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Saigon (officially Ho Chi Minh City / abbrev HCMC) is Vietnam's capital and largest city, with population around 8,5 million (metro over 13,5 million). The metro area consists of Ho Chi Minh City metro plus all surrounding towns. The name Saigon is widely used by locals and refers to city's downtown district 1.
Ocean-going ships to Saigon dock at Port Phu My (aka Tan Cang Cai Mep). The seaport is located approx 80 ml (130 km) or at around 1,5 hours drive distance from the city, connected via modern highway inaugurated in 2014. Phu My is a large cargo port without tourist attractions in its vicinity. Cruise ships dock at port's containership terminal. Shuttle bus service to Saigon and also to Ba Ria (approx 16 km / 10 ml to southeast) is provided. From Ba Ria, passengers can access Vung Tau (beach resort city). The best way to get to Ho Chi Minh City is via the cruise ship company or private travel arrangements.
Ho Chi Minh City also has two river ports where cruise ships are usually berthed. Port Saigon is approx 2 km (1,2 ml) from downtown. The other port (Hiep Phuoc) is approx 16 km (10 ml) from downtown. Their GPS coordinates are - Port Saigon (Latitude 10.492100, Longitude 106.451440) and Port Hiep Phuoc (1038N / 10645E). Saigon's river cruise port information was contributed by Mr Truong Hoang - operation manager of A&K Vietnam Travel Co Ltd (subsidiary of "Abercrombie & Kent" - US-based luxury travel agency).
Once known as Prey Nokor, the city was an important Khmer seaport prior to the 17th century annexation by Vietnam. Named Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City served as the capital of France's Cochinchina colony and later of the independent South Vietnam Republic (1955–1975). On July 2, 1976, Saigon merged with the surrounding Gia Dinh Province and was renamed after revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969).
In 2007, approximately 4,3 million tourists visited Vietnam, of which 70% (3 million) visited Ho Chi Minh City. Most tourist sites are in District 1, and a short distance from each other. The most prominent buildings in downtown are City Hall, Reunification Palace, Municipal Theatre (Opera House), State Bank Office, City Post Office, City People's Court, Notre-Dame Cathedral. City's historic hotels include Hotel Majestic (from Vietnam's French colonial era) and Rex & Caravelle hotels (fka hangouts for US officers in the 1960s-1970s). The most famous museums are Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Revolutionary Museum, Vietnamese History Museum, Museum of South-Eastern Armed Forces, War Remnants Museum, Fine Art Museum, Southern Women Museum, Nha Rong Memorial House, Ben Duoc Relic of Underground Tunnels. Cu Chi tunnels are north-west of the city. Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens were opened in 1865. Also inside the city are located Dam Sen Park, Suoi Tien Amusement Park and Can Gio's Eco Beach Resort.
Saigon cruise terminal
Ocean-going cruise ships to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) dock at Port Phu My. Tourist riverboats dock in downtown Saigon.
Phu My (pronunced "Foo Me") is Saigon's cargo port where cruise liners dock at its container terminal. A bus shuttle is provided to Ba Ria (approx 10 ml / 16 km to southeast), from where cruise tourists can travel to Vung Tau. The best way to get to Ho Chi Minh City from Port Phu My is either via cruise line's organized shore excursions or private tours. Taxis wait outside Port Phu My.
Local tour companies require passport details in advance to arrange seaport passes. Local tour companies picking up cruise tourists at the port also collect the port fees. The alternative is to walk outside Port Phu My and take a taxi.
In Vietnam, tour guides require passport details in advance in order to arrange your port passes. The permit to pick travelers up at the port is compulsory to the company in case tourists want to be legal and safe. Expect to pay USD 25-30 per person for port fees, even though "unofficial" fees may be less.
Saigon tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Cu Chi Tunnels
Port Saigon cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|3 May, 2019|
|22 May, 2019|
|ms Europa 2||12:00||16:00|
|27 May, 2019|
|Spectrum Of The Seas||07:00||19:00|
The Saigon cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
If you lose the Saigon location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
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