Discover Vietnam & Mekong Waterways

20 Day Tour

Small Group Tour of Vietnam

Luxury Mekong River Cruise

Vietnam Tour and Luxury River Cruise
This is the tour of a lifetime, combining two magnificent holidays across two wonderful countries – all in one tour!

Begin with our most popular tour of Vietnam on a leisurely, premium small group tour from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Then, set sail along the mighty Mekong River on a luxury 8 day cruise. Pristine scenery, stunning excursions and delicious cuisine awaits. And to crown your wonderful holiday experience, tour the incredible and mystical Angkor Temples.

Tour Highlights

Fully guided small group tour of Vietnam

3 days at a beachside resort in historic Hoi An

Travel with a small group - people just like you

2 nights in Siem Reap in a colonial, 4-star hotel

Explore the stunning Halong Bay

Boutique & historic 4-star hotels

Explore amazing waterways on your 8 day Mekong River cruise

A full day discovering Angkor Wat

Trip Information
Price

From US$ 4299.

CLICK FOR FULL PRICES

2020

  • January – March: US$ 5875
  • April: US$ 4899
  • May – September: US$ 4299
  • October – December*: US$ 5599
  • * 30 December: US$ 5699

2021

  • January – March: US$ 5599
  • April: US$ 4899

Prices are per person twin or double share in US Dollars.

Single traveler (Single room) – add:

  • January – March: US$ 2499
  • April: US$ 1999
  • May – September: US$ 1799
  • October – December: US$ 2499

Duration

20 Days, 19 Nights


Availability

We depart on specific dates regularly throughout the year.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE DEPARTURE DATES

2020
February 5th, 19th
March 4th, 18th
April 1st, 15th
July 1st, 15th, 29th
August 12th, 26th
September 9th, 23rd
October 7th, 21st
November 4th, 18th
December 2nd, 30th*

2021
January 13th, 27th
February 24th
March 10th, 24th
April 7th …


Trip Specifications

All tour dates guaranteed to depart.

  • Group size: 2-14 persons
  • Min age: 15

 

CLICK TO SEE MORE

We regret that we do not accept children under the age of 15 on this tour. If travelling with children contact us so that we can arrange a personalised family holiday for you!


Meeting Point

You will be met at the airport in Hanoi for a transfer to your boutique 4-star hotel


Accommodation

Boutique & historic, centrally located, 4-star hotels; luxury colonial style river cruise. All rooms feature air-conditioning, ensuite bathrooms and complimentary drinking water.


Included (Vietnam Tour)
  • Small group tour of Vietnam with local English speaking guide
  • All accommodation in 4-star hotels
  • All transfers and sightseeing tours detailed including all entrance fees
  • All domestic flights in Vietnam
  • Meals as indicated (B = Breakfast; L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Emergency contact phone number in Vietnam

Included (River Cruise)
  • Group shore-excursions
  • Entrance fees
  • Cruise tour guide services (English speaking)
  • Full board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) including mineral water, coffee and tea from 6.30am and afternoon tea
  • Transfers in Saigon & Siem Reap to and from the meeting point
  • Port taxes US $65

Not Included (Vietnam Tour)
  • International flights
  • Vietnam entry visa
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Beverages during lunches and dinners
  • Personal expenses (laundry, mini-bar, internet, etc.)
  • Gratuities (tips)

Not Included (River Cruise)
  • International flights
  • Gratuities (we recommend US $10 per passenger/day)
  • Cambodian visa (available on Upstream cruise only US $42 per person)
  • Laundry
  • Alcoholic beverages including mini-bar, wines, premium spirits and liqueurs
  • Drinks like Perrier, espresso and cappuccinos at bar

What to Bring
  • Comfortable walking shoes, camera, light comfortable clothing, some warmer items for evenings and during winter (Dec–Feb).
  • A light raincoat is recommended during the rainy season (May-Oct).

Guide Info

A local English-speaking guide will travel with you throughout your journey, one in Vietnam and another in Cambodia. Find out more about our guides here.
Note: Cruise is escorted by cruise staff.

