Irrawaddy Explorer on the river
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Irrawaddy Explorer

This charming river explorer vessel offers 28 suites reflecting the graceful style of a bygone era.

Overview

The sleek, 188-ft Irrawaddy Explorer plys the great Irrawaddy River of Burma, and even before she leaves the dock, she will take you into another world to the grace and style of the British colonial era. Launched in 2014, this all-suite, luxurious river boat is the perfect vessel for your exploration. The friendly team of 33 will provide you with excellent service and do much to contribute to your enjoyment throughout your journey, while the atmosphere on board will be relaxed and informal.

Your Luxurious Suite

The 28 suites range in size from 273 to 409 square feet. Each features its own individual artwork, and beds that can be configured as twins or doubles, stunning floor to ceiling windows with either French or full balconies, a flat screen television with on-demand movie system, hairdryer, generous closet space and under-bed storage, individually controlled air-conditioning, in-room electronic safe and a private shower and toilet.

Bottled water is replenished daily in the suites and there is a welcome flower arrangement and fresh fruit upon arrival. Choose a Mandalay or Kipling Suite and you will also enjoy a complimentary one-hour spa treatment and a free daily laundry service.

Wining & Dining

With a cuisine as diverse as the region, the culinary director has innovatively created a menu which highlights the diverse cuisine of Myanmar, as well as Western favorites that will be reflected in sumptuous buffets and artfully prepared, multi-course dinners. You can also enjoy complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on-board, to accompany your 5-star cuisine. Located on the Colonial Deck, the restaurant seats all passengers in one sitting.

Life On Board

Watch the passing scenery from the Writers Lounge on the Sun Deck, browse the books in the library or enjoy handcrafted cocktails, fine wines, and on-board entertainment in the relaxing environment of the bar. The spacious observation and sun deck area is furnished with chaise lounges and features comfortable, shaded, seating areas. The attentive staff are always available to offer a cool beverage.

The Explorer Spa is an oasis to relax, rejuvenate and truly pamper yourself. You can enjoy a traditional Myanmar massage along with oils and creams made with the ground bark of the thanaka tree. Western spa treatments utilising all-natural products are also available. There is a small fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment and panoramic views of the passing landscapes. On the longer cruises, there are lectures on culture and traditions and performances of classical dance and marionette shows.

Excursions

This marvelous journey transports you through areas of Myanmar rarely visited by Westerners and many that are only accessible by river. Every port will tell a story from the more-than-2200 intricately carved temples to the handmade pottery that is made in the village of Yandabo and floated down the Irrawaddy as it has been for hundreds of years.

Perfect for solo travelers, couples and friends, an Irrawaddy Explorer Cruise is not only about discovering the essence of Myanmar but also living the dream in the elegance of a past era.

Itineraries & Prices

1 / 4
6-Day
6-Day
10-Day
10-Day

6 Day / 5 Night - The Royal Capitals

itinerary map

Embarkation

TRANSFER: Transfer from airport or hotel to Jetty can be arranged at supplement upon request. Pls note that it takes approximately 30 minuts drive from Airport and Hotel to ship (Koe Lone Ye Kin).

EMBARKATION: Bagan

Embark the ship at Koe Lone Ye Kin Jetty between 11.00 to 12.30 noon. Welcome cocktail and Lunch on board.

AFTERNOON EXCUSRSION: The Art and Sunset Over Bagan PM:

PM: After lunch, we visit a local workshop where the traditional methods of creating lacquer ware (known as yun-de in Burmese) are still practiced. After a demonstration of the labor-intensive process required in making each piece, we have time to shop before continuing on our tour. A short coach ride takes us to Gubyaukgyi Temple (Great Painted Cave Temple), where the richly-colored paintings are thought to date to the original construction period in the early 12th century and we will also see a sand painting demonstration by a local artist. Next to this temple is the gilded Myazedi Stupa, which offers both a linguistic and a historical significance: an inscription consecrating Gubyaukgyi in four languages (Pyu, Mon, Old Burmese, and Pali), which established Pyu as an important cultural influence in the early Pagan period. For our final stop of the day we proceed to the Bagan Viewing Hill where we will view the sunset over the pagodas and stupas of Bagan before returning to the ship.

