Sanctuary Ananda on the river
  1. Home
  2. Myanmar
  3. Irrawaddy
  4. Sanctuary Ananda

Sanctuary Ananda

This luxurious all-suite riverboat offers exciting voyages, gourmet dining and a pampering spa.

Overview

Sanctuary Ananda is a 48-passenger river vessel, custom built by local craftsmen and launched in 2014. This luxurious all-suite ship will take you in style on voyages of astonishing beauty and discovery on the mystic rivers of Myanmar. Visit temples, pagodas, palaces and monasteries along the Irrawaddy River, or journey along its great tributary, the Chindwin, to places visitors rarely see – through the jungles of the north, forgotten villages, and ancient towns.

Cabins

Sanctuary Ananda’s 21 cabins, located on three decks, include four lavish Staterooms measuring 334 to 356 square feet. Other cabins range from 291 to 301 square feet, and all have floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies, while the Staterooms have full balconies with outdoor furniture.

Additionally, the signature Owner’s Suite, which measures an expansive 807 square feet comes with a king-sized bed, dressing area, separate living and dining areas, a freestanding bathtub and a monsoon shower, and also offers butler service.

In every room, vintage photographs, lush silks, polished teak and exquisite lacquerware pieces celebrate Myanmar’s rich heritage of arts, crafts and textiles, while Egyptian-cotton sheets ensure a comfortable night’s rest. Each has an en-suite bathroom, individually controlled air-conditioning, a safe deposit box, and an iPad with free Wi-Fi albeit with limited internet coverage outside of the main cities of Mandalay & Bagan.

The smaller suites each have double or twin beds and a bathroom with a monsoon shower; the Staterooms have additional indoor seating areas and an extra convertible bed for a child. Two pairs of interconnecting cabins are also available for families.

Dining

Look forward to the delicious cuisine of Myanmar alongside a choice of Western favorites and international dishes. Specially crafted menus and inspired dining experiences encompass dishes such as soft-shell crab, red curries, and mango and pomelo salad enhanced with fragrant flavors including lemongrass, kaffir lime and sweet chilli.

Meals are served in the main dining room, Talifoo Restaurant, and alfresco lunch is available in the Mindoon Restaurant. The on-board library can also be used for private dining.

Facilities on board

The upper Bhamo Deck, where all the Luxury Suites are situated, houses the Kansi panorama lounge and there is also a Sun Deck and an outdoor plunge pool. Other facilities on your Sanctuary Ananda Cruise include the Thambayadine Spa by L’Occitane, where you can indulge in traditional therapies and soothing massages.

On board Activities

Be captivated by performances of Burmese dances which often tell stories of local myths and legends. Enjoy lectures on an array of interesting topics about Myanmar’s history and culture. Join a cooking demonstration run by the ship’s professional chefs and learn how to cook some of the delicious local meals served on board. Learn how to tie a longyi − the skirt that both men and women traditionally wear − and how to make and apply tanaka natural sun cream.

Excursions

Shore excursions on these voyages of discovery combine the ‘must see sights’ and fabulous landscapes with visits to small villages to meet the local people and observe the hand production of time-honored crafts.

Suitable for families, couples, solo travelers and friends, the Sanctuary Ananda offers a wonderful insight into Myanmar on a choice of cruises from Mandalay to Bagan, Bhamo or Yangon.

Itineraries & Prices

1 / 2
4-Day DOWN
4-Day UP

4 Day - Mandalay - Bagan (Downstream)

itinerary map

Embarkation

PM: Welcome on board the Sanctuary Ananda. Check in at 12:30 pm and settle into your suite.

If you arrive on an earlier flight we can arrange a tour of Mandalay. This will include a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwenandaw Monastery, and lastly a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda (Maha Lawka Marazein). Kuthodaw is often called the biggest book in the world, for surrounding, it is 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Tripitaka texts (Buddhist cannon).

Lunch will be served on board as we cruise towards Sagaing.

