Golden Myanmar and the Irrawaddy - Northbound

Price per person
from £5,815

Price based on
London Heathrow
6th Apr 2018 departure

Key inclusions

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • 16 days

  • Myanmar (Burma)

  • River cruise

Cruise the alluring Irrawaddy River aboard the luxurious new Avalon Myanmar to explore one of the most mysterious destinations in Asia. Meander through lush, jungle-cloaked highlands and sun-baked plains with mangrove-dotted banks. Visit breathtaking Bagan and the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, the country's most important religious site.

At a glance


Bagan Explore Myanmar’s ancient capital from the ninth century to the 13th century.
Kya Hnyat Present alms to the monks of a local monastery and witness their lunch ritual.
Yangon Visit Chaukhtatgyi to see the massive reclining Buddha and Shwedagon Pagoda, the most important religious site in the country.

What's included

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Services of a cruise director
  • Services of a local representative
  • Accommodation
  • Selected meals
  • All inclusive drinks on cruise
  • Excursions
  • Gratuities on cruise
  • All airport and port taxes
VIP home pick-up service

Our VIP home pick-up service is included up to 50 miles to your departure airport. Your driver will happily load and unload your luggage, and drive you to your departure terminal. At the close of your trip, you'll be welcomed by your driver in the arrivals hall and returned home again. A supplement is payable per mile over 50 miles.

Overview

Total meals included:

  • 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners

UK - Yangon

Day
1

No meals included

Yangon

Day
2

Welcome to Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, the country’s largest city and former capital. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

No meals included

Yangon

Day
3

This morning, take a walking tour of the city's famous and historic landmarks, including the High Court, City Hall, Central Railway Station, and Sule Pagoda, built during the time of Buddha. Stop along the way at a local tea shop. Next, visit Chaukhtatgyi to see the massive reclining Buddha measuring in at 213 feet. Afterwards, continue to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most important religious site in the country and a national symbol. Here, a truly enchanting scene unfolds as the sun sets on the golden stupa and locals come to pay their respects. Tonight, your welcome dinner is in one of Yangon's best restaurants.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Yangon – Bagan (Embarkation)

Day
4

Late this morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Bagan. Upon arrival, transfer to the port and board the Avalon Myanmar to begin your cruise up the Irrawaddy. Get acquainted with the ship before your welcome reception this evening. After dinner, a traditional Puppet show will be presented in one of the lounges.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Bagan

Day
5

Explore Bagan, capital of Myanmar from the 9th to the 13th centuries. It is estimated that during this time over 13,000 temples, monasteries, and pagodas were built in the plains surrounding the city, an area of about 40 square miles. Many of these structures have been lost over time, but around 2,300 still stand today, making this one of the world's greatest archaeological sites. Early risers can visit one of the temples with a local guide to witness sunrise. After breakfast, your morning excursion starts with a visit to a local market selling handicrafts, fabrics, and longyis-a versatile sheet of cloth worn around the waist by most local men and women. Then, stop at the ornate Shwezigon Pagoda, one of the country's most important shrines. You will also visit a lacquer workshop to learn more about this ancient craft. After lunch, your sightseeing centres on the Bagan Archaeological Zone. Highlights include Ananda, considered by many to be the most beautiful temple, and Dhammayangyi, the best preserved monument left standing. Also stop to see the exquisite and well preserved fresco paintings at Sulamani. Your day ends with an oxcart ride to a temple, where you can ascend to the top as the sun sets.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Shwe Pyi Thar

Day
6

This morning, take a walking tour through Shwe Pyi Thar, a typical village along the Irrawaddy. Here you will visit a farmer's home to learn more about daily life and see the locals making palm candy, a sweet and smoky candy, from the sap of the toddy palm. To harvest the sap a climber scales the toddy palm and hangs an earthen pot under a slit he cuts in the tree. The sap is then cooked in an iron pan over an open wood fire until it thickens and can be formed into small pieces by hand. This afternoon, enjoy a time on board the ship as we sail north for Mandalay.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Sagain - Amarapura

