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River cruise - Myanmar

The Strand Cruise

Highlights

  • Experience the landscapes’ beauty aboard the luxurious The Strand Cruise

  • Pass hundreds of pagodas from Bagan to Mandalay

  • Experience unique nature and culture

  • Comfortable cabins with loving decor

  • Includes three meals a day

Description

The Strand Cruise is a luxurious journey down the historic Ayeyarwady River. Once aboard the ship, you’ll fall in love with the beauty of Myanmar. Experience exciting insights into the country’s culture and meet the friendly monks who uphold the wonderful religious heritage. The impressive sights will enchant you and take you into an exotic world.

Destination

Asia

Bagan - Mingun - Mandalay

Your journey begins through the golden land with a freshly prepared breakfast in the cozy gardens of the oldest lacquer paint factory in Bagan. Lacquer paint is a traditional art that gained popularity with the first pagodas in the 11th century. Then head to the nearby Shewzigon Pagoda, known for its gold leaf decor. You’ll also visit the Ananda Temple, one of the four largest in Bagan and one of the most extraordinary temples in Myanmar. Afterward, a short transfer will take you to The Strand Cruise, where you’ll check-in and meet the other guests at lunch.

For everyone arriving in Bagan later in the day, the meeting point is on board the ship. After you find your way around the cabins, meet the other passengers for lunch.

In the afternoon, the discovery journey continues to Bagan’s Heritage Trail, where you’ll get to know the beautiful Sulamani and Gubyaukgyi temples. Today’s unique highlight is the sunset that drops behind the Bagan landscape in a lovely golden atmosphere. Experience Ayeyarwady River views from the ship’s sundeck while sipping a signature cocktail. As soon as darkness falls, the fine dining restaurant welcomes you for dinner. Enjoy tapas as an appetizer before choosing a delicious meal from the gourmet kitchen’s menu accompanied by selected wines.

Optional activities are available and range from guided tours of Bagan in a private car to tickets for an evening Dandaree show (a cultural performance that depicts Myanmar art and history).

4 nights onboard The Strand Cruise, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the morning as you cruise down the river. Today’s destination is the Tant Kyi Taung glass monastery. Once on the riverbanks, a short transfer will take you to the monastery. From the top of the monastery hill, relish the incomparable Bagan views.

Shortly before noon, the journey will begin upstream towards Mandalay. Several years ago, the passing landscapes and typical Ayeyarwady villages inspired many authors and artists, including Rudyard Kipling.

While the ship slowly makes its way on the shallow water, the cruise will serve a lunchtime buffet in the air-conditioned restaurant or outdoors in the sundeck lounge’s relaxed atmosphere. Notice the passing landscapes, countless details, abandoned huts, and locals going about their daily tasks.

You will spend the afternoon on board while the ship gradually continues toward Ayeyarwady. Relax on the sundeck and participate in numerous activities and workshops organized by the experienced crew. Then you will have the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive afternoon coffee.

When darkness falls, the ship anchors in a remote area on the river. Surrounded by nothing but the whispers of nature, the captain invites you to a cocktail and dinner. Afterward, immerse yourself in Asian culture with a traditional performance on board. Night owls can end the evening with a glass of fine wine or single malt whiskey at the bar.

You can also book option excursions for today; for example, hot air balloon flights at sunrise over the 2,000 pagodas of Bagan.

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast as the ship sails to Mingun until late afternoon. How about spending the day reading a book poolside or participating in one of the many activities and workshops? No matter what you choose, you will have unforgettable views of the landscape that passes you.

After a delicious lunch buffet of international and Asian cuisine on the sun deck or in the restaurant, you will arrive in Mingun. Mingun was once the capital of Myanmar and is home to Myanmar’s largest pagoda ever built. On your way to your pagoda tour, take a traditional tuk-tuk for an authentic experience. In the pagoda, the Mingun Bell is the largest, unbroken hanging bell in the world. Then, visit Paya Hsinbyume, an imposing pagoda that stands out because of its seven curves and whitewashed terraces. These terraces represent the seven mountains around Mount Meru, the mountain that is the center of the Buddhist universe.

Back on board, you will have time to relax and prepare for the fabulous feast on a sandbank across from Mingun. Enjoy local entertainment after dinner.

