Tours

Acqua Mekong. The decadent 62-meter (205-foot) Aqua Mekong cruises the Mekong between Ho Chi Minh City and Cambodia, with three-, four-, and seven-day itineraries. The floating five-star hotel, complete with luxurious suites, a plunge pool, spa, and one of Asia’s best chefs onboard—the award-winning David Thompson—stops at fascinating off-the-beaten-path places, where shore excursions give you authentic insights into local life. 866/603–3687; www.aquaexpeditions.com. Three-night cruises start at 70,662,000d.

Bassac Cruises. Can Tho–based Bassac Cruises has a fleet of three elegant wooden cruisers with comfortable air-conditioned cabins, each with a cozy private bathroom, and public areas that are so well laid-out that it's possible to socialize with other guests or find some privacy in one of the covered or open lounge and dining areas. All three vessels—Bassac I is a converted rice barge, while the Bassac II and Bassac III were purpose-built for touring the Mekong Delta—were designed with passenger comfort and safety in mind, with quiet engines and air-conditioning systems, and safety features throughout. 144 Hai Ba Trung St., Can Tho, Can Tho. 0292/382–9540; transmekong.com. From 5,670,000d.

Exo Travel. The staff at this experienced and professional tour company can help with customized itineraries and join-in tours through the Mekong Delta. They can also provide personal tour guides for those who want to delve deep into the Mekong Delta where little English is spoken. 261–263 Phan Xich Long, Phu Nhuan, Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City. 028/3995–9898; www.exotravel.com. From $80 for a basic one-day excursion.

Innoviet. A Mekong Delta–focused boutique travel agency offering small group tours that take people off the beaten path, Innoviet has itineraries ranging from day trips from Ho Chi Minh City to five-day tours of the delta. Long distance travel is by private car, while in the Mekong guests experience various forms of transportation, ranging from xeo loi bicycle trailers to bicycles and sampans. Private tours can also be arranged. 161 Bui Vien, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City. 028/2216–5303; innoviet.com. From $68 for a day excursion.

L'Amant. Inspired by the 1930s "golden age" of travel, L'Amant is a 39-meter cruiser with 12 stylish air-conditioned cabins that offers one- to six-night cruises of the Mekong Delta, most departing from My Tho or nearby Cai Be. The cruises allow you to explore the waterways and villages of the Mekong Delta in relaxed and comfortable elegance. The on-board dining, which makes the most of fresh local Mekong Delta produce, is particularly delicious. Staff can help arrange transfers to the starting point and from the finishing point of the tours. Long Giang Cruiser Company, 82–3, St. 7, An Phu, Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City. 028/6281–0222; www.lamant-cruises.com. From 9,700,000d for a two-day, one-night cruise.

Mango Cruises. Day trips from Ho Chi Minh City are available, as well as multiday cruises that take you off the beaten path into the "real" Mekong Delta. Some cruises include a night at a luxury homestay, with a cooking demonstration, and most itineraries include a range of transportation options, from sampans to xe loi (Mekong Delta bicycle trailers). Most tours begin with a hotel pickup in Ho Chi Minh City and a two-hour transfer by car to Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta. 096/7683–366; mangocruises.com. From 1,024,000d for a day trip.

Mekong Bike Tours. One- to seven-day all-inclusive bicycle tours of the Mekong Delta will take you along backroads and laneways that don't appear on any maps (not even Google Maps!). With friendly, experienced English-speaking cycle guides, Mekong Bike Tours specialize in unique routes that show local life. All tours include vehicular backup, accommodations, drinks, snacks, and meals; most itineraries start in Ho Chi Minh City, with some trips meandering through the delta to Phu Quoc Island or Cambodia. 459/1 Tran Hung Dao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City. 028/3601–7671; www.mekongbiketours.com. From $150.

Mekong Eyes. Spend one day to two weeks exploring the Mekong Delta aboard a luxurious wooden cruiser or a private houseboat. The boats, which combine local boat-building traditions with modern comforts, also travel to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. 209 30 Thang 4, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho, Can Tho. 0292/378–3586; www.mekongeyes.com. Two-day, one-night cruises from 4,670,000d.

Victoria Cruises. Private or join-in cruises are offered in one of three purpose-built sampans, including the Cai Be Princess, which seats up to 25 passengers and is used mainly for day trips, and the Song Xanh Sampan, with private cabins and spacious bathrooms for overnight cruises. The sampans are part of the Victoria Resorts chain, and day tours often stop at the company's elegant Le Longanier restaurant in Cai Be. 097/4872–464; www.victoriahotels.asia. From 1,960,000d, including transfers to and from Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam Birding. Set up by British bird enthusiast Richard Craik, Vietnam Birding offers customized and join-in bird-watching tours throughout Indochina, including to the Mekong Delta. Vietnam Birding is also experienced in general tourism and so can help arrange an itinerary that includes relaxation, cultural sites, cruises, and other vacation activities. Make contact well in advance of your trip—their services are in very high demand. BTT Building, 32–34 Ngo Duc Ke, Room 902, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City. 028/3827–3766; www.vietnambirding.com. Overnight trips from $400.

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