Tuesday 12 July 2011

Re-Discover the 'Venice of the East' With the Newly Launched Anantara Cruises, Bangkok

While most people think of Thailand's sprawling capital Bangkok as a hectic array of tuk-tuks, vendors and crowded streets, it is also a city that relies on its intricate waterways, canals and rivers thus being labeled the 'Venice of the East'. Life on the river is a unique way to explore one of the oldest capitals in the orient and seeing it at a calmer more serene pace is all part of Anantara's latest journey with the launch of Anantara Cruises.

With Anantara Cruises, guests see for themselves how Thailand's waterways are the country's lifelines, and why Bangkok's Chao Phraya River is one of the most famous and significant.  Locals living on its banks maintain an authentic lifestyle, creating vivid snapshots of a bygone age in between glittering temples like the Temple of Dawn, landmarks of regal heritage such as the Grand Palace and Royal Barges Boathouse, as well as striking bridges and monumental buildings which reflect the capital's dynamic evolution over the past 20 years.

A couple of one hundred year old rice barges "Anantara Song' and 'Anantara Dream' have been painstakingly rebuilt from teak and restored to their present splendour to cushion the appeal of a real Thai adventure.  Guests will make themselves at home on the river for overnight excursions that blend quintessential old world charm, modern comforts and truly personalised service, choosing between vessels and itineraries designed with discerning traveller needs in mind.

Guests in search of ancient wonders can join a two night, three day Ayutthaya Adventure accommodating up to four couples on the Anantara Song, or reserve this fine cruiser for private charter.  The colonial grace of this 20 metre, ultra deluxe river boat - dubbed 'The Orient Express of the River' – is evident in every exquisite detail.  Thai master craftsmen were employed for its reconstruction, with most of the work carried out in centuries old tradition – using mostly a sharp eye and patience with simple tools in very experienced hands. 

The distinctive design blends warm teak, padua and mahogany woods, complemented by custom made furniture covered with colourful Thai silks and cottons.  Oriental rugs were chosen alongside Thai and Southeast Asian art, sculptures and artifacts, while a number of accessories were sourced from artisans working along Thailand's rivers and canals, as well as from remote rural areas, resulting in a harmony of sophisticated and rustic folk accents.

Renovated to provide privacy and comfort, separate crew quarters allow guests to feel as if they have the boat all to themselves, while an onboard team, comprising of a captain, two service staff and a chef, delivers seamless cruise expertise and gracious hospitality.  Guests reside in four air conditioned staterooms filled with all the five star luxuries guest can expect from Anantara.

On the spacious upper deck, an expansive lounge and dining area with a full bar sets an idyllic scene for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, served from a well provisioned galley.  A separate sun deck invites guests to take in views of Ayutthaya's crumbling city walls and lively markets on the banks, in between stopping off to explore temples such as Wat Mongkhon Bophit, built to protect one of the country's largest bronze Buddha statues dating back to the 15th century. 

Alternatively guests can call Thailand's most luxurious cruise, the Anantara Dream, their very own river residence by reserving this magnificent vessel entirely to themselves for a two night, three day Ayutthaya Thousand Golden Temples Tour or Ang Thong Mystic River Tour.  

Offering ample living space for up to only two couples, the two staterooms (20 and 25 square metres) are fully air conditioned and feature elegantly tiled ensuite bathrooms with a full shower and a comfortable two metre square super king sized bed dressed with delicate linen, alongside a library and deluxe branded amenities.

Beyond these extra allures, Anantara Dream voyages offer luxury discovery experiences such as a private cooking class, spa, on-board yoga retreat, Thai wine tasting class, a self guided walking tour at various points of interest along the way, or learn the art of sailing the old rice barge on the renowned 'river of Kings' from the Captain himself!

Anantara Song

Two-night/three-day package:
  • Double occupancy: Baht 69,000 net per cabin
  • Private Charter: Baht 230,000 net (1-8 passengers)
Inlcudes all meals and non alcoholic beverages onboard, deluxe turndown gifts, tour programmes with an English speaking guide and admission charges, as well as private roundtrip limousine transfers.

Anantara Dream

Available for private charter only at a cost of Baht 200,000 net (for 1–4 passengers). The package price includes two nights' accommodation onboard, private round-trip limousine transfers, welcome champagne, deluxe turndown gifts, private cooking class, all meals and non alcoholic beverages onboard, full ground tours programs with an English speaking guide and admissions charges at designated places.

For enquiries and bookings, call +66 (0) 2477 0770, email or visit

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