Carol McKee

McKee Travel

Vietnam & Cambodia with Amawaterways

Vietnam
RICHES OF THE MEKONG
December 2023
Voted #1 River Cruise Line by Cruise Advisor Magazine
 
Join us on the AmaDara and experience the magic of Vietnam and Cambodia
 December 4-11, 2023!
 
Cruise along the Mekong through Cambodia and Vietnam as you are transported back in time to another era, where the rhythms of the countryside move at a slower pace and allow for a fascinating glimpse into a traditional way of life. Visit rural villages, colorful markets and a monastery, where you will receive a special Buddhist blessing by monks. Delve into the peaks and valleys of Cambodia’s history in the Royal Palace and National Museums of its beautiful capital, Phnom Penh. Witness skilled artisans who create exquisite handicrafts and delicacies, and be treated to authentic experiences, including rides via oxcart, tut tut and trishaw. On this transformative journey, the Mekong truly reveals a vibrant world along its shores.
 
 Your exclusive group promotion includes $750 discount per person off retail rates if booked by March 31st
 

What is included on your Cruise?
  • Extensive lineup of immersive included tours in every destination
  • Gentle, regular, active and late-riser tour options with knowledgeable local guides
  • All meals onboard, with regionally inspired cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients 
  • Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine with lunch and dinner and anytime local beer, house brand spirits, specialty coffee and tea, and soft drinks
  •  The Chef's Table Specialty Restaurant
  • Welcome and Farewell Gala Dinners
  • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
  • Snacks and refreshments served daily in the Main Lounge
  • Daily entertainment including cultural performances
  • Saigon Lounge with panoramic view and bar
  • Sun deck, Pool, Fitness room and spa
  • Airport transfers with purchase of air from AmaWaterways
 

What's not included:

  1. Travel insurance (please accept or decline below)
  2.  Pre- or post- Cruise Land Options (add available Amawaterways land package(s) at check out)
  3.  Airfare (Contract Air arrangements are available through Amawaterways)
 

Cruise Itinerary:

 

Note: The itineraries presented are subject to modification due to water levels, closures because of public holidays or other uncontrollable factors. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but changes may still be necessary throughout the cruise. This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.

 

 
Day 1 - SIEM REAP – KAMPONG CHAM, CAMBODIA – EMBARKATION
Transfer via motor coach from Siem Reap to the AmaDara in Kampong Cham for your seven-night cruise. Your afternoon excursion takes you to the Twin Mountains, known as Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (male and female mountains). In the annals of Khmer legend, the twin mountains were formed as the result of a competition between the men and women of an ancient Cambodian kingdom to resolve which gender would be responsible for wedding proposals. As the story goes, the women lit a fire at night, which made the men believe the sun was rising. As a result, the men stopped working and the women won the competition. Thus, men still need to ask the women's parents for permission and Phnom Srei is higher than Phnom Pros. Later, join fellow guests for an evening Welcome Dinner. (L,D)
 
*All cruise only guests should meet us at Sofitel Angkor hotel in Siem Reap at 8:00 am on Embarkation day to join the transfer to the ship in Kampong Cham. We recommend that you fly into Siem Reap at least one day prior to embarkation; please inquire about important arrival arrangements prior to your cruise.
 
 
Day 2 ANGKOR BAN - OKNHATEY

During the morning, go on a walking tour to Angkor Ban, one of the few villages in Cambodia that was not destroyed under the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. Here people still live in their traditional wooden abodes and keep their old cultural traditions alive. Hundreds of wooden houses stand intact on stilts, shaded with banana trees, among the hustle and bustle of the daily agricultural on-going of the local villagers. After visiting here, the ship sails to Oknhatey or “Silk Island,” located on the lush banks of the Mekong River. This island is known for its rich tradition of silk weaving. While here, you’ll visit a local elementary school and observe the traditional silk weaving that have been preserved for centuries. Your ship moors in Oknhatey village. (B,L,D)

 
Day 3  OUDONG - KAMPONG TRALACH - PHNOM PENH
Your cruise continues to sail to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The morning excursion takes you to Oudong, Cambodia’s former royal capital from the early 17th century until 1866. Today, Oudong is a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians. While here, be treated to a memorable Buddhist Blessing Ceremony at a monastery. After visiting Oudong, be treated to a truly authentic excursion, an oxcart ride through a local village Kampong Tralach. Later in the day, experience Phnom Penh via a tuk tuk ride and be enchanted by the city's French Colonial architecture and tree-lined boulevards set amidst monumental Angkorian architecture. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge. (B,L,D)
 
 
Day 4  PHNOM PENH
This morning’s excursion takes you to Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention center (Genocide Museum). Alternatively, you may wish to shop for unique treasures at the bustling yellow-colored Central Market. After lunch on board, you’ll explore the highlights of the city, followed by a visit to the Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, which has an outstanding collection of Khmer crafts. (B,L,D)

