Cruising Asia’s Waterways

The extensive network of Asia’s rivers allows cruisers to experience this region from a unique perspective.

Journey along the mighty Yangtze and Mekong Rivers, a voyage down the Red River towards Halong Bay, meander along the Irrawaddy, Chindwin or Salween Rivers in Myanmar, or unwind surrounded by the serenity of the Kerala backwaters in India.

A tapestry of intriguing cultures, traditions, lifestyles and scenery awaits.

China – Yangtze River

The Yangtze River is China’s largest and longest river. The shores of the Yangtze present an ever-changing mix of ancient and modern cultures and the sheer magnitude of the gorges are simply breathtaking. You’ll be fascinated by the Three Gorges Dam Project; an amazing feat of engineering. Shore excursions take visitors along the Shennong Stream and to sites such as Nanjing, Jiuhuashan (Mountain of Nine Lotuses) and Wuhan.

Join one of our Classic or Deluxe Tours and explore the river as part of a longer adventure through China. If you prefer to travel independently, our 5-day Pure Yangtze and 10-day Yangtze in Focus itineraries may be better suited to your travel style.

Untitled-1_0004_98 - Shennong Stream, Yangtze River (Karel)

Yangtze River cruise, China

India – The Backwaters of Kerala

In India’s deep south you’ll find the coastal state of Kerala, a unique region which provides travellers with an insight into to life by the water. The Kerala backwaters are a network of canals, rivers, lakes and inlets that feed into each other to form more than 900km of waterways that flow into the Arabian Sea.

Visitors will be amazed by the luscious, green landscape and laid back vibe of the region. Palm-fringed rice paddies and rolling hills of tea, unique aquatic life and water birds such as kingfishers and cormorants are sure to provide plenty of interest for keen naturalists. Drift through the quiet canals and witness village life by the water while you cruise the backwaters on a luxury houseboat, relaxing and enjoying the traditional Keralan food.

Whether you choose to add a Kerala cruise to your India tour or tailor-make your own itinerary, we’ve got plenty of ways for you to experience the backwaters of Kerala. Due to monsoon season, Kerala cruise itineraries are only available for travel during the months April – September.

Myanmar – The Irrawaddy, Chindwin & Salween Rivers

Take an amazing journey through Myanmar to see for yourself how river life dominates the country. The population is reliant on its rivers for transportation, irrigation and food.

The Irrawaddy River flows from the north to the south of Myanmar, ending in the Andaman Sea. It is the lifeline of the country, forming a system of transportation, irrigation and rich fishing grounds. A journey along the river offers visitors an insightful view into the daily lives of the local Burmese people. Experience a side of the country that many have yet to explore from the comfort of a Pandaw cruise boat, sailing from Mandalay to Bagan on our Irrawaddy Voyager Fully Inclusive Classic Tour.

The main tributary of the Irrawaddy River, the charming Chindwin River carves its way through Myanmar’s mountains and forests. On its banks are dramatic monuments, small remote villages and evidence of a lifestyle and culture that has remained unchanged for centuries. Our new river cruising itinerary, The Chindwin, takes passengers on an 8-day journey along the river, stopping at delightful little towns along the way.

The Salween River is the longest in Myanmar at 2,815km. It flows from Tibet, through Yunnan Province in China, and down the eastern edge of Myanmar parallel with the Thai border. Due to the incredible rate and rapids, it is only navigable for a short section between its mouth at Martaban and the Karen State hill station of Hpa-An.

Untitled-1_0003_Casting a Net Irrawaddy

Casting a net on the Irrawaddy River, Myanmar

Indochina – The Mekong River

The Mekong is the 12th longest river in the world. Originating from the mountains of Tibet, it flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before flowing into the South China Sea. As you cruise along the Mekong River you will gain incredible insights into the lives of the people who depend on the Mekong as a source of income, food and transportation. Simply, it is a way of life for many local people.

A range of our fully inclusive tours offer day trips to the Mekong, however for an in-depth exploration, our new The Mekong: From Laos to China independent river cruising itinerary spends time on board a Pandaw cruise boat. On this incredible 14-night river expedition of four countries, you’ll cruise along the mighty Upper Mekong River between Vientiane and China. This journey makes for a truly unique Mekong exploration.

Our 20 day Mekong Odyssey Fully Inclusive Classic Tour takes you on a journey through Vietnam’s cultural centres, natural wonders and fast-paced cities before a 7-night Pandaw cruise along the mighty Mekong. You’ll finish up in the resilient land of Cambodia where the Temples of Angkor await your discovery.

Untitled-1_0002_Pg 42 - Tonle Sap, Cambodia - shutterstock_76892

Life on the Mekong River

Vietnam – Red River & Halong Bay

The Red River was home to some of Vietnam’s earliest civilizations and is also the confluence of other major tributaries including Da River and Lo River, and connects to the wondrous Halong Bay. Often referred to as the ‘Jewel in the crown of Vietnam’, Halong Bay is a stunning landscape and home to over two thousand islands. The best way to explore its outstanding beauty is to cruise among the inspiring scenery, including stalagmites and stalactites, limestone islets and intriguing caves.

Classified as both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, no visitor to Vietnam should leave without a cruise on Halong Bay. The rich bio-diversity of the bay, its beauty and its history will leave a lasting impression. A number of our group tours feature day or overnight cruises on board a junk boat.

We offer a wide range of cruising options to Halong Bay, including overnight cruises on board a junk boat as part of our Fully Inclusive Classic Tours and independent travel itineraries that will see you cruising to areas of northern Vietnam rarely explored by tourists. Discover mountain villages and tribal areas of highland Vietnam.

Untitled-1_0000_17 -Halong Bay (Rowan)

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Our new Asia River Cruising 2016-17 brochure features a range of cruise itineraries from our Classic, Deluxe and Independent travel ranges. Order a copy of your brochure today.

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