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Halong Bay, Red River & Laos Mekong – Vietnam & Laos River Cruise

Halong Bay, Red River & Laos Mekong – Vietnam & Laos River Cruise

From USD $8,856

Description

For the first-time travelers will be able to explore the key sites of Northern Vietnam by river ship traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries, connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with the excitements of down town Hanoi, and then on into the interior, well off the beaten track. This is a combination of scenic beauty, lively and interesting (sometimes industrial) life of the river and exploring rivers where no other tourist craft operate. Combined this with a three-country expedition as we will traverse Laos to touch Thailand and Burma at the once notorious Golden Triangle. From Vientiane, the old French capital, and so redolent of L’Indochine, beyond Luang Prabang, Pandaw is the first river expedition since prewar days to cross all Laos.

Trip Name
Halong Bay, Red River & Laos Mekong - Vietnam & Laos River Cruise
Days
22
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury River Cruising Length: 42.2 m Passenger Capacity: 32 passengers Built: 2012 Angkor Pandaw is a handsome two-deck riverboat, a luxurious yet unostentatious replica of a colonial-era vessel dating from 1865. It is a K-class ship. The K-class dated back to the 1880s and were comprised of stern wheelers designed to reduce draft, their boilers placed in the bow to improve trim. Smaller than the great line steamers of the age, the K-class ships were used on the Chindwin and upper reaches of the Irrawaddy. Where possible we have reused the old IFC names and many of these original K-class ships had fascinating histories, through times of war and peace. ACCOMMODATION 10 main deck and 6 upper deck staterooms - Air-conditioned panorama dining room - Spacious, open-air lounge - Observation deck - Lounge bar - 24hrs hospitality bar - Fair-trade Shop - Guest relation desk - Library with contemporary and classic literature - Hair Dryers in all cabins WINING & DINING Local master chef heading an experienced international culinary team - Semi-buffet breakfast, Semi-buffet lunch, and seated theme dinners - Daily lean & light menu options - Complimentary coffee, water, tea, soft drinks, local beer, local spirits, juices - Extensive wine list with premium wines - Series of cultural performances, educational talks, cooking classes, and ship tour - Welcome drink on arrival - Welcome cocktail - Farewell Reception - Theme dinners - Lounge bar - 24hrs hospitality bar - Onboard bakery with daily freshly baked breads and rolls ON EXCURSIONS Admissions - Shoe cleaning after excursions - Bottled drinking water - Cold towel service after excursions - Refreshing drink following excursions - Full-size motor coach on all excursions - 1st aid trained assistant guide to follow all tours and excursions SAFETY & SECURITY All onboard crew is trained and certified as per international marine standards (VIRES)  - Fire alarm system in all cabins, public areas and back areas - Fire fighting system in all ship areas - Expert marine superintendant - 24 hrs watch on duty - Certified hygiene standards for all areas (Johnson & Diversey) ONBOARD STAFF Captain - River Pilot - First Officer - Chief Engineer - 1st Engineer - Electrician - Bosun & nautical crew - Ship manager - Housekeeping - Dining - Bar keeper - Chefs - Local tour guides PUBLIC SPACES Guest relation desk - Shop, supporting fair trade - Library with contemporary and classic literature - Wireless internet in all public areas

