HO CHI MINH CITY, 19 August 2019: Pandaw Cruises is discounting its Mekong Delta cruise between Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam and Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.
The three and four-night cruises in both directions are discounted by 10% with prices starting at USD1,125 including land and cruise, but not hotel stays in Ho Chi Minh City or Phnom Penh.
From Ho Chi Minh City cruise passengers transfer by bus from the InterContinental Asiana Saigon Hotel pick-up point to My To Port. Travellers board the Pandaw cruise boat that sails to Ben Tre where it anchors for the first night.
The cruise explores the Mekong River starting with bustling river towns in the delta to the quieter riverside villages in Cambodia.
Ben Tre is famed for its sampan traditional river transport used by Pandaw to explore the mangroves and bamboo groves and fruit orchards.
In small villages, local artisans are at work. They invite visitors to their homes for tea, fruit and homemade honey. The area is rich in birdlife.
After lunch on the second day, the ship anchors off Cho Lach Island. Activities include visits to pottery villages and an opportunity to enjoy local Vietnamese hospitality, including a culinary lesson in making traditional Banh Xeo.
On day three the cruise heads for Con Phuoc Island with a stop at Gao Giong a ‘green oasis’ famed for its bird sanctuary.
On arrival at Con Phuoc Island the cruise boat moors in a small canal off Con Phuoc Island to allow guests to meet the island’s basket makers, local woodworking artisans and admire a 100-year old Catholic Church.
By early afternoon on the fourth day the cruise sails into Cambodia after completing immigration formalities.
The day’s activities include a visit to a Taoist temple where the monks will read your fortune, a visit a fish farm to release fish back into the Mekong River. Border crossing formalities take up much of the afternoon.
Early morning on the fifth day the cruise sails to Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital shortly after breakfast on board.
The cruise price includes entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee or tea as well as the transfer from the meeting point in Ho Chi Minh City to and from the ship.
It excludes international flights, port dues, laundry, visa costs, fuel surcharges. There are no transfers in Phnom Penh as the ship docks in the city centre at Sisowath Quay.
Vietnam’s e-visa is not accepted at the river border checkpoint when travelling downstream from Cambodia to Vietnam. Cruise guests will need to apply for a visa ahead of the trip downstream if they are not eligible for visa-free entry into Vietnam.