Review: Magical Mekong Cruises with the Heritage Line


The epic Mekong River which flows from China to Vietnam through Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos and Cambodia is the lifeblood of the region and a must-visit destination for anyone wishing to understand the cultures of the region. The ONLY way to explore the Mekong River has to be to take a cruise and taking this magical journey with the Heritage Line means that you get to do so in style and refined comfort.

Mekong River

The exact sites vary depending on the specific cruise that you choose, but some of the typical highlights include; the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey, the wonderfully unspoiled village of Angkor Ban with its beautiful, traditional houses, and Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world”, where everything is on sticks balanced on water rich soil.

You can also visit the bamboo bridge which connects the mainland with an island; local communities re-build the bridge every year when water levels drop. Or go to the island of Koh Oknha Tey where high quality sick products are manufactured and witness the astonishing process first hand from the little silkworms right the way through to the end resulting beautiful, original Cambodian silk. Stop at Cambodia’s capital; Phnom Penh, once called ‘Paris of the East’, which maintains a certain rustic charm and elegance despite its rapid development. On Binh Thanh Island, learn about the craft of mat making and even have a go at weaving yourself. Lose hours gazing as the golden haze of the twilight reflected on the Mekong Delta. Explore magnificent floating villages, markets and fish farms; diverse landscapes with wetlands, jungle and marshlands. Take walking tours, ride a local ox cart and stroll the promenade stopping only to enjoy a beverage in a local bar. Memorable and unique experiences that stay with you long after you return home.

Mekong Cruises

The best way to visit these sites is definitely with a luxury cruise. You get to see the wonders of the Mekong River at close proximity and it’s so much more efficient than travelling by land. Your unique viewpoint from the water is all the more special too.

The Heritage Line is passionate about creating unforgettable and refined river voyages on Southeast Asia’s most fascinating waterways. As well as the Mekong River, they also cruise the Halong Bay and the Ayeyarwady & Chindwin River. With their journeys the vessels themselves are a huge part of the experience; distinctive boats, beautifully outfitted and painstakingly crafted to remake history. On the Mekong River, you can take a week-long cruise or a shorter 4 or 3-night cruise focusing on a specific area of the river.
Life on board is relaxing and your experiences here are rather special too. While time chilling on the sunbed is a must, you can also take a Tai Chi class on the sun deck, have a massage, take a local culinary class or enjoy an Apsara dance performance.

Heritage Line Ships

The Heritage Line’s luxury collection on the Mekong consists of two boutique vessels, The Jahan and Jayavarman. Both offer excellent facilities, colonial elegance and a refined ambience perfect for luxury travellers.

The Jahan is Heritage Line’s most romantic cruise liner; regal, stately with echoes of the former glory of British-India. There are 26 beautifully-designed cabins, each with their own private balcony. The vessel boasts an extravagant Raj of India lobby lounge; the grand Viceroy Dining Hall on the terrace deck; the open wood panelled East India Club funnel bar; the Observatory, a stylish Indian indoor lounge with a front row view of the Mekong through panoramic windows; the heavenly Apsara spa; a vast terrace deck with pool and shaded loungers; and finally, a fully equipped gym!

Jayavarman is considered the father of Heritage Line’s fleet. The vessel mixes the charm of French 1930’s Art Deco with the old romance of Indochinese Cambodia. The ship is like a floating art gallery with intricate woodcarvings, Khmer bas-reliefs and Vietnamese lacquer paintings. There are 27 elegantly decorated cabins on board. When on board, guests can relax in the Henry Mouhot Lounge, mingle in the Club 1930 Bar, dine in the elegant Indochine Dining Hall, relax in the Apsara Spa and admire the spectacular views of the passing delta from the Jacuzzi pool on the top sun deck. Everything you need to have an exceptional time on board as well as off.

Heritage Line