Golden Myanmar & the Irrawaddy - Southbound 2019

14 day River Cruise from Yangon to Yangon

Cruise WKB

Overview

Explore the best of Myanmar, known as “The Golden Land,” on this captivating river cruise along the Irrawaddy River. In Yangon, formerly Rangoon, you’ll see the magnificent, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda—considered the oldest pagoda in the world. Your river cruise will get underway in dramatic fashion as you sail along the untouched upper Irrawaddy. Visit remote villages for fascinating interactions including visits with schoolchildren, nuns, monks, and pottery makers. You’ll also pass through the second defile with its magnificent cliffs. In the exciting city of Mandalay, be inspired by a visit to the revered shrine of Mahamuni Pagoda with its impressive gold-leaf Buddha and enjoy a traditional dance by local performers. Continue your river cruise to Sagaing and see the stunning Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its egg-shaped dome and watch a local silversmith at work. You’ll be immersed in the unique energy of the people on a walking tour through the village of Shwe Pyi Thar as you interact with locals and see the daily work done at a farmer’s home. Bagan, a medieval capital of Myanmar, with thousands of historical structures still standing, is one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites. Visit one of the many spiritual temples at sunrise and a local market selling the unique handicrafts of the region.

This river cruise along the Irrawaddy offers everything from peaceful sailing and alluring scenery to grand, majestic temples and shrines and plenty of interaction with locals to learn and feel a part of the ancient culture. More than just a river cruise—an unforgettable adventure!

Explore the best of Myanmar, known as “The Golden Land,” on this captivating river cruise along the Irrawaddy River. In Yangon, formerly Rangoon, you’ll see the magnificent, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda—considered the oldest pagoda in the world. Your river cruise will get underway in dramatic fashion as you sail along the untouched upper Irrawaddy. Visit remote villages for fascinating interactions including visits with schoolchildren, nuns, monks, and pottery makers. You’ll also pass through the second defile with its magnificent cliffs. In the exciting city of Mandalay, be inspired by a visit to the revered shrine of Mahamuni Pagoda with its impressive gold-leaf Buddha and enjoy a traditional dance by local performers. Continue your river cruise to Sagaing and see the stunning Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its egg-shaped dome and watch a local silversmith at work. You’ll be immersed in the unique energy of the people on a walking tour through the village of Shwe Pyi Thar as you interact with locals and see the daily work done at a farmer’s home. Bagan, a medieval capital of Myanmar, with thousands of historical structures still standing, is one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites. Visit one of the many spiritual temples at sunrise and a local market selling the unique handicrafts of the region.

This river cruise along the Irrawaddy offers everything from peaceful sailing and alluring scenery to grand, majestic temples and shrines and plenty of interaction with locals to learn and feel a part of the ancient culture. More than just a river cruise—an unforgettable adventure!

Itinerary

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are three types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Classic

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Day 1 Yangon, Myanmar


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

Day 2 Yangon

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Historic landmarks, hot tea, and harmonious living.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

A guided walk introduces you to the city’s famous and historic landmarks, including old colonial buildings and Sule Pagoda, built during the time of Buddha. Along the way, stop for a cup of tea or coffee with the locals. Next, stop at Chaukhtatgyi to see the massive Reclining Buddha measuring 213 feet. Later in the day, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, a national symbol. Here, an enchanting scene unfolds as the sun sets on the golden stupa, and locals come to pay their respects.

Tonight, dine in one of Yangon’s best restaurants for a delicious welcome dinner.

Day 3 Yangon - Bhamo (Embarkation)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Beautiful Bhamo and Your Suite Ship® Beckon

Late in the morning, fly to Bhamo. Upon arrival explore Bhamo by local trishaw and by foot, then transfer to the port for embarkation. This afternoon, spend time at leisure as you sail through the dramatic Second Defile with its magnificent cliffs reaching down the narrow channel. A welcome reception starts your evening.

AFTERNOON/EVENING SAILING TO KYUN DAW

Day 4 Kyun daw

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Engaging Local Encounters

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Explore the island village of Kyun Daw, where over 7,000 stupas surround the monastery. Your guided excursion includes a visit to a fisherman’s home and a school where you will 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.

Enjoy time onboard your ship this afternoon. Join your local guide for a presentation on the Burmese language.

