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Phnom Penh Golden Temple

The Lost Civilization - High Water

Saigon - Siem Reap - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard The Jahan
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Embark on an 8-day river cruise aboard The Jahan, an elegant British-Indian colonial-style riverboat, and explore the Mekong River during the high water season, from Saigon to Siem Reap. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and diverse cultures of the Mekong Delta as you visit charming rural villages, ancient pagodas, and vibrant markets. Connect with the friendly locals and witness their skilled artisans creating handicrafts and delicacies. Observe the locals living in the Delta and selling their goods at the floating markets, featuring a wide range of items such as fish, coconut candy, tropical fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Relax and enjoy the laidback atmosphere on this Mekong cruise, offering a memorable experience.
Boat House in MekongThe beautiful Vinh Trang temple near My ThoFlower farms in Sa Dec, VietnamExploring Mekong Delta in Ben TreHarvesting rice in VietnamThe Vinh Trang Temple in My ThoKampong TralachFloating Market in Cai BeFloating Villages in MekongPhnom Penh Golden Temple
  • Cruise along the Mighty Mekong River during the high water season
  • Explore Cai Be's floating market for local specialties and products
  • Gain insight into riverine culture and lifestyle with a knowledgeable guide
  • Visit the "Paris of the East", Phnom Penh
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Saigon | My Tho | Embark | Cai Be

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, be greeted with a warm welcome at the lounge in Saigon. Take your time to enjoy a second coffee while the staff takes care of your boarding details. Leave behind the hustle and bustle of Saigon as you head 70 kilometers south towards My Tho to board the vessel. After checking into your luxurious floating "home" for the next few days, step out onto your balcony and witness the ship embark on its exciting Mekong River journey.

As the vessel cruises upstream, indulge in a delicious lunch buffet served in the restaurant. Take this opportunity to get acquainted with one of the largest streams in Asia, which is revered by millions of people across six different countries. Soak in the scenery as the boat makes its way upstream, and treat yourself to some tasty snacks and delightful tea at our open-air bar during the twilight hours.

The rest of the cruising day is yours to enjoy as you please. Relax on your private balcony or pamper yourself with spa treatments at Apsara Spa. As you savor a delicious dinner, the ship reaches Cai Be, a historic town established in the 19th century by Vietnam's last ruling family. The town is situated on the Mekong River, where three provinces meet. You will visit the floating market tomorrow and explore Cai Be's water-based trading hub. For some evening entertainment, head to our lounge where classic movies and documentaries are screened nightly.

Day 2: Cai Be | Tan Chau

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up early to witness the spectacular scenery at the break of dawn. To make the experience complete, join the daily morning Tai Chi class. Afterward, a rich breakfast buffet awaits, or if you prefer, breakfast can be served directly to your room.

Cai Be is a charming market town 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. You will also learn from the 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, sail along the green canal network and watch the farmers working in the fields. A visit ashore to 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 enjoy an authentic Vietnamese coffee as you watch the life on the riverbanks floating 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 made their living by growing water hyacinths. Visit one of these untouched areas exclusively. By wandering through the village, you will get a deep understanding of native life. A local artisan will demonstrate the entire process of traditional mat-making and let you try weaving yourself. You will also meet a local elderly couple who will 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, the expert guide offers a presentation on life on the Mekong Delta as the ship continues sailing to Tan Chau. This town is a pleasant, slow-paced border town near the Cambodian border with a small Chinese, Kinh, and Khmer community. The ship will moor near the city, with views of the riverbanks.

Day 3: Tan Chau | Phnom Penh

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam.

Once you arrive on shore, you will see the lively town of Tan Chau as you hop on a "xeloi", which is a local vehicle used as a taxi in the area. Your personal xeloi driver will take you through the streets to see all the workshops, houses, and shops while feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the town. You will stop at the colourful local market near one of the town's temples, where you can interact with friendly vendors and try your bargaining skills.

To see what Tan Chau is famous for, you will board local boats and head to a floating fish farm. You will 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 daily. The region's specialties are tilapia and the Basa catfish, or Pangasius, which is unique to the Mekong River basin and rapidly gaining popularity in the international seafood market.