Overview of Your Tour

Day 1 - Arrive Hanoi

Arrive in Hanoi anytime today where you will be met for the transfer to your hotel.
Your local, English speaking guide will update you with all you need to know about Hanoi, including money matters, how to get around, what’s ahead on your tour plus you’ll get our best of what to do and where to eat guide.
2 nights, boutique 4-star Hotel in the heart of the old quarter.

Day 2 - Hanoi (B, L)

Explore this thousand year-old city on a Heritage Hanoi City Tour – learn the role women play in society, discovering the ancient temple of Confucius and see where the great man, Ho Chi Minh, himself rests today.

Explore Hanoi
Your Heritage Hanoi city tour starts at the Women’s Museum, which highlights the incredible role women played in Vietnamese culture and traditions during the recent turbulent past, an incredible insight into Vietnamese community.
Tour Hoa Lo, the infamous prison nicknamed the Hanoi Hilton, which once housed US Senator John McCain.
The Temple of Literature built in 1070 was Vietnam’s first university, dedicated to Confucius and is a superb example of traditional-style Vietnamese architecture.
Enjoy lunch at KOTO, a not-for-profit restaurant helping troubled youth learn culinary skills to bring them a higher education and a brighter future. Then visit Ba Dinh Square to see Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, a major pilgrimage site for the Vietnamese people, where inside lies the country’s famous leader. An Ancient City Walking Tour takes you through the narrow streets of this 1,000-year-old city centre. Bustling streets filled with vendors, city life and traditional houses make this an amazing place to explore.

The evening is at your leisure, you may like to shop, dine beside Hoan Kiem Lake or relax back at your hotel.

Optional Experience:
Street Food Tour – Sample the special flavours of Vietnam on this walking tour of the street food of Vietnam. Guided, 5.00pm – 8.00pm

Day 3 - Halong Bay (B, L, D)

Halong Bay, a legendary world just waiting to be explored. Here, your cruise boat combines oriental style with contemporary comfort. Together with the stunning scenery, you have the perfect recipe for an enchanting start to your best Vietnam holiday.

Cruise Around Halong Bay
This morning depart Hanoi for the drive through stunning countryside to Halong. Upon arrival at Halong Bay before midday, you’ll board your cruise vessel for a delicious buffet lunch as it sets sail out among the pristine seascape. Spend the afternoon cruising among the limestone islands and admiring the floating villages, intriguing caves and deserted coves. You’ll have the opportunity to kayak, swim or enjoy the onboard activities, including sunbathing, traditional massages and cooking demonstrations.

Accommodation: Overnight stay and dinner on board your deluxe cruise. Your cabin offers all the amenities to ensure you’re comfortable: twin or queen-size bed, air conditioning, and an ensuite bathroom with shower and expansive windows providing unforgettable views.

Day 4 - Halong Bay to Hoi An (B)

Take in the early morning scenes drifting past or try your hand at Tai Chi on the deck. A leisurely breakfast is served on the cruise around Halong Bay back to land.

Head to Hoi An in style
An early-morning treat awaits the early-riser: join in with Tai Chi on the sundeck for the chance to admire the beauty and tranquility of the sunrise or simply enjoy dawn break with coffee and a light breakfast. Don’t miss your last chance to take in the stunning seascape of Halong Bay as we cruise back to port. We’ll stop at islands and bays for you to take your final pictures, before enjoying a buffet brunch. Upon disembarking, return to Hanoi for a late afternoon flight to Danang in Central Vietnam.

On arrival, transfer to Hoi An and your seaside hotel. 3 nights in a 4-star, boutique, beachfront resort.

Day 5 - Hoi An (B, L)

This morning, discover the ancient ruins of My Son. Between the 4th and 13th centuries, a unique culture which owed its spiritual origins to Indian Hinduism developed on the coast of contemporary Vietnam. This is illustrated by the My Son remains of impressive towers located in a dramatic site that was the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom for most of its existence.

Ruins of My Son
My Son is Vietnam’s counterpart to the grand cities of other Asian civilizations such as Angkor (Cambodia), Bagan (Myanmar), Ayutthaya (Thailand), and Borobudur (Java).

