Xin Chao and welcome to Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival, you will be met by your Emerald Cruises representative and transferred to your hotel for your included two-night stay.
Formerly known as Saigon, this is a city with a turbulent and colourful past. Today, Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s commercial centre with over eight million inhabitants and four million motorbikes.
Drive away from Ho Chi Minh City, watching the city skyline fade into the distance as the road winds through rice paddies, villages and other scenes typical to southern Vietnam. Spend a couple of hours walking around Cu Chi’s rugged grounds with a local guide. Hear how the residents constructed an intricate underground network of tunnels during the French and American wars. Hear incredible tales about the unusual foods the residents ate to survive and much more. Once above ground, see other ingenious items used by the residents to defend themselves such as bamboo traps and camouflaged pits.
Upon your return to Ho Chi Minh City, the afternoon is yours to enjoy at leisure.
This evening choose between two DiscoverMORE options to experience the night life of HCMC.
A tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels
Evening - Saigon street food tour (extra expense)
Evening – One night in Saigon (extra expense)
After checkout, enjoy a tour of the city, visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral, Opera House and Town Hall. Then, visit the Reunification Palace before transferring to the port, where you will board your Emerald Cruises Star-Ship, Emerald Harmony. You’ll be welcomed on board by your captain and crew before setting sail towards My Tho in the Mekong Delta. This evening, enjoy your first dinner on board with your fellow travellers. Your Cruise Director will conduct a port talk to review the activities and itinerary for the days ahead.
An orientation tour of Ho Chi Minh City
This morning you will be taken to the village of Ðat Dua, where you will learn how coconut candy and other local sweets are made, along with a fruit workshop. Enjoy a ride through the fruit plantations to Tan Long Pagoda on a Lambro before returning to Emerald Harmony to sail onwards to Sa Dec, a hidden gem on the Mekong Delta.
A visit to a workshop in Ðat Dua and a visit to Tan Long Pagoda
Visit Sa Dec on a walking tour, with stops at the Chinese Congregational House in Kien An Cung, the home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, who inspired Marguerite Duras’ novel L’Amant, and enjoy a walk through the central market to peruse its varied produce. Return to Emerald Harmony by sampan and sail to My An Hung Island. Recognised as a cultural and historical destination, this small village in rural Vietnam specialises in red-hot chilli and peppers. Enjoy some local folk singing during the visit.
A visit to My Ang Hung village
A visit to the Chinese Congregational House and the home of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le
The morning is yours to enjoy your free time on board or, if you prefer, partake in a DiscoverMORE optional excursion to the Tam Nong Ramsar Bird Sanctuary. Covering a total area of 7,313 hectares, Tram Chim National Park, located in Tam Nong, is currently one of Vietnam’s eight most important bird sanctuaries. With a system of swamps, grass plots and natural canals, the park is an ideal habitat for 191 species of plants, 150 species of freshwater fish, and nearly 231 species of water birds. Some of these are listed in Vietnam’s Red Book of rare and threatened species.
In the afternoon, embark on a journey to Long Khanh Island, visit a local family to learn about scarf-weaving and visit the Hoa Hao Buddhist Pagoda. Return to Emerald Harmony where, later this evening, you’ll be delighted by a traditional Lion Dance performance on board.
A Lion Dance performance on board
A visit to Tam Nong Ramsar Bird Sanctuary in Tram Chim National Park (extra expense)
A visit to a local scarf-weaving workshop and Hoa Hao Buddhist Pagoda on Long Khanh Island
In Tan Chau, as part of EmeraldPLUS, visit the recently renovated Cao Dai temple. The religion of Cao Dai is a syncretic, monotheistic religion established in southern Vietnam in the city of Tây Ninh in 1926. Here, you will learn more about the mix of ideas that form the basis of this fascinating religion. After a Xe Loi ride, embark one of our sampans to Evergreen Island for a walk through a local village to get a glimpse into the lives of the local farming community. Stop at a local fish farm enroute back to the ship. Back on board your luxury Star-Ship, cruise to the border between Vietnam and Cambodia. Tonight, celebrate crossing the border with a Cambodian-style family dinner.