Back on board, you will sail towards the Vietnamese-Cambodian border, where you enjoy a leisurely cruise through the deep Cambodian countryside towards Phnom Penh.

The entire afternoon is yours to relax and unwind. You can indulge in massages, relax on a terrace deck sunbed or your private balcony, and merge with the river to experience a state of mild bliss. You can also visit the bridge to hear the captain's stories about "his" river, or join a culinary workshop to learn more about Khmer gastronomy.

After a relaxing cruise throughout the afternoon and evening, you will arrive at Phnom Penh (docking mid-stream or at the pier). You can enjoy your time onboard with our entertainment options, socialize in our public venues, or simply relax in the privacy of your cabin. Please note that due to immigration regulations, passengers may not be allowed to go on land this evening.

Day 4: Phnom Penh

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Welcome to Phnom Penh, the city once named Paris of the East. It retains much of its rustic charm and elegance despite its rapid development. This lovely town has a rich history and culture that are still evident on numerous street corners.

Your day will start with a full-day sightseeing tour right after breakfast. Ride a bus to visit the Killing Fields outside the city and, afterward, the centrally located prison called 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. Alternatively, you may explore the city on your own in the morning before re-joining the group.

Have lunch at a well-known restaurant in town and experience the elegant air for which Phnom Penh’s top addresses are known. The 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.

Mr. Jean-Michel, a local expert, will give an eye-catching lecture about Cambodia's modern history in the early evening. A professor from the Royal University of Phnom Penh, who has studied the subject extensively and in person, is a highlight of this cruise.

Take some rest or join fellow passengers at the bar for refreshing drinks. Join your fellow passengers for a special open-air gala featuring a barbecue dinner feast in the evening. The dinner is accompanied by a classic Apsara dance performance and 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 | Kampong Cham (Mekong)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You will depart before the break of dawn from Phnom Penh towards the Angkor Ban village on the Mekong River. The village is famous for its unspoiled community and beautiful, traditional houses. You will feel like being transported back a hundred years, into an era unaffected by modernity where villagers are characterized by their unbridled warmth.

While sailing upstream, lunch will be served and afterwards, the staff is keen to show you a variety of traditional Khmer fashion the local people still wear on special occasions. You will learn about the ubiquitous Cambodian scarf, the Krama, a multi-functional attire worn not just around the neck, but also as a bandanna, facemask, belt, swimwear, and even as a hammock to carry children.

The journey continues to a local school where you will learn more about the education of the young Cambodian generation. Children from the Organization for Basic Training (OBT) are provided free, supplemental education in English, maths, and the arts, and they are always excited to show their skills in music and dance. You will be showered with the most genuine and happy Cambodian smiles.

The land journey will take you to 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 breathtaking views over the Mekong. You will have the chance to observe the daily lives of many young, novice monks living on the compound of Wat Hanchey.

Another temple on the way is the tranquil monastery of Wat Nokor. Although not massive in comparison to the vast complexes of Angkor Wat, Wat Nokor is the largest of its kind in Kampong Cham Province and is distinctive from other temples with its black sandstone walls. Here, you might have the chance to engage in light banter with some of the sociable monks living in the area.

Back on board, you are free to relax until dinner is served. The boat moors mid-river near Kampong Cham.

Day 6: Kampong Cham (Mekong) | Koh Oknha Tey | Kampong Chhnang (Tonle)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the early morning, you continue sailing downstream on the Mekong. The vessel stops at the Island of Koh Oknha Tey, which lies in the middle of the Mekong and owes its fame to manufacturing high-class silk products. You 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 a cocoon, then dyeing, spinning, and weaving the fibers into high-quality Cambodian silk.

Before lunch, your expert guide holds a presentation about the geography of the Mekong River and Tonle Lake along with the unique attributes of the area. Afterwards, a monks’ blessing ceremony delivers spirits and wishes for health and prosperity for all.

The ship continues its journey, passing by the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Rivers. Gliding through leafy swaths of this jungle-like landscape you reach Kampong Tralach, where laughing children wave enthusiastically at your arrival.

You are in the middle of Cambodia’s countryside where – surprise – traditional ox carts are still a common means of transportation. Your ox-powered vehicle takes you on a journey along the riverside and through back roads lined with rice-paddy fields until you 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 underprivileged youth. The students, who are dressed in green shirts, are always happy to meet you every week as the principal gives an introduction and updates you on the current situation of the school.

