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The world's most popular river cruises

River cruising is gaining a loyal following among those who have done a lot of adventures but don't want to have to pack and unpack their bags every other day. And they can be as adventurous or as relaxing as you want and they are great for multi-generational trips too! Read on for the world's best river cruises.

Peru - Amazon

Hop aboard a riverboat and experience the Amazon in style. Led by a naturalist guide, your cruise will include daily excursions by motorized skiff designed to reveal the exotic wildlife that calls the rainforest home — with any luck you’ll spot sloths, toucans, or pink dolphins! And, with plenty of time for exploration you'll have the chance to experience the jungle up close. Gain a rare glimpse of how life "on the river" is lived and experience the magic of the Amazon on a riverboat adventure. See our tours: Adventurous or Luxury

Southern Africa - Zambezi

A stay on-board Zambezi Queen is a different kind of safari. It’s the kind where you get to decide if you want to be up with the birds, or prefer to laze all morning watching game from the comfort of your bed. Moving along the banks of the great Chobe River, Zambezi Queen is a 5-star, 42-metre long luxury houseboat offering unparalleled sophistication in one of the most remote locations on the planet. Our itinerary is flexible so while we have a range of activities on offer, you can choose just how much you want to pack into your holiday or how relaxed you want to be. See the cruise.

Egypt - Nile

Egypt has an enthralling history and a wealth of well-preserved monuments and treasures. This trip allows you to visit all the major sites and attractions along the Nile in a comfortable fashion. Boarding our cruise boat at Luxor we travel upstream, watching local life pass by, whilst also visiting the spectacular Edfu and Kom Ombo temples along the way. The lush green banks and the beautiful sunsets over the Nile, together with the excellent on-board facilities make this an unforgettable way to travel. See the trip.

Portugal - Douro

Rambling vineyards and charming native farms cling to the steep sides of the Douro River Valley, creating an incomparable backdrop to one of Europe’s most unspoiled regions and to Port country — the world’s oldest demarcated wine region. Visit Porto, the beautiful “City of Bridges”; and Salamanca, the “Golden City.” Taste wines from historic wineries and soak up the genuine beauty of one of Europe’s most unadulterated landscapes. Enjoy an extensive lineup of included tours such as sightseeing, bike tours, hikes and Special Interest Tours. No matter your preference, your days will be full of discovery and wonder. Take me there.

Grand Central Europe - the Danube from Germany to Romania

Journey along paths forged by conquerors, crusaders and kings through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. Step back in time to explore the history and mystery living in the hillsides while cruising the Danube and through the Iron Gates. Legends of all kinds are waiting to be uncovered from the Great Hungarian Plain to Bulgaria’s Belogradchik and Romania’s Bran Castle on an extraordinary voyage through the ages. Enjoy an extensive lineup of included tours such as sightseeing, bike tours, hikes and Special Interest Tours. No matter your preference, your days will be full of discovery and wonder. See the cruise.

France - Rhone From romantic cities to foodie havens and artistic epicenters, this itinerary enlivens all your senses. Starting from Lyon, France’s culinary capital, savor the beauty of legendary vineyards and imbibe in local vintages like Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône. Enjoy hunting for truffles, refining your Provençal cooking skills, and learning how to pair chocolate with wine. Trace the steps of famous artists in Arles and Avignon and be inspired! Enjoy an extensive lineup of included tours such as sightseeing, bike tours, hikes and Special Interest Tours. No matter your preference, your days will be full of discovery and wonder. Impress me with this one!

Russia - Moscow to St. Petersburg

See the swirling onion domes and stout towers of Moscow’s Red Square. Share stories at the kitchen table of an Uglich family. Savor Russian caviar with your blini pancakes. Soak up the steam in a traditional banya in riverside Mandrogy village. Envision Peter the Great luxuriating in massive Peterhof Palace, then see how multiple families shared living space at a Soviet-era kommunalka. From Moscow to St. Petersburg, this 13-day voyage reveals the real Russia as never before.

Ukraine - Dnieper Cruise the Dnieper River to the Black Sea, an ancient and splendid trade route lined with rich cultural treasures, onion-domed churches and rural folkways that recall the days of Vikings, Tatars and Cossacks. Visit Kiev’s Cave Monasteries. Marvel at the riding skill of Cossack horsemen. And trace the footsteps of history at Odessa’s Potemkin Steps. Follow the Vikings

India - Ganges

Take a journey of one thousand miles from Kolkata to Varanasi, the most sacred city of Hinduism. At the other end of the holy river stands Kolkata, in all its Raj-like magnificence. Between lie several of the most important Buddhist sites including Sarnath, Nalanda and Bodh Gaya and cities great and small. Between urban centres and great pilgrim sites are expanses of empty river teeming with bird life, not to mention the Gangeatic dolphin. Read more on our Passage to India.

Myanmar - Irrawaddy

In Burma (Myanmar) for over one thousand years nearly all movement of people and goods, not to mention invaders, have travelled by river. In British colonial times the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company launched 1,200 vessels and became the largest fleet of privately owned ships in the world, ever. Still to this day, the rivers remain key to transportation and for the traveller a unique way to see the country. Nearly all the vestiges of past Burmese dynasties are sited along the banks as are the great Buddhist sanctuaries, the most famous of which is Pagan (Bagan). Take me to Myanmar.

Vietnam & Cambodia - Mekong

Experience Cambodia and Vietnam from a truly different perspective – the waters of the mighty Mekong River. Sail from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap. Discover Phnom Penh, roam the famous floating markets, and explore stilt villages. There's an incredible (and incredibly beautiful) view of Southeast Asia that's waiting for you. We offer it in an adventurous style and a luxury journey.

China - Yangtze

The mighty Yangtze River is known as the symbolic lifeline of China. At 3,900 miles, the world’s third longest river, the Yangzi River flows from the Roof of the World to the East cutting through China, dividing the country into north and south. The river with its numerous tributaries and feeders provides a great transportation network through the heart of some of the most densely populated areas in China. From the spectacular Three Gorges region to the vast feat of engineering that is the Three Gorges Dam, cruising through the heart of the Yangzi River provides an understanding of the rapid emergence of China as a global superpower. Awe-inspiring natural beauty, iconic World Heritage sites and cultures enhanced over centuries – these are the riches around as you sail China’s legendary waterway. Offered as a stand-alone luxury cruise or as part of a longer journey.

Laos & China - Upper Mekong

The Mekong river flows through six countries and on this section of the river smaller cruise ships cover the route from Vientiane in Laos to Jinghong in Yunnan, South-West China. Highlights include the French colonial Laos capital of Vientiane, the temple city of Luang Prabang and the Menglun botanical gardens of Yunnan. We stop at several remote tribal villages to be warmly received and see local handicraft production and experience day to day rural life. But the most exciting part of any Upper Mekong river expedition must be the river cruise itself that passes through dramatic scenery with the river weaving through mountains and forests, gorges and rapids. Take me to the Upper Mekong.

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