Sunday 7 May 2023

Heritage Line to launch new cruise destination Upper Mekong and the inaugural sailing for new ship ANOUVONG

#expeditioncruising .

Leading luxury Southeast Asian boutique river cruise specialist Heritage Line is counting down the weeks until its decadent new vessel Heritage Line ANOUVONG sets sail on her maiden voyage on 27 August 2023 on a selection of distinctive itineraries exploring the less-discovered villages, fascinating cultures, and breathtaking scenery of the Upper Mekong River in Laos.

Through a unique choice of three, seven and nine-night itineraries, Heritage Line’s immersive Upper Mekong sailings invite guests to experience the diverse sights, sounds, culture, and cuisine of one of the region’s most remarkable travel destinations. From dramatic mountainous landscapes to taking in the daily routines of riverside life whilst meandering along the waterways, these itineraries call at ports ranging from vibrant villages to some of the most secluded communities in Southeast Asia.

“Our compelling new Upper Mekong itineraries tap into the current ‘slow travel’ trend and guests’ growing demand for more exotic and educational cruise experiences to far-flung and fascinating destinations,” said Heritage Line’s Director of Sales & Marketing, Andreas Schroetter. “This new cruise destination further consolidates our position as Southeast Asia’s premier boutique luxury river cruise line, building upon our existing offering in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, where our luxurious ships sail other fascinating waterways such as the Lower Mekong, Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay and the Irrawaddy River.”

Renowned for its incredibly intimate fleet of just seven vessels each offering between six and 27 staterooms and suites, guaranteeing exceptional personalised service, heartfelt hospitality, and an exclusive ambience on board, Heritage Line epitomises laidback luxury, and new ship Heritage Line ANOUVONG is no exception.

“Heritage Line ANOUVONG has been thoughtfully designed in the ideal size to navigate the fluctuating water levels and winding curves of Laos’ Upper Mekong, without compromising on guests’ desire for plenty of personal space on board,” explained Schroetter.

Boasting just 10 elegant cabins – four deluxe staterooms, four deluxe executive staterooms, and two generous suites with jacuzzis - all decked out with a bold blend of traditional Laotian handicrafts, textiles and artworks alongside French-inspired accents, guests will enjoy the most spacious accommodation of any vessel sailing the Upper Mekong.

Guests can take indulge in a range of wellness therapies, including couples’ massage and reflexology, in the onboard Bodhi Spa, relax in the glass-walled Caf√©-Bar and Lounge, enjoy a cocktail with a view on a rooftop sun lounger, and look forward to dining on flavourful local fare and international favourites with expansive river views in the elegant ‘Delaporte’ Dining Lounge whose interiors were inspired by ancient Laotian temples.

Heritage Line’s adventurous trips also feature sandbank barbecues and other one-of-a-kind alfresco culinary events, both on and off the ship. Sunrise yoga and Tai Chai on the rooftop, an open-air evening cinema, a hands-on Laotian cooking class, and a range of cultural performances and spiritual ceremonies are further examples of the array of exclusive activities included in the cruise.

One river, three ways – Upper Mekong itineraries

Drifting past the landscapes of Laos where local life has remained unchanged for centuries, Heritage Line’s choice of tailored itineraries combine unhurried time to witness life untouched with striking scenery and curated shore excursions to engage with ethnic communities and visit significant spiritual sites – with every sailing offering a front row seat to the rare and majestic scenery of the Upper Mekong.

3-night journey from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai (or vice versa)

This four day, three-night Golden Triangle voyage is available in two directions, up- or downstream, between the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Luang Prabang and the small river town of Huay Xai on the northwest Laos-Thailand border.

Immersive activities and daily group excursions provide plenty of opportunities for guests to truly discover the day-to-day rhythm of riverside life to the unique characteristics of every village they visit, and the time-honoured craftsmanship and organic agricultural techniques of the different ethnic tribes who call them home.

From visiting the celebrated Pak Ou caves to getting up close and personal with elephants at a sustainable sanctuary to taking part in once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences after dusk in some of the river’s most remote and romantic locations, every Heritage Line Upper Mekong voyage is unforgettable. Priced from USD1421 per person.

7-night sailing from Huay Xai to Vientiane

Setting sail from the Thai-Lao border town of Huay Xai, this longer journey travels from the Thai-Lao border via Luang Prabang to the Laotian capital Vientiane.

Shore experience highlights comprise the same activities outlined in the above three-night program plus an array of additional exciting excursions in Luang Prabang and along the lower part of the Mekong River. Guests enjoy a guided, off the beaten track city tour of Luang Prabang, a special gala dinner in one of the city’s finest restaurants, as well as insightful onboard lectures about Laotian culture and history, a personal kayaking tour, a long-tail boat outing and the chance to visit artisans in their traditional handicraft workshops. Priced from USD3354 per person.

9-night sailing from Vientaine to Huay Xai

An extended northbound sailing from the Laotian capital, this voyage begins in the Vientiane and calls at the same ports as the southbound 7 night sailing from Huay Xai to Vientiane but in reverse, travelling at a more leisurely upstream pace before disembarking in Huay Xai. Priced from USD4186 per person.

All Heritage Line Upper Mekong sailings for 2023 and 2024 are currently available for bookings by contacting or via travel agent partners. Departure schedules can be viewed online here.

Each cruise fare includes onboard meals, a welcome drink, mineral water, coffee, tea, soft drinks and juices’ daily group shore excursions and entrance fees, onboard entertainment and activities as outlined in the program, onboard wi-fi and English-speaking guides, both on the ship and ashore.

Beyond the Upper Mekong – Heritage Line’s refined waterway voyages in Southeast Asia

While the Upper Mekong is the latest addition to Heritage Line’s voyage collection, the cruise line also sails three, four and seven-night journeys in the Lower Mekong (Vietnam and Cambodia) on Heritage Line THE JAHAN and Heritage Line JAYAVARMAN, as well as unique one and two-night itineraries in Vietnam’s beautiful Halong Bay on board Heritage Line VIOLET, and one and two-night escapes in Lan Hay Bay on board Heritage Line GINGER and Heritage Line YLANG.

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