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A Guide To Luxury Cruises In Asia

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By Author: Andy Robertson
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Meandering down a river in Asia is nothing new to the people that live along them. Rivers are often a lifeblood for a community and are the quickest, and sometimes only, means to receive important goods and resources. Floating markets have been around for centuries and are a nexus of trade for river dwelling villagers.

They also offer some of the most beautiful scenery on the continent. The Yangtze River in China carves its way through tall, abrupt peaks as it heads toward the Pacific Ocean. In Vietnam, the bottom of the Mekong River winds through jungles before splitting into hundreds of small tributaries.

Simply put, a journey along these arteries of the continent can be mesmerizing. The best part is that all of the work on a river cruise is taken care of, and all passengers need to do is show up on time for dinner. Below are short descriptions of some of the most intriguing river cruises in Asia.

Yangtze River (China)

The full journey from Chongqing to Shanghai takes 10 or 11 days. Most tourists choose to experience a certain section of the Yangtze. The most famous section of the Yangtze is around the Three Gorges Dam. Xiling Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Qutang Gorge supply 15% of all of China’s hydroelectric power. The dramatic cliff drops make passengers feel miniscule, and side excursions to important heritage sites like the Shibaozhai Pagoda and the ancient city of Wanxian are easily doable and offered by most cruise lines.

The Yangtze Explorer is a luxury 5 star ship with the largest cabins and smallest passenger capacity on the river of all cruise lines. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Henry Kissinger sailed on the Explorer. Personalized VIP services are available for all customers.

Mekong River (China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam)

The Mekong begins humbly in southern China and passes through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia before flowing gently through Vietnam on its way to the sea. There are many possibilities and stopping points on the Mekong, making it a popular waterway for tourists in South-East Asia. Endless hills and tea plantations in Luang Prabang province in Laos give way to thick jungles near Siem Reap in Cambodia.

The Aqua Mekong has long been regarded as the crème de la crème of the region, winning numerous global awards. Embarking passengers on a “cultural odyssey through Cambodia and Vietnam”, the ship is equipped with a plunge pool, both indoor and outdoor cinemas, and two spa treatment rooms.

Ayeyarwady River (Myanmar)

A hidden gem in Southeast Asia, the Ayeyarwady River floats passengers into the heart of Myanmar. Once difficult to travel into due to tourist regulations, the country has recently opened its borders to the world. It is still largely unknown amongst its more famous neighbors like Thailand and has been deemed ‘Asia’s most exotic country’.

A Myanmar River cruise is sure to steal the heart of any passenger. The Strand Cruise from Yangon to the inner centers of Mandalay and Bagan is truly a magnificent journey. The luxury Myanmar river cruise sets sail from the historic colonial hotel in Yangon by the same name. The Strand Cruise ship is equipped with a sundeck, pool, spa, gym, bar, and restaurant. The view of the passing landscapes is hypnotic and life along the river is perpetually stimulating.

After a brief off-season this summer, the Strand Cruise reopens in September.

A cruise is the perfect idea for a romantic getaway, adventure with friends, or family trip. A voyage down one of these iconic waterways is a once in a lifetime experience.

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