Southern Vietnam
Bassac Cruise Mekong Delta

A boat cruise is the best way to experience the beautiful yet inaccessible maze of rivers, swamps and rice paddies that make up Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

Visitors can choose from a wide range of boat trips, but Bassac – run by a Frenchman and his Vietnamese wife – is one of the few to take tourists beyond the towns and well-known Cai Be floating market to smaller farms and villages.

Facilities & Activities

The tiered boats have 2 upper decks featuring a restaurant, bar, outdoor relaxation area with hammocks and loungers, plus en suite cabins. Grab an ice-cold beer from the bar and sink into a lounger on the the deck as the rural river life drifts and the sun slips below the horizon. There are also plenty of stops are made during the cruise so you can explore tiny canals and rural villages. There is a guide on board, on hand to explain everything you’d like to know, as well as to lead you on onshore excursions during the voyage. This could range from visiting floating markets to stopping off in local villages and fruit farms. Ever fancied making your own spring rolls? Cookery workshops can also be arranged for those keen to learn about – and sample more of – the delicious local Vietnamese cuisine.

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Dining

Dine beneath the stars as the boat cruises leisurely through the delta, or feast as the sun comes up while you watch the watery world go by…

As restaurant locations go, it’s hard to beat this one of passing paddy fields, tranquil backwaters and sun skittering across the mirror-flat rivers. The restaurant is located on the terrace at the stern of the main deck, a collection of wooden tables and chairs, with ivory white cushions, ideal for al fresco dining. All meals are included (one breakfast, one lunch and one dinner for a two-day cruise). Food is fresh, plentiful and of excellent quality, ranging from continental choices to local dishes. Slurp pho soup or crunch into a warm baguette as the sun rises – or sets – on your voyage. Or mingle with other guests and crew at the welcoming, well-stocked bar with its friendly atmosphere and superb views of the surrounding backwaters.

Rooms

There are 3 Bassac boats – all small, beautifully crafted wooden vessels that sleep just 12-24 passengers, making the experience highly personal. Bassac I is a lovingly refurbished rice barge from the 1900s and has 6 wooden cabins (sleeping 12). Bassac II has 10 cabins (sleeps 20) while Bassac III has 12 cabins (sleeping 24). There are both twin and double cabins to choose from, all of which are simple yet elegant, featuring air-conditioning, heat and sound insulation, wooden interiors, windows and ensuite bathrooms with hot water showers, basins and toilets. The cabins are compact, so it’s wise to pack light for this type of cruise, though thanks to the superb sun terrace and numerous activities, it’s likely that you’ll spend little of your time in your cabin.

Family

Although there are no specific facilities for children, they are welcome on board all boats and will love the journey down the river with its constantly-changing scenery, numerous stop-offs and floating markets. Possible excursions include a fascinating trip to a fruit farm where youngsters will love tasting a variety of exotic fruits, as well as an informative yet fun visit to a noodle factory and a stop at a villager’s home. Service on board is personalised and the crew make every effort to help with any requests to make your trip as a family as enjoyable as possible.

Sustainability

The team at Mekong Boat run a responsible, eco-friendly operation as they understand the crucial importance of protecting the health of the people, wildlife and natural environments where they cruise. They are genuinely committed to keeping their great rivers of the world clean and beautiful, for today and for generations to come.

The first Bassac boat was once was a rice barge, which was overhauled into the cozy cabin cruiser it is today.  Although Bassac II and III have been designed as entirely new hull designs, more adapted to their present purpose, they were built at the same shipyard with the same craftsmanship and according to the same tradition.

Efforts have been made to ensure their operation is as sustainable and efficient as possible.  The heat created by the engines in recycled to reduce their impact on the environment.

 

Location

The Mekong Delta lies South-West of Ho Chi Minh City – still commonly referred to as Saigon by locals – and is easily accessible from the city, just a couple of hours away by car. The Bassac Cruise explores the Mekong delta between Can Tho and Cai Be, with the numerous canals, placid backwaters and floating markets in between.

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