Some of the world’s most spectacular locations are rivers – and so if you’re intent on seeing what the planet has to offer, you’ll want to make a point of visiting at least some of them. Let’s look at some of the world’s mightiest and most attractive.
This river flows from north to south through Myanmar, and is the most significant waterway in the area. It’s been used for centuries for commerce and transportation, and if you’re looking to see what Burma has to offer, it’s a great place to take a river cruise. You’ll see breath-taking pagodas and remote monasteries, along with jungle as far as the eye can see. While you might have to tolerate a far longer outbound journey, the rewards will be more than worth it.
This river flows through a large chunk of mainland Europe, and offers a chance to stop off at numerous riverside markets, and flows beneath some stunning locations. Take a cruise along this river and you’ll get the chance to see Dusseldorf, Strasbourg, Cologne and Basel – so book a few weeks off and take in the sights. Unlike many of the more far-flung rivers on this list, you’ll be able to see the Rhine without adding too much to the strain on your wallet.
This river is the world’s twelfth longest, and runs through a glut of countries on its way to the South China Sea, where it terminates via an enormous delta just south of Ho Chi Minh city. If you’re looking for a tour of China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, then there are few better ways to take a look at them. Certain parts of this river are notoriously difficult to navigate, and so you’ll want to check with your tour operator well ahead of time.
While we might think of the Nile as an exclusively Egyptian thing, we shouldn’t forget that the longest river in Africa (and arguably the world) runs through ten other countries on its way to the Mediterranean. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you might arrange a cruise that takes you along all of them – in which case you’ll need to put aside a significant chunk of a year for what will almost certainly be the trip of a lifetime.
This enormous river flows through China, India and Bangladesh – and it’s also known by another name: the Assamese, which should give you an idea of the sort of tea-growing paradise you’re going to be travelling through. Travel through the section of the river which runs through northern India and you’ll be within sight of the Himalayas – as well as copious wildlife. There are gorgeous expanses of sand on either side of the river as it sweeps through to the Bay of Bengal. You’ll also have the chance to take in rhinos, tigers and elephants as you pass through the national parks in Kaziranga.
Of course, you needn’t travel too far or spend too much money in order to find a mighty river that’s rich in beauty and history. The Thames flows through much of southern England, and therefore offers a chance for visitors to take in the country when it’s at its most green and pleasant. The most noteworthy sections of the Thames, however, are those which pass through London. On either side you’ll encounter the Palace of Westminster, the London Eye, and the Globe Theatre as you pass through to the docklands on the city’s east end.
If you’re looking to pair an activity with your boat trip on the Thames, then what better complement could there be than a spot of tea? Thames cruise afternoon-tea experiences allow participants to drain a cuppa or two while experiencing the country’s most famous and mighty river. What more British experience could there be?
The Mississippi certainly isn’t the prettiest river on this list, but if you’re already planning a trip there then you probably won’t care. The river has significant musical and literary heritage to back up the experience it offers – take a trip along it and you’ll be transported, as though by magic, into a Mark Twain novel. Take a trip in a traditional paddle steamer and the experience becomes even more compelling.
Along the river you’ll find several capital cities of popular music, including Memphis and New Orleans. If you’ve an appreciation for the musical (and culinary) output of this part of the world, then be sure to add this river cruise to your list.