Jayavarman is the father of Heritage Line’s unique ship collection and named after the most renowned Cambodian monarch, King Jayavarman VII, who was known for his tranquility and love for artistic creations. He created some of the most famous temples of the lost Angkorian civilization.
Jayavarman serves as a floating art gallery with fine objects d’art exposed all over the vessel. Lavish woodcarvings, Khmer bas-reliefs, and delicate lacquer paintings showcase skillful local artisanry and traditions. All are paired with a charismatic French-colonial design theme and pleasant Art-Deco accents. The cruiser features 27 rooms, individually themed and elegantly decorated, evoking memories of a glorious heritage. Jayavarman is a home that melts savoir-vivre with enjoyable lifestyle luxury. The warm and embracing atmosphere invites to feel at home from the first step aboard.
The ship plies the lower Mekong between Vietnam & Cambodia on various itineraries.
Allow us to paint – in your mind’s eye – a picture of timeless colonial romance on board The Jayavarman while cruising along the Mekong River. From your cabin, you step out onto your private balcony, sipping a cocktail made of local fruits you just dis-covered in an orchard during a Mekong Delta excursion. As the sun gently sets, the countryside casts its golden silhouette on the river. You realize that you’ve never been in a place this peaceful before and enjoy the tranquility which is only occasionally punctuated by a child’s raucous laughter ringing from a nearby river village. Darkness descends. Friendly waiters serve you at your private table who, by now, have become your friends. They may be a tad shy but proud to put on display their traditional attire. After a comfy night’s sleep, Tai Chi lessons await on the sun deck, ready to connect you to the energy that is so plentiful in this spiritual corner of the world.
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(Provisional off-season schedule: 1 May 2021 - 20 August 2021 and 30 April 2022 - 8 July 2022)
- 3 Nights | Pearl of the Orient 4 Days 3 Nights
4 Nights | Serenity Cruise (High Water Period) 5 Days 4 Nights
4 Nights | Serenity Cruise (Low Water Period) 5 Days 4 Nights
7 Nights | The Lost Civilisation (High Water Period) 8 Days 7 Nights
7 Nights | The Lost Civilisation (Low Water Period) 8 Days 7 Nights
About This CruiseThe mighty Mekong – a mysterious body of water flowing through six countries in Asia. Giving love and life to millions, it received its fame by the legendary God King of ancient Cambodia, King Jayavarman VII, who linked hands with the waters of the Mekong to build the magnificent Angkor civilization.
Our 3-Night lower Mekong cruise “Pearl of the Orient” explores the delta’s rich diversity in every facet. The Delta is a powerhouse for agriculture (in particular rice) and fish farming. The pulsating and energetic life on the river stands in stark contrast to the charming and relaxed village life, where locals often make their living with specialized handicrafts.
Day 1: Saigon - My Tho - Cai Be.
You will be greeted in the morning at the cruise's welcome lounge in Saigon. Kick back with a second coffee as the cruise staff collects your details for boarding. Bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon and travel 70 kilometres south over land towards My Tho to embark on The Jayavarman. After checking into your luxurious floating “home” for the next several days, your first inclination may be to step on your balcony to watch the ship sets sail on its fascinating Mekong River voyage.
A lunch buffet is served in the restaurant while the vessel steadily glides upstream. Now it is time to get acquainted with one of the largest streams in Asia, which runs an estimated length of 4,909 km (3,050 mi) and discharges 475 cu km (114 cu mi) of water annually. Millions of people – from China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam – pay tribute to this mighty river which provides sustenance and protection over its inhabitants.
Let your soul float and your eyes wander while the boat makes its way upstream. It is often stated that "nautical air" makes you hungry, so you are cordially invited to the afternoon tea in the open-air bar as twilight bathes the Mekong Delta in a golden haze. Get to know your fellow travellers while enjoying some tasty treats. The rest of this cruising day is fully yours to relax on your private balcony or be pampered by the cruise's therapists at the Apsara Spa.
While you savour your delightful dinner, the ship reaches Cai Be. This historic town was established in the 19th century by Vietnam’s last ruling family, the Nguyen dynasty, on the Mekong River where three provinces meet: Tien Giang, Vinh Long, and Ben Tre. Cai Be would later become the surrounding region’s predominant water-based trading hub, as you will see in tomorrow’s visit to the floating market. Anchor mid-stream near Cai Be and moor there overnight. If you are in the mood for some evening entertainment, there is a cinema in the lounge showcasing classic movies and interesting documentaries on a nightly basis.
