Aqua Mekong 7-Night Low Water Cruising from Phnom Penh to My Tho.
The 62.4-metre Aqua Mekong is a floating five-star hotel with a guide to guest ratio of 1 to 1.
Spacious and indulgent, yet intimate enough to feel entirely exclusive, the Aqua Mekong incorporates relaxed yet refined lounging and dining areas and can accommodate a maximum of 40 guests plus crew.
Embarking from Siem Reap (REP), Phnom Penh (PNH) or Ho Chi Minh (SGN-Saigon), 7-night, 4-night and 3-night Mekong River cruises transport you down or upriver.
From the inspiring bustle of modern Vietnam, the Aqua Mekong navigates deep into the timeless Cambodian countryside.
The cultural diversity along the Mekong is as striking as the surrounding topography. Soaring limestone mountains separate Vietnam from Cambodia, providing a natural boundary that split the two most powerful influences on the region. From India to the west came Hinduism into Cambodia, the state religion of the Khmer Empire at Angkor until the 13th century while Chinese monks from the north brought Buddhism along the ancient trade routes to Vietnam.
The river forms an integral part of each distinct and rich culture, and it is on these fertile riverbanks that the Vietnamese people grow half their nation’s agricultural product.
20 suites – 40 passengers
The ship’s 20 air-conditioned designer suites with en-suite bathrooms overlook the Mekong through floor-to-ceiling windows that highlight the picturesque backgrounds floating past.
This beautiful craft offers a fully equipped gym, screening room, outdoor cinema, observation deck, private library, games room and an upper-deck pool. Dine on world-class dishes created by top Southeast Asian cuisine chefs in the indoor dining room or enjoy outdoor private dining. Thirsty? There are both indoor and outdoor bars, or if you prefer a wee snooze, you can lounge on the daybeds in the outside shaded lounge, observation deck or in the upper-deck plunge pool and gaze as the scenery goes by.
Ready for adventure? You can board private tenders for expert-guided shore excursions down the water-hyacinth-choked rivers and inlets of the Mekong Delta, glide up to stilted villages, visit Buddhist temples and floating markets, or take a rickshaw ride or explore by bicycle or kayak.
Why we love it
Apart from the evident, glorious luxury, cruising The Mekong has a wonderfully surprising calm, despite the 18 million people living across the delta, the many old fishing boats, river ships and sampans that plough through its brown waters.
The Aqua Mekong provides guests with an up-close view of both Vietnam and Cambodia – all without having to navigate customs, international flight terminals, or local taxis, plan, plot, or even re-pack a suitcase. The burden of in-depth research disappears, and you’re left with the true purpose of travel: to experience something new. Should you choose to adventure off-board, another advantage to small ship cruising is that you can travel in groups small enough to visit a family at home for a local backyard barbecue and, as everything is organised by the cruise team, there’s no need to arrive early to try to skip temple queues.
7 Night Cruise sailing from Phnom Penh to My Tho aboard Aqua Mekong.
Day 1: MEKONG RIVER – PHNOM PENH – CAMBODIA
We meet you at the Phnom Penh TS1 Port for check-in to your 3-story, five star Mekong abode. Welcome aboard. We’ll leave you to settle into your floating retreat, with its window wall conferring an endlessly captivating panorama. Enjoy these private Mekong moments on your California king bed, terrace or daybed. Together we celebrate the onward journey towards the heart of this mighty river with a Khmer apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.
Day 2: MEKONG RIVER – KOH OKNHA TEY – PREAH PROSOP – CAMBODIA
On this river of time we admire dexterous Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma, the ubiquitous item no Khmer lives without. Explore the riverbank on two wheels if you wish, past Buddhist temples and thatch houses perched on spindly wooden stilts while white oxen wade just offshore. After lunch, we board our marine-grade aluminum skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.
Day 3: TONLE SAP RIVER – KOH CHEN – KAMPONG PRASAT – CAMBODIA
In the silversmith village of Koh Chen, we watch artisans producing the magnificent silverware favored by Khmer royalty. We continue to Udong, the royal capital from the 17-19th centuries, where we learn about a uniquely challenging Buddhist practice at the Vipassana Dhura Mandala, a meditation center. In the afternoon, a walking tour of Kampong Prasat offers a close up perspective on local lives and their riverside environment.
Day 4: TONLE SAP RIVER – KAMPONG CHHNANG – KAMPONG TRALACH – CAMBODIA
In the cooler hours, we head into the lush countryside to visit traditional potters and palm-sugar producers, astride mountain bikes or chauffeured by shaded tuk-tuk. Into the rice paddies we pedal to watch wizened masters scale sky-piercing palms towering over us. Cruise across the glassy water and disembark among the lotuses for an ox-cart ride along the Tonle Sap riverbanks, past lacquered wooden houses where during these dry months, residents take refuge in the relative cool of these outdoor impromptu living rooms.
Day 5: MEKONG RIVER – PHNOM PENH – CAMBODIA
We show off the Cambodian capital to our passengers by motorized tuk-tuk, the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, we visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or shopping at Russian Market. We bid farewell to 4-night guests who are disembarking in Phnom Penh.
Welcome our 3-night passengers over custom sundowners like the Salted Watermelon Crush with Thai basil. Together we celebrate the onward journey towards the heart of this mighty river with a Khmer Apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.
Day 6: MEKONG RIVER – KA´OM SAMNOR-VINH XUONG BORDER CROSSING – CHAU DOC – MY AN HUNG – VIETNAM
Say ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’ while we cross the border and sail towards Tan Chau, a vibrant border town where we take the local rickshaw called xe loi for a trip around town or pedal 18 kilometers on the peaceful island of Long Khanh. In the afternoon, we visit a typical Mekong Delta village called My An Hung where we will walk through verdant plantations. We will be invited to a local’s home to taste local fruits while hearing traditional folk songs performed by villagers, followed by a unique Unicorn dance. Biking option is also available for those who wish to explore on wheels.
Day 7: MEKONG RIVER – BINH THANH/SA DEC – CAI BE – VIETNAM
Begin the day at Binh Thanh mat weaving village or opt to visit Sa Dec where we will peruse the vibrant market and see the famous house of Marguerite Duras’ legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le. We continue downstream for Cai Be, zigzagging in our sampan past lone fishermen on their long tail boats. Later, our skiffs moor at a wooden pier. Here in Cai Be, walk or bike ride among high-roofed open courtyard houses, some dating back more than 100 years, and currently inhabited by gracious locals who will invite us to glimpse their property.
Day 8: MEKONG RIVER – MY THO – HO CHI MINH – VIETNAM
Disembarkation. En route to Saigon, we stop at Vinh Trang Pagoda, one of the largest Mahayana Buddhist temple in the region. You will notice the mixed architectural style and see three large buddha statues plus an impressive collection of bonsai trees.