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Vietnam by Sea and Angkor Wat

Program Overview

Journey through Vietnam and Cambodia, where breathtaking natural beauty, sacred rituals, and UNESCO-inscribed temples summon awe and wonder. This exceptional itinerary features two nights in Hanoi, a seven-night cruise from Haiphong to Saigon, and three nights in Siem Reap to experience the jungle-fringed temples of Cambodia. Enjoy five-star cruising aboard Le Lapérouse, exploring Vietnam’s ancient pagodas and bustling sampan-filled harbors. Featuring four UNESCO World Heritage sites—Ha Long Bay, Hue, Hoi An, and Angkor Wat—this unique program encompasses the breadth of Vietnamese culture and the magnificent religious, imperial, and artistic traditions of Cambodia. Featuring guest speakers Huỳnh Công Út, known professionally as Nick Ut, a photographer for the Associated Press and recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph "Napalm Girl" capturing nine-year-old Phan Thi Kim Phuc fleeing from a napalm attack in 1972; Phan Thi Kim Phuc, author of Fire Road and a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace; and distinguished international broadcaster, writer, and media consultant, Jim Laurie. Extend your trip with the Bangkok Post-Program Option.

Program Details

October 29 to November 12, 2022 (Le Lapérouse)
From $6,695 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Uniquely designed itinerary featuring the scenic beauty, rich culture, and history of Vietnam, including the South China Sea and Gulf of Tonkin.
  • Created in Gohagan & Company’s tradition of innovative programming and educational travel.
  • Experience the full breadth of Vietnam afforded by a cruise of the South China Sea.
  • Three nights in Siem Reap for the magnificent temples of Angkor.
  • Visit four UNESCO World Heritage Sites—Ha Long Bay, Hue and Hoi An, Vietnam; and Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
  • Specially arranged onboard lectures.
  • Bangkok Post-Program Options in a world-renowned, five-star hotel.

Day 1 - Depart the U.S. or Canada

Day 2 - Cross the International Date Line

Day 3 - Arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam

Day 4 - Hanoi

Day 5 - Hanoi / Haiphong / Embark Le Lapérouse

Day 6 - Ha Long Bay

Day 7 - Cruising the South China Sea

Day 8 - Chan May for Hue

Day 9 - Da Nang for Hoi An

Day 10 - Cruising the South China Sea

Day 11 - Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

Day 12 - Saigon / Disembark ship / Fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Day 13 - Siem Reap for Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei

Day 14 - Siem Reap for Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm

Day 15 - Siem Reap / Depart for the U.S. / Cross the International Date Line / Arrive in the U.S. or Canada

View detailed program itinerary >

Le Lapérouse

Exclusively Chartered, Five-Star Luxury Small Ship

Le Lapérouse, launched in 2018, ushers in a new generation of five-star small ships, combining revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury for unparalleled cruising. Dock in smaller ports inaccessible to larger ships, where authentic cultural experiences and majestic scenery await you.

Learn more about the Le Lapérouse >

Two nights in the five-star Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. Situated in the heart of the Vietnamese Capital, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has been Hanoi’s legendary landmark since 1901. The Hotel Metropole Hanoi was the first Sofitel Legend property in the world and is the recipient of numerous international awards for its fine service. This legendary landmark has contributed to the history and heritage of the city. The hotel has a long tradition as a luxury venue for prestigious events & as a popular rendezvous for business and leisure travelers including playwrights, ambassadors and heads of state.

Three nights in the five-star Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra hotel, which offers the discerning traveler the ultimate in comfort and refinement by combining the traditional architecture of Cambodia with elegant French colonial style to create a resort of unsurpassed luxury. Set amidst a landscaped lake garden and surrounded by lagoons, the hotel offers visitors a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere enabling them to cool down after a tiring day visiting under the heat.

Bangkok Post-Program Option

In a land filled with more than 26,000 shrines, discover three of Bangkok’s most famous temples: Temple of the Golden Buddha, Temple of the Reclining Buddha—Bangkok’s largest—and Marble Temple, a magnificent white marble monastery. Wind your way to the Grand Palace via a long-tail boat and explore the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s holiest treasure. Visit the Jim Thompson House, the former home of the American who revitalized Thailand’s silk industry. Accommodations for three nights are in the five-star The Peninsula Hotel.

