Halong Bay Boat in Myanmar

Sanctuary Ananda

Sanctuary Ananda
Cruise company: Sanctuary Retreats
Cruise type: Midrange, Sharing, 21 cabins
Destinations: Myanmar - Myanmar
Sanctuary Ananda is custom built by local craftsmen using traditional materials while offering sleek contemporary luxury. Sanctuary Ananda set sail on the Myanmar Rivers in November 2014 and offers 20 spacious suites on three decks, the luxurious Owner's suite, a sundeck with an outdoor pool and the Kansi panorama lounge.
Destinations: Chinwind River - Sintae - Monywa - Maukkdaw - Ngar Own - Masein - Hae Nin - Sitthaung - Kani - Monywal - Yesagyo - Bagan - Mandalay

Itinerary

Day 1 : Chinwind River (D)
  • Embark no later than 11:00 am at the Jetty in Mandalay and settle into your suite, before sailing towards Myin Mu at 11.30am.
  • Option 2: Arrive at Mandalay Jetty by 1.30pm and transfer by bus to Myin Mu. Check in to Sanctuary Ananda and settle into your suite. For those guests arriving on an earlier flight we can arrange a tour of Mandalay.
  • As we sail along the Chindwin towards Paung Pyin, you'll have the chance to get a true insight into Myanmar thanks to on-board talks on traditions such as the local dress, thanaka make-up (the cosmetic technique used to protect skin from the hot sun) as well as see cookery demonstrations and history lessons. After years of being oppressed by its political regime, this is an exciting, eye-opening time to learn about Myanmar's fascinating culture from the country's own people.
  • Early evening, we'll drop anchor mid-river near where the Chindwin meets the great Ayeyarwady, and this is where we'll dock for the night. 
Day 2 : Sintae - Monywa (B, L, D)
  • At 5am the ship will start sailing. Enjoy the morning on board at leisure.
  • Arrive in Monywa in the Sagaing Region at 2.30pm, when you'll no doubt continue to appreciate what's so very special about this cruise northwest of Mandalay: we take you to unspoiled scenery that rarely gets exposed to tourists.
  • After exploring the city, a coach will transport you to a truly spectacular part of the world: the intricately decorated golden Thanboddhay Pagoda. It is truly staggering with its hundreds of crumbling stupas and almost half a million images of Buddha located in the niches around the inner wall.
  • Next you'll visit Bodhi Tataung where you can see the two enormous Buddha statues - the one reclining is about 333 foot long, and the other stands at a record height of 424 feet. The reason we bring you here at this time of day is that it is best appreciated in the afternoon light.
  • Return to the ship at 4.30pm and enjoy dinner on board. 
Day 3 : Maukkdaw (B, L, D)
  • Relax on board as we sail towards the village of Maukkadaw. Arrive at the village, once an important teak port. Explore the town and its stunning teak buildings made even more exotic by the tropical jungle that surrounds them. Wander around the village and visit the brick monastery. 
Day 4 : Ngar Own – Masein (B, L, D)
  • Today visit Kalewa. Kalewa is the trading post between Myanmar and India, and this town rests at the point where the Myit Tha River with its source in India joins with the Chindwin. Kalewa is right at the foot of the Western Mountain Ranges that loom over the town, the pagoda on the hill and the placid waters of the river.
  • The cruise continues after lunch taking you through lush gorges, past wild jungle and tiny riverside villages - the scenery here looks like that of a land that time forgot. We'll also be hosting interesting talks on board the ship during the afternoon.
  • Tonight, the ship will dock at Masein. 
Day 5 : Masein – Hae Nin (B, L, D)
  • Sail in the morning and arrive in Mawleik around 8am. Mawleik, once the administrative centre of the Bombay Burma Trading Company, is still a lively town with a vibrant market and colonial charm. This is a part of Myanmar that very few tourists see.
  • Return to the ship at 11.30am and cruise north. We recommend you take tea in the panoramic lounge as we sail towards the thatched homes of our next rural village stop, Hae Nin.
  • The ship will anchor here for the night. 
Day 6 : Hae Nin - Sitthaung (B, L, D)
  • Today visit Paung Pyin, the northernmost point of the cruise. The Uyu River is a major tributary of the Chindwin River, and the sand in this part of the river gets a lot of attention from locals - look out for folks panning for gold here in the hope of finding small nuggets.
  • This afternoon sail south to Sitthaung, where we will overnight. See the emerald green paddy fields on your way to the village pagoda. Near the mouth of the Yu River which drains the Kubu valley, Sitthaung was the final resting place of a number of IFC steamers scupper there in 1942. 
Day 7 : Sitthaung - Masein (B, L, D)
  • As we travel towards Masein, enjoy a restful day on board and take full advantage of Sanctuary Ananda's extensive services and facilities. Dock at Masein at 2:30pm and overnight. Misty blue and green hills rise high on the horizon, and near the village of Masein, a row of 28 white-washed pagodas line the crest of a sloping hill and file down towards the river. The number signifies the 28 Buddhas that have brought enlightenment to the world.
Day 8 : Masein - Kani (B, L, D)
  • Sail in the morning and arrive at Minkin at 11am. Here you'll get a chance to see an extraordinary blend of European and Burmese architecture of the Mahar Minkyaung Monastery, the oldest wooden Monastery. The Shwe Sagar Buddha is especially remarkable - it was carved from a single piece of wood a thousand years ago.
  • After this visit, the boat will proceed to Kani where we'll overnight. 
Day 9 : Monywa - Yesagyo (B, L, D)
  • This morning, visit the Po Win Taung caves near Shwe Ba Taung. Carved out of the sandstone hills, this setting is breathtakingly special to behold, and a highlight of any trip to Myanmar. More ancient than the Thanbodday pagoda are the two cave pagoda complexes of Po win taung and Shwe ba taung, believed to be over 300 years old. There are almost one thousand caves in which both the Buddha images and the thrones were carved out of living rock. The natural shape of the caves was kept, and 17th century wall paintings in exquisite detail cover the interior walls. The entrances are rimmed with traditional motifs of vines and flowers, in high or low relief. Figures of mythical beings and traditional design elements are seen both carved and painted. 
Day 10 : Yesagyo - Bagan (B, L, D)
  • This morning sail from Yesagyo to Pakokku, arriving at 8am. This is an opportunity to watch cotton-blanket weavers and visit the local market with Sanctuary Ananda's chef.
  • At 11am the ship will set sail to Bagan, arriving after lunch. Visit the awe-inspiring Ananda Temple. Completed in 1091 AD, it is commonly referred to as one of the four great temples in Bagan. The Ananda is regarded by folklore as one of the most beautiful temples in Myanmar.
  • Next, visit Htilominlo Temple; a two-storey redbrick temple built around 1211 AD. It is a magnificent structure, though now heavily restored. Enjoy the sunset from the terraces of the Pyathatgyi Temple. Admire the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery. Finally the sun sets behind the hills on the far side of the Ayeyarwady River, filling the sky with a reddish glow, a truly magic moment.
  • Enjoy your last night with a candlelit sandbank dinner, served with the backdrop of the twinkling lights of Bagan.
Day 11 : Mandalay (B)
  • Enjoy an early breakfast on your final morning before check out at 9am. If you are departing on a later flight we will arrange for you to take a tour in Bagan. We will visit Minanthu village in the heart of the Bagan plain, to see the way of life of the local people, before progressing to a brick factory. Onto the village of Myinkaba, a centre of the ancient craft of lacquerware which has been produced in Bagan since the time of King Anawrahta around 1050 AD. Here in the workshop the traditional methods are still used. The last stop is at a jaggery workshop which produces unrefined 

