The Lost Civilisation

The Lost Civilisation

8 Days/7 Nights Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap or vice versa

Price from$3,081

The Mekong Delta is at the heart of Vietnamese life, as the people depend on it to irrigate their glistening rice paddies, fruit orchards and floating fish farms. Criss-crossed by a myriad of waterways, the best way to observe river life is by a boat! The Jayavarman, a boutique river cruiser, marries the art deco charm of 1930's France with the romance of Indochina, all with modern comforts. The Jahan is also on offer, the most romantic cruise liner as well as the newest.

On this 8 day cruise through Vietnam's rural heartland, you'll observe places rarely visited as well as opulent world heritage sites as you journey to Cambodia's temple-strewn capital Phnom Penh. Enjoy excursions such as a bicycle ride through rice fields, sip homemade fruit liqueur in a pomello orchard and see quiet riverside temples. With so much to see, learn and ways to relax, you will feel pampered and invigorated!

Low Water Upstream Itinerary

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City > My Tho > Cai Be (D) Bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon as we travel 70 kilometers south by land to My Tho to embark your boutique Ship. You will be served a refreshing welcome drink as the Ship steadily glides along the Mekong. Bathe in the fading sunset on the balcony followed by a briefing at the lounge. Later, a welcome dinner awaits us. When approaching Cai Be, the Ship drops anchor to moor midstream where the river is several kilometers wide. Overnight in Cai Be

Day 2: Cai Be > Sa Dec > Chau Doc (B,L,D) The day - in fact everyday - starts with an invigorating Tai Chi lesson on the sun deck, just as the sun begins its gentle glow. Coffee and tea awaits the early bird. The day's tour starts with a visit to Cai Be's boisterous and colorful floating market on board a traditional sampan (a flat bottomed traditional Vietnamese wooden boat). During the languid ride, discover breathtaking landscapes along the river and quaff the rustic life on the Mekong Delta. The cruise will halt intermittedly to allow us to observe how rice paste, rice cookies and coconut candies are made, along with the Longan fruit drying process. After touring the canals, we head to an ancient house surrounded by fruit orchards before heading to the Ship for lunch.

In the afternoon, we cruise to Sa Dec. Upon arrival, we embark a traditional sampan to tour Binh Thanh Island and its manmade canals. Here, every villager is involved in the process of growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fibre floor mats and rattan baskets. We then board the Ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards Chau Doc.The Ship will moor midstream overnight near Chau Doc.

Day 3: Chau Doc > Border Crossing (B,L,D) Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at Dining Hall or in the quiet sanctuary of your balcony. Brace yourself for a short excursion in Chau Doc, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer communities. We will also visit the colorful local market near an ancient temple. This is followed by a trip to the quay, where we will be feted to a boat excursion to the floating villages and rustic catfish farms. We will certainly enjoy watching schools of basa fish being fed by hand followed by a shore excursion to the local Cham Muslim community village. Then, it is back to the ship for a lunch.

By mid-afternoon, the cruise liner will make its way to the border for Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. It is an opportune time to relax on board, sharpen your culinary skills with our hands-on cooking classes or tour the ship with our impeccable Cruise Director. Or, better yet, do all three. "The Highway Blues" beckon as we float into a state of mild bliss caused by the hypnotic murmur of the ship's engine. After hours of cruising, we will feel the rush of entering into a new country and to embrace new adventures. Overnight midstream near Phnom Penh.

Please Note: Due to high water in the Mekong Delta between July and December the following program applies: This morning, you will start your excursion on a local boat (sampan) and discover the border town of Tan Chau. Firstly, the journey takes you to the "evergreen" islands where you will be thrilled to learn the life of the locals. The inhabitants of these islands live on houses poised on high stilts - a centuries-old tradition in this part of the Mekong Delta. We stop to visit a fish farm located in the Tan Chau canal - this farm consists of floating houses and the villagers make their living by cultivating fish. You continue by boat to Tan Chau pier, disembark here and stroll around this colorful local market with lots of regional products. You return to the cruise ship after your market visit.

Day 4: Phnom Penh (B,L,D) Phnom Penh was once the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. After breakfast, we will be captivated by a comprehensive lecture on Cambodia's modern history. This will be followed by a city tour of this dynamic, historical capital city of Cambodia which has managed to preserve huge slices of its French colonial allure. Sightseeing in the morning will include visiting the dazzling white and gold edifice of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and witnessing exceptionally beautiful Khmer craft at the National Museum.

