River cruise lines are returning to Asia with a number of companies starting operations later this year.
AmaWaterways and its 124-passenger vessel AmaDara has confirmed it will be returning to the Mekong this October. The line is currently offering a two-for-one land package offer on seven departures later this year and managing director Jamie Loizou says bookings are looking positive.
“As their confidence returns, travellers are looking for authentic experiences in exotic destinations and the Mekong offers something for everyone: beautiful cruising, wonderful people, charming remote towns and exciting cities.
“We are seeing strong forward bookings for 2023 and 2024 and with entry regulations easing, it isn’t too late to travel to this spectacular part of the world in 2022.”
With this mind, here’s a look at some of your best options for river cruising through Asia, with all of the top lines running their own deals at the moment to shave some extras off your costs and get you back to a truly stunning part of the world.
Avalon currently has a deal running on its Asia river cruises across specific departures in 2022, 2023 and 2024 to waive its single supplement, allowing solo travellers to explore the spectacles of Asia without paying a premium. There’s more information here on how you can save up to $3624 if you’re looking to head Asia solo and take to the beautiful rivers. Another deal Avalon has is the chance to earn Qantas points with your bookings. For example,
if you spend around $5000 on your voyage, you will earn around $25,000 points.
With multiple departure dates available, this unique itinerary takes you outside South East Asia and to the spiritually rich Ganges. Known as the holy river of Hinduism, you’ll see how life moves outside of India’s frantic, big cities. Along the way you’ll see historic buildings, Mother Teresa’s home, the Hare Krishna headquarters, gold and silver making demonstrations and more. Booking right now can save you $1500 off the usual price.
Also currently offering great savings of $4589 is this Mekong Discovery itinerary through Cambodia and Vietnam. Expect carefully curated activities that immerse you in the local culture such as a cotton-weaving demonstration in Chau Doc, a visit to the Royal Palace of Phnom Penh, an intimate look into countryside Cambodia in Konpong Louang and so much more.
Uniworld is currently offering savings of $1000 per person on a select range of Asian and Indian cruises in 2022 and 2023, for a limited time only. This deal is currently available on two itineraries: a 13-day cruise from New Delhi to Kolkata and another 13-day cruise from Ho Chi Minh City through to Siem Reap. Uniworld also has a complimentary Wellness Program on every sailing, with holistic health sessions running across yoga, nutrition, talks and more.
India’s Golden Triangle refers to the cities of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, and this tour will take you through the best of them. This adventure mixes cruises with some nights in hotels, meaning you’ll start your trip with five nights in three different luxurious hotels. Along the way you’ll get to see the Taj Mahal twice, at sunrise and sunset, see Raj Ghat, a granite memoir to Mahatma Gandhi, admire the red sandstone tombs of Delhi and more.
For a true deep dive into this incredible region, this is the way to do it. You’ll have more than two weeks to soak in the incredibly scenery and culture, along the way some highlights will include a tour of the tunnels from the Vietnam war, visits to small villages off to the Mekong, the almost untouched island of Tien Loi with an excursion that is exclusively available to Uniworld guests, receive a water blessing from local Buddhist monks in Angkor Ban, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat and plenty more across your bucket-list worthy adventure.
If you’re looking to take to Asians wondrous waterways with Scenic, there a few different ways to save. For starters, a range of Mekong river cruises will offer 50% off the single supplement. Then you can also get a complimentary upgrade with any BB, BA, B or A category suits if you book on Scenic Spirit before June 30 this year. There’s also an early bird offer to save yourself $1000 per person if you book any South East Asian experience 13 days or longer. Or $750 for 11 days or less, again by June 30. Then if you’re willing to book well ahead of time, the super early bird offer can actually be combined with the early bird offer, offering an extra $1000pp in savings, if you submit final payment 12 months to departure.
This tour gives you nine-nights of cruising and five on land, as you have an in depth exploration of everything that makes the Mekong magical. It’s all the highlights you’d expect with Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, a special trip to Silk Islands to learn to make and wear a Cambodian scarf and so much more. However, you can also expect a luxurious Scenic touch, with an exclusive Gala Dinner and champagne breakfast at Angkor Temple, a Vespa foodie night tour of Saigon, VIP seats to PHare Circus in Siem Reap and a range of further luxurious activities.
Scenic has a fantastic Mekong and Vietnam tour that will show you the best of these regions. Nine nights will be spent cruising the Mekong, and amongst non-stop highlights you can look forward to a Royal Dinner in Hue, daily spa sessions in Hoi An, a tour of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, a night time tuktuk tour to a distillery and essentially just 24 action packed days of adventure and culture.
Booking early through Emerald Cruises can get you savings of up to 10% on selected cabins for 2023 sailings when booking and paying at least 12 months prior to departure. Guests will also get a complimentary premium drinks package. You can also still save $2000 per couple on a range of 2022 sailings with an earlybird offer.
Emerald Cruises’ most comprehensive South-East Asian offer is this huge 20-night exploration, which includes seven nights on the Emerald Harmony and two on the Bhaya classic junk. The adventure also comes out at a lower price point than some of your other options but still packs in an incredible number of excursions including a Halong Bay cruise, Hanoi water puppets performance, trip to the Oudong Temples, sunrise visit to Angkor Wat and so much more.
For a shorter itinerary, Emerald Cruises are offering an extensive exploration of the region guests can see on a 12-night journey through Vietnam and Cambodia. You’ll still have seven nights on Emerald Harmony and will also get a good amount of time in Siem Reap, with three nights there. You’ll see the tragic Killing Fields and Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, visit Ta Phorm Temple, visit a scarf-weaving workshop on Long Khanh Island and plenty more through almost two-weeks of awe-inspiring travel.
Viking is currently offering a saving of up to $1000 per couple on it’s Magnificent Mekong itinerary as part of a new ship offer or up to $2000 per couple if you book by 30 June this year.
Among two spectacular weeks in South East Asia, you’ll make your way through Hanoi, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City with spectacular stops and views in between each. You’ll get to see Ta Prohm, where unspoiled jungle comes face to face with ancient ruins, explore small silk towns and fishing villages, splurge at floating markets and split your time between an eight-day Mekong cruise and carefully curated hotel stays.