Cruising the Waterways of the World
- Lance Caron
- Africa Amazon Antarctica Cruises Egypt Galapagos India Laos Myanmar Panama Patagonia South-East Asia Thailand Vietnam
- 15 Comments
Expedition cruising or soft-adventure cruising to places like the Amazon, Patagonia, Antarctica and the Galapagos is a travel trend Yampu embraces. Enjoy a level of comfort and sophistication of cruising with more food options, and cabins with balconies and suite accommodations to places such as the Peruvian Amazon. Voyages in the Indian Ocean, including Thailand, Myanmar (Bagan) and more seldom-visited places such as the Chobe River in Botswana, are new options sparking great interest. Here are some of our favorites:
RIVER CRUISING ON THE AMAZON
River cruising offers travelers a unique opportunity to immerse in local Amazonian culture and experience the sights, sounds and flavors of the mighty Amazon River. On the upscale Delfin Amazon Cruises journey to Peru’s sacred Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, then venture off on a new paddling excursion, allowing guests to closely explore the biodiversity of the Amazon River.
The Peruvian Amazon is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world, with the Amazon rainforest covering more than 60% of Peru’s total landmass. Some of the wildlife you will see on these tours include colorful macaws, owls, tamarind monkeys, capybaras, the largest rodents in the world, tapirs, and deer.
What better place to take a cruise than in Chilean Patagonia, the Lake District and Antarctica?
A must-visit for adventure seekers looking to wallow in the thermal waters of Chile’s Carretera Austral, is the Puyuhuapi Lodge & Spa, which is only reachable by boat. At the Spa different waters converge: sea water, thermal water and water right from the waterfall. Enjoy the benefits of all three in one place, in addition to thalassotherapy, relaxing massages and beauty sessions. A trip on the modern Patagonia Express catamaran completes the trip, cruising through the fjords until reaching San Rafael Lagoon and its amazing glacier.
The coldest, windiest, most-remote continent on earth, Antarctica offers visitors the unique opportunity to experience one of the last untouched regions of the world. Sail among massive glaciers and stunning islands; cruise alongside playful dolphins and majestic whales; and witness penguins and fur seals – part of the world’s greatest concentration of wildlife – frolic along the coast.
Sea Kayaking in Antarctica offers you the opportunity to experience the ice, wildlife and sea life up close and personal in an intimate setting. While previous experience and basic kayaking skills are required, typically everything needed for your kayaking adventure is provided. Kayaking is done in small groups, typically led by a qualified Kayak guide with cold water experience. Ask about including this excursion on the Antarctic Explorer.
There is no need to give up the comforts of home in order to see the Galapagos Islands. Opt for a balcony cabin on a cruise ship or a refined, intimate experience on one of the stylish yachts. The new Galapagos Sea Star Journey yacht combines luxury, privacy, and comfort in which to experience the opportunity for close encounters with the unique wildlife of the islands and the remote wonders of the archipelago.
For a wonderful less known cruise, try Journey Between the Seas in Panama. Experience a communion of body and spirit only possible within the intimate realm of a compact craft, designed to cover the narrowest marine routes that cruise to pristine lands. See marlin, dolphins, manta rays and even humpback whales that frolick near their young in the tepid, tropical Pacific waters.
Visit the villages of Embera, the semi-nomadic indigenous people in Panama, living in the province of Darien at the shores of the Chucunaque, Sambu, Tuira Rivers and its water ways.
A crew of ten is carefully selected and trained to ensure a perfect journey for the 24 exclusive passengers of the Discovery. Or opt for a day tour of Embera, where all the boat drivers and guides are the local indians.
Enjoy the sights and scents of the culturally-dense country of Myanmar by cruising gently along the Ayeyarwady River. Departing from the royal city of Mandalay, these cruises visit a variety of destinations offering a survey of Myanmar through its historical monuments, religious sanctuaries and local villages and people.
“It’s a journey where the scenery includes dense jungle-clad riverbanks, grand gorges, endless rice paddies and snapshots of rural life being played out along the riverbank, including the occasional glimpse of saffron-clad neophyte monks bound for temples. The ancient capital of Bagan, with temple-peppered plains, more than 3,000 pagodas and the world’s largest reclining Buddha, is simply unmissable.” –The London Telegraph
Custom-built with just 21 suites, the Sanctuary Ananda vessel showcases original Burmese design and contemporary chic in an atmosphere of five-star comfort. Built specifically for Myanmar’s rivers by local craftsman using traditional materials, the luxurious all suite Sanctuary Ananda will introduce you to the rural beauty of Myanmar’s rivers. Cruise the Ayeyarwady upstream from Bagan to Mandalay; visit the temples, pagodas, palaces and monasteries of Bagan and Mandalay.
The Mekong, south-east Asia
Some of the world’s most exotic and fascinating destinations are touched by the Mekong, which rises in the Tibetan Plateau and runs through China’s Yunnan province, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before emptying in the South China Sea. Some of Southeast Asia’s best destinations can be reached on a boat through the Mekong including Siam Reap for the Angkor Wat ruins and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s cosmopolitan metropolis.
“The route is full of thriving cities, rural communities, floating villages such as Kompong Luong, floating markets and endless rice paddies, pagodas and temples” – Douglas Ward
It is said, that if there is one trip all tourists should take in their lifetime, it is to travel on a Nile Cruise! There is in fact no better way of seeing Egypt’s breath-taking historical monuments and countryside combined, than a trip on the majestic river Nile. Glide serenely along one of the world’s most famous waterways, enjoy the excellent facilities, good food and warm hospitality aboard a floating hotel. Pass charming villages and fascinating small sleepy towns that have changed little since ancient times.
The Chobe River
Experience the thrill of a Botswana safari as you float down the Chobe River on the luxurious Zambezi Queen. This river travels under the name of Kwando, before becoming Linyanti in Botswana and finally Chobe in Namibia, where it feeds into Zambezi. It is one of the wildest and most exotic rivers in the world, and passes striking examples of Africa’s diverse fauna and flora. On Botswana’s far northern border, the Kwando, Linyanti and Chobe river systems come together forming a watery mosaic of lakes, islands, channels and floodplains.
The Zambezi Queen is all about pampering, indulgence and an incomparable game viewing experience. Float down the Chobe River’s great expanses of untamed waters, and take in the wildlife, fishing and cultural opportunities that surround the waterway. Not to mention some amazing sunsets!
Or take a day trip on the African Princess Cruise in Zambia. The wide Zambezi River, flecked with islands. Buffalo and elephant are always seen feeding along with the pods of hippos that rest on the edge of the sandbanks.
Awake early to experience a boat ride along the Ganges River.
Watch the sun rise over the calm waters and slowly begin to see more and more people walk down the ghats to dip in the holy waters of the Ganges and perform their morning prayers. Cruising down the river, the city slowly comes alive in time to dock and tale a city tour.
The most sacred river in India, the Ganges has been not only a spiritual guide but a lifeline to millions. Varanasi, the holiest of the seven holy cities, is immortalised by thousands of pictures of its riverside staircase, packed with Buddhists paying tribute to Lord Shiva.
Varanasi is a city like no other in India. Its amazing architectural sites, delicately carved palaces and robust forts are unrivaled and create a unique natural charm. Visit nearby Sarnath, the site of the Buddha’s first sermon and the birthplace of his religion. In Varanasi witness the traditional evening Aarti ceremony on the Ghats, cruise upon the Ganges during sunrise and explore the colorful city.
Special thanks to the London Telegraph and their article on “The Most Beautiful Rivers in the World” for inspiration!