Sail downstream from Mandalay to the Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon. You will visit local villages including Pyay enroute as well as pass stunning landscapes
Check in to the Sanctuary Ananda at lunchtime. (For guests arriving on an early flight there is optional sightseeing tour of Mandalay).
Take the afternoon excursion to Sagaing, a place central to Buddhism in Myanmar with its myriad of temples, pagodas, convents and monasteries. Visit its main temple – Soon U Ponya Shin – which is connected by covered staircases all the way up one of the highest hills before going on to see silversmiths at work and then heading the textile workshops of Amarapura, before going to U Bein Bridge in time for the sunset. Celebrate its beauty with a glass of chilled champagne.
Return to the ship for welcome cocktails and dinner which will be followed by traditional entertainment in the observation lounge.
Sunrise meditation and yoga is offered each morning before breakfast. After which guests can enjoy a horse and cart tour to Ava, one of the old imperial capitals and a charming archaeological site. Return mid-morning as the ship begins its journey south on the Ayeyarwady River.
After lunch there is a wide choice of activities from cookery demonstration, longyi tying, a massage or a lecture on the traditions of Myanmar. Or simply enjoy the glorious scenery. The ship will anchor for the night by a sand bank in time for guests to enjoy a sunset cocktail.
Choose from a yoga and meditation sunrise practice or a later breakfast as you sail towards Bagan stopping on the way at Pakokku. Here a trishaw is waiting to take you on a tour of the local market as well as the cheroot and shoe factories. The market is lively, colourful and authentic.
On arrival in Bagan a coach will take you to visit some of the most important temples and pagodas among the 2000 which comprise this most magnificent archaeological site – the Ananda, the Htilominio and the Pyathatgyi. Marvel at the sunset views from the latter before returning to the ship for dinner.
Choose one of two early morning optional excursions – a balloon ride over Bagan or sunrise meditation at one of the temples.
Otherwise, after breakfast visit the sacred Buddhist Shwezigon Pagoda which houses a bone and tooth of the Gautama Buddha and the Wetkyi and Gubyukgyi temples as well as Nyaung U market. Return to the ship to sail on the gentle Ayeryarwady river for lunch.
The next port of call is Sale where a trishaw will take you to the Yoke Sone Monastery, Thartana Yaunggyi and the bamboo Buddha image. Enjoy a walking tour of the area before getting back on board.
After sunrise meditation, yoga and breakfast the Sanctuary Ananda arrives at A Magwe from where you can visit the hilltop Myat Than Lun Paya, a pagoda built in 1929 of solid gold bricks. An astonishing building with amazing views of the river and its surrounds. Then drive Then drive to Minbu , a small village which hosts the Nga Ka Pwe Taung (Dragon Lake) a pond of butane gas which is set in a moonscape like landscape dotted with bubbling pools. After lunch a guide will take you on a walking tour of Minlha Fort built for the Burmese king by Italian engineers, to resist a British invasion in the second Anglo-Burmese war.
Dinner on board.
An unhurried day sailing which gives you time to drink in the magic of the Myanmar countryside, riverlife and sheer beauty of the place. Enjoy a morning’s visit to Thayet an authentic Burmese village with its white pagodas and elegant colonial buildings. Before setting sail for Pyay
The time on board gives guests the opportunity to learn more about the traditions and customs of Myanmar from cigar making to cookery demonstrations to lectures on the history and arts of the country.
Begin your morning with sunrise yoga and meditation or enjoy a leisurely breakfast before visiting Pyay, one of the country’s ancient capitals and where the British Irrawaddy Flotilla Company established it in the 19th century as the cargo port for upper and lower Burma. Visit o Shwedaung village where you can see the Shwemyetman Paya pagoda and the only Budda wearing gold sun glasses
It is also home to the hilltop Shwedesabdaw Paya and its ten metres high Sethagy Paya Buddha which stands 10 metres high in front of the pagoda which you can visit after lunch.
After sunrise meditation and yoga the ship will sail close to the Akauk Taung caves for a photo opportunity of the hundreds of buddhas carved along the river bank.
Sunset cocktails will be served as the ship anchors on a river sand bank followed by dinner.
Early birds can join the yoga and meditation class at sunrise. The cruise this morning provides a scenic introduction to the beauties of this country from its villages, paddy fields, distant pagodas and hills. Savour the sights before arriving at Kenaung village where you can explore its environs on foot and enjoy a Chinlon demonstration. Chinlon is part sport, part dance as teams of six pass a ball with their feet, knees and heads as they walk in a circle. It is played throughout Myanmar by people of all ages from children to octagenarians.
Sail onto Zalon – anchor and enjoy dinner on board
After breakfast disembark and explore the port of Zalon by trishaw. Here you can visit the Pyi Taw Pyan pagoda which houses the famous bronze Buddha stolen by the British Army and returned by order of Queen Victoria.
Spend a leisurely day back on board by the pool, enjoying a massage or attending a lecture or demonstration before arriving at Danuphyu to visit of the Monastery of Maha Ban Dula and the Pagoda of Tyuakalon Pun.
Early risers can enjoy yoga and meditation while remaining guests can head off after breakfast to explore the charming little town of Danuphyu by trishaw. It was from here that General Maha Bandula led the Burmese against the British in the Anglo-Burmese War. Return to the ship to enjoy your last afternoon and evening on the glorious Ananda.
Dinner tonight will be followed by a traditional Burmese entertainment.
Arrive in Yangon, check out and disembark.