9-Day / 8-Night Orcaella Myanmar Cruise: Yangon to Bagan
Cruise along Myanmar’s iconic river, enjoying guided excursions of ancient cities and bustling ports with ample time to discover the temples of Bagan.
Visit gilded pagodas and bustling markets as you cruise the Irrawaddy river in supreme luxury on board Belmond Orcaella cruise. This 9-day journey takes you up from the bustling city of Yangon to the ancient historic Bagan. 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 Danuphyu, Pyay, Gwechaung, Magwe, Salay, and Bagan. 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 – Yangon
Board Belmond Orcaella at its mooring in Yangon and enjoy a relaxing breakfast as we start our journey to Bagan.
After lunch, enjoy an introductory lecture about the heritage buildings we are sailing past along the Irrawaddy River.
A welcome cocktail party and introduction to the ship’s officers precedes dinner.
Day 2 – Danuphyu, Italoke
This morning visit Danuphyu, a historically important town during the Anglo-Burmese War. See the General Maha Bandula memorial at Pali University, followed by a trip to a cheroot maker and local tea shop. You’ll also have a chance to wander the bustling market.
Return to the ship for afternoon tea. Join our guides in the Lounge for an introduction to the Myanmar language.
Enjoy dinner as Belmond Orcaella moors at Italoke.
Day 3 – Pyay
Spend the day relaxing on board as we make our way towards the ancient Myanmar capital of Pyay. Take part in sunrise yoga, indulge with a spa treatment, or unwind beside the outdoor pool.
An astrologer will join you on board for number and palm readings. Astrology is an important aspect of Myanmar culture.
Sit in on a fascinating talk about local Buddhism, and join a longyi tying and thanaka paste making demonstration. Wear your longyi at this evening’s pre-dinner cocktail party.
Day 4 – Shwesandaw Pagoda, Sri Ksetra
Arrive in Pyay in the morning and disembark for a visit to the impressive Shwesandaw Pagoda, boasting views across the city. You’ll also get to see the ten-storey Buddha and make an offering to your personal planetary post, learning about the significance of spirit animals.
You’ll also visit the ‘Fabulous City’ of Sri Ksetra. One of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Myanmar, Sri Ksetra is famed for its unique, cylindrical stone stupas.
Return to Belmond Orcaella and spend the rest of the afternoon sailing through the stunning scenery. A talk on Myanmar’s past, present and future will be presented by one of our guides.
After dinner, enjoy a movie in the Lounge & Bar, complete with fresh popcorn and homemade ice cream.
Day 5 – Gwechaung, Irrawaddy River
Relax with a full morning of sailing. On deck there is an option to make your own kite from bamboo and recycled materials, flying it from the stern.
In the late afternoon, disembark to visit the hilltop fort at Gwechaung. Travel through the countryside by ox cart for first-hand experience of the rural lifestyle along the Irrawaddy River.
Savour a stunning dinner of grilled specialities, served under the stars on the Observation Deck or on a nearby sandbank (weather permitting).
Day 6 – Magwe, Myathalon Pagoda
This morning we arrive at the trade port of Magwe. Enjoy a tuk tuk tour of the busy market and see the famous Myathalon Pagoda. Visit a monastic school, and join our onboard doctor as he donates stationery to the schoolchildren.
Return to the ship for lunch. Later there is an invitation to take part in a Lahpet Thoke, or tea leaf salad, competition. Work in teams to make one of the most popular dishes in Myanmar cuisine, with a winner chosen by the ship’s Captain.
Day 7 – Salay, Taung Be Village
This morning disembark for Salay to view the exquisite 19th-century teak monastery Yout-Saun-Kyaung.
Lunch is served as we cruise into Bagan. Disembark for an early evening tour of Taung Be village, travelling by traditional horse and cart, including an exclusive candle lighting ceremony.
This evening’s entertainment is an enchanting puppet show.
Day 8 – Bagan
This morning you have the option to enjoy one of Bagan’s most magical experiences as you take a hot air balloon ride above the temples (additional supplement applies).
Today you have a choice of three excursions. Visit family-owned businesses that specialises in making typical Myanmar delicacies and goods. Continue your tour through a temple complex in Old Bagan, and enjoy a private tour of a rarely-seen temple by torchlight. More active explorers can find their way through the monuments by mountain bike, using our map. Alternatively, stroll through Taung Be village and visit Belmond’s inspiring free clinic.
Return to the ship for lunch, then visit two of the most significant pagodas in Bagan; Sulamani and Ananda.
Enjoy your final evening aboard, including a fantastic farewell cocktail party, dinner and elephant dance.
Day 9 – Bagan
Disembark after breakfast for your onward journey.
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).