Sail upstream from Myanmar’s biggest city Yangon to Mandalay via Pyay and Bagan. From the river you will be provided with fantastic views of the passing
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 Tantwe town, famous for its ceramics and Nyaung Tong, a riverside beach. We arrive at Danuphyu for sunset and welcome cocktails, followed by dinner and a traditional entertainment
Join an early morning meditation and yoga class before arriving at the charming little town of Danuphyu, it was from here that General Maha Bandula led the Burmese against the British in the Anglo-Burmese War. Explore the town by trishaw, visiting the Pagoda of Tyuakalon Pun and the Maha Ban Dula monastery.
After lunch on board, enjoy a visit to the port of Zalon, again explore by trishaw and see the Pyi Taw Pyan pagoda which houses the famous bronze Buddha stolen by the British Army and returned by order of Queen Victoria.
Dinner and overnight on board.
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.
A highlight of the day is the Chinlon demonstration while visiting Kenaung village. 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.
Cocktails will be served on a sandbank before dinner.
Sanctuary Ananda sets sail at sunrise while early risers can attend yoga and meditation practice. She will stop close to the Akauk Taung caves for a photo opportunity of the hundreds of buddhas carved along the river bank before sailing onto Pyay (Prome).
Tour Pyay and its surroundings by coach stopping to visit Shwedaung village and the Shwemyetman pagoda where you can see the only Buddha wearing gold sunglasses.
Return to the ship for dinner, after which enjoy traditional Burmese entertainment.
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. It is also home to the hilltop Shwedesabdaw Paya and its ten metres high Sethagy Paya buddha.
Return to the ship for cocktails and dinner and continue sailing north.
Continue sailing north drinking in the beauty and serenity of the country from the poolside, or the Kansi panorama lounge or your own private balcony, stopping at Thayet before lunch. This gives you the opportunity to explore this authentic Burmese village with its white pagodas and old colonial houses.
Another opportunity arises in the afternoon at Thawatti to mingle with the locals and see at close quarters how they live and work. A real treat at sunset will be cocktails at a river sand bank, in between times there will be a selection of demonstrations and lectures on Burmese life and traditions on board.
Begin your day with yoga or meditation on deck, or relax until its time for the walking tour of Minlha Fort built for the Burmese king by Italian engineers, to resist a British invasion in the second Anglo-Burmese war. Return to the ship and sail to Magwe and visit the hilltop Myat Than Lun Paya, a pagoda built in 1929 of solid gold bricks. An astonishing building with amazing views of the Ayeryarwady. 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.
Dinner and overnight on board.
Sail from the early morning enjoying the scenery and life on the riverbank or you could opt for a massage or a cookery demonstration. During the morning you will sail past Pakan Lay village where temple ruins lie decorously along the banks until you arrive at Sale where you can tour by both coach and on foot. The real treat here is the old curved wooden monasteries and a huge 20 foot golden Buddha made of straw lacquer. Enjoy the temple and village life before heading back to the ship and the voyage to Bagan, arriving at thsi magnificent archaeological site for sunset.
Dinner and overnight on board.
A day to remember as you will visit some of the most important pagodas and temples which are scattered across this vast plain. There are 2000 in total but our guides will take you to the most important and the most beautiful such as Ananda, Htilominlo and Pyathatgyi Temples as well as the nearby Shwezigon Pagoda which is believed to have a bone and tooth of Gautama Buddha. You will also be able to visit Wetkyi-in and Gubyaukgyi pagodas as well as the market at Nyaung-U and the lacquerware workshop at Myinkaba. The best sunset views are from Pyathatgyi pagoda and you will be able to watch it sink below the horizon there.
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. Return to the ship for an all-day cruise, stopping to explore the little town of Magyibinbu along the way. The ship will anchor for the night by a sand bank in time for guests to enjoy a sunset cocktail.
Before sailing for Ava, there is an optional sunrise balloon ride over Bagan (for an additional charge). Ava was the ancient imperial capital for over five centuries and was only abandoned in the early 19th century. Enjoy exploring the city by horse drawn cart to visit the Bagaya monastery and afterwards by coach to Sagaing with its convents, pagodas and silversmiths, before taking a little boat ride at the U Bein bridge to watch the sunset while enjoying a drink.
Check out and disembark at 6am.