You’ll return to Hoi An for a lunch of traditional Hoi An food. A short Ancient Hoi An walking tour showcases the historic old buildings. Ancient shop houses line the streets and the Japanese covered bridge is a landmark, allowing you to discover the history of this ancient trading port.
You can return to your hotel to relax, swim and freshen up – then the evening is yours at your leisure. Hoi An offers a huge range of lovely restaurants and is very popular for shopping!

Day 6 - Hoi An (B)

We have included a full day at leisure in Hoi An as it is the jewel in everyone’s visit to Vietnam. Relax, explore, swim, or shop – the choice is yours! For those who want to maximize their time in Hoi An, we offer optional tours for you to see more.

Optional Experiences 
Hoi An is one of the most popular places to visit in Vietnam with its charming old town filled with art shops, homewares, cafés, and tailors. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Hoi An was a major Asian trading centre, making it a wonderful town for getting clothes tailor-made or for buying souvenirs. If you’re looking for some sun and sand, Hoi An also boasts an excellent beach.
Spend time relaxing at your ocean-side resort, head into town for lunch or evening drinks, and if you want to do more, we recommend these optional excursions:

Red Bridge Cooking Class – offers one of the most professional and fun cooking classes in Vietnam. Beginning with a market visit to purchase produce and followed by a boat trip to the school, Red Bridge will teach you how to create many of the popular Vietnamese dishes you will encounter on your holiday. Begins at 8.15am in Hoi An.

Countryside Village by Bike – Using quality local bikes, your guide will collect you from your hotel for a cycle through the countryside to a local village where the way of life has remained the same for generations. You’ll see pottery making and visit the Tra Que farming village, where you can admire the fresh vegetable gardens and many local farmers working in their fields using traditional methods. Throughout our cycle, we’ll also see small handicrafts, such as rice paper making. A local cuisine lunch is included before biking back to your hotel. Fitness level: Average. Grade: Easy.

Ethnic Village by Jeep – Travel by American Army Jeep for an exciting ride inland towards the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Relish in the stunning countryside to a traditional ethnic community still living in the same way their ancestors did. Guided full day tour.
Note: optional tours can be pre-paid with your tour or available for you to book with your guide.

Day 7 - Hue via the Hai Van Pass (B, D)

This morning discover the Danang highlights before travelling overland to Hue via the spectacular Hai Van Pass. After leaving Hoi An, the first stop is Marble Mountain, a whole village devoted to carving beautiful sculptures, then stop briefly at the Cham Museum filled with artefacts from the ancient Cham Kingdom, before heading over the pass.

Arrival in Hue
This morning discover the Danang highlights. Just after leaving Hoi An we’ll stop to explore Marble Mountain to see the huge array of artisans at the carving village set at the base of these historic mounds. Take the steps (or lift) to the top for the vistas and to see the hidden Buddhist statues among the caves and landscape. Then, we stop to view one of the landmarks of Danang, Dragon Bridge, before visiting the impressive pink Danang Cathedral.

At the Cham Museum you’ll discover some of the best artefacts from the past civilization of the Cham people. An early lunch at a local restaurant before we tackle the spectacular Hai Van Pass, once rated by National Geographic as one of the ‘top 50 must-do journeys in the world’. Stunning sights await of Lang Co beach and out to sea as we travel the winding road to Hue.

Accomodation: 2 nights, 4-star hotel.

Day 8 - Hue (B, L)

A day touring the royal capital, the city of Hue – the former Imperial City is an imposing city soaked in history and impressive sights.

Sail Along the Perfume River
Start the day with a boat trip along the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, built in 1601. Then continue by car to the Ancient Citadel, which was the capital of Vietnam from 1802-1945, where the last King of Vietnam – Bao Dai King – abdicated on 30th August 1945. After lunch at a delicious local restaurant, visit the tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh with its mix of Asian and Western architecture. On the return to your hotel, we’ll stop at a roadside village to observe how locals make incense.

