Mekong River Cruise

Luxury MV Jayavarman Cruise from Saigon to Siem Reap

Number of days: 8

Price from: 2,632$

Trip type: Sharing Boat

Departure: from Saigon or Siem Reap

Highlights: Saigon, CaiBe, VinhLong, CanTho, ChauDoc, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap

The majestic Jayavarman is considered the father in Heritage Line’s “family” of cruise ships. This vessel was named after Angkor’s most venerated king, who ruled from 1181 to 1218, and was a devout Buddhist. King Jayavarman oversaw the construction of some of the most famous temples in Angkor, including Ta Prohm, Preah Khan and the unforgettable Bayon. Inspired by the serenity and artistry associated with this great Khmer monarch, The Jayavarman’s design was also influenced by the French cruise liner Normandie, which launched in 1935. Traveling between Saigon and Phnom Penh, the Jayavarman marries the art deco charm of 1930’s France with the romance of Indochine. Measuring 57.8 meters from bow to stern, the Jayavarman holds 27 elegantly decorated cabins. Thanks to its intricate woodcarvings, Khmer bas-reliefs and Vietnamese lacquer paintings, this impressive cruise ship resembles a floating art gallery. Wherever they look, guests are reminded of the local arts and culture. With three-and-a-half decks the Jayavarman is as spacious as it is beautiful. Guests can admire Khmer artifacts in the Henry Mouhot Lounge, mingle in the Club 1930 Bar, dine in the elegant Indochine Dining Hall, and recharge with spa treatments in the Apsara Spa. A Jacuzzi is located on the top sundeck, which offers spectacular views of the passing delta. Along with its peaceful beauty, the Mekong Delta is known for its friendly locals. The crewmembers of The Jayavarman are no exception. From the moment they board, guests are made to feel at home. Offering exceptional service, comfort and style, The Jayavarman is a name to remember. This beautiful vessel is an unforgettable means of exploring some of the finest scenery in Asia.

  • Overview
  • Trip Itinerary
  • Accommodations
  • Travel Info
  • Trip Map
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  • Boat information
    Technical figures Launch November 2009 Length / Width / Height 57,8 m / 11,1 m / 10 m Beam / Draft 11 m / 1,6 m Gross tonnage 700 tons Cruising speed 10 nautical knots Electricity 220v Capacity / Cabins 54 passengers / 27 cabins (three categories) Water Reverse osmosis and UV water treatment plant, sewage treatment plant. Safety Radio Comm., Radar, GPS, PA system, life jackets, life rafts, fire hydrants, flares and signals, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors in each cabin, CO2 engine room fire fighting system.

    Deck plan: 


    Life on board
    Life Aboard the Jayavarman Life on the Jayavarman is one luxurious experience after another. Allow us to paint – in your mind’s eye – the picture of romance, majesty and mystery that becomes you when you board the Jayavarman. You step out on to your private balcony, sipping your cocktail made with fruit from the land that envelops you. The sun sets gently and the charming countryside becomes a silhouette shining on the river. You soon realize that you’ve never been in a place so peaceful and so serene, occasionally punctuated by a child’s raucous laughter ringing from a nearby village. Darkness descends, signaling the time for a traditional feast. Food from the region is served by waiters who, by now, have become your friends. They are a tad shy yet they are proud to put on display their traditional attire and share their culture with you. After a night’s sleep, the soft rays of the sun warm your face. Thai Chi lessons await you on the upper sun deck, ready to connect you to the energy that is so plentiful in this cultured and spiritual place. At every corner, every river bend aboard this luxurious and majestic ship, new sights and new experiences are ready and waiting to be found.



    At Glance

     “Henry Mouhot” lounge with library
    Named after the French archeologist who discovered the Angkor temple complex, the Henry Mouhot lounge is the perfect place to curl up with a book. Or an e-book as it is wifi connected. The Lounge has a decidedly scholarly air about it – the furniture is made out of teak, the colors are soothing and the artefacts carefully chosen to bring back memories of the past. Our enlightening lectures on Cambodia and Vietnam are also delivered here.
       
     “Club 1930” Bar & Funnel lounge
    Be transported back to 30s and 40s in our Club 1930 Bar and Funnel Lounge. Specially designed to be spacious, airy and luxurious. With comfortable sofas and chairs, you will be truly hypnotized by the waves lapping the ship below. Sip our splendid cocktails, puff on a cigar and enjoy soul stirring music.
       
