Boutique cruise operator Heritage Line plans to launch the new, 10-berth ship Anouvong later this year. What’s interesting? Heritage Line says it will be the first luxury boat to ply the upper-Mekong river in Laos.
The boat, with its eight staterooms and two suites, will wind its way from the Golden Triangle at the Thailand/Laos border in the northwest, through the royal city of Luang Prabang and down to the Lao capital, Vientiane. Two journeys will be available: The shorter sailing travels from Luang Prabang to the town of Huay Xai on the Laos/Thailand border (or vice versa) over three days and a longer journey takes seven or nine nights and charts a course between Huay Xai and Vientiane.
The shorter trip offers 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 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues. The longer alternative allows for additional sightseeing along remote river areas and such activities as kayaking through 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.
On Anouvong, guests can expect an aesthetic that “combines traditional Lao design with French colonial elegance.” The Deluxe and Deluxe Executive rooms (215 square feet) have French balconies and occupy both the main and upper (terrace) decks, with four rooms on each level. The two Signature Suites are located at the front of the main deck and each have 323 square feet of floor space. Both Signature Suites have their own private balcony as well as a bathroom with a Jacuzzi.
The terrace deck is the highlight of the vessel’s public spaces and is connected to the laid-back and air-conditioned café-bar lounge. 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. The De-Lagree Dining Hall, meanwhile, offers gourmet dining with local and international dishes.
Anouvong is expected to begin sailings on September 29, 2020. It is now open for bookings and any three-night bookings made before March 31 will receive a 10 percent discount.