Romance of the Mekong River

Explore Saigon, formally known as Ho Chi Minh City, with visits to the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, the War Remnants Museum and the Cu Chi Tunnels. In Siem Reap, discover the wonders of ancient Angkor. Spend seven nights cruising the Mekong River aboard the luxurious, all-suite Mekong Navigator. Visit riverside towns as well as Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh. Visit the city’s Royal Palace, and learn about Cambodia’s troubled past at the Choueng Ek Memorial. 

Dates
Oct 2 - Oct 17, 2018  (16 Days)
Cost

from $6,395, per person, double occupancy, including air from SFO

For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

Tuesday & Wednesday, October 2 & 3
In Transit

Depart gateway city for Saigon, Vietnam. Cross the international date line.

Passengers should book flights that arrive on the first day of the Land/Cruise Program.

Thursday, October 4
Saigon, Vietnam

Upon arrival, transfer to the Park Hyatt Saigon.

Friday, October 5
Saigon

Explore Saigon’s recent history at the Reunification Palace, headquarters of South Vietnam’s government during the Vietnam War. Admire the French colonial architecture of the 19th-century Notre Dame Cathedral and Ho Chi Minh City Hall. At the War Remnants Museum, see artifacts from the time frame of the 1945 August Revolution through the end of the Vietnam War.

Shop like a local at Ben Thanh Market. An important part of daily life in Saigon, the market hall was built by the French in 1914. Everything from flowers and fruit to silk cloth and lacquerware is for sale. Gather for a Welcome Reception and Dinner. Park Hyatt Saigon (B,D)

Saturday, October 6
Saigon

Visit the Cu Chi tunnels at Ben Dinh, where you may go underground. This maze was the Viet Cong’s underground operations center during the Vietnam War.

Later that day, visit the Chinese Cholon district. See Cha Tam Church and Thien Hau Temple, a shrine to the goddess of the seas. Park Hyatt Saigon (B,L)

Sunday, October 7
Saigon / My Tho

After a morning at leisure, travel to the port of My Tho, and embark the Mekong Navigator. Join a Welcome Aboard Reception and Dinner. Mekong Navigator (B,D)

Monday, October 8
Cai Be / Vinh Long

In Cai Be, see artisans making traditional items, such as rice paper and craft baskets from water hyacinths. Visit a senior home and meet the residents. Return to the ship and cruise to Vinh Long, where we visit a rice factory to see how paper, wine and candy are made from this humble grain. Mekong Navigator (B,L,D)

Tuesday, October 9
Sa Dec / Cu Lao Gieng

Take a sampan through the canals at Sa Dec. In the town of Sa Dec, see the home of Hyun Thuy Le, who inspired Marguerite Duras to write her famous novel, “L’Amant.” Stroll through the town’s market.

In Cu lao Gieng, board a sampan and cruise to Gieng Cathedral, built in 1879.
Mekong Navigator (B,L,D)

Wednesday, October 10
Tan Chau

Today we explore the Mekong Delta, Take a sampan to a colorful Cao Dai temple. Ride through the village on a xe loi, a bicycle rickshaw, to a family-owned mat-weaving workshop. Visit a floating fish farm.

Learn from a local expert about the role of the agriculture and fishery industries in the Vietnamese culture and economy. Cross the border into Cambodia. Mekong Navigator (B,L,D)

Thursday, October 11
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Take a cyclo ride, one of the most popular modes of transportation in Cambodia. Visit the elegantly gilded Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, where more than 5,000 silver tiles line the floor. See ancient Angkor artifacts at the National Museum. Watch a performance of traditional folk dances. Mekong Navigator (B,L,D)

Friday, October 12
Phnom Penh

Visit the solemn Cheoung Ek Killing Fields’ memorial and museum, dedicated to the thousands of victims killed during the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s, and Tuol Sleng, a former school converted into the Khmer Rouge’s infamous prison, S-21. Your expert guide provides in-depth background and personal insight about the atrocities.

You will also learn about life in contemporary Cambodia, and hear a local expert explain the significance of the Mekong River in the lives of the people who depend on it. Mekong Navigator (B,L,D)

Saturday, October 13
Angkor Ban / Wat Hanchey

Get a glimpse of life in the rural village of Angkor Ban. Enjoy a home visit with a family to learn about daily life in this small village. Visit a monastery and tour a school, meeting students and the principal.

Venture to Wat Hanchey, a hilltop temple. Receive a traditional Buddhist water blessing from one of the monks and enjoy a sweeping view of the Mekong. Attend the ship’s Farewell Reception and Dinner. Mekong Navigator (B,L,D)

Sunday, October 14
Kampong Cham / Siem Reap

Disembark in Kampong Cham, and transfer to Siem Reap and the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort.

