There’s nothing quite like seeing the wonders of the maritime world on-board a luxury cruise. From intimate 2-cabin cruises on the magnificent Mekong River to larger-than-life ships providing the ultimate pampering experience on the waters of the blue Danube, these river cruises offer travellers nothing short of sensational views of the world's most spectacular destinations.
1. Gypsy River Cruiser, Mekong River
The Gypsy river cruiser sails the majestic Mekong River between the UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang and Thailand’s Golden Triangle. This exclusive two-cabin luxury boat can accommodate up to 4 passengers comfortably, with no expense spared on plush sleeping cabins with an en-suite shower and vanity. There's also a communal mid-ship lounge, a bar and dining area and a veranda-style lounge with an al fresco panorama deck to soak in the beauty of river’s surroundings with a glass of champagne and gourmet meals at day’s end. Click here to learn more.
2. Belmond Pivoine, Champagne
When the delights and sights of Champagne call to you, try Belmond’s new luxury barge, Pivoine: the latest addition to the Belmond Afloat In France fleet. Its dreamy interiors take inspiration from the vibrant summer colours along the Champagne waterway, evoking images of rural France.
Pivoine can carry up to 8 passengers in its 4 spacious cabins, sailing from La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre to Châlons-en-Champagne with the promise of visits to chateaux, peaceful vineyards and riverside villages along the way. Click here for more information.
3. The Oberoi Zahra, The Nile
A voyage along the Nile is a treasure in its own right; throw in a seven-night cruise on the Oberai Zahra and you’ve got a floating paradise overlooking approximately 5,000 years of Egyptian culture and heritage.
Guests will enjoy a one-of-a-kind river experience discovering ancient Egyptian monuments and historic landmarks while relaxing in the privacy of their luxury suites. The Library and Cigar Lounge is another place to wind down and tune in to the surroundings – you can also hit the Oberai Spa, the fitness centre or the temperature-controlled swimming pool on the outer deck. Click here for more information.
4. The Crystal Mozart, Danube River
This spacious river ship features 77 roomy suites, a full wrap-around promenade deck, the first ‘pop-up bar’ in river cruising and butler service. The views on this dreamy cruiser are unspeakably beautiful on the voyage from Vienna to Budapest and back by way of the verdant Wachau Valley. Find out more over here.
5. Viking River Cruises, Douro River
Get yourself on-board a Viking Cruises vessel from Lisbon to Porto and experience incredible Manueline architecture, traditional cuisine, wine tastings, fado dancing with the locals on a 10-day Portugal’s River of Gold cruise tour, inclusive of a hotel stay in Lisbon and a visit to Salamanca in Spain. More details here.
6. Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer, Three Gorges region
Asia’s largest river is bound to impress the eager traveller – most river cruises on this mighty waterway start in Chongqing or Yichang and pass through the awe-inspiring Three Gorges region, a marvel of engineering prowess and natural beauty.
The Yangzi Explorer accommodates up to 124 passengers with 38 deluxe cabins, 20 suites and 4 specialty suites. There’s lots to keep you occupied on-board, tai-chi sessions on the Explorer Deck in the morning, live entertainment at the duplex theatre, a spa, and other pampering amenities. Click here for more information.
7. Aria Amazon, Amazon River
Aqua Expeditions introduced the Aria Amazon in 2011, giving the 16-cabin luxury cruiser a generous facelift in 2015. The Aria Amazon river cruise itineraries cover 3 nights, 4 nights or 7 nights aboard the luxurious vessel as it sails over the waters of the Peruvian Amazon.
When you’re not lounging in your stately suite, you can hit the Jacuzzi on the Observation Deck and catch a glimpse at rare species of wildlife including pink dolphins, manatee, taricaya turtles and various types of Peruvian birds. Find out more here.