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12-Day Mekong River Cruise Through Laos and Thailand from Vientiane to Chiang Rai

Vientiane - Salakham - Xayabouri Dam - Kuang Si Falls - Pak Ou - Pak Tha - Huay Xay - Golden Triangle

Join us on this memorable Mekong cruise journey to sail through the magnificent scenery of Laos, visit colorful markets and temples in Vientiane and UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, and experience firsthand the Laotian people's traditional way of life. Together we will travel to the formerly inaccessible stretches of Southeast Asia's most exciting river, relax aboard our exclusive boutique river vessel and enjoy the unspoiled nature of the Upper Mekong River. 

Relax aboard your boutique luxury vessel of RV Mekong Pearl and enjoy unspoiled nature along the mighty upper Mekong—one of the most difficult rivers in the world to navigate, with fluctuating water levels, tight gorges, labyrinths of sandbanks and churning rapids.​ Brace yourself with unspoiled vistas of jungle-like landscapes, impressive rock formations, and secluded villages offering you an authentic experience and a warm welcome.

This luxury Mekong River cruise embarks in Vientiane. Ahead lie 10 nights of Mekong river cruising through Laos with one night at Vientiane, the capital of Laos and three nights spent moored at Luang Prabang. Disembark in Chiang Saen or Chiang Khong in Thailand, depending on water level. On the way, we will visit riversides villages and local tribes to experience the local tradition and lifestyles. Also visit Kuang Si Waterfalls - one of the most impressive falls in Laos.

Trip code : RVLAT11US

Duration : 12 days

Destination : Laos Thailand

Travel Dates :2022

  • Discover the hidden side of the Mekong through Laos and Thailand
  • Relax aboard this exclusive boutique German/Laotian river vessel and enjoy unspoiled nature of the Upper Mekong River 
  • Visit small villages along the way and explore hidden caves
  • Watch farmers and elephants work side by side along the river 
  • Enjoy amazing landscapes, impressive rock formations tight gorges while our ship navigates through one of the most challenging rivers
  • Experience rural Laos and explore the beautiful waterfalls of Kuang Si 
  • Satisfy your tastebuds with exquisite local Laotian and Thai dishes 
  • Gain an insight into the local culture through traditional dance and music performances
  • Awake your imagination with Luang Prabang's spiritual nourishment and rich heritage

At 2 pm you check in and board the Mekong Pearl, a comfortable German–Laotian cruise ship. This unique river vessel is the first of its kind to offer cabins on the upper Mekong. First you settle into your comfortable cabin and unpack for a 12-day cruise.

In the afternoon, you join a guided city tour that includes highlights of the Laotian capital such as the Pha That Luang stupa and Patuxai, known as the Arc de Triomphe of Vientiane.

Back on board your river vessel, you enjoy its spacious decks and lounge before attending your welcome reception and dinner. A selection of Asian and European food is provided throughout the cruise.

Overnight on board.

Today your Mekong River cruise experience starts. During the day, you cruise upriver, where you discover some of the most remarkable, impressive landscapes.

In the afternoon, you enjoy the beautiful views and watch nature’s wonders along the Mekong’s shores before your boutique ship stops at a quiet place to stay for the night.

Overnight on board.

Further north the landscape becomes more and more spectacular: hills covered with tropical vegetation, awe-inspiring rock formations along the riverbanks, and a diverse array of rapid currents and slow rivulets. During the day, you visit the dreamy town of Salakham.

The power of the mighty Mekong gives your cruise the feeling of a real expedition. You enjoy the beautiful views and watch nature’s wonders along the riverbanks before your ships heads north again and stops for the night.

Overnight on board.

Upstream you stop at the small farming village Ban Don Saingam, where you can participate in a 30-minute trek to explore a hidden cave visited exclusively by Mekong River Cruises guests.

The purely natural landscape is only broken by the seldom sights of small villages and local herds of cattle.

Overnight on board.

During and after breakfast on board, you enjoy the beautiful view and possibly watch local fishermen along the shore. On the way, don’t miss the Xayabouri Dam, the biggest hydroelectric power plant in Laos. In the afternoon, you meet the inhabitants of a small hill tribe village regularly visited by our guests and supported by donations.

Overnight on board.

In the morning, you join a guided shore excursion that takes you to the Kuang Si Falls, some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Laos. In the afternoon, you reach Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the evening, you walk up Mount Phou Si, which offers a spectacular view of the Mekong and Khan Rivers and the surrounding mountains. You enjoy a stroll along the Mekong promenade and visit the colorful Hmong night market before having dinner on board and attending a traditional Lao dance performance and a Baci friendship ceremony.

Overnight on board.

In the early morning, you can observe the traditional giving of alms in the streets of Luang Prabang and explore the traditional morning market. After breakfast on board, you join a guided city tour, which includes the National Museum of Luang Prabang, situated in the former royal palace, and a local handicraft village.

In the afternoon, you are free to explore the city on your own. Luang Prabang offers many opportunities for fine dining. Tonight you can choose from the numerous restaurants in town or along the Mekong River.

Overnight on board.

During breakfast, your cruise takes you upstream until your boutique ship stops at the famous Pak Ou Caves, within which thousands of small Buddha statues dwell. From there, you can go on a short jungle trek through the forest to a small riverside village and visit their distillery.

Alternatively, you can reach the village comfortably by boat. Nearby you can see work elephants in action, unless they are employed elsewhere at the time of your visit. That afternoon, your ship continues cruising upstream towards Oudomxay Province.

Overnight on board.

The river traffic thins out as you proceed upstream, and you can enjoy the fantastic landscapes surrounding you.

You can relax on deck, in your comfortable cabin or in the lounge and soak up the sun as the gorgeous landscape becomes more and more spectacular: hills covered with tropical vegetation, awe-inspiring rock formations along the riverbanks, and a diverse array of rapid currents and slow rivulets. The power of the mighty Mekong gives your cruise the feeling of a real expedition.

Overnight on board.

Today you relax on deck, enjoying astonishingly diverse landscapes and the tranquility of northern Laos—a real retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life back home. As you cruise along the green hills, you start heading toward Pak Tha. That evening, you enjoy our famous Mekong River Cruises barbecue dinner in a beautiful riverside location.

Overnight on board.

In the small village of Pak Tha, you join a long-tail boat excursion on the Namtha River, which takes you to a nearby Khmu village, whose school has been supported by donations from Mekong River Cruises guests for many years. The purely natural landscape is only broken by the seldom sights of small villages and local herds of cattle. In the afternoon, you proceed to the Thailand–Laos border at Chiang Khong, Thailand, and Ban Huay Xay, Laos. In the evening, you enjoy your last dinner on the Mekong.

Overnight on board.

After breakfast you say goodbye to your Laotian crew. You check out and disembark your boutique ship before transferring to the airport or your local hotel.

NOTE: Every river cruise on the upper Mekong is a pioneering experience and is subject to constantly changing river conditions, including floodwaters and shallows. Therefore, please understand that we must reserve the right to alter the itinerary of this tour due to the logistical complexities involved. Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather and river conditions. For safety reasons and according to navigating conditions, these programs may be amended without previous notice.

This journey is generally not for guests with limited mobility or who depend on CPAP machines. Please contact us for more information about your specific requirements before booking.

This Cruise is not recommended for persons with reduced mobility.

All of our cruises/excursion require a reasonable level of fitness. Every traveller on our cruises is required the ability to walk around sights on uneven surfaces in both urban and rural / mountainous areas unaided. You will be getting on and off cruises, coaches and boats, walking around the sights and climbing some steps.

Please read our cruise itinerary carefully for outline of activities to help you select the right holiday for you.

Important notes:
• All persons must be fit and physically able to partake unaided in their chosen activities/packages/tours /cruise etc. as outlined in the itinerary.

• All parties acknowledge the physical demands and hazards involved in the tour or cruise they will be undertaking and have chosen to participate at their own risk.
We provide a wealth of dining experiences and venues. Most meals during the cruises are onboard or at famous restaurants during excursion, with the menus handpicked and planned to highlight a perfect mix of Local and Western cuisines.

• Meals onboard are a cultural culinary experience: Continental breakfast buffets with a rich menu are offered daily, while lunch and dinner are set menus.

• Gala evening: The gala evening is a long-awaited tradition in the world of cruising. This is the night we like to dress up, although no dress code is imposed. The crew all in their dress uniform, are presented to the passengers who are invited have a pre-dinner drink with the captain in the company of the purser, and the head chef.

Note: It is your responsibility to notify us of any dietary requests/requirements. We will do our best to meet your request/requirements, however, cannot guarantee that it can always be accommodated.
The currency accepted on board is the local currency or US dollar. You can pay in dollars or using an international credit/debit card (Visa and MasterCard) at the end of the cruise. It is recommended to have some local currency or US dollars in cash with you during your cruises.
A range of activities and entertainment are provided on board:

• Before dinner, games and quizzes are hosted by our entertainers in the lounge bar

• On the sun deck, where you can stroll alone, be with family or friends or sit comfortably in the sun loungers, gymnastics sessions are organised in the morning whilst enjoying the magnificent views of the landscapes that pass by.

• The panoramic lounge bar, the library and the "piano bar"
• Depend on the destination, lectures on subjects related to the history and geography of the places visited, are offered in the lounge bar.

• Some evenings, the dance floor of the lounge bar comes to life with musical evenings, folk groups or singers

• Some cruises have variety evenings where the crew members reveal their hidden talents are also provided.
All cabins are air-conditioned and double-occupancy cabin with shower in bathroom

• Triple Share: Available upon request
• Bedding Configuration: Double or twin bedding (subject to availability).
• Adjoining / Interconnecting Rooms: Not Available
• Laundry service: Not Available
• Wi-Fi: All the cruise is equipped with free Wi-Fi available in all lounges / bars and receptions. For some destination it is available in the cabin.
After purchase, you will receive a Booking Confirmation and Passenger Information Form by email. Within 24 hours of purchase you need to send us a copy of your passport together with your Passenger Information Form.

After purchase, you are required to make a deposit or full payment for your order. Please note most of our deposit is non-refundable. Please check your booking and your invoice for the Terms and Conditions which apply specifically to your booking.

If you would like to cancel your booking, please refer to our cancellation terms.

Please note:
• Any special requests, preferences MUST be clearly stated in your Passenger Information Form
• Any change requested after submitting your Passenger Information Form cannot be guaranteed, is strictly subject to availability and will incur surcharges
Safety Net Protection is not included in our tour/cruise packages. If you wish to purchase safety net protection, an additional fee of $105 per person will be incurred. This is only valid for a one-time use (claim).

Safety Net Protection enables passengers to amend their tour and/or river cruise 15 days prior to departure, to another tour/cruise to the same destination, departing in the same year (once only) without any applicable cancellation charges or penalties.

The new tour/cruise must be at the same cost or higher but cannot be at lower cost than the initial cruise/ tour booked. If the passenger chooses the higher cost option, then the additional difference amount must be paid. However, no modifications shall be accepted less than 15 days prior to departure.

Important notes:
• Safety Net Protection is payable immediately at the time of making the deposit payment. Once purchased, Safety Net Protection is not refundable
• Safety Net Protection does not apply for airfares or third-party fees and charges.
• Safety Net Protection allows for amendment ONLY, not cancellation.
• You will be responsible for all your personal belongings while on the tours. It is your responsibility to make sure your room is secure.
Tipping is not compulsory and is not included in this cruise. We believe that if you choose to tip, you should only pay for the service you receive.

In general, tipping is widely accepted as a way to show your appreciation of good service but is not compulsory. Tipping is expected and often makes up a large part of people's wages.

• If travel on a river cruises and happy with the services provided by your crews and service onboard. Recommended tips - For the crew members on board the ship - $10US per day per passenger.

• If you are happy with services provided by your tour guides and drivers, a tip is appreciated. Recommended tips - For the guides and drivers - $6US per day per passenger.
You must carry your own luggage from/to the coach and to/from the hotel or cruise. The driver/crews and his assistance will assist with the uploading/off-loading of your luggage.

Please note:

• You will be responsible for all your personal belongings while on the tours/cruises. It is your responsibility to make sure your room/cabin is secure.

• Tweet World Travel will not be liable for any loss or damage to your luggage or other personal belongings.
Our products DO NOT include Travel Insurance. Travel insurance is not included in our cruises and shore excursions.

For your protection, we strongly recommend that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance for your travel arrangements (without limitation) that include coverage for medical expenses, loss of luggage, cruise, land content and airfare charges that may occur.

You need to provide us your Travel Insurance details upon booking, or at least before 30 days prior to your departure.

If you do not have travel insurance prior to your departure, we retain the rights to refuse boarding/joining our tours or cruises. We might refund / provide travel credits for you, less any unrecoverable fees including but not limited to admin fees, visas fees, other suppliers’ cancellation fees. We won’t be held liable for any costs associated with this matter.
FAQ & Travel Blog
  • 10 nights in selected cabin type aboard your boutique river cruise ship
  • Local English-speaking tour guides
  • All entrance fees for sightseeing according to the itinerary
  • All excursions according to the itinerary
  • Tours and transfers according to the itinerary
  • Drinking water in vehicles and on the ship
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, =Lunch, and D=Dinner)
  • Complimentary coffee, tea, and water on board your boutique river cruise ship
  • Presentations and lectures on board by the cruise director
  • Transfers between airports and hotels within city limits (only guaranteed if information was correctly provided four weeks prior to departure at the latest)

Please note:  this cruise doesn’t include the entry visa for the country it travels to. Make sure you have acquired a valid visa before travelling and joining the cruise. Check whether a single entry or multiple entry visa is required/ available.

When assisting with an international travel booking, we assume that all travellers in the booking have a valid Passport and Visas to enter to the country it travels to. Passports must be valid for the countries through which a ship or tour passes. It is the responsibility of each passenger to ensure the validity and conformity of their passport/Visas.

It is the customer’s responsibility to make sure that the travellers have the valid visas and/or correct visa type to enter the destination country they are travelling to. Travellers might need to present the visas at multiple checkpoints and may be refused to fly out of their countries, if the visa documents cannot be presented. If such an event occurs, we won’t be liable and the travellers will be deemed as “no-show”. Please check our Terms & Conditions for penalty for “no-show”.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date information.

Important Note:

  • All travellers must have a valid passport for international travel and most countries require at least 6 months validity from the date of return and some countries require a machine‐readable passport.
  • Some countries require visas and re‐entry permits which meet the requirements of immigration and other government authorities.
  • It is your sole responsibility if any fines, penalties, payments or expenditures incurred as a result of such documents not satisfying the requirements of those authorities.