A visit to Cao Dai temple, a religion unique to the Mekong Delta
A visit to Evergreen Island and Tan Chau
Wake up in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. The city, known as the “Pearl of Asia”, was almost entirely evacuated by the Khmer Rouge in 1975. This morning, you will learn more about the Khmer Rouge and the darkest days of the country’s history. A short drive will take you to the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek. Here you will have the opportunity to walk through the fields, visit the small museum and learn about this sad historic chapter. Afterwards visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (also known as S-21). This is a former school that was converted to the main prison and torture headquarters of the Khmer Rouge. The afternoon is yours to continue exploring, experience one of four DiscoverMORE options or to simply relax on board your Star-Ship. In the evening, you will have a chance to experience an evening remork (or Tuk-Tuk) ride through Phnom Penh to enjoy the city lights.
Phnom Penh by night on a remork (Tuk-Tuk) tour
A visit to the Killing Fields & Toul Sleng Genocide Museum
A silk farm tour at Koh Oknha Tei (extra expense)
A visit to the silversmith village of Kho Chen (extra expense)
Enjoy a craft beer adventure by remork in Phnom Penh (extra expense)
Savour High Tea and cocktail at Raffles Le Royal (extra expense)
Located north of Phnom Penh, Oudong was the former royal capital of Cambodia up until it moved to Phnom Penh in 1866. Important remnants on the temple sight include the burial sites of Khmer kings as well as religious artefacts dating back more than a hundred years. In the main temple of the Oudong Monastery, receive a traditional Buddhist blessing from the temple’s resident monks as part of your EmeraldPLUS excursion. In the afternoon, you will visit the majestic Royal Palace with its gardens and the central market located in the heart of the city. This evening, enjoy a cultural performance by the Cambodian Student and Children’s Organisation.
A traditional Buddhist Monk blessing
A cultural Performance by the Cambodian Student and Children’s Organisation
A visit to Oudong Monastery
A visit to the Royal Palace and central market
Disembark Emerald Harmony in the morning and continue by road to Siem Reap for your included three-night stay. En-route to Siem Reap, stop in the spider village of Skol, Kampong Kdei and see the impressive Angkor Bridge.
This evening, witness the incredible Cambodian Circus, Phare, a spectacle of acrobatics, theatre and music. Phare is an NGO founded by Cambodian refugees to assist disadvantaged young people by teaching them performing arts.
The Cambodian Circus, Phare
Today, start with a visit to Angkor Thom. As the last capital of the Khmer Empire, it was a fortified city, home to priests, officials of the palace and military, as well as buildings for administering the kingdom.
Afterwards, visit the sacred Temple of Ta Prohm, still overgrown by jungle trees, it has been the backdrop for many Hollywood movies.
This afternoon and evening is at your leisure or undertake a DiscoverMORE option.
A visit to Angkor Thom
A visit to Ta Prohm Temple
Afternoon - A Vespa tour of Siem Reap (extra expense)
Evening – Drinks and Canapes in the Rice Field (extra expense)
Evening - Champagne Sunset Gondola Boat at Angkor
Evening - Cambodian Street Food Discovery Tour (extra expense)
Rise early and witness the sunrise over Angkor Wat. Afterwards walk through this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site known for its elaborate decorations and intricate carvings throughout.
This afternoon is free for you to explore more, to go shopping or to relax at your hotel. And, in the evening, you’ll enjoy your farewell dinner accompanied by an Apsara dance performance.
A sunrise visit to Angkor Wat
A visit to Banteay Srei (extra expense)
A visit to Tonlé Sap (extra expense)
A culinary tour of Cambodia (extra expense)
After breakfast this morning, you will be transferred to the airport to catch your onward or homebound flight.
This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above. Please refer to our terms and conditions.
Please note: Preview itinerary subject to change
The world may have changed, however, our commitment to our guests and crew, the guest experience and their health, safety and wellbeing remains our key priority. We are working closely with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), local and international Government Health agencies, to ensure our protocols exceed the latest regulatory requirements. Our Health & Safety Steering Committee oversees all health and safety policies and training with Emerald Cruises, ensuring you can travel with complete confidence that your wellbeing and safety are taken care of to the highest standard. In addition, we are implementing the most recent insights and technologies, with our Emerald Cruises team dedicated to exceeding the levels of cleanliness required in today’s travel climate.
We are continuously updating our protocols to safeguard both the health, safety and the experience of our valued guests. You will be informed about these important procedures, well in advance of your journey departure, which may include the following information and guidelines:
Medical Evaluation & Test
To ensure all of our guests are safe and well before your journey with us begins, we will require you to complete a pre-departure medical health evaluation. During the phased embarkation process you, and your fellow passengers, will be tested for COVID-19 by a medical specialist. This will allow you to relax with complete peace-of-mind when you board our Star-Ships, in the company of other like-minded travelers.
