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Essence of Vietnam, Cambodia & Mekong Cruise
(Hanoi to Siem Reap)

22 days with Scenic  Rating: Deluxe

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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Hanoi
Welcome to vibrant Vietnam. Settle into a special two night stay at your iconic hotel in Hanoi. (Dinner)
Day 2 Hanoi
Visit the History Museum and Hoa Lu Prison, or stroll through the bustling local markets to buy ingredients for an authentic cooking class. Alternatively, cycle along the Red River or visit Ho Chi Minh Quarter and Mausoleum, including a visit to the Temple of Literature.
Hanoi’s famous water puppets are a traditional form of entertainment in the Red River Delta. After attending a customary performance, learn the secrets behind this illusionary show thanks to your special backstage pass.
Tonight choose to dine at KOTO on Van Mieu, or La Terrace at Sofitel. Alternatively, Ly Club menu, while Le Beaulieu promises multi-award winning cuisine. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 3 Hanoi > Halong Bay Cruise
Journey to Halong Bay and board the elegant Au Co for an awe-inspiring special two night cruise through the picturesque waters of this spectacular World Heritage-listed icon. Stop for a swim and other water activities at Ban Chan Beach before partaking in a Vietnamese cooking demonstration.  After Happy Hour and a signature 5 star gourmet dinner, try your hand at some squid fishing. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 Halong Bay Cruise
Begin the day with a Tai Chi lesson on the Sun Deck. Later visit Sung Sot Cave. Later try your hand at some kayaking and then soak up the amazing views whilst cruising around Bai Tu Long Bay during an extended happy hour at the Lan Ha Bar. Tonight feast on your BBQ buffet.
Tonight enjoy an enchanting cave dinner in the aptly titled Fairy Cave where the candle lit rock formations honour the cave’s name. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Halong Bay Cruise > Hanoi > Hue
After your morning Tai Chi, visit Vung Vieng fishing village by traditional bamboo boat. Return to Tuan Chau, disembark and commence your drive back to Hanoi for your flight to Hue, the former imperial capital. A French colonial hotel will be your home for a two night special stay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Hue
Learn about the history of Hue via a visit to the Mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang and the grandeur of Hue’s Imperial Citadel. Later cruise down the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda before meeting the deaf and mute workers at the Spiral Foundation, who are responsible for crafting beautiful items. This evening’s Royal Dinner is in a private garden house accompanied by Hue Royal Court music. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7 Hue > Hoi An
Explore the concealed back roads of Hue by bicycle. Or if you would prefer, why not try your hand at the art of Vietnamese kite making.
During an inspiring visit to Duc Son Pagoda, talk with the nuns and learn how they are supporting their orphanage through different initiatives, including the proceeds from your lunch.
Later, travel via the breathtaking Hai Van Pass to Hoi An where you will enjoy a three night stay which includes a daily 90-minute spa journey as part of your stay. Cruise along Thu Bon River at dusk before settling in for dinner at one of the charming local restaurants.
Day 8 Hoi An
Step back in time as you take a walking tour of Hoi An’s World Heritage-listed Old Quarter including the Japanese Bridge and markets before stopping at the home of a former merchant to learn all about what life is like in Hoi An. A free afternoon allows you to visit one of the many tailors in town.
This evening relax at a cocktail reception in the Blue Bar before enjoying your Freechoice dinner.
Enjoy the diverse gastronomy of the Four Plates Restaurant, or embark on a culinary journey through Hoi An’s past at Ancient Faifo. Alternatively, visit Brother’s Café and enjoy Asian and Western fare. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 9 Hoi An
Visit the ancient temple ruins of My Son, or appease your appetite for local cuisine on a street food tour. Alternatively, enjoy an interactive cooking class at Red Bridge Restaurant or cycle to a nearby farming village. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 10 Hoi An > Ho Chi Minh City
After your flight to Ho Chi Minh City take lunch at a Pho restaurant to learn all about this famous Vietnamese dish. Stop for some bargaining at Ben Thanh Market before arriving at your historic hotel for the next two nights.  (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 11 Ho Chi Minh City
Meet a Vietnam War Veteran at the Cu Chi Tunnels and learn about the underground labyrinth of war-time passageways.
