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Sanctuary Myanmar River Cruiser

11 Night Mandalay - Bhamo - Bagan Cruise Ananda

Day 1

Mandalay to Nwe Nyein

Check in no later than 8.45am 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.

Today we wil spend sailing towards Nwe Nyein. which means you have ample time to enjoy the luxuries on board Ananda. As you will be sailing all day, why not take advantage of our spa treatments? We have a range of specially prepared offers on our holistic spa treatments for use on board today and tomorrow.

Join us at the Kansi Panorama Lounge for a welcome briefing along with a champagne and canapés reception followed by the welcome dinner on board the ship.

Overnight in Nwe Nyein.

Day 2

nwe nyein to kyar nyet

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 Irrawaddy River. Here we’ll watch the craftsmen create beautiful pots as they work their potters’ wheels with their legs.

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).

We’ll then spend the day travelling through soul-stirring riverscapes to Kyar Nyet where we will dock for the night.

Day 3

kyar nyet to kann ni

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.

Join us for our evening lecture where you will learn about Myanmar’s past, present and future.

Day 4

katha to shwe gu

Start the day with a meditation session on the Sun Deck and for those who wish to learn how to prepare Asian delicacies, our chef will be happy to demonstrate. We arrive into Katha mid-morning and after lunch on board you will have the chance to visit this charming town.

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. This evening we will screen one of the most famous movies about Aung San Suu Kyi, The Lady, in the Kansi Panorama Lounge with canapés.

Day 5

shwe gu to bhamo

The ship will set sail from Shwe Gu at 5.30am and the day will be spent aboard Sanctuary Ananda. Whilst sailing, take part in a morning lecture presented by our resident guide.

Before lunch, join our resident guide for an afternoon lecture.

As we sail the 40 miles towards Bhamo, why not relax aboard the sundeck? Watch the beautiful scenery and pass famous landmarks like the parrot head, which marks the entrance to the second defile that can be admired from the Sun Deck.

Before this evening’s dinner you will be treated to a Kachin traditional dance performance.

Day 6


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.

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, visit an elephant logging camp where you can watch how elephants and people work in harmony.

Tonight, take part in a cocktail demonstration during which you will learn how to make Golden Land and Chindwin cocktails and taste them first hand.

Day 7


Join a morning meditation session on board the Sun Deck or relax during a leisurely cruise to Kyar Nyat. Just before lunch, a lecture will take place in the Kansi Panorama Lounge.

In the late afternoon, take a guided walking tour of the small village of Kyar Nyat and you’ll spy archaeological treasures and get an authentic taste of local life.

Day 8


This morning we will head South. While we sail, join our chef for a cooking demonstration of traditional Asian cuisine. For the next leg of the cruise, gaze at riverside pagodas such as Anya Thi Ha Taw on its island in the Irrawaddy. Next stop is Sin Kyun, where we will arrive about mid-morning.

Sin Kyun is a village just north of Mandalay sponsored by Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy. It has a population of just under 1,000 inhabitants and specialises in farming and hat making. Take an optional tour to 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.

Day 9

sin kyun to sagaing

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 Irrawaddy River and return to the Sanctuary Ananda.

Tonight you will have the chance to watch a marionette show.

Day 10

mandalay to yandabo

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?

In the afternoon, take part in a back of house tour of Sanctuary Ananda where you will learn how the ship works behind the scenes, from the engine control room to the wheel house.

Tonight we will screen the movie Rangoon and serve delicious canapés in the Kansi Panorama Lounge.

Day 11


Enjoy breakfast as we spend the morning sailing towards Bagan. After lunch, 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’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 Irrawaddy River, filling the sky with a reddish glow, a truly magic moment.

A local perfromance will take place on board before a romantic sandbank dinner.

Day 12


Enjoy 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 a morning 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 lacquerware 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.
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