After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the Genocide Museum and the Killing Field in town. Be prepared to be heart wrenched by this stark reminder of the genocide that transpired during Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime. We go back to the Ship after our museum visit. Take a rest on your cabin balcony or the lounge and get prepared for an exciting evening event. The evening starts with a variety of cocktail served on the sun deck. Take a seat and enjoy the following Apsara dance performance. Experience the brilliance and richness of this culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a barbeque on the sun deck. It is indeed a truly marvelous experience, dining in the open with the stars and the moon as our companions. Overnight in Phnom Penh

Day 5: Phnom Penh > Kampong Cham (B,L,D) Before the sun peeks over the horizon, the cruiser sets sail towards Kampong Chhnang (we leave Phnom Penh after midnight) and the Tonle Sap River - an amazingly narrow river - which glides through leafy swaths of the Southeast Asian jungle. We are greeted by cacophonous children who waive enthusiastically early in the morning when they bring their livestock for a bath in the meandering Tonle Sap River. Then we approach Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia's "waterworld" where everything is on stilts balanced on rich water rich soil - it's an awesome sight whilst practising Tai Chi on the deck.

Here we take a motorboat excursion to the landing, followed by a short bus trip to see the Khmer-styled pottery at the Aundaung Russey village. Then, it is back to the river for an adventurous motorboat excursion to the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region.

We then return to the ship for lunch whilst cruising the narrow and meandering Tonle Sap. We will cruise toward Prek K'dam where we will take a walk through the silversmith village of Koh Chen where the entire community of villagers are involved in making various silver items for sale.

Back on board, the Ship sails back towards Phnom Penh again and will moor for overnight midstream near Phnom Penh

Day 6: Kampong Cham > Wat Hanchey > Wat Nokor (B,L,D) We will depart before the break of dawn from Phnom Penh with a stop at the little known Chong Koh silk weaving village. We will then return to the ship and will cruise past the Mekong's tranquil villages, exhilirating river life and sun-hardened fishermen on their shift boats. We will tour the rural Angkor Ban village where time stood still. We are transported back a hundred years into an era unsullified by modernity. The houses here are truly rustic, made by hand and without any concrete. But most of all, we feel overwhelmed by the unbridled warmth of the villagers. Travelers can take part in the daily activities of the villagers to experience village life first hand. Then, we are back to the Ship to cruise towards Kampong Cham. Overnight in Kampong Cham

Day 7: Kampong Cham > Kampong Chhnang (B,L,D) We will wake up in the small hours of the morning, truly energized to embark on a land journey to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Travelers either take a motor-taxi or climb 291 steps to the top. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers one of the most breath-taking views in Cambodia. Built in the 8th century, this ancient structure, together with a bigger and newer addition underscores the superb architecture of the Chenla Empire which predates the mighty Angkor temple complex. We even get to engage in light banter with some of the monks in the area. We will return to the Ship to witness a blessing ceremony performed by orange-clad local monks. When the tide allows, we will enjoy a surprise sojourn in our zodiacs (inflatable boats) to the nearby beach to swim in the tea coloured Mekong River, an experience that will, no doubt, dominate dinner conversations in the weeks to come. We will then cruise towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor, a wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple which holds a timeless story. On the way back to the Ship, we will visit an orphanage. Along the way, we will have to maneuver a 2-kilometre rickety bamboo bridge. Our sense of balance lies in the balance! Overnight in Kampong Cham.

Day 8: Tonle Sap > Siem Reap (B) We will disembark the Ship at after breakfast and board a coach at 8.30am for a transfer from Kampong Cham to the drop off point in Siem Reap. We get to munch on snacks and enjoy cold drinks along the journey. We then arrive in Siem Reap in the early afternoon.

High Water Downstream Itinerary

Day 1: Siem Reap > Tonle Sap > Kampong Chhnang (L,D)

The Tonle Sap (The Great Lake) is the flowing heart of Cambodia, giving love and life to this nation. The Tonle Sap has more fish than any other lakes in the world and is a home to an incredible variety of birds, including rare "“ and endangered "“ feathered life. At noon, we gather at the meeting point followed by a transfer to the boutique Ship. The ever-smiling crew welcomes us with unbridled warmth. A refreshing welcome drink awaits us followed by a buffet lunch on the Ship.

