12-Day / 11-Night Cruise: Mandalay - Bhamo - Bagan
Cruise from the city of Mandalay to Bhamo and on to the spellbinding temples of Bagan. This adventurous voyage provides the opportunity to marvel at the gorges from the river.
Set off from the Golden City and travel through majestic gorges as you discover the secrets of Myanmar on board Belmond Orcaella. This Myanmar cruise itinerary takes you to the gorges of the far north, an area off the beaten path, to discover the spectacular wonders of this emerging travel destination.
Aboard the Orcaella cruise you will have guided tours of Mingun, Nwe Nyein, Kyan Hnyat, Katha, Bhamo, Weima, Ma Lae Village, Mandalay, Bagan and Shwe Pa Island. The beauty of ancient temples, surrounding landscapes and smiling people will surely amaze you.
The itinerary below is dependent on the river water level, weather conditions, and accessibility to locations, so touring may vary.
Day 1 – Irrawaddy River, Mingun
Board Belmond Orcaella and cruise on the Irrawaddy River towards northern Myanmar.
A stop at Mingun includes a visit to the world's largest brick-built pagoda and the largest uncracked bell.
This evening you’ll get to know fellow travellers at the welcome cocktail and dinner party.
Day 2 – Nwe Nyein
Disembark at Nwe Nyein for a guided walking tour and a chance to meet artisans sculpting traditional clay pots.
Afternoon tea is served in the Lounge Bar. Lecture “Myanmar ways of life” by your guide at the Lounge Bar.
Dinner is served in the Restaurant.
Release of Shan Balloons at the Observation Deck (weather permitting).
Day 3 – Kyan Hnyat Village
Spend the morning strolling around the delightful village of Kyan Hnyat. Children greet you on their way to school and the market begins bustle with activity.
As Belmond Orcaella continues its voyage, you can admire the rural villages dotted along the shore.
Day 4 – Katha
Visit Katha by trishaw and take in the market made famous by George Orwell in Burmese Days.
Return on board and set sail. Lunch buffet is served in the Restaurant.
Afternoon tea is served in the Lounge Bar where you can also enjoy a lecture.
This evening dinner is served in the Restaurant, followed by entertainment from Shan Dancers on the Observation Deck.
Day 5 – Shwe Paw Island, Bhamo
Arrival at Shwe Paw Kyun. Transfer by boat to the pretty Shwe Paw Island and walk among the stilt houses of the Kachin fishermen. Visit the island monastery, and perhaps call into the village school.
Return on board and set sail for Bhamo. We will be entering the dramatic, narrow 2nd defile around 10:00 and passing through should take about two hours.
Enjoy the scenery from the Observation Deck.
Buffet lunch is served in the Restaurant.
Transfer to shore by fast boat for a walking tour of the lively town of Bhamo, the major northern trading post between China and Myanmar.
Day 6 – Weima Village
Arrive at Weima village and enjoy a visit to an elephant camp.
Continue with a visit to the local school to donate school stationery. Return on board.
Spend the afternoon on board and enjoy afternoon tea in the Lounge.
Day 7 – Kachin Jungle
In the early morning, board a train to the forest station of Naba and journey into the thick Kachin jungle and teak forest.
Myanmar traditional dress “longyi” and thanakha (local make-up) demonstration on the Observation Deck.
Afternoon tea is served in the Lounge Bar.
Join fellow travellers for a longyi cocktail party.
Day 8 – Ma Lae Village, Mandalay’s School of Performing Arts
Alight at Ma Lae Village for a walking tour of the village and a visit to the monastery. Witness a traditional Novitiation Ceremony, regarded as a very important moment for young Burmese boys.
After dinner enthusiastic young actors from Mandalay’s School of Performing Arts will enact scenes from the Yamayana play on the Observation Deck. This is a Hindu Creation Epic that is widely performed across all of Southeast Asia and features characters from Bali, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Day 9 – Mandalay
Mandalay comes into view in the early morning.
Disembark for a tour of Myanmar’s second city, including lunch at a local restaurant.
A special dinner will be served on the sandbank this evening.
Day 10 – Bagan
Spend the day gazing at the passing scenery as the ship continues towards Bagan.
This evening take in the unforgettable sunset over the Bagan plain and enjoy a puppet show by traditional Bagan artists.
Day 11 – Bagan
Visit the ancient sites in and around Bagan with an expert guide.
In the afternoon you may choose to join a tour of Mount Popa—the legendary home of animist spirits known as Nats—with its impressive summit monastery. Or take a horse-drawn cart or a bicycle to explore on your own.
Celebrate your final evening on board at this evening’s cocktail party, and say goodbye to your new friends during the Farewell Dinner.
Day 12 – Bagan
Transfer to Bagan airport for your flight to Yangon.
NOTICE: The cruise schedule includes the latest information regarding your program, but last minute adjustments may occur. The schedule may shift due to the weather, site closure, or unexpected circumstances beyond our control. The exact time for each activity will be announced or posted by the on-board tour staff. The touring is active, so all participants should be in good health. Due to the rural location, handicapped accessibility is not available in Myanmar (Burma).