Ho Chi Minh City Cruises

Ho Chi Minh City bears all the hallmarks of its past, yet faces firmly forward as the financial capital of modern Vietnam.

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a sprawling metropolis situated in southern Vietnam. The high-octane, financial capital of Vietnam is not without its history, with a rich story that weaves in and out of various cultures and conquests the further back in time you trace.

Originally a part of the kingdom of Cambodia, Ho Chi Minh City was once known as Prey Nokor, and was just a small port town, it’s international, cosmopolitan future then unknown. After the French overthrew the Nguyen Dynasty in Danang, Ho Chi Minh City was captured and colonized by the French in 1859. Shortly after, being appointed as the capital of Cochinchina, the city gained its iconic and renowned French architecture. Famous sights such as the, Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon, Saigon Central Post Office and Ho Chi Minh City Municipal Theatre are just a few intricate buildings touch by European influence.

Ho Chi Minh City’s turbulent and colourful past has painted every corner of the destination’s culture with vibrancy. From the complex, underground network of tunnels that were dug during the French and American Wars, to Reunification Palace, which is a time capsule, completely unchanged from the mid-1970’s. Reunification Palace was home and base to the Vietnamese General Ngo Dinh Diem. So why is this building important? Because in 1975, a North Vietnamese Army tank broke through the entrance gate, famously ending the Vietnam War.

Today, Ho Chi Minh City bears all the hallmarks of its past, yet faces firmly forward as the financial capital of modern Vietnam. With a plentiful choice of luxury rooftop cocktail bars, events at the Saigon Opera House and late-night browsing at Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City has plenty on offer after the sun sets.

On board Emerald Harmony, which has been specifically designed to traverse the Mekong, can sail into the centre of Ho Chi Minh City, docking at the heart of this wonderful, encapsulating hub of culture. With access to chic staterooms and premium suites that act as modern sanctuaries as you sail through this beautiful destination, your cruise through this stunning city will be unforgettable.

Architecture and sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh City

The aforementioned French Colonial architecture is not to be missed. In South East Asia, where tropical climates and awe-inspiring sunsets are your constant backdrop, the intricate, detailed French architecture takes on a new life, not seen anywhere else in the world.

Take Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon, for example, its neo-Roman and Gothic styling, designed by architect J. Bourad, perfectly complements and contrasts with the lush, green trees and blue skies outside. Or take the Saigon Central Post Office, which was designed by Gustave Eiffel (Creator of the Eiffel Tower), and built by the French in 1860, which is a moment frozen in time, harking back to simpler days when the population of Vietnam still spent time hand writing letters to loved ones, friends and family across the country. Today, a busy tourist attraction, and an admirable piece of architecture, Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon features many active working desks for those that need them, ready to assist with modern-day mailing enquires.

What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City

When setting sail along the Mekong on Emerald Harmony, it can be easy to forget about eating on land. On board, guests can choose from a range of delectable, locally-inspired cuisine, as well as delicious, premium western dishes, so it’s no wonder that stepping onshore to dine isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. However, with South East Asian cuisine being such a hub of culinary delights, you simply can’t embark on a cruise to this fantastic part of the world and not sample some of the amazing food on offer.

In Ho Chi Minh City, this translates to succulent Bánh mì, a typical Vietnamese street food sandwich. Built around a crusty baguette, Bánh mì sandwiches can include hot layers of pork, thinly sliced fresh vegetables and array of sauces and condiments. Some say eating a Bánh mì whilst strolling down the street is a necessity for tourists visiting Vietnam, and we couldn’t agree more.

Emerald Harmony, the full Mekong experience

On our Emerald Waterways Mekong cruises, Emerald Harmony is your vessel. Specifically designed to navigate this region of the world, Emerald Harmony has an array of amenities on board to keep the South East Asia traveller entertained, relaxed and catered for.

With five decks in total, Emerald Harmony has a dedicated Sun Deck on its top floor, which comes equipped with deck chairs, a retractable sun shade roof, a games area and a walking track. Designed around leisure and enjoyment, the Sun Deck is the perfect vantage point for watching the beautiful landscape go by.

Just below the Sun Deck is the Pool Deck, which is home to our most premium suites, as well as our daytime pool & bar. Below that, you’ll find our Horizon, Vista and Riviera Decks, which house the Emerald Panorama Balcony Suites and Emerald Staterooms. Elsewhere on board you’ll find the Horizon Bar & Lounge, Lotus Lounge, Reflections Restaurant, a fitness area, self-service laundry, our wellness area and hairdressers. Setting sail on Emerald Harmony sets your vacation apart from the average cruise.

Choose the perfect Ho Chi Minh City cruise for you

At Emerald Waterways, we offer a selection of different cruises that visit Ho Chi Minh City, and each adventure caters for a different type of traveller. For example, our 8-day Majestic Mekong River Cruise, which traverses Cambodia from north to south, before covering breadth of southern Vietnam, will suit you if you want to see many places in a short space of time, perhaps even tying it in with another vacation.

Or take our 21-day Grand Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia, which covers both northern and southern Vietnam, as well as Cambodia in a three-week tour that takes guests across every corner of these two amazing countries.

Browse our Ho Chi Minh City itineraries below to find the perfect cruise for your next adventure.