Day 5 PHNOM PENH – BORDER CROSSING – TAN CHAU, VIETNAM
Spend the day cruising the Mekong River as your ship crosses the border into Vietnam. (B,L,D)
 
Day 6 TAN CHAU – SA DEC
Visit Tan Chau, a small Mekong River town unspoiled by tourism. You will have the opportunity to enjoy an authentic experience via a traditional “xe-loi” (trishaw) ride around the town, with stops at silk-making and rattan mat workshops, followed by a boat ride through the narrow channels of the Mekong River to “Evergreen Island.” Alternatively, take a boat ride to Evergreen Island and return to Tan Chau, where you will visit a rattan mat workshop. Later in the day, cruise to Sa Dec. (B,L,D)
 
 
Day 7 SA DEC - XEO QUYT - CAI BE
Once ashore in Sa Dec, tour the town where French writer Marguerite Duras spent many years in her youth. Visit a colorful local market and the 19th-century house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Duras’ Chinese paramour, on whom her prize-winning novel “The Lover” is said to be based. Later, board a motorcoach for Xeo Quyt, once used as a military base during the French war and now an important ecological site. You will have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper making workshops, and the historic Kiet Old House. In Cai Be, cap the day off with a festive Farewell Dinner on board. (B,L,D)
 
*Guests booking cruise only will be transferred from the ship to Sofitel Saigon Plaza in Ho Chi Minh City. We recommend that you schedule your onward flight to depart Ho Chi Minh after 2:30 pm today to avoid potential missed connections.
 
Optional Pre-cruise Land Package 2 Nights Hanoi, 1 Night Ha Long Bay, 3 Nights Siem Reap -
November 28th - December 4th, 2023
 
Vietnam, Hanoi, Road, Street Traders 
 

11/28/2023 Pre- Cruise Land Option - Day 1 ARRIVE IN HANOI, VIETNAM

 Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city boasts a rich cultural heritage that blends in harmony with its vibrant present. From ancient temples to French Colonial architecture and modern-day skyscrapers, along with beautiful parks and lakes, Hanoi is an eclectic and lively city.

 
11/29/2023 Pre- Cruise Land Option - Day 2  HANOI

 Discover some of Hanoi’s most famous historic and cultural sites on your guided tour that includes: Ba Dinh Square and The Temple of Literature. You’ll also visit the infamous prison that American POWs sarcastically dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War. Take an authentic rickshaw ride, known as “cyclo,” in Hanoi’s bustling Old Quarter, and then enjoy a traditional water puppet show. (B)

Ha Long, Sea, Vietnam, Quang Ninh, Landscape, Nature
 
11/30/2023  Pre- Cruise Land Option -Day 3  HANOI - HA LONG BAY

 Ethereal Ha Long Bay is considered by many to be the Eighth Natural Wonder of the World. Board an elegantly appointed ship designed with all the modern conveniences to ensure smooth sailing for an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience. The backdrop of the bay’s magnificent scenery and dramatic limestone cliffs and rock formations provide you with the perfect setting for a memorable sojourn. (B,L,D)

 

12/1/2023 Pre- Cruise Land Option - Day 4 HA LONG BAY - SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA                                                                                                             

Spend the morning sailing across the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay with more than 2,000 small islands rising from the water like a dragon’s back. Later in the morning, disembark the ship and transfer to Hanoi Airport for a short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia, the gateway to Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former capital of the Khmer empire. (B,L)

 
12/2/2023  Pre- Cruise Land Option - Day 5 SIEM REAP - ANGKOR

Begin your morning exploration of the Angkor temple complex at Angkor Thom, meaning “the great city." This is home to Bayon Temple, best known for its gigantic smiling stone faces, as well as the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. You’ll then visit nearby Ta Prohm, known as the “Kingdom of Trees,” for the way in which the temple stones have become intertwined with thick forest vegetation over the centuries. Afternoon excursions take you to the fascinating jewel in the crown of Angkorian art, Banteay Srei, meaning “Citadel of Women,” as it has been said that the carving is too fine to have been done by the hand of man. Cap this memorable day off with a special “Apsara Dance Show” at your hotel, featuring local Cambodian/Khmer folk dancers. (B,D)

 
12/3/2023 Pre- Cruise Land Option - Day 6  SIEM REAP - ANGKOR

Discover the heart and soul of Cambodia and the most iconic of all Angkorian Temples, Angkor Wat. This is one of the largest religious monuments ever constructed and a true masterpiece of Khmer architecture built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century to honor the Hindu god, Vishnu. (B,D)

