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Discover the Best River Cruises in Asia


To travel to the heart of Asia’s ancient kingdoms, you must wander its waterways. While flying in and out of the region’s enticing destinations gets you a glimpse of the highlights, a slow journey along its rivers, which formed the backbone of ancient civilisations, is one of the most unique ways to explore. Read on to discover the best river cruises in Asia.

Anawrahta Cruise, Myanmar

While the long roads between Mandalay and Bagan are undoubtedly scenic, cruising between these two destinations aboard a colonial paddle steamer has a certain old world charm.

The sumptuous accommodations complete with carved teak aboard the Anawrahta will wrap you in a cocoon of luxury. With an elegant dining room, charming terrace bar, full-service spa and a pool atop the sun deck, this vessel is equipped with every luxury you could ask for.

Travel the Irrawaddy River across the span of Myanmar beginning in Bagan or Mandalay, or opt for the country’s less-travelled waterway and explore the far reaches of the Chindwin River. Sail between rolling hills and visit carved-teak monasteries built by ancient Burmese kings.

View detailed itineraries and make a reservation for Anawrahta Cruise here.

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Lotus Houseboat, India

Travel to the northernmost points of Kerala, India by river. Discover hidden gems which can only be accessed by boat up winding rivers and wandering streams.

Built to represent heavenly comfort and spiritual enlightenment, Lotus Houseboat is a traditional rice barge turned luxury floating bungalow. This gorgeous two-cabin vessel is perfect for an intimate retreat or romantic getaway.

Ideally combined with a stay at Neeleshwar Hermitage, cruises on Lotus Houseboat begin on the Sultan Canal just outside Kannur or from Neeleshwar on the Tejaswini River. Journey to the Snake Temple of the goddess Badrakali, Monkey Island and the Shiva Temple at Payyanur.

Plan your journey and reserve the Lotus Houseboat here.

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Vat Phou Cruise, Laos

Journey from Pakse to Champasak along the mighty Mekong River. Enjoy idyllic views of the Laos countryside and be charmed by the slower pace of life here.

Onboard this luxury teak-clad riverboat, spend leisurely afternoons soaking up the scenery from the shaded upper deck and enjoy delicious meals featuring the cuisine of the region, a blend of Laotian, Vietnamese and Thai specialities, lovingly prepared and beautifully presented.

Your travels include a stop at Vat Phou, the majestic UNESCO World Heritage site for which the cruise is named. Visits to the village of Tom, the mysterious hidden forest temple of Oum Muong and the famous island of Don Khong round out the itinerary.

Book your stay aboard the Vat Phou Cruise here.

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Luang Say Cruise, Laos

Travel the Mekong between Luang Prabang and Huay Xai with Luang Say Cruise. On this elegant journey, discover the wonders of Laotian life along the legendary Mekong River.

Aboard small, speedy riverboats, enjoy the sights along the banks of the Mekong River with your fellow travellers. In the evening, rest at the beautiful riverside Luang Say Lodge.

Along with stunning scenery and stops at traditional Laotian villages, enjoy a tour of the famous painted Pak Ou Caves on your journey.

Learn more and make a reservation for Luang Say Cruise here.

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The Jahan, Vietnam

Enjoy a luxury cruise between Saigon and Siem Reap, touring the southernmost region of Vietnam where the mighty Mekong River spills out into the Mekong Delta.

Richly decorated in a colonial style reminiscent of British India, the Jahan offers luxuries such as an elegantly appointed dining room, panoramic observatory deck and function room, large pool constructed with intricate Turkish Mosaic floor tiles, and even an onboard spa.

Choose from three curated voyages “The Lost Civilization”, “The Serenity Cruise” and “The Pearl of the Orient” going up or downstream. Additional private excursions with a personal guide are also available.

View itineraries and book your luxury stay aboard The Jahan here.

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Wow Borneo, Indonesia

Experience the natural wonders of Borneo whilst cruising along its waterways. Enjoy intimate encounters with wild orangutans and the spirit of Kalimantan whilst aboard one of four luxury Dayak riverboats.

The largest is Rahai’I Pangun, a traditional Kalimantan riverboat offering six-cabins on scheduled cruises. The three-cabin Sekonyer also offers join-in cruises. The intimate Ruhui Rahayu offers a single cabin, perfect for a romantic getaway or voyage of discovery along the chartered route of your choice. The latest addition to the fleet is the Spirit of Kalimantan, with three cabins, available only for private charter.

Learn more about each vessel and book your Borneo river cruise here.

As you watch the scenery slowly drifting by, enjoy the comforts of your luxury cruise and signature Secret Retreats concierge service. Join us aboard these stunning vessels which will whisk you away to bliss and share with you a different side of each of these Asian destinations.

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