Top 5 river cruises around the world

 

Sprawl on a sun deck, put your legs up and watch as the world goes by – ancient civilizations, medieval castles, stunning landscapes, palm fringed waters, floating villages or quaint cities – take your pick! It’s all yours for the taking, right here aboard a relaxing river cruise vacation.

1. Cruise through ancient civilizations along the Nile

The best way to acquaint yourself with a culture that developed around the River Nile is to spend a few days on the River Nile. With all its pyramids and sandy cities, Egypt has an old and beautiful story to tell. What better way to experience it than to position yourself on one of the many cruise ships that have made the Nile their home?
You will have plenty of rides to choose from – a basic river boat that doesn’t really burn a hole in that tourist pocket, to extravagant ships with spas and swimming pools that you can dip into if you need a break from the history-book sights around you. The average Nile river cruise is a three to seven day affair, with meals and a couple of excursions thrown in. Pay that extra buck for a customized cruise!
We recommend not to miss the cruise between Luxor and Aswan.
Nile river cruise

On the Nile at Aswan with a view of the West Bank and the Tombs of the Nobles from the Old and Middle Kingdom

2. Experience the charm of Kerala’s Backwaters

This laidback area comprising of canals and lakes gives cruisers the opportunity to check out Kerala’s Backwaters for what they are – live life like a local on one of the famous kettuvallams propelled by native oarsmen; or one of those charming thatched roof motorized houseboat numbers. Get a load of tropical palm fringed waterscapes as you sail around the area gorging on South Indian cuisine specially rustled up for you. A great way to get a glimpse of a different India – away from the bustle of its busy cities.
The most scenic sector of the cruise is between Kottayam and Alleypey.

River cruise on Kerala Backwaters

Sit back and enjoy the view of the Kerala Backwaters in a cosy houseboat

3. Ride the Yangtze for beautiful landscapes

The longest river in Asia, the winding Yangtze tells China’s tale without the Great Wall or the Forbidden City. If you think that’s next to impossible, grab a seat on one of the many cruises that go along the Yangtze – you will be treated to some of China’s most interesting and famous landmarks – the Three Gorges, ancient temples and quaint old ghost towns. A Yangtze cruise typically runs between four and thirteen action-packed days, with excursions thrown in for a better insight into the countryside.

The sector between Chongqing and Yichang comes highly recommended.

A river cruiser on the Yangtze

Check out the beautiful Three Gorges on a Yangtze River cruise

4. A Southeast Asian adventure along the Mekong

One of the most interesting ways to get a taste of various SE Asian countries is to get aboard a Mekong river cruise. As you drift down from China to Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, you witness a cross section of cultures – ancient cities, villages, iconic sights and vibrant market places. Design your itinerary in such a way that you can choose your excursions; decide whether you want to stop to check out Angkor Wat in Cambodia or the floating villages in South Vietnam amongst various SE Asian wonders.
The best part is between Saigon and Angkor Wat and between Luang Prabang and the Golden Triangle.

River cruise on the Mekong

Grab a seat for a Southeast Asian safari on the Mekong. Photo credit: Anton Ivanov

5. Check out charming Europe on the Rhine

One of Europe’s most popular cruises, this one takes the cake! It offers the Continent on a platter; with the river’s route taking you through some of Europe’s favourite travel destinations – Switzerland, France,Germany and Holland. Europe’s fairytale towns, medieval castles, beautiful scenery, vineyards and iconic sites are all there, ready to become a part of your memories! Choose from a day trip to a ten-day plus multi-country extravaganza.
The best sector of the cruise is between Koblenz and Rudesheim/Bingen in Germany.
A Rhine river cruise

Cruising the middle-Rhine River is an excellent way to discover the castles and medieval towns of Germany. Photo credit: Igor Plotnikov

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