Embark on a journey through time and discover the enchanting Mekong River. Spanning six countries in Asia, this mysterious body of water has been a source of love and life for millions. Legend has it that the God King of ancient Cambodia, King Jayavarman VII, linked hands with the Mekong to build the magnificent Angkor civilization, adding to the river's fame. Experience the best of Vietnam and Cambodia on a classic 7-night Mekong River cruise called "The Lost Civilization". This unique journey combines visits to rarely explored places with incredible historical heritage sites, providing a complete fluvial discovery of the region.
Cruise the Mighty Mekong River aboard a luxurious riverboat
Visit the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey of the 7th century
Learn about the culture and life of the locals along the river with an expert guide
Board local boats and head to a floating fish farm in Tan Chau
You will be greeted in the morning at the welcome lounge in Siem Reap, where you will bid farewell to the iconic sights of Angkor and embark on a southeast journey overland to Kampong Cham. The ship awaits you in Kampong Cham, which is an important trade and transportation hub with a well-maintained highway and the country's first bridge across the Mekong. During the ride, your expert guides will share interesting insights about Cambodia and the region you journey through.
Upon boarding, you may want to step onto your balcony to watch the ship set sail for a southbound journey on the Mekong. In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to learn about the education of the young Cambodian generation. Children from the small village of Chiro will come on board to showcase their skills in music and dance. The Organization for Basic Training (OBT) provides free, supplemental education in English, maths, and the arts to these local youths. You can shower the young performers with applause and in return, you will be bestowed with the most genuine and happy Cambodian smiles. You will leave the ship for a bus excursion to the Koh Paen Bamboo Bridge and the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey.
Afterward, you will have some downtime before dinner. If you feel restless from all the excitement during your first day on the Mekong River, you can visit the cinema in the lounge showcasing classic movies and interesting documentaries on a nightly basis.
If you want to have a breathtaking view at dawn, be sure to wake up early. Join the Tai Chi class to complete the experience, and after, you can have breakfast at the buffet or in your room, whichever you prefer.
Your first stop for the day is the small village of Angkor Ban, known for its traditional houses and close-knit community. You'll feel like you've traveled back in time to a bygone era where modernity has yet to take hold, and the villagers' warmth is infectious.
Back on board, you'll have a monks' blessing ceremony to wish for everyone's health and prosperity. As you sail downstream, our staff will offer afternoon tea at the bar and showcase traditional Khmer fashion, including the versatile Cambodian scarf, the Krama.
Next, you'll visit the island of Koh Oknha Tey, where high-quality silk products are made. You'll have a chance to explore the village's workshops and see the process of making silk from silkworm larvae to the finished product.
After some more cruising, you'll anchor near Kampong Chhnang for the night, passing the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Rivers along the way.
Day 3: Kampong Chhnang | Kampong Tralach | Phnom Penh
After enjoying a delicious lunch onboard, the vessel continues its leisurely cruise along the Tonle River towards Kampong Tralach. From the terrace, you can observe the river at certain points where it is very narrow and surrounded by leafy swaths of a jungle-like landscape. As you reach Kampong Tralach, children can be seen waving enthusiastically at our arrival.
This is a countryside part of Cambodia where traditional ox carts are still a common means of transportation. You will be taken on a journey along the riverside and through back roads lined with rice-paddy fields until you arrive at a tiny village. Here, local children have had the chance to receive an education for a few short years. The "Green School" is a local project supported by Heritage Line in this remote area to support underprivileged youth. The students, dressed in green shirts, are always happy to meet visitors every week as the principal gives an introduction and updates on the current situation of the school.
After some additional cruising time, the boat arrives and docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. You are free to go out and explore the city on your own after dinner. Take a 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.
Welcome to Phnom Penh, the city once named Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained its rustic charm and elegance. You will find it an amazing town with centuries of incredible history and culture, which can still be felt on many street corners.
Your full sightseeing tour starts right after breakfast. You will visit the Killing Fields outside the city and the centrally located prison "S21" by bus. Both historic sites display the sad and cruel chapter of the country's history when the Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia with terror and oppression. These places have not changed much since this horrific time back in the early seventies and can be quite heartbreaking. Alternatively, you may explore the city on your own in the morning before rejoining the group.
You will have lunch at a well-renowned restaurant in town and experience the elegant air Phnom Penh's top addresses are known for. Your 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 tops 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.
You can take some rest or join fellow passengers at the bar for refreshing drinks. Today's evening is a special one. You are invited to a wonderful open-air gala featuring a barbecue dinner feast. The dinner is accompanied by a classic Apsara dance performance along with 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.
