Two rows of people in canoes paddle down the Mekong River through a village in Cambodia
A bird sanctuary near tall grasses along the mekong river in cambodia
Yellow and elegant Royal Palace with people walking around to explore in Cambodia.
Travelers with chef David Thompson shopping for fruits and vegetables at the local outdoor market.
A river boat motors down the Mekong in Cambodia under a blue sky with white clouds
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Asia / Pacific Southeast Asia Cruise

Aqua Mekong River Cruise

The 8-day Aqua Mekong River Cruise journeys through chic modern cities, past small villages and into areas where nature is in full bloom. Choose from the comprehensive 8-day journey, or shorter 4- and 5-day routes.

The main 8-day expedition begins in Siem Reap, Cambodia, cruises along the bustling Mekong River and the Tonle Sap River and ends at Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam. Along the way, visit remote fishing villages in Cambodia, see graceful floating houses, visit family homes and local markets, bicycle through charming landscapes, glide through flooded forests by skiff and experience the serenity of Buddhist monasteries. Plus, shop for Khmer pottery and enjoy a city tour in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Take in 2,000 years of human history on the Mekong River, which hosts 60 million people and almost 100 different ethnic groups. Unique experiences along the way include sitting with Buddhist monks and visits to small villages in the countryside via ox cart. Twice-daily excursions are customizable and selected along the way, due to the flexibility provided by private skiff boats that travel with the ship—a unique amenity among Mekong River vessels.

Consider extending the trip to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat. Up-River itineraries and those that only cruise the Cambodian section of the Mekong River either disembark directly at the port of Siem Reap or at the Cambodian travel hub of Phnom Penh. Guests disembarking at Phnom Penh may pre-arrange a complimentary flight to Siem Reap.

Home base is the 40-guest Aqua Mekong, a custom-designed luxury cruise ship that features 20 intimate suites with floor-to-ceiling windows offering unparalleled river views of Vietnam and Cambodia. Create memories that will last a lifetime as you experience the Mekong River in luxury aboard Aqua Mekong.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Southeast Asia cruises.



Itinerary

8-Day High-Water Down-River Itinerary

The 8-day High-Water Down-River cruise begins in Siem Reap, Cambodia and ends in Saigon, Vietnam, operating from mid-August to November. High-Water departures offer a longer cruise route, with southbound cruises starting at the Tonle Sap Lake due to the swell of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers. Guests can uniquely visit floating villages and the Prek Toal Bird Reserve during High-Water cruises, as well as Cai Be, Vietnam, during Down-River cruises.

Route map of Aqua Mekong River Cruise 8-Day High-Water Down-River small ship expedition from Siem Reap, Cambodia to Saigon, Vietnam, with stops at Tonle Sap Lake, Phnom Penh, My An Hung, Binh Thanh, Sa Dec, Cai Be & My Tho.
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Day 1
FRI - Siem Reap to Embark Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia

In Siem Reap, Cambodia, gather at a designated meeting point then board an air-conditioned bus for a scenic 45-minute countryside ride to the dock on Tonle Sap Lake to check into your luxury suite aboard the Aqua Mekong.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
SAT - Tonle Sap Lake: Prek Toal Core Bird Reserve & Moat Khla, Cambodia

Set off by skiff into the 22,000-hectare Prek Toal Core Bird Reserve, one of the largest freshwater bodies in Asia and the last refuge in Southeast Asia for large waterbirds like the spot-billed pelicans, milky stork, black-headed ibis and the elusive masked finfoot. After lunch, visit the floating village of Moat Khla, accessible only by water, and attend a Buddhist blessing ceremony in this isolated community.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
SUN - Tonle Sap Lake: Chhnok Tru & Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia

Explore remote villages around the Tonle Sap Lake, designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1997. In Chhnok Tru, “slide” into an ice factory and learn from locals what it’s like to live in a town where schools, churches, pagodas and even the karaoke bar and police station all float. Continue learning about Khmer riverside life in Kampong Chhnang, the “Port of Pottery,” so called because archaeological findings here date to the 6th century.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
MON - Tonle Sap River: Koh Chen & Mekong River: Koh Chen & Koh Oknha Tey, Cambodia

