MEKONG RIVER CRUISE 2025The Journey Land Tours Included In Your All-Inclusive River Cruise Holiday!
Phnom Penh Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
The mystical waterways of the Mekong River will capture your imagination and inspire memories for years to come. Kosher River Cruises strives to give you a deeper understanding of the region, its fascinating history, its culture and must-see sights. We’ll curate experiences that will take you beyond the ordinary.
The essential dynamism of Southeast Asia is unveiled as you travel from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. The way of life on this extraordinarily diverse waterway will wrap itself around your heart, leaving you with a greater understanding of the marvelous Mekong. Along the way, we’ll take in the wonders of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh as we zoom along the waterfront in a tuk tuk, visit the Royal Palace, then return to the all-inclusive luxury of our ship, gliding over the border into Vietnam. We’ll travel on local sampans and discover the historic towns of Tan Chau and Sa Dec before winding our way to lively Ho Chi Minh City.
Our all-inclusive program includes delicious Glatt Kosher cuisine, on-board synagogue with daily minyanim, thought-provoking lectures, entertainment and on-board programming, along with local tours at each locale we visit.
Day 1 Monday – Phnom Penh – Cambodia
Arrival into PNH, airport transfer to hotel, evening program and dinner.
Day 2 Tuesday: Phnom Penh to Kampong Cham (Cambodia)
Early afternoon transfer to our ship. Discover the rural side of Cambodia enroute to Kampong
Cham, where the breathtaking Scenic Spirit awaits.
After boarding, begin your cruise in style with a cocktail reception hosted by your cruise directors. Take a stroll around the decks to orientate yourself regarding all the amenities. After your welcome dinner and orientation, settle into your private suite as our river adventure begins.
Day 3 Wednesday – Wat Hanchey to Kampong Cham (Cambodia)
As you awaken, we approach Wat Hanchey, an ancient hilltop pagoda and monastery. After learning about life from one of the locals, wander around the complex and admire the view over the Mekong River and surrounding countryside. Sail back to Kampong Cham.
Back in Kampong Cham, you have a choice of excursions in the afternoon that provide an opportunity to learn about the history and industries of the area.
Option 1: Learn about the local folklore with stops at Phnom Pros (Man Hill and Wat Nokor). Phnom Pros was part of a traditional local legend, but, tragically, was more recently used as part of the “Killing Field” during the Khmer Rouge era. The stunning ancient Angkorian-era temple features a large garden and is home to a local troop of monkeys.
Option 2: Explore Kampong Cham’s history and industry with a drive past shops and houses that are remnants of the French colonial era, and the large central market. Visit a local rubber plantation established by the French, followed by a tour to view the processing of the raw rubber at a rubber factory. We’ll then stop at a village known for growing betel nut, a popular item in Cambodian culture.
Option 3: Cambodia is known for its rural villages, so your third option is to visit one such village where a French NGO assists the residents with educational programs centering on sustainability, sanitation, and recycling.
Once back on-board the Scenic Spirit, enjoy some time to unwind in your spectacular suite or a cool drink in the lounge. You’ll marvel at the sights and sounds of the Mekong, overlooking the gorgeous sunset of the Cambodian skyline as we sail to Angkor Ban.
Day 4 Thursday – Angkor Ban, Silk Island, Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Upon arrival in Angkor Ban, we get a taste of local life as we explore this provincial historical village of rural wooden houses which survived the Khmer Rouge. Return to the Scenic Spirit for lunch as we sail downstream to the island of Oknha Tey where the residents are dedicated to the art of silk weaving. Travel by tuk tuk to the farm and learn about the process of silk production, and shop for local handmade silk gifts. Return to the Scenic Spirit where you may wish to absorb more about the local culture with a fashion show and learning how to both make and wear the traditional Cambodian scarf.
Enjoy the amenities on the Scenic Spirit and truly unwind. What better way to do this than by heading to the Wellness Center or beauty salon for a bit of pampering. This evening, as we approach the capital of Cambodia, we gather for a Scenic sunset cocktail reception on the Sun Deck, against the backdrop of Phnom Penh’s lights and stunning scenery.
