Guests embark the luxurious Mekong Navigator in the late morning and lunch onboard.
In the afternoon, guests are free to further explore Phnom Penh. Alternatively, guests can opt to go shopping or sample the city’s vibrant restaurants and bars.
Pre-dinner cultural entertainment is provided on the Sun Deck as guests enjoy a performance by local children of Aspara, the Khmer national dance and other traditional folk dances.
Relax and enjoy a morning of leisure on the sundeck, in the lounge, library or wonderful La Vie spa as the ship sails downstream towards the border. Guests observe a fascinating transformation in the riverfront architecture and landscape. Exciting cultural activities will take place on board.
LONG KHANH ISLAND
CU LAO GIENG
In the morning you are taken by traditional sampans to the local island village of Hong Ngu in the Mekong Delta, close to the Vietnam-Cambodia border. Here, a large number of traditional Khmer scarves are woven in many village homes and exported to Cambodia. Guests have the opportunity to observe the weaving process passed down many generations. Some villagers are also embroidery artists and display their art for visitors to enjoy. The inhabitants of this rural area have only recently become familiar with western travellers and always offer a friendly welcome. Before returning to the sampans, guests can enjoy a walk around the beautiful evergreen island, stopping for a visit at the home of a local war veteran.
After lunch on board, guests make the short journey from ship to shore by sampan, landing on the charming island of Cu Lao Gieng to visit a local village where hundreds of sampans and rowing boats are made daily. An enchanting sampan cruise circumnavigating the island ends with a visit to the Cu Lao Gieng Cathedral which wasbuilt in 1879, shortly after the Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon in 1863. There may be an opportunity to interact with a local priest at the Cathedral (subject to his availability). The peaceful villages are surrounded by flourishing orchards and verdant green lawns, far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life.
On arrival at Sa Dec port the traditional sampan is again used to navigate the tapestry of Mekong canals, giving guests the opportunity to observe traditional village life before arriving at the historic town of Sa Dec. If water levels allow, a stop is planned at Cao Dai Temple. A visit to Sa Dec would not be complete without a visit to the former home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, who was the inspiration for Marguerite Duras’ famous novel, L’Amant (The Lover), here you will also enjoy a private calligraphy demonstration exclusive for you. You will visit as well the Chinese Temple called Kien An Cung, built in honor of the Huynh Thuy Le Family, where you will be warmly welcomed by traditional Chinese Lion Dances. Guests return to the ship on foot through the town's market which is a bustling, extraordinary and colourful experience, providing many wonderful photo opportunities of the fresh and unusual produce of meat, live fish and seafood for sale.
After a short sail to Cai Be, the English-speaking guide will accompany you on the tapestry of waterways by sampan, passing a colourful collection of local boats from the delta provinces, larger boats selling their goods and the characterful stilted houses of Cai Be. Continuing into the narrower canals of Cai Be, a stop is made to visit Ba Duc House, a traditional Vietnamese home and garden. Back onboard the sampans, it’s a short paddle through the canals to reach a traditional rice factory where industrious artisans produce rice paper, rice wine and popped rice. There’s a selection of postcards, souvenirs, and beautiful oil paintings on sale.
Before dinner guests gather on the Sun Deck as the ship sets sail for My Tho to enjoy a farewell reception with all the crew, followed by a Vietnamese Farewell Dinner in Le Marche Dining Room.
Following breakfast the crew bid farewell as guests are invited to disembark for transfer to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.