This morning, visit Koh Chen, a silversmith village known for its fine craftsmanship. Keep an eye out for their famous silver bowls, regularly chosen by Cambodia’s king as gifts for visiting dignitaries. In the afternoon, set off for the Mekong’s “silk islands” and wander freely nearby renowned weavers, admiring their intricate craftsmanship. Biking is optional for those who wish to explore deeper into the island.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
TUE - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Today is all about exploring Phnom Penh on a guided city tour by motorized tuk-tuk. Visit the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or opt for shopping at the Russian Market. Guests taking only a 5-day cruise disembark this day after the city tour, and those taking the 4-day cruise arrive in the evening. Relax on board while sipping sundowners on Aqua Mekong’s deck; a passenger favorite is the Salted Watermelon Crush with Thai basil. Then enjoy an evening Khmer Apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
WED - Mekong River: Ka'om Samnor-Vinh Xuong Border Crossing & My An Hung, Vietnam

Say “Good Morning, Vietnam” while crossing the border, sailing towards Tan Chau, a vibrant border town where local rickshaw called xe loi offer trips around town or pedal 11 miles along the peaceful island of Long Khanh. In the afternoon, visit a typical Mekong Delta village called My An Hung and walk through verdant plantations. Be invited to a local’s home to taste local fruits while hearing traditional folk songs performed by villagers, followed by a unique Unicorn dance. Biking option is also available for those who wish to explore on wheels.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
THU - Mekong River: Binh Thanh, Sa Dec & Cai Be, Vietnam

Begin the day at Binh Thanh mat weaving village or opt to visit Sa Dec to peruse the vibrant market and see the famous house of Marguerite Duras’ legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le. Continue downstream for Cai Be, zigzagging in the ship’s sampan past lone fishermen on their long tail boats. Later, Aqua’s skiffs moor at a wooden pier. Here in Cai Be, walk or bike ride among high-roofed open courtyard houses, some dating back more than 100 years, and currently inhabited by gracious locals who will invite you to glimpse their property.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
FRI - Disembark My Tho, Vinh Trang Pagoda to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam

Disembark in My Tho. En route to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), stop at Vinh Trang Pagoda, one of the largest Mahayana Buddhist temples in the region. Notice the mixed architectural style and see three large buddha statues plus an impressive collection of bonsai trees.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All meals while on board; non-alcoholic beverages, premium wines and beer; all shore excursions; laundry; bike use; satellite internet; and group transfers.

Exclusions

All air tickets; visas; private transfers; spa services, boutique purchases and items of a personal nature; guide and crew gratuities; insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $400 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days – full refund except for $200 service charge
120 to 91 days – 100% of deposit
90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The 8-day High-Water Down-River Aqua Mekong River Cruise begins in Siem Reap, Cambodia (REP), and ends in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam (SGN). Plan flights to arrive to Siem Reap, Cambodia, by 1:30pm and arrive at the meeting point by 3:00pm on day 1 (45 minutes between the airport and Siem Reap); a group transfer departs at 3:30pm and embarkation time is at 4:15pm. On day 8, disembarkation at My Tho is at 8:00am, followed by group transfer and arrival/drop off in Ho Chi Minh (Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel) at 11:30am. Plan flights to depart Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, no earlier than 3:00pm on day 8. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether it’s by bicycle, in a kayak or on foot, the Aqua offers active ways to explore life along the amazing Mekong & Tonle Sap Rivers. Experienced river guides lead walks into the sultry jungle, or by bicycle on the riverbanks, in search of enigmatic vestiges of Indochine. Adventure activities may include skiff rides, kayaking, cycling, hikes/walks, wildlife viewing from the ship, swimming and visiting local communities. The ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level.

Skiff Rides

Two or three daily excursions in customized aluminum motorized launch boats with four-stroke low emission engines, or skiffs, which carry up to ten passengers each, showcase the unique wildlife and customs of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. Pass by flooded emerald forests and bamboo stilt villages accessible only by boat and remote Buddhist monasteries still home to noble saffron-robed monks.

All-Terrain Biking

Complimentary all-terrain touring bikes, available for both adults and children, are a unique way to observe the exotic rituals of daily life along the mighty Mekong. Enjoy 5- to 10-mile biking routes, stopping to photograph catfish sellers, the planting of rice paddies or local children playing with the family’s domesticated water buffalo.

