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About Vietnam and Cambodia

The official currency in Vietnam is the Dong (VND). The official currency in Cambodia is the Riel (KHR); however, U.S. dollars are commonly used.
Being LGBTQ in Vietnam/Cambodia
The Vietnamese and Cambodian cultures are widely accepting of LGBTQ lifestyles. While on our Vietnam and Cambodia trip in 2013, the local people were very friendly to us as we made our way through their villages and cities. Whether straight or gay, public affection is not appropriate in this culture. We suggest that outward displays of affection are kept to a minimum.
We will be traveling through many regions of Vietnam and Cambodia that will allow us to experience various cuisines that differ from region to region in their spiciness, use of ingredients, and typical entrees and meats. We know you will enjoy trying these different foods and there will always be rice and veggies available. While in hotels, our breakfasts will have a grand buffet of choices of basic American fare to Vietnamese/Cambodian options. For lunches and dinners, there will be a variety of Vietnamese/Cambodian food options. While on the ship, all meals will include basic American dishes and local options.
The only thing we can guarantee about the weather is that it can be unpredictable. You can expect the weather to be in the mid-70s to the mid-80s, and high humidity with some precipitation.
IMPORTANT: Activity level
Most of the tours include a lot of walking on uneven or unpaved surfaces. Guests must be able to walk 1-3 miles/day at a regular pace without assistance. Unfortunately, there will not be a gentle walkers group on this vacation. There is no elevator on the ship, and all decks are accessible only by staircases. Motorized wheel chairs cannot be accommodated. Guests needing special assistance must be accompanied by someone who can assist them.
  • Tuesday, September 4 – Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Wednesday, September 5 – Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Thursday, September 6 – Drive to Ha Long Bay and overnight on a junk
  • Friday, September 7 – Bus back to Hanoi airport and fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Saturday, September 8 – Siem Reap
  • Sunday, September 9 – Siem Reap
  • Monday, September 10 – Embark ship in Tonle Sap Lake
  • Tuesday, September 11 –  Kampong Chhnang – Kampong Tralach-Oudong
  • Wednesday, September 12 – Cong Koh – Phnom Penh
  • Thursday, September 13 – Phnom Penh
  • Friday, September 14 – Phnom Penh – Border Crossing – Tan Chau, Vietnam
  • Saturday, September 15 – Tan Chau – Sa Dec
  • Sunday, September 16 – Xeo Quyt – Cai Be
  • Monday, September 17 – Disembark Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
  • Tuesday, September 18 – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) End of trip

