River cruising is the quiet achiever on the cruise front, with the latest figures from the Cruise Lines International Association, Australasia, showing a growth of more than 60 per cent last year to almost 80,000 Australian passengers.
With the growth of this gentle style of cruising australiancruisingnews.com notes that cruise lines continue to search for more rivers to cross.
Here, Debra Fox, Chief Marketing Officer of APT (a much awarded Australian river cruise and land touring company), shares her pick of unusual river cruise itineraries.
- Chobe River, (Africa): This river cruise safari aboard the Zambezi Queen, spends three nights on the Chobe River as part of an all-inclusive 15-day African Journey.
Highlights: See hippos, elephants, buffalo, lions and leopards along the river’s banks for a close wildlife encounters. With 14 suites, the Zambezi Queen has a plunge pool and sun deck, and panoramic windows for animal viewing.
- Lower Ganges, (India): The new RV Ganges Voyager sails a 15-day Spirit of India round trip from Kolkata to Murshidabad (both in West Bengal), with 56 guests. Off the ship, guests explore an area of India largely untouched by tourism for a real slice of local life.
Highlights: Visit Mother Theresa’s house; learn about the Hari Krishna community; tour the Hazarduari Palace, built in 1837, featuring 1,000 doors, and shop at colourful bazaars.
- Irrawaddy River,(Burma): This country is fast emerging as a must-go destination, and this 15-day Wonders of Burma cruise offers insights into the nation’s mystical, mysterious past.
Highlights: Explore the untouched essence of Burma along the Irrawaddy River on the new RV Samatha. Also enjoy exclusive dinners designed by APT’s Asian ambassador, celebrity chef Luke Nguyen.
- Amazon River, (South America): One third of the world’s plant and animal species, more than 3,000 species of fish, native birds, and giant Amazon water lily pads are found here. A four-night cruise aboard Delfin II, carrying 28 guests, is part of a 24-day South America with Amazon Cruise itinerary.
Highlights: Swim with pink river dolphins, hike through lush rainforest, enjoy a night safari, fish for piranhas, canoe tranquil waterways, take a skiff over otherwise inaccessible tributaries, and visit a riverside community on this 24-day South America with Amazon Cruise.