The lounge is set up for an eye- and ear-catching lecture about modern Cambodian history, held by our friend and local expert, Mr. Jean-Michel, a professor from the Royal University of Phnom Penh. The lecture will take about an hour before you continue to sail southbound toward the Vietnamese border.
The rest of the morning and the whole afternoon is at your disposal. From here, even the last passenger turns on their cruise mode and hopefully experiences the relaxing cadence this mighty river emanates. The afternoon is perfect for massages, relaxation on a terrace deck sunbed, or private balcony kickbacks. 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.
As you sip drinks and nibble on treats during afternoon tea, you will approach the border and finally arrive in Vietnam. From here, it is just a short distance to Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced border town with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh, and Khmer community. The ship will moor near the city with views of the riverbanks.
Take a xelois when you arrive on shore to see Tan Chau's vibrant town life. A xeloi is a local vehicle that is still used as a taxi in this area. Your Xeloi driver slowly navigates through the streets to observe all the workshops, houses, and shops while feeling the laid-back vibe of this place. Make a stop at the colorful local market near one of the temples and take this 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, board one of the local boats and head to a floating fish farm to get an exclusive look into the world’s largest inland aquaculture industry. This floating structure has netting hanging down into the water to enclose the fish, which are raised and fed daily. The specialties of this region are tilapia and the Basa catfish, or Pangasius, which are unique to the Mekong River basin and are rapidly gaining popularity in the international seafood market.
Back on board, and before lunch is served, you may take a dip in the pool. After the meal, the expert guides offer a presentation about life in the Mekong Delta as the ship continues to My An Hung, near Sa Dec province.
My An Hung Village in the Mekong Delta is a beautiful illustration of a genuine native village. Upon arrival, you will receive a remarkable insight into the private household of a local family and visit the seasonal vegetable fields to see what they are currently cultivating. Visit a local family's house for a Vietnamese tea tasting. Vietnamese tea is often bitter, so locals sweeten it with honey, a regional delicacy also produced by our hosts. The family then presents a wide variety of fruits growing in the delta, freshly cut from the tree.
The sunsets and the light now bathe everything in a golden hue. The surrounding natural beauty is a perfect backdrop for a riverbank gathering with cocktails and dancing with the crew in this remote and secluded location.
This morning the ship 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.
During this exclusive visit to one of the untouched areas, you will have the chance to wander through the village and get a deep understanding of native life. One of the local artisans will demonstrate the entire process of traditional mat-making. You can 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 the ship, continue to sail toward Cai Be while taking your lunch. Cai Be is a charming town famous for its Catholic-French church and the manufacturing of traditional crafts and food products. You will 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.
You will sail along the green canal network and watch the farmers working in the fields from a local boat. A visit ashore to a workshop shows the manufacturing of rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies, and rice wine. Due to the abundance of palm trees in Cai Be, the area is renowned for producing coconut sweets.
Back on board, the crew will invite you to a farewell event and some cheerful moments before dinner, including music and Cambodian dancing together with the team. Enjoy 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: My Tho | Saigon | Disembark | Return Home
Enjoy your last breakfast aboard your floating home. Disembark the ship after breakfast and take a bus transfer from My Tho to Saigon. It is only around 70 kilometers on the highway, and you arrive in Saigon by mid-morning.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
TrustScore 4.6 | 107 reviews
TrustScore 4.6 of 5
Based on 107 reviews on
20 hours ago
Clara and Rhenee were gracious and available. Phone contact is so important to answer questions and discuss all aspects of trip. If not immediately available they scheduled a time to speak.
They were knowledgeable, honest, realistic and very friendly. They are both very professional and take their role seriously.
20 hours ago
Jason has been wonderful. He is full of information and was very willing to listen to what was of interest to us.
2 days ago
The ability (of Kassandra) to tailor a guided trip to my exact preferences is very valuable to me, as well as the ability (of Kassandra) to provide expert guidance on destinations and travel dates. I also appreciate the ability of the backup staff (Maria Ignacio, Exito Travel) to coordinate all the details to make the travel logistics easy for the customer.
2 days ago
Our Costa Rica trip was amazing! Kassandra planned everything and the excursions, hotels, overall organization were outstanding. Everything worked out smoothly, the excursions guides were knowledgeable allowing us to see so much of the fauna and flora of the country. The hotels were great as well, all in fantastic locations and with beautiful views.
2 days ago
This is our 7th trip Kassandra has planned and she is wonderful to work with. She is responsive, helpful, patient and knowledgeable. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to work together with her. We love Adventure Life!