Our Dedicated Team
Our Captains, Hotel Managers and Cruise Directors, alongside their exceptional teams, will deliver a first-class level of service during your time traveling with us. You can enjoy the same exciting program of on board and on shore experiences, tailored to smaller groups to allow for safe social distancing. The team are readily available to ensure every detail of your journey with us is memorable, for all the right reasons. They will ensure health and safety protocols are followed on a daily basis.
Having the best crew to look after you is at the heart of our core values at Emerald Cruises, and we will go the extra mile to ensure our crew is healthy in doing so. All crew will be regularly tested for COVID-19 and will have daily temperature and health checks. They will also be trained and regularly briefed on all aspects in preventing COVID-19 amongst themselves as well as our guests. They will go beyond the ordinary to make your cruise a truly exceptional experience.
Contact-Free Check In & Check Out
We have adjusted the various touchpoints of your journey, allowing you to check in and check out in a completely contact-free way. Through a phased embarkation you will be able to arrive and depart from your Star-Ship smoothly and with safe social proximity in mind. And, of course, every time you return to your Star-Ship, our crew will be there to greet you with a warm smile.
Briefings & Screenings
Our medical expert will host mandatory briefings and screenings. These events are designed to ensure every member of our guests and crew are healthy, and also offer an opportunity to allay any concerns or ask any questions you may have about our safety protocols.
Enhanced Cleaning Commitment
Our on board crew will be increasing and enhancing our already frequent and high standard cleaning protocols in public areas and suites, leaving surfaces and spaces spotless. Additional care and attention will be paid to high contact zones, such as communal restrooms and dining facilities.
Socially Aware Dining
You can expect the same delightful dining experiences when you travel with us, savoring a choice of dishes inspired by regional cuisine and local produce. We are adapting and redesigning our on board food and beverage service to ensure extra care is taken in order to minimize social contact. We will serve our delicious food a la carte or via served buffets.
The spacious surrounds of our ships in combination with the guest numbers provide ample room for you to relax, allowing for an abundance of personal space. We are introducing contact-free movement across our Star-Ships to further reduce risks. Contact-free hand sanitizer dispensers will be readily available in all public spaces and guest corridors on board, whilst automated doors and contact-free guest servicing will minimize the number of touchpoints.
Our Star-Ships are equipped with air circulation systems. These systems ensure there is no re-circulation of inside air on board the ship. When you are relaxing in your suite you will be breathing air from outside the ship that is channeled directly to your suite. The air will also be released from your suite directly to the outside.
Smaller Groups & Social Proximity
Discovering the local culture of your destination is the highlight of every river cruise. Create memories to cherish during our choice of on shore excursions. You will travel in smaller groups, allowing for a more intimate travel experience, whilst respecting social proximity and destination specific regulations. To enhance your sightseeing, you can utilize our digital headsets, which will act as your personal tour guide and travel map.
Carefully Selected Local Partners
As well as enhancing our health and safety protocols on board and with our crew, we’re working closely with our local partners. We have forged long-standing relationships with our local partners, all of whom have been carefully selected for their expertise and high levels of service, and are committed to ensuring your safety. They will receive extensive training to adhere with our enhanced protocols. We will also introduce strict control and screening procedures for anyone boarding our Star-Ships.
Wellness Throughout Your Journey
Your wellbeing is our number one priority, both during your time on board and on shore. Journey to and from your destination with complete peace-of-mind. All transport vehicles will be equipped with hand sanitizer and will undergo deep cleaning after every journey, surpassing the high industry standards required. You can also rest assured that we will monitor social proximity, allowing you to travel safely, with plenty of personal space.
We are committed to continually reviewing and updating our protocols and guidelines as new information becomes available, to ensure that our guests can travel safely in the many destinations we operate in.
Emerald was awesome. It offered us cultural experience that was unusual and authentic. We felt like we got to know the countries we visited. We are looking to book with Emerald again in Europe. Local and tour Director was the best
first emerald waterway tour was excellent ! excellent and unique excursions included plus good optional tours offered loved the Vespa ride, ox cart and rickshaw ride Hoi Ann and Halong bay are highlights emerald staff very welcoming to us
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