A Guide to Cruising the Rivers of the World

An Amazon River cruise will take you through some of the most astonishingly biodiverse landscapes in the world. The ships are small to allow you to enjoy the scenery and take in the wildlife including monkeys, sloths and jaguars. Tropical birds inhabit the trees and manatees, dolphins and otters float along the river beside you.

The rivers of Asia are its lifeblood being a place to live and trade. Mystical temples and exotic sights and smells add a rich and vibrant experience for anyone. There are so many opportunities to explore Asia by ship. Cruising through Vietnam and Cambodia along the Mekong, Burma's Irrawaddy is serene, India has the Ganges and the backwaters of Kerala or the majestic Yangtze in China. 

A Nile River cruise through Egypt brings you to the start of civilisation with ancient pyramids and colourful bazaars. There are so many must see sights including Cairo, the temples at Luxor and Abu Simbel and the Aswan Dam. Maybe you need to consider a week on the beach on the Red Sea to relax.

Follow in Mark Twain's footsteps and take a paddle steamer along the Mississippi. Stops en route in Memphis and New Orleans and take in the music and French influence.

If you want to challenge your senses then a journey along the Ganges is the perfect way to explore this part of the country. But do not forget that there is also the Brahmaputra River and also if travelling south then the backwaters of Kerala are best explored on a rice barge. No matter what you choose to do a river cruise can be combined with any itinerary you wish in this wonderful country of colour.

An African safari is on most wish lists but to see the wildlife from on board your own African Queen on the Zambezi River is awe inspiring. Combined with a trip to Victoria Falls, Kruger National Park, Kwazulu Natal or Cape Town and you have the perfect mix of wildlife, culture and cuisine. 

Tracey Strand