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
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.
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.
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.
Pandaw Cruise (Mekong Delta)
Travel in style as you head along the Mekong in this beautiful traditional colonial boat
Head along the Mekong in style with the full board Pandaw Cruise ship. Sail through the Delta from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Siem Reap in Cambodia or in the reverse. Shorter trips are also on offer, heading to or from Phnom Penh in either direction. The boat will travel up or down stream over a number of nights, stopping off at local floating markets, riverside villages and countless places of outstanding natural beauty. The ship itself is comfortable and will provide the perfect balance of cultural sightseeing and relaxation and the cruise is well known for its enjoyable and inclusive atmosphere. The rooms are elegantly decorated in teak and brass and the whole boat has an air of elegance and sophistication, right down to the attentive staff.
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.