 
12/4/2023  Pre- Cruise Land Option - Day 7 SIEM REAP – KAMPONG CHAM, CAMBODIA – EMBARKATION
Transfer via motorcoach to the AmaDara in Kampong Cham for your seven-night cruise. Board a motorcoach to the Twin Mountains, known as Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (male and female mountains). In the annals of Khmer legend, the twin mountains were formed as the result of a competition between the men and women of an ancient Cambodian kingdom to resolve which gender would be responsible for wedding proposals. Later, join fellow guests for an evening Welcome Dinner. (B,L,D)
Optional Post -cruise Land Package #1 - Spend 2 Nights in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon)
December 11th -13th, 2023

 

12/4 to 12/6/2023 HO CHI MINH CITY - 2 nights

 

Disembark the AmaDara in My Tho Port and transfer to Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s former capital of Indochina was once known as “Paris of the Orient,” and today, it is an industrial, cultural and educational hub. Explore such famous landmarks as the former Presidential Palace, the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum before visiting the Ben Thanh Market—one of the oldest and most iconic structures in Ho Chi Minh City. (B,L) *For those not staying in Ho Chi Minh, we recommend that you schedule your onward flight to depart Ho Chi Minh after 2:30pm to avoid potential missed connections.

On your second day visit Chu Chi Tunnels, an immense underground network built during the Vietnam War. Spend your afternoon at leisure exploring more of Ho Chi Minh City.

This package includes Hotel with daily breakfast at the Sofitel Saigon Plazaas well as the tours mentioned above.
 
 
 
 
 
Optional Post -cruise Land Package #2 - Spend Three Nights in Bangkok Thailand
 
 
 
BANGKOK THAILAND  - 3 nights
Note that this option can be added to any of the post cruise packages or to the cruise only. Pre-cruise can only be added if you are taking the pre-cruise land package.
 
The capital and most populous city in Thailand, Bangkok is a fascinating center of commerce and culture. During your unforgettable Bangkok land program, you’ll discover architectural riches from the Grand Palace to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, cruise along the city’s famed canals and enjoy leisure time to explore incredible museums or shop for distinctive souvenirs in its colorful markets.
 
This package includes Hotel with daily breakfast at the Peninsula Hotel in Bangkok. Also included are the  flight from Ho Chi Minh city to Bangkok, guided tours to Khlon and Temple of Dawn, visit to the Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha.

*All cruise only guests should meet us at Sofitel Angkor hotel in Siem Reap at 8:00 am on Embarkation day to join the transfer to the ship in Kampong Cham. We recommend that you fly into Siem Reap at least one day prior to embarkation; please inquire about important arrival arrangements prior to your cruise.

Questions:

If you have questions about this trip please visit our FAQ.
If you have further questions please feel free to reach out to Carol McKee at carol.mckee@mckeetravel.com
 

Amawaterways Terms & Conditions and Cancellation policy: Questions about this trip

Note that all travelers are responsible for understanding Amawaterways terms and conditions as well as their cancellation policies. Please visit this link to see the Amawaterways the terms and conditions as well as their cancellation policy and how they handle cancellations : https://www.amawaterways.com/terms-conditions

 

Booking procedures:

  • Submit your request below by clicking Book Now,  then select the number of passengers at the top of the page + the cabin + additional options that you prefer
  • Cabin inventory is live - meaning that the number of cabins listed in any category may not be available when booking request is made and you may end up reserving another category as a result
  • No actual space is being held for this group - cabins are first come, first serve.  I recommend booking early in order to make sure the category you want is still available. 
  • Please note your credit card will not be charged immediately.  Within 1-3 business days of submitting your request I will send you an invoice showing your stateroom on hold. Once you approve the invoice your deposit will be charged.
  • Prices below reflect the per person cost, based on TWO people sharing a room.  Please contact me for special solo traveler pricing. 
  • Deck Plan is provided below to give a sense of the different categories of cabins. However specific cabin categories or cabin numbers can not be guaranteed
  • All guests on Amawaterways cruises or cruise + land tours are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel.
 
Deck Plan
 

Important insurance notification:

At McKee Travel we strongly recommend that every travelers carry travel insurance which can protect you and your trip from unexpected events. For this trip there are two different insurance options available to you.
  1. Amawaterways offers its own insurance - to read the description of its coverage please visit Amawaterways Insurance. Amawaterways travel protection must be purchased at time of deposit.  If you chose this option the cost, at 13% of your total purchase excluding taxes and fees, will be added to your purchase.
  2. A group policy through Travel Insured international is another insurance option. This must be purchased with in 14 days of making your deposit for best coverage. This group policy does not rate your coverage based on your age or any other factors.
 
Select the insurance option you are most interested in during the checkout process.
 
Contact me:
Carol McKee, Owner & Travel Advisor
Designing thoughtful trips for discerning travelers since 2010,  as quoted in the New York Times & Washington Post. 

Available Packages

Luxury Suite - Cruise Only - December 4 - 11, 2023
Available until June 30, 2022

$5,458.00
Deposit: $400.00

French & Outside Balcony, 502 sq. ft.
 
