Thailand offers both river and sea cruise experiences from short day trips to extended trips of up to seven days.

From Bangkok, there are a number of day cruises around the canals and waterways of the city, taking in its major historical highlights and other places of interest, which offer a great alternative to private car or potentially precarious tuk-tuk journeys.

Longer journeys lasting from two to three days sail upriver from the capital, travelling up the Chao Phraya River, visiting such sites as the ancient capital of Ayuthaya and the Summer Palace at Bang Pa In. There are many variants on this theme, which can offer additional visits to other riverside attractions such as important Wats and craft villages and may also include activities such as elephant riding or cycling around the river island of Koh Kret.

Departing from Kanchanaburi, northwest of Bangkok, cruises of the River Kwai, with options of four day upstream, downstream or the complete seven day return itineraries, include visits to the Bridge on the River Kwai and other sites related to the Thai-Burma railway, and a train journey on the infamous line.

These trips are often combined with visits to many of the area’s other interesting attractions, such as Prasat Muang Singh Historical Park, the Indochinese Tiger Conservation Project, Sai Yok and Pha Tad Waterfalls, Sai Yok Elephant Village, Khao Noi Cave Temple and the Tiger Cave Temple, with optional activities such as river rafting or canoeing.


Another five day river cruise operates in the far north of Thailand departing from Nakhon Phanom travelling upon the Mekong River, skirting the border with and travelling to Vientaine in neighbouring Laos, a journey with sightseeing opportunities which include a long-tail boat ride up the Nam Kading River and a visit to Nong Khai Sculpture Park.


In the coastal south of Thailand, Phuket is the starting point for several motor-yacht cruises for couples or small groups around the splendid oceanic formations in Phang Nha Bay, with day trips to various destinations, including the Phi Phi Islands, Racha Yai and Racha Noi, ‘James Bond’ Island, Khai island, Krabi and the Similan Islands.


Longer cruises by motor-yacht, catamaran or Junk are available in several variants, which include four day trips from Phuket to Phi Phi in either direction, or a complete round trip 7 day cruise. For divers, several diving cruises to the Similan and Surin Islands are also available for journeys of up to six days.

On Thailand’s east coast, several day trips are available to explore Ang Thong Marine Park or visit Koh Phangan. Some variants allow for an overnight stop at these locations. From Koh Tao, the most northerly island in the eastern chain, four and seven day sailing cruises also venture to Ang Thong Marine Park.