The Lost Civilization Cruise
- A Secret Retreats journey -
John Tue Nguyen (Founder of Heritage Lines)
“For us, every river has a story waiting to be told.”
Highlights of the Journey:
Highlights of the Journey:
- Mekong Delta.
- Phnom Penh.
- Tonle Lake.
- Siem Reap.
A mysterious body of water. Flowing through six countries in Asia. Giving love and life to millions. Received its fame by the legendary God King of ancient Cambodia, King Jayavarman VII, who linked hands with the waters of the Mekong to build the magnificent Angkor civilization.
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Your Journey Day by Day
8 Days / 7 Nights from 2,129 USD /person
based on 2 people sharing the same cabin
Day 1 : Saigon – My tho – Cai Be ( - / L / D)
Either meet before noontime at the welcome lounge in Saigon. Lean back with a drink as our staff welcomes you and collects your details for the boarding, before driving 70 kilometers south overland to My Tho
Or we drive you from The Island Lodge (recommended for a pre-cruise stay) directly to the pier.
Upon boarding our crew warmly welcomes you and you check in to your prepared staterooms. The ship set sail and your journey can begin. Lunch is served in the restaurant while the vessel steadily glides upstream to reach the overnight spot. Now it is time to become one with one of the largest streams in Asia.
The afternoon allows you pastime at your private balcony or join our tea time at the open air bar as the twilight bathes the land of Mekong Delta into a golden haze.
During the time you savor your dinner the ship reaches Cai Be. Cai Be is a charming small town, famous for its Catholic French church and 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 into modern central markets.
We drop anchor mid-stream and overnight near Cai Be.
Day 2 : Cai Be – Sa Dec – Tan Chau (B/L/D)
Invigorating Tai Chi class is proposed every morning if you lie to join.
After breakfast the morning tour takes you Cai Be – with its small floating market for boat to boat trading of local fruits and agricultural products. Each boat has a special marker to let buyers know what goods they are selling. Then we go to visit a workshop where we learn about and observe how rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies or rice wine is manufactured. Cai Be and its surrounding areas are covered by palm trees, hence the region is also famous for its coconut candies.
Back on board, lunch is served and you have some time for yourself afterwards to either enjoy a true 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, embark a traditional sampan and tour towards Binh Thanh Island. Some communities have settled here and make their living by growing water hyacinths. You can follow the whole process of rattan making and chit-chat with some locals.
Back on board our expert guides offer a presentation on the “Life on the Mekong Delta” as the ship continues sailing to Tan Chau-the border town to Cambodia. We moor mid-stream near Tan Chau.
Dinner is served and afterwards you can join our evening cinema session (offered every night) featuring selected classic movies.
Day 3 : Tan Chau – Border Crossing – Phnom Penh (B/L/D)
Excursion around Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced town near the Cambodian border with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. We hop on “xelois” (local vehicle) to explore Tan Chau. We slowly move around the laidback streets to see all the workshops and houses. We stop at the colorful local market near one of the ancient temples. Feel free to bargain! We board our local boats and cruise along floating houses to finally reach a floating fish farm. This region is the source of fish production to be sold all over the world and we can see closely how fish farmings works.
Back on board we sail towards the Vietnamese-Cambodian border. The whole afternoon is at your own arrangements: massages, sun bed, reading on your balcony... A cooking class if offered during the afternoon to sharpen your knowledge and skills on the local cuisine.
Dinner is served before we arrive in the capital of Cambodia around 8pm. The boat docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. You are free to go for a stroll along the river promenade, or have a drink in one of the numerous bars.
Day 4 : Phnom Penh (B/L/D)
Phnom Penh is an amazing town to bespeak centuries of incredible history and culture which can still be felt at many street corners.
The program starts with a full sight-seeing tour right after breakfast. By bus we visit the Killing Fields at the outskirts of the city and the centrally located prison “S21”. Both historic sites display the sad and cruel chapter of the Khmer Rouge.
Lunch will be offered in a nice restaurant in town.
Our exploration of Phnom Penh continues with the golden edifice of the Royal Palace, its Silver Pagoda and the exceptional Khmer crafts at the National Museum. A “cyclo” ride to back to the ship through the bustling streets.
The evening on board begins with cocktails served on the sun deck or at the open bar. We move to the lounge for a captivating lecture about Cambodian mordern history, held by a professor of the Royal University of Phnom Penh. After the lecture a barbecue dinner on the sun deck commences, accompanied by an Apsara dance performance.
