26 September 2016
Inspired by the golden age cruise liner Normandie, The Jayavarman is a 20th century boutique style marvel which marries avant-garde French colonial design with enchanting Indochine architecture to perfection. This is Indochina's first of its kind boutique style river cruise liner and offers uncompromising luxury and lots of space on its four decks. The guest accommodation consists of 27 expansive and carefully designed staterooms with floor to ceiling panoramic sliding glass doors onto a private balcony which offers privacy and matchless luxury. So sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the wonderful highlights of this fully inclusive cruise through Cambodia to Vietnam.
Meet our tour representative at the Victoria Angkor Hotel and transfer to the port in Siem Reap where you board the Jayavarman. Sail out onto Tonle Sap, the life blood of Cambodia and the largest freshwater lake in Asia and home to the giant freshwater Mekong stingray and catfish, as well as a huge variety of bird life. Activities today will depend on the season but in the afternoon after lunch relax and take in the amazing scenery as the boat glides across the lake. You sail towards Kampong Chhnang taking in the amazing scenery. There is an evening briefing in the boat's lounge followed by a sumptuous dinner before the boat moors under the stars. Please note, the itinerary may vary during the High Water season from September to December on Days 1 to 7, this will depend on the water levels each year.
Before the sun peeks over the horizon, wake early to embark on a land journey to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Travelers either take a motor-taxi or climb 303 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. There is a chance to engage in light banter with some of the monks in the area, before returning to the boat to witness a blessing ceremony performed by local monks. After lunch, depart for a little known silk weaving village. Then, you will return to the ship and cruise past the Mekong’s tranquil villages, exhilarating river life and sun-hardened fishermen on their fish boats.
Today you will cruise towards Kampong Chhnang, a busy port town, situated on the Tonle Sap River. Take in the beautiful scenery and enjoy local life where villagers go about their daily activities and children wave enthusiastically along the banks of the meandering Tonle Sap River. In Kampong Chhnang, otherwise known as Cambodia’s “waterworld”, life takes place on stilts balanced above the river and on rich soil. Take a bus trip to see the Khmer-styled pottery at the Aundaung Russey village followed by an adventurous excursion to the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms of the area. Then return to the ship for lunch whilst cruising along the Tonle River through this stunning part of South East Asia. Take in the beautiful scenery and enjoy local life where villagers go about their daily activities and children wave enthusiastically along the banks of the meandering Tonle Sap River to Kampong Tralach. Experience a ride on an ox cart and visit the Linblad National Geographic library project before returning back the ship for dinner. The Ship sails towards Phnom Penh and will moor overnight midstream near Phnom Penh.
Arrive today in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, once known as the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained much of its old world charm and elegance. You are given a talk on Cambodia's modern history before starting a tour of one of Indochina's most fascinating cities. Sights in the morning include the dazzling white and gold edifice of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields, a reminder of the torment and suffering this nation endured at the hands of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. Back at the boat a variety of cocktails will be served followed by a traditional Apsara dance performance. Then enjoy a barbeque on deck while the sun sets over this city of contrast.
This morning the boat sets sail for a lazy day of cruising along the main Mekong Channel. As this is an international shipping route, you will see large commercial ships, many transporting building materials and raw produce to Saigon and the Mekong Delta. After lunch cross the border into Vietnam. Now is a good time to relax on the sun deck, pamper yourself in the spa, or sharpen your culinary skills with the Heritage Line's Cambodian and Vietnamese cuisine cooking class.
After breakfast, take a short excursion in the town of Chau Doc. This is a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer population making for a fascinating mix of local cultures. Visit a colourful market near an ancient temple followed by a trip to the quay, where you will take a boat excursion to the floating villages which are home to numerous catfish farms. The hand feeding of the fish is an experience not to be missed. Return to the Jayavarman for lunch before continuing the cruise towards Sa Dec.
In the morning take a traditional sampan to tour Binh Thanh Island and its man-made canals. The village is heavily involved in the process of growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fibre floor mats and rattan baskets. Return to the boat for lunch then continue to Cai Be to visit the floating market. This provides a great opportunity to see how life has gone on for generations in one of the delta's busiest towns. From here visit some of the green islands in the delta before heading back to the boat for dinner and setting sail towards My Tho. This evening there is a special farewell party.
Enjoy your final breakfast on the cruise as the boat arrives at My Tho port. Bid a fond farewell to the crew and fellow passengers before being driven to Ho Chi Minh City, formally Saigon, Vietnam's busiest city. Here you will be dropped off at the Renaissance Hotel where you can stay on and enjoy all that Saigon has to offer or you will be met by one of our tour representatives and taken to the airport for your onward flight or journey home.
Superior Cabin fr £1282pp
Deluxe Cabin fr £1466pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated