Luxury cruise enters new waters on the Upper Mekong


Luxury cruise operator Heritage Line has announced the first new luxury boat that will ply the upper-Mekong river.

Due to launch in September this year, the ten berth ship Anouvong will ply the section of the Mekong between the Lao capital Vientiane, the royal city of Luang Prabang and the Thailand/Laos border in the famous Golden Triangle.

Heritage Line is one of Southeast Asia’s leading boutique cruise operators. It’s predicted the ship will be a game-changer for luxury cruises on the upper reaches of the Mekong River.

“We are well on course to complete Anouvong in good time,” said Andreas Schroetter, Heritage Line’s director of sales and marketing. “It’s always a really exciting feeling watching the team at the shipyard guiding our boats to completion, and this is no exception.”

The ship:

The Avounong is named after the last Lao king and is expected to be a pioneer fro these waters. Heritage Line is an operator known for charting fresh destinations on Asia’s waterways, while offering luxury onboard. The ship will have eight spacious staterooms and two luxurious suites.

While many other operators use larger boats, Heritage Line’s collection of vessels are smaller, offering an intimacy for guests seeking a more bespoke experience on a sailing.

“The use of small vessels offers a sense of intimacy unmatched by operators who use bigger boats. This exclusivity, meanwhile, is enhanced by an array of enticing extras. Each of Heritage Line’s boats has been crafted to the very highest specifications, with inimitable décor and outfitting ensuring the ultimate in onboard luxury for guests,” said Mr Schroetter.

Anouvong‘s design aesthetic combines traditional Lao design with French colonial elegance.

Heritage Line

The Deluxe and Deluxe Executive rooms (20sqm) feature French balconies and occupy both the main and upper (terrace) decks, with four rooms on each level.

The two Signature Suites are at the front of the main deck and each measure 30sqm. Both of these Suites have their own private balcony and a roomy bathroom with Jacuzzi.

The terrace deck is also connected to the relaxed café-bar lounge area. From the shaded sun beds, passengers have widescreen views of the passing river landscapes and local life onshore.

In Anouvong’s “Bodhi Spa”, treatments for singles and couples are offered throughout the day.

For dining, The De-Lagree restaurant offers gourmet dining with local ingredients and modern dishes in a space with expansive panels on both sides.

Where she will go:

Sailing from the Golden Triangle at the Thailand/Laos border in the northwest, the Anouvong will offer two itineraries.

The shorter journey:

The shorter sailing travels from Luang Prabang to the town of Huay Xai on the Laos/Thailand border (or vice versa) over three days.

The shorter trip offers spectacular scenery, a trip to the village of Huay Palang to meet ethnic Khmu tribes and other highlights such as Pak Ou Caves, which is home to 4000 sacred Buddhist statues.

The longer journey:

A longer journey unfolds over 7 or 9 nights and charts a course between the Laos/Thailand border at Huay Xai and Vientiane.

The longer alternative embraces sight-seeing along remote river areas and various activities such as kayaking through calm, shallow stretches and a gourmet banquet on a river sandbank. The longer journey is also inclusive of a full discovery of Luang Prabang at the mid-point of the journey.

Prices and early bird discount:

Prices start from:
$1,938 per person for the 3 night shorter journey, based on a double occupancy in a Deluxe Suite.

$4,399 per person for the 7 night longer journey, based on a double occupancy in a Deluxe Suite.

$5,656 per person for the 7 night longer journey, based on a double occupancy in a Deluxe Suite.

Anouvong is expected to begin sailings on 29 September this year. It is now open for bookings over the next few months through travel agents or directly with Heritage Line. For bookings made before March 31, there is currently a 10% discount on the 3-night journey.