One classic way of traveling, unchanged for centuries, consists in boarding a cruise ship, unpacking your baggage in your own cabin, enjoying great views, superb meals and cosmopolitan company while sailing, in luxury, to unknown regions. Cruising as a form of luxury travel has regained in popularity in the last decade and no country offers the same old charm of cruising than Myanmar.
The navigable waterways of Myanmar offer plenty choices of cruise programs to visit in style, the gems of the Golden Land. From the imposing archaeological area of Bagan to the Royal City of Mandalay on the Ayeyarwaddy River (2-3 days) to the more remote destination of Bhamo (7-10 days) close to China on the upper part of the Ayeyarwaddy or to Homalin, Nagaland (border with India) on the Chindwin River (7-10 days) these cruises offer a change of scenery, a sense of adventure, the visit of famous Myanmar highlights and a rare communion with nature and small riverside towns that even the most luxurious hotel stay cannot deliver.
Then, there are the 800 hundred islands of the Mergui Archipelago, aka the Myanmar Andaman Islands where you can sail aboard beautiful 30 meters yachts and experience the freedom and exclusivity of this untouched archipelago, still inhabited by tribes of sea-gypsies.
12 days/11 nights on the Chindwin River – HERITAGE LINE
Embark in Mandalay and sail northbound towards the Chindwin River. With the largest cabin space on the Ayeyarwady, and the highest crew to passenger ratio, the Anawrahta offers the finest on-board experience in Myanmar. Your spacious 32 sq meters cabin, richly decorated with local fabrics and teak wood , unless you prefer to book the 86 sq meters Royal suite with it’s private balcony is your home for the next 11 nights. With numerous stops enroute, you will explore the far reaches of this little traveled waterway. The onboard spa, daily tai-chi or yoga classes, the large jacuzzi on the pool deck and the interesting shore visits will keep you entertained and educated. You will quickly get used to this comfortable way of travel, an adventure in lavish setting.
8 days/7 nights on the Ayeyarwaddy River – HERITAGE LINE
Board the Anawrahta in Yangon and immediately forget the hustle bustle of the crowded streets and traffic jams as you settle in your large cabin. Unpack and prepare for a week of discovery. The itinerary covers the major historical highlights of the country. The ancient city of Pyay, Magwe and finally the archaeological city of Bagan are on the program of this cruise with frequent stops and shore visits to alternate with relaxing time onboard enjoying the Sunset deck, Kipling’s Bar or Mandalay Lounge where daily classes of Burmese for beginners, how to tie a longyi or how to apply thanaka are given daily.
8 days/7nights Ayeyarwaddy Adventure – ROAD TO MANDALAY
The Road to Mandalay is probably the grand mother of all luxury ships in Myanmar. Operated by Belmond, a.k.a. the Orient Express company, the trip proposes the visit of Bagan and Mandalay and everything in between in grand style. With a maximum of 82 passengers onboard, there are 3 types of cabins to choose from : Deluxe, State and Governor’s Suite. All cabins have large windows and are appointed with all modern amenities, including WiFi. With the Governor’s Suite, you get a private butler who will pack and unpack for you as well as take care of all your daily needs. The bar and grill restaurant, situated on the Observation deck where you can dine alfresco, the pool, the wellness center and spa or the formal restaurant are where you will socialize with fellow passengers and enjoy a timeless journey, the epitome of luxury.
4 days /3 nights Mandalay to Bagan – THE STRAND
Embark in Mandalay for a fabulous 4 days of visits and relaxing cruise down the Ayeyarwaddy River. The Strand, sister ship of the famous Strand Hotel in Yangon offers an upscale way to visit the highlights of Bagan and Mandalay while staying onboard. The cruise itself is not that long but the comfortable ship serves as your hotel in both cities. And believe us, The Strand knows about luxury. With great food and a wide selection of wines, the wonders of Myanmar are yours to savour.
6 Days sailing the Mergui Archipelago aboard either SY Raja Laut, SY Meta IV or SY Meltemi
Imagine yourself on a 85 feet dream sailboat, entirely made of teak wood, cruising the untouched Mergui Islands. More than 800 islands compose the archipelago and during this 6 days expedition, starting and finishing in Kawthaung at the southern tip of Myanmar, you will explore a dozen islands, visit a Moken sea gypsies village, have countless swimming and snorkeling stops and most importantly, enjoy the life onboard a luxurious yacht. The yacht has 4 cabins and hosts a maximum of 8 passengers. A crew of four, including a captain, a guide, a talented chef and a deckhand, those are the amenities. You are the main actor! Also possible to charter privately for you and friends or family.
8 Days Grand Mergui Exploration aboard the SY Clan VI
Take a cruise on a super modern and exclusive 131 feet yacht, built in Italy with the ultimate in sailing technology and luxurious interior design. Starting in Kawthaung and finishing in Myeik, this sailing expedition takes you to a dozen islands including Lampi National Park where you will discover the unique fauna and flora with the park warden. Stop at unspoilt white beaches, dive or snorkel in pristine clear waters and visit the Moken sea gypsy villages. A prestigious way to sail the untouched archipelago on the finest yacht there is on the Gulf of Bengal.