Luang Prabang - Ban Khok Kham
This morning you meet Mr Francis Engelmann, who used to work for UNESCO on heritage preservation projects and sails with us some hours upstream towards our next halt. Born in Paris in 1947, he has lived in Laos for over 20 years and knows Luang Prabang like the back of his hand. Join his fantastic presentation, in which he shares some of his expertise on the country’s and Luang Prabang’s rich cultural heritage and fascinating history.
After arriving at the confluence of the Mekong and one of its larger tributaries, we offer an option for guests who are in the mood for a bit of an adventurous activity a kayak tour on the Nam Ou River. Hop in a kayak and paddle along on your own in total symbioses with the peaceful flowing stream. Feel the waters of the river carrying you downstream with almost no effort while enjoying the passing natural beauty.
We then explore the famous Pak Ou Caves, located directly on the Mekong’s rocky shore and opposite the mouth of the Ou River. There are two limestone grottoes which house approximately 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images ranging from mere centimetres up to 2m (7ft) in height. We arrive first at the lower, impressive cave and then head up the stairs (approx. 200 steps) to the smaller chamber.
At the cave, we meet a local “medicine man” of the nearby local village. We take a small trek leading into the jungle while our local expert explains various kinds of interesting and astonishing things about the flora and nature in this area. Arriving in the village we are able to see households with traditional weaving and the ‘the art of local whisky distillery. (Kindly note a basic fitness level is required for the approx. 45 min trek, relatively easy walking downhill (though should be sure-footed) with some short uphill terrain. Guests can also skip the hike and return to the ship moored in front of the Pak Ou caves.)
The journey takes us further up the river into the golden evening sun. If we arrive in daylight we have time to stroll through another gem of a local village. A mixture of Lao Loum and Lao Theun (lowland and midland Laotians) reside in this idyllic riverside settlement. The locals earn part of their leaving with basket weaving – an old traditional local handicraft. The village does have a Buddhist temple – though many of these tribes and ethnics in the Golden Triangle are not religious and follow beliefs in ancestorship and nature.
Meanwhile, our culinary team is in full preparation for a very special happening for tonight. On a nearby, very beautiful peaceful sandbank our chefs invite us to a BBQ dinner. Some villagers join to entertain us with traditional classic dance and music performance. Have a grand time together with newly made friends and soak in this truly unique atmosphere of dining on a remote little sandbank in the midst of Laos.
Meal: Lunch, Dinner
Ban Khok Kham – Ban Kok Aek
Early birds are welcome to join the daily morning exercise class (Yoga or Tai Chi) on the terrace deck. We think there is no better backdrop than the stunning Mekong scenery to do some revitalizing morning exercises to start the day. As we cruise along in the morning, our local expert hosts a lecture with interesting insights and facts about the Laotian culture of the diverse tribes living along the upper Mekong.
We arrive at a very rural and utmost charming village inhabited by Khmu people. The village also has a small primary school for the few kids residing here remotely with their families. We take a leisurely walk into the surrounding neighbourhood of the village. In the simple bamboo huts built on stilts and scattered across rice fields the local people today still perform all work manually which basically consists of processing agricultural products.
Once back onboard the ship continues its slow meandering upriver. After lunch and in the afternoon we arrive at a secluded sandbank spot. The local ethnic Lao, Khmu and Hmong live in the tiny village of Kok Aek. These residents have committed themselves to the organic growth of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. At the riverside, they have set up a little parcel of land as an organic garden, caringly maintained and enclosed by bamboo fences. Though these plots are unusable at certain times of the year due to flooding, the nutrient-rich Mekong irrigation promises bountiful annual harvests. As we get to know the villagers proudly displaying their gardening achievements, be sure to sample a local speciality, kai paen, which is made of dried freshwater “seaweed” topped with sesame and vegetables – so wholesomely unique and yummy!