Itinerary



Day 1 - DAY 1 VIENTIANE
Pick up from your hotel in Vientiane at 08.00am, followed by a local long-tail boat expedition to your Pandaw vessel upstream. Lunch and drinks will be provided on the local boat by your Pandaw chef and bar staff. Embark your Pandaw in the afternoon for a welcome briefing and welcome drinks. We moor overnight at Pak Lay.
Day 2 - DAY 2 CRUISING THE MEKONG
Cruise upstream on the Mekong, passing lush jungle scenery and tiny riverside villages. Morning presentation on the Lao language after a short walk at Pha Laeb village. If time permits, we will also enjoy an afternoon walk at Ban Khok Fark.
Day 3 - DAY 3 XAYABOURI DAM
Morning walk at Ban Pak Bor Khummu village before passing through Xayabouri Hydroelectric Dam, taking an inside look of the workings of this somewhat controversial attraction as we navigate the locks. Afternoon visit to Ban Na San village, a Hmong minority village.
Day 4 - DAY 4 KUANG SI WATERFALLS
In the morning we moor at the village of Ban Mouang Khai and visit the dramatic Kaung Si waterfall. On the way back to the ship, we stop at the Laos Buffalo Farm, a social enterprise utilizing the abundant buffalo in Laos. Arrive in the heart of the temple city of Luang Prabang mid-afternoon where there is a buzzing night market and many great cafes and local restaurants. Traditional Laos Bacci ceremony and dancing on the upper deck during happy hour. Moor overnight in central Luang Prabang.
Day 5 - DAY 5 LUANG PRABANG CRAFTS & CULTURE
Today we explore the various handicrafts of Laos in more detail. We start with Ock Pop Tok, a social enterprise providing sustainable employment and training for the women of local weaving villages. We then head to TAEC (Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre) to understand more about Laos musical instruments. After lunch aboard the ship, we sail toward Ban Chan and take part in a pottery demonstration at the local pottery workshop. We finish the day with a sunset cruise on the Mekong alongside Luang Prabang, returning to moor overnight in the centre of town.
Day 6 - DAY 6 LUANG PRABANG
Early morning walking tour to observe the alms offerings to the hundreds of monks who walk around the city every morning. We continue after breakfast to the morning market before taking tuktuks for a city tour of this well preserved and unique world heritage site with its many Buddhist temples, libraries and royal palace. The afternoon is free to explore the beauty and unique atmosphere of Luang Prabang.
Day 7 - DAY 7 PAK OU CAVES
Morning at leisure in Luang Prabang before setting sail at midday upstream. Afternoon sightseeing by local boat exploring the unique Pak Ou Caves, a Buddhist sanctuary with spectacular limestone cliff faces. See the production of local Laos whisky at the Whisky village and shop for locally produced handicrafts.
Day 8 - DAY 8 BAN TON AND SANDBANK BBQ
Day of sailing upstream along the Mekong with morning walk through Ban Ton village. In the evening, we moor alongside a sandbank for a special riverside barbecue and cocktail party. Light paper lanterns with the crew and enjoy a dance in remote Laos.
Day 9 - DAY 9 PAK BENG ELEPHANT SANCTUARY
Laos is known as ‘The land of a million elephants’ and today we will visit a rescue sanctuary that is helping to preserve the elephants of Laos and provide sustainable alternative employment for Mahouts who once trained and rode these beautiful creatures. Afternoon walk at Ban Pak Sith Khummu village.
Day 10 - DAY 10 PAK SITH - CHIANG KHONG
Today we sail the final leg of our journey upstream toward Huayxay. Cross over into Thailand via the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge before rejoining your ship in Chiang Khong. Enjoy a ship tour of your Pandaw vessel and fruit carving demonstration from your Pandaw Chef. Farewell cocktails and Thai traditional dance on board for your last evening.
Day 11 - DAY 11 CHIANG KHONG
Disembark by 8.30 in Chiang Khong and group transfer to hotel/airport. En route, explore the Golden Triangle including a visit to the opium museum. Continue to airports or city hotels in Chiang Rai (2 hours) and Chiang Mai (6 hours).
Day 12 - DAY 12 HALONG BAY
Transfer from Hanoi International Airport or meeting point to Halong Bay to embark your Pandaw ship followed by lunch on board. Cast off in the afternoon with a welcome cocktail for an evening sail, dropping anchor in a sheltered bay amidst the beautiful island scenery.
Day 13 - DAY 13 HALONG BAY