Irrawaddy Explorer's 6-Day The Royal Capitals Upriver - Day One - Irrawaddy Explorer Anchoring
Location
Bagan
Day
1 / 6

Hnaw Kone

AM: Markets and Temples of Bagan. This morning, we transfer by motor coach to Bagan’s largest open market, where fresh produce, meats, spices, woodcarvings, longyis, thanaka, and rattan products are sold every day. We have the opportunity to watch the negotiations and transactions taking place, and if we are lucky, see one of the local women carrying their purchases on their heads. After our walk through the market, we proceed to the gilded Shwezigon Pagoda. This important religious site dates to the reign of King Anawrahta, founder of the Bagan Empire. The construction of this complex spanned both King Anawrahta’s lifetime, as well as his son and successor King Kyanzittha’s lifetime. The golden stupa at its center is said to contain a bone and tooth relic of the Buddha, a gold image of Anawrahta and a Chinese emerald Buddha. After exploring this large temple complex we will say goodbye to the temples of Bagan as our coach returns us to the ship and we set sail.

PM: Hnaw Kone Walking Tour. This afternoon we sail to the village of Hnaw Kone, and enjoy our second leisurely walk of the day. Hnaw Kone is a typical, rural, river village, with friendly residents and adorable children. During our exploration of the village we will stop to see the local handicraft of bamboo cane basket weaving. We will watch the villagers as they expertly split bamboo and skillfully weave the strands into baskets or larger panels for building homes.

ENTERTAINMENT: Tea Leaf and Ginger Salad Demonstration (2:00PM-3:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 6-Day The Royal Capitals Upriver - Day Two - Indoor Lounge
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
2 / 6

Yandabo

AM: On 24 February 1826, the peace treaty of the first Anglo-Burmese War was signed at Yandabo. Today, it is a picturesque village famous for its pottery. As we take a leisurely walk through the village, we have the opportunity to stop at the various family homes and workshops, each with its own unique style and markings, to witness the making and firing of the Yandabo pottery, famous throughout Myanmar. 

PM: Lecture “Myanmar: Past and Today” (3:30PM-4:30PM)

Burmese Karaoke Party (5:30PM-7:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 6-Day The Royal Capitals Upriver - Day Three - Bed Set Up
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
3 / 6

Ava, Sagaing & Amarapura

AM: This morning we will explore the town of Ava by horsecart, visiting the beautiful 200 year old teak Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, Nanmyin watchtower (27mt. high) and the Yadana Hsemeepagoda complex. After visiting AVA, we continue to visit Sagaing by coach, an important religious site with countless pagodas dotting the surrounding hillsides. Here, stop to see Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda at the top of Sagaing Hill for stunning views of the Irrawaddy and across to Mandalay. Next continue onto a Nunnery to witness life in a local nunnery. 

PM: After Lunch, we travel by coach to the penultimate Burmese royal capital of Amarapura to visit a silk workshop before driving to U-Bein Bridge, believed to be the world’s longest and oldest teakwood bridge. Local sampans wait to take us on a leisurely cruise of the lake while admiring the sunset over the bridge.

Myanmar Traditional Dance Performance (9:00PM-10:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 6-Day The Royal Capitals Upriver - Day Four - Sailing along Irrawaddy River
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
4 / 6

Mingun, Mandalay

AM: After breakfast we will enjoy a leisurely walking tour of the small town of Mingun. Our first stop is King Bodawpaya’s monumental, uncompleted stupa. During construction, an astrologer to the king argued that the king would die upon completion of the temple, and work was immediately halted. Had it been completed, it would have been the largest in the world. The cracks we see are the result of the 23 March 1839 earthquake that shook the area. We continue our walk to the Mingun Bell, which was the heaviest working bell in the world until 2000 when the Bell of Good Luck was unveiled in Henan, China. After having the opportunity to stand inside the bell as it is rung, we have time to shop in the local market, famous for its makeshift galleries that display inexpensive art from both local and internationally known artists.

PM: Enjoy a afternoon tour Mandalay. We visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which contains the world's biggest book, as well as the Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung Monastery, the only original monastery left from the royal era. Then we proceed a workshop that produces the gold leaf commonly used to adorn Buddha images at temples throughout Myanmar, and the Mahamuni Pagoda, to see how the gold leaf is used.

Farewell Reception and Crew Farewell (6:30PM-7:30PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 6-Day The Royal Capitals Upriver - Day Five - Captain On Board
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
5 / 6

Disembarkation

8:00 AM: After your breakfast, disembark at Gawein Jetty.

Irrawaddy Explorer's 6-Day The Royal Capitals Upriver - Day Six - Hsinbyume Mingun
Location
Mandalay
Day
6 / 6
1 / 6

6 Day / 5 Night - The Royal Capitals

itinerary map

Embarkation

12:00 PM: EMBARKATION FROM GAWEIN JETTY

Board the ship at Gawein Jetty as we welcome you with cocktails.

Lunch onboard in Customs House Dining Room.

Enjoy an afternoon tour Mandalay. We visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which contains the world's biggest book, as well as the Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung Monastery, the only original monastery left from the royal era. Then we proceed a workshop that produces the gold leaf commonly used to adorn Buddha images at temples throughout Myanmar, and the Mahamuni Pagoda, to see how the gold leaf is used.

Irrawaddy Explorer's 6-Day The Royal Capitals Downriver - Day One - Cruising along Irrawaddy River
Location
Mandalay
Day
1 / 6

Mingun, Sagaing & Amarapura

AM: After breakfast we will enjoy a leisurely walking tour of the small town of Mingun. Our first stop is King Bodawpaya’s monumental, uncompleted stupa. During construction, an astrologer to the king argued that the king would die upon completion of the temple, and work was immediately halted. Had it been completed, it would have been the largest in the world. The cracks we see are the result of the 23 March 1839 earthquake that shook the area. We continue our walk to the Mingun Bell, which was the heaviest working bell in the world until 2000 when the Bell of Good Luck was unveiled in Henan, China. After having the opportunity to stand inside the bell as it is rung, we have time to shop in the local market, famous for its makeshift galleries that display inexpensive art from both local and internationally known artists.

PM: After Lunch, we visit Sagaing by coach, an important religious site with countless pagodas dotting the surrounding hillsides. Here, stop to see Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda at the top of Sagaing Hill for stunning views of the Irrawaddy and across to Mandalay. Next continue onto a Nunnery to witness life in a local nunnery. Next we continue by coach to the penultimate Burmese royal capital of Amarapura to visit a silk workshop before driving to U-Bein Bridge, believed to be the world’s longest and oldest teakwood bridge. Local sampans wait to take us on a leisurely cruise of the lake while admiring the sunset over the bridge.

ENTERTAINMENT: Myanmar Traditional Dance Performance (9:30PM-10:30PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 6-Day The Royal Capitals Downriver - Day Two - Restaurant On Board
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
2 / 6

Ava

AM: This morning we will explore AVA Kingdom ruled upper Burma from 1364 to 1555 by horse cart, visiting the beautiful 200 year old teak Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, Nanmyin watchtower (27mt. high) and the Yadana Hsemee pagoda complex.

PM: Enjoy sailing the whole afternoon.

ENTERTAINMENT: Longyi and Thanaka Demonstration (4:00PM-5:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 6-Day The Royal Capitals Downriver - Day Three - Temples in Bagan
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
3 / 6

Yandabo, Hnaw Kone

AM: On 24 February 1826, the peace treaty of the first Anglo-Burmese War was signed at Yandabo. Today, it is a picturesque village famous for its pottery. As we take a leisurely walk through the village, we have the opportunity to stop at the various family homes and workshops, each with its own unique style and markings, to witness the making and firing of the Yandabo pottery, famous throughout

Myanmar.

PM: This afternoon we sail to the village of Hnaw Kone, and enjoy our second leisurely walk of the day. Hnaw Kone is a typical, rural, river village, with friendly residents and adorable children. During our exploration of the village we will stop to see the local handicraft of bamboo cane basket weaving.

We will watch the villagers as they expertly split bamboo and skillfully weave the strands into baskets or larger panels for building homes.

ENTERTAINMENT: BBC Documentary “The Life of the Buddha” (4:00PM-5:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 6-Day The Royal Capitals Downriver - Day Four - Landscape Drone View
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
4 / 6

Bagan

AM: This morning our excursion takes us to one of the most incredible areas of Myanmar: Bagan. Once the center of the Pagan Empire, Bagan today is a tourist, artist, and archeological mecca. We will start the tour with the massive Htilominlo, built by King Htilominlo on the site where he was chosen from the five sons of King Nadaungmya to be the crown prince of Pagan. While the murals that once decorated much of the inside of this temple have only survived on the ceilings, Htilominlo boasts the finest plaster carvings which still remain undamaged on the arch pediments. After that we will climbing aboard traditional, ceremonial oxcarts for a short ride through the temples of Bagan. A visit to Bagan would not be complete without exploring one of the most famous temples of Bagan, Ananda. Built in 1105 CE during King Kyanzittha’s reign, it is one of only four surviving temples from this period. We will explore the cruciform of the temple, with four standing Buddhas facing north, south, east, and west.

PM: After lunch, we visit a local workshop where the traditional methods of creating lacquerware (known as yun-de in Burmese) are still practiced. After a demonstration of the labor-intensive process required in making each piece, we have time to shop before continuing on our tour. A short coach ride takes us to Gubyaukgyi Temple (Great Painted Cave Temple), where the richly-colored paintings are thought to date to the original construction period in the early 12th century and we will also see a sand painting demonstration by a local artist. Next to this temple is the gilded Myazedi Stupa, which offers both a linguistic and a historical significance: an inscription consecrating Gubyaukgyi in four languages (Pyu, Mon, Old Burmese, and Pali), which established Pyu as an important cultural influence in the early Pagan period. For our final stop of the day we proceed to the Bagan Viewing Hill where we will view the sunset over the pagodas and stupas of Bagan before returning to the ship.