Kayaking

Take advantage of eight double-kayaks throughout various locations in Cambodia. For example, kayaking in Oknha Tey to see local silk-weavers at work, kayaking the Moat Khla region by Tonle Sap Lake and/or in the waterways in the Kampong Chnnang Province.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 25% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Third person sleeping on sofa bed will receive a 20% discount. To book one of four interconnecting suites, please contact your Adventure Specialist.

Families & Children

Kids 7 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Save 20% per child under the age of 12 years old. A child under 12 years old sleeping as the third person on a sofa bed pays $500 per night.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Note that the Aqua Mekong’s itinerary varies according to Up- and Down-River routes, as well as High- and Low-Water seasons. High-Water season is mid August-November with embarkation/disembarkation in Siem Reap adjacent to a sailing of Tonle Sap Lake. Low-Water season is December-mid August with embarkation/disembarkation in Phnom Penh following a flight to/from Siem Reap, due to Tonle Sap Lake being too low. Additionally, itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

8-Day High-Water Up-River Itinerary

The 8-day High-Water Up-River cruise begins in Saigon, Vietnam and ends in Siem Reap, Cambodia, running from mid-August to November. High-Water departures offer a longer cruise route, with northbound cruises ending at the Tonle Sap Lake due to the swell of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers. Guests can uniquely visit floating villages and the Prek Toal Bird Reserve during High-Water cruises, as well as the remote village of Preah Prosop, Cambodia, on the High-Water Up-River cruise (and both Low-Water cruises).

Route map of Aqua Mekong River Cruise 8-Day High-Water Up-River small ship expedition from Saigon, Vietnam to Siem Reap, Cambodia, with stops at My Tho, Binh Thanh, Sa Dec, My An Hung, Chau Doc, Vinh Xuong, Koh Oknha Tey, Preah Prosop, Phnom Penh, Koh Chen, Kampong Chhnang, Chnok Tru, Moat Khla, Prek Toal & Tonle Sap Lake.
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Day 1
FRI - Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) to Embark My Tho, Vietnam

Be warmly welcomed at the meeting point at Ho Chi Minh City where an air-conditioned coach will transfer you to the Aqua Mekong at My Tho harbor. Settle into this floating luxury retreat and a memorable first night on board your five-star home on the legendary Mekong.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
SAT - Mekong River: Binh Thanh, Sa Dec & My An Hung, Vietnam

Begin the day learning about traditional mat weaving at Binh Thanh village or visit Sa Dec’s vibrant market and the famous house of Marguerite Duras’ legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le. In the afternoon, stroll through the verdant plantations in the Mekong Delta village of My An Hung, visiting a local’s home to savor local fruits, listen to traditional folk song performances by villagers and participate in a unique unicorn dance. A 10.5-mile biking option is also available for those who wish to explore the idyllic countryside on wheels.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
SUN - Mekong River: Chau Doc & Vinh Xuong & Ka’om Samnor Border

As the sun rises, travel by skiff along Bassac Canal to the Chau Doc floating market for real eye-opener, then hop on the van to Long Son Pagoda atop Sam Mountain to meet Buddhist monks who’ve made this sacred hilltop their home. Take a picturesque 11 mile bike ride on Long Khanh Island or hop on a rickshaw to visit Tan Chau Market with the ship’s chef. After lunch, relax by the pool, try traditional Khmer massage or learn to cook Mekong inspired dishes while crossing the Cambodia-Vietnam border.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
MON - Mekong River: Koh Oknha Tey & Preah Prosop, Cambodia

On this river of time admire dexterous Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma, the ubiquitous item no Khmer lives without. Explore the riverbank on two wheels if desired, past Buddhist temples and thatch houses perched on spindly wooden stilts while white oxen wade just offshore. After lunch, board the ship’s marine-grade aluminum skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
TUE - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Today is all about exploring Phnom Penh on a guided city tour by motorized tuk-tuk. Visit the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or opt for shopping at the Russian Market. Guests taking only a 5-day cruise disembark this day after the city tour, and those taking the 4-day cruise arrive in the evening. Relax on board while sipping sundowners on Aqua Mekong’s deck; a passenger favorite is the Salted Watermelon Crush with Thai basil. Then enjoy an evening Khmer Apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
WED - Tonle Sap River: Koh Chen & Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia

Awake to the beauty of rural Cambodia and sail by skiff to the silversmith village of Koh Chen for a first-hand encounter with artisans producing magnificent royal Khmer silverware. Keep an eye out for their famous silver bowls, regularly chosen by Cambodia’s king as gifts for visiting dignitaries. In the afternoon, continue experiencing Khmer riverside life in Kampong Chhnang. In this serene village, meet traditional potters and palm-sugar producers and watch them practices age-old craftsmanship and techniques dating back to the 6th century that are still highly relevant and valuable today.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
THU - Tonle Sap Lake: Chnok Tru & Moat Khla, Cambodia

Discover vast wetlands, bird life and remote stilt communities around the Tonle Sap Lake, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designated in 1997. In Chhnok Tru, visit an intriguing ice factory and learn from locals what it is like to live in a town where its school, church, pagoda, police station and even the karaoke bar float on water. After lunch, sail to the floating village of Moat Khla and attend a Buddhist blessing ceremony in this isolated community accessible only by water.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
FRI - Disembark Prek Toal, Tonle Sap Lake to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Continue the exploration of Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, setting off on Aqua Mekong’s ergonomic skiffs to the roughly 54,000-acre Prek Toal Core Bird Reserve, one of the last refuges in Southeast Asia for large waterbirds like the spot-billed pelicans, milky stork, black-headed ibis and the elusive masked finfoot. Disembark in the enigmatic city of Siem Reap, home of the Angkor Wat.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All meals while on board; non-alcoholic beverages, premium wines and beer; all shore excursions; laundry; bike use; satellite internet; and group transfers.

Exclusions

All air tickets; visas; private transfers; spa services, boutique purchases and items of a personal nature; guide and crew gratuities; insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $400 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days – full refund except for $200 service charge
120 to 91 days – 100% of deposit
90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The 8-day High-Water Up-River Aqua Mekong River Cruise begins in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam (SGN), and ends in Siem Reap, Cambodia (REP). Plan flights to arrive to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, by 11:30am and arrive at the meeting point, Park Hyatt Saigon, by 1:00pm on day 1 (1 hour, 30 minutes drive between the airport and My Tho); a group transfer departs at 1:30pm and embarkation time is between 3:00pm. On day 8, disembarkation at Siem Reap Port is at 11:30am, followed by group transfer and arrival/drop off at the Park Hyatt Siem Reap at 12:15pm. Plan flights to depart Siem Reap, Cambodia, no earlier than 3:00pm on day 8. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether it’s by bicycle, in a kayak or on foot, the Aqua offers active ways to explore life along the amazing Mekong & Tonle Sap Rivers. Experienced river guides lead walks into the sultry jungle, or by bicycle on the riverbanks, in search of enigmatic vestiges of Indochine. Adventure activities may include skiff rides, kayaking, cycling, hikes/walks, wildlife viewing from the ship, swimming and visiting local communities. The ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level.

Skiff Rides

Two or three daily excursions in customized aluminum motorized launch boats with four-stroke low emission engines, or skiffs, which carry up to ten passengers each, showcase the unique wildlife and customs of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. Pass by flooded emerald forests and bamboo stilt villages accessible only by boat and remote Buddhist monasteries still home to noble saffron-robed monks.

All-Terrain Biking

Complimentary all-terrain touring bikes, available for both adults and children, are a unique way to observe the exotic rituals of daily life along the mighty Mekong. Enjoy 5- to 10-mile biking routes, stopping to photograph catfish sellers, the planting of rice paddies or local children playing with the family’s domesticated water buffalo.

Kayaking

Take advantage of eight double-kayaks throughout various locations in Cambodia. For example, kayaking in Oknha Tey to see local silk-weavers at work, kayaking the Moat Khla region by Tonle Sap Lake and/or in the waterways in the Kampong Chnnang Province.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 25% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Third person sleeping on sofa bed will receive a 20% discount. To book one of four interconnecting suites, please contact your Adventure Specialist.