Day
7

Relax this morning and take in the sights from one of the ship’s lounges or your suite. In the afternoon, visit Sagaing, an important religious site with countless pagodas dotting the surrounding hillsides. Here, stop to see Kaunghmudaw Pagpda with its golden egg-shaped dome, unique among more traditional pagodas in Myanmar. Next, on to a silversmith's workshop to learn how the local artisans turn silver into beautiful works of art. Lastly, explore Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda at the top of Sagaing Hill for stunning views of the Irrawaddy and across to Mandalay. Cross the Ava Bridge to Amarapura, former capital of Myanmar. Your visit focuses on the famous U Bein Bridge, a three-quarter-mile-long bridge built in 1783 from reclaimed teakwood from the old royal palace in Inwa. The bridge is still a cornerstone of the community as locals and monks use it daily to cross Taungthaman Lake while fishermen and farmers go about their daily work below. Sail on a sampan on the lake for memorable views of the sunset behind the iconic bridge.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Mandalay

Day
8

This morning, visit a tapestry and woodcarving workshop to learn more about these cottage industries and see the skilled artisans at work. Then, stop at a gold leaf workshop to see how it is made. Lastly, visit Mahamuni Pagoda, the most revered shrine in Mandalay, to see its impressive gold-leaf Buddha. Owing to the continual application of gold leaves, officials estimate the gold is approximately six inches thick. This afternoon, visit Kuthodaw Pagoda and Shwenandaw Monastery, the only remnant of former King Mindon’s 'Golden City' to survive the bombing of World War II. Originally the king’s living quarters, the building was moved after his death to its current location and converted into a monastery. Today, the original gilding has faded, but the intricate wood carvings endure, giving you a sense of how extravagant the original teak palace complex was. This evening, enjoy a traditional dance performance.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Kyauk Myaung

Day
9

Take a walking tour through the captivating pottery-making village of Kyauk Myaung and learn about the pot-making process and see how they are formed, fired, and glazed. Most interesting is the eye-catching 50-gallon variety, often referred to as Martaban or Ali Baba jars in colonial times. These pots could transport large quantities of liquor, fish sauce, peanut oil, and more, and have played an important part of maritime trade throughout Asia for centuries.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Kya Hnyat

Day
10

This morning, visit the village of Kya Hnyat with its many Buddhist monasteries. Interact with monks at a local monastery. Each morning they don their distinctive saffron-coloured robes and walk through the streets to collect alms, offerings of food, like cooked rice and curry. This is a truly memorable experience as you present alms to the monks and witness their lunch ritual.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Tigyang

Day
11

Visit the small village of Tigyang for a walking tour through its narrow lanes and to visit the pagoda and reclining Buddha on a hilltop with stunning views.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Katha

Day
12

This morning, visit a local market, where you will see the locals buying and selling fish, meat, produce, and more. Then, journey a short distance outside the city to an elephant camp in the teak forest. Skilled mahouts will show you how they have worked with elephants for centuries, and you will have the opportunity to ride an elephant through the forest. As you sail north this afternoon, with some luck, you may catch a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy dolphin, with its distinctive round forehead.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Kyun Daw – Second Defile – Bhamo

Day
13

This morning, visit the fascinating island village of Kyun Daw, where over 7,000 stupas surround the monastery. Take a walking tour for memorable encounters with the villagers. Visit a fisherman's home to learn more about daily life here and a school to interact with the children. You will also visit a nunnery to present the nuns with food purchased the day before at the market in Katha. Unlike monks, they have to collect and cook their own food. This afternoon, sail through the dramatic Second Defile with its magnificent cliffs reaching down the narrow channel. Continue to Bhamo, the northernmost point ships can navigate the Irrawaddy. Tonight, join your Cruise Director and ship’s crew for a farewell reception and dinner.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Bhamo (Disembarkation) – Yangon

Day
14

After breakfast, disembark the ship and explore Bhamo by local trishaw and by foot. Afterwards, transfer to the airport for your flight to Yangon. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Yangon - UK

Day
15

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

UK

Day
16

No meals included

Avalon Myanmar

The all-suite Avalon Myanmar offers an unrivalled small-ship river cruise experience for up to 36 passengers, ensuring memorable encounters with the locals along the majestic Irrawaddy. Built by local craftsmen, the ship reflects the character, symbols, and traditions of Myanmar while offering all the modern features today's travellers expect. Time on board centres around a refreshing outdoor experience, as all suites open to the outside, and the large Panorama Lounge and open-air lounge offers a variety of expansive views. The innovative design also allows Avalon Myanmar to cruise the spectacular Upper Irrawaddy throughout the season - a feat not possible on a larger ship.

