Vietnam

Irrawaddy with APT and a Luke Nguyen

Luxury cruise operator APT has unveiled artist impressions of the interiors of its new boutique rivership, the RV Samatha (pronounced Sa-ma-ta), in its latest Burma River Cruising 2016/17 brochure. As well as offering a range of sizes all suites are positioned on the outside of the ship to ensure all guests enjoy either a panoramic or twin balcony. Glossy dark …

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Heritage re-name Irrawaddy New Build

One of my most anticipate new builds for 2015, cruising the Irrawaddy (Ayerarwady), has been re-named out of respect for religious connotations. Now Heritage Line’s new luxury paddle-wheeled vessel, scheduled to commence sailing on the Ayeyarwady River in October of 2015 will be named the ‘Anawrahta’. As advised by the Government of Myanmar, formally Burma, to respect any ethnic minorities …

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Pandaw opens up Laos Mekong cruises

Directly from Pandaw : Luxury river expedition company Pandaw River Expeditions has announced a ten-night Laos Mekong sailing on its newest ship the RV Laos Pandaw. The journey will commence on November 1, 2015, and offer guests the chance to travel deep into the Laos mountain, traverse rapids and gorges and visit local tribal villages and Buddhist temples along the …

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Sanctuary Ananda delivered

Luxury cruise and safari operator Sanctuary Retreats has taken delivery of its new boutique river cruise ship Sanctuary Ananda ahead of schedule. Such is the strength of demand for Sanctuary Ananda from both trade and consumers that Sanctuary Retreats has also announced that the 2016 programme for the Sanctuary Ananda will go on sale earlier than originally planned, and will …

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South-east Asian cruises: Traveller’s Guide

Drifting along the Irrawaddy or the Mekong, or further out at sea, is an adventurous way to see this region’s most exotic corners, says Caroline Hendrie. Cruising in South-east Asia has traditionally meant a trip along the Mekong River. But today’s adventurous boat traveller is increasingly spoilt for choice with sea and expedition cruises, plus river trips along blossoming Burma’s …

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AmaWaterways announces new Mekong ship

AmaDara will join in 2015. AmaWaterways has revealed its new Mekong ship AmaDara will be added to its programme in 2015. The new ship will debut on 11 August 2015 sailing the ‘Vietnam, Cambodia & The Riches of the Mekong’ programme alongside AmaLotus. The vessel will have space for 124 passengers with all the staterooms and suites having a private …

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Haimark fleet arrivals

New US river cruising outfit Haimark is gearing up for a series of vessel launches. It will introduce the 56-passenger Irrawaddy Explorer on September 3 in Myanmar and the 68-guest Mekong Navigator on September 7 to operate in Vietnam and Cambodia. Early next year, on January 3, Haimark will launch the 56-passenger Ganges Voyager, starting river cruising in India. A …

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Heritage Line : Shin Arahan launched on 19 September 2015

Heritage Line Indochina today announce the launch of the Shin Arahan, a luxury paddle-wheeler – scheduled to commence sailing in September 2015. Paddle-wheelers ferried British soldiers on this river when Burma was a British protectorate in the late 1800s. They were immortalised in Kipling’s poem “Mandalay” written in 1890. Named after an 11th Century monk – Shin Arahan – who …

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Mekong Luxury Upgrade : Aqua Expeditions.

Boutique Luxury river cruise company Aqua Expeditions provided a winning formula for its first venture on the largely unexplored Amazon river in Peru expanding to two ships in quick succession. From an untapped market to a crowded market, Aqua is aiming to raise the luxury bar along the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia with the launch of the Aqua Mekong …

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One-on-One with Avalon Waterways’ Patrick Clark

Avalon Waterways is upping its game in Asia, building two new riverboats that will include signature features found on its European vessels. We talked to Avalon General Manager Patrick Clark about the two 36-passenger “Suite Ships” that will begin sailing next year on the Mekong through Vietnam and Cambodia and, for the first time, on the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar …

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Top 10 Asian Shore Excursions

