4-Day / 3-Night The Strand Cruise: Mandalay to Bagan
Explore the wonders of the royal capitals during this shorter Irrawaddy River Cruise.
Explore the highlights of Myanmar on this shorter Irrawaddy cruise itinerary. From Mandalay to Bagan you will cruise to each fascinating destination. Explore the temples in Mandalay, walk across the iconic U-Bein
Bridge, marvel at Ananda temple in Bagan, soar across the sky in a hot air balloon and much more. This is the perfect itinerary for those looking to combine a cruise with a Myanmar land tour.
The itinerary below is dependent on the river water level, weather conditions, and accessibility to locations, so touring may vary.
Day 1 – Mandalay, U-Bein Bridge, Mingun
We begin our day in Mandalay with a welcome breakfast in a private area by the illustrious Royal Lake, before visiting the magnificent U-Bein Bridge, a crossing that spans the Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura. It is also believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. After a tour of the bridge, we travel onwards to discover the Mahamuni Pagoda and the Shwe In Bin monastery, a beautifully carved teak monastery known as the perfect spot for meditation in the heart of Mandalay. At midday, the Strand Cruise crew will be waiting to greet you on board and welcome you with a generous buffet lunch of Mediterranean cuisine.
After lunch we will stop in Mingun, one of the country’s former capitals, at the foot of the unfinished pagoda, one of the largest pagodas ever constructed in the history of Myanmar. We will visit the pagoda by a popular local means of transportation, the Tuk Tuk. The pagoda is home to the magnificent Mingun Bell, claimed to be the largest un-cracked hanging bell in the world. We will also visit Paya Hsinbyume, an impressive pagoda that rises in seven curved whitewashed terraces representing the seven mountain ranges around Mt Meru, the mountain at the centre of the Buddhist universe. As the sun sets, admire the magnificent sights over the Irrawaddy river from the ship’s Sundeck, sipping one of the Strand Hotel’s signature cocktails, before joining your fellow travellers for a Myanmar dinner in the Strand restaurant.
Day 2 – Ava, Irrawaddy River
Our day begins with a visit to Ava, the ancient imperial capital of successive Burmese kingdoms from the 14th to 19th centuries. Horse carts await the ship to transport guests for a delightful ride through the naturally preserved Ava landscape and key landmarks. A once prominent city, throughout history Ava has been ravaged by war and natural disasters and rebuilt numerous times. Today, all that is left are the ruins and remains of an abandoned kingdom forever imprinted in history. Here we will visit the Yadana Shemee and Wingaba, temples, as well as the Bopaya monastery and the brick monastery.
Once back on board the Strand Cruise, an Asian family style lunch is served on the Sundeck while enjoying the beautiful landscape passing by as the ship cruises onwards to the ancient city of Bagan. Throughout the afternoon, relax, meditate, or just lie by the pool, enjoy activities and workshops arranged by the crew as well as a number of performances by talented local artists and entertainers before enjoying a sunset cocktail. As night falls, our ship will moor on a remote and wild section of the river. Surrounded only by the soft whispering of nature, our Captain invites you to a cocktail and grill dinner in the Strand Restaurant. Night owls can linger in the bar over a glass of fine wine or single malt whiskey and recreate the golden age of the Strand as a meeting place for explorers and raconteurs.
Day 3 – Bagan
This morning sees our arrival in Bagan and the start of the much-anticipated Bagan Heritage Trail. Bagan is remarkable for the magnificent architecture of its buildings and the contribution they have made to Burmese temple designs. Marvel at Bagan’s wonders including the Ananda Temple, one of the most exquisite temples of the country, and the Shwezigon Pagoda, renowned for its gold leaf decor. After a delicious buffet lunch back on board, we continue our day in Bagan with a visit to the magnificent Shwe San Daw temple, followed by a journey to the beautiful Sulamani temple and Gubyaukgyi temple. As twilight sets in, admire the sunset from the sundeck before a festive evening and farewell French dinner in the Strand Restaurant
Day 4 – Bagan, Hot Air Balloon Optional Excursion
After a last breakfast, guests disembark in Old Bagan and will be accompanied onwards to the airport or their hotel. Another exhilarating tour add on (available at an additional cost) at sunrise is a hot air balloon ride, where you can gently float above the 2,000 pagodas of Bagan. For more information about the hot air balloon ride, please contact your travel specialist.
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).