| Pope & Sons

Cruising with Jane McDonald – AmaDara Mekong River Cruise

If you have watched Cruising with Jane McDonald on channel 5 then you would have seen the beautiful Mekong Cruise on the AmaDara.Please find below an example itinerary which we would love to discuss with you.

16 Days – Travel to Hanoi and return from Ho Chi Minh City

Spend 2 nights in Hanoi, 1 night in Ha Long Bay, 3 nights in Siem Reap, 7-night Prek Kdam to Ho Chi Minh City cruise and 2 nights in Ho Chi Minh City.

Your journey begins in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, followed by an excursion to breathtaking Ha Long Bay for an overnight sojourn on board a deluxe junk. A short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia brings you to the gateway of the ancient Khmer empire where you’ll explore the temples of Angkor Archaeological Park. Embark on your Mekong River cruise and visit rural villages, pagodas, local markets and a Buddhist monastery along the way. Conclude your cruise with a two-night stay in lively Ho Chi Minh City.

Riches of the Mekong

Day 1 / ARRIVE IN HANOI, VIETNAM
Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city boasts a rich cultural heritage that blends in harmony with its vibrant present. From ancient temples to French colonial architecture and modern-day skyscrapers, along with beautiful parks and lakes, Hanoi is an eclectic and lively city.
Day 2 / HANOI
Discover some of Hanoi’s most famous historic and cultural sites on your guided tour that includes: Ba Dinh Square, One Pillar Pagoda and The Temple of Literature. You’ll also visit the infamous prison that American POWs sarcastically dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War. Take an authentic rickshaw ride, known as “cyclo,” in Hanoi’s bustling Old Quarter, and then enjoy a traditional water puppet show.
Day 3 / HANOI - HA LONG BAY
Ethereal Ha Long Bay is considered by many to be the eighth Natural Wonder of the World, and AmaWaterways’ guests will be treated to this exclusive once-in-a-lifetime experience. Spend the night on board a deluxe Junk, which combines classic beauty with modern conveniences. The backdrop of the bay’s magnifcent scenery and dramatic limestone cliffs and rock formations provide you with the perfect setting for a memorable dinner.
Day 4 / HA LONG BAY - HANOI - SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
Spend the morning sailing across the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay with more than 2,000 small islands rising from the water like a dragon’s back. Later in the morning, disembark the Junk and transfer to Hanoi Airport for a short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia, the gateway to Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former capital of the Khmer empire.
Day 5 / SIEM REAP - ANGKOR
Begin your morning exploration of Angkor temple complex at Angkor Thom, meaning “the great city." This is home to Bayon Temple, best known for its gigantic smiling stone faces, as well as the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. You’ll then visit nearby Ta Prohm, known as the “Kingdom of Trees,” for the way in which the temple stones have become intertwined with thick forest vegetation over the centuries. Afternoon excursions take you to the fascinating jewel in the crown of Angkorian art, Banteay Srei, meaning “Citadel of Women,” as it has been said that the carving is too fne to be done by the hand of man. Afterwards, you are in for another treat of a different kind with a visit to the English-language school sponsored by AmaWaterways in the village of Ta Toum. Cap this memorable day off with a special “Apsara Dancing Show” at your hotel, featuring local Cambodian/Khmer folk dancers. Note: The English-language school visit is capacity controlled.
Day 6 / SIEM REAP - ANGKOR
Discover the heart and soul of Cambodia and the most iconic of all Angkorian Temples, Angkor Wat, a true masterpiece of Khmer architecture built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century to honour the Hindu god, Vishnu.
Day 7 / SIEM REAP - PREK KDAM - EMBARKATION
Transfer via motor coach to the AmaDara in Prek Kdam, a small village on the Tonle River, for your seven-night cruise. Meet fellow guests at a Welcome Dinner as the ship sails to Kampong Chhnang.
Day 8 / KAMPONG CHHNANG - KOH CHEN
A local motorboat takes you into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of Tonle Sap River. Enjoy the stunning variety of bird life here as well as tranquil floating villages. In the afternoon, take a leisurely walk to the small village of Koh Chen, which specialises in silver- and copper-smithing. Get an up-close view of how local artisans make ornamental items often used in traditional ceremonies at a home workshop.
Day 9 / OUDONG - KAMPONG TRALACH - PHNOM PENH
Situated on a picturesque hillside not far from Phnom Penh, lies Oudong, Cambodia’s former royal capital. Today, Oudong is a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians. While here, be treated to a memorable Buddhist Blessing Ceremony at a monastery. In Kampong Tralach, you’ll have another truly memorable excursion – an oxcart ride through a local village. Later, your ship departs for Phnom Penh, the vibrant colourful capital of Cambodia. Experience Phnom Penh via an authentic tuk tuk ride and be enchanted by the city's French colonial architecture and tree-lined boulevards set amidst monumental Angkorian architecture. During the evening on board, enjoy a typical Khmer folk performance presented by local children.
Day 10 / PHNOM PENH
You will have a choice of excursions this morning. Visit Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention centre (Genocide Museum) just outside the city. Or if you prefer to stay in Phnom Penh, you can visit the bustling yellow-coloured Central Market. After lunch on board, you’ll explore the highlights of the city, followed by the Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, which has an outstanding collection of Khmer crafts. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge.
Day 11 / PHNOM PENH - BORDER CROSSING - TAN CHAU, VIETNAM
Spend the day cruising the Mekong River as your ship crosses the border into Vietnam.
Day 12 / TAN CHAU - SA DEC
Enjoy a visit to Tan Chau, a small Mekong River town unspoiled by tourism. Take a boat ride through the narrow channels of the Mekong River to several scenic locations, including a small village known as “Evergreen Island.” Return to Tan Chau, where you will visit a workshop that makes rattan mats. You may opt to take a traditional “xe-loi” (trishaw) ride around the town, with stops at artisans’ workshops, such as a silk-making workshop.
Day 13 / SA DEC - XEO QUYT - CAI BE
Once ashore in Sa Dec, tour the town where French writer Marguerite Duras spent many years in her youth. Visit a colourful local market, Cao Dai Temple and the 19th-century house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Duras’ Chinese paramour. Later, board a coach for Xeo Quyt, once used as a base during the French and U.S. wars and now an important ecological site. You will have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper making workshops, or alternatively, visit the historic Kiet Old House. Cap the day off with a festive Farewell Dinner on board.
Day 14 / HO CHI MINH CITY - DISEMBARKATION
Disembark the AmaDara in My Tho Port and transfer to Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s former capital of Indochina was once known as “Paris of the Orient,” and today, it is an industrial, cultural and educational hub. Explore such famous landmarks as the former Presidential Palace, the Central Post Ofce, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum before visiting the Ben Thanh Market—one of the oldest and most iconic structures in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 15 / HO CHI MINH CITY
Spend a day at leisure exploring more of Ho Chi Minh City, or perhaps go in search for local handicrafts, colourful textiles, as well as other souvenirs.
Day 16 / DEPART HO CHI MINH CITY
Bid farewell to Vietnam as you prepare for your homeward flight.
OTHER ITINERARY OPTIONS - 10 NIGHTS
You can also discover the Mekong and the stunning sites of Vietnam & Cambodia in less time with one of our shorter itineraries. Start in Siem Reap for 3 nights, allowing you to both explore the culture and history of the city at your own leisure, and also discover more with a range of excursions to temples and historic sites in the area. After checking out transfer to the AmaDara for your 7 night river cruise from Prek Kdam to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest city.