Undertake a tour of Saigon’s art galleries with a resident artist, or uncover this lively city on a popular vintage Vespa ride through the backstreets of Chinatown. Alternatively, discover all about Vietnam’s modern history through a visit to the Reunification Palace and War Museum. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 12 Ho Chi Minh City > Mekong Cruise
Enjoy a leisurely walk around the attractions near your hotel before boarding your coach to Scenic Spirit. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13 Cai Be > Sa Dec
Choose how adventurous you wish to be. Rise before sunrise and board a sampan to visit the famous Cai Be Floating wholesale market before stopping at local industries and French colonial houses along the Mekong. Then either choose to return to the ship or continue exploring Dong Ha Hiep Island in smaller long tail boats to explore the smaller tributaries and fruit farms. Alternatively relish a sleep in before savouring morning tea at the French colonial Le Longanier House with local musicians and cultural demonstrations.
Later, after a short cruise up river, immerse yourself in today’s second shore excursion, the historic town of Sa Dec. From your sampan disembark, explore and interact with the sellers in the lively market, visit the home of Mr Huynh Thuy Le who inspired Marguerite Duras’ novel L’Amant and the local Fuijian Chinese temple. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 14 Tan Chau
After an overnight cruise, anchor at Tan Chau.
Stay in Tan Chau to visit Evergreen Island and the local Cao Dai Temple with a ride in a cyclo. Alternatively choose from two options which cruise by speedboat to Chau Doc. Firstly visit a family-operated fish farm, walk through a local Cham village and take a cyclo ride around Chau Doc. Alternatively visit Tra Su Bird Sanctuary, Cham Mountain and a local Khmer village.
Tonight is your themed gala ball so be prepared for an enchanting evening on board with musicians and dancing. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15 Tan Chau > Phnom Penh
Partake in some on board activities whilst awaiting clearance from Cambodian immigration. Spend the afternoon gently sailing towards Phnom Penh, taking the time to enjoy a cocktail by the pool or some solitude on your own private balcony as you watch the scenery pass you by. Enjoy sunset from on deck as you begin to see the lights of Phnom Penh in the distance. Tonight is yours to explore the night life of Phnom Penh. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 16 Phnom Penh
Journey to the Killing Fields and tour Tuol Sleng, the former school that was converted to the main prison of the Khmer Rouge, or take a guided tour of the local food market before joining a hands-on Khmer cooking demonstration. Alternatively, explore by Tuk Tuk Phnom Penh’s colonial buildings, the Russian Market as well as its modern architecture.
After lunch at a local NGO restaurant who teaches street kids hospitality skills, travel by Tuk Tuk to the National Museum, Royal Palace and the famous Silver Pagoda.
Arrive in style by cyclo to immerse yourself in the historically celebrated luxury of Raffles, Hotel Le Royal for an indulgent high tea. Enjoy an exclusive private shadow puppet and masked dance performance accompanied by a traditional Khmer orchestra. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 17 Oudong > Kampong Tralach > Kho Chen
After a short cruise from Phnom Penh to Prek K’dam, board your coach to the ancient capital of Oudong to visit the mountain stupas, pagoda and monastery.
Receive a blessing in the pagoda from a monk and learn how to pray in a Buddhist pagoda before giving a donation of food, contributing to the daily meal of the resident nuns and monks.
Drive a short distance north to visit Wat Kampong Tralach to learn of its complex history before experiencing an ox cart ride through local villages back to Scenic Spirit which has sailed north to meet you. After lunch on board, disembark for a visit to the silversmith village of Kho Chen. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 18 Wat Hanchey > Kampong Cham
Awake as you approach Wat Hanchey, an ancient hilltop pagoda and monastery.
