In-depth Irrawaddy Cruise with Cultural Yangon
A deluxe cruise exploring the Irrawaddy River, taking in the sights and stops along the way to the bustle of Yangon
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Completely private tours in Yangon
- Luxury Irrawaddy cruise
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Meet and greet airport service
- Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
This luxurious two-week journey takes you from Mandalay along the vast Irrawaddy River to the vibrant city of Yangon, complete with an elegant Ananda cruise, expert-led tours and private transfers.
Aboard the Sanctuary Ananda you will be greeted with every sailing luxury. Soak up scenic views from floor-to-ceiling windows and your private balcony and indulge in spa treatments and a dip in the sundeck’s pool. Then, spend the rest of your time exploring this long stretch of Myanmar as the boat anchors to visit ancient golden temples and authentic villages. From scenic and spiritual views such as sunset at U Bein Bridge and Bagan’s majestic temples, to cultural exchanges playing the traditional sport, Chinlon, with locals, this cruise offers a thorough insight into Myanmar’s riverside life.
Disembarking at Yangon, you will then have a few days here to enjoy and stroll around the city’s highlights. See a seventy foot reclining Buddha, taste delicious Burmese tea and explore Dhala village by traditional trishaw.
Example Trip Itinerary
Your guide will meet you at Mandalay airport and assist you with your onward journey.
Private transfer to the Sanctuary Ananda jetty
Enjoy an eleven night cruise on the Sanctuary Ananda River, passing by local tribal villages, paddy fields and pagodas.
Today you will board your cruise and settle into your cabin for your Sanctuary Ananda River voyage. Enjoy lunch as you sail by local villages, paddy fields and pagodas. During the afternoon you will visit Sagiang, Myanmar's hotspot for Buddhism, before watching the sun set at the U-Bein Bridge. Welcome cocktails will then be provided on the riverbank before dinner.
For your first full day, spend your morning on a horse and cart ride to Ava before setting sail for the south. Enjoy the activities on the deck or simply sit back and watch life on the river as you pass by.
This afternoon you will sail to magnificent Bagan, where you will visit the grand temples and pagodas. Later on, enjoy watching the sun set over thousands of ancient peaks and spires.
Today you will have the chance to further explore the temples of Bagan, plus the Nyaung U market. This afternoon you will set sail to Salay where you will enjoy a walking tour of Yoke Sone Monastery.
This morning's cruise takes you to Magwe to see Myat Than Lun Paya, a solid gold temple. You will then visit Minbu, a small village with the bubbling pools of Nga Ja Pwe Taung. Continue with a walking tour of Minhla Fort which was built by Italian engineers for the Burmese King.
Following breakfast you will arrive at Thayat, an authentic village in the centre of Myanmar.White pagodas and colonial buildings fill the streets here which you will have the chance to explore. The rest of the afternoon is spent at your leisure as you sail to Pyay.
Today you will arrive at Pyay, the ancient capital. Spend time here visiting Shwemeyetman Paya Pagoda where you will see the only Buddha wearing sunglasses.
Sail close to the Akauk caves where you will witness hundreds of Buddhas carved into the riverbank. This evening you can looking forward to cocktails as the sun sets from the sandbank.
Today you will sail by lovely scenery, before you arrive at Kenaung Village. Visit this spot and learn about the traditional sport of Chinlon.
After breakfast you will explore the port of Zalon by trishaw. Here you can visit the Pyi Taw Pyan pagoda which houses the renowned bronze Buddha stolen by the British Army and returned by order of Queen Victoria. Then enjoy the rest of the day on board by the pool, enjoying a massage or attending a lecture or demonstration before arriving at Danuphyu to visit of the Monastery of Maha Ban Dula and the Pagoda of Tyuakalon Pun.
After breakfast, explore the charming little town of Danuphyu by trishaw. Then return to the boat to enjoy your last afternoon and evening on the lovely Ananda where dinner will be served along with traditional Burmese entertainment.
Today you will disembark your Ananda cruise in Yangon where you will be privately transferred to your hotel of choice.