Price & Booking

Include

  • Accommodation
  • All three meals during full sailing days with lunch and dinner on day of embarkation and breakfast on day of disembarkation
  • Soft drinks and local beer
  • All sightseeing as stated in set itineraries

Exclude

  • Any items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls and purchases from the gift shop
  • Wine and spirits
  • Extra optional excursions
  • International & domestic flights
  • Transfers
  • Wine (outside of meals) and spirits
  • Gratuity to staff
  • Medical services, travel insurance or visas
Remark:
  • Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather and operating conditions. Unused services are not subject to a refund.
  • Meals on board are fusion: Myanmar & international. Guests should advise of any special food preferences, allergies or dietary requirements at least three days prior to the cruise date.
  • Seasonality
  • Low Season: April (excluding 4th April), July - August
  • Peak Season: September - December (excluding 23rd, 30th December sailings)
  • High Peak Season: 4th April, 23rd, 30th December 2016
  • Low Season: April, July - August
  • Medium Season: September & December (except 27th December sailing)
  • High Season: January to March, October & November
  • Peak Season:   December 27 sailing
  • Myanmar's rivers are subject to seasonal variations in the water level - sometimes by as much as 28 meters. Such changes can occur suddenly and without prior warning - even overnight. This may well result in the ship not being able to sail at the expected speed and/or be unable to pass under bridges or indeed the water level being too low to safely progress. A beautiful feature of the rivers is its sandbanks but navigationally these also pose many problems - not least of which is the potential to run aground. Such experiences are part of the excitement of any river expedition and are to be expected. Our published itineraries are indication only and subject to change due to all the above.  Additionally from time to time the river authorities may also close sections of the river but we normally get some advance notice of this. We will always replace the itinerary based on our 'safety first' philosophy whilst doing all we can to respect the places published or substituting alternatives. It simply may not always be possible to maintain every feature.
Destinations: Bagan - Mandalay

Itinerary

Day 1 : Bagan (D)
  • If you arrive on an early flight we will arrange for you to take a tour in Bagan. Check in at 12:30pm and enjoy lunch on board.
  • After lunch on board, we will visit Kayminga pagoda complex to see the different architecture of the stupas first-hand.
  • Next, on to the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda this is said to contain important relics of the Gautama Buddha, two bones and a copy of a tooth. Enjoy the sunset over the Bagan plains and admire the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery.
  • En route to the ship, stop at a small hidden pagoda lit up by oil lamps to let you appreciate the magical surroundings in the shadow of the night.
  • A welcome briefing and champagne reception will be hosted in the Kansi Panorama Lounge before a candlelit sandbank dinner is served with the backdrop of the twinkling lights of Bagan.
Day 2 : Bagan (B, L, D)
  • Choose between an early morning balloon tour (an additional charge applies, please book in advance) or visit the bustling local market of Nyaung U. The daily market is where the farmers meet to buy and sell a variety of goods, ranging from fruit and vegetables to china and lacquer ware.
  • After, visit Bagan to see the Ananda Temple, regarded by folklore as one of the most beautiful temples in Myanmar.
  • We will then return to the ship and start sailing upstream towards Sagaing during which a variety of on board activities will be offered including a longyi (sarong) and thanaka (cosmetic) demonstration, and a talk on Myanmar.
  • A delicious dinner in the Talifoo Restaurant will then follow.
Day 3 : Mandalay (B, L, D)
  • Enjoy a back of house tour and cooking class with our Executive Chef as we cruise the Irrawaddy.
  • In the afternoon visit the pagoda sprinkled Sagaing Hill, an important religious and monastic centre, home to some 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns. Here we will visit a Monastic school and orphanage where you will have the opportunity to meet some of the residents and understand the teachings of Buddhism.
  • Afterwards, take in the views from the top of the hill on the terraces of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda which are truly breathtaking. Amarapura, was once known as 'The City of Immortals'. Today, the leisurely 'clack-clack' from the looms of the cotton and silk weavers has replaced the noisy bustle of this former capital. Visit the U Bein Bridge, a spectacular place to enjoy the sunset. This long teak bridge snakes across the Taungthaman Lake.
  • After sunset, return to the Sanctuary Ananda
Day 4 : Mandalay (B)
  • Early this morning Sanctuary Ananda will sail north to the quaint village of Sin Kyun, a village just north of Mandalay sponsored by Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy. This is the perfect setting to mingle with the local Burmese people and discover what modern life is like in an ever-changing Myanmar.
  • If you are leaving on a later flight we can arrange a tour of Mandalay. This will include a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, one of Myanmar's most religious monuments housing the revered Mahamuni Image. Lastly a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda (Maha Lawka Marazein) built by King Mindon in 1857, in effect a copy of the Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan.