Walk to the top and soak in some of the best elevated views of the cruise. Back on board, your journey continues downstream to Kampong Cham where you will discover the legend of Phnom Pros (Man Hill) and Phnom Srei (Woman Hill), and explore the ecotourism village of Cheung Kok. Visit Wat Nokor, an 11th century temple with a modern pagoda built within. Later, return to the comfort of your ship for a champagne farewell reception and dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 19 Mekong Cruise > Siem Reap
Drive to Siem Reap with stops at a stone cutters village, Kampong Thom and the ancient Khmer bridge at Kampong Kdei. Be greeted with a welcome drink upon arrival at your hotel, your home for a three night special stay.
Relax at the Dining Room restaurant whilst watching Apsara dancers, or choose from Italian or Khmer at local restaurants near Pub Street.
Take your VIP seat at the colourful Cambodian Circus, Phare. (Please note some departures may vary). (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 20 Siem Reap
Delve into Ta Prohm and Preah Khan temples.
Learn about an initiative that trains local Cambodian archaeologists to take over the ongoing temple maintenance.
Discover Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple and the Elephant Terrace before stopping at Angkor Wat for late afternoon photos.
Choose between Khmer cuisine or French Fusion. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 21 Siem Reap
Marvel at sunrise over the magnificent Angkor Wat with a glass of champagne. Afterwards walk through the temple before taking an included tethered balloon ride for spectacular aerial views.
Visit Banteay Srei and the Landmine Museum or explore Beng Mealea temple and the Artisans D’Angkor Handicraft Centre. Alternatively, cruise on Tonle Sap.
Tonight be wowed by a magical themed gala dinner, drinks and show surrounded by Apsara dancers performing in front of floodlit and candle-lit temple ruins. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 22 Siem Reap
Depart Cambodia treasuring many wonderful memories. (Breakfast)
River Cruise Highlights
  • Witness sunrise over the magnificent 12th century Angkor Wat temple complex
  • Visit small towns along the Mekong and observe the daily routines of the locals
  • Enjoy lunch at KOTO, a restaurant training street children in English and hospitality
  • Take a walking tour of Hoi An’s old quarter
  • Marvel at the grandeur of Hue’s Imperial Citadel
  • Explore the picturesque bays and limestone cliffs of Halong Bay on a two night scenic cruise
All This Included
Scenic Spirit - Ultimate Inclusions
  • 100% one-bedroom balcony suites
  • Complimentary beverages all day, every day
  • Private butler for all guests
  • Choice of four dining options, from casual fare in River Café to fine dining in Crystal Dining
  • Complimentary on board guest laundry
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi internet
  • Return airport transfers
Scenic Special Stays
  • Scenic Special Stays in Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hue and Hanoi
Scenic Enrich - Exclusive once-in-a-lifetime experiences
  • Attend a unique performance of Phare the Cambodian Circus
  • Visit 11th century temple complex of Wat Nokor and receive a traditional monk’s blessing
  • Enjoy high tea at Raffles, Hotel Le Royal, before an exclusive private shadow puppet performance
  • Enjoy lunch at a restaurant that supports the training of former street children
  • Uncover secrets of the Cu Chi Tunnels with your veteran guide who lived and fought there
  • In Hoi An visit a former merchant’s home for a special talk by the family
  • Meet nuns at Hue’s Duc Son Pagoda providing education and training to orphaned children
  • Catch a performance of Vietnam’s unique Water Puppets and enjoy a special ‘backstage pass’
Scenic FreeChoice
  • Scenic FreeChoice inclusions in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Chau Doc, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hue and Hanoi
  • Scenic FreeChoice Dining in Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An and Hanoi
Dining Experiences
  • 52 superb meals including 21 Breakfasts (B), 13 Lunches (L) and 18 Dinners (D)
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Scenic Spirit
  • Itineraries are subject to change.
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.

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