Tonight, the boat finds its anchor spot in the Tonle River near Kampong Chhnang, allowing you to observe river life close by until dinner is served.

Day 7: Kampong Chhnang | Tonle Lake

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a sumptuous breakfast, you are now 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. You take a local boat to the shore and hop on a minibus to reach a quite unique, nearby rural village. As you explore the village on foot, your 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.

You drive back to the shore and take the local boat back to the ship. In this area along the Tonle River local communities used to live along the shores on floating houses. Their inhabitants were of Vietnamese descent and were expelled by the Khmer Rouge and returned after the ruling party was overthrown in 1979. As they had no land to settle on, they decided back then to live “on the water” until only recently in 2021 the government relocated them to land.
Back on board, lunch is served as your floating sanctuary cruises gently along the narrow Tonle River, towards the Great Tonle Sap Lake. The river then opens to a vast “sea”, the biggest freshwater lake in Asia.

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 sqm (965 sqm) in size and 160 km (99 mi) in length during the dry season to an astonishing area of 16,000 sqm (6,000 sqm) and length of 250 km (160 mi) in the wet season. Now that you are on the open water, let your soul float and your eyes wander towards Siem Reap as the boat makes its way across.

The crew invites you to a farewell event and to enjoy some cheerful moments before dinner, including music and Cambodian dancing together with the team. Savor your final dinner aboard and relive the week’s adventures in your mind’s eye with a glass of wine at the open bar.

Day 8: Tonle Lake | Siem Reap | Disembark | Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Enjoy your last breakfast on board our floating sanctuary.

The Tonle Sap, known as the Great Lake, is the heart of Cambodia and is home to a variety of wildlife, including rare birds and more fish than any other lake in the world.

Unfortunately, the cruise has come to an end. As you prepare to disembark, you will take a local boat to the shore, passing by a vast floating community. Once you reach the Siem Reap pier, you will drop you off at the city center.


The Jahan

The Jahan
The Jahan
The Jahan Lobby and Lounge

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date


Early Bird Discount
Book your cruise with Heritage Line in advance to secure your cabin together with an ‘Early Bird’ discount on your journey along one of Southeast Asia’s most enchanting waterways. The ‘Early Bird’ is available on any published departure date in any cruise destination, on any ship, and any itinerary. Kindly note that this offer is only available on entry room category. Please contact us for details.

Per person starting at
The Jahan - Superior Stateroom
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Superior Staterooms
Room Size: 30 sqm/323 sqft (8 double beds and 4 twins) Located in the main deck and all have private balconies. It comes with air conditioning, an espresso machine, a minibar, and a hot water kettle. The spacious rooms are designed gracefully with hand-painted wall-to-ceiling decors and a private balcony for relaxing. The in-cabin bathroom has an out-sized shower.
The Jahan - Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
Room Size: 30 sqm/323 sqft (6 double beds and 2 twins) Located in the upper deck, the stateroom features interconnected cabins ideal for families and groups of friends. Each cabin comes with multiple features from a luggage rack, in-room safe, music and cabin system, inhouse phone, a sun hat, and desk and chairs.
The Jahan - Signature Suite
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Signature Suites
Room Size: 36 sqm/388 sqft (2 doubles with 32 sqm and 2 doubles with 36 sqm) Located in the upper deck area, while two more are based at the very front of the main deck.
The Jahan - Taj Noble Suites
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Noble Suite
Room Size: 51 sqm/549 sqft. The majestic suites are individually designed and situated at a prime location at the front part of the upper deck. Guests can enjoy these spacious suites that feature a private balcony with a jacuzzi as they enjoy the beautiful scenery. The room comes with butler service for all the guests' needs. The stylish private bathrooms include bathrobes and a hairdryer.
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • Internet access (in limited areas)
  • Daily Group Shore-Excursions
  • All entrance fees as per program
  • All transfers as per itinerary by air-conditioned Vehicles
  • Welcome drink, brewed coffee, tea and mineral water
  • Gratuities
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Spa Treatments
  • Port taxes/fees
  • Passport or Visa fees


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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