Cruise Mandalay in Style

Irrawaddy River, Myanmar (Burma)

Close  Sagaing near Mandalay is an important religious centre with numerous Buddhist monasteries.

Cruise Mandalay in Style

Irrawaddy River Cruise in Myanmar is one of Asia's most popular river cruise destinations. The Irrawaddy River, Burma’s longest, flows north to south from its source high in the Himalayas through the centre of the country and empties into the Andaman Sea. The cruise on the Irrawaddy River is generally between Bagan and Mandalay that takes 3-4 days. The journey includes views of dense jungle-clad riverbanks, grand gorges, endless rice paddies and rural life along the riverbank.

This Mandalay cruise tour begins in Yangon. Fly to Mandalay and transfer to the luxury cruise boat “Road to Mandalay”. On this 4-day cruise on the Ayeyarwady River, visit Sagaing Hills, an ancient capital. Then Bagan, where thousands of pagodas and temples stand along the banks of the Ayeyarwady River. Built in the 11th and 13th century when Bagan was a major Buddhist centre. Then cruise on the Inle Lake, the second largest in Myanmar.

And, experience local culture in remote villages and small towns.

We Love
  • This 8-day tour can be customised based on the cruise schedule
  • Road to Mandalay, managed by the Orient Express is a 125-berth floating hotel that provides privacy and luxury
  • The Strand in Yangon is housed in a restored Victorian mansion that exudes history
  • All domestic flights and transfers are included
Need to Know
  • Your international airfare is not included. We can book your international and domestic flights.
  • Don’t forget your sunglasses, sunblock and hat. When outside, use a physical sunblock with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide of SPF 15 or higher
  • We strongly recommend that you take travel insurance for this holiday

Cruise Mandalay in Style Your cruise “Road to Mandalay” is organised by the Belmond (was Orient Express), who have over the years distinguished themselves with quality and service.
Yangon – Mandalay Cruise – Bagan – Inle Lake – Yangon
(8 Days – Travel Quarterly)

Day 1 – Arrive Myanmar
Yangon Meet and greet on arrival at Yangon International Airport and transfer to your hotel. Stay for 2 nights at the famed Strand Hotel, a British colonial period hotel with teak windows, marble floors, rattan chairs and lacquer ceiling fans. The rest of the day will be dependent on your flight time and rest.
The Strand Hotel

Day 2 – Tour
Yangon With your private guide, take a comprehensive tour of the city’s most famous religious monuments; the gilded Sule, the huge reclining Buddha, the Botathaung on the Yangon River. Explore ancient pagodas and monasteries and take an extended tour of Shwedagon Pagoda, with its dome covered with 60 tonnes of pure gold and the city's most spectacular landmark.
The Strand Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Transfer & Tour
Mandalay Transfer to Yangon airport for your flight to Mandalay. On arrival take a private guided tour of the key sights in Mandalay and then transfer to the luxury cruise boat “Road to Mandalay” berthed on the Ayeyarwady River.

After lunch, take a guided tour of the key sights of Mandalay regarded as the centre of Burmese culture and Buddhist learning. Return to “Road to Mandalay” and admire the sunset over the river.
On board “Road to Mandalay” (B, L, D)

Day 4 – 'Road to Mandalay' Cruise
Sagaing Today you will visit the Sagaing Hills, the living centre of the Buddhist faith in Burma and famous for its silver and silversmiths who still work in much the same way as their ancestors did.  The ship gets underway mid-morning, and begins its journey south. The rest of the day is spent relaxing on board observing the river life from the top deck.  There will be on-board guide lectures on local places and customs.
On board “Road to Mandalay” (B, L, D)

Day 5 – 'Road to Mandalay' Cruise
Bagan The ship arrives at the unforgettable, awe-inspiring Bagan, where thousands of pagodas and temples stretch from the Ayeyarwady River out across miles of arid plains. Spend the day touring the temples, built between the 11th and 13th centuries when Bagan was a major Buddhist centre of Southeast Asia, and learn about the history carved in their layered facades, painted in their interior frescoes and sculpted in their Buddhist statues.
On board “Road to Mandalay” (B, L, D)

Day 6 – Transfer & Tour
Inle Lake After an early breakfast, transfer to Bagan Airport for domestic flight to Heho. Transfer from Heho airport to the edge of Inle Lake and board your own local boat for your hotel. Lunch at Nampan Restaurant, located in the middle of the lake.

After lunch, with your expert guide, enjoy a boat tour to Indaing, at the western end of the Lake. The boat takes you through a long channel where you watch the farmers cultivate their produce. Visit the oldest monastery on the lake, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State and ancient Buddha statues. This ride is one of the most scenic boat tours on Lake Inle.
Inle Princess Resort – Lake Front Chalet (B, L, D)

Day 7 – Explore
Inle Lake In the morning take a leisurely walk to explore the local art and culture. Visit local crafts villages to shop for distinctive textiles, ceramics and lacquerware, and tour In Dein, where ancient pagodas overlook the Lake. Lunch at Inthar Heritage House where you can see Burmese cats which were brought back by Inle Princess family from London to Myanmar.   

Further visits are made to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the weaving village of Inpawkhon and other interesting sights. The boat trip on Inle Lake is a photographer's dream, its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, to which scenic high hills provide the perfect backdrop.  See the lake's unique “leg rowers” – the Intha people row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar. The beauty of sunset over Inle Lake enchants all visitors.

Optional: With your expert guide drive to a selection of Art Galleries, Interior Design and Antiques shops. There is a surprisingly high amount of very talented painters and artists in Myanmar. Some of them are known internationally. Their accomplishments can be admired and also bought in numerous Art Galleries and showrooms.
Inle Princess Resort – Lake Front Chalet (B, L, D)

Day 8 – Depart
Yangon Transfer by boat to Nyaung Shwe and then proceed to Heho Airport (1 hour) for your flight to Yangon. Meet our representative who will escort you to your hotel. Lunch at hotel. Transfer to the airport for your onward journey
Meals: B

Cruise Mandalay in Style Irrawaddy River, Myanmar (Burma)

Make this your holiday

  • Exclusive Tour: your own private multilingual guide throughout the trip  
  • Price Guarantee: costing 25-30% less than similar tours of the same flexibility and quality
  • Tailor Made: customised itinerary to create your dream holiday
  • Duration: shorten or lengthen the tour to suit your wishes
  • Dates: depart and return whenever you choose
  • Hotels: change hotel grade to suit your budget
  • Group Discounts: call 020 8350 6199

Getting There Myanmar has two international airports: In the capital Yangon and at Mandalay. Due to the lack of travel services in Myanmar most airlines fly to Yangon via Bangkok, Kaula Lumpur or Singapore.  Also, there are flights connecting Chiang Mai (in Thailand) to Yangon and Mandalay. It is best to check prices for flights to Bangkok and from there to Yangon return as buying two tickets can be cheaper. We suggest that you book in advance to get the best rates for flights.

When to go The best time to visit Myanmar is between October and April when the weather is dry and not so hot. At this time the warm and sunny days are ideal for sightseeing throughout the country. The temperatures start to rise in March and May to September is best avoided as this is the rainy season when sightseeing can become difficult.