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Whoever said holidays have to be on land? Lapping waves and drifting riverways offer an enthralling alternative to your standard break. You'll trade in swish city hotels, mountain cottages, big resorts or beach cabanas for the serenity of the ocean and the sway of the sea. You'll be sent to sleep by the rhythmic movements of the water and wake to the sound of breaking waves against the bow. With so many different cruise hotels on the menu these days, it's possible to pick everything from rustic houseboats to deluxe vessels and all sorts in between. That means there's something for a whole range of different types of traveller waiting on the waters of the world.
Multi-day cruises in Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam are just one example of how amazing these sorts of trips can be. Opting for outfitters like Bhaya Cruises means choosing elegant cabins with plush double beds and wide windows, all imbued with traditional Asian art and design. You'll drift out and weave between the mighty karst mountains and peaks, discovering all the hidden lagoons and caves and islets that make up the vast UNESCO World Heritage Site fragmenting into the South China Sea.
Egypt's legendary River Nile is another uber-popular backdrop for those water-based holidays. Cruises in Luxor mean hopping from the verdant banks to the river itself, passing the colossal columns of the mystical Karnak Temple and all the other millennia-old treasures that sit on the iconic East Bank. There's even a chance you'll bag a luxury boat trip in these parts. The likes of HS The Oberoi Philae specialise in 5-star cruises down the Nile, touting plush suites with freestanding baths, panoramic windows, onboard spa facilities, deck-top hot tubs and swimming pools to boot.
Of course, you're not limited to Egypt and Vietnam. There are cruises down the great rivers of the United States, on vintage paddleboats. Others delve into the misty jungles and wild backwaters of India's Kerala. And there are more off-the-beaten-track water trips, like those made possible by cruises in Mandalay, which reveal the fascinating wonders of the Irrawaddy River – think incense-scented pagodas, ancient Buddhist and Hindu shrines, undulating tea plantations and buzzing cityscapes of tuk-tuks and temples – along the way. There's no doubt a cruise promises to be an adventure to remember…