Take a tuk tuk to a folk dance performance, followed by a city tour. Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort (B,L)

Monday, October 15
Siem Reap / Angkor Wat

Enjoy time with a Cambodian family as you join them in their home. Learn how to make authentic rice noodles, a local specialty.

Then experience Angkor Wat,  the grandest of the temples that sit within the 155-square-mile park. Originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, the temple eventually became filled with Buddhist elements as the new religion spread through the empire. Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort (B,L)

Tuesday, October 16
Siem Reap / Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm and Thommanon 

The great city of Angkor Thom once was home to 1 million people. The Bayon is the temple in the center of the city. Its 54 towers feature carvings of more than 200 smiling faces. Next, visit Ta Prohm. After centuries of human neglect, the jungle has claimed the temples, courtyards and paths of this once-great Buddhist monastery. Continue to Thommanon, a recently restored temple with exquisite Apsara carvings. Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort (B,D)

Wednesday, October 17
Siem Reap

Take a tuk tuk to a traditional arts and crafts center. Later, transfer to the airport for the return flight to your gateway city. (B)

Map
Map
Hanoi and Halong Bay: Sep 30–Oct 2
Hanoi & Halong Bay: Sep 30–Oct 2

In ancient times, according to legend, dragons swooped down upon Ha Long Bay (giving the bay its name, Bay of Descending Dragons) to protect the local people from invaders. The gems the dragons spat into the water created the dramatic limestone formations we admire today. Take a one-night cruise of the bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, aboard a modern, elegant Vietnamese ship. You have the opportunity to swim in the bay, kayak, join a tai chi class and more. Also enjoy two nights’ deluxe accommodation as you get to know the city of Hanoi.

CHOOSE THE OFFER that work’s best for you:

Category – Deck                                                                                   FREE Economy Air*     or    Save $1,000

E-Superior – Jasmine Deck, 256 sq. ft. with 2 large portholes:           $6,395                    or        $5,395
D-Vista – Lotus Deck, 276 sq. ft.  with French Balcony:                        $6,995                    or        $5,995
C-Signature – Orchid Deck, 291 sq. ft. with Private Balcony:              $7,295                     or       $6,295
B-Prestige – Orchid Deck, 387 sq. ft. with Private Balcony:                 $8,095                    or        $7,095
A-Grande – Orchid Deck, 584 sq. ft. with Private Balcony:                  $8,695                     or       $7,695

All prices quoted are per person, based on double occupancy (unless otherwise stated).  Port Charges are an additional $295 per person.

Single Room Supplement: $1,795

*FREE Economy Air price includes round-trip air transportation from JFK, SFO or LAX. Please call for special air add-on rates from other gateways or for rates to upgrading to Premium Economy or Business Class.

Included 
Three nights in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam, at the deluxe Park Hyatt Saigon; Seven nights aboard the exclusively chartered, deluxe Mekong Navigator; Three nights in Siem Reap, Cambodia, at the deluxe Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort; All deluxe motor coach transfers in the Land / Cruise Program and baggage handling; Thirteen breakfasts, nine lunches and nine dinners, including Welcome and Farewell Dinners; wine with dinner; complimentary water, coffee, tea, soft drinks, local spirits and beer on board; your own VOX headset to clearly hear your English-speaking guide; Tipping of guides and drivers.

Not Included  
Fees for passports and, if applicable, visas, entry/departure fees; personal gratuities; laundry and dry cleaning; excursions, wines, liquors, mineral waters and meals not mentioned in this brochure under included features; travel insurance; all items of a strictly personal nature. Airport transfer costs for those not participating in AHI's FREE Economy Air

Optional Pre-Tour: Hanoi & Halong Bay 
$1,345 per person, double occupancy
$1,745 single occupancy

Included
Enjoy two nights at the deluxe Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel; one night aboard the deluxe Paradise Elegance; a guided Hanoi tour; three breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners; transfer to/from the ship; flight between Hanoi and Saigon; transfer to/from the Saigon hotel; services of an AHI Travel Director and an AHI Hospitality Desk; baggage handling on all transfers; guide and driver gratuities; and all taxes and service charges.

