Worldwide River Cruising
While the rivers of Europe are increasingly busy with vessels enticing holidaymakers to this relaxed and scenic option for getting an in-depth view of different cultures, there’s a wealth of cruising choices on the great waterways of the world. Memories of school geography come flooding back when glossy brochures extol the virtues of cruising legendary rivers such as the Mekong, Irrawaddy and Yangtze in the Orient; the Ganges or Brahmaputra in India; the Mississippi, Columbia and Snake rivers in the United States; Egypt’s legendary Nile or the mighty Zambezi on the African continent.
The popularity of cruising on the Mekong in Cambodia and Vietnam has become hugely popular in recent years. Of all rivers in Southeast Asia, the Mekong is the most legendary. Explorers since the days of Kublai Khan have sought to conquer the fickle territories that surround the Mekong. Today it is latter-day travellers to Indochina who sail along this sinuous watercourse that connects a kaleidoscope of diverse cultures.
The Irrawaddy River has shaped Myanmar’s history. Most cruises operate along a 130-mile stretch from the former capital of the Burmese empire at Bagan to Mandalay, made famous in Kipling’s verse. At 3,553 miles long, the Yangtze rises in the frozen glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau and disgorges into the East China Sea at Shanghai. Cruises take in the serene Three Gorges and vast dam that has tamed this watercourse; packages include stays in Beijing, Shanghai and Xian – for a visit to see the Terracotta Warriors.
There’s a veritable armada of riverboats ranging from the kitsch to the compact that sail in flotillas along the Nile offering three and four-night sailings along the 135-mile course of the Nile from Luxor to Aswan; as well as seven-night, round-trip departures from these epicentres of antiquity.
It’s possible to follow in Mark Twain’s wake on a paddlewheel cruise down the mighty Mississip', and stop in for ribs in Memphis, a blues concert in the Delta or some jazz in New Orleans. Many of the river towns on the Mississippi were settled by Europeans and their influence is still apparent today in everything from architecture to cultural traditions.
The mighty Zambezi pulses through six countries on its way to the Indian Ocean. Shortly before it thunders across the breathtaking Victoria Falls it’s joined by the Chobe River - a magnet for wildlife since time immemorial. Recapturing a scene from Karen Blixsen’s ‘Out of Africa’, on board the Zambezi Queen the animals come to you. For more details on the variety of river cruises across the globe speak to our experienced team on 0800 484 0370 or click on www.cruisedirect.co.uk.
- 25th April 2017