(Ayeyarwady River Cruise)
Visit sacred sites, small villages, craftsmen’s workshops, markets and Buddhist monasteries, as you uncover the golden treasures of Myanmar by luxury river cruise. Guided group excursions will take you out daily to discover the rich spiritual world that is Myanmar, including a full-day tour of Bagan and its incredible collection of over 2,000 stupas, temples and pagodas, all dotting the Bagan plains. Take in the stunning view from atop Mt. Popa and visit the Golden City of Mandalay. There is no better way to see Myanmar.
Cruise Departure Dates:
Mandalay-Pyay: Dec 8,28 (2014) // Jan 17, Mar 6,26, Sep 14, Oct 4,24, Nov 13, Dec 3 (2015)
Pyay-Mandalay: Dec 18 (2014) // Jan 7,27, Mar 16, Apr 5, Sep 24, Oct 14, Nov 3,23, Dec 13 (2015)
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.
What’s happening in the streets of Yangon when most people are still sleeping? You’re going to find out! An early wake-up call is planned for 6:00 AM and the guide will be expecting you in the lobby of your hotel at 6:30 AM. Start your morning with a visit to the fish market on the Yangon River. Next, continue to a vegetable market which is open 24 hours a day and try famous Burmese breakfast called Mohinga (a mild fish soup with noodles and crackers). By that time the monks are walking through the streets of Yangon to collect their alms, you will wait for them to pass and donate some food to them. Continue to the fruit and vegetable market before heading back to your hotel around 9:30 AM to have your full western breakfast.
Yangon is a sprawling city with a relatively small downtown area including several markets, colonial buildings, the Yangon River, and a very green area with tree-lined streets and several lakes. During this full day tour you will be shown the different faces of Yangon from the landmarks to the hidden markets that have only seen a few westerners. During the day you will visit the Sule Pagoda, colonial downtown, the harbor, The Strand, and one of the colorful local markets. The reclining Buddha will be visited just before taking a tasteful lunch of typical dishes from tribes from all over the country like Kachin, Shan, and Rakhine. A local market will lead you to a small station where you will take the famous circular train that will bring you right behind Bogyoke Aung San market before heading back to your hotel. The tour includes a drink at the Strand Hotel and lunch at a local restaurant.
Fly from Yangon to Mandalay. Flight time is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Meet your driver for a pier transfer with a private vehicle.
Welcome aboard!Take some time to get settled in to your stateroom, and to explore the length of your ship. You'll set sail shortly.
Enjoy a group excursion at Mingun, site of a 12-foot high bronze bell and the massive ruins of Pathodawgyi (the “unfinished pagoda”), originally intended to be 499 feet high. Although only a third of it was ever completed, it remains the world’s largest brick pagoda. You will also see Myatheindan Pagoda and its many images from Buddhist mythology. Tonight, meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Dinner.
Port charges are included in your itinerary pricing.
Your full-day group tour includes many of Mandalay's most iconic sights, including the bronze Mahamuni Buddha, covered by the faithful with a thick layer of gold leaf. Visit the workshops of skilled craftsmen making thin sheets of gold, marble carvings and tapestries, and stop at Kuthodaw Pagoda (said to contain the world’s largest book, Buddhist scriptures inscribed on 729 marble slabs), Mandalay Hill, and Shwenandaw monastery, an architectural masterpiece filled with wood carvings. Later, take an excursion to see the world’s longest teak bridge, the U Bein Bridge in nearby Amarapura.
The ship stops today at the former royal capital of Sagaing, famous for its hundreds of monasteries and its tranquil atmosphere. Visit a silversmith’s workshop, Soonuponyashin Pagoda, Kaunghmudaw Pagoda and Uminthonese Pagoda, which contains 43 colorful Buddhist statues.
Continue on to Inwa (Ava), the capital of the Burmese kingdom for more than four centuries, where you will see the sights in a horse-drawn cart: Mahaaungmyebonzan monastery; the “leaning tower of Inwa,” ruins of a 90-foot-high watch tower; and Bargaya monastery, built entirely of teak.
Arrive in Yandabo, a peaceful village known for its finely crafted terracotta wares. See a pottery-making demonstration by local artisans as well as glimpses of typical village life. Later, the AmaPura’s Sun Deck offers the perfect vantage point for your first glimpse of the plain of Bagan (Pagan), one of the world’s most awe-inspiring archeological sites.
On your initial group sightseeing foray in Bagan, visit Ananda Temple, a well-preserved masterpiece known as the “Westminster Abbey of Burma,” and Shwezigon Pagoda, the holiest site in Bagan.
After a stop at the Nyaungoo Market, join a group excursion to Mt. Popa, legendary home of animist nat spirits. Later, enjoy a guided tour of the Bagan Archeological Zone, filled with thousands of stupas, temples and pagodas. Tour some of the most distinctive pagodas as well as Gubyaukgyi Temple, a cave temple with frescoes depicting scenes of Buddha’s life. Visit a lacquerware workshop and a nearby village before returning to the ship for dinner.
Enjoy one final sunrise over Bagan before departing on a group excursion up Thantkyi Mountain to visit Thantkyi Pagoda.
Upon arrival to Salay, a group excursion takes you to Yoke-Sone-Kyaung, built in 1882 and the region’s oldest surviving wooden monastery, famous for its wood carvings and collection of religious artifacts. You will also see a splendid colonial-era house and the Man Pagoda, which contains the largest lacquer Buddha in Myanmar.
Further downstream today, the ship will stop at Magwe (Magway). Walk up to the ornate hilltop Myathalun Pagoda, constructed with thousands of solid gold bricks and housing numerous shrines devoted to nats (Buddhist spirits).
Your day begins in Minhla, site of a great battle during the Second Anglo-Burmese War. Take a small local boat to visit Gwechaung Fort and Minhla Fort, built by Italian engineers in 1860 to keep British forces out of Burma.
Thayetmyo is a pleasant town that once guarded the border between Royal Burma and British Burma after the second Anglo-Burmese War of 1855. It has a number of well-preserved colonial-style houses and buildings dating from the mid-1800s, including a covered market. A guided group excursion will bring you through the city's sites.
After arriving at Pyay, head ashore for a walking tour of this former capital that once served as an important junction between Lower and Upper Burma. Pyay is home to more than 80 gilded pagodas, including Phayamar Pagoda and Shwesandaw Pagoda, one the country’s most revered religious sites. You will also take an excursion to the ancient Pyu capital of Sri Ksetra.
This morning you'll disembark from your ship, and bid farewell to your fellow cruisemates.
Transfer from Pyay to Yangon with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 4.5 hours.
Sitting majestically on eight acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, Sedona Hotel Yangon is 15-minute drive away from the international airport and the bustling city centre. Within close proximity to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda and Inya Lake, this deluxe hotel impresses with its Myanmar-inspired decor and architecture. There is a swimming pool, fitness centre and a number of restaurants available on site for you to enjoy at your leisure.
The 56-passenger AmaPura (2014) is a custom-designed, all-suite ship with a choice of spacious staterooms measuring 285 sq. ft., 290 sq. ft. and 420 sq. ft. Every suite features a private French Balcony, a step-out Full Balcony, or Twin Balconies. The stylish décor was thoughtfully conceived to provide guests with an ultra-comfortable and serene home away from home, with a relaxing sitting area, individual climate control and hotel-quality amenities.
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