Price & Booking

Include

  • Accommodation
  • All three meals during full sailing days with lunch and dinner on day of embarkation and breakfast on day of disembarkation
  • Soft drinks and local beer
  • All sightseeing as stated in set itineraries

Exclude

  • Any items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls and purchases from the gift shop
  • Wine and spirits
  • Extra optional excursions
  • International & domestic flights
  • Transfers
  • Wine (outside of meals) and spirits
  • Gratuity to staff
  • Medical services, travel insurance or visas
Remark:
  • Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather and operating conditions. Unused services are not subject to a refund.
  • Meals on board are fusion: Myanmar & international. Guests should advise of any special food preferences, allergies or dietary requirements at least three days prior to the cruise date.
  • Seasonality
  • Low Season: April (excluding 4th April), July - August
  • Peak Season: September - December (excluding 23rd, 30th December sailings)
  • High Peak Season: 4th April, 23rd, 30th December 2016
  • Low Season: April, July - August
  • Medium Season: September & December (except 27th December sailing)
  • High Season: January to March, October & November
  • Peak Season:   December 27 sailing
  • Myanmar's rivers are subject to seasonal variations in the water level - sometimes by as much as 28 meters. Such changes can occur suddenly and without prior warning - even overnight. This may well result in the ship not being able to sail at the expected speed and/or be unable to pass under bridges or indeed the water level being too low to safely progress. A beautiful feature of the rivers is its sandbanks but navigationally these also pose many problems - not least of which is the potential to run aground. Such experiences are part of the excitement of any river expedition and are to be expected. Our published itineraries are indication only and subject to change due to all the above.  Additionally from time to time the river authorities may also close sections of the river but we normally get some advance notice of this. We will always replace the itinerary based on our 'safety first' philosophy whilst doing all we can to respect the places published or substituting alternatives. It simply may not always be possible to maintain every feature.
Destinations: Mandalay - Sin Kyun Village - Pakokku - Bagan

Itinerary

Day 1 : Mandalay (D)
  • If you arrive on an earlier flight we can arrange a tour of Mandalay. Check in at 12:30pm and settle into your suite.
  • Lunch will be served on board as we cruise towards the pagoda sprinkled hills of Sagaing. Here we will visit a Monastic school and orphanage where you will have the opportunity to meet some of the residents and understand the teachings of Buddhism before taking in the views from the top of the hill on the terrace of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda.
  • Visit Amarapura, known as 'The City of Immortals' which in its heyday, held some 200,000 inhabitants. We will visit one of the textile workshops, followed by the U Bein Bridge, a spectacular place to enjoy the sunset.
  • Back on board Sanctuary Ananda, enjoy a local performance followed by dinner. 
Day 2 : Sin Kyun Village (B, L, D)
  • Early this morning Sanctuary Ananda will sail north to the quaint village of Sin Kyun, a village just north of Mandalay sponsored by Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy. Take an optional tour to witness firsthand the way of life in this unspoilt location seldom viewed by outsiders.
  • Next we sail south, past the sleepy village of Mingun, home to the unfinished pagoda which can be seen from the ship. After lunch a variety of on board activities will be offered including a longyi (sarong) and thanaka (cosmetic) demonstration and mixology.
  • A delicious dinner will then follow. 
Day 3 : Pakokku (B, L, D)
  • Join our back of house tour and take a cooking class with our Executive Chef. One of our chefs will take you to the local market in Pakokku where mouth-watering fruit and vegetables are laid out with style.
  • After lunch on board, we will visit a small pagoda complex to see the different architecture of the stupas first-hand.
  • Next, on to the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda, said to contain important relics of the Gautama Buddha, two bones and a copy of a tooth. Enjoy the sunset over the Bagan plains. Admire the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery.
  • En route to the ship, stop at a small hidden pagoda to watch an oil lamp ceremony.
Day 4 : Bagan (B, L, D)
  • Take an optional early morning balloon tour to capture a birds-eye view of the Bagan plain (an additional charge applies, please book in advance), followed by breakfast back on board. Next, visit the temples of Bagan, including the great Ananda Temple which is regarded by folklore as the most beautiful temple in Myanmar.
  • Lunch will be served at Popa Mountain Resort with spectacular views over Mount Popa. Choose to climb the 777 steps where pilgrims give offerings and pray to carved figures; it's a climb to take slowly, relishing the views.
  • Return to the ship in the early evening and enjoy the sunset as we sail.
  • Tonight, a candlelit sandbank dinner is served with the backdrop of the twinkling lights of Bagan. 
Day 5 : Bagan (B)
  • Enjoy an early breakfast on your final morning before check out. If you are departing on a later flight we will arrange for you to take a tour in Bagan.
  • Leaving at 9am we will visit a local village in the heart of the Bagan plain, to see the way of life of the local people. Next visit a lacquer ware workshop. This ancient craft has been produced in Bagan since the time of King Anawrahta around 1050 AD. Here in the workshop the traditional methods are still used. 