Day 9 - Hue to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) (B)

Today, fly Vietnam Airlines to the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Your Saigon Sights Tour includes stunning french colonial style architecture and fascinating Vietnamese history.

Explore Saigon
The Saigon Sights City Tour includes a stop at the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral and Gustav designed Central Post Office before visiting the War Museum – a stark reminder of the atrocities of war. Then another special insight with a visit to a traditional medicine museum, where you’ll discover the use of natural herbs in traditional medicine, used in Asia dating back to the Stone Age. We end the day at a local boutique brewery for those who want to sample an ice-cold local beer to end their day!

2 nights, historic, central 4-star hotel.

Day 10 - Cu Chi Tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City (B)

A magical journey up river to the incredible Cu Chi Tunnels, dug by hand during the US war. After a tour you have time in Saigon for shopping the high-end streets or the bustling markets.

Free Afternoon in Saigon

This morning a magical speedboat trip up the river to visit the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels. Dug by hand the tunnels were home to the Viet Cong during the US war. A video shows their use and parts have even been excavated for you to see inside. Upon returning to Saigon, the afternoon is yours at leisure for that last-minute shopping or to enjoy the cafés and bars.
Tip! For shopping, enjoy the luxury brand names around Dong Khoi Street or head to Ben Thanh market to test your bartering skills.

man smiling, crawling out from underground tunnel

Day 11 - Cruise Departure (B, L, D)

Today join your Lost Civilization Cruise from Saigon to Siem Reap, onboard a luxury cruise ship that will take you on an amazing journey to places rarely visited. The Mekong River & Tonle Sap (The Great Lake of Cambodia) are the heart of the area, giving love and life to this nation. Witness remote countryside and warm, friendly villages while enjoying stunning cuisine and relaxed cruising in comfort. (Please note that the cruise itinerary varies slightly throughout the year as water levels vary according to the amount of rainfall up river.)

The Lost Civilization Cruise 
Bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of the city. Join other guests on the cruise for the transfer 70 kilometers south by land to My Tho to embark on the boutique ship. After our crew warmly welcomes you, you’ll check-in to your stateroom. The ship sets sail and a fascinating voyage along the Mekong begins. Lunch buffet is served in the restaurant while the vessel steadily glides upstream to reach the overnight spot. Make yourself familiar with all the ship facilities. Now it is time to serenely drift along one of the largest rivers in Asia. The afternoon allows you to leisurely pass time on your private balcony or join our teatime at the open-air bar as dusk bathes the Mekong Delta in a golden haze.

During the time you savour your dinner, the ship reaches Cai Be. It is a charming town, famous for its Catholic-French church and the manufacturing of traditional crafts and food products. The floating market of Cai Be is getting smaller every year, since trading on the water is shifting more and more to the modern central markets.
We anchor mid-stream near Cai Be for dinner and moor there overnight. After dinner our lounge cinema features classic movies for your enjoyment.
Unwind in your superior stateroom, featuring bright tones with white wood furnishings and hand painted wall to ceiling décor. Gracefully designed, the good-sized cabin has a private balcony with seating to watch the river flow past and a queen size bed. The in-cabin bathroom features a stand-up shower and a partition separates the bed from a small desk and wardrobe.
(Amenities: Air conditioner, kettle, ILLY espresso machine, balcony, mini bar, hair dryer, bath robe, sun hat, binoculars, hand fan, in-room safe, music and cabin sound system.)

Day 12 - Cai Be to Tan Chau, Mekong Delta (Vietnam) (B, L, D)

The floating market is a fascinating look at past trading ways deep in the Mekong, as boats ply their trade. An on-shore excursion visits a local home based industry making rice paper, sweets, honey or wine.

Explore Cai Be’s Floating Market
Today a visit is made to Cai Be, a main floating market, which you will visit onboard a smaller boat.
Go on-shore to visit a workshop and learn how rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies and rice wine is produced. Cai Be and its surrounding areas are covered with palm trees and hence the region is also famous for the production of coconut candies. With our local boat we continue to explore the lush green canal network and observe the farmers working in the fields. Back on-board lunch is served. You can enjoy your own time with either an authentic Vietnamese coffee at the bar or simply watch the life on the riverbanks floating by.