     Indochine Dining Hall
    It is difficult not to be wowed by the Indochine Dining Hall. Your breakfast spread – gargantuan and delectable – are lit by the early morning ray of the sun which stream onto the white table covers. The ever-smiling chefs prepare fresh eggs – any which way you desire – and our waiters serve you freshly brewed local coffee whose smell fills your nostrils. Romance fills the dinner atmosphere. Soft lighting descends on the dinner tables. Relaxing music fills the air whilst you savor our marvelous Eastern and Western cuisine.
       
     The Apsara Beauty and Wellness Spa
    Located on the main deck, the Apsara Beauty and Wellness Spa is designed to give you a thoroughly authentic Southeast Asian experience. Let our professionally- trained masseurs soothe your aching muscles. Guaranteed to rejuvenate you.
     


  • Brief Itinerary:


    Day 1: Saigon – My Tho – Cai Be “The sea of Mangroves”

    Day 2: Cai Be – Sa Dec – Chau Doc “Vietnamese inventiveness”

    Day 3: Chau Doc (Border Crossing) – Phnom Penh “Circus of Fish”

    Day 4: Phnom Penh “Pearl of the East”

    Day 5: Phnom Penh – Kampong Cham “Along the Mekong”

    Day 6: Kampong Cham – Wat Hanchey “Monks and Hilltops”

    Day 7: Kampong Cham – Kampong Chhnang “Waterworld”

    Day 8: Tonle Sap – Siem Reap “Angkor Awaits”




    Detailed Itinerary: 


    Day 1: Saigon – My Tho – Cai Be “The sea of Mangroves”

    Bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon as we travel 70 kilometers south by land to My Tho to embark your boutique Ship. We will be served a refreshing welcome drink as the ship steadily glides along the Mekong. We will bathe in the fading sunset on the balcony followed by a briefing at the lounge. Later, a welcome dinner awaits us. When approaching Cai Be, the Ship drops anchor to moor midstream where the river is several kilometers wide.
    Including dinner. Overnight in Cai Be
     

    Day 2: Cai Be – Sa Dec – Chau Doc “Vietnamese inventiveness”
    The day – in fact everyday – starts with an invigorating Tai Chi lesson on the sun deck, just as the sun begins its gentle glow. Coffee and tea awaits the early bird. The day’s tour starts with a visit to Cai Be’s boisterous and colorful floating market on board a traditional sampan (a flat bottomed traditional Vietnamese wooden boat). During the languid ride, discover breathtaking landscapes along the river and quaff the rustic life on the Mekong Delta. The cruise will halt intermittently to allow us to observe how rice paste, rice cookies and coconut candies are made, along with the Longan fruit drying process. After touring the canals, we head to an ancient house surrounded by fruit orchards before heading to the Ship for lunch. In the afternoon, we cruise to Sa Dec. Upon arrival, we embark a traditional sampan to tour Binh Thanh Island and its manmade canals. Here, every villager is involved in the process of growing and processing water hyacinths into natural fibre floor mats and rattan baskets. We then board the Ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards Chau Doc.
    Including breakfast, lunch and dinner. The ship will moor midstream overnight near Chau Doc
     

    Day 3: Chau Doc (Border Crossing) – Phnom Penh “Circus of Fish”
    Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the Dining Hall or in the quiet sanctuary of your balcony. Brace yourself for a short excursion in Chau Doc, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer communities. We will also visit the colorful local market near an ancient temple. This is followed by a trip to the quay, where we will be feted to a boat excursion to the floating villages and rustic catfish farms where we will learn exciting facts about the breeding of Basa fish in the Mekong Delta. Then, it is back to the ship for a lunch.
    By mid-afternoon, the cruise liner will make its way to the border for Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. It is an opportune time to relax on board, sharpen your culinary skills with our hands-on cooking classes or tour the ship with our impeccable Cruise Director. Or, better yet, do all three. “The Highway Blues” beckons as we float into a state of mild bliss caused by the hypnotic murmur of the ship’s engine. After hours of cruising, we will feel the rush of entering into a new country and to embrace new adventures.
    Including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight midstream near Phnom Penh
    Note: Due to high water in the Mekong Delta between July and December the following program applies:
    This morning, you will start your excursion on a local boat (sampan) and discover the border town of Tan Chau. Firstly, the journey takes you to the “evergreen” islands where you will be thrilled to learn the life of the locals. The inhabitants of these islands live on houses poised on high stilts – a centuries-old tradition in this part of the Mekong Delta. We stop to visit a fish farm located in the Tan Chau canal – this farm consists of floating houses and the villagers make their living by cultivating fish. You continue by boat to Tan Chau pier, disembark here and stroll around this colorful local market with lots of regional products. You return to the cruise Ship after your market visit.
     