As you sail south, with some luck, you may catch a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy dolphin, with its distinctive round forehead.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN KATHA

Day 5 Katha - Tigyang

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Burmese Days and Minority Culture

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Start your morning Guided Sightseeing tour at the local wet market, where you will see locals buying and selling fish, meat, and produce, and more. Next, learn more about life during British rule at the former British Club, featured in George Orwell’s novel, “Burmese Days.” Lastly, meet with the Jingpo, one of over 100 ethnic minority groups in Myanmar. Here, you will learn about their culture, traditional dress, and unique method of making rice wine.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

This afternoon, explore the village of Tigyang on a Walking Tour through its narrow lanes and to visit the Reclining Buddha on a hilltop with stunning views, OR:

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Take the normal Walking Tour but make the steep climb up to the Reclining Buddha.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING BETWEEN TIGYANG AND KYA HNYAT

Day 6 Kya Hnyat

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Giving Alms and Blessings in Return

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Interact with the monks at a Monastery visit in Kya Hnyat. This is a truly memorable experience as you present alms to the monks and witness their lunch ritual.

Join your local guide for a longyi and thanaka presentation this afternoon.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO KYAUK MYUNG

Day 7 Kyauk Myaung

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Glazed and Amazed

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

This morning, join a guided walk through the captivating pottery-making village of Kyauk Myaung to learn more about and see the pottery-making process. Most interesting is the eye-catching 50-gallon variety, often referred to as Martaban or Ali Baba jars. These pots could transport large quantities of goods and have played an important part of maritime trade throughout Asia for centuries.

Enjoy time onboard your ship this afternoon.

AFTERNOON CRUISE TO MINGUN

Day 8 Mingun

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

A Robust Bell and Prominent Pagoda.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

This morning, take a guided walk through the village of Mingun to see its bronze bell—considered the largest working bell in the world—and see the famed unfinished pagoda. Afterward, sail a short distance to Mandalay.

Mandalay - Excursion to Amarapura

A Bridge to the Sun

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

This afternoon, travel to nearby Amarapura, former capital of Myanmar. Your Escorted Visit focuses on the famous U Bein Bridge, a 3/₄-mile-long bridge built in 1783 from reclaimed teakwood from the old royal palace in Inwa. Take a sampan ride on the lake for memorable views of the sunset.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN MANDALAY

Day 9 Mandalay

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The Golden Tapestries of Mandalay

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

In the morning, join a Guided Visit to local workshops to see skilled artisans at work making tapestries, woodcarvings, and gold-leaf. Lastly, visit Mahamuni Pagoda to see its impressive gold-leaf Buddha. Due to the continual application of gold leaves, officials note the gold is six inches thick!

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

This afternoon, visit Kuthodaw Pagoda and Shwenandaw Monastery, the only remnants of former King Mindon’s “Golden City” to survive the bombing of World War II. Today, the original gilding has faded, but the intricate wood carvings endure.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

This evening, enjoy a traditional Dance Performance featuring local song and dance.

OVERNIGHT DOCKING IN MANDALAY

Day 10 Sagaing

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Revelations and Relaxation

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Enjoy a morning visit to Sagaing with countless pagodas dotting the hillside. Stop to see Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its unique egg-shaped dome and a silversmith workshop. Lastly, explore Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda for stunning views across the Irrawaddy to Mandalay.

Join your local guide for a longyi and thanaka presentation this afternoon.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISING

Day 11 Shwe Pyi Thar

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Rural Life in Myanmar.

Enjoy time onboard your ship this morning.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

This afternoon, partake in a Walking Tour through Shwe Pyi Thar village. Here, visit a farmer’s home to learn more about daily life and see the locals making palm candy. After the sap is collected, it is cooked in an iron pan over an open wood fire until it thickens and can be formed into small pieces by hand.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

After dinner, a traditional Puppet Show will be presented in one of the lounges.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO BAGAN

Day 12 Bagan

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Temples and Shrines—from Sunrise to Sunset

Today, explore Bagan, one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites. From the 9th to the 13th centuries 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.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Early risers can visit one of the temples with a Local Guide to witness the sunrise.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Start your morning excursion at a local market selling handicrafts, fabrics, and longyis. Then, stop at Shwezigon Pagoda, one of the country’s most important shrines. Lastly, visit a lacquer workshop to learn more about this ancient craft.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

After lunch, your guided 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.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

End the day with an Ox-Cart Ride to a temple, where you will ascend to the top as the sun sets.

Day 13 Bagan (Disembarkation) - Yangon

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Farewell to the Irrawaddy

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Yangon. The remainder of the day is yours to spend at your leisure.

Day 14 Yangon

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your holiday ends with breakfast today.

Questions? Our travel specialists can help with any queries, quotes or special requirements.  Request a callback or email us.

Notes

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