Cruise Along the Mighty Mekong
Much has been said about river cruising in Asia, whether on the Lower Mekong, in Myanmar, or India, but the Upper Mekong has for the most part gone unexplored. Explore the charms of Bangkok before embarking on an exciting journey along this mysterious part of the world. The delightful rv Mekong Pearl will take us from Vientiane, the capital of Laos all the way to the legendary Golden Triangle.
- Visit Kuang Si Falls, one of Laos' most beautiful waterfalls
- Marvel at thousands of Buddha statues in Pak Ou Caves
- Take boat tour through Bangkok's canals and experience the city's diverse neighbourhoods
- Meet the inhabitants of a hill tribe village in Laos
- Learn the art of Thai cooking during a hands-on class
- Return economy group airfare with Air Canada from Canada to Bangkok
- Enjoy 4-nights in deluxe hotels in Bangkok and a 3-night stay in Chiang Rai, as indicated or similar
- 10-night cruise in an outside stateroom with private facilities aboard the rv Mekong Pearl
- Welcome and Farewell Receptions on the cruise
- Local guides during the cruise
- Excursions in each village visited on the cruise
- 43 meals (B - 17 breakfasts, L - 14 lunches, D - 12 dinners)
- Transfers between airports, hotels and the ship
- All sightseeing and entrance fees as mentioned
- Bottled water on board
- Baggage handling at the hotels and shipside
- Services of our Journey Leader and Cruise Director
- Visa fees for Canadian passport holders
- All gratuities, taxes and fees for included services
- Airport transfers in Canada or equivalent value with purchase of group airfare
Group members from across Canada gather in Toronto or Vancouver on Wednesday evening, then fly to Bangkok, losing a day en route.
Upon arrival at the Bangkok airport, we will be met by a local representative and transferred to our hotel. The rest of the day is free until we gather for our welcome dinner.
Chatrium Hotel Riverside (3 nights)
In the morning, we visit Bangkok's Chinatown, a renowned culinary hotspot. After wandering through the area, we enjoy a traditional Yum Cha (light lunch) consisting of tea and dim sum. Next, our journey takes us on a boat tour through Bangkok's klongs (canals), along the Chao Phraya River to experience the city's diverse neighbourhoods. We will make a stop at the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), whose towering spire has become an iconic symbol of Bangkok. Tonight, we will participate in a Thai cooking class. Remember to pay attention, as the dishes we prepare will be our dinner.
Fly to Vientiane, then savour lunch at a local restaurant before boarding our Mekong River cruise. After a guided tour of Vientiane's highlights, we will return to the ship for a welcome reception and dinner.
rv Mekong Pearl (10 nights)
Unwind on deck as our boutique cruiser glides up the Mekong River, the jungled landscapes and rural vistas unfolding before us. We will anchor at a tranquil location for a serene night's stay.
Venturing further north, the landscape transforms, with rolling green hills and ancient rock formations rising gently from the earth. The Mekong River winds its way through the terrain, alternating between rapid currents and peaceful stretches. Its mighty power adds a genuine sense of adventure to our cruise. We will briefly stop in the town of Salakham during the day, then continue our journey north for the night.
We stop upstream at the small farming village of Ban Don Saingam, where you can join a 30-minute trek to explore a secluded cave rarely visited by travellers. Here, the pristine natural landscape remains untouched except for the occasional views of tiny villages and local cattle roaming free.
Enjoy breakfast on board while taking in the stunning views. Keep an eye out for local fishermen along the shore and do not miss the impressive Xayabouri Dam, the largest hydroelectric power plant in Laos. In the afternoon, we will have the chance to meet the inhabitants of a small hill tribe village.
We start the day with a guided tour of Kuang Si Falls, one of Laos' most stunning waterfalls. Later, we reach Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former royal capital. In the evening, we hike up Mount Phou Si for panoramic views of the Mekong and Khan Rivers, along with the surrounding mountains. Afterwards, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Mekong promenade and visit the colorful night market of the local Hmong minority.