Price & Booking

Include

  • Accommodation
  • All three meals during full sailing days with lunch and dinner on day of embarkation and breakfast on day of disembarkation
  • Soft drinks and local beer
  • All sightseeing as stated in set itineraries

Exclude

  • Any items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls and purchases from the gift shop
  • Wine and spirits
  • Extra optional excursions
  • International & domestic flights
  • Transfers
  • Wine (outside of meals) and spirits
  • Gratuity to staff
  • Medical services, travel insurance or visas
Remark:
  • Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather and operating conditions. Unused services are not subject to a refund.
  • Meals on board are fusion: Myanmar & international. Guests should advise of any special food preferences, allergies or dietary requirements at least three days prior to the cruise date.
  • Seasonality
  • Low Season: April (excluding 4th April), July - August
  • Peak Season: September - December (excluding 23rd, 30th December sailings)
  • High Peak Season: 4th April, 23rd, 30th December 2016
  • Low Season: April, July - August
  • Medium Season: September & December (except 27th December sailing)
  • High Season: January to March, October & November
  • Peak Season:   December 27 sailing
  • Myanmar's rivers are subject to seasonal variations in the water level - sometimes by as much as 28 meters. Such changes can occur suddenly and without prior warning - even overnight. This may well result in the ship not being able to sail at the expected speed and/or be unable to pass under bridges or indeed the water level being too low to safely progress. A beautiful feature of the rivers is its sandbanks but navigationally these also pose many problems - not least of which is the potential to run aground. Such experiences are part of the excitement of any river expedition and are to be expected. Our published itineraries are indication only and subject to change due to all the above.  Additionally from time to time the river authorities may also close sections of the river but we normally get some advance notice of this. We will always replace the itinerary based on our 'safety first' philosophy whilst doing all we can to respect the places published or substituting alternatives. It simply may not always be possible to maintain every feature.
Destinations: Bagan - Amarapura - Mandalay Hill - Sin Kyun - Pakokku

Itinerary

Day 1 : Bagan (D)
  • Join Sanctuary Ananda and settle into your suite in time for lunch (guests arriving on earlier flights can enjoy optional tours to Minanthu weavers' village, Myinkaba Village and a jaggery workshop).
  • Lunch will be served on board shortly after check in or upon return from the morning excursion.
  • A welcome briefing and champagne reception will be hosted in the Kansi Panorama Lounge before a candlelit sandbank dinner is served with the backdrop of the twinkling lights of Bagan. 
Day 2 : Bagan (B, L, D)
  • Choose one of two early morning optional excursions - a balloon ride over Bagan (at an additional charge. Subject to availability, seasonality and weather conditions) or visit the bustling market of Nyaung U.
  • Otherwise, after breakfast visit the sacred Buddhist Shwezigon Pagoda which houses a bone and tooth of the Gautama Buddha.
  • Return to the ship to sail northwards. A choice of lectures and demonstrations are on offer during the afternoon or simply relax on board. 
Day 3 : Amapura (B, L, D)
  • For those who wish, a meditation session will be available before breakfast. The morning will be spent sailing. Join our back of house tour and take a cooking class with our Executive Chef.
  • In the afternoon visit the pagoda sprinkled hills of Sagaing, an important religious and monastic centre, home to some 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns. Take in the views from the top of the Sagaing Hill on the terraces of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda. En route to Amarapura, visit a silversmith workshop in the village of Ywataung and a local nunnery and orphanage. Amarapura is known as 'The City of Immortals'. We will visit one of the textile workshops, followed by the U Bein Bridge, a spectacular place to enjoy the sunset.
  • After sunset, catch a boat up the Ayeyarwady River and return to the Sanctuary Ananda. 
Day 4 : Mandalay Hill (B, L, D)
  • This morning will include a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, Shwenandaw Monastery and lastly a visit to Kuthodaw Pagoda (Maha Lawka Marazein). Kuthodaw is often called the biggest book in the world, for surrounding it are 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Tripitaka texts (Buddhist cannon).
  • In the afternoon visit Mandalay Hill, situated in the north-east corner of the Mandalay Royal Palace. Take in the views of the surrounding plains from the 230 meter high summit, overlooking the Shan State, rice fields and the Ayeyarwady River.
Day 5 : Sin Kyun (B, L, D)
  • Early this morning Sanctuary Ananda will sail north to the quaint village of Sin Kyun, a village just north of Mandalay sponsored by Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy.
  • Next, sail past the sleepy village of Mingun, home to the unfinished pagoda which can be seen from the ship. Relax as we sail past villages, set against a backdrop of soft browns, rich tamarind trees with white and golden pagodas gracing the distant hills. There is no better way to enjoy this riverine picture than from the Kansi panorama lounge. Enjoy the facilities on board whilst admiring the stunning scenery 
Day 6 : Pakokku (B, L, D)
  • For those who wish, a meditation session will be available before breakfast. After, join our back of house tour and take a cooking class with our Executive Chef.
  • One of our chefs will take you to the local market in Pakokku where mouth-watering fruit and vegetables are laid out with consummate style.
  • Then to the cheroot factory, watch the girls roll and make the cheroots with great speed and dexterity. In the afternoon, visit the Ananda Temple. Completed in 1091 AD, it is commonly referred to as one of the four great temples in Bagan. The Ananda is regarded by folklore as one of the most beautiful temples in Myanmar.
  • Enjoy the sunset from the terraces of Bagan.
Day 7 : Bagan (B, L, D)
  • Take an optional early morning balloon tour to capture a birds-eye view of the Bagan plain (an additional charge applies, please book in advance), followed by breakfast back on board.
  • This morning visit the temples of Bagan.
  • Lunch will be served at Popa Mountain Resort with spectacular views of the site. Mount Popa is best known as a pilgrimage site, with numerous Nat temples and relics. Choose to climb the 777 steps where pilgrims give offerings and pray to carved figures; it's a climb to take slowly, relishing the views.
  • Return to the ship in the early evening and enjoy the sunset as we sail. Tonight, a candlelit sandbank dinner is served with the backdrop of the twinkling lights of Bagan.
Day 8 : Bagan (B)
  • Enjoy an early breakfast on your final morning before check out at 9am. If you are departing on a later flight we can arrange an interesting tour for you.
  • We will visit Minanthu village in the heart of the Bagan plain, to see the way of life of the local people, before progressing to a brick factory.
  • Onto the village of Myinkaba, a center of the ancient craft of lacquer ware which has been produced in Bagan since the time of King Anawrahta around 1050 AD. Here in the workshop the traditional m thods are still used. The last stop is at a jaggery workshop which produces unrefined sugar. 

