8-Day / 7-Night Orcaella Myanmar Cruise: Bagan to Yangon
Explore the majestic sights of the Irrawaddy River, beginning with the breathtaking ancient city of Bagan and including vibrant local markets, sleepy villages and the country’s only bespectacled Buddha.
Visit gilded pagodas and bustling markets as you cruise the Irrawaddy river in supreme luxury on board Belmond Orcaella cruise. This 8-day journey takes you down from the ancient city of Bagan to Yangon. From the Buddhist pilgrimage sites at Prome (Pyay), to the over 2,000 ancient pagodas of Bagan, the Irrawaddy river, its people, and their culture continue to thrive.
Aboard the Orcaella cruise you will have guided tours of Bagan, Salay, Magwe, Gwechaung, Sri Ksetra, Zalon, Danuphyu and Yangon. An idea way to tour this emerging destination is by river cruise, as it allows you to get a closer look at life on the river, just as it was centuries ago. 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 – Bagan
Board Belmond Orcaella at Bagan and enjoy a delicious lunch.
Later, disembark for a guided tour of the ancient city of Bagan. Around 2,000 temples dot the plains besides the Ayeyarwady River, with many dating back 800 years or more. Visit two of the most significant pagodas, Sulamani and Ananda, before stopping by at an authentic local lacquerware workshop.
As the daylight begins to fade, watch the sunset across the plain and take part in an exclusive candle lighting ceremony. Return to the ship for dinner.
Day 2 – Bagan, Salay
Start the day with a leisurely breakfast. This morning also provides the opportunity to take to the skies in a hot air balloon (additional supplement applies).
Take your pick of three fascinating excursions. Take a tour of Old Bagan by horse and cart, explore the monuments by bicycle, or take an in-depth look at Taun Be village and visit Belmond’s free clinic.
In the afternoon, set sail towards Salay where you can visit the teak monastery Yout-Saun-Kyaung. Relax back on board, perhaps sitting in on an illuminating talk about the ways of life in Myanmar. A classic puppet show provides this evening’s entertainment.
Day 3 – Magwe, Gwechaung
Visit the port town of Magwe and its famous Myathalon Pagoda. Devotees come from miles around to join in religious festivals. Learn about Myanmar astrology and the significance of spirit animals, an important part of local belief.
Return to the ship for a monk blessing ceremony, before continuing with your sail.
Disembark for a late-afternoon excursion to Gwechaung, an important hilltop stronghold built in 1860 to keep the British at bay. Journey by ox cart across the farmlands for a real taste of rural life.
Tonight’s dinner will be a feast of grilled specialities, served under the stars or on a nearby sandbank (weather permitting).
Day 4 – Pyay, Sri Ksetra, Shwe-san-daw Pagoda
Take the opportunity to relax this morning. Perhaps enjoy yoga on deck, sit in on a talk about Myanmar’s past and future, or indulge with a spa treatment.
In the afternoon visit the historic train station in Pyay. Continue to the ancient city Sri Ksetra (‘Fabulous City’) with its unique cylindrical shaped stone stupas. Dating back to the 5th – 9th centuries, this city flourished during the rule of the Phyu. During the 1890s Pyay was a booming trade town, and there is still much activity in and around the docks. Next, enjoy a city tour, visit the impressive Shwe-san-daw Pagoda and the imposing 10-storey Sitting Buddha watching over this important site.
Near the ship, a night market sparks to life as the sun sets. Our guides are happy to show you around the food stalls and let you soak up the ambience.
After dinner, a movie will be shown in the Lounge. Fresh popcorn and homemade ice cream make it a night to remember.
Day 5 – Irrawaddy River
Continue your cruise, alighting to visit a rarely-seen riverside village where lifestyles have remained unchanged for centuries.
Spend the day relaxing on board. Learn how to tie a longyi and how to prepare thanaka, a paste that serves as both makeup and sun protection. Wear your longyi to a special cocktail reception before dinner this evening.
Day 6 – Zalon, Danuphyu
Disembark at the small port town of Zalon, famed for its bamboo weaving. Travel through town like a local aboard a Chinese buffalo truck.
Continue to another little-visited town called Danuphyu. This is where the revered General Maha Bandula led a Burmese defensive against the British troops during the Anglo-Burmese War. Visit the memorial, and sample sweet tea and snacks at a local teashop.
Day 7 – Yangon
Spend the morning relaxing on deck as you make your way to Yangon. Listen in on a talk from our onboard doctor about healthcare in Myanmar and Belmond’s local contributions.
Arrive in Yangon after lunch. Take a tour of the city, including Pansodan Road, Chinatown and the bustling Bogyoke ‘Scott’ Market.
Return to the ship for a sensational cocktail party and farewell feast.
Day 8 – Yangon
Disembark in the late morning for your onward travel arrangements.
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).