. The once enormous floating market of Cai Be gets smaller year by year since trading on the water is continually shifting towards modern markets. However, you can still see boat-to-boat trading of local goods, such as fruits and agricultural products and imagine what this must have looked like on a larger scale. We learn from our guide about the long-lasting trading culture and how each boat has a special marker to let buyers know what goods they are selling.

By local boat, we sail along the green canal network and watch the farmers working in the fields. A visit ashore of a workshop shows us the manufacturing of rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies and rice wine. Cai Be’s surrounding areas are covered by palm trees, which is why the region is also famous for the production of coconut candy. While the vessel continues sailing upstream, you can enjoy time to yourself or head to the bar to and enjoy a true Vietnamese coffee as you watch the life on the riverbanks float by.

In the afternoon, the vessel reaches the area of Sa Dec and arrives at one of the larger islands in the vast stream of the Mekong, Binh Thanh Island. Several communities have settled here and make their living by growing water hyacinths. We exclusively visit one of these untouched areas. By wandering through the village, we get a deep understanding of native life. One of the local artisans, for example, demonstrates the entire process of traditional mat making. You can try weaving yourself. We also meet a local elderly couple who share their story of living on this island. They are always happy to chit-chat with our guests.

Back on board, you may take a dip in the pool on the sun deck. In the evening, our expert guide offers a presentation on life on the Mekong Delta as the ship continues sailing to Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced border town near the Cambodian border with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. We moor near the city with views on the riverbanks.

Day 3 Tan Chau - Border crossing - Phnom Penh
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam.

Once on shore, we see Tan Chau’s vibrant town-life as we hop on “xelois”, which are local vehicles still used as a taxi in this area. Your personal xeloi driver slowly navigates through the streets to observe all the workshops, houses and shops while feeling the laid-back vibe of this place. We stop at the colourful, local market near one of the town’s temples. This is a great opportunity to interact with the vendors of this friendly town and try your hand at bargaining with them.

To see what Tan Chau is famous for, we board local boats and head to a floating fish farm. You are about to get an exclusive look into the world’s largest inland aquaculture industry. Each of the floating structures has netting hanging down into the water to enclose the fish, which are raised and fed on a daily basis. The region’s specialties are tilapia and the Basa catfish, or Pangasius, which is unique to the Mekong River basin and rapidly gaining popularity on the international seafood market.

Back on board our “home”, we sail towards the Vietnamese-Cambodian border. Get ready for a fascinating and leisurely cruise through the deep Cambodian countryside towards Phnom Penh.

The whole afternoon is at your own disposal. From here, even the last passenger turns on their cruise mode and hopefully experiences the relaxing influence this mighty river emanates. The afternoon is perfect for massages, relaxation on a terrace deck sunbed or private balcony kick-backs. Conjure up a spell to merge with the river and float into a state of mild bliss.

You also may like to visit the bridge as the captain always has a little story to share about “his” river. Or, if you are curious to learn more about Khmer gastronomy, join a culinary workshop to sharpen your knowledge about local cuisine.

After some additional cruising time back aboard, 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 a lot of 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.

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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