LAOS – Upper Mekong – Le Grand Cruise

A 2-day traditional slow boat cruise is a unique way of venturing deep into northern Laos after entering the country across the Thai-Lao border near the Golden Triangle.

Theme

Classic, Cruise & River Cruise, Family

Country - City

Laos - Luang Prabang - Pakbeng - Houei Xai

Market segment

Groups, Thematic Leisure

Price Level

$$$

Description

A 2-day traditional slow boat cruise is a unique way of venturing deep into northern Laos after entering the country across the Thai-Lao border near the Golden Triangle. It’s a perfect way to explore the exotic scenery of the north in comfort. Cruising down the Mekong provides a relaxing start to a traveler’s journey and helps develop a sense of serenity while being absorbed by the physical pull of the river and its surrounding lush green landscape. Gliding smoothly along the river, travelers will soak up the slow-paced atmosphere while encountering isolated ethnic villages of friendly, smiling locals on the way to Luang Prabang.

Le Grand Cruise stops halfway between Houei Xai and Luang Prabang in a small riverside town called Pakbeng. Accommodation is included at Le Grand Pakbeng, a hilltop resort with stunning mountain and river views and one of the most beautiful sunsets in all of northern Laos.

Made of teak and rosewood and tastefully decorated, the 35-m Le Grand Cruise boat can carry up to 40 travelers at a time. The boat offers professional and high quality services, space for walking, clean toilets, and a range of pleasurable delights such as magazines, books, tea and coffee. Also, to complement the cruise experience, there is a sundeck, a bar area, and a different lunch provided everyday.

Itineraries:

  • 2 Days / 1 Night (cruise + hotel) : Houei Xay – Luang Prabang / Luang Prabang to Houei Xay
  • 1 Day (cruise only) : Houei Xai to Pakbeng / Pakbeng to Houei Xay / Pakbeng to Luang Prabang / Luang Prabang to Pakbeng

Selling points

  • Excellent way to explore the main waterway of northern Laos in style and comfort.
  • Upstream, downstream, and even half-cruises are possible (should guests want to stop/start in Pakbeng)
  • The only join-in package on the market offering a combined cruise and hotel.
  • High-quality professional service.

Notes

  • 3 guaranteed departures per week (with a minimum of 4 passengers).
  • Downstream departures every Monday, Thursday, Friday.
  • Upstream departures every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday.
  • Travelers can do half of a cruise and get off in Pakbeng and continue by road to Ban Yor, Oudomxay, or Muang La should they wish to.
  • Travelers can travel to Pakbeng by road and do the second half of a cruise should they wish to – departing downstream from Pakbeng every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday.

ITINERARY FOR THE DOWNSTREAM CRUISE (Houei Xai – Luang Prabang)

Day 1: Houei Xai – Pakbeng
The local guide will meet you at 08:30 and assist you at the Lao side of immigration and accompany you to the cruise boat. Please look for the signboard “Le Grand Cruise” at the meeting point in front of the Immigration Counter. Then, board your traditional slow boat for the cruise down the Mekong River to the river town of Pakbeng. The scenery along this part of the Mekong is arguably its most beautiful. As you travel downriver you will stop at some Hmong, Yao and Khmu ethnic minority villages and get a glimpse into their traditional local lifestyle. Lunch is served on board. After arriving at Pakbeng in the late afternoon, check in to your bungalow and enjoy a few drinks watching the sunset over the mountains and the River at the swimming pool side terrace. Overnight in Pakbeng

  • Overnight accommodation, lunch and dinner are included.

Day 2: Pakbeng – Pak Ou – Luang Prabang
After breakfast travel from the resort to the boat pier by 08:00. This morning we continue the second leg downstream passing through areas of un-spoilt forest with little villages along the riverbanks and perhaps the odd elephant or two. You will visit a Hmong settlement and have the opportunity to explore the local village and old temples. Lunch is served on board as you enjoy the slow-paced cruise. Later, pull over for a visit to Pak-Ou Caves, an ancient pilgrimage site containing thousands of gold lacquered Buddha images left there over hundreds of years. Upon arriving in Luang Prabang, you will disembark at Le Calao pier around sunset.

  • Breakfast and lunch are included.

ITINERARY FOR THE UPSTREAM CRUISE (Luang Prabang – Houei Xay)

Day 1: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou – Pakbeng
Board the cruise at 07:00 at the Le Calao pier and travel upstream to Pakbeng, a journey of 8-9hrs. Your continental breakfast will be served as the boat cruises to Pak Ou Village, at the mouth of the Nam Ou River, where you will visit Tam Ting Caves of a Thousand Buddhas. Later, enjoy a buffet lunch on board before stopping at a hill tribe village where you can watch the traditional process of Lao whiskey production. Arrive at Pakbeng around sunset and check-in at Le Grand Pakbeng. Dinner will be served on the terrace overlooking the Mekong.

  • Accommodation and breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

Day 2: Pakbeng – Houei Xay
After a very early morning breakfast, head down to the Pakbeng Pier to board the boat at 7:00am. Set sail on the second leg of the cruise upstream along the Mighty Mekong River. En route, one stop will be made to observe the rural life along the riverbank and to encounter minorities such as the Hmong, Yao and Khmu ethnic groups. A buffet lunch will be served on board before continuing to Houei Xai where you will arrive around 17:00.