Begin your day with a fresh breakfast before making your way to the next step of your journey: Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city and the last royal capital of Myanmar. The first stop on the shore is the U Bein Bridge, which spans Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura. The U-Bein Bridge is the world’s oldest and longest teak bridge.

Follow the Mandalay Heritage Trail and visit the Mahamui Buddha Temple. Legend has it that the great Buddha personally visited the city of Arakan in 554 and that the then King Sanda Thuriya commissioned the creation of a picture of the Buddha’s face for display in the temple. From here, visit Shwe In Bin Church before boarding the cruise again.

After lunch on board, you will experience Sagaing, the most important religious center in Myanmar. It’s known for its hundreds of white, silver, and gold pagodas and churches. A traditional truck will pick you up from the ship and take you to the upper terrace of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda. From there, enjoy stunning views of Mandalay and the old royal capitals, which the golden Ayeyarwady River connects. Cruise on to Ava in the afternoon, the ancient imperial capital of the successive Burmese kingdoms from the 14th to 19th centuries. Horse-drawn carriages await to take you on a pleasant ride through the varied and beautiful landscapes of Ava’s most stunning sights. The ship will drop anchor very close to Ava’s countless temples, where you’ll also spend the night. As guests of the cruise, you’ll have opportunities for exclusive tours of the religious sites outside visiting hours.

As the day draws to a close, a special champagne sunset cocktail awaits as you enjoy the view of Ava Bridge and Sagaing Hill. At sunset, the landscape takes on a whole new look in the setting sun’s pleasant orange and red tones. The Shan Style farewell dinner on board, accompanied by traditional performances, is also a memorable experience.

Today’s optional day trips include a guided tour in a private vehicle.

This morning, you’ll have the honor of enjoying a special farewell breakfast with the Ava monks before setting off for the last stage of the journey. Head to the Gaw Wein Jetty in Mandalay, where you’ll disembark and set off on your onward journey to the airport or hotel.

The Strand Cruise:

A stay on the Ayeyarwady River is not complete without exquisite and comfortable accommodation. Enjoy a relaxing massage in the spa area or sit back by the pool. On the sun deck, relish incomparable views complemented by a glass of wine from the sommelier. Dinner is served in the cruise’s restaurant.

The elegant cabin furnishings boast Burmese craftsmanship and dark teak floors. Even if you retreat to your cabin, you don’t have to do without the beautiful views, as each cabin has floor-to-ceiling windows. Amenities include a bathroom, free internet, international TV channels, bathrobe, slippers, and a safe.

The cabins differ in the following categories:

Deluxe Cabin (16.5 m²) with a king-size bed, separate bathroom, French balcony, desk, and an armchair.

Beach Cabin (23 m²) with a king-size bed, separate bathroom, French balcony, sitting area, and a dressing room.

State Suite (30.5 m²) with a king-size bed, separate bathroom, living area, desk, and two French balconies.

Beach Suite (40 m²) with a king-size bed, separate bathroom, private balcony, living room, desk, and dressing room. Extras: The lounge area can be rearranged to accommodate an additional adult, free laundry service, one-hour free massage for two people, a free night at The Strand Hotel Yangon on the day of arrival or departure, VIP welcome.

Duration of the trip: 5 days / 4 nights

Including

  • 4 nights onboard The Strand Cruise in a deluxe cabin

  • 3 meals on days 1-4, breakfast on day 5

  • All excursions described in the program

  • Local soft drinks and beer, house wine during meals

  • Shuttle transport to the embarkation/disembarkation to the airport

  • Port fees

  • English speaking guide (alternative language guides are available on request)

  • WiFi in all cabins and public areas with satellite internet connection

  • Free international newspaper daily on tablets

Excluding

  • Flights

  • Personal expenses such as laundry, phone calls, spa treatments, etc.

  • Optional excursions

  • Insurance

  • Visa, if required

  • Tips

Notes

  • Departures every Friday from Mandalay downstream (3 nights) and every Monday from Bagan upstream (4 nights)

Additional experiences

Balloon flight over the Temple City of Bagan

  1. Price per person from 275 € excl. Flight
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Explore Mandalay on a bike

  1. Price per person 129 € excl. Flight
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