Morning sail around Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years. We make a stop at Viet Hai Village and continue our journey by mountain bike or electric buggy to visit the village’s vegetable farm and typical village houses. It is a breathtaking trip along a small road winding its way through the limestone rocks.In the afternoon we will continue cruising towards Lan Ha Bay for a visit to a floating fishing house.Weather dependent, we will end the day with cocktails at a beautiful beach in Halong Bay.
Day 14 - DAY 14 HALONG BAY
Our exploration of Halong Bay continues and we stop at the so called “Dark and Bright Cave”. Take a kayak or a local basket boat rowed by fishermen and enter this remarkable cave into an enclosed area similar to a crater. Bats can be heard in the cave and massive stalagmites hang from the ceiling.In the afternoon, we leave Halong Bay and are enter the river where we  drop anchor near Hai Phong. 
Day 15 - DAY 15 THE KINH THAY RIVER
Observe the lively and interesting life of the Kinh Thay river, a key commercial waterway. Afternoon excursion to Thanh Ha Commune with village walk and a private water puppet show set under shade by a beautiful pond of lotus and lilies. We continue cruising until late evening and drop anchor midstream. 
Day 16 - DAY 16 DAY RIVER
This morning we will sail on the Lower Red River and Day River. Afternoon visit the Dien Xa Bonsai Village where we will walk to the bonsai village and meet with local artists and share their bonsai experience. Cruise on Day River towards Ninh Binh City.
Day 17 - DAY 17 NINH BINH
In the morning we will visit Tam Coc, taking a rowing boat ride to visit the so call "Halong on land" in Ninh Binh. In the afternoon we visit the quaint village of Pham Phao where guests can walk around the village visiting a host family where musician instruments have been made and repaired for generations. Listen to the owner who plays every instrument within his family run business. We visit local Woodworking Artisans who produce items for local and international markets.
Day 18 - DAY 18 THE LOWER RED RIVER
In the morning we sail upstream on the Red River to Phat Diem Cathedral visit the famous stone cathedral of Pat Diem. We then continue on the Red River to Hanoi.
Day 19 - DAY 19 HANOI
Dropped anchor in the bustling city of Hanoi, passengers will visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis, must see’s like the notorious Vietnam war prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Afternoon walking tour of Hanoi including a visit to a coffee shop where we learn about Vietnam’s famous coffee making industry. Before returning to your ship you will enjoy a traditional unicorn and lion dance at the jetty.
Day 20 - DAY 20 HANOI
Morning going off shore to visit Bat Trang ceramic village then sail through day from Hanoi up the Red River to Viet Tri, not the most picturesque of towns but an excellent base for going deeper into Highland Vietnam. Going a shore we visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by lime stone rock formations. Of particular interest is the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas, hardly known, yet with exquisite temples dating from the 8th and 11th century and home to some fine Buddhist statuary carved from jackfruit trees. We will arrive in Vinh Phuc in the evening.
Day 21 - DAY 21 THE UPPER RED RIVER
In the morning we go ashore to visit the UNESCO praised village of Duang Lam. In the afternoon, visit the carpenter and smith village of Ly Nhan. We sail upstream on the Upper Red River to Viet Tri. Enjoy traditional dances on board.
Day 22 - DAY 22 VIET TRI
Disembark after breakfast and visit the conical hat making village of Gia Thanh. By bus we continue to Hung Lo Temple, Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a transfer to Hanoi airport or drop off point Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi.
Day 23 - Please note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
19-09-202410-10-2024USD $8,856Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
19-09-202410-10-2024USD $10,870Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
11-10-202401-11-2024USD $8,856Main Deck Twin/Double Sharing. From
11-10-202401-11-2024USD $10,870Upper Deck Twin/Double Sharing. From
04-01-202525-01-2025USD $8,856Main Deck Twin Sharing. From
04-01-202525-01-2025USD $10,870Upper Deck Twin Sharing. From
26-01-202516-02-2025USD $8,856Main Deck Twin/Double Sharing. From
26-01-202516-02-2025USD $10,870Upper Deck Twin/Double Sharing. From
17-02-202510-03-2025USD $8,856Main Deck Twin/Double Sharing. From
17-02-202510-03-2025USD $10,870Upper Deck Twin/Double Sharing. From

Inclusions

    • VIENTIANE
    • PAK LAI
    • BAN PARK BOR VILLAGE
    • PAK OU CAVES
    • HALONG BAY
    • THE KINH THAY RIVER
    • THE LOWER RED RIVER

Map