When it comes to river cruises, you might think you know exactly what you're in for, but do you? Shandelle Battersby presents some of the best experiences you can have off the ship in between winding your way along the world's most interesting rivers.

ASIA: SILK ISLAND, CAMBODIA

WHAT

: See traditional silk-makers at work

CRUISE WITH

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There are many wonderful stops on Pandaw's eight- day "Classic Mekong" cruise from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, but the visit to Silk Island on Day 6 stands out as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Guests will sail up the Mekong/Tonle River

SOUTH AMERICA: PERUVIAN AMAZON

USA: ST FRANCISVILLE, LOUISIANA

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EUROPE: BADEN-BADEN, GERMANY

AUSTRALIA: CADELL, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

RUSSIA: MANDROGI