Mekong Expedition Cruise - Aqua Mekong
Meet Khmer farmers and Buddhist monks; explore colorful floating markets and tiny villages along ancient waterways on a world class river cruiser.
Southeast Asia: Drink It In
A traveler cruising the Mekong is in close pursuit of a glorious past, retracing significant human accomplishments and cultural highs. From the flourishing of the Khmer empire from the 9th to 15th century to the prominence of Theravada Buddhism in present-day Cambodia and Vietnam, this is one of the few cultural destinations on Earth that’s best explored on a river voyage. Take this journey of a lifetime aboard the award-winning Aqua Mekong river cruise ship for a truly immersive, meaningful and personalized luxury experience in this culture-rich landscape.
Travel Curator’s Insights:
- • Meet an array of craftspeople from silversmiths to dyers to weavers to potters.
• Learn a challenging Buddhist meditation practice plus some delectable cooking techniques from welcoming locals.
• Travel with this eco-passionate, community-supporting operator on a stunning river ship.
Book 2023, 2024 or 2025 & Save 30% on Select Suites!
From $7,105 per person
Policies and protocols provided before you book.
Year-round Departures. Contact us with your date range.
Year-round Departures. Contact us with your date range.
Trip Sustainability Awards
Fantastic advances in minimizing carbon footprints at locations.
On the East African Energy Renewal Board
Runs local educational facilities for children.
Day 1: Phnom Penh
We meet you at the Phnom Penh TS1 Port for check-in to your 3-story, five star Mekong abode. Welcome aboard. We’ll leave you to settle into your floating retreat, with its window wall conferring an endlessly captivating panorama. Enjoy these private Mekong moments on your California king bed, terrace or daybed. Together we celebrate the onward journey towards the heart of this mighty river with a Khmer apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.
Day 2: Koh Chen - Kampong Prasat
In the silversmith village of Koh Chen, we watch artisans producing the magnificent silverware favored by Khmer royalty. We continue to Udong, the royal capital from the 17-19th centuries, where we learn about a uniquely challenging Buddhist practice at the Vipassana Dhura Mandala, a meditation center. In the afternoon, a walking tour of Kampong Prasat offers a close up perspective on local lives and their riverside environment.
Day 3: Kampong Chhnang – Kampong Tralach
In the cooler hours, we head into the lush countryside to visit traditional potters and palm-sugar producers, astride mountain bikes or chauffeured by shaded tuk-tuk. Into the rice paddies we pedal to watch wizened masters scale sky-piercing palms towering over us. Cruise across the glassy water and disembark among the lotuses for an ox-cart ride along the Tonle Sap riverbanks, past lacquered wooden houses where during these dry months residents take refuge in the relative cool of these outdoor impromptu living rooms.
Day 4: Koh Oknha Tey - Preah Prosop
On this river of time we admire dexterous Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma, the ubiquitous item no Khmer lives without. Explore the riverbank on two wheels if you wish, past Buddhist temples and thatch houses perched on spindly wooden stilts while white oxen wade just offshore. After lunch, we board our marine-grade aluminum skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.
Day 5: Phnom Penh
We show off the Cambodian capital to our passengers by motorized tuk-tuk, the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, we visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or shopping at Russian Market.
Day 6: Ka ́om Samnor-vinh Xuong Border Crossing - Chau Doc - My An Hung
Say ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’ while we cross the border and sail towards Tan Chau, a vibrant border town where we take the local rickshaw called xe loi for a trip around town or pedal 18 kilometers on the peaceful island of Long Khanh. In the afternoon, we visit a typical Mekong Delta village called My An Hung where we will walk through verdant plantations. We will be invited to a local's home to taste local fruits while hearing traditional folk songs performed by villagers, followed by a unique Unicorn dance. Biking option is also available for those who wish to explore on wheels.
Day 7: Binh Thanh/sa Dec - Cai Be
Begin the day at Binh Thanh mat weaving village or opt to visit Sa Dec where we will peruse the vibrant market and see the famous house of Marguerite Duras' legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le. We continue downstream for Cai Be, zigzagging in our sampan past lone fishermen on their long tail boats. Later, our skiffs moor at a wooden pier. Here in Cai Be, walk or bike ride among high-roofed open courtyard houses, some dating back more than 100 years, and currently inhabited by
gracious locals who will invite us to glimpse their property.
Day 8: My Tho – Ho Chi Minh
Disembarkation. En route to Ho Chi Minh, we stop at Vinh Trang Pagoda, one of the largest Mahayana Buddhist temples in the region. You will notice the mixed architectural style and see three large buddha statues plus an impressive collection of bonsai trees.
Activity Level: Guests should be in good physical health in order to be able to make the most of their cruise. Exploring the area involves the use of small, motorized skiffs and at times may include some wet landings. Daily excursions may include walking on irregular terrain and getting in and out of the skiffs occasionally requires some physical effort. Walking excursions may last up to one hour.
Disclaimer: Entry requirements from the local governments in these destinations are continually changing and are impacting this operator's ability to operate. In confirming your booking, you accept that this operator may be forced to change your departure date if operating is not possible due to restrictions imposed by the governing travel authorities in Peru, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia or as a result of too few bookings per departure to enable us to cover operational costs. In this instance, refunds will not be provided, and the flexible booking conditions outlined will apply.
This operator has a passion for connecting with and supporting local communities. I highly recommend this stylish river cruiser and outstanding itinerary.
Joy Martinello, Founder
What’s Included & Cancellation Policy: