Vacations



R Family Vacations


LGBT VIETNAM & CAMBODIA RIVER CRUISE (adult-only)

October 15-30, 2013


Vietnam River Cruise LGBT

There can be no more striking cultural contrast than the one between bustling Vietnam and tranquil Cambodia. From Ho Chi Minh City through the Mekong Delta, so rich in human life and endeavor, to the diverse countryside of Cambodia, you'll discover two countries, two cultures, and two ways of life linked by one river, the Mekong.

Seven, Eleven, or 15 nights - the choice is yours. This first ever LGBT cruise down the Mekong river is not just a once in a lifetime experience, it is an incredible value no matter how long you join us for.

Gregg KaminskyPlease note we are once again partnering with our friends at Brand G Vacations. Gregg (Kaminsky) is traveling with you as one of the hosts on this incredible trip. Our partnership allows us to offer these special fully chartered vacations designed for the LGBT community to travel together.

The cruise itself is aboard Amadeus Waterway's newest Asia Ship, the AmaLotus. This intimate ship is reserved for only 124 guests and it allows all of us the chance to get to know each other and share the day's experiences. Starting in Siem Reap, home of Angor Wat, you will sail through great cities like Phnom Penh, and Ho Chi Minh City, trek through remote villages to see silk making at its best, and best of all see the great river and meet the people who call it home. It is a journey we have all wanted to make - and now we make it together with our own community and friends.

7-Night Cruise Only: This is an incredible value and best for people who will want to explore other parts of Asia on their own. Cruise Only prices start at $2,799.

Cruise Only Package includes:

  • 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom - most staterooms with balconies.
  • Life enriching tours and excursion.
  • Gourmet dining with all meals included during your cruise.
  • Free-flowing wine with every lunch and dinner on board.
  • Complimentary house-brand spirits, beer and soft drinks during cruise.
  • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily.
  • Welcome Dinner and Farewell Cocktail Party & Dinner.
  • Onboard special highlights including folklore dances and music performances, culture discussion forums, theme dinners and piano entertainment.
  • Non-smoking environment (smoking permitted only on the Sun Deck).

12-Day Adventure: Your journey begins with a two-night stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia, gateway of the ancient Khmer empire. Explore one of the world's greatist sites, Angor Wat, before your cruise, and the ever bustling and changing before your eyes - Ho Chi Minh City. This is one of the best values in travel today - five star hotels and a five star ship for eleven nights of adventure.

This Boutique Cruise & Tour Package includes:

  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Siem Reap at the Sofitel Royal Angkor (or similar), including daily buffet breakfast.
  • 7 nights deluxe cruise - detailed in the Cruise Only Package.
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) at the Sheraton Saigon (or similar), including buffet breakfast.
  • All transfers with the purchase of cruise & pre/post nights.

16-Day Dream Journey: Luxury, Value, Convenience make these fifteen nights one that you will never forget. Whether it is in the lush beauty of Hanoi, on the tranquil junk of Halong Bay, in the midst of the great temples of Angor Wat, pulling alongside the Emperor's Palace in Phnom Penh, or anchored in the middle of the mighty Mekong, you will be enchanted by everything you see and experience.

This Boutique Cruise & Tour Package includes:

  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Hanoi at the Sofitel Legend Metropole (or similar), including daily buffet breakfast.
  • Overnight stay on board a luxurious Traditional Wooden Junk in Ha Long Bay.
  • Flight from Hanoi to Siem Reap.
  • 3 nights hotel accommodation in Siem Reap at the Sofitel Royal Angkor (or similar), including daily buffet breakfast.
  • 7 nights deluxe cruise - detailed in the Cruise Only Package.
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) at the Sheraton Saigon (or similar), including buffet breakfast.
  • All transfers with the purchase of cruise & tour package.

12 DAY ITINERARY


16 Map

Day 1: October 19, 2013 - Siem Reap - Angkor

Airport greeting and transfer to the hotel.

Day 2: October 20, 2013 - Siem Reap - Angkor

Enjoy a full-day excursion to Angkor Wat Temple complex including; Temples of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Ta Prohm, and Angkor Wat). (B)

Day 3: October 21, 2013 - Siem Reap - Tonle Sap Lake/Embarkation - Kampong Chhnang

Welcome aboard your luxurious vessel, moored at Tonle Sap Lake. The great lake dominates Cambodia and is known for its profuse bird life and tranquil fishing villages. Meet your fellow travelers at the Welcome Dinner as you cruise to Kampong Chhnang. The ship moors overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 4: October 22, 2013 - Kampong Chhnang - Kampong Tralach-Oudong

After breakfast, a motor boat excursion takes you into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the Tonle Sap river. Enjoy a stunning variety of birdlife, and see numerous great fish traps, some over a half mile long. After your excursion, return to your vessel and cast off towards Kampong Tralach. An afternoon tour includes an oxcart ride from the river bank through the countryside to the beautiful Wat Kapong Tralach Pleu. Tour the pagodas, and then board a motor coach to Oudong, the former capital of Cambodia, where you will tour the Buddhist monastery. After the visit, you motor coach will take you to your vessel, which will cruise towards the village of Chong Koh. (B,L,D)

Day 5: October 23, 2013 - Chong Koh - Phnom Penh

This morning, visit the Chong Koh silk weaving village for a leisurely walk. Your vessel then departs for Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. An afternoon walking tour provides an orientation to this spectacular city. Return to the vessel for dinner, followed by a special Khmer folk performance on board. The vessel moors overnight in Phnom Penh. (B,L,D)

Day 6: October 24, 2013 - Phnom Penh

A morning tour explores the highlights of Cambodia's capital city, famous for its French colonial architecture, busy cafes, vibrant nightlife and renovated river "corniche." Visit the Royal Palace and the spectacular Silver Pagoda. The National Museum is another highlight, with outstanding displays of Khmer crafts. After lunch onboard, another excursion leads to the infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge's grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre (Genocide Museum) situated in the suburbs of the city. An overnight on the waterfront provides an opportunity to dine in one of many nearby restaurants and experience Phnom Penh's vibrant nightlife, should passengers so choose. (B,L,D)

Day 7: October 25, 2013 - Phnom Penh - Tan Chau (Vietnam)

Spend a day cruising the Mekong River and crossing the border into Vietnam. Your vessel moors at the small town of Tan Chau, Vietnam. (B,L,D)

Day 8: October 26, 2013 - Tan Chau - Sa Dec

After breakfast, transfer to small boats, which will navigate through narrow channels to visit an evergreen island. You will also visit a catfish farm and a rattan mat and slipper-making workshop . Back ashore, a traditional "xe-loi" (trishaw) awaits to transport you around Tan Chau. In the afternoon, your vessel cruises downstream to Sa Dec, where it will moor overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 9: October 27, 2013 - Sa Dec - Xeo Quyt - Cai Be

In the morning, board a local boat for Sa Dec passing floating markets as you boat maneuvers through the river's channels. Once ashore, you will tour Sa Dec, noteworthy as the town where the French writer Marguerite Dumas spent many years in her youth. Visit a local market, Fujian Temple and the house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Dura's Chinese paramour, which is now a small museum. Afterwards board a motor coach for the 1-hour ride to Xeo Quyt, used as a base during the French and U.S. wars and now an important ecological site, with its jungle overgrowth. After lunch on board, a local boat will take you to Cai Be's spectacular floating market; then you will go ashore to see candy and rice paper workshops. This evening, enjoy a gourmet Farewell Dinner on board. (B,L,D)

Day 10: October 28, 2013 - Ho Chi Minh City - Disembark

Your cruise comes to an end as the ship docks at My Tho Port, followed by a transfer to Ho Chi Minh City. As the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina, Saigon was known as "Paris of the Orient." Today, Vietnam's largest city is an industrial, cultural and educational hub, but still retains vestiges of its colonial past. Upon arriving in Ho Chi Minh City, you will enjoy a city tour that explores famous landmarks, such as the former Presidential Palace, Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral; Cho Lon (China Town) and its famous Binh Tay market and Thien Hau pagoda. Overnight at a luxurious hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. (B,L)

Day 11: October 29, 2013 - Ho Chi Minh City

Today is free to explore Ho Chi Minh City on your own, perhaps venturing to nearby shops and markets for mementos of your Southeast Asian odyssey.

Day 12: October 30, 2013 - Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight. (B)


16 DAY ITINERARY


16 Map

Day 1: October 15, 2013 - Hanoi (Vietnam)

Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam's vibrant capital city, known for its graceful colonial architecture, frenetic streets, verdant parks and ancient temples. After your airport greeting, transfer to the hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the city on your own, or perhaps, visit the fabled Old Quarter.

Day 2: October 16, 2013 - Hanoi

A morning sightseeing tour will take you to Hanoi's most famous historical and cultural sites: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ba Dinh Square, One-pillar Pagoda and The Temple of Literature. In the afternoon, experience an authentic rickshaw ride (known as "cyclo") in the Old Quarter, followed by a traditional water puppet show. (B)

Day 3: October 17, 2013 - Hanoi, Ha Long Bay Overnight Junk

After breakfast, depart Hanoi for a scenic motor coach ride to one of Vietnam's most renowned locations: Ha Long Bay. Board a traditional wooden Junk that combines classic beauty with modern conveniences, plus luxurious overnight accommodations. Set sail to discover the Bay's magnificent scenery set amidst stunning limestone cliffs. That evening, you'll enjoy dinner on board, and overnight on the Junk. (B,L,D)

Day 4: October 18, 2013 - Ha Long Bay - Hanoi - Siem Reap (Cambodia)

This morning, your Ha Long Bay Junk continues its scenic cruising while a delightful breakfast is served in the dining lounge. Late morning, disembark for a motor coach transfer to Hanoi Airport. After a short flight, arrive in Siem Reap, Cambodia, gateway to Angkor, the former capital of the Khmer empire and one of the most renowned archeological sites in all of South East Asia. (B,L,D))

Day 5: October 19, 2013 - Siem Reap - Angkor

After breakfast, begin a guided sightseeing tour of the Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlights include Angkor Thom, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King and the Bayon. This afternoon, visit the most iconic of all Angkorian temples - Angkor Wat. (B,D)

Day 6: October 20, 2013 - Siem Reap - Angkor

This morning, travel through rural countryside to the pink sandstone temple of Banteay Srei. Then visit Ta Prohm, the temple famous for its intertwined trees (showcased in the film Tomb Raider). (B)

Day 7: October 21, 2013 - Siem Reap - Tonle Sap Lake/Embarkation - Kampong Chhnang

Welcome aboard your luxurious vessel, moored at Tonle Sap Lake. The great lake dominates Cambodia and is known for its profuse bird life and tranquil fishing villages. Meet your fellow travelers at the Welcome Dinner as you cruise to Kampong Chhnang. The ship moors overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 8: October 22, 2013 - Kampong Chhnang - Kampong Tralach-Oudong

After breakfast, a motor boat excursion takes you into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the Tonle Sap river. Enjoy a stunning variety of birdlife, and see numerous great fish traps, some over a half mile long. After your excursion, return to your vessel and cast off towards Kampong Tralach. An afternoon tour includes an oxcart ride from the river bank through the countryside to the beautiful Wat Kapong Tralach Pleu. Tour the pagodas, and then board a motor coach to Oudong, the former capital of Cambodia, where you will tour the Buddhist monastery. After the visit, you motor coach will take you to your vessel, which will cruise towards the village of Chong Koh. (B,L,D)

Day 9: October 23, 2013 - Chong Koh - Phnom Penh

This morning, visit the Chong Koh silk weaving village for a leisurely walk. Your vessel then departs for Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. An afternoon walking tour provides an orientation to this spectacular city. Return to the vessel for dinner, followed by a special Khmer folk performance on board. The vessel moors overnight in Phnom Penh. (B,L,D)

Day 10: October 24, 2013 - Phnom Penh

A morning tour explores the highlights of Cambodia's capital city, famous for its French colonial architecture, busy cafes, vibrant nightlife and renovated river "corniche." Visit the Royal Palace and the spectacular Silver Pagoda. The National Museum is another highlight, with outstanding displays of Khmer crafts. After lunch onboard, another excursion leads to the infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge's grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre (Genocide Museum) situated in the suburbs of the city. An overnight on the waterfront provides an opportunity to dine in one of many nearby restaurants and experience Phnom Penh's vibrant nightlife, should passengers so choose. (B,L,D)

Day 11: October 25, 2013 - Phnom Penh - Tan Chau (Vietnam)

Spend a day cruising the Mekong River and crossing the border into Vietnam. Your vessel moors at the small town of Tan Chau, Vietnam. (B,L,D)

Day 12: October 26, 2013 - Tan Chau - Sa Dec

After breakfast, transfer to small boats, which will navigate through narrow channels to visit an evergreen island. You will also visit a catfish farm and a rattan mat and slipper-making workshop . Back ashore, a traditional "xe-loi" (trishaw) awaits to transport you around Tan Chau. In the afternoon, your vessel cruises downstream to Sa Dec, where it will moor overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 13: October 27, 2013 - Sa Dec - Xeo Quyt - Cai Be

In the morning, board a local boat for Sa Dec passing floating markets as you boat maneuvers through the river's channels. Once ashore, you will tour Sa Dec, noteworthy as the town where the French writer Marguerite Dumas spent many years in her youth. Visit a local market, Fujian Temple and the house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Dura's Chinese paramour, which is now a small museum. Afterwards board a motor coach for the 1-hour ride to Xeo Quyt, used as a base during the French and U.S. wars and now an important ecological site, with its jungle overgrowth. After lunch on board, a local boat will take you to Cai Be's spectacular floating market; then you will go ashore to see candy and rice paper workshops. This evening, enjoy a gourmet Farewell Dinner on board. (B,L,D)

Day 14: October 28, 2013 - Ho Chi Minh City - Disembark

Your cruise comes to an end as the ship docks at My Tho Port, followed by a transfer to Ho Chi Minh City. As the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina, Saigon was known as "Paris of the Orient." Today, Vietnam's largest city is an industrial, cultural and educational hub, but still retains vestiges of its colonial past. Upon arriving in Ho Chi Minh City, you will enjoy a city tour that explores famous landmarks, such as the former Presidential Palace, Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral; Cho Lon (China Town) and its famous Binh Tay market and Thien Hau pagoda. Overnight at a luxurious hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. (B,L)

Day 15: October 29, 2013 - Ho Chi Minh City

Today is free to explore Ho Chi Minh City on your own, perhaps venturing to nearby shops and markets for mementos of your Southeast Asian odyssey.

Day 16: October 30, 2013 - Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight. (B)


THE SHIP


Vietnam River Cruise Ship

The 124-passenger AmaLotus features ultra-spacious 624-sq. ft. Suites; ten Jr. Suites at 290 sq. ft. and standard staterooms at 226 sq. ft., with 90 percent of her staterooms boasting outside balconies. With a decor that combines Colonial elegance with regional Khmer accents, staterooms include comfortable sitting areas, individually controlled air-conditioning, a mini-bar, safety deposit box, robes and slippers, and a luxurious bathtub (Jr. Suites/Suites).

Public areas include a main restaurant serving Asian and Western specialties; Saigon Lounge; Gift Shop; Fitness Center, Spa, plus a swimming pool and bar on the Sun Deck. The ship also features a fully English-speaking staff.


Vietnam river cruise ship map

PRICING


Vietnam River Cruise Pricing

Book before March 30, 2013 and save $250 per person!

All prices in U.S. dollars and are cruise/land only.

All reservations are subject to Brand g's Terms and Conditions.

*Price is per person based on double occupancy. Port fees of $119 are additional.

Single Supplement for Cruise: Category A, B & C 33% of twin price (limited quantity); Jr. Suite & Suite 100% of twin price.

Single Supplement for 12-day Land: $475 per person

Single Supplement for 16-day Land: $999 per person

Bedding: Jr. Suites and Suites feature a King size bed. For Deluxe Staterooms, please select bedding configuration at the time of booking. Option A: Two twin beds Option B: One large bed (larger than queen size).

Visa: A visa is required for travel to Vietnam and Cambodia; please consult with your Consulate for more information.

Siem Reap Embarkation Day: During low water season, transfer from Siem Reap to the ship via motor coach to Preak Kdam, a small village on the Tonle River.

Phnom Penh: No bare shoulders or shorts for ladies during the Royal Palace visit.


FAQ


PREPARATIONS FOR THE TRIP

Passports & Visas

A valid passport is required for all Brand g charters; your passport must be valid for at least six months after your return. Visas are necessary for all US and Canadian citizen for both Vietnam and Cambodia. Non-US Citizens should check with their consulate on correct Visa requirements. Please be sure the Vietnam and Cambodia Visas stamped in your passport are valid for the dates you are traveling.

It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid and secure all required visas. Vacations can be disrupted, or altered if the correct documents cannot be supplied at airports or border crossings; please check your itinerary carefully. In the event that you lose your passport while traveling, we recommend you photocopy the first pages of your passport, airline tickets, driver's license and/or birth certificate to simplify and expedite the process of replacing lost documents. Keep the originals separate from the copies. This will make replacement easier if you lose them en route. It is also useful to carry spare passport photos. You may wish to scan your passport, airline tickets and credit card numbers and email them to yourself as attachments, so you may download copies to assist in obtaining replacements.


TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

What To Wear

Comfortable clothes and good walking shoes while on land. And, since there are spa facilities, a whirlpool, and fitness room on the ms AmaLotus, we suggest a bathing suit and workout clothes. Jackets and ties are not required. We recommend country club casual for dinner.

Handicap Facilities

Handicapped facilities onboard are limited. River cruise vessels are not equipped with wheelchair ramps, and hallways and doors onboard may not be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs or scooters. Additionally, motor coaches and minibuses used for transfers and shore excursions may not be equipped with wheelchair ramps, or access.

Special Diets

Please advise Brand g Vacations prior to departure if you have any special dietary requirements. We will make every effort possible to always accommodate your requests, however, please note that local conditions and seasonality can restrict our ability on occasions.

Vaccinations

Please check with your personal physician regarding immunization requirements for all countries on your itinerary. You may also check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web site at: www.cdc.gov.

Settling Your Bill Onboard

The day before your cruise ends you will be given an invoice for any onboard charges you may have made. Please check the invoice to make sure all items are accounted for before payment/closing of the account. All onboard charges will be in Vietnam DONG. All purchases made on the ship will be charged to your onboard account, which you create when you first check in. Please check with the front office onboard for further details. Payment is accepted in cash (DONG) or by credit card. Your bank/credit card company will convert this into $US dollars at their own exchange rate. Some bank/credit cards may charge a separate fee, as well.