The most popular river cruises in Asia are on two main rivers - the Yangtze River in China and the Mekong River in Vietnam & Cambodia. Many of the major suppliers now offer packages for both or one of these rivers.
The Xiling Gorge on the Yangtze River
Irrawaddy River cruises in Myanmar, formerly Burma, are becoming increasingly popular.
There are some other cruise lines that have been sailing the Irrawaddy for several years. A trip along these waters may also be combined with a Chindwin River cruise, depending on the itinerary.
Irrawaddy River in Sagaing, Myanmar
By Dr. Blofeld (en:File:Sagaing3.jpg on en.wiki) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
This type of adventure travel provides the opportunity to observe jungle wild life up close – particularly Orangutans. The Rungan River is located in Borneo, Malaysia, and there are some suppliers that offer river cruises as well as land tours in this location.
Cruise ships vary greatly in size in Asia. On the Yangtze, the passenger capacity for most ships is at least 200 passengers – some are closer to 400. The Mekong and Irrawaddy have much smaller boats that usually have a passenger capacity between 30 and 65. Cruises along the River Kwai are on river boats with up to 20 passengers. And on the Rungan River, passenger capacity is about the same as a river barge boat and usually does not exceed 12 passengers.
Mekong River in Luang Prabang, Laos
By Allie Caulfield [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The major rivers for Asian river cruises are listed below. There are many others not listed. These cruise lines are more mainstream, established and popular. If you search for a river cruise on the internet, you’ll also find many companies that book travel for several different suppliers.
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