Day 5 : Phnom Penh – Kampong Cham (Mekong) (B/L /D)
We depart before the break of dawn from Phnom Penh towards the small Angkor Ban village up the Mekong River - famous for its unspoiled community and beautiful, traditional houses. It feels like being transported back a hundred years into an era unaffected by modernity.
Back on board our staff is keen to show you the variety of traditional Khmer fashion. Lunch is served after this performance.
We cruise further up the Mekong to visit a local school to understand more about the education of the young Cambodian generation (the project is funded by an NGO). Those children here are always excited to show their skills in music and art. We continue the travel by road to the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). This small complex sits on a hill top right on the shore with breath-taking views on the Mekong. Another temple on the way is the tiny, colorful monastery of Wat Nokor. Here we might get the chance to engage in a light banter with some of the monks living in the area.
The boat moors mid-river near Kampong Cham.
Day 6 : Kampong Cham (Mekong) – Kampong Chhnang (Tonle) (B/L /D)
We sail downstream the Mekong during breakfast time and stop at the Island of Koh Oknha Tey. This spot in the middle of the Mekong if known for the manufacturing of high class silk products. A tuk-tuk will drive you to the workshops and learn how silk is processed from its source, provided by little silkworms, to a final top quality product made of original Cambodian silk.
Before lunch our expert guides offer a presentation about “Geography of the Mekong and Tonle Sap”. After lunch a Monks’ blessing ceremony on board will deliver spirits and wishes for our health and prosperity for all. The cruiser continues its journey, passing the confluence of Mekong and Tonle River towards Kampong Tralach. Gliding through leafy swaths of this jungle-like landscape we reach Kampong Tralach. The boat find its anchor spot later in the Tonle River near Kampong Chhnang.
Day 7 : Kampong Chhnang – Tonle Lake (B/L /D)
Kampong Chhnang is Cambodia’s “water world”, where everything is on sticks balanced on water rich soil. This is the most fascinating cruise part in Cambodia.
We head to a village nearby and go on a walking tour through local specialties – Khmer style pottery and the making of palm sugar.
Back on board lunch is served as we cruise gently along the narrow and meandering Tonle, towards the Great Tonle Lake. The river opens up to a vast “sea” - known as the biggest fresh water lake in Asia. This lake can only be crossed during high water season (from End-July to Mid-November).
In the afternoon we serve a high tea at the bar and as the sun sets, our crew invites for a farewell event. Enjoy your dinner and some dance and music afterwards together with the crew.
The boat moors mid-like near Siem Reap.
Day 8 : Siem Reap (B/-/-)
The Tonle Sap (The Great Lake) is the flowing heart of Cambodia, giving love and life to millions of people. It has more fishes than any other lake in the world and is home to an incredible variety of birds, including rare – and endangered – feathered life.
Our cruise comes to an end here. We prepare to disembark the ship and take a local boat to the shore, passing a vast floating community. Around 09:00 o’clock, we arrive at the Siem Reap pier and bring you with a short transfer to the drop off point in the city center (post-cruise stay in our Secret Retreats in Siem Reap)
Your Accommodation on this Asia Travel Itinerary
The Lost Civilization Cruise
8 Days / 7 Nights
from 2,129 USD /person
based on 2 people sharing the same cabin
The total price includes:
daily (group) shore-excursions, all entrance fees, transportation as mentioned in the program
transfers to/from the meeting point/ship, tour guide services (English speaking)
taxes, fuel, river pilots, local anchorage fees
daily Tai Chi classes and onboard entertainment
sauna or steam bath
welcome drink, breakfast – lunch - dinner (on full sailing days or as indicated in program)
free flow of beverages - mineral water, soft drinks, juices, tea, coffee - at all times
free flow of local beer and house wine by glass during lunch and dinner
drinking water in cabin and during excursions
insurance (passenger liability), internet throughout the boat (subject to cellular network signal).
The total price does not include:
crew and guide gratuities
private transfers and any other transfer not stated in the program
personal expenses and purchases
all further beverages, premium spirits and other services not mentioned under inclusions or in the program,
fuel surcharges if any (please refer to general terms and conditions
spa treatments (please see special cabin inclusions)
This Secret Journey was designed in cooperation with John Tue Nguyen and Heritage Line Company
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