Cruises in Southeast Asia
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
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.
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.
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.
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.