    Day 4: Phnom Penh “Pearl of the East”
    Phnom Penh was once the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. After breakfast, we will be captivated by a comprehensive lecture on Cambodia’s modern history. This will be followed by a city tour of this dynamic, historical capital city of Cambodia which has managed to preserve huge slices of its French colonial allure. Sightseeing in the morning will include visiting the dazzling white and gold edifice of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and witnessing exceptionally beautiful Khmer craft at the National Museum. After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the Genocide Museum and the Killing Field in town. Be prepared to be heart wrenched by this stark reminder of the genocide that transpired during Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime. We go back to the Ship after our museum visit. Take a rest on your cabin balcony or the lounge and get prepared for an exciting evening event. The evening starts with a variety of cocktails served on the sun deck. Take a seat and enjoy the following Apsara dance performance. Experience the brilliance and richness of this culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a barbeque on the sun deck. It is indeed a truly marvellous experience, dining in the open with the stars and the moon as our companions.
    Including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
     

    Day 5: Phnom Penh – Kampong Cham “Along the Mekong”
    We will depart before the break of dawn from Phnom Penh with a stop at the little known Chong Koh silk weaving village. We will then return to the Ship and will cruise past the Mekong’s tranquil villages, exhilirating river life and sun-hardened fishermen on their shift boats. We will tour the rural Angkor Ban village where time stood still. We are transported back a hundred years into an era unsullified by modernity. The houses here are truly rustic, made by hand and without any concrete. But most of all, we feel overwhelmed by the unbridled warmth of the villagers. Travelers can take part in the daily activities of the villagers to experience village life first hand. Then, we are back to the Ship to cruise towards Kampong Cham.
    Including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight in Kampong Cham.
     

    Day 6: Kampong Cham – Wat Hanchey “Monks and Hilltops”
    We will wake up in the small hours of the morning, truly energized to embark on a land journey to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Travelers either take a motor-taxi or climb 291 steps to the top. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers one of the most breath-taking views in Cambodia. Built in the 8th century, this ancient structure, together with a bigger and newer addition underscores the superb architecture of the Chenla Empire which predates the mighty Angkor temple complex. We even get to engage in light banter with some of the monks in the area. We will return to the Ship to witness a blessing ceremony performed by orange-clad local monks. When the tide allows, we will enjoy a surprise sojourn in our zodiacs (inflatable boats) to the nearby bank to swim in the teacoloured Mekong River, an experience that will, no doubt, dominate dinner conversations in the weeks to come. We will then cruise towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor, a wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple which holds a timeless story. On the way back to the Ship, we will visit an orphanage. Along the way, we will have to maneuver a 2-kilometer rickety bamboo bridge. Our sense of balance lies in the balance!
    Including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight cruise to Kampong Chhnang
     

    Day 7: Kampong Cham – Kampong Chhnang “Waterworld”
    Before the sun peeks over the horizon, the cruiser sets sail towards Kampong Chhnang on the Tonle River – an amazingly narrow river – which glides through leafy swaths of the Southeast Asian jungle. We are greeted by cacophonous children who waive enthusiastically early in the morning when they bring their livestock for a bath in the meandering Tonle River. Then we approach Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “waterworld” where everything is on stilts balanced on water rich soil– it’s an awesome sight whilst practising Tai Chi on the deck. Here we take a motorboat excursion to the landing, followed by a short bus trip to see the Khmer-styled pottery at the Aundaung Russey village. Then, it is back to the river for an adventurous motorboat excursion to the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region. We then return to the Ship for lunch whilst cruising the narrow and meandering Tonle River. Your floating sanctuary will then cruise gently, in the afternoon, along the narrow and meandering Tonle River. In the evening, a sumptuous spread will be served. And for the big surprise – bring along your dance shoes and learn to jiggle the Cambodian way with our staff doubling up as dance instructors. (If you can’t dance, do not fret. Neither can our staff)
    Including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight in Kampong Chhnang
     

    Day 8: Tonle Sap – Siem Reap “Angkor Awaits”
    This great lake dominates Cambodia and is the largest freshwater lake in Asia with abundant birdlife. This lake is so wide that one can not see its shores from the middle of the lake. Enjoy the stillness of the water and the quiet tranquility on the way to Siem Reap. The water level varies a great deal according to the time of the year and the amount of rainfall recorded. Thus, minor changes to the itinerary may occur during different seasons. Our Heritage Line cruise liner comes to an end as we reach this city of the fabled Angkor temple complex. We bid farewell to the cruise as our journey comes to a close. But the memories and the friendships made on board linger on for a lot longer. We will cross the Tonle Lake at dawn and at 9.00h, we will disembark at the Siem Reap Port for onward coach transfer to the drop off point in town.
    Including breakfast

    Include
    -
     Accommodation in double/twin cabin
    - Meals as per itinerary
    - Group Shore-excursions
    - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Coffee and tea (jug) all day, Prosecco on arrival in cabin
    - Tour guide services (English Speaking)
    - Taxes, Fuel, River pilots
    - Transfer from meeting point to embarkation point and from disembarkation point to drop off point.