In the afternoon, we reach the area of Sa Dec. We embark on a traditional local boat and head towards Binh Thanh island. This island is one of the larger ones along the vast stream of the Mekong. Some communities have settled here and make their living by growing water hyacinths. We exclusively visit one of those untouched areas. By wandering through the village, we get a deep understanding of the native life. Moreover, we see the whole process of mat making. You can even try weaving yourself, which is still done manually. We will also meet an elderly local couple who share their story of this island. They are happy to join you for a conversation.
Back on board, you may like to pamper yourself with a spa treatment or take a dip in the pool on the sun deck. Our expert guide offers a presentation on the “Life on the Mekong Delta” as the ship continues sailing to Tan Chau – near the border to Cambodia. We moor midstream.

Day 13 - Border Crossing (B, L, D)

In the morning a shore excursion to a local village to see traditional local homes, markets and temples before a magical moment, as you travel overland on-board your ship making the crossing between Vietnam and Cambodia.

Enjoy a Relaxing Afternoon on the Cruise Ship 
At a pleasant, slow-paced town with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community, we hop on a xeloi to explore. A xeloi is a local vehicle which is still used as a taxi in this region. We will navigate around the streets to see all the workshops and houses while you absorb the laid-back vibes of this place. We will stop at the colourful local market near one of the town’s temples. This is the best time to interact with the vendors of this friendly town to practice your bargaining skills. Then, boarding a local boat to cruise past floating houses to a fish farm. This region is the source of fish production that is sold all over the world.

Back aboard our home away from home, we sail towards the Vietnamese-Cambodian border. Get ready for a fascinating and leisurely cruise through the deep Cambodian countryside towards Phnom Penh. The afternoon is spent cruising upriver, a chance to sit back, enjoy the pool, spa, your balcony, or join in the culinary class to learn some of the local cuisine. Float into a state of bliss and join our afternoon high tea for sweet treats before you totally drift away in relaxation.

Dinner is served before we arrive at the capital of Cambodia. Around seven o’clock, the boat docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. You are free to go for your first exploration by yourself. 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.

Day 14 - Phnom Penh, Cambodia (L, D)

Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, was once known as the Pearl of Asia and is home to a fast growing city while still offering wide french boulevards, historic palaces and the history of the former Khmer Rouge.

The Cultural Heritage of Phnom Penh
Visit the ‘Killing Fields’ outside of the city and then, the centrally located prison “S21”. Both historic sites display the sad and cruel chapter of Khmer history when the Khmer Rouge ruled the country with terror and suppression. Those places have not changed much since this horrific event in the early seventies and it can be heart-breaking to encounter. Alternatively, you may prefer to explore the city in the morning on your own before re-joining the group.

Lunch is at a fine restaurant in town, before a tour of the fascinating cultural heritage of Phnom
Penh. The golden edifice of the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda and the exceptional Khmer crafts at the National Museum are the afternoon highlights. The day trip ends with a “cyclo” ride back to the ship through the bustling streets of downtown Phnom Penh. Have a rest in your spacious cabin or join other fellow passengers at the bar for some refreshing drinks before our captivating evening activities start.

A lesson about Cambodian modern history by a professor of the Royal University is followed by a barbecue dinner feast on the sun deck. The dinner is accompanied with an Apsara dance performance. You’ll witness the brilliance and richness of this dance along with the soothing sounds of traditional music. As the evening unwinds, enjoy your supper with a glass of wine and marvel at the skyline of Phnom Penh, and the calming flow of the Tonle River.

Day 15 - Angkor Ban - Kampong Cham (Cambodia) (B, L, D)

The ship departs Phnom Penh before the break of dawn, cruising past sleepy villages, exhilarating river life, and sun-hardened fishermen on their boats. Another relaxing day on your luxury river cruise. Depending on the river’s water level, the cruise today will include a visit to a small rural Cambodian school supported by your cruise line company, which is an incredibly heartwarming experience, or a visit showcasing either a local monastery or a small village where they manufacture pottery.