We stay overnight at this pleasant place. The village also has a little temple in which we can arrange an optional meditation session (limited availability). After taking in a bit of ‘Zen’, dinner is served in Anouvong’s elegant De-Lagree Dining Hall. Afterwards, you may like to while some time away in the lounge or join the cinema under the stars on the open terrace deck. The movie named “Chang” (Laotian for “elephant”) was shot in this region in 1927 and was made by the same producer as the first King Kong movie. Enjoy your night’s sleep mid-river in the middle of nowhere.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kok Aek – Pakbeng – Pak Ngui
Wake up early to catch the sun’s first rays on the river which is always a magical moment. Early birds are welcome to join the daily morning exercise on the terrace deck (Tai Chi or Yoga).
After breakfast and on our way to Pakbeng, our local expert guide hosts a lecture about the Laotian elephants and their cultural importance in the past and their current situation which have brought them to the brink of extinction. A good and interesting preparation as tomorrow we will meet these fascinating animals in real. Enjoy the rest of the morning and your lunchtime while we sail along over mid-day.
In the early afternoon, we arrive in the small town of Pakbeng. This riverside settlement is halfway between our embarkation at Huay Xai and Luang Prabang. Many locals also stop here when they travel or transport goods between these two “hubs” on the river. Opposite the town – so to say on the port side of the cruising direction – is the country’s most sustainably managed elephant sanctuary. If we arrive early enough, we may still see elephants freely walking along the shoreline and taking a morning bath. To expand your knowledge from our morning lecture about these majestic animals, we then visit the conservation sanctuary. All the elephants here used to work as logging elephants, and since they have ‘checked in’ here, they have lived in peace and safety. One may ask why not let them live in the wild and enjoy the freedom of mother nature? After their time as working animals, they lack the ability to live and survive in the wild (there still exists very few wild elephants). The sanctuary is fully committed to the tenets of ecotourism and sustainability.
We cross the river and have a look at the town of Pakbeng and drive up to a lovely hill-top temple. The location allows for fantastic river views to the left and right of the zig-zagging Mekong river.
Back on board, we cruise for some more hours. Lay back and take in this absolutely amazing scenery or enjoy some downtime in our tucked-away spa. We drop anchor at a protected area mid-river. Kick back with an aperitif on the open deck and get prepared for your last dinner on board. Our culinary team is pleased to spoil you with a gala and farewell dinner in al-fresco style on the terrace deck. Have a grand time together with newly made friends and soak in this truly unique atmosphere of sights and soothing sounds of nature.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Pak Ngui – Huay Xai
Enjoy your last sunrise aboard with a morning exercise again. This morning you can take all the time for a long and relaxed brunch (which we can serve to you also on the terrace deck) as we voyage along and towards the Thai-Lao border.
Pre-lunch, the ship passes at the junction with the Nam Tha River, one of the Mekong’s major tributaries. The Nam Tha, which translates to “Green River”, begins near the Chinese border, 325 km to the northeast, and ends at this crossing with the Mekong.
Kick back and enjoy these last quiet sailing hours as slowly the river scenery begins to open up a bit. The river in this area is now wider, however, our captain always has to watch out for rocks and stones or sandbanks in order to navigate safely – making the sailing an interesting one to observe from the open deck. After some hours the landscape and the river starts to change, becoming more mountainous and the river increasingly narrow. We also offer a Lao cooking class to learn how to prepare some of the tasty and easy-to-make snacks and local dishes.
The rest of the cruising time, until we reach Huay Xai (approximately 15:00 o’clock), is at your own liking. Upon arrival and check-out, we assist you with your luggage and we transfer you to the Lao-Thao border. We also help you with the border crossing before bidding you farewell on the Thai side in front of the immigration building. We thank you very much for cruising with Heritage Line on the upper Mekong in Laos and wish you a pleasant onward journey.
Please note: we can arrange transfers to Chiang Rai city or airport or to a resort/hotel in Chiang Sean if you extend your stay in the Golden Triangle on the Thai side.
cabin & Suites
The Heritage Line – Anouvong is a luxury boat with rich art deco influences. There are four Deluxe Staterooms, four Deluxe Executive Staterooms and two Signature suites. All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and are air-conditioned with individual control. Each spacious ensuite room is fully equipped with luxury facilities.
