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The world’s top five river cruises

By LLM Reporters on 22nd September 2015

Laura Lamb, Head of Product & Media at Reader Offers Limited, picks out her top five river cruises.

Travelling along some of the great inland waterways of the world, river cruising offers a unique way to travel to the heart of a country and discover the real culture and historical cities, whilst experiencing breath-taking views at a leisurely pace.

The added advantage is this is all amidst the ultimate comfort and luxury of a stylish ship, which many liken to a boutique hotel, and includes sightseeing excursions with expert local guides who help you to fully appreciate the local culture, sights, history and cuisines of the area.

It’s no surprise then that this alternative way to explore the world has grown so quickly in popularity in recent years. Here are five ultimate river cruise itineraries that we believe should be added to your ‘must do’ bucket list:

1. Mekong River – Vietnam and Cambodia

Mekong River – Vietnam and Cambodia
Mekong River – Vietnam and Cambodia

At 2,700 miles long the Mekong is the longest river in South East Asia and has become one of the ‘must visit’ locations for river cruising. This 14-day trip with APT begins in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) where you will spend two days absorbing the sights of the iconic capital before boarding the luxurious RV La Marguerite for your seven-day river cruise. Combining the intriguing sights of life on the banks of the Mekong River with an in-depth look at the wonders of Vietnam’s and Cambodia’s cities and villages, this exciting voyage provides a fascinating view into this part of the world.

2. The Wonders of China, Tibet and the Yangtze River

The Wonders of China, Tibet and the Yangtze River
The Wonders of China, Tibet and the Yangtze River

This 15-day luxury oriental passage of discovery comprises premium hotel stays and a three-day cruise aboard the world’s only authentic boutique river cruise line beginning with five nights in China. A flight then takes you to Lhasa for three nights in the ancient cultural and religious centre of Tibet before moving on to Chongqing to board Uniworld’s Century Legend for a three night 6* Yangtze River Cruise, where you will encounter some of the most breath-taking scenery and diverse cultures you will ever see. Disembarking in Yichang you’ll then fly to Shanghai, China for two-nights to experience the spectacular delights of China’s largest city.

3. Pagan and The Upper Irrawaddy River

Pagan and The Upper Irrawaddy River
Pagan and The Upper Irrawaddy River

As one of the more unusual and less visited sections of the Irrawaddy River, this 15-day trip offers the chance to set sail on a real adventure. Beginning with a one-night stay to capture the sights of Mandalay, Burma (now Myanmar) you embark on a 10-night cruise aboard the impressive Kindat Pandaw, taking in the magnificent temples of Pagan and the scenic and remote Upper Irrawaddy. Your journey will take you to the remote destination of Katha, some 1,000 miles from Rangoon and once home to George Orwell. The voyage ends in Pagan where you will take a flight for the final night of your trip in Yangon.

4. The Rhine, Main and Danube

 The Rhine, Main and Danube
The Rhine, Main and Danube

Cruising down the picturesque Rhine, Main and Danube rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest this magnificent 15-day luxury cruise aboard APT’s MS AmaVista offers the chance to absorb the many iconic attractions and enthralling secrets of an array of destinations in the four countries of Holland, Germany, Austria and Hungary that lay along the path of this tour. Exquisite dining and beautiful accommodation will make this a trip through Europe’s heartland like no other.

Via Reader Offers, all meals and beverages on board are included, in addition to unique and exclusive Signature Experiences, plus return scheduled flights from London and all overseas transfers, port charges and tipping.

5. Burmese Discovery

Burmese Discovery
Burmese Discovery

You will have 14-days aboard the brand new RV Princess Panhwar for this river cruise with APT to explore the more popular part of The Irrawaddy River, which stretches from the North to the South of Myanmar. Starting in Mandalay this unforgettable cultural journey will provide incredible views of a landscape that has lain untouched by tourists for a generation and takes in the temple-studded plains of Bagan, the stunning Pagodas of Pyay before ending up in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. It really is a fabulous opportunity to discover the heart of the Burmese culture.

Reader Offers is the UK’s number one cruise specialist and has spent the past 20 years’ working with the world’s most exclusive cruise lines to create tailor-made luxurious and inspiring cruise holidays. Clients also benefits from Reader Offers’ Cruise Miles programme, which enables members to accumulate Cruise Miles and benefit from savings with every booking.

For more information on the destinations mentioned or for details regarding exclusive offers, telephone 0845 604 7479. Alternatively, search to find your cruise at www.readeroffers.travel/info.