The Post-Program Option is available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

With specially arranged, acclaimed guest speakers:

Kim Phuc—On June 8, 1972, 9-year-old Kim Phuc was photographed fleeing a napalm strike. The photograph, “Napalm Girl,” remains one of the most influential images from the Vietnam War. Today, Phuc is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and the author of Fire Road, the inspirational story of her unexpected survival and unshakeable faith. She shares her experience at global events and has received awards and recognitions, including six honorary doctorates, for work supporting child victims of war and her commitment to global peace. She has also inspired the nonprofit organization KIM Foundation International.

Huỳnh Công Út, known professionally as Nick Ut, is a Vietnamese-American photographer who began taking photographs for the Associated Press in Vietnam at age 16 after his older brother, Huynh Thanh, also an AP photographer, was killed in combat. His photo of Phan Thi Kim Phuc running toward the camera from a South Vietnamese napalm strike made history and won the Pulitzer Prize, among other major photographic awards. Immediately after making the photo, he rushed her to a hospital, which saved her life. Ut continued covering the Vietnam War for AP and also worked in Tokyo before being transferred to Los Angeles in 1977. He still works for AP as a photojournalist, and is still in touch with Kim Phuc, now living in Canada, whom he calls every week.

Jim Laurie is a distinguished international broadcaster, writer, and media consultant who has witnessed many defining moments in Asia’s history for over 50 years. He began covering Indochina for NBC News in 1972 and became the only American network correspondent to witness the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese in 1975. Laurie's memoir of his early days in Vietnam and Cambodia, Indochina: War, Love, and Betrayal was published in April 2020. He is the recipient of a Peabody Award, two Emmy Awards, and an Amnesty International Award and has also co‑produced, written, and directed several television documentaries.

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 Departure

Your trip will begin by departing the U.S. or Canada.

Day 2 and 3 Hanoi, Vietnam

Cross the International Date Line. Arrive in Hanoi and check into the five-star Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.

Day 4 Hanoi

The undeniable charm of this enigmatic capital city resides in its time-honored rituals and compelling fusion of Vietnamese, Chinese, and French-colonial influences. Wide leafy boulevards, modeled after the Champs-Élysées in Paris, are lined with stately Neoclassical mansions and palaces.

In Ba Dinh Square, the revered father of the nation lies in state in the granite Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Starkly juxtaposed against the Beaux Arts-style Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s modest two-room stilt house where he lived from 1958 until 1969, was built to reinforce the revolutionary leader’s image as a “man of the people.” Nearby, the 11th‑century One Pillar Pagoda is one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples, designed to resemble a lotus blossom (purity). Tour the Temple of Literature, a Confucian sanctuary and learning center since A.D. 1070 and a paradigm of traditional Vietnamese architecture.

Join your travel companions for a Welcome Reception in the hotel this evening.

Day 5 Hanoi

Visit the mystical Hoan Kiem Lake—the mythical Lake of the Restored Sword—where a red wooden bridge leads to the jewel box Ngoc Son Pagoda. Visit the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, or “Hanoi Hilton,” where American pilots, including late Senator John McCain, were held as prisoners during the Vietnam War. In the 13th-century Old Quarter, stroll its 36 streets, named after guilds formed in the middle ages by resident craftspeople.

Transfer from historical Hanoi to Haiphong to embark the exclusively chartered Le Lapérouse.

Day 6 Ha Long Bay

Board a traditional Vietnamese junk for a private cruise and experience the ethereal beauty of Ha Long Bay, the “Bay of the Descending Dragon.” This UNESCO World Heritage Site is characterized by a seascape of over 1,600 emerald green pinnacles that soar from the bay’s tranquil waters. Cruise between limestone islands with wave-eroded caves and walk among the tapering stalactites and stalagmites in the natural grottoes of Thien Cung, the Heavenly Palace Cave.

Join the Captain this evening for a Welcome Reception.

Day 7 Cruising the South China Sea

Enjoy the passing coastal scenery and onboard lectures from special guest speakers Kim Phuc and Jim Laurie.