ENTERTAINMENT: Traditional Myanmar Puppet Show (9:00PM-10:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 6-Day The Royal Capitals Downriver - Day Five - Bagan
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
5 / 6

Disembarkation

8:00 AM: After your breakfast, disembarkation at Koe Lone Ye Kin Jetty, Bagan.

TRANSFER: Transfer to the Airport or hotel in Bagan can be arranged at supplement upon request. Pls take note that it takes approximately 30 minutes drive for transfer from ship (Koe Lone Ye Kin Jetty) to airport or hotel in Bagan.

Irrawaddy Explorer's 6-Day The Royal Capitals Downriver - Day Six - Sundeck Lounge
Location
Bagan
Day
6 / 6
1 / 6

10 Day / 9 Night - Treasure of Golden Myanmar

itinerary map

Embarkation

EMBARKATION FROM YANGON

Ship transfer meeting point: Sule Shangri-La. Guests will enjoy a scenic drive from Yangon to Prome. TRANSFER: Transfer from hotel in Yangon to Prome will be provided. Pls take note that it takes approximately 7 hrs drive from Yangon to Prome (7:00 AM - 2:00 PM). Departure from Sule Shangrila Hotel Yangon is 7:00 am. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to departure in order to check in with our representative.

PM: Prome and Sri Ksetra Once controlled by the Mon tribe during the Bagan Era, and then conquered by the Burmese King Alaungpaya in 1754, Prome (known as Pyay to the locals) boomed along with the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1890s and is now an important trading post for goods traveling between northern and southern Myanmar. This afternoon we drive to Thayekhittaya (also known as Sri Ksetra, the “Fabulous City” in the Pali language), an ancient Pyu city that ruled in this area between the 5th and the 9th centuries. We visit the well-documented Sri Ksetra Museum, full of excellent maps and artifacts including Hindu deities, Buddha images from as far back as the 6th century, Pyu beads, and silver coins.

Welcome Reception and Safety Briefing (6:30PM-7:30PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Upriver - Day One - Cruising along Irrawaddy River
Location
Yangon
Day
1 / 10

Thayet

AM: Thayet Myo This morning we put you on Tuk-Tuk to visit the charming town of Thayet Myo, stopping at the oldest golf course of Myanmar with a fascinating history (guests may hit from the first tee). We then visit the local market, passing colonial homes constructed during the British colonization of Burma before returning to the ship for an afternoon of scenic cruising.

PM: Enjoy sailing the whole afternoon with BBC Documentary “The Life of the Buddha”

BBC Documentary “The Life of the Buddha” (3:30PM-4:30PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Upriver - Day Two - Beautiful Landscape along Irrawaddy River
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
2 / 10

Magwe

AM: Magwe by Trishaw This morning we venture out into the district capitol city of Magwe aboard Trishaws (three wheeled bicycle where one person sits alongside the driver). A short walk takes us to the local market.

PM: After some time to explore and shop at the market we board our trishaws for a ride through the city to visit Mya Tha Lun pagoda. Mya Tha Lun is a beautifully gilded stupa set atop Naguttama Hill which offers a wonderful view of the river and surrounding area.

Longyi and Thanaka Demonstration (3:30PM-4:30PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Upriver - Day Three - Bagan Drone View
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
3 / 10

Salay, Bagan

AM: Salay Walking Tour This morning we walk ashore at Salay, a small town founded in the 13th century with Bagan-era shrines, beautiful 19th century teak monasteries and preserved British colonial buildings. We explore the Salay House, a restored 1906 colonial trading company warehouse on the bank of the Irrawaddy. Our walk takes us along the town’s main Strand Street towards the local market before turning away from the river to visit the beautiful Yoke Soun Kyaung Taw Gyi wooden monastery. This ornately carved teak monastery was designed as a copy of the Crown Prince House of Mandalay, and is now a museum boasting remarkable wood carvings and artifacts. We pass some interesting Bagan-era monuments on our way to visit Mann Paya, a pagoda with a beautiful lacquerware Buddha, before returning to our ship with a stroll past some of Salay’s many beautiful colonial buildings.

