Asia rivers

Asia River Cruising

Asia is a rapidly growing region for river cruises, as more international travellers seek exotic experiences and a laid-back alternative to city breaks.
The world's largest continent, Asia offers considerable variety, from the great rivers of China and India to the tropical waterways that are the lifeblood of many parts of Southeast Asia.
Take a cruise on the Yangtze, Ganges, Mekong and other significant rivers and lakes to see iconic sights at a relaxed pace. Enjoy a schedule of activities that match your interests, from visiting serene mountain temples and shopping at floating markets to sampling the best local cuisine.

Destination Overview

  • Currency- every country in Asia has its own currency, but leading international currencies including the US dollar and the Euro are accepted by money exchange offices everywhere.
  • Population - Asia is the world's most populous continent, home to 60 per cent of the world's entire population. Of its 4.43 billion people, 1.36 billion live in China and 1.26 billion in India, with the greatest proportion residing in major cities.
  • Language - individual countries within Asia can have hundreds of recognised dialects, but learning basic greetings will be appreciated by the locals you meet. English is learned as a second language throughout the region, but fluency varies between countries and is generally highest with younger generations.
  • Time Zone - Asia spans a number of time zones from UTC+2 in the west to UTC+12 in the east. The local time in India is UTC+5:30, Southeast Asia ranges from UTC+7 to UTC+8 and China's time zone is UTC+8 across the whole country.
  • Weather - temperatures in southern regions including India and Southeast Asia are comfortable year round, with rainfall occurring more frequently in the monsoon season (June to September). Regions to the north have four distinct seasons, with mild winters and summers that are warm to hot depending on the location.

Did you know..?

7 of the world's 12 longest rivers can be found in Asia, the longest being the Yangtze that flows 6,300 kilometres (3,915 miles) through China from the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea.

Who goes there?

There are several established cruise lines based in Asia that offer tours of the major rivers. Pandaw River Cruises operates in Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, and Travel Indochina adds new river cruise routes regularly.
A number of international cruise lines have also opened routes in Asia. Avalon Waterways, Uniworld and Viking Cruises all offer a luxury cruise experience for touring the rivers of China, Vietnam, Cambodia and other popular destinations.

Best time to go?

Northern destinations in China and Japan are best suited to spring and summer cruises when temperatures are most comfortable. Southern destinations such as India and Southeast Asia are suitable for river cruises all year round, though fewer cruise lines operate during the monsoon season from June to September.


  • China - whether it's your first visit to the Middle Kingdom or you're interested in seeing a different side of China away from the cities, Yangtze River cruises offer a range of itineraries. Travel through the countryside that inspired countless Chinese myths and legends, walk the Great Wall and see the sights of Beijing and Shanghai.
  • India - the Ganges is a sacred river to India's millions of Hindus. Watch the celebrated sunrise every morning from your private cabin before a day of sightseeing. More sections of the Ganges are opening to cruises regularly; see the 'real' India as well as iconic sights including the Taj Mahal and pilgrim offerings at Varanasi.
  • Vietnam - a cruise of the Mekong Delta is a laid-back way to see how the locals live. The Mekong River passes through five countries before its final port of call in Vietnam. Then head north to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay, sleeping among the limestone isles on an overnight cruise.
  • Myanmar (Burma) - Southeast Asia's up-and-coming travel destination, make your first experience of Myanmar a memorable one with a cruise along the Irrawaddy River, taking in the ancient temples of Bagan and the colonial splendour of Mandalay.

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