Day 2: Cai Be - Sa Dec - Tan Chau.
Wake up early to witness the spectacular scenery at the break of dawn. To make the experience complete, join the cruise's daily morning Tai Chi class. Afterwards, a rich breakfast buffet awaits, or if you prefer, breakfast will be served directly to your room.
Arrive at Cai Be, a charming market town which is famous for its Catholic French church and the manufacturing of traditional crafts and food products. The once enormous floating market of Cai Be gets smaller year by year since trading on the water is continually shifting towards modern markets. However, you can still see boat-to-boat trading of local goods, such as fruits and agricultural products and imagine what this must have looked like on a larger scale. Learn from your guide about the long-lasting trading culture and how each boat has a special marker to let buyers know what goods they are selling.
By local boat, you'll sail along the green canal network and watch the farmers working in the fields. A visit ashore of a workshop shows you the manufacturing of rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies and rice wine. Cai Be's surrounding areas are covered by palm trees, which is why the region is also famous for the production of coconut candy. While the vessel continues sailing upstream, you can enjoy time to yourself or head to the bar to and enjoy a true Vietnamese coffee as you watch the life on the riverbanks float by.
In the afternoon, the vessel reaches the area of Sa Dec and arrives at one of the larger islands in the vast stream of the Mekong, Binh Thanh Island. Several communities have settled here and make their living by growing water hyacinths. You exclusively visit one of these untouched areas. By wandering through the village, get a deep understanding of native life. One of the local artisans, for example, demonstrates the entire process of traditional mat making. You can try weaving yourself. You'll also meet a local elderly couple who share their story of living on this island. They are always happy to chit-chat with visitors.
Back on board, you may take a dip in the pool on the sun deck. In the evening, your expert guide offers a presentation on life on the Mekong Delta as the ship continues sailing to Tan Chau, a pleasant, slow-paced border town near the Cambodian border with a sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. The cruise moors near the city with views on the riverbanks.
Day 3: Tan Chau - Border crossing - Phnom Penh.
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam.
Once on shore, you'll see Tan Chau's vibrant town-life as you hop on "xelois", which are local vehicles still used as a taxi in this area. Your personal "xeloi" driver slowly navigates through the streets to observe all the workshops, houses and shops while feeling the laid-back vibe of this place. You'll stop at the colourful, local market near one of the town’s temples. This is a great opportunity to interact with the vendors of this friendly town and try your hand at bargaining with them.
To see what Tan Chau is famous for, board local boats and head to a floating fish farm. You are about to get an exclusive look into the world’s largest inland aquaculture industry. Each of the floating structures has netting hanging down into the water to enclose the fish, which are raised and fed on a daily basis. The region’s specialties are tilapia and the Basa catfish, or Pangasius, which is unique to the Mekong River basin and rapidly gaining popularity on the international seafood market.
Back on board your "home", the cruise sails towards the Vietnamese-Cambodian border. Get ready for a fascinating and leisurely cruise through the deep Cambodian countryside towards Phnom Penh.
The whole afternoon is at your own disposal. From here, even the last passenger turns on their cruise mode and hopefully experiences the relaxing influence this mighty river emanates. The afternoon is perfect for massages, relaxation on a terrace deck sunbed or private balcony kick-backs. Conjure up a spell to merge with the river and float into a state of mild bliss.
You also may like to visit the bridge as the captain always has a little story to share about "his" river. Or, if you are curious to learn more about Khmer gastronomy, join a culinary workshop to sharpen your knowledge about local cuisine.
After some additional cruising time back aboard, the boat arrives and docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. Feel free to go out and explore by yourself after dinner. Stroll along the river promenade and watch the locals chit-chatting, selling odds and ends or have a drink in one of the numerous bars.
Day 4: Phnom Penh.
Welcome to Phnom Penh - the city once named Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. It is an amazing town with centuries of incredible history and culture which can still be felt at many street corners.
Enjoy your last breakfast aboard your floating home before disembarking the ship. We hope you enjoyed this fascinating river cruise, just as the crew does every single time. Moreover, take the enchanting memories and friendships along with you and share the stories of this amazing river - the Mighty Mekong.
- Partial River View
- Private Balcony
- 1 Queen Size Bed or 2 Single Beds