Before Your Trip

What's included?
  • Airport transfers on the start date and end date of program (September 4 and 18, 2018), unless you have purchased a pre- or post-hotel package.
  • Two-night hotel accommodations in Hanoi at the Sofitel Legend Metropole with daily buffet breakfast
  • Overnight stay on board a luxurious traditional wooden junk in Ha Long Bay
  • Choice of soft drink, local beer, or bottled water included during land-based meals (not included on junk boat)
  • Flight from Hanoi to Siem Reap
  • Three-night hotel accommodations in Siem Reap at the Sofitel Royal Angkor (or similar) with daily buffet breakfast
  • 7-night deluxe cruise accommodations
  • Included sightseeing program, as outlined in the itinerary
  • All meals included during your cruise
  • Local wine, local beer, soft drinks, and “house-liquor” mixed drinks included on board the ship
  • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
  • One-night hotel accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza (or similar) with buffet breakfast
  • Onboard special highlights, including folklore dances and music performances, cultural discussion forums, themed dinners, and Olivia entertainment
  • Non-smoking environment (smoking permitted only on the sun deck)
  • Gratuities to ship crew and tour director
What’s not included?
  • Tips to local guides and housekeeping staff at hotels
  • Imported wines, beers, and specialty drinks
  • Beverages, including soft drinks and water during meals while at hotels and on junk boat (unless specified)
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Airport transfers outside of trip dates
  • Laundry service
  • Visa costs
Travel documentation and identification
You will need a passport that is valid for six months past the date of the trip. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with both your country’s consulate and the consulates of the countries we will be visiting to make sure that you do not need an entry visa or other additional documentation.
Visa Information for U.S., Canadian and U.K. Citizens
U.S. and Canadian citizens need separate visas to enter both Vietnam and Cambodia.
We suggest that you begin the visa process 90 days or less prior to your arrival date to avoid the visas from expiring (and no later than July 20). So, if you plan to arrive on September 4, begin your visa application June 4 or later.
Depending on your state or province, and how quickly you would like your visa processing to take, 1 – 2, 5 or 8 – 15 business days will determine the price of your visa.
Please note that your passport must be valid for at least six (6) months from the date of your return ticket and have at least four (4) empty visa pages.
Vietnam Visa – you must obtain a multiple-entry visa for Vietnam as there are two points of entry on our itinerary as well as your flight in and out of Vietnam at the beginning and end of our trip.
Cambodia Visa – you must obtain a single-entry visa.
Alternatively, you may purchase your single-entry visa for Cambodia when our flight arrives in Siem Reap. This process takes only a few moments. You will need adequate cash, approximately $40 USD and an extra passport photo.
However, for peace of mind, we advise that you obtain your single-entry Cambodian visa prior to departing your home country in order to avoid any complications or sudden changes in this policy.
It is important to note that e-visas are NOT accepted for visitors entering or exiting either country by river cruise ship.
Should you choose to go through a visa agency, our partner AmaWaterways frequently uses Visa Central a CIBT company. You may also contact them via email at or phone at 866-788-1100 for any questions. Visa Central’s customer service is very helpful and friendly. Please reference the account number 75022 which is associated with our itinerary.
U.S. Canadian and U.K. citizens may start the application process by going to After choosing your region of citizenship, you may click on AmaDara, Vietnam, Cambodia & Riches of Mekong Visa Kit. From there, choose your state or province and then follow the directions and fill out the application form and Visa Central order form.
You will need to have your flight dates of entry into and out of Vietnam handy as well as the dates we will enter into Cambodia, September 7 and exit on September 14. Should you need to reference our itinerary, please go to our itinerary page here.
In addition, you can reference the confirmation letter sent to you at the time you purchased your vacation with us. This confirmation letter also acts as your proof of purchase of your vacation.
Visa Information for citizens of countries other than U.S., Canadian and U.K.
Citizens from other counties need to contact the Vietnamese and Cambodian Consulates located in your home country to enquire about visa requirements prior to departing your home country.
We suggest that you contact the consulates now and, if a visa is needed to enter Vietnam (multiple-entry) or Cambodia (single-entry), you find out the following information from the consulate representative.
  • When you may start your visa application process based on your entry into Vietnam based on your international flight.
  • When you may start your visa application process based on our entry into Cambodia on September 7 and exit on September 14.
  • How long the visa process typically takes for both Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • What you need when applying for your visa, proof of air tickets, passport photos, payment etc.
  • If there is a recommended visa agency to help make the process easier.
Please note that your confirmation letter was sent to you at the time you purchased your vacation with us. This confirmation letter also acts as your proof of purchase of your vacation.
Should you need to reference our itinerary, please go to our itinerary page here.
Please check with your local Public Health Department or personal physician regarding immunization requirements for all countries on your itinerary. You may also check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at: Just click on “Traveler’s Health” followed by “Vaccinations.”
Cancellation policy
Unexpected events can cause you to cancel your vacation. Because we are committed to this charter, we must strictly adhere to our cancellation policy as outlined in our Olivia Terms & Conditions.
TRIP DATE 9/4/2018    
Cancellation Fee 270 days or more prior to trip date   12/8/2017 $500 per person
Cancellation Fee 210-269 days prior to trip date 12/9/2017 2/6/2018 25% of trip cost
Cancellation Fee 150-209 days prior to trip date 2/7/2018 4/7/2018 50% of trip cost
Cancellation Fee 120-149 days prior to trip date 4/8/2018 5/7/2018 75% of trip cost

Cancellation Fee 0-119 days prior to trip date

5/8/2018   100% of trip cost

Travel insurance
Olivia recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to protect yourself and your trip investment from the unexpected. Now more than ever, it’s extremely important to think about the unexpected. It is important to purchase the travel protection within 15 days of your initial trip deposit date to be eligible for certain coverages. Consider travel protection for trip cancellation/trip interruption, emergency medical and emergency evacuation, trip delay, baggage delay, and more.
Please refer to the Policy/Description of Coverage for a summary of the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations of the applicable Protection Plan.
For a travel insurance quote, more information, or to purchase a protection plan, please call Olivia at 800-631-6277 and select option 1 for a travel consultant.
Olivia’s preferred travel agency