Accommodation in Yangon (Rangoon)
- 45 rooms & three suites
- Restaurant, lounge & bar
- In-room spa
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Lotus ponds & gardens
Set in verdant gardens, the restored teak mansion of the Governor’s Residence dates back to the 1920s, capturing a by-gone era with its classic design, manicured lawns, and location in the desirable embassy district of Yangon. As you’d expect from a Belmond hotel, the 45 rooms are spacious and tastefully appointed, with teak floors, earthy-toned silks and hand-carved furniture. Alternatively, you can choose from one the hotel’s three suites and benefit from a palatial amount of space and views of the private lotus garden. The Governor’s Residence offers a range of dining options, from the Mandalay Restaurant, serving local cuisine, to aromatic curries at the Burmese Curry Table, and on balmy evening, you can sip a refreshing cocktail in the open-air Mindon Lounge.
- 30 rooms and suites
- Massage rooms
- Swimming pool
- Business centre
Overlooking Yangon’s famous Shwedagon Pagoda, The Savoy is a boutique hotel in an old colonial mansion, just ten minutes away from the city centre. Service is a stand-out feature, with enthusiastically helpful staff available 24 hours a day. The rooms are very spacious, with wooden floors, polished wooden furnishings, and large windows; the suites have living areas, and are the best options for those staying for more than a couple of days, where the extra space will be appreciated. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in all rooms and suites. The pool and adjacent lounge area make for great places to unwind away from the city bustle. You can dine at Kipling’s Restaurant, which serves a combination of western and regional cuisine, complimented by a view of Shwedagon Pagoda; there’s also a terrace, so you can make the most of the balmy evenings. Le Bistrot offers French food and is situated right next to the pool, affording guests a peaceful al fresco dining spot. For a more upbeat atmosphere, Captain’s Bar has live music on a weekly basis.
- Restaurant, cafe, bar & lounge
- Business centre
A relic of Myanmar‘s colonial history dating back to 1901, The Strand played host to Rudyard Kipling during his journey through then-Burma, amongst many other famed writers and travellers. Today, many things have changed – there’s Wi-Fi in all the rooms and the complimentary mini-bars are refreshed daily – but the hotel’s elegant charm and the first-rate, attentive service remain constant with butlers manning every floor 24-hours-a-day, each armed with an unfailingly sunny and helpful disposition. The four suites types are spacious and airy, with teak wood floors, antiques to decorate, ceiling fans, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel also features a spa, where travellers can go for a massage to ease away jetlag or perhaps to prepare for a long flight. Guests can dine in the sophisticated Strand Grill, with its black-and-white marble floor, chandeliers, and local music accompanying the international cuisine. The Strand Cafe is a little more casual, and the breakfast menu offers a fantastic choice of cereals, pancakes and eggs, to name but a few options: we recommend the eggs benedict. Being an old colonial hotel, it’s no surprise that high tea is also on offer, later in the evening, you can join the local expats in the grand bar for a cold G&T.
Explore this energetic city with our full list of recommendations and any private tours we've organised for you. From the enormous Shwedagon Pagoda, stroll through shaded parks and lakes and dine on delicious street food in bustling Chinatown at night. Speak to your travel designer about how you wish to spend your time here.
Spend your afternoon seeing the highlights of Yangon. This tour will take you to Kyaukhtatgyi Temple to see the seventy foot reclining Buddha, with time to enjoy some coffee or sweet Burmese tea at a tea shop. Next, head to Kandawgyi Park, one of central Yangon’s greenest spots. Here you will see the glittering Karaweik barge, a replica of the royal barge, and the vast lake with views of Shwedagon in the background. Then round off the evening as you watch the sun set over the famous Shwedagon Pagoda.
Today you will cross the Yangon River to visit the village of Dhala. Here you will take a trishaw around the village, exploring the sights including the monastery. Enjoy a meal at a local restaurant plus a spot of shopping at Scott's Market before returning to Yangon.
Private transfer to Yangon airport with a journey on the circular train
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In-depth Irrawaddy Cruise with Cultural Yangon
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We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.