River cruising takes off in Asia
Forget about your run-of-the-mill ocean liner cruise experience. The next big thing in cruising is river cruising along the waterways of Asia, such as along the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar, the Chao Phraya in Thailand and the Mekong river.
There are now at least 20 cruise operators and travel agents here and in the region offering cruises onboard small boats with capacities ranging from four to 60 passengers.
River cruises, which can last between two to 15 days, can cost from $300 per person for a two-day trip in Bangkok to $7,300 per person for an 11-day trip in Myanmar.
International river cruise operators are increasing their fleet sizes and itineraries in Asia to meet demand. For example, Aqua Expeditions, which operates river cruises on the Peruvian Amazon, set up shop in Singapore last December to expand its cruise operations in South-east Asia. It plans to launch its Mekong cruises next year.