The best river cruises are those that offer the perfect balance of rest, relaxation, excitement and adventure. Ideally, you want your river cruise to provide all of the amenities that cruises are so well known for – comfortable suites, world-class cuisine, great entertainment and more. But for those inundated with a spirit of adventure, these perks may not be enough. So we’ve compiled a list of the best river cruises for adventure seekers, which come equipped with everything you expect from a luxury river cruise, but also offer a great variety of stops and excursions with an exotic and adventurous flare.
Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam
The Mekong River stretches a remarkable 3,000 miles through Asia, spanning across China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Named the “Best Cruise Itinerary for Off-the-Path Explorers” by Yahoo Travel, the Mekong river cruise offers passengers an unforgettable experience, allowing them to see Asia in a light that travelers rarely get to. A mixture of ancient and modern, the Mekong river cruise offers breathtaking scenery and vibrant, exciting expeditions in cities like Hanoi and Phnom Penh, as well as world heritage sites such as Angkor Wat.
Arguably the best river cruise for those seeking an adventurous, culturally-rich experience, the Yangtze River cruise offers an impressive range of geographic diversity, a phenomenal contrast between ancient and modern Chinese culture, and breathtaking landscapes and historical sites. From riverside shrines that will take you back in time, to marvelous river gorges and beyond, cruising on the world’s third longest river will give you a unique, unforgettable experience.
Irrawaddy River in Myanmar
Known as “The Road to Mandalay” after Rudyard Kipling’s timeless poem, the Irrawaddy River offers awe-inspiring scenery and a robust mix of sacred sites, tranquil villages and stunning Buddhist monasteries. Immerse yourself in Burmese culture with visits to Yangon, Pyay, Mandalay, as well as sites like Minhla Colinial Fort and the ancient Pyu and Thayetmyo Frontier Post.
Chobe River in Africa
For those looking to deviate from the typical, a Chobe River cruise in Africa will fit the bill. Take in the wildlife in Chobe National Park, see elephant herds on the banks of the river, and watch for a wide range of bird species, while also immersing yourself in all that modern African cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi have to offer. From lush floodplains and dense woodlands to urban bustle and amenities, the Chobe River cruise has something for every adventurer.
Known for their biodiversity, the Galapagos Islands offer remarkable views and the chance to encounter species of giant tortoises, penguins, sea lions and birds found nowhere else in the world. On your Galapagos Island cruise, take in the nightlife and cuisine of bustling Quito, Ecuador, before boarding a luxury yacht to cruise the 13 diverse isles collectively known as the Galapagos. Discover firsthand the wildlife that inspired Charles Darwin on this unique, unforgettable trip.
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