Day 5 Friday – Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Morning tour: The Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison: These locations are a sobering reminder of the terrors unleashed by the Khmer Rouge regime. Visiting these tragic monuments will help unlock the keys to understanding the development of this country. You will then return to Scenic Spirit for lunch.
Afternoon tour: Visit with the local Jewish community of Phnom Penh, its synagogue and Mikveh, then continue with a visit to the Royal Palace as we experience the opulent side of Phnom Penh and its famous Silver Pagoda. Upon returning to the ship, we get ready for a magical Shabbat onboard.
Day 6 Shabbat – Shabbat in Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Morning of Shabbat programming, while docked in Phnom Penh with all our old and new friends.
In the afternoon we have a Shabbat-friendly, guided walking tour from the boat as we continue our exploration of Phnom Penh. After a magical Havdalah we depart and set sail and cross the border into Vietnam.
Day 7 Sunday – Tan Chau (Vietnam)
You may wish to start your day with some exercise in the on-board gym, try the early morning yoga class or relax in the sauna before setting off on a choice of excursions of your choosing in the areas surrounding Tan Chau.
Option 1: A prime example of leaving the city life behind will be found at Tra Su Bird Sanctuary in Tra Su Forest. Travel by sampan through endless waterways flanked by mangroves and lush greenery. This eco-reserve spans 850 hectares and is known as an ecological haven for fauna and flora, with more than 100 species of water birds known to reside here.
Option 2: If you would like to experience the community side of Vietnam, look no further than Evergreen Island for a morning of discovery with local farmers. Enjoy stunning and tranquil views of Monkey Bridge, orchards, and traditional homes. Back in Tan Chau, experience a ride in a Xe Loi; this commonly-used form of transportation in rural Vietnam will take you back to the ship.
Option 3: This excursion involves boarding a speedboat to visit Chau Doc, a major city in the Mekong Delta. Upon arrival, continue on board by coach to the ancient Tay An temple, which is a mixture of Indian and Islamic-style architecture, located at the foot of Sam Mountain. Then board another sampan to visit Vinh Te canal and view life along the riverfront of Chau Doc, including a stop at a family-operated fish farm, before returning to the Scenic Spirit.
Day 8 Monday – Sa Dec, Cai Be (Vietnam)
Upon arrival in Sa Dec, board your sampan to explore and interact with the sellers in the lively wet market where you will see live fish, frogs and even snakes. This 2-hour exploration is a deep dive into the local lifestyle. You can also visit the home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le who inspired the Marguerite Duras novel “L’Amant,” a story of tragic love, as told by your entertaining local expert. After your morning excursion, return to the Scenic Spirit for lunch while we sail downstream to Cai Be.
This afternoon we re-board our sampan as we pass the morning floating market and soak in the local life on our way to visit Cai Be town. Stop at local cottage industries and a French colonial traditional Vietnamese house.
Back on board, you’ll have time to relax and overlook the gorgeous sunset of the Vietnamese skyline and life on the Mekong River before your engaging farewell dinner with the crew.
Day 9 – Tuesday – Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
It is time to bid farewell to the Scenic Spirit as you wave goodbye to the staff and commence your 90 min drive to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Upon arrival, visit the War Museum, before an orientation tour around your hotel and a two-night stay at your luxury hotel located in the heart of the city.
Evening shopping excursion to the famous Ben Thanh Night Market.
Day 10 – Wednesday – Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
After breakfast, travel to the Cu Chi Tunnels and spend the morning learning about the development and establishment of this hidden, covered tunnel network in which the Viet Cong soldiers hid for months on end. Return to HCMC to explore the Reunification Palace, the former Presidential House of South Vietnam (which become famous in 1975 with images of tanks crashing through its gates, leading to the South’s surrender and the end of the War of Independence). This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers. There will be free time for last-minute shopping for local art and souvenirs.
Day 11 – Thursday – Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
After check out, head to the airport and prepare to depart Vietnam for your homeland or extended travels. Leave with a full camera and stunning memories to treasure, as well as many new friends!
This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may deviate from that which is stated above. Disruptions to cruising and alteration to itinerary arrangements may occur.
Please note: Preview itinerary is subject to change.
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