Early risers can witness the traditional morning alms ritual where hundreds of monks collect their daily sustenance. Following breakfast on board, our guided city tour includes the National Museum in the former royal palace and a visit to a local handicraft village. After lunch, our exploration of Luang Prabang's charms continues. In the evening, enjoy the town’s diverse culinary offerings, from quaint eateries to riverside dining along the Mekong.
In the morning our cruise ship will stop at the famous Pak Ou Caves, which house thousands of Buddha statues. You can take a short trek through the forest to a small riverside village and visit its distillery. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can reach the village by boat. You might even have the chance to see working elephants nearby.
As our journey progresses, the river’s hustle fades, revealing breathtaking landscapes all around us. Whether on deck, in your cozy cabin, or the lounge, find tranquility bathed in the warmth of the sun.
Unwind on deck taking in the peaceful northern Laos scenery, a perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life back home. As we glide past verdant hills, we start heading towards the small village of Pak Tha. You can join a long-tail boat excursion on the Namtha River, which takes you to a nearby Khmu village, whose school has been supported by donations from Mekong River Cruises’ guests for many years. End the day with Mekong River Cruises’ famous riverside barbecue dinner in a beautiful riverside location.
Enjoy our final onboard breakfast before disembarking in Huay Xai. After visiting a temple and a traditional market, we will cross the Thailand–Laos border at Friendship Bridge before transferring to our local hotel in Chiang Rai.
The Riverie by Katathani (3 nights)
Today's sightseeing includes a cruise along the Kok River, a tricycle ride through the city, a visit to Boon Rawd Farm, one of the largest tea producers in Thailand, and visits to the Three Coloured Temples.
Winding through Doi Tung, we catch glimpses into the lives of hill tribe villagers. En route, enjoy spectacular scenery of farming terraces and admire the Palace of the Princess Mother. Located at the top is the Wat Phra That Doi Tung temple, offering magnificent views of the rice fields below. Continuing to the Golden Triangle, where Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand meet along the Mekong River. Here, we will visit the Hall of Opium museum to explore the complex 5,000-year history of opium.
After a relaxed morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Bangkok. Upon arrival, we check into our airport hotel for an overnight stay.
Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel (1 night)
All too soon, our journey has come to an end, and we catch our return flights back home.
Have any questions? Contact Sharon at sbahadur [at] craigtravel.com or call 1-800-387-8890
Mekong River Cruises
This unique boutique ship was built in 2017 and specially designed to sail the roughest sections of the Upper Mekong. It carries a maximum of 27 passengers in 11 main deck staterooms and 4 upper deck cabins.
Beautifully designed, the en-suite staterooms range from 129 to 236 sq. ft. with sliding windows facing the open deck. Relax on comfortable deck chairs and sofa on the Sun Deck as you admire the scenery passing by; treat yourself at the Spa and enjoy an Asian massage after an exciting day of exploration. The caring crew of 18 is here to pamper you throughout your voyage and the onboard chefs will introduce you to unique and local flavours.
Supplements to upgrade to higher category:
Category – Stateroom Description (Deck)
Double / Twin
Category – Stateroom Description (Deck)
Double / Twin
Cruise Cost in Canadian Dollars per person
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Final payment is due November 19, 2024. Deposit is $1, 500 per person.
Singles are extremely limited. Single Supplement rates include either a single hotel room and a shared cruise cabin or a single hotel room and a single cruise cabin. *The price includes the flights from Bangkok to Chiang Rai plus Vientiane to Bangkok. Rates are per person based on sharing an outside Classic cabin on Main deck. Airfares from other gateways are available on request. Airfares and air carrier are subject to change and will be confirmed prior to final payment. Refer to Inclusive Features.
Insurance is NOT INCLUDED but is highly recommended. Premiums are calculated based on the individual’s age, destination (country), trip length, and trip booking window – please contact our staff to receive a quote. Your coverage starts on the effective date of your confirmation of coverage. Please discuss your insurance coverage prior to booking. Please discuss your insurance coverage prior to booking. Refer to terms and conditions for more details.