  • Breakfast and lunch are included.

Disabled Facilities

No disable access

Restaurant information

Le Grand Cruise Cuisine

  • Type of cuisine: Lao, buffet style.
  • Capacity: 40 pax
  • Opening hours: Variable, depends on the day’s itinerary.

Pros

  • Upstream, downstream, and even half-cruises are possible (should guests want to stop/start in Pakbeng)
  • Easy for Easia as the supplier takes care of everything from Houei Xay to Luang Prabang, including accommodation in Pakbeng.
  • Comfortable and relaxing way of travelling along the Northern Mekong.
  • High-quality professional service.
  • Safety is taken seriously.

Cons

  • Not ideal for guests wanting a more private journey.
  • Pick-up in Luang Prabang is not provided.
  • Only English-speaking guide is provided.
  • Not possible to choose another accommodation in Pakbeng.

Notes

INCLUDES:

  • Accommodation in double/twin shared basis
  • Join-In transfer from/to board piers as indicated in itinerary above
  • Join-In Cruise (Share cruise with other passengers)
  • Assistant English-speaking guide on board
  • Admission fees to sites stated in the itinerary
  • Meals: 1 breakfast, 2 lunches on board, 1 dinner at hotel
  • Gov’t taxes and service charges
  • Luggage handling
  • Drinking water/ Coffee or tea while on board

EXCLUDES:

  • Visas and Immigration fees on arrival
  • Transfer from boat pier to hotel in Luang Prabang or Houeixay
  • Travel and/or any Insurance of all kinds
  • Lunch or dinner unless stated in the itinerary
  • Single room accommodation (quoted separately)
  • Child or adult in triple share accommodation
  • Foreign language guides, beside English speaking as indicated in itinerary
  • Peak Season or Special Events Surcharges
  • Tip, drinks and other personal expenses

NOTES:

  • Similar to Shompoo cruise but including accommodation and with a lower pax requirement for the cruise to operate.
  • The package is a join-in cruise 2days/1night package inclusive of accommodation and 2 lunches on board cruise and 1 dinner at resort restaurant.
  • One day cruise (without hotel accommodation included in the price) is possible for those who want to travel only half way (Houei Xai – Pakbeng or Pakbeng – Luang Prabang) for passengers who wish to stay longer at Le Grand Pakbeng and continue on one of the next cruises.
  • Le Grand is not the owner of the ships. They rent them from locals (most of them Lao speaking only). Hence, staff are not fixed and service is family style. Boat are of different sizes depending on group size.
  • It is better to recommend local boats for privatization and GIT, offering similar services but lower prices for charter than Le Grand cruise.
  • Children under 12 years old sharing bed with parent discount 40% from the adult rates (maximum 2 children).
  • Each departure must be minimum at least 4 paid passengers, unless applying the charter cruise rates.
  • All booking required at least 14 days prior to arrival.
  • Itinerary is subject to change depending, river level, road and/or weather conditions…etc.
  • Prices are subject to change at any time as a result of VAT increase, USD/Kip currency inflation or fuel price fluctuations of each period.
  • The cruise has third-party liability insurance.

ON ERP:

  • 2D1N Le Grand Cruise Cruise and Hotel Package (Downstream)
  • 2D1N Le Grand Cruise Cruise and Hotel Package (Upstream)
  • 1D Le Grand Cruise (Downstream)
  • 1D Le Grand Cruise (Upstream)
  • Single Supplement
  • 2D1N Le Grand Cruise Charter Cruise (Downstream)
  • 2D1N Le Grand Cruise Charter Cruise (Upstream)

PAYMENT CONDITIONS:

Pre-payment: Where prior credit arrangements have not been granted, full pre-payment for all bookings is required at least 31 days prior to arrival; otherwise, the rooms and spaces not guaranteed by full pre-payment will be automatically cancelled and released -> double check with reservation about payment conditions

DEPOSIT:

  • F.I.T below 8 persons of final confirmed: 50% of total invoice is required to be paid within 30 days to arrival
  • G.I.T 8 persons and above of final confirmed: 50% of total invoice is required to be paid within 45 days to arrival the rest outstanding amount to be paid within 7 business working days prior to arrival

CANCELLATIONS:

  • FIT Cancellation received within 31 days prior to the date of arrival will be waived cancellation charge
  • FIT Cancellation received within 30 to 21 days prior to the date of arrival will be subject to a 50% (of the confirmed room nights) cancellation charge
  • FIT Cancellations received within 20 days prior to the date of arrival will be subject to a 100% (of the confirmed room nights) cancellation charge.
  • GIT Cancellation received within 46 days prior to the date of arrival will be waived cancellation charge
  • GIT Cancellation received within 45 to 31 days prior to the date of arrival will be subject to a 50% (of the confirmed room nights) cancellation charge
  • GIT Cancellations received within 30 days prior to the date of arrival will be subject to a 100% (of the confirmed room nights) cancellation charge.

Contact

  • Address: Le grand Pakbeng, Ban Donkham, Pakbeng District, Oudomxay Province, Laos
  • Phone: +856-81-214036, 081-214035
  • Mobile:+856-20-55506791
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: www.legrandpakbeng.com