Join Vantage Deluxe World Travel in 2024 for an eye-opening journey around Southeast Asia. You’ll explore five nations — Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore — and discover how this region’s fabric of cultures and religions intertwine.
History and diversity abound on this 18-day cruise, with a total of 24 included features and Cultural Discoveries. Step into one of the largest tin mines in the world in Kuantan, venture deeper into Vietnam’s past at Ho Chi Minh City and Hue, and visit 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Plus, a special overnight excursion to Phnom Penh gives you added insight into the “Pearl of Asia,” from the turbulent Khmer Rouge years to its present-day rise as Cambodia’s economic center.
You’ll not only get a taste of life in this part of the world, but also bask in its natural beauty, too. From the postcard-perfect beaches of Koh Samui to the still, ethereal waters of UNESCO-inscribed Halong Bay, you’ll want to take advantage of your ship’s onboard snorkels, kayaks, and other equipment for active explorations.
Speaking of your ship, you’ll be cruising on the 5-star Ocean Odyssey — with an onboard spa, bespoke dining options, and complimentary onboard Concierge service. Traveling on your own? This intimately-sized vessel features a landmark 15 solo cabins for the perfect combination of privacy and freedom. With fewer travelers on board, you can look forward to less queueing, more exclusive ports of call, and more impactful interactions and Cultural Discoveries with locals, Tour Directors, lecturers, and more.
Add on extensions to Siem Reap & Angkor Wat or Chiang Mai, Thailand, and you can make the most of your time in this diverse, captivating part of the world.
Chiang Mai isn’t merely the hub of northern Thailand. As the capital of the ancient Lanna kingdom and located at the center of the region’s history and culture, Chiang Mai’s city center still sits ensconced within walls and a moat. While here, you’ll tour the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Thailand. You’ll also attend a traditional Khantoke dinner, visit with a local hill tribe for a home-hosted lunch, and perhaps contemplate the serene pace of life here. This is your opportunity to deepen your knowledge of Thailand while making the most of your time in Southeast Asia!
Maximize your time in Southeast Asia with this immersive Cambodian extension that unveils dazzling Angkor Wat — one of the world’s largest temple complexes. You’ll fly to Siem Reap, the gateway city to this sprawling UNESCO-listed compound, where you’ll discover the former seat of the Khmer kingdom on a two-day exploration. Plus, get a feel for local life with visits to a local dance school and silk farm, and even learn traditional skills like palm weaving when you interact with local villagers! Don’t miss your chance to discover one of Southeast Asia’s most important temples on this compact extension filled with cultural marvels, both ancient and contemporary.
Board an overnight flight to Singapore
Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Singapore. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat.
Cross the International Date Line
You’ll cross the International Date Line today, meaning that you’ll arrive in Singapore on Day 3.
Arrive in Singapore
Selamat datang! Welcome to Singapore! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with the transfer to your hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to acclimate before a welcome briefing later today. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Reception at the legendary Raffles Hotel — birthplace of the Singapore Sling cocktail — and sip one before joining your fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner.
Explore Singapore's cultural diversity
Singapore is known by many names, the "Garden City" and the "Lion City" among them, and you’ll get insight into these monikers as you explore the city’s beauty and dynamism today. During your full-day guided city tour, you’ll see the historic Parliament House, Supreme Court, City Hall, and Merlion Park — featuring impressive views of Marina Bay and the city’s futuristic architecture. Then, delve a little deeper into Singapore’s diverse culture during visits to the Thian Hock Keng Temple, Little India, and the Yong Gallery, which display handcrafted woodcarvings and artworks by Chinese artists.
This afternoon, explore the alleys around popular Bugis Street in “local” style during a trishaw ride. Then, enjoy a visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a 161-year-old tropical garden and UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll have the rest of the day at your leisure.
Take in Singapore’s lush views, then embark the Ocean Odyssey
After breakfast, you'll depart for a half-day city tour, featuring sweeping views of Singapore from the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, and a visit to the awe-inspiring Gardens by the Bay nature park. Lunch will be included at a local restaurant during the tour.
Then, it’s time to embark the Ocean Odyssey at Singapore pier! After settling in, take some time to explore the ship and its amenities.
Discover Kuantan, Malaysia
A morning at leisure lets you relax for a day of discovery in Malaysia. After lunch on board, we’ll disembark to explore the capital of Pahang province, Kuantan. The city is popular for its excellent beaches, but our touring will concentrate on some of the more interesting cultural and historical attractions.
Your exploration begins in Sungai Lembing, an old tin mining town that was once known as the “El Dorado of the East” because of the wealth it generated. During their peak at the turn of the century, these were among the world’s longest and deepest mines, and you’ll have the chance to peer into them. You’ll also visit the Sungai Lembing Museum, which displays many old photographs and mining equipment. Back in Kuantan, you’ll see its main sights, such as the imposing Masjid Sultan Ahmad Shah mosque and Teluk Chempedak Beach.