Taking a cruise to Asia is far more than just a vacation, the Far East is a land of intrigue and enchanted secrets. Home to some of the most incredible sights in the world, the magical continent of Asia boasts different cultures, exotic cuisine and rule-breaking architecture. With so much to do and see, shore excursions are a the best …

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Best Yangtze Ship Award 2014

Drumroll please… After careful scrutiny of the top ships cruising China’s Yangtze River I am happy to announce that the BEST overall ship for 2014 is… The Viking Emerald. You can read the full review here: Viking Emerald Taking the runner up spots for best small ship (124 passengers) is the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer. See her full review here: Yangzi …

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Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer – Full Review

This week we enjoyed a 4 night upstream cruise from Yichang to Chongqing. Travelling with my Chinese parents-in-law provided an opportunity for me to experience first hand the variations you experience compared to an all foreign passenger cruise such as the Viking Emerald. Although the modern spelling of the Yangtze river is such, this ship uses an older variation, “Yangzi”. …

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Viking Emerald : China – Full review

In 2014, the Viking Emerald began her cruising season in March, just as China’s winter weather is crawling toward Spring. I was able to join her for the very first cruise of the season that runs through November, on the 5 night downstream segment from Chongqing to Wuhan. For a backgrounder on the Viking program in China please visit my …

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Yangtze River China – Photo Composition

Please join with me for a photo composition along China’s Yangtze river on Viking Emerald during March, 2014. Here the metropolis of Chongqing, with a population of 32 million is shown in the back ground. In the foreground is the Century Paragon, and the Viking Emerald is between the two. There are dozens of large bridges spanning the Yangtze along …

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I am NOT a Cruise Critic

“Critic : -noun – a person who expresses an unfavourable opinion of something.” I was asked today if I was a cruise critic. “No”, I said, I write about my experiences on ships, I am a cruise travel writer. So what’s the difference, they asked… “Well”, I said, put it this way, and I quote a very noble person here, …

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Sanctuary Myanmar build early debut.

Sanctuary Ananda is due to sail her inaugural cruise in Myanmar on 15th November 2014, after her launch date was brought forward one month, due to the speed of the building phase. Designed by two Burmese brothers who are overseeing the building work in a local shipyard, the vessel is named after the Ananda Temple in Bagan, while her name …

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A Viking in China

Arguably the best know river cruising company in the world, and certainly the largest, Viking River cruises operates four ships in Asia. Today, let’s focus on the Viking Emerald, sailing the waters of China’s Yangtze river with a bespoke 5, 6 or 11 night cruise depending on the tour choosen. Like the majority of luxury Yangtze cruises it can’t be …

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The Sanctuary of Luxury

Sanctuary Retreats is a UK based company that operates a number of African Lodges. They now own and operate 13 lodges and camps in Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania and Uganda. Interestingly for us Asian cruisers however, is their two Asian based vessels, one China’s Yangtze that they lease some cabins on, and a brand new company owned vessel, the Ananda, being …

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New Build for Pandaw in Myanmar

A new river recce vessel begins construction in Rangoon this week and will enter service at the end of the year. The Kha Byoo, drawing just 75cm, will join the Kalay on the Chindwin River between Monywa and Homalin on the same seven night routing and schedule. The Kha Byoo can be booked back-to-back with the Kindat on our Mandalay …

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Pandaw River Expeditions

Operating a fleet of 12 luxurious vessels in Burma, Vietnam and Cambodia, exploring the great rivers of South-East Asia, Pandaw River Expeditions offers a real adventure experience. Travellers are cushioned with luxury comfort, fine dining, fare inclusive cocktails and wines, and extraordinary levels of service. Pandaw River Expeditions explore destinations still largely undiscovered by with many areas only accessible by …

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Retracing Heritage

Imagine a cruise company passionate to the core about their destinations, with a unique fleet of 5 vessels. Heritage Line, is deeply committed to making your journey an unforgettable adventure. This cruise company offers guests an experience combining intimacy, authenticity and adventure. Heritage Line designs ships that re-create the past of an era gone-by. Each detail painstakingly crafted, to remake …

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