Your journey begins in Siem Reap, where early mornings and ancient architecture promise to be the perfect combination. Angkor Wat is sure to fascinate, as is Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm. Then your journey along the majestic Mekong introduces Phnom Penh and invites you to a family-owned silk-producing factory and a scarf-weaving workshop in Long Khanh Island. Continue cruising to amazing and historic ports of call before leaving your Star-Ship at Ho Chi Minh City. A two-night hotel stay is the perfect way to end your adventure in Cambodia and Vietnam.
1 Depart the USA
Depart the USA on your transpacific flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
2 Arrival Siem Reap
Sous Sdei and Welcome to Cambodia. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Siem Reap. This evening, meet your tour manager to learn more about the days ahead.
3 Siem Reap
The day begins with a visit to Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire. The fortified city encloses residences of priests, officials of the palace and military, as well as buildings for administering the kingdom. The city was established in the late 12th century by King Jayavarman VII and covers an area of approximately 3.5 square miles.
After the tour, visit the sacred temple of Ta Prohm, which is overgrown by jungle trees and has been the backdrop of Hollywood movies. This evening, witness the incredible Phare Cambodian Circus, a spectacle of acrobatics, theater and music. Phare is an NGO founded by Cambodian refugees to assist disadvantaged young people by teaching them performing arts. Meals: B, L
Phare Cambodian Circus performance
Vespa tour of Siem Reap (additional expense)
4 Siem Reap
Rise early and embark on a fascinating journey to Angkor Wat. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its elaborate decorations and intricate carvings throughout. Enjoy sunrise views and take the opportunity to capture quintessential pictures of this amazing site. Return to the hotel and enjoy the day at leisure or join the DiscoverMORE excursion. This evening, enjoy a gala dinner and an Apsara dance performance. Meals: B, D
Visit to Banteay Srei or visit Tonle Sap or Culinary Cambodia tour (additional expense)
5 Siem Reap – Prek’Kdam – Embarkation
Depart Siem Reap and venture to the town of Prek’Kdam to embark your award-winning Emerald Cruises Star-Ship. Enroute to the ship, stop in Kampong Kdei to see the impressive Angkor Bridge and have lunch at a local restaurant. Upon arrival in Prek’Kdam, a warm welcome awaits from the captain and crew as you embark the vessel. This evening, set sail and enjoy your first dinner onboard with your fellow travelers. Meals: B, L, D
6 Oudong – Phnom Penh
Start your day with a visit to the Oudong Monastery and Temples. Located North of Phnom Penh, Oudong is the former royal capital of Cambodia until it moved to Phnom Penh in the 1800s. Important remnants on the temple sight include the burial sites of Khmer kings as well as religious artifacts dating back more than a hundred years. In one of the Oudong Temples there was a known large Buddha statue which was damaged during skirmishes with the Khmer Rouge which had the hill as one of their last strongholds.
Receive a traditional Buddhist Blessing from the resident monks of the temple as part of EmeraldPLUS. The afternoon is yours to continue exploring or simply relax onboard. After dinner, enjoy a Phnom Penh by City Lights Tuk Tuk tour. Meals: B, L, D
Traditional Buddhist Monk blessing
Silk farm tour at Koh Oknha Tei (additional expense)
Phnom Penh by night Tuk Tuk
7 Phnom Penh – Vietnam / Cambodia Border Crossing
Wake up in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. The city was once known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’, but it was almost entirely evacuated by the Khmer Rouge in 1975. This morning, learn more about the Khmer Rouge and the darkest days of Cambodian history. A short drive will take you to the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek, where you have the opportunity to walk through the fields, visit the small museum, and learn about this sad chapter in history.
Afterwards, visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (also known as S-21), a former school that was converted to the main prison and torture headquarters of the Khmer Rouge.