    Exclude
    - International flights & departures taxes
    - Port Taxes: US$ 65/ person
    - Beverage
    - Travel insurance
    - Personal expenses, tips and gratuities (suggested at US5$/pax/day)
    - Vietnam visa & Cambodia visa (can be done on arrival quick and easy)
    - Others not mentioned above


  • Stateroom

     Superior rooms
    Located on the main deck, the 14 Superior Staterooms (4 twin, 10 double) come with in-room bathrooms. The large floor to ceiling panoramic glass doors open to the balcony (5sqm). Measuring a total space of 21sqm (incl. balcony), the superiors are appointed with wooden, white furniture design supported by decent Asian ornaments and fine-art paintings on the walls and ceilings. Amenities: Hot water kettle (Tea), sun hat, binocular, slippers, in-room safe, balcony with 2 chairs and table, mini bar, hair dryer, bath robe, internal phone, desk, chairs, luggage rack.
       
     Deluxe rooms
    Located on the upper deck and with a floor space of 30sqm the 11 Deluxe Staterooms (3 twin, 8 double, 1 connecting) with own balcony (5sqm) offer an in-room bathroom which is separated from the sleeping area by a mighty wooden sliding door. The very warm tone of the cabin designed with dark weighty antique furniture as well as the handmade, rustic copper sink sitting in the bathroom brings back the feeling of the 1930s Indochine lifestyle. Amenities: Hot water kettle (Tea), sun hat, binocular, slippers, in-room safe, balcony with 2 chairs and table, mini bar, hair dryer, bath robe, internal phone, desk, chairs, luggage rack.
       
     Bao Dai Signature rooms
    The Signature Staterooms have its own identity. There are two Signatures available – the Bao Dai and the Jayavarman –both sitting on the upper deck. The Bao Dai Signature Stateroom is 27sqm in total including a private balcony of 3sqm with bow. A heavy royal (Bao Dai was a Vietnamese king) dark wood king bed dominates the room. Walls come in a soft Saffron tone and are decorated with Vietnamese designed artifacts.
       
     Jayavarman Signature rooms
    The Signature Staterooms have its own identity. There are two Signatures available – the Bao Dai and the Jayavarman –both sitting on the upper deck. The Jayavarman Signature Stateroom is a 27sqm large cabin including a 3sqm balcony. This Signature cabin is dedicated to the Khmer culture. The most stunning facility is the solidwood and king-size four-poster bed with an impressive olive coloured gypsum artwork at the bed-head displaying an Apsara dancer. Amenities: Hot water kettle (Tea), sun hat, binocular, slippers, in-room safe, balcony with 2 chairs and table, mini bar, hair dryer, internal phone, desk, chairs, sofa, luggage rack, bath robe, screen with DVD/music player. 
  • Border Crossing of Vietnam/Cambodia
    All passengers should be aware of a slight delay on either Vietnam or Cambodian side of the border.
    Normally a crossing takes about 2 – 3 hours; it can be longer if a passenger’s visa application is not written out correctly.
    Passengers do not have to disembark. Though the cruise ship remains still, life on-board goes on uninterrupted.

    Daily Schedule

    A printed daily program for the following day will be placed in your cabin during dinner. We have a turndown service every evening. Please keep observing the notice board for any changes to the schedule, and also be aware of our daily cruise briefings.

    Electricity
    Two round pin type, same as in Continental Europe can be used. Various adaptors for different types of plugs are available at the reception. The electricity supply is 240V. Please turn your lights off when you leave your cabin.

    Excursions
    When mooring, you are welcome to leave and return to the ship as many times as you wish. Our next sailing time will be displayed on the daily schedule and passengers are requested to remember this before disembarkation. Group shore excursions are organized by the cruise director. Meeting point for the excursion is the Lounge.
    You will be accompanied by an English speaking tour guide on all your excursions. Five minutes prior to casting off, our captain will sound the ship’s horn three times to remind you to return to the ship.
    Passengers are encouraged to sign out on the special board; this way we ensure that we do not sail off without you.