In the afternoon visit the pagoda sprinkled Sagaing Hill, an important religious and monastic center, home to some 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns.

Next, take in the views from the top of the hill on the terraces of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, which are truly breathtaking. Below and all around, pagodas of different shapes and sizes dot the landscape. Amarapura was once known as ‘The City of Immortals’. Today, the leisurely ‘clack-clack’ from the looms of the cotton and silk weavers has replaced the noisy bustle of this former capital.

Visit the U Bein Bridge, a spectacular place to enjoy the sunset. This long teak bridge snakes across Taungthaman Lake. After sunset, return to the Sanctuary Ananda for dinner.


Sanctuary Ananda - Mandalay - Bagan (Downstream)-Day 1
Location
Mandalay
Day
1 / 4

Sin Kyun

AM: Early this morning Sanctuary Ananda will sail north to the quaint village of Sin Kyun, a village just north of Mandalay which is sponsored by Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy. It has a population of just under 1,000 inhabitants and specializes in farming and hat making. Take an optional tour to witness first-hand the way of life in this unspoiled location seldom viewed by outsiders. Following the village Chief’s request for a library and a house for an English teacher, Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy donated the money necessary to begin this new partnership. We hope that with the support of Sanctuary Ananda guests, we will be able to provide further funds to improve the quality of life of the villagers. After the village tour, we set sail towards Bagan. Enjoy the beautiful sightseeing from the ship while passing Mingun, where you can see the unfinished Mingun Pagoda.

As we continue to sail south, relax as we sail past villages, set against a backdrop of soft browns and rich tamarind trees with white and golden pagodas gracing the distant hills. There is no better way to enjoy this riverine picture than from the Kansi Panorama Lounge.

PM: After lunch, a variety of onboard activities will be on offer including a longyi (sarong) and thanaka (cosmetic) demonstration, a back-of-house tour, and a talk on Myanmar – covering the country’s incredibly rich history, the recent controversial decades and the outlook for the future of The Golden Land. A delicious dinner will bring this thought-provoking day to an end.

Sanctuary Ananda - Mandalay - Bagan (Downstream)-Day 2
Location
Sin Kyun Village
Day
2 / 4

Bagan

AM: After breakfast, join our Executive Chef for a cooking demonstration to test your knowledge of local delicacies and learn how to create delicious Asian dishes. We’ll spend the rest of the morning sailing downstream towards Bagan, which means you have ample time to enjoy the luxuries on board Sanctuary Ananda. Maybe have a spa treatment or relax by the pool with a book from our library?

PM: Enjoy lunch as we enter pagoda sprinkled Bagan. After lunch on board, we will visit the Kayminga pagoda complex to see the different architecture of the stupas first-hand. This is the perfect starting point to understand how Bagan was built over several centuries and how the architectural style has evolved.

Next, visit Bagan to see the Ananda Temple. Completed in 1091 AD, it is commonly referred to as one of the four great temples in Bagan. The Ananda is regarded by folklore as one of the most beautiful temples in Myanmar. Enjoy the sunset over the Bagan plains and admire the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery. Finally, the sun sets behind the hills on the far side of the Ayeyarwady River, filling the sky with a reddish glow, a truly magic moment.

Sanctuary Ananda - Mandalay - Bagan (Downstream)-Day 3
Location
Bagan
Day
3 / 4

Disembarkation

AM: Take an optional early morning balloon tour to capture a birds-eye view of the Bagan plain, followed by breakfast on board. If you are departing on a later flight we will arrange for you to take a tour of Bagan. Leaving at 9 am we will visit a local village in the heart of the Bagan plain, to see the way of life of the local people.

Note :

A balloon tour is available at an additional cost. Please book in advance. Available 1 October - 30 March. Subject to weather conditions on the day of the flight.