In the afternoon, visit the majestic Royal Palace with its French-inspired gardens followed by a shopping stop at the central market located in the heart of the city. This evening, enjoy a cultural performance by the Cambodian Student and Children’s Organization before setting sail to the border. Celebrate crossing the border with a Cambodian-style family dinner. Meals: B, L, D
Cultural performance by the Cambodian Student and Children’s Organization
8 Tan Chau – Long Khanh Island
Today’s EmeraldPLUS excursion is a unique visit to a family-owned Lanh My A silk-producing factory. Learn about the long, complicated, silk-making process and see what the real Lanh My A silk feels like. The silk product is created with dyes made from the mac nua fruit, a type of wood tree, originally coming from Tan Chau silk village about 100 years ago. The excursion continues as you board a sampan to Evergreen Island for a walk through a local village, getting a glimpse into the lives of the local farming community.
This afternoon, visit Long Khanh Island, known for its scarf-weaving, grapefruit gardens and Hoa Hao Buddhist pagoda. This evening, experience local flavor as a Lion Dance performance takes place onboard the vessel. Meals: B, L, D
Visit a family-owned My A silk-producing factory and Lion Dance performance onboard
9 An Long – My An Hung
Relax onboard this morning, or join the DiscoverMORE tour to the Ramsar Bird Sanctuary. This afternoon, enjoy a visit to My An Hung village as part of our EmeraldPLUS program. This small village in rural Vietnam specializes in red-hot chili and peppers. Experience local folk singing during the visit, wander through coconut farms, meet the locals and learn about life in the village. This evening, enjoy a Vietnamese family-style dinner. Meals: B, L, D
Tram Chim National Park with Tam Nong
Ramsar Bird Sanctuary (additional expense)
Visit to My An Hung village
10 Sa Dec – Cai Be
Embark on a walking tour with stops at the Chinese Congregational House in Kien An Cung, the home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le who inspired Marguerite Duras’ novel L’Amant, and enjoy a walk through the central market to peruse its varied produce. After lunch onboard, arrive in Cai Be where you travel via sampan and visit a coconut candy workshop. Learn how coconut candy and other local sweets are made, then visit a local French colonial heritage villa. Meals: B, L, D
11 My Tho – Ho Chi Minh City
Sit back and relax with a full day of sailing along the magnificent Mekong River. As the ship departs early this morning, watch as life along the Mekong awakens for another day. Begin crossing the Cho Gao Canal before meeting the Mekong Delta, known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam. Enjoy the ever-changing vistas from the pool area, the Sun Deck or lounge as you cruise past mangroves, floating markets, fish farms, narrow canals, busy barges and fishing boats. This evening, views of the city lights welcome you to Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon) as the vessel docks in the heart of the city. Meals: B, L, D
12 Disembarkation - Ho Chi Minh City
This morning, bid farewell to your luxury Star-Ship as you disembark and begin your land adventure in Vietnam. Drive away from Ho Chi Minh City, as the road winds through rice paddies, villages and other scenes of southern Vietnam. Spend a couple of hours walking around Cu Chi’s rugged grounds with a local guide.
Hear how the residents constructed an intricate, underground network of tunnels during the French and American Wars. Hear incredible tales about the unusual foods the residents ate to survive and much more. Once above ground, see other ingenious items used by the residents to defend themselves such as bamboo traps and camouflaged pits. The tour concludes at the hotel with the afternoon left free of planned activities. Meals: B, L
Evening Saigon street food tour (additional expense)
13 Ho Chi Minh City
Enjoy a guided tour of Ho Chi Minh, starting with a visit to the city’s most iconic building: Reunification Hall. Formerly called the Presidential Palace, images of the building were seen around the world on April 30, 1975 when tanks stormed the gates as Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese.
Then, stroll through the city’s colonial quarter and admire the beautiful architecture of the Opera House, City Hall and the old Saigon Post Office. Listen to the stories about the glory days of French Indochina and how that era continues to influence aspects of modern Vietnamese culture. Upon your return to the hotel, the remainder of the day is at leisure. Meals: B, D
14 & 15* Ho Chi Minh City / USA
Transfer from your hotel to the airport and return home with memories of life enriching experiences of your amazing adventure through Cambodia and Vietnam. Meal: B
Itinerary is subject to change.
*Depending on the flight schedule, you may arrive in the USA on Day 15.