AmaWaterways
 

*Please note that all cruise only guests should meet us at Sofitel Angkor hotel in Siem Reap at 8:00 am on Embarkation day to join the transfer to the ship in Kampong Cham.

We recommend that you fly into Siem Reap at least one day prior to embarkation; please inquire about important arrival arrangements prior to your cruise.

 

Suite - Cruise Only December 4-11, 2023
Available until June 30, 2022

$4,058.00
Deposit: $400.00

French & Outside Balcony, 366 sq. ft.
 
AmaWaterways
 

*Please note that all cruise only guests should meet us at Sofitel Angkor hotel in Siem Reap at 8:00 am on Embarkation day to join the transfer to the ship in Kampong Cham.

We recommend that you fly into Siem Reap at least one day prior to embarkation; please inquire about important arrival arrangements prior to your cruise.

 

Category A Stateroom - Cruise Only December 4-11, 2023
Available until June 30, 2022

$3,558.00
Deposit: $400.00

French & Outside Balcony, 251 sq. ft.
 
AmaWaterways
 

*Please note that all cruise only guests should meet us at Sofitel Angkor hotel in Siem Reap at 8:00 am on Embarkation day to join the transfer to the ship in Kampong Cham.

We recommend that you fly into Siem Reap at least one day prior to embarkation; please inquire about important arrival arrangements prior to your cruise.

 

Category B Stateroom - Cruise Only December 4-11, 2023
Available until June 30, 2022

$3,258.00
Deposit: $400.00

French & Outside Balcony, 251 sq. ft.

AmaWaterways

 

*Please note that all cruise only guests should meet us at Sofitel Angkor hotel in Siem Reap at 8:00 am on Embarkation day to join the transfer to the ship in Kampong Cham.

We recommend that you fly into Siem Reap at least one day prior to embarkation; please inquire about important arrival arrangements prior to your cruise.

 

Category C Stateroom - Cruise Only December 4-11, 2023
Available until June 30, 2022

$2,559.00
Deposit: $400.00

French & Outside Balcony, 251 sq. ft.
 
AmaWaterways
 

*Please note that all cruise only guests should meet us at Sofitel Angkor hotel in Siem Reap at 8:00 am on Embarkation day to join the transfer to the ship in Kampong Cham.

We recommend that you fly into Siem Reap at least one day prior to embarkation; please inquire about important arrival arrangements prior to your cruise.

 

Extra Options

Amawaterway Insurance through Travel Guard
Available until June 30, 2022

$1.00

Amawaterways insurance through Travel Guard is priced at 13% of your total trip costs which are purchased through Amawaterways.
 
This can only be booked at time of deposit and price is dependent upon what you choose to book .
 
The cost of $1 listed here is only a placeholder for the 13% cost calculation and does not represent the true cost of the travel insurance.
 
The actual cost will be calculated after you choose the components of your trip and you will approve the amount of the insurance.
 
To see the Travel Guard Policy please visit this link

Pre Cruise Land Package - 6 nights - November 28th - December 4th, 2023
Available until June 30, 2022

$2,260.00
Deposit: $1.00

2 nights Hanoi, 1 night Ha Long Bay and 3 nights Siem Reap
 
INCLUDED IN YOUR 6 NIGHT STAY:
• Breakfast daily and all service charges, taxes and porterage
• 6 -Breakfast 3 -Lunch 4 - Dinner
• All tours
• English-speaking expert guides
• All transfers
 
Please note that choosing this land package does not require an additional deposit. However limitations of our system require that we list a deposit amount. Therefore the $1 deposit amount listed here should be considered a placeholder only.
 

Post Cruise Land Package - 2 nights Ho Chi Minh City
Available until June 30, 2022

$399.00
Deposit: $1.00

Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) Land option is added after the cruise - 2 nights at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza
 
Please note that choosing this land package does not require an additional deposit. However the limitations of our system require that we show a deposit. Therefore the $1 deposit listed here should be considered a placeholder only.
 

Post Cruise Land - 3 Nights Bangkok, Thailand
Available until June 30, 2022

$999.00
Deposit: $200.00

Bangkok Land has three options:
  • It can be added pre-Cambodia land package
  • Added to the post cruise only
  • Or it can be added at the end of the Ho Chi Minh City land option.
 
Price listed includes airfare to Bangkok and therefore requires a non-refundable deposit of $200 per person.
 
INCLUDED IN YOUR THREE NIGHT STAY
  • 3 nights Hotel - Typically the Bangkok Peninsula Hotel - subject to availability
  • Breakfast daily
  • Included tours
  • Airfare to/from Bangkok depending on when this option is added to the trip (before or after cruise or in addition to other land options)
 
 
Grand Palace, Bangkok, Temple, Night