PM: Temples of Bagan This afternoon our excursion takes us to one of the most incredible areas of Myanmar: Bagan. Once the center of the Pagan Empire, Bagan today is a tourist, artist, and archeological mecca. We will start the tour with the massive Htilominlo, built by King Htilominlo on the site where he was chosen from the five sons of King Nadaungmya to be the crown prince of Pagan. While the murals that once decorated much of the inside of this temple have only survived on the ceilings, Htilominlo boasts the finest plaster carvings which still remain undamaged on the arch pediments. A visit to Bagan would not be complete without exploring one of the most famous temples of Bagan, Ananda. Built in 1105 CE during King Kyanzittha’s reign, it is one of only four surviving temples from this period. We will explore the cruciform of the temple, with four standing Buddhas facing north, south, east, and west.

Traditional Myanmar Puppet Show (9:00PM-10:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Upriver - Day Four - Local Elder
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
4 / 10

Bagan

AM: Bagan viewing tower and Oxcarts ride This morning we take you to Bagan viewing tower to see the scenic view of Bagan. After that we will climbing aboard traditional, ceremonial oxcarts for a short ride through the temples of Bagan.

PM: The Art and Sunset Over Bagan After lunch, we visit a local workshop where the traditional methods of creating lacquerware (known as yun-de in Burmese) are still practiced. After a demonstration of the labor-intensive process required in making each piece, we have time to shop before continuing on our tour. A short coach ride takes us to Gubyaukgyi Temple (Great Painted Cave Temple), where the richly-colored paintings are thought to date to the original construction period in the early 12th century and we will also see a sand painting demonstration by a local artist. Next to this temple is the gilded Myazedi Stupa, which offers both a linguistic and a historical significance: an inscription consecrating Gubyaukgyi in four languages (Pyu, Mon, Old Burmese, and Pali), which established Pyu as an important cultural influence in the early Pagan period. For our final stop of the day we proceed to the Bagan Viewing Hill where we will view the sunset over the pagodas and stupas of Bagan before returning to the ship.

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Upriver - Day Five - Monk
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
5 / 10

Hnaw Kone

AM: Markets and Temples of Bagan This morning, we transfer by motor coach to Bagan’s largest open market, where fresh produce, meats, spices, woodcarvings, longyis, thanaka, and rattan products are sold every day. We have the opportunity to watch the negotiations and transactions taking place, and if we are lucky, see one of the local women carrying their purchases on their heads. After our walk through the market, we proceed to the gilded Shwezigon Pagoda. This important religious site dates to the reign of King Anawrahta, founder of the Bagan Empire. The construction of this complex spanned both King Anawrahta’s lifetime, as well as his son and successor King Kyanzittha’s lifetime. The golden stupa at its center is said to contain a bone and tooth relic of the Buddha, a gold image of Anawrahta and a Chinese emerald Buddha. After exploring this large temple complex we will say goodbye to the temples of Bagan as our coach returns us to the ship and we set sail.

PM: Hnaw Kone Walking Tour This afternoon we sail to the village of Hnaw Kone, and enjoy our second leisurely walk of the day. Hnaw Kone is a typical, rural, river village, with friendly residents and adorable children. During our exploration of the village we will stop to see the local handicraft of bamboo cane basket weaving. We will watch the villagers as they expertly split bamboo and skillfully weave the strands into baskets or larger panels for building homes.

Tea Leaf and Ginger Salad Demonstration (2:00PM-3:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Upriver - Day Six - The Famous U-Bein Bridge
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
6 / 10

Yandabo

AM: Yandabo Walking Tour On 24 February 1826, the peace treaty of the first Anglo-Burmese War was signed at Yandabo. Today, it is a picturesque village famous for its pottery. As we take a leisurely walk through the village, we have the opportunity to stop at the various family homes and workshops, each with its own unique style and markings, to witness the making and firing of the Yandabo pottery, famous throughout Myanmar.

PM: Lecture “Myanmar: Past and Today” (3:30PM-4:30PM) Burmese Karaoke Party (5:30PM-7:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Upriver - Day Seven - Bagan Landscape
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
7 / 10

Ava, Sagaing & Amarapura

AM: Ava. This morning we will explore the town of Ava by horsecart, visiting the beautiful 200 year old teak Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, Nanmyin watchtower (27mt. high) and the Yadana Hsemee pagoda complex.