For full details on this itinerary, please contact Dave Pope on 01926 658797 or escape@popeandsons.co.uk

INCLUDED FEATURES

  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Hanoi at the Sofitel Legend Metropole (or similar), including daily buffet breakfast
  • Overnight stay on board a luxurious Junk in Ha Long Bay
  • 3 nights hotel accommodation in Siem Reap at the Sofitel Royal Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort (or similar), including daily buffet breakfast
  • 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom, all with twin balconies
  • Immersive excursions and authentic local encounters
  • Fine dining with all meals included during your cruise
  • Unlimited wine with every lunch and dinner on board
  • Complimentary house-brand spirits, local beer and soft drinks during cruise
  • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
  • Welcome Dinner and Farewell Dinner
  • Special highlights on board including folklore dances and music performances, culture discussion forums, theme dinners and music entertainment
  • Non-smoking environment (smoking only permitted in designated areas)
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) at the Sofitel Plaza Saigon Plaza (or similar), including buffet breakfast

    Scenery and Excursion Images

    AmaDara Ship Images

    TECHNICAL DATA

    Built: 2015
    Built in: Vietnam
    Length: 302 ft.
    Width: 46 ft.
    Crew: 52
    Staterooms: 62
    Suites: 14
    Registry: Vietnam

    Book your cabin

    If you would like to book your cabin on the AmaDara Mekong River Cruise after watching Cruising with Jane McDonald please contact us on 01926 658797 or escape@popeandsons.co.uk. We do have various options available from 11 nights so please call for a chat.