We are pleased to announce Olivia’s new partnership with Conlin Travel.
Conlin Travel is one of the “Top 50” Travel Agencies in the country ranked alongside some of the globe’s largest agencies. In business for almost 60 years, Conlin Travel’s core belief is aligned with Olivia in delivering that personal concierge service to each and every traveler, every time. A full-service, LGBTQ-friendly agency with staff located across the country, Conlin Travel looks forward to assisting you with your air travel and hotel reservations for stays outside of Olivia’s pre- and post-trip packages. For air and hotel bookings, a small fee will be applied to your overall cost.
For assistance in making a reservation, please call Conlin Travel: 888-278-1698 (Monday–Friday: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm EST)
If you already have a reservation with Conlin and need emergency after-hours service, please call 800-823-1189.
Joining the and Facebook trip groups
Start meeting new friends right away! If you'd like to chat with people who are going on the trip, sign up for the official Olivia trip group, Olivia's Vietnam & Cambodia Riverboat Official Trip Group on our connect page. You can also join Olivia’s Vietnam & Cambodia Riverboat Riverboat 2018 Group on Facebook.
Olivia honeymoons and celebrations
Register at Olivia Honeymoon Wishes for your honeymoon, anniversary or other special celebration; browse through the selections and let your friends know just how easy it is for them to purchase a gift for you.
Olivia Travel Gear Store

To help you get ready for your next vacation, we’ve partnered with New Headings to create Olivia Travel Gear, our own online gear and apparel store, featuring items from leading brands, including Craghoppers, Patagonia, Teva, Outdoor Research, and Eagle Creek. Visit for more information!

Travel and arrival

Air travel
Where to fly into/out of
You will need to fly into Hanoi, Vietnam (HAN) and out of Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon, Vietnam (SGN). We encourage all passengers to arrive a day early to avoid the stress of unexpected delays. Additional 1- and 2-night pre-packages will be available to all guests.
Suggested arrival/departure times
Guests arriving in Hanoi on September 4, 2018 may check into the hotel after 3 pm. Many of these flights arrive in the evening.
Return flights from Ho Chi Minh City (commonly referred to as Saigon) on the last day of the program (September 18, 2018) can be at any time. Hotel checkout is 11 am. The hotel will offer late checkout based on availability for an additional charge. These arrangements and payments are made directly with the hotel. If you want to allow yourself another day to explore, you should try to arrange for a late-night flight. If your flight departs in the morning, we suggest the possibility of reserving an additional night and leaving the morning of September 19 to give you more time.
Airfare discounts
Please visit our airfare discount page for the most up-to-date information.
Travel agent recommendation
Building your air for this trip can be a little tricky. If you are not as comfortable doing this on your own, we recommend the use of an experienced Travel Agent to find you the best routing and pricing. We recommend Debbie Gudis at “Go Travel” (877-777-5210 / 408-364-7300); her fees are minimal and service impeccable. If you are using miles, this is more time consuming and expensive for an agent to do, so please only use Debbie’s services for direct airfare purchase.
If you are trying to use miles to upgrade or purchase your flight, we recommend going through the airline directly, or using the services of a professional award booking service, such as These agencies do charge a fee, ranging from $150-$650 or more, to find a flight with award points. However, the time it saves is worth it for most people, especially when finding business-class or first-class tickets.
Luggage allowances
This trip does have a very strict luggage allowance. For the flight from Hanoi to Siem Reap, only one checked bag and one carry-on bag is allowed. Each checked bag should have dimensions not exceeding 62" and weight not exceeding 40 lbs. Your carry-on should not exceed 17” x 14” x 8” and weight not exceeding 10 lbs.
All carriers may impose fees for excess baggage and/or require you to remove articles and put them in another bag if weight or size limits are exceeded. Olivia/AMA Waterways are not responsible for any additional fees.
For your international flights, please check with your airline for baggage allowances.

