Even if you’ve never been aware of its name or location, you’re sure to have seen photos of Ha Long Bay. It’s a spectacular seascape of endless towering limestone pillars which rise from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin in northeast Vietnam. Sculpted by nature, the jungle-topped green monoliths have been worn down by 500 million years of wind and rain, creating mysterious caves, arches, hidden coves and grottoes.
River cruising has quickly become one of the most loved ways to see the world... and we can see why. Allowing couples to visit as many (or as little) destinations as they like without feeling rushed from point A to point B, this mode of touring is both utterly luxurious and adventurous. If you've always dreamed of going on a once-in-a-lifetime river cruise, we've found five incredible experiences you seriously need to add to your dream travel diary.
According to the people who know lots about these sorts of things, when Rudyard Kipling famously wrote about ‘the road to Mandalay’ he was actually referring to the Irrawaddy.
This mighty river in Myanmar (formerly Burma) rises among glaciers in the Himalayas and flows for 2,100km into the Andaman Sea. Its non-Anglicised name, Ayerawaddy Myit, can be translated as ‘river that brings blessings to the people’. It’s certainly a blessing for me, as I’m here to experience the romance of this timeless stretch of water on the luxury, custom- built Sanctuary Ananda, on a five-day cruise that will take us from Mandalay to Bagan, the ancient temple site that’s home to a thousand spires.
Where do you go if you’re planning a family holiday for five couples of varying ages – plus your darling, 90-year-old Uncle Ted? We had to find something that fitted the bill for the entire clan and, finally, it dawned on us: a cruise.
You could say that Alaska is undergoing its second gold rush, but this time it comes by sea, not land. More than a million people board luxury cruise ships every year to explore this magical part of the world.
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