Ship facts

  • Style: Luxury
  • Class: River ship
  • Size: Boutique
  • Number of crew: 24
  • Number of cabins: 18
  • Number of wheelchair cabins: 0
  • Number of large cabins: 0
  • Capacity: 36 passengers
  • Main language on board: en
  • Currency on board: USD
  • Number of decks: 3
  • Gross tonnage: 2000
  • Length (m): 60.96
  • Launch year: 2015

Amenities

  • Smoking
  • Adults only
  • Childrens facilities
  • Nursery

Cabins on this ship

Two twin beds that may convert to a queen-size bed, seating area and open to the outside with wall-to-wall panoramic window and sliding glass door, private bathroom with full shower and premium bath amenities, vanity, a writing desk, and bedside tables with reading lamps. Additional amenities include: Egyptian cotton linens, woollen blankets, and European-style duvets, choice of soft or firm pillows, nightly turn-down service, hair-dryer, spacious closet with ample storage, alarm clock, mini-bar, complimentary bottled water, individual climate control, safe, and bathrobes and slippers.

Details

  • 245 Square Feet
  • Sleeps 2

Two twin beds that may convert to a queen-size bed, seating area and open to the outside with wall-to-wall panoramic window and sliding glass door, private bathroom with full shower and premium bath amenities, vanity, a writing desk, and bedside tables with reading lamps. Additional amenities include: Egyptian cotton linens, wool blankets, and European-style duvets, choice of soft or firm pillows, nightly turn-down service, hair-dryer, spacious closet with ample storage, alarm clock, mini-bar, complimentary bottled water, individual climate control, safe, and bathrobes and slippers.


Details

  • 245 Square Feet
  • Sleeps 2

Life on board

Age Restrictions

Avalon Waterways do not accept bookings for children under 8. There are no special arrangements or activities on board for children and they cannot accept bookings from unaccompanied children under 18 years of age and any travellers under this age must share the adult’s accommodation.

Dietary Requirements

Avalon Waterways will try their best to accommodate dietary requirements if they are mentioned at the time of booking.

Disabled Facilities

Passengers must report any disability to Avalon before any reservation is made so that Avalon may advise whether they and/or their suppliers for any particular holiday are able to accommodate the passengers. Avalon may rely on the information provided to them by the passengers regarding the details of any disability in order to make a decision as to whether the passengers can be accommodated. Avalon will make reasonable attempts to accommodate the special needs of disabled passengers, in accordance with the applicable laws.Not all sightseeing stops/sites accommodate wheelchairs and some locations and sightseeing activities require extensive standing, sitting or walking. Avalon is not responsible for any missed activities due to a participant’s inability to participate within a group.All of the ships have lifts, however they do not service the SkyDeck. Additionally most stateroom doors and bathrooms are not wide enough to allow access by standard wheelchairs, and bathrooms and other doorways may be fitted with coamings.For safety reasons passengers cannot be carried on ramps in ports when the ship is docked. In certain circumstances, they may ask that a disabled person or person with reduced mobility be accompanied by another person capable of providing any assistance required.

Dress Code

The dress code for dinner is casual and comfortable. The Welcome and Farewell Dinners give you a chance to dress up but are not formal.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is not permitted on transportation that is exclusively provided by Avalon. On European river cruise ships smoking is allowed only in specific outside areas where ash trays are available.

Fitness Centre

Meander down to the first deck and keep up with your fitness routine in complete style.

Spa Treatment Room

Located on the Sky Deck is a magnificent spa treatment room operated by a professional masseur.

Library & Games

Well stocked library and family friendly board games available on the Sky Deck.

Panorama Lounge

For some casual relaxation and discussion you can go to the Panorama Lounge, with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows for a stunning view. Connected to the Panorama Lounge is the outside Observation Lounge. Its location at the bow of the ship gives it a prime view for you to enjoy with a drink in hand.

Shore Excursions

On shore, Avalon includes a great range of comprehensive sightseeing excursions led by knowledgable Certified Local Guides. They also provide individual personal audio headsets to ensure you still have the freedom to roam through some of Myanmar's most famous attractions without missing a moment of fascinating commentary.

Dining Room

Guests can dine on chef-inspired regional cuisine as well as Western favourites at this open seating restaurant. Enjoy a full buffet breakfast and buffet style lunch daily, with dinner served at your table in the luxurious open-seating dining room.

Deck Plans

Deck 1

Cabins 101 - 112

Deck 2

  • Open Air observation Lounge
  • Panorama Lounge
  • Bar
  • Reception
  • Dining Room
  • Galley
  • Cabins 201 - 206

Deck 3

  • Navigation Bridge
  • Spa Treatment Room
  • Gym
  • Premium Lounge 
  • Library & Games

Why book with us?