PM: Sagaing and Amarapura. After lunch, we visit Sagaing by coach, an important religious site with countless pagodas dotting the surrounding hillsides. Here, stop to see Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda at the top of Sagaing Hill for stunning views of the Irrawaddy and across to Mandalay. Next continue onto a Nunnery to witness life in a local nunnery. Next we continue by coach to the penultimate Burmese royal capital of Amarapura to visit a silk workshop before driving to U-Bein Bridge, believed to be the world’s longest and oldest teakwood bridge. Local sampans wait to take us on a leisurely cruise of the lake while admiring the sunset over the bridge. Myanmar Traditional Dance Performance (9:00PM-10:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Upriver - Day Eight - Boat Side View
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
8 / 10

Mingun, Mandalay

AM: Mingun Walking Tour After breakfast we will enjoy a leisurely walking tour of the small town of Mingun. Our first stop is King Bodawpaya’s monumental, uncompleted stupa. During construction, an astrologer to the king argued that the king would die upon completion of the temple, and work was immediately halted. Had it been completed, it would have been the largest in the world. The cracks we see are the result of the 23 March 1839 earthquake that shook the area. We continue our walk to the Mingun Bell, which was the heaviest working bell in the world until 2000 when the Bell of Good Luck was unveiled in Henan, China. After having the opportunity to stand inside the bell as it is rung, we have time to shop in the local market, famous for its makeshift galleries that display inexpensive art from both local and internationally known artists.

PM: Mandalay Enjoy a afternoon tour Mandalay. We visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which contains the world's biggest book, as well as the Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung Monastery, the only original monastery left from the royal era. Then we proceed a workshop that produces the gold leaf commonly used to adorn Buddha images at temples throughout Myanmar, and the Mahamuni Pagoda, to see how the gold leaf is used.

Farewell Reception and Crew Farewell (6:30PM-7:30PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Upriver - Day Nine - Along Irrawaddy River Drone View
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
9 / 10

Disembarkation

8:00 AM: DISEMBARKATION IN MANDALAY

After your breakfast, disembark at Gawein Jetty, Mandalay.

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Upriver - Day Ten - Sunset
Location
Mandalay
Day
10 / 10
1 / 10

10 Day / 9 Night - Treasure of Golden Myanmar

itinerary map

Embarkation

12:00 PM: EMBARKATION FROM MANDALAY

Lunch onboard in Customs House Dining Room.

PM: Mandalay Enjoy a afternoon tour Mandalay. We visit the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which contains the world's biggest book, as well as the Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung Monastery, the only original monastery left from the royal era. Then we proceed a workshop that produces the gold leaf commonly used to adorn Buddha images at temples throughout Myanmar, and the Mahamuni Pagoda, to see how the gold leaf is used.

Safety Briefing and Orientation (2:00PM-2:30PM) Welcome Reception and Crew Welcome (6:30PM-7:30PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Downriver - Day One - Cruising down Irrawaddy River
Location
Mandalay
Day
1 / 10

Mingun, Sagaing & Amarapura

AM: Mingun Walking Tour. After breakfast we will enjoy a leisurely walking tour of the small town of Mingun. Our first stop is King Bodawpaya’s monumental, uncompleted stupa. During construction, an astrologer to the king argued that the king would die upon completion of the temple, and work was immediately halted. Had it been completed, it would have been the largest in the world. The cracks we see are the result of the 23 March 1839 earthquake that shook the area. We continue our walk to the Mingun Bell, which was the heaviest working bell in the world until 2000 when the Bell of Good Luck was unveiled in Henan, China. After having the opportunity to stand inside the bell as it is rung, we have time to shop in the local market, famous for its makeshift galleries that display inexpensive art from both local and internationally known artists.

PM: Sagaing & Amarapura. After Lunch, we visit Sagaing by coach, an important religious site with countless pagodas dotting the surrounding hillsides. Here, stop to see Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda at the top of Sagaing Hill for stunning views of the Irrawaddy and across to Mandalay. Next continue onto a Nunnery to witness life in a local nunnery. Next we continue by coach to the penultimate Burmese royal capital of Amarapura to visit a silk workshop before driving to U-Bein Bridge, believed to be the world’s longest and oldest teakwood bridge. Local sampans wait to take us on a leisurely cruise of the lake while admiring the sunset over the bridge ENTERTAINMENT: Myanmar Traditional Dance Performance (9:30PM-10:30PM)


Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Downriver - Day Two - Old Architecture in the City
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
2 / 10

Ava

AM: Ava. This morning we will explore AVA Kingdom ruled upper Burma from 1364 to 1555 by horse cart, visiting the beautiful 200 year old teak Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, Nanmyin watchtower (27mt. high) and the Yadana Hsemee pagoda complex.

PM: Enjoy sailing the whole afternoon.

ENTERTAINMENT: Longyi and Thanaka Demonstration (4:00PM-5:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Downriver - Day Three - Local Kids Washing by The River
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
3 / 10

Yandabo, Hnaw Kone

AM: Yandabo. Walking Tour On 24 February 1826, the peace treaty of the first Anglo-Burmese War was signed at Yandabo. Today, it is a picturesque village famous for its pottery. As we take a leisurely walk through the village, we have the opportunity to stop at the various family homes and workshops, each with its own unique style and markings, to witness the making and firing of the Yandabo pottery, famous throughout Myanmar.

