A river cruise is a remarkable journey through history – typically combining sightseeing with time to relax on deck. Here is Sanctuary Retreats’ top 3 river journeys guaranteed to appeal to the adventurer in everyone.
Yangtze River, China
The Yangtze River starts in the mountains of Tibet and empties into the ocean at Shanghai, a distance of 6380km, making it the third longest river in the world. It’s also the symbolic heart of China, and the Chinese people have long seen the river’s power and beauty as representing the nation itself. Historically, the Yangtze served as a divider between northern and southern China, a natural barrier against invaders and a waterway for transport and commerce. The river basin is the country’s heartland, home to 500 million people – a tenth of the world’s population.
One of the best ways to experience the Yangtze is aboard Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer. This river cruiser features spacious cabins carrying 124 passengers, all with private balconies. Onboard facilities include à la carte dining, a luxury spa, an observation deck, 24-hour room service, a two-floor theatre, library, and beauty and fitness facilities. The ship also has the most spacious and indulgent spa on board any cruise vessel on the Yangtze.
Three-night cruises are priced from US$1350 per person.
Ayeyarwady River, Myanmar
A country of friendly people and a place of culture, Myanmar is slowly unfolding its charms and hidden treasures to a world hungry for new experiences. The Ayeyarwady River flows north to south from its source high in the Himalayas and through some of the nation’s most scenic regions before emptying into the Andaman Sea. In August, when the Himalayan snows melt, the water is high enough to allow vessels all the way to Bhamo.
The most luxurious cruises along the Ayeryarwady are aboard Sanctuary Ananda. Custom-built using traditional Myanmar materials and arranged over 4 decks, this floating palace combines all the comforts of 5-star contemporary luxury with the refined elegance of authentic Burmese design. Sanctuary Ananda offers one of the highest staff-to-guest ratios on the river, allowing guests to enjoy the mysteries of Myanmar with a choice of 6 itineraries led by expert guides.The vessel is also the only all-balcony, all-suite ship on the Ayeryarwady River, with 21 beautifully appointed suites as well as an onboard spa, library, gallery, lounge, cocktail bar and plunge pool.
Itineraries available are 3-, 4-and 7-night itineraries on the Upper Ayeryarwady River and 11 nights on the Upper and Lower Ayeryarwady River, sailing past dense jungle-clad riverbanks, grand gorges, endless rice paddies and snapshots of rural life being played out along the riverbank. While sailing along the river, guests are also treated to various unique experiences and cultural exchanges, including a visit to a local lacquer-ware workshop where gold is beaten down by hand at a speed of up to 70 times a minute into paper-thin gold leaf.
Three-night cruises aboard Sanctuary Ananda start from US$1378 per person twin share.
The Nile River, Egypt
The ancient Egyptians were one of the most impressive civilisations the world has seen. The country’s ancient past is still alive in its majestic monuments and relics, many of them located along the Nile. The river was once the lifeline of ancient Egyptian civilisation and today its river banks are dotted with ancient tombs and temples. Following the river from Aswan to Luxor as it flows through the heart of Egypt, a Nile cruise includes visiting the Valley of the Kings and Queens, the Unfinished Obelisk, Philae and Luxor, Denderah, Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples.
Sanctuary Retreats’ 3 intimate river cruisers – Sanctuary Sun Boat III, Sanctuary Sun Boat IV and Sanctuary Nile Adventurer – combine scenic surroundings, luxury service and cultural itineraries for an unforgettable Nile experience. Smaller than the average Nile cruiser, their designs ensure a more personalised service coupled with the leisurely pace of a longer cruise.
From October to December 2015, guests can save up to 30% on selected dates. Sail the Nile on any of Sanctuary Retreats’ 3 luxury riverboats and from just US$408 per person per night on 3- and 4-night cruises.