Cruises in Indochina
The breathtaking scenery of Halong Bay has been inspiring visitors since French colonial days, and remains an undoubted highlight of any Vietnam holiday. For those with time to delve deeper, however, less-celebrated but equally inspiring landscapes await.
In northern Laos the Mekong demarcates the border with neighbouring Thailand, and having journeyed for more than an a thousand miles from the Tibetan Plateau the scale is already dramatic. Much of the subsequent thousand miles downstream to the sea are navigable, passing through the dramatic landscapes of Laos, the bucolic rural scenery of Cambodia and into the bountiful Mekong Delta. Whether you are seeking a week of serene luxury aboard a classic river cruiser or a gentle afternoon on a converted rice barge we hope these ideas inspire you to take to the water!
Recommended Cruises Experiences
Take a luxurious waterborne journey along the rivers, across the lakes and amongst the islands of beautiful Laos.
Travel up the river on a traditionally built small cruise ship, watching local life unfold along the riverbanks as you go.
Cruises accommodation across Indochina
Bhaya Classic Cruise (Halong Bay)
The Bhaya Cruise provides high quality accommodation on the beautiful waters of Halong Bay. As with many of the boats, the Bhaya offers both one and two night cruising options, with the first day itinerary being the same in both cases. Boarding takes place at around midday, with a seafood lunch immediately following an initial welcome and safety briefing. The boat sets sail through the sublime scenery of the Bai Tu Bay during lunch, and reaches the shore excursion destination mid-afternoon. The itinerary may vary depending on season and weather conditions, but a regular stop is at the remarkable Van Vieng fishing village, a floating community resident in a sheltered bay in the midst of the limestone karst peaks. You will transfer from the main boat to small sampans, and be rowed through the village to the spectacular cave mouth through which the locals access the sea. On return to the boat time is at leisure to kayak through the bay, swim or sit back and enjoy the wonderful setting. Evening meal is at 7.30, after which you can try your hand at squid fishing if the mood takes you.
Bassac cruise (Mekong Delta)
The converted rice barges that comprise the small fleet of Bassac Mekong cruise boats provide our favourite setting from which to explore the waterways and floating markets of the delta. Ranging from 6 to 24 cabins, each of the dark-wood Bassac boats has two dining rooms, a sun deck, bar and lounge area providing plenty of space to relax and make the journey your own.
Luang Say Lodge (Pakbeng)
At the midway point between Luang Prabang and the Thai border you will break your journey at the beautiful Luang Say Lodge, located on the banks of the river in the small village of Pakbeng. Set against a backdrop of mountainous jungle. the property's large pavilions of solid teak and rosewood all have beautiful vistas looking out over the Mekong River. The traditional Laotian architecture provides accommodation of comfort and character, each bedroom equipped with high ceiling mosquito nets, electric fans and a large private bathroom with hot shower and western style toilet.
Halong Jasmine (Halong Bay)
The Halong Jasmine is one of our favourite boats that cruise the calm waters of Halong Bay. Cabins are compact but attractively finished, many on the upper decks with small private balconies. Bathrooms are private, having walk-in showers and are fully separated from the bedroom area. The public spaces are finished in dark wood, with an open lounge and dining area on the second deck, and a spacious upper sun deck for relaxation between excursions and activities.
Au Co Halong Bay Cruise (Halong Bay)
The luxurious Au Co Cruise offers a unique proposition on the world-famous waters of Halong Bay, being the only ship that offers a true two-night cruise. Whereas most two-night options transfer you to a day-boat while the main vessel shuttles back to harbour, the Au Co is able to continue deep into the rarely-visited corners of Halong and nearby Bai Tu Bay, allowing you to experience the scenic wonders of this UNESCO site in glorious tranquility. The vessel itself is modern, with comfortable, elegantly furnished cabins, each with a private balcony.