Your first full day in Ho Chi Minh City offers you the chance to choose from two Signature Experiences, during which you'll learn about Vietnam's recent past. On the first Signature Experience, journey to Ba Ria and learn about the Battle of Long Tan. Afterwards, attend a memorial service at Long Tan Cross, a memorial erected by the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, which is set in a rubber plantation and marks the site of the Battle of Long Tan.
On the second alternative, visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the war. These tunnels served as Viet Cong hiding spots, supply and communication routes, hospitals and weapon caches, and make for a fascinating visit. This evening, head to Xu Restaurant for a tantalising and exclusive degustation dinner, complete with matching wines, all inspired by APT Ambassador Luke Nguyen. (B/L/D)
A local boat will take you to the river-land town of Cai Be today. Once here, step ashore to visit the French Gothic cathedral as well as the colourful port area, which is filled with crumbling colonial buildings and delightful flowering gardens. The morning then takes you onwards to a rice paper manufacturer where you'll see how Vietnamese rice paper is made. Lunch will be served back on board later as your ship cruises past scenes of charming rural life towards the quaint town of Sa Dec.
This delightfully sleepy locale is where French writer Marguerite Duras met her Vietnamese- Chinese lover, Huynh Thuy Le. On arrival, tour Huynh Thuy Le's old house and learn the story behind Marguerite Duras' bestselling novel, The Lover. Later, pay a visit to a traditional Cao Dai temple. Watch visitors and pilgrims come and go, and appreciate the beauty of the building. (B/L/D)
Transfer to a small boat for a journey along the tiny tributaries that snake around the riverside town of Tan Chau. Cruise right past a floating fish farm, then step ashore for a rickshaw tour of Tan Chau. Ride past shops, rice wine rooms and friendly locals eager to say hello. Later, step back in time during a visit to an evergreen island where you'll experience authentic rural Mekong life.
The remainder of today is left free for you to relax on board your luxurious river ship. This afternoon, perhaps take in a fruitcarving demonstration by one of the ship's chefs while border formalities are carried out and you cross into Cambodia. Alternatively, sit back and watch daily life unfold on the riverbanks before enjoying dinner later this evening. After entering Cambodia, your ship will continue to cruise overnight towards the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.. (B/L/D)
Perhaps rise early to take in Phnom Penh's glorious river promenade as your ship nears the centre of the bustling capital. After breakfast on board, disembark and join your chosen activity. Perhaps enjoy a guided tour of the dazzling white and gold Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, which is located on the south side of the palace complex and houses many national treasures.
Alternatively, you may wish to discover some of Cambodia's sobering history with a moving excursion to the infamous Killing Fields, before visiting the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, located on the site of the Khmer Rouge's notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21). Here, you'll learn of the atrocities inflicted upon Cambodians during Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime in the midto- late 1970s. Your other options are a visit to the National Museum of Cambodia or a guided city tour in a tuk tuk which takes is an exciting way to take in a range of city sights, including the Independence Monument and Wat Phnom, a sacred Buddhist pagoda. (B/L/D)
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|Tonle Deck (C - Standard Suite) (Prices Shown)||$ 0|
|Tonle Deck (B - Balcony Suite)||$ 495|
|Saigon Deck (B+ - Balcony Suite)||$ 895|
|Saigon Deck (A - Balcony Suite)||$ 1,095|
|Sadec Deck (Sadec - Balcony Suite)||$ 1,895|
|Sadec Deck (Owners+ Balcony Suite)||$ 2,295|