Families & Children

Kids 7 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Save 20% per child under the age of 12 years old. A child under 12 years old sleeping as the third person on a sofa bed pays $500 per night.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Note that the Aqua Mekong’s itinerary varies according to Up- and Down-River routes, as well as High- and Low-Water seasons. High-Water season is mid August-November with embarkation/disembarkation in Siem Reap adjacent to a sailing of Tonle Sap Lake. Low-Water season is December-mid August with embarkation/disembarkation in Phnom Penh following a flight to/from Siem Reap, due to Tonle Sap Lake being too low. Additionally, itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

8-Day Low-Water Down-River Itinerary

The 8-day Low-Water Down-River cruise begins in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and ends in Saigon, Vietnam, operating from December to mid-August. Low-Water departures offer a shorter cruise route that features a quieter side of local life on the Tonle Sap River, with southbound cruises starting with a 45-minute flight from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh for embarkation, and cruising north to Kampong Chhnang (just shy of Tonle Sap Lake, where High-Water cruises begin or end) before heading south. Guests can uniquely visit the remote village of Preah Prosop, as well as the villages of Kampong Prasat and Kampong Tralach, during Low-Water cruises, as well as Cai Be, Vietnam, during Down-River cruises.

Route map of Aqua Mekong River Cruise 8-Day Low-Water Down-River small ship expedition from Siem Reap, Cambodia, to Saigon, Vietnam, with stops at Phnom Penh, Koh Chen, Kampong Prasat, Kampgon Chhnang, Kampong Tralach, Koa Oknha Tey, Preah Prosop, My An Hung, Binh Tranh, Sa Deck, Cai Be & My Tho.
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Day 1
FRI - Fly to Phnom Penh & Embark

Following a 45-minute charter flight, be met at the Phnom Penh TS1 Port for check-in to your 3-story, five star Mekong abode. Welcome aboard. Settle into your floating retreat, with its window wall conferring an endlessly captivating panorama. Celebrate the onward journey towards the heart of the mighty Mekong River with a Khmer apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
SAT - Tonle Sap River: Koh Chen & Kampong Prasat, Cambodia

In the silversmith village of Koh Chen, watch artisans producing the magnificent silverware favored by Khmer royalty. Continue to Udong, the royal capital from the 17-19th centuries, to learn about a uniquely challenging Buddhist practice at the Vipassana Dhura Mandala, a meditation center. In the afternoon, a walking tour of Kampong Prasat offers a close-up perspective on local lives and their riverside environment.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
SUN - Tonle Sap River: Kampong Chhnang & Kampong Tralach, Cambodia

In the cooler hours, head into the lush countryside to visit traditional potters and palm-sugar producers, astride mountain bikes or chauffeured by shaded tuk-tuk. Pedal into the rice paddies to watch wizened masters scale sky-piercing palms towering over us. Cruise across the glassy water and disembark among the lotuses for an ox-cart ride along the Tonle Sap riverbanks, past lacquered wooden houses where during these dry months residents take refuge in the relative cool of these outdoor impromptu living rooms.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
MON - Mekong River: Koh Oknha Tey & Preah Prosop, Cambodia

On this river of time, admire dexterous Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma, the ubiquitous item no Khmer lives without. Explore the riverbank on two wheels if desired, past Buddhist temples and thatch houses perched on spindly wooden stilts while white oxen wade just offshore. After lunch, board the ship’s marine-grade aluminum skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
TUE - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Today is all about exploring Phnom Penh on a guided city tour by motorized tuk-tuk. Visit the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or opt for shopping at the Russian Market. Guests taking only a 5-day cruise disembark this day after the city tour, and those taking the 4-day cruise arrive in the evening. Relax on board while sipping sundowners on Aqua Mekong’s deck; a passenger favorite is the Salted Watermelon Crush with Thai basil. Then enjoy an evening Khmer Apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
WED - Mekong River: Ka’om Samnor & Vinh Xuong Border & My An Hung, Vietnam

Say “Good Morning, Vietnam” while crossing the border, sailing towards Tan Chau, a vibrant border town where local rickshaw called xe loi offer trips around town or pedal 11 miles along the peaceful island of Long Khanh. In the afternoon, visit a typical Mekong Delta village called My An Hung and walk through verdant plantations. Be invited to a local’s home to taste local fruits while hearing traditional folk songs performed by villagers, followed by a unique Unicorn dance. Biking option is also available for those who wish to explore on wheels.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
THU - Mekong River: Binh Thanh, Sa Deck & Cai Be, Vietnam

Begin the day at Binh Thanh mat weaving village or opt to visit Sa Dec to peruse the vibrant market and see the famous house of Marguerite Duras’ legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le. Continue downstream for Cai Be, zigzagging in the ship’s sampan past lone fishermen on their long tail boats. Later, Aqua’s skiffs moor at a wooden pier. Here in Cai Be, walk or bike ride among high-roofed open courtyard houses, some dating back more than 100 years, and currently inhabited by gracious locals who will invite you to glimpse their property.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
FRI - Disembark My Tho to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam

Disembark in My Tho. En route to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), stop at Vinh Trang Pagoda, one of the largest Mahayana Buddhist temples in the region. Notice the mixed architectural style and see three large buddha statues plus an impressive collection of bonsai trees.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All meals while on board; non-alcoholic beverages, premium wines and beer; all shore excursions; laundry; bike use; satellite internet; and group transfers.

