Burma: Cruise on the Belmond Road to Mandalay

This cruise can be combined with a tailor made tour of Burma / Mynmar, please ask for details.

This former Rhine cruiser cuts a real dash on the Ayeyarwady, where it runs as far as Bhamo, the northernmost point navigable by cruisers. All of its cabins and suites are air-conditioned and have external windows; both double and twin beds are available. The programme of day excursions is exceptionally varied and interesting, and in the evenings you will be treated to various cultural performances and expert lectures on history and Burmese culture.

Visit Mandalay, a bustling centre, and the famous silversmiths of Sagaing. Cruising south, explore the majestic pagodas and temples of Bagan as well as visiting the national park of Mount Popa. The journey then takes you north again to Shwe Kyet Yet, and venture off the beaten track to the village nearby. Finally, relax in the beautiful and serene hill station of Maymyo.

Day 1-Mandalay
You will arrive in Mandalay and transfer to the vessel berthed on the Ayeyarwady River at Shwe Kyet Yet. After lunch, you can enjoy a guided tour of the key sights of Mandalay, regarded as the centre of Burmese culture and Buddhist learning. Afterwards, you will return to the cruise, stopping en-route to admire the sunset over the river. In the evening, you will enjoy a dinner and local entertainment on board.

Day 2- Burmese Village
After an early breakfast, you will visit a local village for a walking tour. This traditional Burmese village gives you the opportunity to discover the Burmese way of life first hand – from farming and handicrafts to spirit houses and tea-shops. The ship gets underway mid morning and begins its journey south. The rest of your day is spent relaxing on board observing the fascinating local river life from the top deck. An on-board guide lectures on the Burmese way of life. Dinner on board will be provided in the evening.

Day 3- Bagan
The ship arrives at Bagan where over 2,000 temples and pagodas are scattered over an awe-inspiring plain beside the river. A guided orientation tour introduces you to the most important temples. After lunch you may rejoin the guide to visit the inside of some of the more significant pagodas. Alternatively, you can hire a bicycle or horse-drawn cart and explore this fascinating area on your own. In the late afternoon, you can watch the sun setting over a field of glowing pagodas by the river. Dinner and local entertainment will be provided in the evening.

Day 4- Mount Popa
Today you will enjoy a full day excursion to Mount Popa, a national park and believed to be the sacred home of powerful ‘Nats’ (spirits). On top of a rocky crag is a picturesque complex of monasteries, pagodas and shrines which can be reached via a winding, covered walkway. Lunch is taken at the Mount Popa Resort. Dinner and local entertainment will be provided in the evening on board.

Day 5- Bagan
After breakfast, you will join the guide to explore some of Bagan’s local markets selling wood carvings, fabrics, longis and rattan goods. You can see Burma’s famous lacquerware being made. Alternatively, you can hire a bicycle or horse-drawn cart and explore this enchanting area on your own. Mid-morning, the ship sets sail for Mandalay. The ship then anchors mid-river for the evening, providing a marvellous opportunity for you to observe the stars. A casual cocktail party is followed by dinner.

Day 6- Sagaing
Today you will continue sailing up the river until you arrive at the little Burmese village of Shwe Kyet Yet in the early afternoon. After lunch, you will enjoy an excursion to Sagaing, considered to be the living centre of the Buddhist faith in Burma. Sagaing is also famous for its silversmiths who still work in much the same way as their ancestors did. Afterwards, you will return to the ship for dinner and local entertainment.

Day 7- Maymyo
You will visit Maymyo, a colonial hill station set high in the mountains. Here, you can soak up the atmosphere with its cool climate, English style houses, colourful market and beautiful botanical gardens. A typical Shan lunch is taken at a colonial house. You will then return to the ship for dinner.

Day 8- Mandalay
Check out of Road to Mandalay and departure for your next destination.