Welcome to Vietnam. Relax for the next two nights at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Travel to the Cu Chi Tunnels and learn about the underground labyrinth of war-time passageways.
Freechoice Dining: Enjoy a Vespa foodie tour of Saigon by night, enjoy a meal in an old French colonial house or a restaurant specialising in Saigon street food. Alternatively, try Italian at Basilico or international fare at Nineteen Restaurant.
Discover Vietnam’s modern history through a visit to the Reunification Palace and War Museum. Later travel by coach to My Tho to board the luxurious Scenic Spirit. Toast the start of your cruise with a cocktail reception.
Freechoice: Board a sampan to visit Cai Be, local cottage industries and a traditional Vietnamese house. Alternatively, savour morning tea at the colonial French home, Le Longanier or stay on board for a special activity.
Back on board make use of the ship’s luxury and take the time to sip on included cocktails by the pool or enjoy some solitude on your private balcony. Later, immerse yourself in the historic town of Sa Dec and interact with the sellers in the lively market. Also visit the home of Mr Huynh Thuy Le who inspired Marguerite Duras’ novel L’Amant.
Freechoice: Stay in Tan Chau to visit Evergreen Island and enjoy a ride in a Xe Loi to a silk dye factory. In Chau Doc visit Vinh Te Canal and a family-operated fish farm, followed by Tây An Temple at Sam Mountain or visit Tra Su Bird Sanctuary.
The afternoon is at leisure to take advantage of the facilities of the most luxurious ship on the Mekong. Enjoy a themed dinner to say farewell to Vietnam.
Arrive early this morning into the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.
Freechoice: Journey to the Killing Fields and tour Tuol Sleng, the former school that was converted to the main prison of the Khmer Rouge, or take a guided tour of the local food market before joining a hands-on Khmer cooking demonstration. Alternatively, explore Phnom Penh’s colonial buildings by tuk tuk and visit the Central Market before stopping for lunch at a local NGO restaurant teaching street kids hospitality skills.
This afternoon time is yours for shopping or exploring on your own.
Later this evening revel in our Phnom Penh by City Lights tour, giving you an insight to the nightlife of the capital before stopping at a distillery for an exclusive tour and tasting behind closed doors.
Journey to the ancient capital of Oudong to visit the impressive pagoda and monastery. This afternoon marvel at the Royal Palace, featuring the famous Silver Pagoda, on your included visit to this must-see attraction.
Enjoy a cocktail reception on the Sun Deck against the backdrop of Phnom Penh’s lights as the ship sails from the capital at sunset.
At Koh Dach Island, learn all about the art of silk weaving. Further upstream in Angkor Ban, explore its historical rural wooden houses, which survived the Khmer Rouge and visit a local teacher who teaches English to the local school children.
Meet the novice monks at Wat Hanchey, an ancient hilltop pagoda and monastery. Walk (or drive) to the top and soak in some of the best elevated views of the cruise.
Receive a blessing from a monk and learn how to pray in a Buddhist pagoda before partaking in a ceremony, which contributes to the daily meal of the resident monks.
Return downstream to Kampong Cham, the quaint but largest city in the north and home to most of Cambodia’s Muslim population.
Freechoice: Learn the history of the area with a visit to Phnom Pros (Man Hill) and then Wat Nokor, an 11th-century temple that has a modern pagoda built within. Alternatively, explore the traditional village of Koh Pen or visit a rubber plantation factory and betel nut village.
Discover the rural side of Cambodia on your drive to Siem Reap, with stops at the Khmer bridge at Kampong Kdei, Kampong Thom and a stone cutters village along the way. Upon arrival in Siem Reap, check in to your historic hotel, your stylish three night Special Stay.
Freechoice: Discover Banteay Srei, dedicated to Shiva and known as the ‘citadel of women’ and visit the Landmine Museum or admire the skills on display at Artisans D’Angkor. Alternatively, cruise on Tonle Sap (seasonal), take a remork (Tuk Tuk) ride to the markets or take a tethered balloon ride above Angkor Wat (weather dependent).
Later in the afternoon, a perfect time in the day for photography, visit the colossal Angkor Wat. Take advantage of your free night to visit the night markets, within walking distance to your hotel.
Marvel at sunrise over magnificent Angkor Wat before moving to a special location for a champagne breakfast with food prepared by an NGO supported local bakery school.
Visit the atmospheric, jungle covered Ta Prohm Temple, before stopping at Angkor Thom and the multi-faced Bayon Temple. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.
Be wowed by a mystical themed Gala Dinner at an Angkor temple, with included free flow drinks and a show featuring Apsara dancers in front of candlelit temple ruins.
Fly to Pakse and travel to the small town of Champasak and your hotel for the next two nights.
Freechoice: Visit a local coffee plantation or enjoy a traditional Lao or Thai massage.
After lunch drive to Wat Phou, a spectacular World Heritage-listed Khmer temple complex.
Fly to Luang Prabang, the spiritual capital of Laos, for a three night Special Stay. Walk to the top of Mount Phousi and watch the sun set over this historical town.
Today visit the sites in this UNESCO listed town including the former Royal Palace, Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Mai. Later cruise along the Mekong River to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves to see hundreds of centuries-old sacred Buddha images. When returning by road, stop at Ban Xang Hay, a village specialising in rice wine. Tonight shop in the well-known night market.
Partake in morning alms by donating food to the local monks. Later that morning journey to Kuang Si Waterfalls and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. En route back to town stop at a small village, which is home to one of the area’s many ethnic minorities, to learn about their traditions and culture.
Immerse yourself in local spirituality during a traditional Baci ceremony and pay respects to ancient traditions.
This evening enjoy your delicious farewell dinner.
Say farewell to Laos with many wonderful memories and fly to Bangkok where your journey ends on arrival.
This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above.
Scenic were exceptional.They have to be the best operators of river cruises.Every aspect of the trip with them was of a very high standard.The cabins (suites) were large and very comfortable (we had the lowest level,so I can imagine what the higher levels would have been like!). All the meals served were excellent with plenty of variety and imagination.Every member of staff we encountered was helpful and smiley.The excursions were excellent with high level guiding .Overall a very good experience.and I would highly recommend them.
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