Exclusions

All air tickets; visas; private transfers; spa services, boutique purchases and items of a personal nature; guide and crew gratuities; insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $400 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days – full refund except for $200 service charge
120 to 91 days – 100% of deposit
90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The 8-day Low-Water Down-River Aqua Mekong River Cruise begins in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (PNH), and ends in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam (SGN). Plan flights to arrive to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, ahead of the 3:30 to 5:30pm embarkation at the Phnom Penh Passenger Terminal on day 1. On day 8, disembarkation at My Tho is at 8:00am, followed by group transfer and arrival/drop off in Ho Chi Minh (Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel) at 11:30am. Plan flights to depart Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, no earlier than 3:00pm on day 8. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether it’s by bicycle, in a kayak or on foot, the Aqua offers active ways to explore life along the amazing Mekong & Tonle Sap Rivers. Experienced river guides lead walks into the sultry jungle, or by bicycle on the riverbanks, in search of enigmatic vestiges of Indochine. Adventure activities may include skiff rides, kayaking, cycling, hikes/walks, wildlife viewing from the ship, swimming and visiting local communities. The ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level.

Skiff Rides

Two or three daily excursions in customized aluminum motorized launch boats with four-stroke low emission engines, or skiffs, which carry up to ten passengers each, showcase the unique wildlife and customs of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. Pass by flooded emerald forests and bamboo stilt villages accessible only by boat and remote Buddhist monasteries still home to noble saffron-robed monks.

All-Terrain Biking

Complimentary all-terrain touring bikes, available for both adults and children, are a unique way to observe the exotic rituals of daily life along the mighty Mekong. Enjoy 5- to 10-mile biking routes, stopping to photograph catfish sellers, the planting of rice paddies or local children playing with the family’s domesticated water buffalo.

Kayaking

Take advantage of eight double-kayaks throughout various locations in Cambodia. For example, kayaking in Oknha Tey to see local silk-weavers at work, kayaking the Moat Khla region by Tonle Sap Lake and/or in the waterways in the Kampong Chnnang Province.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 25% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Third person sleeping on sofa bed will receive a 20% discount. To book one of four interconnecting suites, please contact your Adventure Specialist.

Families & Children

Kids 7 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Save 20% per child under the age of 12 years old. A child under 12 years old sleeping as the third person on a sofa bed pays $500 per night.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Note that the Aqua Mekong’s itinerary varies according to Up- and Down-River routes, as well as High- and Low-Water seasons. High-Water season is mid August-November with embarkation/disembarkation in Siem Reap adjacent to a sailing of Tonle Sap Lake. Low-Water season is December-mid August with embarkation/disembarkation in Phnom Penh following a flight to/from Siem Reap, due to Tonle Sap Lake being too low. Additionally, itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

8-Day Low-Water Up-River Itinerary

The 8-day Low-Water Up-River cruise begins in Saigon, Vietnam and ends in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, operating from December to mid-August. Low-Water departures offer a shorter cruise route that features a quieter side of local life on the Tonle Sap River, with northbound cruises heading as far north as Kampong Chhnang (just shy of Tonle Sap Lake, where High-Water cruises begin or end) before heading south to disembark at Phnom Penh and end in Siem Reap following a 45-minute flight. Guests can uniquely visit the remote village of Preah Prosop, as well as the villages of Kampong Prasat and Kampong Tralach, during Low-Water cruises.

