Oh, hi. We’re just penning a little novel called A Tale of Two Glorious New River Cruises. It’s about you choosing between (you guessed it) glorious new Asian river cruises—the Sanctuary Ananda (left) and the Aqua Mekong—both taking reservations now.
And here’s the part where we break said cruises down, tale-of-the-tape-style...
Sanctuary Ananda: Four- to 12-day trips up and down Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady River, where at times the breathtaking temples outnumber the cattle... which outnumber the humans.
Aqua Mekong: Four- to eight-day voyages between Cambodia and Vietnam, snaking through all manner of flooded forests and bamboo-stilt villages. (That’s a lot of manners.)
Sanctuary Ananda: Some local craftsmen built the only all-balcony ship on the river, with butler service, iPads and free wi-fi. You may need to supply your own HBO Go password, though.
Aqua Mekong: A 205-foot, trilevel behemoth with a full gym, a spa and a Michelin-starred chef at your disposal. It’s basically indistinguishable from a five-star hotel. Well, except for the water, the ship captain, the lifeboats... (Check the slideshow out here.)
Sanctuary Ananda: Artisanal brickmaking and gold-leaf-beating demonstrations. Both treasured local traditions.
Aqua Mekong: An outdoor cinema and a top-deck pool. Which have almost zero cultural relevance here, but hey.
Surely they’ll be treasured local traditions in no time.