Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500
Vietnam and Cambodia Cruises

Cruise the Far East - Vietnam and Cambodia

Vietnam and Cambodia are unmissable, with their ancient cultures surviving amongst modern influences.

Best visited by a river cruise and tour giving time to enjoy the experience, Vietnam and Cambodia offer unbeatable sights. Visit the ancient remains of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the limestone islands of Halong Bay, the bustling towns of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam, royal Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, and riverside towns with floating markets, fascinating sounds and interesting activities.

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020 / 2021

About Vietnam and Cambodia Cruises

The Mekong River travels from its delta near Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) through river villages up river to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. Its Royal Palace is noted for two magnificent pagodas - the Silver Pagoda and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Phnom Penh is 4 hours from the nearest seaport of Sihanoukville, so is best visited by river. Mekong cruises continue upriver to the Tonle Sap lake and on to the fabled Angkor Wat temple complex. See our guide to Mekong River Cruises and Cambodia for more information.

Cruise and tour itineraries combine the Mekong with visits to the main sights of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is a shock to the senses - few cars but hordes of motor bikes carrying goods and people. Beautiful pagodas contrast with French colonial buildings, communist landmarks with thriving markets. Around the Town Square are famous buildings such as the Rex Hotel and the Post Office, and nearby the colourful Ben Thanh Market selling everything from vegetables to fish, electronics to souvenirs.

In Saigon don’t miss a Vietnamese water puppet theatre show, and maybe take an amazing pedal cab ride through the busy streets. Outside the city a major attraction is the Cu Chi tunnels, a huge underground city, base for Viet Cong guerrillas. Not for the claustrophobic or rotund! Smaller cruise ships can sail up the Saigon river to the city outskirts, larger ships dock at Phu My about 90 minutes away.

From Saigon tours may visit Hoi An, an ancient market and trading town on the Thu Bon river. It has fascinating old houses and streets, colourful temples, and a famous Japanese covered bridge built in 1593. Its lively riverside market is a mixture of sights and smells. Hue, the ancient imperial capital has the Imperial Citadel, a World Heritage Site modelled on Beijing’s Forbidden City. Sea cruises may call at Nha Trang, an international tourist resort in a beautiful bay setting, or the port of Da Nang for visits to Hoi An or Hue.

Further north the unified Vietnamese capital is Hanoi, with its old quarter of narrow streets a mix of French colonial architecture and ancient temples, and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. For many, the most amazing sight in Vietnam is Halong Bay, home to thousands of limestone islands of all shapes and sizes. Join a local junk for a close-up view, and maybe an overnight trip around the islands and the floating fishermens’ villages - their permanent homes. Smaller ships may cruise into the bay for an unforgettable memory as the ship threads between the islands.

Family boats on the Saigon River Hanoi pedal cyclocars Halong Bay

Vietnam and Cambodia Highlights

Angkor Wat (Cambodia)

The Angkor Archaeological Park is has one of the most important archaeological sites of Southeast Asia and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Angkor Wat is the best-preserved and most iconic of the Angkor temple complex, built in the early 12th century to honour the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple took over 30 years to be completed by King Suryavarman II

Angkor Wat

Da Nang

This friendly city is developing as a tourist destination in its own right, having good sandy beaches and being close to the caves, grottos and Buddhist temples of the Marble Mountains. The main reason for visiting however, is Da Nang's proximity to My Son, the ruined capital of the Champa Kingdom; the lovely city of Hoi An and its pagoda bridge and tailors, and the grand imperial city of Hue.

Da Nang (Vietnam)

Halong Bay

The thousands of vertical limestone karsts and islands of Ha Long Bay are a memorable sight. Topped off with jungle vegetation, some of the islands are hollow and contain large cave chambers, whilst others like Cat Ba are inhabited and offer facilities for tourists. Floating villages with a population of fishermen can be seen during cruises through the bay.

Halong Bay (Vietnam)

Hanoi

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and renowned for its spectacular colonial architecture and ancient temples. Highlights include the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in the centre of Ba Dinh Square, the One-pillar Pagoda, a historic Buddhist temple and the Temple of Literature founded by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong. Hanoi serves as the gateway to the dramatic limestone cliffs of Halong Bay.

Hanoi (Vietnam)

Ho Chi Minh City

Large cruise ships reach Ho Chi Minh City via the Saigon River and berth in the port of Phu My, whilst smaller vessels can approach along the Mekong Delta. Formerly Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City has many places of interest, including the Cu Chi Tunnels which hid the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War; Reunification Hall, once the Presidential Palace, and the temples and Pagodas of the Cholon Chinatown district.

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

Hoi An

Hoi An is a picturesque town of well-preserved ancient buildings, Chinese-style shophouses, and famous for its covered pagoda bridge, its tailors, and colourful lanterns. It is World Heritage Listed for its importance as a 15th to 19th-century trading port, with a mixture of local and foreign architectural styles. The Museum of Trade ceramics is housed in an interesting old Hoi An home.

Hoi An (Vietnam)

Hue

The World Heritage Site of Hue can be visited from Chan May or Da Nang. This exquisite city was once Vietnam's capital, built beside the Perfume River in the early 19th century, and contains a Forbidden City, pagodas, tombs, palaces, temples and lakes. It was described by the Director General of UNESCO in 1981 as 'a masterpiece of urban poetry', whose treasures include the six-tiered Thien Mu Pagoda, the Citadel and the Emperor's Tomb.

Hue (Vietnam)

Nha Trang

Nha Trang is an international tourist resort set in a beautiful bay. More lively and urban in character than other Vietnam beach destinations, it is the scuba diving centre of Vietnam. Local artwork can be found on Doc Lop Street and to visit the beaches of Hon Tre Island, take the hi-level Vinpearl Cable Car. Po Nagar Cham Towers are an elaborate series of 8th-century towers and temples on Cu Lao Mountain.

Nha Trang (Vietnam)

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is a busy, noisy city, still recovering from the horrors of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Itineraries often include trips to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and the grim Tuol Sleng or S21 Detention Centre. Less harrowing is the Royal Palace, and its two magnificent pagodas - the Silver Pagoda and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the historic hill-top temple complex of Wat Phnom.

Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

Siem Reap

Siem Reap is the stepping-off point for visits to the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat. In Siem Reap itself, there are French shop-houses, and tree-lined avenues beside the river. The Angkor National Museum has displays tracing the history of the complex, and a short distance away by tuk-tuk is Kampong Phluk Floating Village, built on stilts in a mangrove forest. Siem Reap has good restaurants and several luxurious spas.

Siem Reap (Cambodia)

Sihanoukville

The port town of Sihanoukville is an attractive beach resort on the Gulf of Thailand. There are watersports on offer along the beaches, where there are thatched beach umbrellas and seaside cafes. Sihanoukville has several temples in leafy surroundings, including the lovely hillside Wat Leu and its carved white elephant. In the Downtown area are markets, bars and cafes.

Sihanoukville (Cambodia)

Tonle Sap

Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia is a UNESCO Biosphere known for its tranquil fishing villages. It is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia during the wet season and home to an abundance of wildlife including crocodiles, macaques and otter. Fishing is the main source of income however the flood plains are used to grow vegetables. Angkor, the capital which is located on the northeastern edge of the lake is a designated World Heritage site.

Tonle Sap (Cambodia)
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