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The Lost Civilization Downstream Cruise - Siem Reap to Saigon (8 Days)

The Jayavarman is a boutique hotel-style river cruise ship - the first of its kind in Indochina. Designed with both French colonial and Indochina influences, she has 27 spacious staterooms and suites furnished to a high standard of luxury, as well as a generous 800 square metres of public space, making her one of the most comfortable boats for cruising along the waterways of the Mekong Delta.





Meeting Point is the Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa, Central Park, Siem Reap. Time of departure depends on the water levels and will be advised two weeks prior to the cruise.

Day 1: Siem Reap to Tonle Sap Lake

In the high water season (usually Aug - Dec), the cruise begins in Siem Reap. Welcome cocktails and lunch are served on board as the Jayavarman sets sail. In the low water season (usually Dec - Aug) your adventure begins with a coach ride from Siem Reap to Kampong Cham where you join the ship. You arrive at the ship in the early afternoon and enjoy a welcome cocktail on board. Please note that the sequence of visits in Cambodia may vary during the low water season. Full details are available on request.

Day 2: Tonle Sap to Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Cham

Today’s programme will start with an invigorating Tai Chi lesson on deck as the sun rises. The itinerary for the rest of the day will depend on the water levels. In high water, the ship sets sail across Tonle Sap Lake before dawn and as you exit on the other side, you will see spectacular marshlands along the river banks of Kampong Chhnang Province. In the afternoon, the ship meanders along the Tonle Sap, which narrows through the leafy jungle. Visit Aundaung Russey village to see the Khmer-styled pottery and then take a motorboat excursion from Kampong Chhnang to see the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms. In low water, visit Aundaung Russey village and Kampong Chnnang in the morning, then continue the cruise on the Tonle Sap in the afternoon. Further down the river, take part in an ox cart rally before being introduced to a local literacy project. In the evening, the cruise continues to Kampong Cham.

Day 3: Kampong Cham to Wat Hanchey

The day begins with a journey upriver to the ancient hill-top temple of Wat Hanchey, which pre-dates even Angkor Wat. The view overlooking the river, is one of the best in Cambodia. A special travellers' blessing is performed by the local monks. Lunch is served on board and after a short cruise in the afternoon the ship drops anchor at Kampong Cham. You can visit Wat Nokor, a temple built within the ruins of an even older one. There is also a visit to an orphanage on the way back to the ship. In the evening, dinner is served on board as the Jayavarman cruises towards the capital, Phnom Penh.

Day 4: Phnom Penh

The cruise arrives in Phnom Penh early in the morning. It is worth getting up early to see the approach to the city's riverside promenade. After breakfast there is a sightseeing city tour. Don't miss the white and gold architecture of the splendid Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and the displays of Khmer crafts in the National Museum. The tour includes a visit to a temple on a hill, Wat Phnom. Lunch is served in a local restaurant. In the afternoon there is an excursion to the infamous 'Killing Fields' and the grim Tuol Sleng, the site of the Khmer Rouge detention and torture centre in Cambodia's dark days of civil war. Your guide is a local history lecturer. Afterwards, enjoy a cocktail followed by a performance of Cambodia's traditional Apsara dance, a colourful and musical event. A buffet of typical Khmer cuisine is served. Spend the night on board the Jayavarman, moored in Phnom Penh.

Day 5: Phnom Penh to the border with Vietnam

This is a day for rising early and joining in Thai Chi exercise on the Sun Deck. After breakfast the Jayavarman cruises along the main channel of the Mekong River, a busy shipping route. In the afternoon, you have the opportunity to relax on the Sun Deck, get a massage in the Spa, or take part in a Vietnamese cooking class. By early evening the cruise reaches the border with Vietnam. Be warned that border formalities can take some time, and the ship moors midstream for the night. Dinner is served on board.

Day 6: Chau Doc to Sa Dec

Highlights of the day are a boat excursion to floating villages and catfish farms and a visit to a local family home. Take some time to explore Chau Doc, a fascinating town rich in French colonial architecture. A bustling market is full of tropical fruits and the sellers wear traditional cone-shaped hats made from palm leaves. In the afternoon, set off for My An Hung Village where you will take a walk across a monkey bridge and see chilli, corn and beetle nut plantations before visiting a local family home. Here you can taste tea with honey and local delicacies and fruits before returning to the ship to set sail for Sa Dec.

Day 7: Cai Be - My Tho

In the morning, board a local sampan to tour Binh Thanh Island and its man-made canals. Here you can observe the villagers as they grow and process water hyacinths into natural fibre floor mats and baskets. Lunch will be served on the ship as you cruise to Cai Be. In the afternoon you can visit the town’s colourful floating market, where traders gather to ply their wares. Take a languid ride around the evergreen islands along the Mekong River, stopping to see how rice pasta, rice cookies and coconut candies are made. In the early evening, return to the ship for a tranquil cruise towards My Tho. Later there will be a wonderful farewell party on the ship.

Day 8: Saigon

The cruise approaches Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the morning, winding its way through the UNESCO listed Mangrove Biosphere Reserve. After breakfast on board, disembark and the rest of the day is yours to enjoy in the city.


Disembark for a transfer to the designated drop off point. Time and point of disembarkation from the ship depend on the water levels and will therefore be advised two weeks before departure.


  • 7 Nights' accommodation on the Jayavarman
  • Transfers between the ship and the city centre in Saigon and Siem Reap
  • Full board
  • Free flow of beverages - mineral water, soft drinks, juices, tea, coffee - at all times, free flow of local beer and house wine by glass during lunch and dinner, drinking water in cabin and during excursions
  • Sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
  • Welcome and Farewell Dinners
  • Phnom Penh port taxes (shown separately on the website and charged when you make your booking)


  • Beverages
  • Gratuities
  • Visas (where required)
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal insurance
  • Fuel surcharges (if applicable)

Sailing dates