    Gratuities
    We suggest that if satisfied with the service a gratuity will be collected at the last day aboard. We give everybody, staff and crew an equal share and make sure that those in the kitchen or engine room all benefit as well. The amount would be at your discretion, but if an indication is required we suggest 5 USD per passenger per day. Gratuities shall be settled together with the shipboard account at the end of a cruise. Please note that you are under absolutely no obligation to make any gratuity at all. Our tour guides do not partake in the staff’s tips and you may tip the guides separately before the end of their tour.

    Guides
    Our guide services are conducted in English. Guides services in other languages are available at additional cost.

    Itinerary
    The itinerary on our website is a general overview of the main ports of call. The itinerary can be changed as much of the tour depends on river conditions and other local factors. A daily schedule will be posted one day in advance. This schedule contains an informative fact sheet on the sites we intend to visit.

    Loud Speaker System (PA)

    Please be informed that announcements can only be heard in all public areas as well as on the outside decks. Announcements do not go reach your cabin. In case of an emergency you will hear a loud continuous blast through the ships horn.

    River Conditions

    These vary depending on the season. In the dry season (December-April) the water level of the river will be quite low and in some places, the level would have dropped by more than 8 meters from its monsoon level (Jun-Sept). Though the river can be miles wide, channels may be narrow and hard to navigate. There is, thus, some risk of running aground on submerged sand banks. Our captain will take every necessary precaution.
    In case of high seas or even in the Tonle Lake, the winds can be very strong.

    Changes to Schedule

    Changes to schedule may be made due to technical complications or unpredictable weather conditions.
    The Cruise Director will immediately inform you of the changes vis-à-vis or an announcement will be made via the public address system. Please also keep an eye on the notice board for any subsequent notice of any changes to planned events.

    Security
    Tourists are rarely the targets of theft in the countries in which we operate. When sailing, passengers tend to leave their cabin doors unlocked. Though a 24-hour security detail is assigned to the gangplank controlling access to the ship, we recommend that you keep your doors locked at night. All cabins have a combination type safe - please use a number you are familiar with. Heritage Line will not be held liable for any losses from the ship or whilst on an excursion ashore during a voyage.

    Ship’s office
    The main office is at the Lobby Lounge. The Cruise Director or his/her assistant will be on duty from 6.30h until 24.00h.

    Sun Care

    The sun can be powerful. Please be careful and always wear sun block during the day.

    Time
    Vietnam and Cambodia are 6 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). In winter, please add 1 hour.

    Water

    The ship’s water is cleaned through a filtration system and the water is suitable for washing and brushing teeth but should not be drunk. Complimentary water is available in your cabin.
    Tap water is not safe, although the water is purified (Sand filtration, Reverse Osmosis, UV and Active Carbon). We have a central boiler system in place; please wait for a short while for the heater to heat up the water.

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    The majestic Jayavarman is considered the father in Heritage Line’s “family” of cruise ships. This vessel was named after Angkor’s most venerated king, who ruled from 1181 to 1218, and was a devout Buddhist. King Jayavarman oversaw the construction of some of the most famous temples in Angkor, including Ta Prohm, Preah Khan and the unforgettable Bayon. Inspired by the serenity and artistry associated with this great Khmer monarch, The Jayavarman’s design was also influenced by the French cruise liner Normandie, which launched in 1935. Traveling between Saigon and Phnom Penh, the Jayavarman marries the art deco charm of 1930’s France with the romance of Indochine. Measuring 57.8 meters from bow to stern, the Jayavarman holds 27 elegantly decorated cabins. Thanks to its intricate woodcarvings, Khmer bas-reliefs and Vietnamese lacquer paintings, this impressive cruise ship resembles a floating art gallery. Wherever they look, guests are reminded of the local arts and culture. With three-and-a-half decks the Jayavarman is as spacious as it is beautiful. Guests can admire Khmer artifacts in the Henry Mouhot Lounge, mingle in the Club 1930 Bar, dine in the elegant Indochine Dining Hall, and recharge with spa treatments in the Apsara Spa. A Jacuzzi is located on the top sundeck, which offers spectacular views of the passing delta. Along with its peaceful beauty, the Mekong Delta is known for its friendly locals. The crewmembers of The Jayavarman are no exception. From the moment they board, guests are made to feel at home. Offering exceptional service, comfort and style, The Jayavarman is a name to remember. This beautiful vessel is an unforgettable means of exploring some of the finest scenery in Asia.