Cancellation
All cancellations for any reason will be subject to a $250 per person administrative fee. You may choose, at the time of cancellation, to apply the withheld administrative fee to a future AHI Travel program that will operate in the current calendar year or year following. Cancellation from 120 days to 76 days prior to departure will result in forfeiture of 10% of the entire cost of the trip per person; 75-30 days, 50% of the trip cost per person; cancellation from 29 days up to the time of departure will result in 100% forfeiture of the entire cost of the trip. TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE IS AVAILABLE. AN APPLICATION WILL BE SENT AFTER YOU RESERVE. All cancellations must be submitted in writing to AHI Travel and Commonwealth Club of California. CANCELLATION OF TRIP OPTIONS-Purchases of optional excursions, trip extensions and additional hotel nights become fully nonrefundable 45 days prior to departure. Air transportation and private transfer purchases are subject only to penalties assessed by the airlines and transfer suppliers.

Mobility and Fitness to Travel
The right is retained to decline to accept or to retain any person as a member of this trip who, in the opinion of AHI Travel is unfit for travel or whose physical or mental condition may constitute a danger to themselves or to others on the trip, subject only to the requirement that the portion of the total amount paid which corresponds to the unused services and accommodations be refunded. Passengers requiring special assistance, including without limitation those who permanently or periodically use a wheelchair, must be accompanied by someone who is fit and able to assist them, and who will be totally responsible for providing all required assistance.

Air Transportation
The price of air transportation offered by AHI Travel is based on Advance Purchase Excursion fares. After tickets are issued, penalties up to 100% of the ticket price may be levied. If connecting flights are requested, special promotional fares may be used, in which case penalties of as much as 100% may be assessed by the airlines if reservations are changed or canceled after ticketing. After departure, if the reservations are changed, you will be charged the higher, all year Economy class fare. VARIATIONS TO THE GROUP ITINERARY MUST BE REQUESTED NO LATER THAN 60 DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. Passengers who choose to make their own airline reservations independently will be wholly responsible for arrival and departure transfers, and any airline fees or penalties incurred as a result of program cancellation and/or change in travel dates, or airline schedule(s).

Baggage
Baggage restrictions vary according to the airline policy and the class of service flown. Details will be provided with your pre-departure information. Baggage allowances are subject to change by the carrier without notice. Excess baggage charges for additional or oversized/overweight pieces are expensive and not included in your trip price; plan your wardrobe accordingly. Transport of baggage and personal effects is at the owner's risk throughout the travel program.

Eligibility
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a national membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.

Authority to Use Images and Audio Recordings
On occasion, AHI Travel obtains, from its staff, or from trip participants, photographic or video images of passengers and trip activities. By participating in this travel program, you authorize AHI Travel, without providing compensation to you, or obtaining additional approvals from you, to include photographic and video recordings of you, as well as voice recordings included with any videos, in AHI Travel's sales, marketing, advertising, publicity and/or training activities.

Responsibility
AHI Travel and The Commonwealth Club of California do not own or operate any entity which provides goods or services for this program, and act only as agents for the independent suppliers of travel conveyance, transport, accommodations or other services. All such persons or entities are independent contractors. As a result, AHI Travel and the Sponsoring Association are not liable for any negligence or willful act of any such person or entity or any third person. In addition and without limitation, AHI Travel and the Sponsoring Association are not responsible for any delays, delayed departure or arrival, missed carrier connections, loss, death, damage or injury to person or property or accident, mechanical defect, failure or negligence of any nature howsoever caused in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services or for any substitution of hotels or of common carrier equipment, with or without notice, or for any additional expenses occasioned thereby. Dates, Program Details and Tour costs, although given in good faith and BASED ON TARIFFS, EXCHANGE Rates and other information CURRENT AT THE TIME OF PRINTING, ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT OR BEFORE THE TIME OF DEPARTURE. No revisions of the printed itinerary or its included features are anticipated; however, the right is reserved to make any changes, with or without notice, that might become necessary, with the mutual understanding that any additional expenses will be paid by the individual passenger. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times. If the entire program is cancelled for any reason, participants shall have no claim other than for a full refund. By forwarding the deposit, the passenger certifies that he/she has no physical, mental or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for himself/herself or other passengers and accepts the terms of this contract set out herein and in more specific pre-departure passenger information. The airlines and other transportation companies concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission, or event, during the time passengers are not on board their conveyances. The passage contract in use, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the company(ies) and the passenger and/or purchaser of this trip.

Registration
Commonwealth Club of California-CST# 2096889-40 AHI: CST Registration No. 2028271-20. Fla. Seller of Travel Reg. No. ST-33300 Iowa Seller of Travel No. 520 Ohio Seller of Travel Reg. No. 8889139. Washington State Seller of Travel Reg. No. 601-820-781. PARTICIPATING AIRLINES-all IATA and ARC Member Carriers.