6-Day / 5-Night Irrawaddy River Cruise
The Royal Capitals
This 6-Day / 5-night journey takes you either upstream or downstream on the Irrawaddy River of Myanmar (Burma). From the over 2,000 ancient pagodas of Bagan, to the historic terra-cotta potters' village of Yandabo, to the teak-wood bridge in Amarapura, the Irrawaddy river, its people, and their culture continue to thrive. Aboard the Royal Capitals Cruise you will visit Mandalay, Mingun, Ava (Inwa), Amarapura, Monywa, Yandabo, Shwe Pyi Thar, and Bagan.
Below is a "downstream" cruise program. The Royal Capitals Cruise operates a reverse 6-Day program "upstream" as well depending on the date of travel. All touring is done with local, English speaking professional guides. Wireless headsets are available for listening to your local guide while seeing the sites of Myanmar (Burma) by way of the Irrawaddy River. All meals are included as indicated in the program below. Daily excursions typically run from one to two hours long or as half day excursions.
The itinerary below is dependent on the river water level, weather conditions, and accessibility to locations, so touring may vary.
DAY 1: Embark Mandalay - Mingun
(L / D)
Embark the ship at Gawein Jetty between 10:00 hrs to 12:00 hrs. Sail upstream to Mingun and visit the "unfinished pagoda", the largest working bell and the “home for the ages”. After dinner, enjoy a dance and drama performance by the Mandalay Arts School on the sundeck (if available). Moor overnight in front of Sagaing Hill.
Day 2: Mandalay - Ava - Amarapura
(B / L / D)
After an early breakfast, visit central Mandalay: Mandalay Hill (with sweeping views of the city and temples), the nearby Kuthodaw Paya (which contains the world's largest book), gold leaf workshops, tapestry making, wood carving, marble carving, and bronze casting. Lunch on board.
In the afternoon, explore Ava by horse-cart visiting the beautiful 200-year-old teak Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, the Me Nu Ok Kyaung monastery, and other sights. Then travel by sampan and coach to Amarapura, the penultimate Burmese Royal Capital (1783), visiting U-Bein Bridge and Silk factories. Moor overnight in front of the wonderful Sagaing Hill.
Day 3: Monywa
(B / L / D)
Early morning drive by coach (approx. 2 ½ hours) to Monywa to visit the "Hpowindaung caves" where hundreds of Buddha Statues are placed inside niches decorated with wonderful mural paintings. After lunch, we visit the splendid Sambuddhai Kat Kyaw pagoda with its more than 500,000 Buddha images. Drive to Myin Mu jetty (approx. 1½ hours) where we will rejoin the ship. Dinner on board.
Day 4: Yandabo - Shwe Pyi Thar
(B / L / D)
In the morning, arrive at Yandabo, a picturesque and historic village that specializes in clay pot-making, where the peace treaty for First Anglo-Burmese war signed on Feb. 24, 1826. We go ashore for a walk stopping at pot-making workshops and visit the local school and monastery.
Continue cruising downstream with an afternoon stop at Shwe Pyi Thar for a walk through a typical river village. Moor overnight.
Day 5: Bagan
(B / L / D)
Today 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 archaeological mecca. Visit a selection of the most significant pagodas and temples of the over 2,000 around Bagan.
Day 6: Disembark Bagan
Disembark at the Aye Yar Jetty after breakfast.
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).