A dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya river can be a perfect way to end a hectic day of shopping in Bangkok. And the choice of Chao Phraya dinner cruises is aplenty. There are dozens of cruise boats – big and small – and there are dozens of websites marketing those cruise dinners. Most cruises promise almost the same inclusions – a welcome drink, Thai and international buffet dinner, fruits & desserts, tea/coffee, and some sort of a musical/cultural show. Once the show gets over, they keep the music up and thus the guests get to dance if they want to. The cruise lasts for 2 hours to 2 and a half hours. Some special cruises offer “free flow drinks”, some special Thai cuisine, and some others offer Indian food along with international food. The per person prices indicated on most websites are around 1400 THB for adults and 1100 THB for children under 10 years. Toddlers are admitted free. These published prices are applicable upon reporting to a boarding point and are ambiguous on the hotel transfers. And this is where the importance of that small travel agent’s shop next to your hotel in Bangkok can come to your aid.
The Choice of The Boat
The choice of the boat matters. You will have more crowd on a bigger boat, more space to move around, and a much happier atmosphere. So, unless you are having a private party, it is best to avoid the small wooden “rice barge” type of boats that have seats for 50 guests or so. The bigger boats can accommodate up to 500 guests. It is not necessary that the bigger boat will cost more. It may rather be the other way round. But anyway before getting to the price, there are other things to consider.
Transfers Included or Not?
While doing some online research, I found that the addition to the cost of the cruise by including round trip hotel transfers was just 85 THB per person. So that can be a great option to select at that price.
The Type of Food
Almost all cruise boats have Thai and “international food” which should mean western food. Only some have Indian food. I have seen two cruise options offering Indian food – (1) Chao Phraya Princess Cruise With Indian Buffet Dinner and (2) ARC Indian Dinner Cruise on a small boat. The Chao Phraya Princess is a bigger boat. I think there are more than one boats called “Princess” and only one of those will have Indian food. Your booking agent will take care to put you on the right boat.
What Would Be An Honest Price For A Dinner Cruise In Bangkok
The general rule is, the marketing websites (except a few) generally quote a price that is almost double of what it should be. I actually tested this. Let us see the price of the two cruises I mentioned above – ARC Indian Dinner Cruise and Chao Phraya Princess Cruise.
ARC Indian Dinner Cruise
ARC Indian Dinner Cruise starts from “Asiatique The Riverfront“. You can take a free shuttle boat to get there and after the cruise, another free shuttle boat will bring you to Saphan Taksin pier from where you can take a skytrain ride back to your hotel. Let me clarify that this is a small “rice barge” boat but with an open air deck. The marketing websites indicate the official price of this cruise at 1400 THB for adults and 1100 THB for kids (5 -12 years). Kids up to 4 years are admitted free. They offer discounted prices at 1090 THB for adults and 850 THB for kids. Another 10% discount is available for groups of 6 people and above.
The Lowest Online Price
The lowest online price for this cruise that I could spot was 917 THB (cruise only – no transfers offered) for adults and 713 THB for kids. This was from the ‘hotels2thailand’ website.
This price is by no means the lowest and you can easily get a lower offer from an agent shop anywhere in Bangkok. I am giving the reference to the online link just to give you an idea of the discount available.
Chao Phraya Princess Cruise with Indian Buffet Dinner
I could spot a few online websites offer but the most prominent one offered a price of 1400 THB for adults and 1100 THB for kids (under 12). This website has some details and pictures on the Indian dinner cruise that is good for information sake but the prices indicated there do not appear to be honest. First this is the website giving good information: ‘thairivercruise’. If you type this name in Google, you will get the website.
This cruise starts from River City Pier 2 and you need to make your own arrangement for transfers unless your agent is offering transfers. Now let us try to find the honest price for this cruise.
My favourite website ‘hotels2thailand’ that shows discounted prices of tourist attractions in Thailand does have “Princess Cruise” but Indian food is not mentioned. Like I said there are different “Princess” boats. But the price quoted here should be good on the cruise with Indian food also. According to this website, the price for the Princess Cruise without round trip transfers is 807 THB for adults and 679 THB for kids. With round trip transfers, the price goes up to 892 THB and 696 THB.
Since this page does not say “Indian food”, the actual market price for the Princess Cruise with Indian food can be different but in no case it will be 1400 THB. Send an email to ‘hotels2thailand’ people requesting information on the cruise with Indian food or inquire at a travel agent shop. You will save some money.