Charms of The Mekong (16 Days)

Cruise Line: AmaWaterways
Ship: AmaDara  |  16 Reviews
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Hanoi, Vietnam
Tour Segment  Cruise Segment
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

After arriving, check into your hotel. Enjoy free time getting to know Ho Chi Minh City, still affectionately referred to by locals as Saigon. It is Vietnam's former capital. Once known as the "Paris of the Orient", it is now an industrial, cultural, and educational hub.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Always bustling, Ho Chi Minh City is a city of contrasts blending old and new, and east and west. In the morning, explore some of the city's most famous landmarks, including the former Presidential Palace, the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the War Remnants Museum. In the afternoon, visit Cu Chi Tunnels, an immense underground network built during the Vietnam War. (B,L)

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
My Tho, Vietnam

In the morning, visit Bến Thành Market—one of the oldest and most iconic structures in Ho Chi Minh City. Board the AmaDara at Mỹ Tho Port. Meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Dinner as the ship cruises to Cái Bè. (B,L,D)

Cái Bè, Vietnam
Sa Déc, Vietnam

Take a local boat to Cái Bè. You will have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper-making workshops and the historic Anh Kiet Old House. Later in the day, journey to Sa Đéc, a sprawling town on the Mekong Delta, where French writer Marguerite Duras spent part of her youth. You will visit the local market, Cao Dai Temple, and the house of Mr. Huỳnh Thủy Lê, Marguerite's Chinese paramour, whom her prize-winning novel, The Lover, is said to be based on. (B,L,D)

Tân Châu, Vietnam

Enjoy a visit to Tân Châu, a small Mekong River town unspoiled by tourism. You will have the opportunity to get an authentic experience and take a traditional "xe loi" (trishaw) ride around the town, with stops at silk-making and rattan mat workshops, followed by a boat ride through the narrow channels of the Mekong River to "Evergreen Island". Alternatively, simply take the boat ride to Evergreen Island and return to Tân Châu, where you will visit a rattan mat workshop. Later in the day, cruise from Vietnam to the Cambodian border en route to Phnom Penh. (B,L,D)

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

This morning's excursion takes you to Cambodia's infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge's grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention center (Genocide Museum). After lunch onboard, you'll explore the highlights of the city, followed by a visit to the Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum, which has an outstanding collection of Khmer crafts. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge. (B,L,D)

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Koh Oknha Tey, Cambodia

Experience Phnom Penh via an authentic tuk-tuk ride and be enchanted by the city's French Colonial architecture and tree-lined boulevards set amidst monumental Angkorian architecture. Alternatively, you may wish to shop for unique treasures at the bustling yellow-colored Central Market. Later in the morning, set sail for Oknha Tey Village. Oknha Tey is "Silk Island", located on the lush banks of the Mekong River and known for its rich tradition of silk weaving. While here, you'll visit a local elementary school and observe the traditional silk weaving of handicrafts. Afterwards, the ship sets sail for Kampong Chhnang. (B,L,D)

Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
Kampong Tralach, Cambodia

A local motorboat takes you into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of Tonle Sap River. Enjoy the stunning variety of bird life here as well as tranquil floating villages and the busy waterfront market. Later in the day, the ship sails to Kampong Tralach. (B,L,D)

Kampong Tralach, Cambodia
Oudong, Cambodia
Kampong Tralach, Cambodia
Koh Chen, Cambodia

Kampong Tralach, you'll have a truly authentic excursion — an oxcart ride through a local village along the river bank. Afterwards, you'll go to Oudong, Cambodia's former royal capital from the early 17th century until 1866. Today, Oudong is a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians. While here, be treated to a memorable Buddhist Blessing Ceremony at a monastery. During the afternoon, take a leisurely walk through Koh Chen and visit home workshops specializing in silver- and copper-smithing. You'll get an up-close view of how local artisans make ornamental items often used in traditional ceremonies. (B,L,D)

DAY 10
Prek Kdam, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Ta Prohm, Cambodia

Disembark at Prek Kdam, a small village on the Tonle Sap River, and transfer by motorcoach to Siem Reap, gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former capital of the Khmer empire. You'll visit nearby Ta Prohm, known as the "Kingdom of the Trees", for the way in which the temple stones have become intertwined with thick forest vegetation. (B,D)

DAY 11
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Banteay Srey, Cambodia
Ta Thoum Primary School, Cambodia, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Begin your morning exploration of the temple complex at Angkor Wat, the most iconic of all Angkorian temples. You'll also see the fascinating jewel in the crown of Angkorian art, Banteay Srei, which means "Citadel of Women", as it has been said that the carving is too fine to have been done by the hand of man. Later in the day, visit the English-language school sponsored by AmaWaterways in the village of Ta Thoum. During the evening, be treated to a special "Apsara Dancing Show" at your hotel, featuring local Cambodian/Khmer folk dancers. (B,D); Note: The English-language school visit is capacity controlled.