Sanctuary Ananda - Mandalay - Bagan (Downstream)-Day 4
Location
Bagan
Day
4 / 4
1 / 4

4 Day - Bagan to Mandalay (Upstream)

itinerary map

Embarkation

PM: Check-in and settle into your suite. If you arrive on an early flight we will arrange for you to take a tour in Bagan. Leaving at 9am we will visit a local village in the heart of the Bagan plain, to see the way of life of the local people. Next visit a lacquerware workshop. This ancient craft has been produced in Bagan since the time of King Anawrahta around 1050 AD. Here in the workshop the traditional methods are still used.

After lunch on board, we will visit Kayminga pagoda complex to see the different architecture of the stupas first-hand. This is the perfect starting point to understand how Bagan was built over several centuries and how the architectural style has evolved.

Next, visit Bagan to see the Ananda Temple. Completed in 1091 AD, it is commonly referred to as one of the four great temples in Bagan. The Ananda is regarded by folklore as one of the most beautiful temples in Myanmar. 

Enjoy the sunset over the Bagan plains and admire the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery. Finally the sun sets behind the hills on the far side of the Ayeyarwady River, filling the sky with a reddish glow, a truly magic moment. 

A welcome briefing and champagne reception will be hosted in the Kansi Panorama Lounge before a candlelit sandbank dinner is served with the backdrop of the twinkling lights of Bagan.

Sanctuary Ananda's 4-Day Bagan to Mandalay - Day One - Private Balcony
Location
Bagan
Day
1 / 4

Bagan, Ananda Temple

AM: Take an optional early morning balloon tour to capture a birds-eye view of the Bagan plain (an additional charge applies, please book in advance. Available October – March only. Subject to weather conditions on the day of the flight), followed by breakfast back on board. Alternatively, visit the bustling local market of Nyaung U. The daily market is where the farmers meet to buy and sell a variety of goods, ranging from fruit and vegetables to china and lacquerware.

After our visit to Nyaung U, we will move on to the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda. This holds a special place among Burmese pagodas for two reasons: it was the first major monument built in the Burmese style (as distinct from Mon style) following the country’s conversion to Theravada Buddhism, and was the first pagoda to have nat (spirit) images allowed within the precinct. The Shwezigon is said to contain important relics of the Gautama Buddha, two bones and a copy of a tooth. We will then return to the ship for lunch and start sailing upstream towards Sagaing. Relax as we past villages set against a backdrop of soft browns, rich tamarind trees with white and golden pagodas gracing the distant hills. There is no better way to enjoy this riverine picture than from the Kansi panorama lounge.

PM: After lunch, a variety of onboard activities will be offered including a longyi (sarong) and thanaka (cosmetic) demonstration, a back of house tour, and a talk on Myanmar – covering the country’s incredibly rich history, more recent & controversial events and prospects for the future. A delicious dinner in the Talifoo Restaurant will then follow.

Sanctuary Ananda's 4-Day Bagan to Mandalay - Day Two - Sailing in Irrawaddy River
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
2 / 4

U Bein Bridge, Sagaing Hill

AM: The morning will be spent sailing as you enjoy the passing countryside. A cooking class with our Executive Chef will be available.

PM: In the afternoon visit the pagoda sprinkled Sagaing Hill, an important religious and monastic centre, home to some 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns. Here we will visit a Monastic school and orphanage where you will have the opportunity to meet some of the residents and understand the teachings of Buddhism.

Next, take in the views from the top of the hill on the terraces of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda which are truly breathtaking. Below and all around, pagodas of different shapes and sizes dot the landscape. Amarapura, was once known as ‘The City of Immortals’. Today, the leisurely ‘clack-clack’ from the looms of the cotton and silk weavers has replaced the noisy bustle of this former capital.

Visit the U Bein Bridge, a spectacular place to enjoy the sunset. This long teak bridge snakes across the Taungthaman Lake and each evening you can watch monks crossing the bridge to collect food donations. This is a very spiritual and time traveling experience. The view of the bridge as the sun goes down is perhaps one of the most beautiful sights in Mandalay, making it an excellent photography opportunity. After sunset, return to the Sanctuary Ananda.