Day 8 Hue

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hue, located on the banks of the Perfume River, was the Imperial City of the Nguyen kings from 1601 to 1945. Explore its Imperial Citadel and the massive ramparts and moat dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. Tour the Imperial Enclosure of the emperor’s residence, palaces, temples, and state buildings and the Forbidden Purple City, a citadel within a citadel formerly reserved for the royalty of the Nguyen Dynasty. Visit the 17th-century Thien Mu (Heavenly Lady) Pagoda and the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, built and designed by the emperor himself during the Nguyen dynasty.

Day 9, Morning Da Nang

Surrounded by the Marble Mountains and clear-blue waters, coastal Da Nang is known for its exquisite Museum of Cham Sculpture, exhibiting the world’s largest collection of indigenous Cham sandstone art and statues dating from the fifth to 15th centuries.

Day 9, Afternoon Hoi An

Prior to the 14th century, ancient Hoi An was the commercial capital of the Cham Empire and a strategic global port for the spice trade. This captivating UNESCO World Heritage Site preserves more than 800 buildings from the 15th to 19th century that emanate a timeless, mystical aura. Learn about the city’s heritage at the Hoi An Museum of History and Culture housed inside the 17th-century Quan Am Pagoda. Visit the grand temple of Phucn Kien Assembly Hall, a masterpiece of Fujian artistry. Stroll the city’s famed handicraft workshops and colorful riverside market, and admire the graceful arc of the 18th-century Japanese Covered Bridge.

Day 10 Cruising the South China Sea

Enjoy the day cruising the picturesque southeast coast of Vietnam. This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception.

Day 11 Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) remains a vibrant convergence of Vietnamese heritage and French panache. Women still don the traditional áo dài, a silk tunic worn over pantaloons. Here, see the neo-Romanesque-style Notre Dame Cathedral and the City Opera House, a stunning counterpart to the Petit Palais in Paris, recalling the city’s French-colonial history. Visit the European-style Central Post Office and the War Remnants Museum, which offers a Vietnamese perspective on the Vietnam War. See the imposing Reunification Hall Palace, the former South Vietnamese presidential palace. Explore the Ben Thanh Market, an authentic symbol of Saigon, where merchants offer aromatic spiced cuisine, traditional Chinese medicines, and handcrafted wares and textiles.

This evening, attend a traditional folklore performance on board the ship.

Day 12 Saigon

Disembark the ship in Saigon and visit the astonishing Cu Chi Tunnels. This underground complex built by Viet Cong totaled 75 miles, stretching from Saigon to the Cambodian border, and included living quarters, kitchens, and field hospitals.

Fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia, and check into the five-star Sofitel Angkor hotel.

Day 13, Morning Angkor Wat

Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was once the capital of the Khmer Empire. Located in the lush jungles of northern Cambodia, it is one of the world’s most important archaeological sites. Near Siem Reap, the Temple of Angkor Wat is the largest religious structure in the world, built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II to honor the Hindu god Vishnu. Angkor Wat stands in testament to the centuries-long grandeur of the prosperous Khmer Empire.

Day 13, Afternoon Banteay Srei

The astounding Banteay Srei Citadel of the Women is considered the ultimate expression of Khmer genius. Constructed in the 10th century from rose-pink sandstone, the temple is believed to have been built by women based on the intricacy of the elaborate three-dimensional carvings and filigree relief work that adorn its peaked buildings.

Day 14, Morning Angkor Thom

On the banks of the Siem Reap River, the monumental walled city of Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Khmer Empire. The towers of its Bayon Temple have approximately 200 stone faces and bas-relief sculptures depicting historical scenes from everyday life of the Angkorian Khmer. The area surrounding the complex includes the ruins of the 11th-century Baphuon “temple-mountain” and the intricately carved Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King, and Royal Palace.

Day 14, Afternoon Ta Prohm

Nearby, fascinating Ta Prohm, a 12th-century Buddhist temple, remains largely untouched by man, leaving encroaching jungle fig, banyan, and kapok trees to grow out of the ruins. Here, the dynamic lifecycle between nature and humanity provides the basis for Ta Prohm’s legendary “lost city” tales.

Visit a local workshop which provides training for thousands of Cambodians to preserve their traditional, cultural handcrafts.

This evening, attend the Farewell Reception in the hotel.

Day 15 Siem Reap / Depart for U.S. or Canada

Following breakfast in the hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight to the U.S. or Canada, crossing the International Date Line, or continue on the Bangkok Post-Program Option.