Audley launches new Asia Cruises brochure
Audley has launched a new Asia Cruises brochure in response to growing demand from clients for this alternative method of travel. As well as providing a very relaxed way to see a country or to travel between different countries, cruising enables visitors to explore areas that are often inaccessible by land, such as the Red River Delta in Vietnam, the remote gorges of Myanmar and the wilds of Papua New Guinea.
New Red River Cruise in Vietnam
For the first time travellers are able to explore the key sites of Northern Vietnam by river ship, traversing the Red River Delta and its main tributaries, connecting Halong Bay with downtown Hanoi and then on into the interior, well off the beaten track. Sailing deep into Highland Vietnam, guests will explore mountain villages and tribal areas cruising as far as is navigable up the Song Red River and then down the little known Da or Black River. This adventurous trip is operated by Pandaw with regular departures from February to October 2016 and a 12 night trip costing from £2,950 to include return flights, transfers and ten nights full board.
The Raja Ampat Archipelago in Indonesia
The Raja Ampat Archipelago in Indonesia sits within one of the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world and Audley has focused on a small collection of traditional Indonesian schooners for cruises in this area. One of the most popular is Tiger Blue — a traditional phinisi schooner with just five en suite cabins and with ten crew including a chef and on board dive master. A 15 day trip to include return flights, transfers, six nights on board as well as time in Lombok costs from £6,955 per person.
Luxury in remote Papua New Guinea
In one of the most remote destinations in the world, Audley suggests an adventure cruise aboard True North, setting sail from Cairns in Australia through the Bismarck Archipelago to eastern Papua New Guinea. True North features its own expedition boats and helicopter allowing guests to visit remote coastal areas and rivers and offering the opportunity to fly over active volcanoes, mountainous jungle and stunning island chains. A 12 day trip costs from £11,965 to include return flights, transfers and eight nights on board.
Myanmar’s remote Myeik Archipelago
The Myeik Archipelago in southern Myanmar is a collection of over 800 remote islands, uninhabited except for Moken sea gypsies. Burma Boating is Audley’s favourite small cruise operator for exploring this unspoilt area of the country, offering a range of options from two mast, 80-foot teak yachts to larger, well-equipped expedition vessels. They suggest a 14 day trip that combines cruising on the Ayeyarwady and seeing the main highlights of the country with cruising in the unspoilt Myeik Archipelago for a far more off-the-beaten-track experience. It costs from £6,805 per person to include return flights and transfers.
Luxury on the Mekong
The luxurious Aqua Mekong is the latest and most refined addition from Audley for those wishing to take the Mekong cruise between Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Siem Reap in Cambodia. It has just 20 cabins with floor to ceiling windows giving uninterrupted views. There is also a private screening room with theatre seating, an outdoor cinema, a top deck gym overlooking the river, a plunge pool with private cabanas and an observation deck with outdoor sunbeds. A 15 day trip including seven nights on the Aqua Mekong costs from £8,150 per person.
Cruising in India
Exploring India by boat offers some wonderful opportunities to see sights and scenery inaccessible by road. In the northeast Audley suggest embarking on a cruise on the Ganges, Hugli or Brahmaputra rivers to visit remote villages, river islands and stunning national parks. Alternatively head to Kerala for a trip on the quieter northern backwaters, a labyrinth of rivers and lagoons, offering the chance to immerse yourself in local culture and to stay on a traditional rice barge.
The Three Gorges Dam in China
A journey along the Yangtze River in China culminates with the majestic Three Gorges and the Three Gorges Dam, an impressive feat of engineering. Audley recommends the MS Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer, one of the smallest and most luxurious boats on the river with offshore excursions including a visit to a local family and a traditional sampan boat ride. A 12 day Yangtze River Classic trip costs from £2,936 per person.