The Kuantan region is famous for its beautiful, intricate batik prints that adorn clothing and many other decorative objects.
Relax on board with a day at sea
Enjoy a full day at sea to relax and enjoy the luxurious amenities of the brand-new Ocean Odyssey. Pamper your body with a relaxing massage, a facial, or a soothing soak in the hot tub. Or, stimulate your mind with a lecture on Malaysia or a great book borrowed from our library. The choice is yours!
Admire local culture in Koh Samui, Thailand’s romantic beach paradise
Relax on board as your ship plows through the turquoise waters around Koh Samui. After lunch, get ready for a cultural tour by minivan that will whisk you around the island!
Your exploration starts at Wat Khunaram, where the mummified body of a monk named Luang Pho Daeng sits in a meditative pose, looking very much alive. Stop for refreshments at the impressive Na Muang waterfall, which cascades 59 feet into a sparkling natural pool below. You’ll pass the unusual Grandma and Grandpa rock formations, then continue to Ladd Koh for panoramic views of famed Chaweng Beach. See the golden Buddha at Wat Phra Yai, who sits on hill and is nearly 50 feet tall. Heading back to the ship you’ll pass many stands selling handicrafts such as batiks and products made from seashells and coconuts. Time pending, you might stop at a local market in Nathon to browse the beachwear and other Koh Samui specialties. This evening, enjoy an off board dinner with a traditional Thai dance performance.
Enjoy a free day in Koh Samui
Take advantage of your free time to savor another day in this seaside heaven. Koh Samui is a foodie favorite, so ask your onboard Vantage Concierge for recommendations. Perhaps you’ll just relax on a secluded beach or indulge in a Thai massage.
Cruise to Sihanoukville; overnight excursion in Phnom Penh
Today you’ll disembark the ship and travel inland by motorcoach to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, staying overnight at an elegant 5-star hotel. Once known as the “Pearl of Asia,” Phnom Penh nestles on the banks of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers and was renowned as one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina. After surviving the destructions of the Khmer Rouge regime, it is once again a vibrant, youthful capital.
Spend a sobering but important half day learning about the turbulent Khmer Rouge years as you visit sites related to the infamous “Killing Fields” on a guided tour. Tuol Sleng, a high school turned interrogation prison known as S-21, is now a genocide museum. You’ll also call at Choeung Ek, a large memorial commemorating the 17,000 victims who died there under the reign of Pol Pot. While disturbing, these somber relics also provide an appreciation for the courageous struggles that Cambodian people have faced.
This evening during dinner, you’ll enjoy a traditional Apsara Dance Show with beautifully-costumed performers.
Tour Phnom Penh, and return to ship in Sihanoukville
After checking out of your hotel, you’ll transfer to Phnom Penh by coach for some more city touring, beginning with the Royal Palace, home to the present King Norodom Sihamoni. Opened in 1870, it now contains the Royal Residence, Throne Hall, Silver Pagoda, and other historic buildings. The Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo Morokat) is named for its more than 5,000 silver floor tiles. The building is a repository of cultural treasures, such as the famous Emerald Buddha, and a life-sized gold Buddha adorned with 2,086 diamonds.
At the National Museum, admire a collection of Khmer art that includes more than 5,000 objects, such as statues and other artifacts from Angkor Wat. Then, you’ll get around Phnom Penh as the locals do, riding past the elegant Post Office, Central Market, and Public Library on board a bicycle-powered carriage called cyclo.
Back in Sihanoukville and on board the Ocean Odyssey, you’ll enjoy another memorable dining experience and a relaxing evening at leisure.
Enjoy a day of leisure at sea
Relax with a day at sea or enjoy your ship’s resort amenities. Perhaps you’ll join a morning stretching class, read on your balcony, or catnap on the sun deck. Then, join friends for cocktails in the multilevel lounge, browse the boutique, or attend a lecture by a Resident Lecturer. Later in the day, your Cruise Director will present a port talk.
During your time on the Ocean Odyssey, there will be an ongoing schedule of enrichment programs.
Today, you'll be joined on board by an expert lecturer who will walk you through the fascinating history of Cambodia.
Experience old Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City
Take your time over breakfast and relax as we sail into Nha Rong, the port for Ho Chi Minh City. Once known as Saigon, the city is Vietnam’s business and financial hub.
Upon arrival this morning, visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, a neo-Romanesque, red brick edifice with twin spires topped with iron. It was constructed around 1888 with materials imported from France. Across the way, the classic 1960s exterior of the Reunification Palace may seem familiar to you. It was here that the first Communist tanks rolled into town and the building was prominently on the news when South Vietnam fell in 1975. On the other side of the square admire the Central Post Office, completed in 1891. With its barrel-vaulted central hall and pale pink façade, it seems just too pretty to be relegated to mail! Also featured are the restored exteriors of the Saigon Opera House and the elegant City Hall (the former Hotel de Ville), two of Saigon’s most stunning French colonial monuments.
