Deeply sacred to Hindus, the Ganges River flows through both India and Bangladesh, stretching for more than 1,500 miles. Rising in the western Himalayas and emptying into the Bay of Bengal, it is one of the world’s most significant waterways, passing by numerous former provincial or imperial capitals, including Pataliputra, Kara, Patni, Murshidabad and Kolkata - each an endlessly fascinating place to explore.
The Irrawaddy River, meandering its way through the lowlands of Myanmar, has been used as a trading route since the 6th century and is the lifeblood of the country’s economy. Travelling via the water provides ample opportunity to glimpse rural life - from wooden fishing boats and peanut farmers to horses, carts and ever-present Buddhist temples.
Meanwhile, the Mekong River links China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. With countless names in many languages, the Mekong River is the major trade route between China and South East Asia, flanking numerous settlements both large and small. Its aquatic diversity is the second highest in the world, after the Amazon River, with an astonishing array of marine life. Witness constant animal and human activity throughout your cruise, watching the world bustle by from the air-conditioned comfort of your stateroom. If you want to see the real Asia and discover the hidden history and hideaways of these 6 amazing nations close up, this is the holiday you’ve been craving.
The longest river in Asia and the longest in the world to occupy a single country, the Yangtze River drains one-fifth of China’s entire land area and its basin is home to a third of the Chinese population. It is also home to an amazing spectrum of wildlife, including endangered species such as the Chinese alligator, finless porpoise, Yangtze sturgeon and the fabled baiji or freshwater dolphin, which may or may not still exist.
Which cruise lines sail along the rivers of Asia?