Then, it is a relaxing afternoon as the Ship glides along the water. Dinner is served at Dining Hall. Enjoy a spectacular experience on the sun deck as we bathe in the glow of the moon and the radiance of the stars. The Ship will anchor midstream on the Tonle Sap river.

Day 2: Kampong Chhnang > Kampong Tralach > Kampong Cham (B,L, D) Everyday, our journey will start with an invigorating Tai Chi lesson at the sun deck just as the sun begins its slow rise. Coffee and tea awaits the early bird. Before dawn, the Ship sets sail across the Tonle River, we see spectacular marshlands floating along the river banks of the Kampong Chhnang province.

The afternoon cruise continues with a languid meander along the Tonle Sap River. Here, the river is so narrow that we can be greeted by kids waving enthusiastically at us from the banks. Follow a short bus trip to the see the Khmer-styled pottery. We then embark to see the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region before reaching Kampong Cham in the evening. Further down the river we take part in an ox cart rally in the afternoon before being introduced to the Heritage Line pro bono "literacy project". Overnight in Kampong Cham

Day 3: Kampong Cham > Wat Hanchey (B, L, D) We will wake up in the early morning after an overnight cruising, truly energized to embark on a land journey to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Travelers can either take a motor-taxi or climb 303 steps to the top. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, the temple offers one of the most breath-taking views in Cambodia. Built in the 8th century, this ancient structure, together with a bigger and newer addition underscores the superb architecture of the Chenla Empire which predates the mighty Angkor temple complex. We even get to engage in light banter with some of the monks in the area. We will return to the Ship to witness a blessing ceremony performed by orange-clad local monks. We will then cruise towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor, a Wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple which holds a timeless story. Overnight midstream near Phnom Penh.

Day 4: Phnom Penh (B, L, D) Phnom Penh was once the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. Sightseeing in the morning will include the Killing Field. Be prepared to be heart wrenched by this stark reminder of the genocide that transpired during Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime, then visit S21 Genocide Museum. After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the dazzling white and gold edifice of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and witnessing exceptionally beautiful Khmer craft at the National Museum. We go back to the Ship by "cyclo" "“ traditional vehicles after our museum visit.

Take a rest on your cabin balcony or the lounge and get prepared for an exciting evening event. The evening starts with a variety of cocktails served on the sun deck, BBQ dinner is serving right after that. Take a seat and enjoy the following Apsara dance performance. Experience the brilliance and richness of this culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a barbeque on the sun deck. It is indeed a truly marvelous experience, dining in the open air. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Day 5: Phnom Penh > Border crossing > Tan Chau (B, L, D) Start new day with Tai Chi at the sun deck with fresh tea and coffee, be ready to serve. After breakfast, we will be captivated by a comprehensive lecture on Cambodia's modern history. The cruise liner then sets sail for a lazy day of cruising along the main Mekong Channel. As this is an international shipping route, you will witness large commercial ships plying this route. Later, in the afternoon, we set off to the Vietnamese border for the requisite cross border paperwork. As the process tends to take some time, we bask in the glow of the afternoon sun on the sun deck, pamper ourselves silly at the Spa, or sharpen our culinary skills with the Heritage Line's Cambodian and Vietnamese cuisine cooking class. The Ship anchors midstream overnight in Tan Chau.

Day 6: Tan Chau > My An Hung > Sa Dec (B, L, D) Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. We begin our day with a hearty breakfast at the Dining Hall or at your private balcony. We will brace ourselves for a short excursion in Tan Chau, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer communities. We will start the trip by a traditional vehicle called " xeloi" to local market and get to a local boat to visit fish farm and back to the Ship (or opposite). Here you will see the daily life of Vietnamese people in Mekong. Lunch on board. In the afternoon, we will set off for My An Hung Village. Passengers walk to the family house through the vegetable garden. We will cross a monkey bridge and see seasonal vegetable fields. Then gather at the family's house to taste tea with honey with local delicacies and fruits before back to the Ship to set off for Sa Dec in the late afternoon. Pvernight in Sa Dec.