Route map of Aqua Mekong River Cruise 8-Day Low-Water Up-River small ship expedition from Saigon, Vietnam, to Siem Reap, Cambodia, with stops at My Tho, Binh Thanh, Sa Dec, My An Hung, Chau Doc, Koh Oknha Tey, Preah Prosop, Phnom Penh, Koh Chen, Kampong Prasat, Kampong Chhnang & Kampong Tralach.
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Day 1
FRI - Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) to Embark My Tho, Vietnam

Be warmly welcomed at the meeting point at Ho Chi Minh City where an air-conditioned coach will transfer you to the Aqua Mekong at My Tho harbor. Settle into this floating luxury retreat and a memorable first night on board your five-star home on the legendary Mekong.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
SAT - Mekong River: Binh Thanh, Sa Dec & My An Hung

Begin the day learning about traditional mat weaving at Binh Thanh village or visit Sa Dec’s vibrant market and the famous house of Marguerite Duras’ legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le. In the afternoon, stroll through the verdant plantations in the Mekong Delta village of My An Hung, visiting a local’s home to savor local fruits, listen to traditional folk song performances by villagers and participate in a unique unicorn dance. A 10.5-mile biking option is also available for those who wish to explore the idyllic countryside on wheels.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
SUN - Mekong River: Chau Doc & Vinh Xuong-Ka’om Samnor Border

As the sun rises, travel by skiff along Bassac Canal to the Chau Doc floating market for real eye-opener, then hop on the van to Long Son Pagoda atop Sam Mountain to meet Buddhist monks who’ve made this sacred hilltop their home. Take a picturesque 11 mile bike ride on Long Khanh Island or hop on a rickshaw to visit Tan Chau Market with the ship’s chef. After lunch, relax by the pool, try traditional Khmer massage or learn to cook Mekong inspired dishes while crossing the Cambodia-Vietnam border.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
MON - Mekong River: Koh Oknha Tey & Preah Prosop, Cambodia

On this river of time admire dexterous Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma, the ubiquitous item no Khmer lives without. Explore the riverbank on two wheels if desired, past Buddhist temples and thatch houses perched on spindly wooden stilts while white oxen wade just offshore. After lunch, board the ship’s marine-grade aluminum skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
TUE - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Today is all about exploring Phnom Penh on a guided city tour by motorized tuk-tuk. Visit the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or opt for shopping at the Russian Market. Guests taking only a 5-day cruise disembark this day after the city tour, and those taking the 4-day cruise arrive in the evening. Relax on board while sipping sundowners on Aqua Mekong’s deck; a passenger favorite is the Salted Watermelon Crush with Thai basil. Then enjoy an evening Khmer Apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
WED - Tonle Sap River: Koh Chen & Kampong Prasat, Cambodia

In the silversmith village of Koh Chen, watch artisans producing the magnificent silverware favored by Khmer royalty. Continue to Udong, the royal capital from the 17-19th centuries, to learn about a uniquely challenging Buddhist practice at the Vipassana Dhura Mandala, a meditation center. In the afternoon, a walking tour of Kampong Prasat offers a close-up perspective on local lives and their riverside environment.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
THU - Tonle Sap River: Kampong Chhnang & Kampong Tralach, Cambodia

In the cooler hours, head into the lush countryside to visit traditional potters and palm-sugar producers, astride mountain bikes or chauffeured by shaded tuk-tuk. Pedal into the rice paddies to watch wizened masters scale sky-piercing palms towering over us. Cruise across the glassy water and disembark among the lotuses for an ox-cart ride along the Tonle Sap riverbanks, past lacquered wooden houses where during these dry months residents take refuge in the relative cool of these outdoor impromptu living rooms.

Accommodations

Aqua Mekong

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
FRI - Disembark Phnom Penh, Cambodia & Fly to Siem Reap

Enjoy a customized exploration of Phnom Penh before disembarkation and a 45-minute charter flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All meals while on board; non-alcoholic beverages, premium wines and beer; all shore excursions; laundry; bike use; satellite internet; group transfers; complimentary flight extension from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, aboard Cambodia Airways or Cambodia Angkor Air (starting March 27, 2020).