Day 16 - Kampong (Cambodia) (B, L, D)

Getting close to the local villages, their traditions and way of life is a special part of this cruise and there is no better way of doing this than by using local transport. Today’s excursions will likely include a chance to learn how silk is processed from its source, provided by little silkworms to a high-quality product made of original Cambodian silk.

Learn About the Mekong 
This morning’s excursion is by tuk-tuk to explore the island and learn how silk is processed from its source, provided by little silkworms to a high-quality product made of original Cambodian silk. Before lunch, our expert guide offers a presentation about the “Geography of the Mekong and Tonle Sap”. Depending on the season, a visit will be made either to a village for an exciting ox-cart ride or a friendly riverside village for an evening cocktail party.

Day 17 - Kampong (Cambodia) (B, L, D)

Subject to the water level, today visit the Cambodian water world village, where everything is balanced on sticks above a water-rich soil. This is perhaps the most fascinating locale in Cambodia! We may also visit the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey, built in the 7th century.

Put on your Dance Shoes
Today’s excursion may include a visit to the Cambodian water world village, where everything is balanced on sticks above water-rich soil: perhaps the most fascinating locale in Cambodia. Or, a visit to the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey, built in the 7th Century. This small complex sits on a hilltop right on the shore with breathtaking views of the Mekong.

Return to the ship for lunch while cruising the narrow and meandering Tonle Sap River. Come evening, a sumptuous dinner and for the big entertainment – bring along your dance shoes and learn to groove the Cambodian way with our staff doubling up as dance instructors!

Day 18 - Siem Reap (Cambodia) (B)

Sadly, it’s time to bid farewell to your friendly crew for the transfer to Siem Reap. Siem Reap is home to the impressive Angkor Temples as well as a lovely town filled with great dining, bars and markets. The afternoon and evening are yours to explore.

A Free Afternoon in Siem Reap 
After a leisurely breakfast and farewell to your friendly crew, it’s time to disembark for the transfer to Siem Reap. Departure point, and transfer time varies between low and high-water season, so the transfer by coach may take between 1 to 4 hours. On arrival in Siem Reap, farewell your fellow cruise passengers as you check in for 2 nights at the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa. The afternoon is yours to relax.
Tip! This evening you might like to take in Siem Reap’s most popular nightlife and dining area, Pub Street. Filled with restaurants and bars and surrounded by markets – fantastic!

Day 19 - Angkor - Siem Reap, Cambodia (B, L)

Discover the incredible ancient temples of the Angkor Temples, an incredible complex of ancient carvings and stunning temples.

See the Best of Angkor
After breakfast enjoy a full day on your Amazing Angkor temples tour.

Tour to the South Gate of Angkor Thom. The vast area of the Angkor Thom ruins has five monumental gates, 20 metres high and decorated with stone elephant trunks and the king’s favourite motif, the four faces of Avalokiteshvara.

Then visit the Bayon Temple (circa 1190), a Buddhist temple that retains elements of Hindu cosmology and imagery. Standing in the exact centre of the walled city, it represents the intersection of heaven and earth. It is known for its enigmatic smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara and its extraordinary bas-reliefs.

Then walk through the mystical jungle clad temple of Ta Prohm, over-grown from the jungle and offering a magical Instagram-moment.

After lunch of traditional Khmer food, visit the jewel – Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is the best preserved example of Khmer architecture in Cambodia and is so grand in design that some rank it among the seven wonders of the world. It appears on the Cambodian national flag, a very rare instance of a flag incorporating an image of a building. The “lost city” of Angkor first attracted the interest of Europeans in the 1800s after Cambodia was colonized by the French.

The evening is yours at leisure, enjoy ‘Pub Street’ and the night markets if you wish.

Day 20 - Departure (B)

Sadly, today is the end of your tour, we include a transfer to the airport for your departure. You may like to add an extra night for you to have a full day to explore Siem Reap town, markets, shops and artisan’s workshops.

Check out what our guests are saying


You may also like...