Ports: Cambodia


Phnom Penh

Who goes there: AmaWaterways, Aqua Expeditions, Avalon Waterways, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection.

Cruisers like: Phnom Penh is a place of extremes. Remnants of elegant French colonial architecture and the magnificent Royal Palace, dripping with gold, silver and precious stones, sit against chilling displays in the Genocide Museum and the stacks of human skulls at the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, not for the fainthearted. More pleasant is the hilltop Wat Phnom, complete with monkeys or, opposite the Royal Palace, a stroll along the park-like riverside boulevard flanked by cafes, shops and smart bars. At dawn watch locals do calisthenics in front of the Royal Palace at Sisowath Quay. Take a tuk tuk ride by day or return in the cool of the evening when the pace quickens.

Best for: Everyone.

Getting around: The easiest way to tour the city is by hiring a cyclo, tuk tuk or moto (motorcycle taxi). Negotiate the price in advance.


Who goes there: Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn.

Cruisers like: Laidback, with tranquil beaches such as the well-named Serendipity Beach, it’s hard to believe this was the site of the last official battle of the US Army in the American-Vietnam war. Now it has numerous small places serving good-value meals and a range of drinks, such as the chilled La Rhumerie bar, as well as good international dining at themed restaurants. From here you can explore more than a dozen islands, although many visitors choose to stay at the beach, swimming, scuba diving, fishing or snorkelling. For local culture, visit the central market or a Buddhist temple

Best for: Photographers, water lovers and couples.

Getting around: Ships dock close to the Victoria Beach area. Most arrive early in the morning and there will be buses to take passengers downtown. There are plenty of tuk tuks.

Siem Reap

Who goes there: Aqua Expeditions, AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection.

Cruisers like: There is plenty of entertainment in the area, including the Phare Cambodian circus, Bambu stage shows, Rosanna Broadway, Apsara dance performances and traditional Khmer dancing. For those who wish to do rather than watch, there are photographic tours. If there is time, visit one of the three local floating villages for a peep at village life on the water. Cruising from Siem Reap on the Mekong River offers chances to visit busy local markets and fish farms, and watch locals making rice paper, candy and traditional handicrafts. In town, there is a market for food and souvenirs, a war museum, the miniature Cambodian Cultural Village and Artisans Angkor, a silk farm and Khmer crafts workshop, all giving insights to local culture.

Best for: Active people.

Getting around: Many attractions are easy to walk to. Hiring a car and driver will cost about US$25 a day.