Price & Booking

Include

  • Accommodation
  • All three meals during full sailing days with lunch and dinner on day of embarkation and breakfast on day of disembarkation
  • Soft drinks and local beer
  • All sightseeing as stated in set itineraries

Exclude

  • Any items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls and purchases from the gift shop
  • Wine and spirits
  • Extra optional excursions
  • International & domestic flights
  • Transfers
  • Wine (outside of meals) and spirits
  • Gratuity to staff
  • Medical services, travel insurance or visas
Remark:
  • Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather and operating conditions. Unused services are not subject to a refund.
  • Meals on board are fusion: Myanmar & international. Guests should advise of any special food preferences, allergies or dietary requirements at least three days prior to the cruise date.
  • Seasonality
  • Low Season: April (excluding 4th April), July - August
  • Peak Season: September - December (excluding 23rd, 30th December sailings)
  • High Peak Season: 4th April, 23rd, 30th December 2016
  • Low Season: April, July - August
  • Medium Season: September & December (except 27th December sailing)
  • High Season: January to March, October & November
  • Peak Season:   December 27 sailing
  • Myanmar's rivers are subject to seasonal variations in the water level - sometimes by as much as 28 meters. Such changes can occur suddenly and without prior warning - even overnight. This may well result in the ship not being able to sail at the expected speed and/or be unable to pass under bridges or indeed the water level being too low to safely progress. A beautiful feature of the rivers is its sandbanks but navigationally these also pose many problems - not least of which is the potential to run aground. Such experiences are part of the excitement of any river expedition and are to be expected. Our published itineraries are indication only and subject to change due to all the above.  Additionally from time to time the river authorities may also close sections of the river but we normally get some advance notice of this. We will always replace the itinerary based on our 'safety first' philosophy whilst doing all we can to respect the places published or substituting alternatives. It simply may not always be possible to maintain every feature.
Destinations: Yangon - Danuphyu - Pyay - Thayet - Minhla Port - Bagan