Located on the main deck, four Deluxe Staterooms (1 double, 3 twins) showcase a richly cultured interior décor distinctive of Laos and French colonial Indochina. Deluxe Staterooms feature a 20 sqm (215 sqft) area with a French balcony, an ensuite bathroom with a walk-in shower and a set of luxurious toiletries.
Occupying the terrace deck and have 20 sqm (215 sqft) of floor space. Deluxe Executive Staterooms (2 doubles and 2 twins) are designed and equipped equally to the Deluxe Stateroom. These staterooms are also decorated with handpicked Laotian artwork and furniture inspired by the French-colonial epoch.
Situated at the front of the main deck, the two luxurious Signature Suites (two doubles) are the largest rooms aboard Anouvong. With a spacious 30 sqm (323 sqft) area including a private balcony, each of the suites has its own unique design theme blended with Laotian patterns and unique artwork. The bathroom features a large walk-in shower and jacuzzi with spectacular Mekong River views.
Cruise Rates & Details
Please find below our cruise rates (rack, before any promotional discount), departures and additional information. You may also like to check actual availability by sending us directly a request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No cruise available
Departure in Jan, Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov, Dec
Departure in Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
Departure in Jan, Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov, Dec
Departure in Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
- Rates are quoted in USD per person based on double sharing occupancy.
- Rates apply for individual traveller booking only.
- Rates are subject to change with or without prior notice. Amasia Travel reserve the right to change the quoted rates.
- A mandatory surcharge on Christmas Eve (24 December) & New Year’s Eve (31 December) of 100 USD per adult and 50 USD per child applies for cruise (or tour) bookings aboard the ship Anouvong.
Below are departures of the 3-night cruise Huay Xai – Luang Prabang and vice versa
Huay Xay – Luang Prabang: 31 Aug, 26 Sep, 4 Oct, 30 Oct, 07 Nov, 03 Dec
Luang Prabang – Huay Xay: 27 Aug, 04 Sep, 30 Sep, 08 Oct, 03 Nov, 11 Nov, 07 Dec
Huay Xay – Luang Prabang: 4 Jan, 30 Jan, 07 Feb, 04 Mar, 12 Mar, 20 Mar, 28 Mar, 19 Jul, 27 Jul, 22 Aug, 30 Aug, 25 Sep, 03 Oct, 29 Oct, 06 Nov, 24 Dec
Luang Prabang – Huay Xay: 08 Jan, 03 Feb, 11 Feb, 08 Mar, 16 Mar, 24 Mar, 01 Apr, 09 Apr, 15 Jul, 23 Jul, 31 Jul, 26 Aug, 03 Sep, 29 Sep, 07 Oct, 02 Nov, 10 Nov, 20 Dec, 28 Dec
Provisional off-season schedule: 17 April – 14 July 2024
Accommodation; daily (group) shore excursions & entrance fees; sightseeing and transfers during the cruise; transfers between meeting point to the ship and vice versa; English-speaking tour guide on-and offshore; entertainment/activities during the cruise as mentioned in the program; meals as mentioned in the program; welcome drink, brewed coffee, tea and mineral water; passenger liability insurance; internet on the ship (subject to cellular network signal); complimentary usage of ship facilities (exclusive of spa treatments); port or anchorage fees; river pilots; fuel; taxes.
Crew and guide gratuities; visa fees; private transfers; personal expenses; other beverages than those stated under inclusions; medical services; spa treatments; all other services or items not listed under inclusions.
1. Main Deck: Deluxe Staterooms, Signature Suites & Dinning Hall
2. Terrace Deck: Deluxe Executive Staterooms, Café-bar & lounge, Sun deck and Spa
Launch: November 2009
Length / Width / Height: 58 m / 11 m / 10 m
Cruising speed: 10 nautical knots
Draft: 1,6 m
Gross tonnage: 1500 tons
Electricity: 220 Volts