PM: Hnaw Kone. Walking Tour This afternoon we sail to the village of Hnaw Kone, and enjoy our second leisurely walk of the day. Hnaw Kone is a typical, rural, river village, with friendly residents and adorable children. During our exploration of the village we will stop to see the local handicraft of bamboo cane basket weaving. We will watch the villagers as they expertly split bamboo and skillfully weave the strands into baskets or larger panels for building homes.

BBC Documentary “The Life of the Buddha” (4:00PM-5:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Downriver - Day Four - Monks walking at Dusk
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
4 / 10

Bagan

AM: Bagan viewing tower and Oxcarts ride This morning we take you to Bagan viewing tower to see the scenic view of Bagan. After that we will climbing aboard traditional, ceremonial oxcarts for a short ride through the temples of Bagan.

PM: Temples of Bagan This afternoon our excursion takes us to one of the most incredible areas of Myanmar: Bagan. Once the center of the Pagan Empire, Bagan today is a tourist, artist, and archeological mecca. We will start the tour with the massive Htilominlo, built by King Htilominlo on the site where he was chosen from the five sons of King Nadaungmya to be the crown prince of Pagan. While the murals that once decorated much of the inside of this temple have only survived on the ceilings, Htilominlo boasts the finest plaster carvings which still remain undamaged on the arch pediments. A visit to Bagan would not be complete without exploring one of the most famous temples of Bagan, Ananda. Built in 1105 CE during King Kyanzittha’s reign, it is one of only four surviving temples from this period. We will explore the cruciform of the temple, with four standing Buddhas facing north, south, east, and west.

Traditional Myanmar Puppet Show (9:00PM-10:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Downriver - Day Five - Local People by River Bank
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
5 / 10

Bagan

AM: Markets and Temples of Bagan This morning, we transfer by motor coach to Bagan’s largest open market, where fresh produce, meats, spices, woodcarvings, longyis, thanaka, and rattan products are sold every day. We have the opportunity to watch the negotiations and transactions taking place, and if we are lucky, see one of the local women carrying their purchases on their heads. After our walk through the market, we proceed to the gilded Shwezigon Pagoda. This important religious site dates to the reign of King Anawrahta, founder of the Bagan Empire. The construction of this complex spanned both King Anawrahta’s lifetime, as well as his son and successor King Kyanzittha’s lifetime. The golden stupa at its center is said to contain a bone and tooth relic of the Buddha, a gold image of Anawrahta and a Chinese emerald Buddha. After exploring this large temple complex we will say goodbye to the temples of Bagan as our coach returns us to the ship and we set sail.

PM: The Art and Sunset Over Bagan After lunch, we visit a local workshop where the traditional methods of creating lacquerware (known as yun-de in Burmese) are still practiced. After a demonstration of the labor-intensive process required in making each piece, we have time to shop before continuing on our tour. A short coach ride takes us to Gubyaukgyi Temple (Great Painted Cave Temple), where the richly-colored paintings are thought to date to the original construction period in the early 12th century and we will also see a sand painting demonstration by a local artist. Next to this temple is the gilded Myazedi Stupa, which offers both a linguistic and a historical significance: an inscription consecrating Gubyaukgyi in four languages (Pyu, Mom, Old Burmese, and Pali), which established Pyu as an important cultural influence in the early Pagan period. For our final stop of the day we proceed to the Bagan Viewing Hill where we will view the sunset over the pagodas and stupas of Bagan before returning to the ship.

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Downriver - Day Six - Local Kids Playing
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
6 / 10

Salay

AM: Salay Walking Tour. This morning we walk ashore at Salay, a small town founded in the 13th century with Bagan-era shrines, beautiful 19th century teak monasteries and preserved British colonial buildings. We explore the Salay House, a restored 1906 colonial trading company warehouse on the bank of the Irrawaddy. Our walk takes us along the town’s main Strand Street towards the local market before turning away from the river to visit the beautiful Yoke Soun Kyaung Taw Gyi wooden monastery. This ornately carved teak monastery was designed as a copy of the Crown Prince House of Mandalay, and is now a museum boasting remarkable wood carvings and artifacts. We pass some interesting Bagan-era monuments on our way to visit Mann Paya, a pagoda with a beautiful lacquerware Buddha, before returning to our ship with a stroll past some of Salay’s many beautiful colonial buildings.