Itinerary

Day 1 : Yagon (D)
  • Check into your suite on Sanctuary Ananda for this voyage to remember. Your first day on the Ayeyarwadt River is a sailing day and as we head north you will have many opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the Ayeryarwady and its river banks - from the bustle of Yangon's harbour to Twante town, famous for its ceramics and Nyaung Tong, a riverside beach where we will dock for the night. 
Day 2 : Danuphyu (B, L, D)
  • This morning we will visit the charming small town of Danuphyu, it was here that General Maha Bandula led the Burmese against the British in 1825 during the First Anglo-Burmese war. Explore the town by trishaw, visiting the Pagoda of Tyuakalon Pun and the Maha Bandula monastery. Dinner served and overnight stayed on board.
Day 3 : Sailing (B, L, D)
  • Today will be spent sailing and provides a scenic introduction to Myanmar, a feast for the eye, the villages, noble tamarind trees, the dazzling green paddy fields, distant hills dotted with pagodas: the chief beauty however lies with her people, a people in harmony with their environment.
  • This afternoon, sail past the Akauk Taung Caves. Here you'll be able to capture the best possible photos of these truly staggering caves. Meaning 'Tax Mountain', this quirky site takes its name from all the 19th century toll-takers who would kill time in between charging passing boats by carving hundreds of Buddhas right here into the steep Cliffside. 
Day 4 : Pyay (B, L, D)
  • Today will be spent exploring the town of Pyay (pronounced by some as 'pyay' and 'pyi' by others), a charismatic dock with a startlingly beautiful pagoda. Visit the city center and local market, followed by lunch on board.
  • In the afternoon, visit the ancient city of Sri Ksera, once the capital of Pyay dating from around the first century. The ancient city gained World Heritage status in 2014.
Day 5 : Pyay (B, L, D)
  • This morning visit the small town of Shwe Taung. Here you will visit the Shwe Hmyet Hman Pagoda, where the Buddha image wears gold sunglasses.
  • Lunch on board will be followed by an afternoon of sailing.
  • Tonight we will dock in Thayet. Return to the ship for cocktails and dinner and continue sailing north.
Day 6 : Thayet (B, L, D)
  • Take in mystical white pagodas and charming colonial houses as we explore postcard-perfect rural Thayet on foot. Built by the British in 1887, Myanmar's first golf course is also here.
  • In the afternoon, sail from Thayet to Minhla. 
Day 7 : Minh La Port (B, L, D)
  • Begin your day with a walking tour of the two brick Minhla Forts. An unusual construction, the fort was originally dated from 13th century and enlarged and strengthened by Italian engineers, to resist a British invasion during the Third and final Anglo-Burmese war.
  • Return to the ship and sail to Magwe and on the way visit the hilltop Myat Than Lun Paya, a pagoda built in 1929 of solid gold bricks - this is an extraordinary building with stunning views of the Ayeryarwady.
  • Dinner served and overnight stayed on board.
Day 8 : Sale (B, L, D)
  • Sail in the early morning enjoying the scenery and life on the riverbank. You will sail past Pakan Lay village where temple ruins lie decorously along the banks and then arrive at Sale. Sale is a perfect small community to wander around on foot or by trishaw. We will visit Yoke Sone Kyaung monastery, a fine teak building with some beautifully crafted reliefs.
  • Our final stop before returning to the boat for dinner is Tha-ta-na Kyaung - this small temple has an interesting Buddha image made from bamboo.
  • Dinner served and overnight stayed on board.
Day 9 : Bagan (B, L, D)
  • This morning will be spent sailing to Bagan. After lunch, we will visit village of Myinkaba, a centre of the ancient craft of lacquerware which has been produced in Bagan since the time of King Anawrahta around 1050 AD. Here in the workshop the traditional methods are still used.
  • The last stop is at a jaggery workshop which produces unrefined sugar. Next, visit the Ananda Temple. Completed in 1091 AD, it is commonly referred to as one of the four great temples in Bagan.
  • The Ananda is regarded by folklore as one of the most beautiful temples in Myanmar. A traditional horse cart will then take us to Htilominlo Temple; a two-storey red-brick temple built around 1211 AD. It is a magnificent structure, though now heavily restored. The day's finale is a quiet moment on the terraces of the Pyathatgyi Temple. Admire the light change on the pagodas as they exude antiquity and mystery.
  • Finally the sun sets behind the hills on the far side of the Ayeyarwady River, filling the sky with a reddish glow, a truly magic moment. 
Day 10 : Bagan (B, L, D)
  • Early risers can participate in a yoga or meditation practice on deck, while others can book a sunrise balloon ride over Bagan to watch the pale golden light spread across this vast plain. After breakfast we will visit the bustling Nyaung U local market. The daily market is where the farmers meet to buy and sell a variety of goods, ranging from fruit and vegetables to china and lacquerware.
  • Next, continue to the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda. The Shwezigon is said to contain important relics of the Gautama Buddha, two bones and a copy of a tooth. We will then return to the ship and start sailing upstream towards Sagaing. Relax as we past villages set against a backdrop of soft browns, rich tamarind trees with white and golden pagodas gracing the distant hills. There is no better way to enjoy this riverine picture than from the Kansi panorama lounge.
  • After lunch a variety of on board activities will be offered including a longyi (sarong) and thanaka (cosmetic) demonstration, a cooking class with the chef, cheroot and betel nut tasting and a talk on Myanmar - covering the country's incredibly rich history, more recent & controversial events and prospects for the future.
  • A delicious dinner will then follow.
Day 11 : Mandalay (B, L, D)
  • The morning will be spent sailing and enjoying the passing countryside.
  • In the afternoon we will arrive beside the pagoda sprinkled Sagaing hills, an important religious and monastic centre, home to some 554 monasteries and 6,000 monks and nuns. We will take a short stop at several of the monasteries and pagodas but it is the views from the top of the hill on the terraces of the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda which are truly breathtaking. Below and all around, pagodas of different shapes and sizes dot the landscape.
  • Enjoy a local performance, followed by dinner on board.  
Day 12 : Mandalay (B)
  • For those who wish, an early morning visit to the village of Sin Kyun is offered, a village just north of Mandalay sponsored by Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy. It has a population of just under 1,000 inhabitants and specializes in farming and hat making. Witness first-hand the way of life in this unspoilt location seldom viewed by outsiders.
  • Following the village Chief's request for a library and a house for an English teacher, Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy donated the money necessary to begin this new partnership.
  • We hope that with the support of Sanctuary Ananda guests, we will be able to provide further funds to improve the quality of life of the villagers. At 8:30am the Sanctuary Ananda will sail for Mandalay and will arrive at 9:45am for check out. 

Price & Booking

Include

  • Accommodation
  • All three meals during full sailing days with lunch and dinner on day of embarkation and breakfast on day of disembarkation
  • Soft drinks and local beer
  • All sightseeing as stated in set itineraries

Exclude

  • Any items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls and purchases from the gift shop
  • Wine and spirits
  • Extra optional excursions
  • International & domestic flights
  • Transfers
  • Wine (outside of meals) and spirits
  • Gratuity to staff
  • Medical services, travel insurance or visas
Remark:
  • Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather and operating conditions. Unused services are not subject to a refund.
  • Meals on board are fusion: Myanmar & international. Guests should advise of any special food preferences, allergies or dietary requirements at least three days prior to the cruise date.
  • Seasonality
  • Low Season: April (excluding 4th April), July - August
  • Peak Season: September - December (excluding 23rd, 30th December sailings)
  • High Peak Season: 4th April, 23rd, 30th December 2016
  • Low Season: April, July - August
  • Medium Season: September & December (except 27th December sailing)
  • High Season: January to March, October & November
  • Peak Season:   December 27 sailing
  • Myanmar's rivers are subject to seasonal variations in the water level - sometimes by as much as 28 meters. Such changes can occur suddenly and without prior warning - even overnight. This may well result in the ship not being able to sail at the expected speed and/or be unable to pass under bridges or indeed the water level being too low to safely progress. A beautiful feature of the rivers is its sandbanks but navigationally these also pose many problems - not least of which is the potential to run aground. Such experiences are part of the excitement of any river expedition and are to be expected. Our published itineraries are indication only and subject to change due to all the above.  Additionally from time to time the river authorities may also close sections of the river but we normally get some advance notice of this. We will always replace the itinerary based on our 'safety first' philosophy whilst doing all we can to respect the places published or substituting alternatives. It simply may not always be possible to maintain every feature.
Destinations: Mandalay - New Nyein - Kyar Nyet - Katha - Shwe Gu - Bhamo - Sin Khan - Moeda - Sin Kyun - Mandalay - Yandabo - Bagan