This evening, enjoy a specially arranged Vietnamese cultural performance onboard.
Explore more of Ho Chi Minh City
We’ve left this morning free so you can pursue your own interests here in Saigon. Perhaps you’ll nibble on exotic street food at the Ben Tranh Market, where your choices range from savory spring rolls to skewers of tarantulas and everything in between! Step back in time at the War Remnants Museum, or admire the masterworks at the Fine Arts Museum. Your onboard Vantage Concierge can assist with all your plans. You'll enjoy lunch on board before the Ocean Odyssey departs Ho Chi Minh City, bound for Hue.
Unwind while cruising the South China Sea
Enjoy a free day as your ship rounds southern Vietnam and continues toward Hue. Perhaps you’ll indulge in some spa treatment or meet friends for drinks in the lounge. But that’s just the start!
Then, learn about the transformation of Vietnam when an expert historian presents a lecture on "Vietnam, Past & Present".
Discover central Vietnam with your choice of tours
Enjoy breakfast on board as your ship docks at the port of Chan May, your gateway to central Vietnam. You’ll have two fascinating tours to choose from today — both equally fascinating!
You can delve into history at Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam’s Nguyen dynasty and home to the UNESCO-listed Complex of Hue Monuments. Step back in time in the Royal Citadel and its sprawling Imperial City, with its ancient palaces, gardens, and temples. Then, stop at Chua Thien Mu, or the Pagoda of the Celestial Lady, and admire its iconic seven-story pagoda. After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll return to the ship.
Or, you can choose to explore the lush coastal city of Da Nang. Stop at the Museum of Cham Sculpture, which houses the world’s largest collection of Cham artifacts spanning from the 5th to 15th century. Then, discover the remarkable sophistication of the ancient Champa Kingdom at My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll savor lunch at Marble Beach, with views of the Marble Mountains and the sea.
Enjoy your evening at leisure, with dinner on board.
Cruise idyllic Halong Bay
Enjoy a relaxing morning of sailing and lunch onboard as we sail north and drop anchor in the port of Halong Bay for what is sure to be a highlight of your journey!
Behold the nearly 2,000 jutting limestone outcrops of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose mystique has inspired artists for centuries. Legend says that its emerald pinnacles are the humps of a sea dragon’s back. Your tour takes place on board a small, private boat that will glide you through the silent channels and hidden lagoons. As you cruise, you’ll see an entire city on boats, including a bank, bar, shops, and houseboats. Waving children, mothers hanging laundry, old men mending their fishing nets . . . here is where the everyday life of traditional Vietnam reveals itself.
Disembark the Ocean Odyssey in Halong Bay, then transfer to Hanoi and discover its highlights
This morning you’ll disembark the Ocean Odyssey — we hope you enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime experience on Vantage's second 5-star ocean cruising small ship!
From Halong Bay, you’ll transfer to the capital city of Hanoi and discover its amalgam of French colonial mansions, tree-lined avenues, and traditional Vietnamese architecture that was known as the “Paris of the East.” Your tour begins with a stop at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and a visit to the Presidential Palace of Vietnam, one of the grandest examples of the city’s French Colonial architecture. You’ll also be able to see the One Pillar Pagoda, a Buddhist temple remarkably perched on a single stone pillar, and the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 and home to Vietnam’s first national university.
After a vegetarian lunch at a local monastery, check in to your centrally located hotel and unwind before attending an exclusive water puppetry show — a traditional form of entertainment that originated in the rice paddies of Vietnam. You’ll have the evening at leisure, with dinner on your own.
Ride a trishaw through Hanoi’s Old City
You’ll explore Hanoi’s historical city center — the Old Quarter — with a trishaw tour today. The Old Quarter is known for its “36 streets of 36 wares,” where 13th-century artisan guilds built their specialized workshops. You’ll wind through a maze of fascinating back streets lined with narrow houses known as “tunnel” or “tube” houses, built that way so owners could avoid paying taxes based on the width of their street frontage. Lunch is included at a local Vietnamese restaurant, with amazing views of distant Hoan Kiem Lake.
Then, the rest of the day is yours to enjoy. Perhaps you’ll watch local traders and shoppers in action at Dong Xuan market, the city’s oldest and largest market. If you’re a history buff, consider a visit to the Vietnam Military History Museum or even the infamous Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton” by American prisoners of war (POWs) from the Vietnam War.
This evening, return to the hotel and toast to a wonderful journey at a Farewell Dinner.
After breakfast, you’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Or, if you’re joining our post-trip extension to Chiang Mai, you’ll stay on for three more nights!
Please note: Ocean-cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Cruise Director or regional expert.