DAY 12
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Thom, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Air travel
Hanoi, Vietnam

After breakfast, you will have a guided sightseeing tour of Angkor Thom meaning "the great city". This is home to Bayon Temple, best known for its gigantic smiling stone faces, as well as the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. Later in the day, take a short flight to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. (B,L)

DAY 13
Hanoi, Vietnam

From ancient temples to French Colonial architecture and modern-day skyscrapers, along with beautiful parks and lakes, Hanoi is an eclectic and lively city. A morning sightseeing tour will showcase some of Hanoi's most famous historic and cultural sites, including Ba Dinh Square and the Temple of Literature. You will also visit the infamous prison that American POWs sarcastically dubbed the "Hanoi Hilton" during the Vietnam War. In the afternoon, experience an authentic rickshaw ride (known as a "cyclo") in the Old Quarter, followed by a traditional water puppet show. (B)

DAY 14
Hanoi, Vietnam
Ha Long, Vietnam

Take a scenic drive from Hanoi to one of Vietnam's most renowned locations, Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Board an elegantly appointed ship designed with all the modern conveniences to ensure smooth sailing for an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience and an AmaWaterways exclusive. The backdrop of the bay's magnificent scenery and dramatic limestone cliffs and rock formations provide you with the perfect setting for a memorable sojourn. (B,L,D)

DAY 15
Ha Long, Vietnam
Hanoi, Vietnam

Spend the morning sailing across the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay with more than 2,000 small islands rising from the water like a dragon's back. Later in the morning, disembark the ship and transfer back to Hanoi where you can enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. (B,L)

DAY 16
Hanoi, Vietnam

Bid farewell to Vietnam and prepare for your homeward flight. (B)

Charms of The Mekong map

About the Ship

Amalotus Stateroom Twin Balcony Jr Suite

The 124-passenger AmaDara (2015) features Luxury Suites (502 sq. ft.), Suites (366 sq. ft.) and spacious standard staterooms (251 sq. ft.), all of which have private Twin Balconies (French Balcony plus a full size step-out balcony). Two stylish restaurants, an inviting lounge, a fitness room, hair salon, a spa and a refreshing Sun Deck swimming pool.

What's Included


    • 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom – all staterooms have Twin Balconies

    • Fine dining with all meals included during your cruise

    • Multiple dining venues

    • Unlimited wine with every lunch and dinner on board

    • Complimentary house-brand spirits, beer and soft drinks during cruise

    • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily

    • Sun Deck swimming pool

    • Choice of life enriching tours and excursions daily with personal headset included

    • Welcome Dinner and Farewell Cocktail Party & Dinner

    • Onboard special highlights including folklore dances and music performances, culture discussion forums, theme dinners and piano entertainment

    • Non-smoking environment (smoking permitted only on the Sun Deck)

    • All transfers with the purchase of cruise & air package

Not Included

  • (i.e. airfare, land excursions, anything not noted as included, etc.)

    -International airfare

    - Gratuities

    -Port charges

    -Spa and Massage services

About Us

At AmaWaterways, we love what we do - providing our guests with the best travel experiences possible. In fact, "Ama" is derived from the Latin word for "love." It is a concept that permeates every aspect of our river cruises, from the design of our ships to the development of our itineraries to the high levels of service we deliver to our guests. Experience more ways to discover, more ways to indulge and more onboard amenities. With an award-winning fleet in Europe, Vietnam, Cambodia and Africa, critically acclaimed dining and unique tour options, you will have the trip of a lifetime on our cruises.

Insider Tip

AmaWaterways is proud to be the only river cruise line inducted into La Chaine des Rotisseurs, one of the world's most prestigious culinary organizations.

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per-person, U.S. dollars, based on double occupancy of a cabin, or standard hotel room, unless indicated otherwise. | Single rates are available for the cruise-only, at a supplement of plus-50% for standard rooms, plus-100% for other rooms, such as deluxe rooms and suites. | Single rates for land are available at a supplement. | Please see individual itineraries for amount of the supplement. | Pricing accuracy is assured only at time of printing. | If any of the cost factors increases, such as airfare, port or dock charges, fuel, insurance, taxes, surcharges or other, we reserve the right to increase cruise or cruise tour prices without notice.

Cancellation Policy: For any cruise/land booking, whether under deposit, partially paid, or paid in full, including air packages, the following travel agent or guest-requested situations are considered cancellations and penalties will apply as noted below: changes to departure date; substitutions of itinerary; substitution of another person for original booked guest(s); or changing to a promotional fare. All cancellations must be in writing. For all air-inclusive packages cancelled after issuance of an airline ticket, the air portion of the refund, if any, will be processed only after the return of airline ticket. The following cancellation charges will be assessed for all written cancellations received prior to departure up to the scheduled time of departure.

Cancellation received | Following charges will apply: (Broken out by days before departure) 121 days or more is $200 per person | 120-90 days is $400 per person | 89-60 days is 35% of full fare | 59-30 days is 50% of full fare | 29-7 days is 80% of full fare | 6 days prior to sailing is 100% cancellation. Full Fare is defined as the full cost of any cruise, land or air component purchased from AmaWaterways. All air purchased through AmaWaterways has a cancellation penalty of $350 per person for Economy and $600 per person for Business class. In the event you purchase a non-refundable ticket, the full fare is under penalty.

*Certain airline tickets, including all intra-Asia Flights within 90 days of departure and published price tickets, are 100% non-refundable. Penalty rates shown are for flight arrangements deposited/booked from July 1, 2014 onward. Except as otherwise provided in your Passenger Ticket Contract, after travel begins, there is no refund for unused services, or unused portions of cruise, cruise/tour or airfare.

Ships registered in Namibia, Portugal, Switzerland, Myanmar, and Vietnam

See your Virtuoso travel advisor for more details and applicable restrictions. | Virtuoso is not responsible for any errors in pricing. | The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. | Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. | All rights reserved. Virtuoso California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

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