Itinerary

Day 1 : Mandalay – New Nyein (D)
  • Embarkation no later than 8:45 am and settle into your suite. Lunch will be served on board as we set sail for the charming pottery-making village of Nwe Nyein where we'll be moored overnight.
  • As we glide down the river, you can enjoy talks and demonstrations on traditions such as how to wear a longyi (sarong) and the thanaka make-up technique (the local cosmetic used to protect skin from the hot sun) as well as cookery lessons and history talks.
  • Welcome dinner on board the ship.
  • Overnight stayed in Nwe Nyein. 
Day 2 : New Nyein - Kyar Nyet (B, L, D)
  • After an early breakfast, we'll take you on a walk to a pottery factory in the village of Nwe Nyein on the western bank of the Ayeyarwady River. Here we'll watch the craftsmen create beautiful pots as they work their potters' wheels with their legs.
  • We'll then spend the day travelling through soul-stirring river scape to Kyar Nyet where we will dock for the night. 
Day 3 : Kyar Nyet – Katha (B, L, D)
  • We depart from Kyar Nyet early in order to arrive in Tagaung in the morning. After a fine breakfast we shall depart to explore ancient Tagaung, which dates back to the Pyu Dynasty. This rich archaeological site still has the original city walls which have been extremely well preserved.
  • Next we'll sail upstream to Katha which we will reach the following morning. 
Day 4 : Katha – Shwe Gu (B, L, D)
  • We arrive into Katha mid-morning. Since Katha was featured in George Orwell's Burmese Days, we'll take you by tuk-tuk to the author's former house in what was the British Club.
  • After the visit, we will sail upstream to Shwe Gu where we'll moor overnight. During your dinner aboard RV Sanctuary Ananda there will be a Tai-Shan dance performance. 
Day 5 : Shwe Gu - Bhamo (B, L, D)
  • Setting sail from Shwe Gu at 5:30am, spend the morning enjoying the facilities onboard Sanctuary Ananda.
  • We arrive at Bhamo at lunchtime where there will be non-stop spectacular rivers scenes for you to admire before we dock to explore the town in the afternoon. Our visit to Bhamo will let you see the market and downtown Bhamo, which includes a trip to Shwe Kyi Na pagoda and historic Catholic churches.
Day 6 : Sin Khan - Moeda (B, L, D)
  • The morning visit to Sin Khan will have you touring a 1929-built monastery as well as centuries-old stupas.
  • We'll set sail for Moeda village just before lunch, and as we travel down the river we'll pass the notable 'spirit rock' which has been sculpted into the shape of a parrot. In the afternoon, you can browse the old wooden shop-houses of Moeda's market and take in the colours and aromas of the fresh produce and food stalls here. 
Day 7 : Moeda – Kya Nyat (B, L, D)
  • Relax during a leisurely cruise to Kya Nyat - Take a guided walking tour of this small village and you'll spy archaeological treasures and get an authentic taste of local life.
Day 8 : Kya Nyat – Sin Kyun (B, L, D)
  • This morning we will head south. For the next leg of the cruise, gaze at riverside pagodas such as Anya Thi Ha Taw on its island in the Ayeyarwady. Next stop is Sin Kyun, where we will arrive about mid-morning.
Day 9 : Sin Kyun - Mandalay (B, L, D)
  • If you'd like to witness traditional farming and artisanal life in our adopted village, we'll show you around Sin Kyun.
  • Next we'll cruise southwards to Mingun where the monumental temple and 90-tonne Mingun Bell, one of the world's heaviest ringing bells, awaits.
  • In the afternoon visit Amarapura, once known as 'The City of Immortals'. Today, the leisurely 'clack-clack' from the looms of the cotton and silk weavers has replaced the noisy bustle of this former capital.
  • We will visit one of the textile workshops, followed by the U-Bein Bridge, a spectacular place to enjoy the sunset. This long teak bridge snakes across the ever evolving Taungthaman Lake.
  • After sunset, catch a boat up the Ayeyarwady River and return to the Sanctuary Ananda. 
Day 10 : Mandalay - Yandabo (Pd, Dj, Dîner)
  • This morning, see Mahamuni Pagoda and Shwenandaw Monastery where hundreds of age-old marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist religious texts at Kuthodaw Pagoda are referred to by some historians as the 'biggest book in the world'.
  • We'll spend the afternoon sailing downstream to Bagan, which means you have ample time to enjoy the luxuries on board Ananda. Maybe have a spa treatment or relax by the pool with a book from our library?
Day 11 : Bagan (B, L, D)
  • After breakfast, visit bustling Bagan by bus and its Nyaung-U local market and the great golden Shwezigon Pagoda.
  • Then travel to the incredible 1091-built Ananda Temple. The day ends with a romantic candlelit sandbank dinner. Dinner tonight is extra special thanks to a local performance.
Day 12 : Bagan (B)
  • Take an optional early morning balloon tour to capture a birds-eye view of the Bagan plain (an additional charge applies, please book in advance. November - March only.), followed by an early breakfast back on board before check out at 9am.
  • If you are departing on a later flight we will arrange for you to take a morning tour in Bagan. We will visit Minanthu village in the heart of the Bagan plain, to see the way of life of the local people, before progressing to a brick factory.
  • Onto the village of Myinkaba, a center of the ancient craft of lacquer ware which has been produced in Bagan since the time of King Anawrahta around 1050 AD. Here in the workshop the traditional methods are still used.
  • The last stop is at a jaggery workshop which produces unrefined sugar.

