Top South-east Asian river cruises for foodies, honeymooners and more

FOR HONEYMOONERS

Distance covered: About 600km

Journey length: 12 days

Maximum number of guests: 24

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Those looking for romance and exclusivity will love Abercrombie & Kent’s Cruising the Mekong journey, which features small-group travel on board the RV Mekong Princess (above). This opulent vessel has all the hallmarks of a five-star property, including suites with spa baths, a library and an observation deck and lounge for whiling away the hours. The journey will take you to Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm Temple, where you’ll explore the atmospheric temple grounds, before continuing to Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City. En route, access little-known islands with a guide and stay at top hotels.

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FOR WILDLIFE EXPLORERS

Distance covered: Up to 600km

Journey length: Four to eight days

Maximum number of guests: 40

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Renowned French explorer, environmentalist and film-maker Jean-Michel Cousteau leads travellers through the Mekong on Aqua Expeditions. From Cambodia’s Tonle Sap lake to Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, you’ll learn about conservation and get tips on video production from Cousteau. Guided excursions with the educator include a trip to the Prek Toal bird sanctuary to spot large water birds such as the milky stork, and visits to remote villages. Aboard the Aqua Mekong, you’ll enjoy cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows, a movie theatre and an outdoor observation deck (above). The two coming departures are on September 15 (from Siem Reap) and 19 (from Phnom Penh).

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FOR GOURMANDS

Distance covered: About 600km

Journey length: 14 days

Maximum number of guests: 124

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Foodies, taste Vietnamese street-
food classics and more on APT’s Vietnam and Mekong River Cruise with renowned Vietnamese-Australian chef Luke Nguyen (above). Also an author and television personality, Nguyen will lead the trip from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Siem Reap, Cambodia, introducing guests to his favourite restaurants in the region. You will learn how to create his favourite Vietnamese dishes and savour degustation menus while on board the RV AmaLotus. Guests can also unwind in suites with balconies that offer panoramic views, be pampered at a wellness centre and socialise with other passengers on movie and dance nights. The two coming departures are on July 28 and December 3.

FOR CULTURE VULTURES

Distance covered: 1,360km

Journey length: 12 days

Maximum number of guests: 46

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Lovers of temples, ruins and ancient civilisation will relish Heritage Line’s Ayeyarwady River journey in Myanmar. Sail down the Ayeyarwady and up the Chindwin river to the former British administrative capital of Mawleik, with stops at 300-year-old cave temple complexes, quaint villages and a monastery where you may get to witness a novice-initiation ceremony. The cruise then continues to Bagan, a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with ancient temples. Guides on board the Anawrahta (above) – decked out in wood floors and rattan chairs – can provide Burmese language and writing lessons too.

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Story originally appeared on SilverKris.

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