Exclusions

All air tickets; visas; private transfers; spa services, boutique purchases and items of a personal nature; guide and crew gratuities; insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $400 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days – full refund except for $200 service charge
120 to 91 days – 100% of deposit
90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The 8-day Low-Water Up-River Aqua Mekong River Cruise begins in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam (SGN), and ends in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (PNH). Plan flights to arrive to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, by 11:30am and arrive at the meeting point, Park Hyatt Saigon, by 1:00pm on day 1; a 1.5-hour group transfer departs at 1:30pm and embarkation time is 3:00pm. On day 8, disembarkation at Phnom Penh is at 11:30am. Plan flights to depart Phnom Penh, Cambodia, no earlier than 2:30pm on day 8, or pre-arrange a complimentary flight to Siem Reap. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether it’s by bicycle, in a kayak or on foot, the Aqua offers active ways to explore life along the amazing Mekong & Tonle Sap Rivers. Experienced river guides lead walks into the sultry jungle, or by bicycle on the riverbanks, in search of enigmatic vestiges of Indochine. Adventure activities may include skiff rides, kayaking, cycling, hikes/walks, wildlife viewing from the ship, swimming and visiting local communities. The ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level.

Skiff Rides

Two or three daily excursions in customized aluminum motorized launch boats with four-stroke low emission engines, or skiffs, which carry up to ten passengers each, showcase the unique wildlife and customs of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. Pass by flooded emerald forests and bamboo stilt villages accessible only by boat and remote Buddhist monasteries still home to noble saffron-robed monks.

All-Terrain Biking

Complimentary all-terrain touring bikes, available for both adults and children, are a unique way to observe the exotic rituals of daily life along the mighty Mekong. Enjoy 5- to 10-mile biking routes, stopping to photograph catfish sellers, the planting of rice paddies or local children playing with the family’s domesticated water buffalo.

Kayaking

Take advantage of eight double-kayaks throughout various locations in Cambodia. For example, kayaking in Oknha Tey to see local silk-weavers at work, kayaking the Moat Khla region by Tonle Sap Lake and/or in the waterways in the Kampong Chnnang Province.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 25% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Third person sleeping on sofa bed will receive a 20% discount. To book one of four interconnecting suites, please contact your Adventure Specialist.

Families & Children

Kids 7 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Save 20% per child under the age of 12 years old. A child under 12 years old sleeping as the third person on a sofa bed pays $500 per night.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Note that the Aqua Mekong’s itinerary varies according to Up- and Down-River routes, as well as High- and Low-Water seasons. High-Water season is mid August-November with embarkation/disembarkation in Siem Reap adjacent to a sailing of Tonle Sap Lake. Low-Water season is December-mid August with embarkation/disembarkation in Phnom Penh following a flight to/from Siem Reap, due to Tonle Sap Lake being too low. Additionally, itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Details

In addition to the 8-day rates and dates listed below, shorter 4-day and 5-day Aqua Mekong itineraries each offers a shorter variation of Aqua Mekong’s 8-day itinerary. Contact AdventureSmith for details. Itineraries span varying days of the week, depending on trip length: 4 Day Tue-Fri, 5 Day Fri-Tue, 8 Day Fri-Fri.

For 2020, only High Season rates remain (August 7-December 29). For 2021, note that High Season rates apply January 1-May 6 and August 6-December 31; and Low Season rates apply May 7-August 5.

See Deals section for details on flexible booking policies.

High Season 2020
Aqua Mekong • 8 days
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From $9450USD
Per Person
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High Season 2021
Aqua Mekong • 8 days
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From $9625USD
Per Person
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Low Season 2021
Aqua Mekong • 8 days
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From $6737USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Riverboat
Aqua Mekong

Spacious and indulgent, yet intimate enough to feel entirely exclusive, the 40-guest Aqua Mekong incorporates relaxed yet refined lounging and dining areas, 20 luxury suites and modern navigation technologies to ensure smooth travel and safety while cruising the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires June 30th, 2021
25% Group Savings On Southeast Asia Cruises Aboard Aqua Mekong & Aqua Blu

Book your group's Southeast Asia cruise now to save up to 25% when booking interconnecting suites for 3 or more people.

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Offer expires December 31st, 2020
Flexible Cancellation Available on 2020 & 2021 Southeast Asia Cruises

Book or re-book Southeast Asia cruises with confidence using these risk-free, flexible policy details.

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Offer expires November 30th, 2020
Save 20-25% On Select 2020 & 2021 Southeast Asia Cruises

Book your Indonesia or Mekong River cruise now to save 25% in this special deal.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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Explore Komodo National Park's off-the-beaten-path sites with regular dive opportunities from the 30-guest Indonesia luxury yacht Aqua Blu on this small ship expedition from Bali to Flores.

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