PM: Tea Leaf and Ginger Salad Demonstration (3:30PM-4:30PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Downriver - Day Seven - Traditional Pottery
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
7 / 10

Magwe

AM: Magwe by Trishaw This morning we venture out into the district capitol city of Magwe aboard Trishaws (three wheeled bicycle where one person sits alongside the driver). A short walk takes us to the local market. After some time to explore and shop at the market we board our trishaws for a ride through the city to visit Mya Tha Lun pagoda. Mya Tha Lun is a beautifully gilded stupa set atop Naguttama Hill which offers a wonderful view of the river and surrounding area.

PM: Enjoy sailing the whole afternoon with lecture “Myanmar: Past and Today”

Lecture “Myanmar: Past and Today” (3:30PM – 4:30PM) Burmese Karaoke Party (5:30PM-7:00PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Downriver - Day Eight - Irrawaddy River at Sunrise
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
8 / 10

Thayet, Prome & Sri Ksetra

AM: Thayet Myo This morning we will put you on Tuk-Tuk to visit the charming town of Thayet Myo, stopping at the oldest golf course of Myanmar with a fascinating history (guests may hit from the first tee). We then visit the local market, passing colonial homes constructed during the British colonization of Burma.

PM: Prome and Sri Ksetra Once controlled by the Mon tribe during the Bagan Era, and then conquered by the Burmese King Alaungpaya in 1754, Prome (known as Pyay to the locals) boomed along with the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1890s and is now an important trading post for goods traveling between northern and southern Myanmar. This afternoon we drive to Thayekhittaya (also known as Sri Ksetra, the “Fabulous City” in the Pali language), an ancient Pyu city that ruled in this area between the 5th and the 9th centuries. We visit the well-documented Sri Ksetra Museum, full of excellent maps and artifacts including Hindu deities, Buddha images from as far back as the 6th century, Pyu beads, and silver coins.

Farewell Reception and Crew Farewell (6:30PM-7:30PM)

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Downriver - Day Nine - Local Farmers
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
9 / 10

Disembarkation

7:00 AM: DISEMBARKATION FROM PROME

Guests will enjoy a scenic drive from Prome to Yangon post-disembarkation (Meeting Point Sule Shangri-La Hotel).

Irrawaddy Explorer's 10-Day Treasure of Golden Myanmar Downriver - Day Ten - Local Myanmar Children
Location
Prome
Day
10 / 10
1 / 10

Accommodations

Social Areas

Sun Deck
Sun Deck
Spa
Sun-Deck
Lounge
Dining Room
Dining Room
Lounge
Breakfast
Embarkation
Seats on the sun deck
Lounge chairs on the deck
Spa therapist
Sun beds on the deck
Armchairs in the lounge
Waiter preparing the table
Dining room
Waiter in the lounge
Chef at live cooking station
Ship with the gangway at tehe river bank

Suites & Cabins

Irrawaddy Explorer's Maughan Suite Irrawaddy Explorer's Maughan Suite

Maughan Suite

Guests
2
Size
26 m² / 276 ft²
Beds
Queen / Twin

The suites feature luxury with floor-to-ceiling windows and the French balcony to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. The room also features an in-room safe for guests to put their belongings and an LCD tv for entertainment.

Irrawaddy Explorer's Orwell Suite Irrawaddy Explorer's Orwell Suite

Orwell Suite

Guests
2
Size
26 m² / 276 ft²
Beds
Queen / Twin

These suites are designed to ensure that guests enjoy the tropical rainforest environment to the fullest. The floor-to-ceiling glass doors/windows and the balconies come with stunning views. The room also features a sitting area with a desk and a fully equipped large bathroom.

Irrawaddy Explorer's Kipling Suite Irrawaddy Explorer's Kipling Suite

Kipling Suite

Guests
2
Size
25 m² / 269 ft²
Beds
King

Guests can enjoy the comfort offered by this room, featuring floor-to-ceiling glass doors/ windows that open to a French balcony, an ensuite living area with working space, and individual climate control. The lush, spacious bathrooms feature basic amenities, including a hairdryer.

Irrawaddy Explorer's Mandalay Suite Irrawaddy Explorer's Mandalay Suite Irrawaddy Explorer's Mandalay Suite - Bathroom

Mandalay Suite

Guests
2
Size
38 m² / 409 ft²
Beds
King

Each Mandalay suite is spacious, featuring a sitting area with a couch and table for guests as they watch the LCD tv. The suites come with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto a private balcony where guests can lounge as they enjoy oceanic views.

Technical Information

Deck Plan

Deck plan

Features

  • Cabins with balconies
  • Air conditioning
  • Excercise room
  • Massage room
  • Lecture room
** Use of certain equipment at additional cost, ask for details