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
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
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!
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.
Paradise Elegance Cruise (Halong Bay)
The Paradise cruises are amongst the finest and the new Elegance ship provides superb quality accommodation on the beautiful waters of Halong Bay.
The steel Elegance boat features 31 all balcony cabins. These are spacious, comfortable and elegantly designed with Vietnamese touches, they feature separate dressing rooms, rain showers and floor to ceiling glass doors. Paradise Elegance boasts an array of upscale amenities, including an artfully sectioned dining room with piano bar and a spa with four treatment rooms. One of the unique features of the ship is the top deck, which is equipped with a circular bar that sits under a large shade sail. A la carte menus offering a wonderful range of authentic Vietnamese dishes are served for both lunch and dinner and dinning is flexible, in terms of both time & location.
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.
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.
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.