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
Bai Tho (Halong Bay)
For those seeking a good value option for exploring the picturesque delights of Halong Bay, the Bai Tho junks are an excellent choice. Cabins are not huge, but are perfectly adequate for the one or two nights spent aboard. Please note that bathroom and bedroom are separated only by a curtain. The overnight tour commences after midday boarding with lunch, followed by an afternoon excursion. The precise excursion itinerary will vary by season and conditions, but will often include a visit to one of the fascinating floating fishing villages on the bay. On return to the boat time is at leisure to kayak through the bay, swim or sit back and enjoy the wonderful setting.
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.
Jahan / Jayavarman Mekong Cruise (Mekong Delta)
For a taste of colonial-era glamour, nothing on the Mekong quite compares with the wonderful pair of ships the RV Jahan and Jayarvarman. The ships marry French colonial and Indochine styles to produce a uniquely elegant and luxurious experience. Each of the spacious stateroom cabins has a private balcony from which to sit back and soak up the glorious scenery as you cruise along the river. The ships offer a number of programs both up and downstream, ranging from 3 days/2 nights to the full 8 days/7 nights travelling between Siem Reap and the Delta.
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.
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.