Several operators offer cruises up and down the Chao Phraya River, which meanders through the heart of Bangkok. Included are half-day cruises, full-day cruises, lunch cruises, and overnight cruises. Dinner cruises are among the most popular excursions in the Thai capital.
Various cruise operators offer dinner cruises on various kinds of craft of various sizes up and down the Chao Phraya River, also known as the River of Kings.
Most of them serve dinner buffets with either live or recorded music. Dancing is on tap for those with itchy feet.
- Supanniga Cruise is a boutique operator with smaller boats offering three evening options: a cocktail cruise, a champagne cruise, and a champagne dinner cruise. The cruises were launched in November 2016.
What sets Supanniga’s dinner champagne cruise apart from the pack is that a six course dinner is prepared aboard the craft and served to diners course by course.
My traveling companion was Hong Kong-based food and travel blogger.
Since the two of us are not big fans of buffet dinners, we opted for the Supanniga Champagne Taittinger Cruise, which departed before dusk, taking us past the most of Thai capital’s most important tourist attractions.
French Champagne – shortly after departure, we were served a refreshing glass of Champagne Taittinger Brut from France.
Amuse Bouche – our dinner began a few moments later with an amuse bouche, which consisted of fried mackerel wrapped in chaplu leaves accompanied by Koh Chang shrimp paste sauce.
Supanniga Appetizer – for appetizers, we were offered minced pork stir-fried with garlic and orange, spicy minced chicken salad served in a crispy cup, and Surat Thani’s crab meat with Thai herb dressing accompanied by crispy catfish fish.
Soup – our soup arrived shortly after our cocktails were served. The sea bass in coconut soup with young coconut meat was mouth-wateringly delicious!
Main Course – We were served Sam Rub Thai, or four main courses, which were suitable to be shared. Included were …
- Chunks of tender pork meat stewed with Thai herbs and cha muang leaves,
- Sliced chewy beef shank tossed with spicy dressing and garnished with garlic oil,
- Fried medium boiled eggs served with three flavor sauce and fried shallots, and
- Jumbo prawn sautéed with Thai sweet and sour curry, and blended crab meat meat and pork, seasoned and inside crab shells.
Dessert – for dessert we were served mango sticky rice served with coconut milk and roasted beans as well petite fours The sweets were washed down with organic tea.
A glass of champagne was included In the price of the cruise. Four white wines and four red wines were also on offer, one of each could be ordered by the bottle of by the glass. The other three types could only be ordered by the bottle.
There were five signature cocktails by Vesper on the menu, and one cocktail was included in the price.
I tried When James Bond Visits BKK, which is reputedly James Bond’s favourite tipple when he visits the Thai capital. It consisted of bay-leave infused gin Blanco Vermouth and Tonic Bitters.
A La Carte Appetizers
The following appetizers were available at an additional cost: fried chicken wings, fried Vietnamese sausages, fried Isan sausages, and an appetizer platter.
I liked the timing of the cruise. We were able to admire the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and other key tourist attractions both before and after dark. We were served champagne at dusk, which was particularly nice.
While dinner buffets are fun with lots of choice, they can also be a bit chaotic. I enjoyed being served sit-down fashion course by course – so much more civilized.
What I loved: the Tom Kha Pla Krapong Mapraow-on, or sea bass in coconut soup with coconut meat, was about the yummiest soup I have ever tasted.
I thought it was far tastier than the much better known Tom Yum Goong. I have since learned that it can also be made with shrimp, prawns, chicken, and other meats. Would love to give them a try.
I was flown to Bangkok, Thailand, by Country Group Development for a briefing on a massive real estate development along the shores of the Chao Phraya River.