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
Travel up the river on a traditionally built small cruise ship, watching local life unfold along the riverbanks as you go.
Take a luxurious waterborne journey along the rivers, across the lakes and amongst the islands of beautiful Laos.
Cruises accommodation across Indochina
Legend Halong Private Cruise (Halong Bay)
This luxurious private option offers an intimate way to explore the stunning surrounds of Halong Bay
Modelled on the traditional Chinese junks that used to sail on the bay, the handcrafted teak and oak the Legend Halong is an intimate and elegant option for a Halong Bay cruise. With only two cabins the Legend Halong offers the chance to escape the crowds and absorb the atmosphere of this beautiful region in peace and privacy. The small size of the vessel also permits it to take a different route taken through Bai Tu Long Bay, visiting hidden corners off the usual tourist trail. On board you will have your own captain, boat mechanic, chef, waiter, and tour guide who will all be on hand to make sure you have a great time!
Vat Phou Cruise (Pakse)
There is no better, or more relaxing way, to explore the beautiful reaches of the Mekong River in Southern Laos than aboard the elegant Vat Phou Cruise. Take a delightful two-night cruise meandering through the 4,000 Islands, stopping off at the magnificent Wat Phou temple ruins, after which the ship is named. The ship itself is a former teak barge, converted lovingly into a cosy passenger vessel, with 12 comfortable, air-conditioned cabins and first-rate facilities.
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 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 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.
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.