Day 7: Sa Dec > Cai Be > My Tho (B, L, D) In the morning, we embark a traditional sampan (a flat bottomed traditional Vietnamese wooden boat) to tour Binh Thanh Island and its man-made canals. Here, every villager is involved in the process of growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fiber floor mats and rattan baskets. After lunch on board, the Ship arrives in Cai Be. The tour starts with a visit to Cai Be's boisterous and colorful floating market where traders gather in a cacophonous congregation. During the languid ride, we discover breathtaking landscapes along the river and quaff the rustic life on the Mekong Delta. The evergreen islands along the Mekong River remain unknown to many people. The cruise will halt intermittently to allow us to observe how rice paste, rice cookies and coconut candies are made, along with the Longan fruit drying process. We then board the Ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards My Tho. A wonderful farewell party awaits us on the terrace deck. Overnight in My Tho.

Day 8: My Tho > Ho Chi Minh City (B) Our magnificent cruiser winds its way to My Tho, approximately 70km south of Saigon on the upper Mekong River in Vietnam. We bid farewell to the cruise as our journey comes to an end. But the memories and the friendships made on board linger on for a lot longer. We disembark at around 8:30 am and we join the transfer to the busy crowd of Saigon. Drop off will be at the meeting point in Saigon.

• 7 nights' aboard the 'Jayavarman' or the 'Jahan' • All meals whilst on board • All shore excursions with English speaking guide • Entrance fees and transport • Drinking water all day • Coffee & Tea with breakfast • Taxes, Fuel • Transfers in Saigon & Siem Reap

Pricing (per person) $NZD

Type TWIN SINGLE

2017

The Jayavarman

Superior

1 Apr - 30 Apr

1 Jun - 30 Sep

1 Oct - 14 Oct

15 Oct - 31 Dec

Deluxe

1 Apr - 30 Apr

1 Jun - 30 Sep

1 Oct - 14 Oct

15 Oct - 31 Dec

Signature

1 Apr - 30 Apr

1 Jun - 30 Sep

1 Oct - 14 Oct

15 Oct - 31 Dec

-

-

-

$3,661

$3,081

$3,770

$4,761

-

$4,348

$3,555

$4,478

$5,653

-

$4,670

$3,819

$4,811

$6,072

-

-

-

$5,492

$4,620

$5,656

$7,139

-

$6,522

$5,331

$6,717

$8,323

-

$7,006

$5,728

$7,216

$9,108

Departs

The Jayarvarman 2017 departures Saigon > Siem Reap
Apr 1, 15
Jul 8, 22
Aug 5, 19
Sep 2, 16, 30
Oct 14, 28
Nov 11, 25
Dec 9, 23 Siem Reap > Saigon
Apr 8, 22
Jul 15, 29
Aug 12, 26
Sep 9, 23
Oct 7, 21
Nov 4, 18
Dec 2, 16, 30

The Jahan 2017 departures Saigon > Siem Reap
Apr 8
Jun 3, 17
Jul 1, 15, 29
Aug 26
Sep 9, 23
Oct 7, 14
Nov 4, 18
Dec 2, 16, 30 Siem Reap > Saigon
Apr 15
Jun 10, 24
Jul 8
Aug 5
Sep 2, 16, 30
Oct 14, 28
Nov 11, 25
Dec 9, 23

Booking conditions

Peak season surcharge applicable for all cruises falling over Christmas or New Years Eve. Prices for suites are available on request.

Although it is Heritage Line's intention to operate the itinerary as above, they will do our utmost to stick to the set itinerary, however we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. It may be necessary to make some changes as a result of climatic conditions, alterations to cruise schedules or other operational factors.

For the downstream cruise from Cambodia to Vietnam, guests are required to have Vietnam visa before embarkation as it is compulsory to have Vietnam visa before border crossing.

For the upstream cruise from Vietnam to Cambodia, Heritage Line will help to arrange Cambodia visa onboard upon border arrival and Visa fees USD 41 per person will be added to traveller's onboard account.

Heritage Line Cruises also offer shorter cruises as follows:- Serenity cruise 3 or 4 nights Phnom Penh - Siem Reap (or vice versa) The best of rural Cambodia offers green landscapes, ancient temples and smiling faces - all off the beaten track. Pearl of the Orient 3 nights Saigon - Phnom Penh (or vice versa) A four-day cruise for cruise aficionados with less time on their hands connecting the Pearl of the Orient with the Paris of the East

Please refer to World Journeys terms & conditions.

Gratuity

Gratuities are not included. Suggested amount is USD$5 per person per day