Price & Booking

Include

  • Accommodation
  • All three meals during full sailing days with lunch and dinner on day of embarkation and breakfast on day of disembarkation
  • Soft drinks and local beer
  • All sightseeing as stated in set itineraries

Exclude

  • Any items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls and purchases from the gift shop
  • Wine and spirits
  • Extra optional excursions
  • International & domestic flights
  • Gratuity to staff
  • Medical services, travel insurance or visas
Remark:
  • Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather and operating conditions. Unused services are not subject to a refund.
  • Meals on board are fusion: Myanmar & international. Guests should advise of any special food preferences, allergies or dietary requirements at least three days prior to the cruise date.
  • Seasonality
  • Low Season: April (excluding 4th April), July - August
  • Peak Season: September - December (excluding 23rd, 30th December sailings)
  • High Peak Season: 4th April, 23rd, 30th December 2016
  • Low Season: April, July - August
  • Medium Season: September & December (except 27th December sailing)
  • High Season: January to March, October & November
  • Peak Season:   December 27 sailing
  • Myanmar's rivers are subject to seasonal variations in the water level - sometimes by as much as 28 meters. Such changes can occur suddenly and without prior warning - even overnight. This may well result in the ship not being able to sail at the expected speed and/or be unable to pass under bridges or indeed the water level being too low to safely progress. A beautiful feature of the rivers is its sandbanks but navigationally these also pose many problems - not least of which is the potential to run aground. Such experiences are part of the excitement of any river expedition and are to be expected. Our published itineraries are indication only and subject to change due to all the above.  Additionally from time to time the river authorities may also close sections of the river but we normally get some advance notice of this. We will always replace the itinerary based on our 'safety first' philosophy whilst doing all we can to respect the places published or substituting alternatives. It simply may not always be possible to maintain every feature.

Suite

Deluxe suite

Luxury suite

Owner's suite

Have a separate en suite bathroom with monsoon shower, basin and separate toilet. And, have individually controlled air conditioning and have open balconies. 

 

 

Number of cabins : 2 cabins

 

Bed Types : double/twin

 

Cabin Size : 27 sq.m

Each has a private balcony with outdoor chairs & table, and a separate en suite bathroom with monsoon shower.

 

 

Number of cabins : 14 cabins

 

Bed Types : double/twin

 

Cabin Size : 27-28 sq.m

Have an indoor seating area with a pull-out sofa bed available to accommodate a third person. There is a private balcony with table and chairs, and the en-suite bathroom has a monsoon shower. Other perks include butler service, early morning tea and coffee, and complimentary laundry.

 

 

Number of cabins : 4 cabins

 

Bed Types : double/twin

 

Cabin Size : 31-33 sq.m

Have a big veranda with sun loungers as well as table and chairs. The spacious bathroom will spoil you with a freestanding tub as well as a monsoon shower and his-and-hers sinks. Other benefits will include a private guide, butler service, early morning tea and coffee, complimentary laundry and exclusive dining experiences.

 

 

Number of cabins : 4 cabins

 

Bed Types : double/twin – King size bed

Cabin Size : 67 sq.m


Services & Facilities
General
  • 24-hour Security
  • Reception
  • Rowing boat
  • Safety box at reception
  • Theme Cruise
Services
  • Bar
  • Beauty Services and Massage
  • Boutique shop
  • Cabin Service (Snack Meals)
  • Fresh flower
  • Laundry service
  • Restaurant
Dining Room & Bar
  • The culture and cuisine of Myanmar are reflected in the dining options available to guests each day, alongside a choice of Western favorites and international dishes. The fragrant flavors of Myanmar, including lemongrass, kaffir lime and sweet chilli, are evoked as our chefs handpick the freshest local ingredients during our village-market visits. Specially crafted menus and inspired dining experiences encompass dishes such as soft-shell crab, red curries, and mango and pomelo salad, while extensive Italian-cuisine experience means freshly made pasta, couldn’t-be-fresher salads and excellent steaks and burgers.
  • Local Performances: Skilled dancers will captivate you with Burmese local dances which often tell stories about their myths and legends. Filled with bright costumes these performances will be enjoyed after a delicious dinner.
  • Lectures on an array of interesting topics about Myanmar's history and culture, which will increase your knowledge of the country and this describes interesting facts and stories which you can share with friends and family when you return home. Don't forget to ask your guides for a few 'Nat' stories.
  • Cooking demonstrations & lessons: Onboard you can enjoy both local and international meal options. For those who would like to learn how to cook some of the delicious traditional meals served onboard there will be cooking demonstrations run by our professional chefs.
  • Demonstrations: You will be taught how to tie a longyi (the skirt that both men and women traditionally wear) and how to make and apply tanaka (natural sun cream).
  • Spa & treatments: It is the perfect moment to relax and visit the Thambyadine Spa on the Yangon Deck. Our trained masseuses will help you to relax through the selection of enjoyable therapeutic treatments.

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