Cruise Myanmar's Ayeyarwady River

A cruise on the Ayeyarwady River evokes Myanmar’s complex heritage in a unequalled, richly visual manner, and opens a quiet window onto river life and the countryside beyond. It’s a ‘step back in time’ - the chance to leave the road and slow the journey right down to a serene pace, with superb scenery to absorb and the chance, if desired, to share traveller’s tales with like-minded passengers.

What to expect on an Ayeyarwady cruise...

It’s hard to make Myanmar any more extraordinary than it naturally is, but we believe you can always discover a new angle on any location - you just have to put yourself in the right place, at the right time. And in Myanmar that vantage-point is by the polished wooden handrail of a sumptuous Colonial-style riverboat as it glides along the broad Ayeyarwady River, with a temple-dotted tropical landscape unfurling from muddy riverbank to hazy horizon.  

There are several luxurious Ayeyarwady riverboats to choose from, their styles ranging from historic romance to modern glamour. All are recently built - safety, comfort and service are paramount, to the extent that these are essentially floating boutique hotels, with gorgeous cabins, comfortable beds, and en-suite bathrooms.

Nick says ‘abandon any thoughts of pokey portholes, and replace them with gleaming polished teak, chic textiles and huge windows that open on to private balconies overlooking the river…’

Facilities are likewise superb; the lavish dining rooms serve fresh produce prepared a la carte, and private spas below deck offer traditional massage, while sundecks and cocktail bars cultivate a convivial atmosphere.

It’s not all about lounging about watching the mesmeric scenery slide by - all cruises feature daily excursions to visit ancient sites, local markets, historic villages, artisan workshops, monasteries, Colonial architecture and forts, with some featuring special treats like balloon flights over Myanmar’s remarkable countryside.

None of these are compulsory, and individual expeditions onshore are also encouraged - one of the delightful aspects of these cruises are their flexibility. The Ayeyarwady cruises can be easily adapted to different itineraries - a convenient one or two nights boat trip along the river between Mandalay and Bagan, for example, is an interesting way to get between these two popular regions of Myanmar, whilst at the other end of the scale you could spend eight or more nights adventuring up-river into Myanmar's scenic and less visited north.

Location: Mandalay region

Duration: 1-10 nights

Accommodation: varies

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We say...

'Clients returning from Myanmar frequently call out this experience as the ‘pinnacle’ of their trip, or words to that effect.'

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