River Cruise Itinerary
A fascinating, rewarding and multilayered adventure.
Two of the most beautiful, historic and friendly places in all of Asia, dynamic Vietnam and pastoral Cambodia are intriguing studies in contrast. Each possesses its own unique charm and social traditions, its own tragic history and complex past. In many ways, a visit here is less about the sights you see than it is about the people you meet and the experiences you have along the way.
Ho Chi Minh City offers a heady mixture of old and new, often surprising visitors with its charm. As the lifeblood of Southeast Asia, the Mekong teems with colorful floating villages and mementos of its French Colonial past. Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s thriving capital, is fast-forwarding to the future yet retains a provincial intimacy. And colorful Siem Reap provides the gateway to the vast UNESCO-designated jungle temple complex of Angkor Wat.
Day 1 (Thu, Sep 12, 2019): Siem Reap, CambodiaArrive at Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to your luxury hotel.
Day 2 (Fri, Sep 13, 2019): Siem ReapToday is a Bucket List Moment kind of day, as you unleash your inner Indiana Jones and explore the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, a gigantic religious complex that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Regarded as the pinnacle of the dazzling, inventive culture that flourished in medieval Cambodia, it is one of the most spectacular monuments you will ever lay eyes on.
Day 3 (Sat, Sep 14, 2019): Siem ReapToday you will enter the spectacular remnants of Angkor Thom, the royal city. Prepare to be amazed! Built during the heyday of the Khmer dynasty in the 12th century, this extraordinary complex of Hindu and Buddhist monuments was once lost to the world for many years, hidden under dense jungle vines.
Day 4 (Sun, Sep 15, 2019): Siem Reap, Transfer to Kampong Cham (Embark)Today, you’ll have free time to explore Siem Reap, a place name that means, literally, “Defeat of Siam”—which tells you something of its history. It is the gateway to Angkor, the legendary archaeological site. Later check out and transfer via executive motorcoach to Kampong Cham, to embark on the beautiful Mekong Navigator—your elegant home for the next seven nights—and set sail on the beautiful Mekong.
Day 5 (Mon, Sep 16, 2019): Wat Hanchey, Angkor BanToday is a celebration of Cambodia's bright future. You’ll meet young children at a local school and friendly villagers in their homes, and have a rare opportunity to receive a special water blessing from Buddhist monks.
Day 6 (Tue, Sep 17, 2019): Cruising the Mekong River, Phnom PenhOnce considered the loveliest of Indochina’s French-built cities, Phnom Penh has somehow retained much of its charm despite all the political and cultural turmoil of the 20th century. See how this fascinating city is rediscovering itself with an insightful panoramic tour and time to explore on your own. Founded in the 15th century, Phnom Penh is the thriving capital of the kingdom of Cambodia. It stands at the juncture of three rivers and is divided into three distinct districts: the French colonial area, a handsome residential district and a rapidly changing Old Town.
Day 7 (Wed, Sep 18, 2019): Phnom PenhToday’s featured excursion may be the most profound and memorable experience of your entire journey. You’ll learn about the infamous Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge and visit a former school-turned-prison that is now a genocide museum.
Day 8 (Thu, Sep 19, 2019): Cruising the Mekong River, Hong Ngu (Long Khanh A), Cu Lao GiengYou leave Cambodia behind and cross into Vietnam today, delving into a region where traditional and modern lifestyle elements mingle: Agriculture may still reign supreme, but TV satellite dishes dot rooftops of houses built on stilts. Thousands of boats ply the waters of the Mekong—wooden cargo boats, water taxis, dredges, fishing craft. Traditional and modern elements mingle in this region, but the river rules everything. More authentic encounters await you today, starting with a cruise through the canals to Evergreen Island. Stop at a temple devoted to Vietnam’s homegrown religion, and hop aboard a rickshaw for a ride to a factory that makes handwoven reed baskets. Later, take a sampan ride through the floating villages lining the banks of the great river.
Day 9 (Fri, Sep 20, 2019): Cruising the Mekong River, Cu Lao Gieng, Sa DecDip into Vietnam’s colorful and culturally eclectic past in Sa Dec—the former haunt of author Marguerite Duras—and the island of Gieng, which boasts a rather unexpected array of Catholic churches and monasteries.
Day 10 (Sat, Sep 21, 2019): Vinh Long, Cai BeGet set for an authentic slice of daily life along the Mekong with visits to two quintessentially Vietnamese locales, Vinh Long and Cai Be, which you’ll see by sampan. Meet village elders, experience the lively floating market and visit workshops creating products made from rice.
Day 11 (Sun, Sep 22, 2019): My Tho (Disembark), Transfer to Ho Chi Minh CityAs Asia’s “comeback kid,” there’s something so invigorating about Ho Chi Minh City, a busting metropolis with a youthful and innovative energy—and no wonder, given that more than half the population is younger than 35. Embrace the dynamic spirit of the city formerly known as Saigon on today’s panoramic tour. History melds with the boisterous present in Vietnam’s largest city, where skyscrapers tower over ancient temples and motorbikes putter along picturesque alleys. It was founded in 1690; became the capital of French Cochinchina in the 1860s, when it was known as Saigon; and acquired its modern moniker in 1976, when it was named for Communist leader Ho Chi Minh.
Day 12 (Mon, Sep 23, 2019): Ho Chi Minh CityReady for an adventure? Today’s featured excursion provides a fascinating glimpse of the Viet Cong’s vast network of incredibly narrow, booby-trapped tunnels dating from the Vietnam War. If you dare, you can even climb down inside for an up-close look.
Day 13 (Tue, Sep 24, 2019): Depart Ho Chi Minh CityIf your cruise/tour package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Tan Son Nhat International Airport for your flight home or continue your tour with an extraordinary optional extension program.