Meet your guide and small group upon hotel pickup in the early or late morning (depending on selected departure time) and transfer by air-conditioned vehicle to Ho Chi Minh Pier. Then board a luxury speedboat made of high-quality teak and sink into soft furnishings as your vessel slips away. Relax like a VIP while your captain effortlessly speeds you over the Saigon River toward the countryside and to the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels. Within 15 minutes, the banks of the river change from city sprawl to lush jungle.
Take advantage of great photo ops of life along the riverbanks as your eco-friendly boat navigates the shallow, jungle-fringed canals past water hyacinths, leaving a small wake that minimizes any impact on the local environment. During the 1-hour journey, your knowledgeable guide explains rural traditions and aspects of life along the waterway.
Depending on departure option selected, enjoy unlimited refreshments with a light breakfast of sandwiches or pastries, fresh tropical fruits and Vietnamese iced coffee, or enjoy a late-morning snack, served on board.
Arrive at the historic Cu Chi Tunnels before the larger bus groups, then watch a short introductory documentary before you follow your guide into the winding, underground network. You have approximately 2 hours to explore the Cu Chi site, which includes weapon and booby-trap exhibitions.
Inside the narrow passageway of an authentic Viet Cong tunnel — part of a 75-mile-long (121-km) complex now preserved as a war memorial park — visit different underground bunkers featuring kitchens, meeting rooms, ammunition depots and hospitals. View a bullet-riddled tank and discover secret entrances hidden by fake termite mounds and other ingenious disguises. Learn how the VC defended the tunnels from American bombs and infiltrators, and marvel at a huge crater formed by an American B-52 bomber.
Try the local cassava root that sustained Viet Cong guerrilla fighters for years during the Vietnam War (known in Vietnam as the American War) and attempt to imagine what living here was like. After your tour, you can feast on fried spring rolls, chicken and beef dishes, and soup as you enjoy an authentic, traditional Vietnamese lunch by the river. If you’ve selected the later tour, you’ll enjoy a provided dinner.
After your meal, depart Cu Chi and return by speedboat to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival at the central pier, you will be driven back to your hotel.