During your trip

Transfers and meeting up with Olivia
You will be met outside of baggage claim in Hanoi by an Olivia/AMA representative. Transfers from the airport to the hotel are included in your fare if you are arriving on September 4, 2018. Specific hotel information will be in your final documents. Hotel check-in will be available after 3 pm.
We will be staying at 4+ star hotels for the land-based portion of your tour. These hotels have been specifically selected for their comfort, convenience, and amenities. Though subject to change, here is the list of the hotels we will be including in our program:
HANOI: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
SIEM REAP: Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort
HO CH MINH CITY: Sofitel Saigon Plaza
Your ship
The 124-passenger AmaDara is one of AMA’s newest ships (2015). This beautiful ship features Luxury Suites (502 sq. ft.), Suites (366 sq. ft.) and spacious standard staterooms (251 sq. ft.), all of which have private twin balconies (French Balcony plus a full-size step-out balcony). The ship’s elegant public areas include two stylish restaurants serving delicious cuisine, an inviting lounge, a fitness room, hair salon, three spas, a refreshing Sun Deck swimming pool, and the following amenities:
  • Comfortable sitting areas
  • Gift shop
  • Fitness center
  • Spa
  • Sun deck, with small swimming pool and bar
  • DVD library
  • English-speaking staff
Room amenities:
  • Controlled air-conditioning
  • Mini-bar
  • Safety deposit box
  • Robes and slippers
  • Private bathroom with a spacious shower
  • Hair dryer
  • TV with DVD player
*Please note there are no elevators on board.
Saigon Lounge is the main restaurant on board serving Asian and Western specialties.
220v is available both in the hotels and on the ship. We suggest bringing adapters and a converter. The adapter has a 2-pin prong. You will need an Asian adapter for most charging devices and a converter for any heating device. If uncertain, check your plug for 100-240v compatibility. If it has this, only an adapter is needed.
All excursions are included in your fare.
Each cabin has a phone which may be used to call within the ship.
Gratuities to the ship staff have been included in your fare.
Internet / email / fax
Internet is available on four terminals on the ship at no charge. However, the connections are very slow and not dependable while on the river.
Laundry services
Laundry services are available in all hotels and on board the ship for a fee.
Medical services
There are no doctors or nurses on board the ship. In the event medical assistance is needed, appropriate medical facilities will be contacted. Note that response time can vary. Passengers are strongly urged to secure adequate travel insurance coverage for medical emergencies. Please call our office for details.
Money: paying for things on board
On board, the currency is Vietnam DONG. All purchases made on the ship will be charged to your onboard account, which you create when you first check in.
Smoking policy
All indoor areas on the ship and cabin balconies are non-smoking. A designated area is provided for smokers on the top deck.
We will have a modified solos program on board, led by a solos coordinator who will ensure you have a great time.
Your tips to your ship’s staff and Vietnam/Cambodia tour leader are included in the cost of your trip. Tipping to the local guides, bus drivers, porters, and hotel room attendants are not included, and we recommend the following tipping guidelines:
Airport Porters: $1 USD per bag
Hotel Porters: $1 USD per person on check-in and check-out
Local guides: $1-$2 USD per person, per day
Drivers: $.50-$1 USD per person, per day
Hotel Room Attendants: $2-5 USD per person, per day
Restaurant Wait Staff: All tipping of wait staff for your included meals is included in your fare. While venturing out on your own, restaurants often add a service charge to bills, but an additional tip of 5-10% is customary.

After Your Trip

Transfers to the airport
For those going directly to the Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon airport on September 18, your transfers are included.
Vacation Stretchers
For those who would like to arrive a night or two early, we will offer a one- and two-night pre-hotel package with airport pick-up for September 2 and 3, 2018. An optional one-night post hotel for Ho Chi Minh City will be offered September 18-19, 2018. More information will be available 8 months prior to the trip.

Didn’t find what you are looking for? Check out our Olivia travel FAQ. Or call us at 800-631-6277 (inside the U.S. & Canada) or 415-962-5700 (Outside the U.S. & Canada) and select option 1.

For Reservations Call: (800) 631-6277 M-F 8:30am-5:30pm Pacific
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