As the popularity of European river cruising continues to soar, Emerald Waterways is offering experienced travellers – looking for more destinations to explore – a newly expanded offering of cruises and tours in Southeast Asia.
The 2019 program features nine river cruise itineraries on the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia, and – new in 2019 – on the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar.
To entice travellers looking to explore this magical part of the globe, Emerald Waterways is offering guests their choice of free, round-trip airfare on itineraries of 12 days or longer, and a $350 per person discount on the 11-day Irrawaddy sailing and a $500 per person discount on eight- or 10-day Mekong and Vietnam journeys. The offers apply to all bookings for 2019 Southeast Asian river cruises, but must be booked by April 30.
The Mekong River, the longest in Southeast Asia and the lifeblood of the region, encapsulates the region’s centuries-old culture while supporting nearly 60 million people who live, work and play in the heart of Indochina. Travellers looking to explore this iconic river through Vietnam and Cambodia can choose from a variety of Emerald itineraries ranging from eight to 19 days aboard the purpose-built Mekong Navigator. The shortest of these sailings – the Magnificent Mekong – includes seven nights cruising between Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City with ports including Cai Be to visit the bustling floating markets; Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, where the elaborate Royal Palace complex stands in contrast with the tragic reminders of the Khmer Rouge regime at the Killing Fields; Wat Hanchy for a stop at a local monastery and a traditional Buddhist blessing; and Siem Reap, where guests visit the ruins of the world’s largest temple, Angkor Wat.
In addition, Emerald Waterways also offers longer land and river journeys to allow guests a deeper look into this region. On the 12-day Mekong Discovery Cruise, guests stay two extra nights in Siem Reap and in Ho Chi Minh City, giving time to explore these cities before and after the sailing. The 16-day Highlights of Vietnam, Cambodia and Mekong sailing adds two nights aboard a traditional style Vietnamese junk for a two-night cruise on Halong Bay and an overnight in Hanoi, while the 19-day Vietnam and Cambodia Explorer and Mekong Cruise includes two nights in Hanoi and three nights in the historic port town of Hoi An.
Also for 2019, the company has added three new itineraries on the Irrawaddy River through Myanmar. These journeys on board the Irrawaddy Explorer range from 11 to 17 days and introduce guests to this 2,500-year-old country where the cultural tapestry is threaded by more than 130 ethnic tribes and scenic geography that ascends from tropical rainforests to snow-capped highlands.
All itineraries along the Irrawaddy, including the 11-day Irrawaddy Discoverer Cruise, feature time in capital Yangon, where bustling markets are built on ancient cobblestones; a visit to the Shwesandaw Pagoda complex, one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites; a morning spend in Bagan, where a signature Discover More excursion takes guests on a hot air balloon flight over the temples; a visit to a local school in Hnaw Kone; and a trip to Ava Kingdom by horse cart to discover the 200-year-old teak Bagaya Monastery dating back to 1593.