River cruising is still an incredibly strong growth market. New ships are coming on line regularly, including the groundbreaking double-width AmaMagna which launches in May 2019 and we will be sailing on the Danube in June 2019! But along with ship innovations, the age demographic is dropping as younger travelers realize the benefits of this form of travel. Then there are itineraries on rivers and in countries you might not have even thought were possible. This week I highlight 5 exotic river cruises that you possibly did not know existed.
TOP 5 - Unusual River Cruises for 2019
1. Uniworld - Splendors of Egypt and the Nile
Egypt has made a very positive tourism comeback in the last 18 months as the political situation there has stabilized, and tours are now regularly selling out again. Uniworld offer an 8-day voyage onboard the all-suite River Tosca, with visits at either end from Cairo to Giza and the mighty ancient Pyramids. Other highlights include Hatshepsut Temple (photo) near Luxor and the Temple of Karnak. If Egypt came off your bucket list at some point, please reinstate it.
2. AmaWaterways - Discover Africa
Ama have 5 separate African itineraries with varying lengths and land options surrounding an incredible 4 day Safari cruise. You’ll sail on the Chobe River exploring Chobe National Park, home to one of the densest populations of wildlife on the African continent including elephants, giraffes, leopards, lions, gazelles, zebras and buffalos. The Zambezi Queen (photo) carries a maximum of just 28 passengers and is designed specifically for great wildlife viewing.
3. Delfin - Peruvian Amazon Cruises
Delfin have 3 ultra-luxury small river cruisers (above) providing 4 night itineraries that are a perfect pre or post Machu Picchu extension. All cabins are beautifully finished with the finest details and handmade Peruvian artifacts, and guests are treated to an immersive rainforest experience along with the highest levels of comfort. Spot a 3-toed sloth (photo below), the world's slowest mammal if you are lucky! This one seems to have my exact childhood haircut.
4. Sanctuary Retreats - Yangzi Explorer
We are really looking forward to our 4-day river cruise in China at the beginning of November. Planned to give us some relaxation from an otherwise intense itinerary as we explore China, the Yangzi Explorer (below) which is also chartered by Uniworld and A&K, carries just 124 passengers and offers the finest and most personalized service on the river. Onboard facilities include a la carte dining, a luxury spa, an observation deck, 24-hour room service, a two-floor theatre, library, and beauty and fitness facilities. The route upstream on the Yangtze River from Yichang to Chongqing, sails much of the time through the stunning Three Gorges. Be ready for a detailed trip report next month.
5. AmaWaterways - Charms of the Mekong
With a 7-night itinerary from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, this is a gentle way of being introduced to the cultures of Vietnam and Cambodia, two of our favorite destinations. Tours include a visit to the haunting Killing Fields from Phnom Penh and of course an extensive tour of Angkor Wat (below) at the end of your cruise.
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