A local performance will be followed by dinner on board.

Sanctuary Ananda's 4-Day Bagan to Mandalay - Day Three - Pool on Deck
Location
Irrawaddy River
Day
3 / 4

Disembarkation

AM: Breakfast is served before check out in Mandalay. If you are leaving on a later flight we can arrange a tour of Mandalay. This will include a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, one of Myanmar’s most religious monuments housing the revered Mahamuni Image. Continue on to visit Shwenandaw Monastery, the only palace building to survive the bombings of World War II. This beautiful teak monastery had been the apartment of King Mindon and after his death in 1879, his son Kong Theebaw, moved it out of the palace.

Lastly, a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda (Maha Lawka Marazein) built by King Mindon in 1857, in effect a copy of the Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan. Kuthodaw is often called the biggest book in the world, for surrounding it are 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Tripitaka texts (Buddhist cannon).

Sanctuary Ananda's 4-Day Bagan to Mandalay - Day Four - Enjoy Luxury Service on Board
Location
Mandalay
Day
4 / 4
1 / 4

Accommodations

Social Areas

Talifoo Dining Room
Dufferin Library
Kansi Panorama Lounge
Lounge
Mindoon Al Fresco
Pool
Spa
Colourful dining room
Table and sofa in the cozy room
People spending time in the lounge
A couple on the sofa
Al fresco sitting area
A couple chatting by the pool
Massage

Suites & Cabins

Sanctuary Ananda's Suite
2 Cabins

Suite

Guests
2
Size
27 m² / 291 ft²
Beds
Double / Twin

Guests can enjoy these expansive suites that come with large windows and private balconies. These suites also feature individually controlled air conditioning and a luxurious bathroom equipped with a monsoon shower, a basin, and a separate toilet.

Sanctuary Ananda's Bagan Deluxe Suite
7 Cabins

Bagan Deluxe Suite

Guests
2
Size
27-28 m² / 291-301 ft²
Beds
Double / Twin

These suites feature one set of interconnecting suites that is ideal for either a large family or a group of friends. The suites also have a private balcony with outdoor chairs and a table where guests can relax as they sunbathe.

Sanctuary Ananda's Mandalay Deluxe Suite
7 Cabins

Mandalay Deluxe Suite

Guests
2
Size
27-28 m² / 291-301 ft²
Beds
Double / Twin

These suites are designed to ensure comfort and luxury. They feature a private balcony that comes with chairs and tables, allowing guests some intimate time to take in the breathtaking oceanic view. The Mandalay suites also feature one set of interconnected suites for bigger groups.

Sanctuary Ananda's Luxury Suite Sanctuary Ananda's Luxury Suite Sanctuary Ananda's Luxury Suite - Bathroom
4 Cabins

Luxury Suite

Guests
2
Size
31-33 m² / 334-356 ft²
Beds
King

The luxury suite features a private balcony with tables and chairs where guests can enjoy some alone time. The suites come with a stylish bathroom fully equipped with a monsoon shower and other amenities, ensuring a guest enjoys a refreshing shower.

Sanctuary Ananda's Owner's Suite Sanctuary Ananda's Owner's Suite Sanctuary Ananda's Owner's Suite
1 Cabin

Owner's Suite

Guests
2
Size
75 m² / 807 ft²
Beds
King

The owner's room is very spacious, featuring ensuite living areas, a separate dressing, and a big verandah where guests can sunbathe and take in the cool breeze. The expansive bathroom oozes luxury with a fully equipped freestanding tub, monsoon showers, and his-and-hers sinks.

Technical Information

Deck Plan

Ananda Deck Plan

Features

  • Connecting cabins
  • Cabins with balconies
  • Air conditioning
  • Pool / Jacuzzi
  • Massage room
  • Lecture room
** Use of certain equipment at additional cost, ask for details
As Featured In