|Early morning balloon ride over Bagan in Myanmar.|
Europe might be river-cruise central, but the trend is shifting worldwide. In Asia, the Ganges is the new frontier to watch: I reckon you can expect some interesting offers there shortly. The Yangtze is well established, the Irrawaddy and Mekong showing strong growth. Many leading companies already operate on these three rivers, and CroisiEurope has new vessels on the Mekong and Irrawaddy in 2014, its first foray into Asia. Orient-Express launched Orcaella on the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar in last July, with seven- and 11-night cruises stopping at smaller towns not visited by its existing fleet. Pandaw launches another ship in Myanmar this year (it was to be two, but one sank off the Malaysian coast while being towed to Myanmar for deployment).
Uniworld is offering a new 12-day ‘Treasures of China’ itinerary which, in common with most Yangtze cruises, includes land tours to Shanghai, Beijing and Xi’an.
|Zambezi Queen on the Zambezi River, Botswana.|
The Americas has a relatively modest river-cruises presence, but it has many interesting itineraries on the Mississippi, Columbia and Snake rivers. AmaWaterways (APT) begins operations with the Queen of the Mississippi in 2014 with three itineraries, such as a 13-day cruise from New Orleans to Nashville.
Also new in 2014 is Avalon’s three-night Amazon cruise on board the 16-suite Aria, part of an 11-day Peruvian adventure that also takes in Cusco and Machu Picchu. And AmaWaterways (APT) has more than doubled departures in Botswana on Zambezi Queen, which sails through Chobe National Park on a three-day safari (part of longer land tour) that allows passengers to spot hippos, elephants and lions.
Stay tuned: we’ll be posting about what’s new in shore excursions very shortly.
Have we missed something new beyond Europe? If so, why not leave a comment and let us know. Our readers appreciate your feedback, and we strive to be up-to-date and accurate.