Myanmar and The Irrawaddy (11 Days)

Cruise Line: Abercrombie & Kent USA, LLC - Cruises
Ship: Ananda
Yangon, Myanmar to Yangon, Myanmar
Tour Segment  Cruise Segment
Yangon, Myanmar

Arrive in Yangon, where you are met and transferred to your hotel.

Yangon, Myanmar

Today, enjoy your first taste of Myanmar, a profoundly Buddhist country, where many ancient traditions still flourish. Visit the Reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, a 213-foot-long statue with an expressive enamel face. This evening, transfer to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in Myanmar, for a sunset oil lamp lighting ceremony. Standing nearly 330 feet tall, the venerated stupa is covered in gold leaf and topped by a finial encrusted with thousands of diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and other precious gems. View this mesmerizing wonder firsthand, as your local guide explains the history behind the holy relics it enshrines, which include strands of hair from the head of Siddhārtha Gautama, the Buddha. Tonight, gather for a special welcome dinner.

Yangon, Myanmar
Air travel
Bagan, Myanmar

Fly to Bagan, a city with more than 2,000 Buddhist pagodas and temples, the first of which was built by King Anawrahta in 1044. Upon arrival, you are taken to a local restaurant for lunch before continuing to your hotel. After a short rest, continue your journey to see the Shwezigon Pagoda, Bagan's greatest reliquary, built to house the Buddha's collarbone, frontal bone, and tooth. At sunset, Ride Like a Local as you weave your way through the temple ruins on the back of a horse cart.

Bagan, Myanmar

Rise early for an exhilarating hot-air balloon ride (weather permitting) over Bagan, as dawn illuminates the gold- and sand-colored stupas. After breakfast, visit the well-preserved Ananda Temple, built in 1090. Next, travel to the village of Wetkyi-In to see the wonderful Gubyaukgyi Temple, renowned for its ancient murals. Board luxurious all-balcony 'Sanctuary Ananda', your home for a three-night cruise on the timeless Irrawaddy River. After lunch onboard, visit a local lacquerware workshop before proceeding to a temple to enjoy the sunset. Return to the ship for dinner.

Bagan, Myanmar
Nyaungu, Myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar

After breakfast onboard 'Sanctuary Ananda', explore Nyaung Oo Market and observe the locals selling and bartering for goods. Return to the ship for lunch and begin your cruise along the Irrawaddy River. Listen to a special onboard talk about Myanmar's history and vision for the future, followed by demonstrations of the longyi (traditional Burmese cloth worn by men and women) and thanaka (a white cosmetic paste made from ground bark).

Sagaing, Myanmar
U Bein Bridge, Myanmar
Sagaing, Myanmar

Today, learn the secrets of Burmese cuisine during a cooking demonstration at a delightful Chef's Table experience. After lunch, disembark to visit Sagaing, a former royal city renowned for its monasteries, pagodas, and stupas. Proceed to Amarapura, where you embark by boat to view the picturesque U Bein Bridge — the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. Watch locals riding bikes, carrying crops, and commuting from work cross this tall iconic landmark for an insight into everyday life here as well as an ideal sunset photo opportunity.

Mandalay, Myanmar

After breakfast onboard, explore a gold-leaf workshop, where the metal is hammered paper-thin and prepared for use in some of Myanmar's holiest sites. This afternoon, visit the Shwenandaw Monastery and view the more than 700 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist religious texts at Kuthodaw Pagoda, referred to as the biggest book in the world. Later, witness evening prayers at Shwe Kyin Monastery.

Mandalay, Myanmar
Air travel
Heho, Myanmar
Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar
Inle Lake, Myanmar

Fly to Heho and drive to Nyaung Shwe to visit a Shan paper workshop. Enjoy a firsthand look at the artisans who produce this distinctive paper, using fibers from the mulberry bush, and craft a wide range of items from it, most notably Burmese parasols. After lunch, board a boat and explore the ingenious floating gardens of Inle Lake. To create these gardens used for growing fruit and vegetables, fishermen gather together lake plants such as water hyacinths and seagrass and anchor them with bamboo poles embedded in the lake bottom. Layers of mud, ash, and more vegetation are then applied to form a farmable surface strong enough to stand upon. Also, visit Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery to view the Buddha statues on display in intricately decorated shrines. Transfer to your lakeside boutique hotel for the evening.

Inle Lake, Myanmar

Visit the Fifth-Day Market, where hill tribe people in traditional dress barter for goods and produce. Stop for lunch at the Intha Heritage House, savoring dishes made from recipes handed down for generations. Then, privately witness an Intha boat race with afternoon tea. Marvel at the coordinated effort required by the 20 participants per boat, each using the traditional single-leg rowing technique that local fishermen still employ.

DAY 10
Inle Lake, Myanmar
Heho, Myanmar
Air travel
Yangon, Myanmar

Fly to Yangon and transfer to your hotel. After time at leisure, visit Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott's Market) to see where locals gather, socialize, and shop. Later, savor afternoon tea with a local writer, artist, and intellectual who shares her insight into contemporary Burmese culture and politics. Tonight, toast your time in Myanmar at a special farewell dinner.
Fly to Yangon and transfer to your hotel. After time at leisure, visit Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott's Market) to see where locals gather, socialize, and shop. Later, savor afternoon tea with a local writer, artist, and intellectual who shares her insight into contemporary Burmese culture and politics. Tonight, toast your time in Myanmar at a special farewell dinner.

DAY 11
Yangon, Myanmar

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.

Myanmar and The Irrawaddy map

About the Ship

What's Included


  • All meals, complimentary soft drinks, coffee drinks, juices and bottled water while onboard, all shore excursions, services of a Tour Director and arrival and departure transfers.

Not Included

  • A&K Guest Protection Program, gratuities for the Tour Director and beverages other than those noted above.

About Us

With more than 50 years of luxury travel expertise backed by 52 local offices around the globe, A&K USA offers unforgettable experiences on all seven continents. From the industry's best small-group journeys and luxury expedition cruises to privately guided tailor-made journeys, they pride themselves on finding the perfect fit for the world's most discerning clients. The company's signature Insider Access experiences connect travelers to the people and culture of each destination.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Cancellation policy:  
Cancellation policies are not the same for every product and you should check with A&K at the time of booking.  In general, cancellations received by A&K 90 days or more prior to departure will be subject to a $500 per person/per tour cancellation fee.  Cancellations received less than 90 days prior to departure will be subject to the following forfeit of tour costs:  89-60 days – 20% of tour cost; 59-30 – 50% of tour cost; 29-0 days – 100% of tour cost.    A 100% cancellation charge applies to internal air cancelled less than 90 days prior to departure, where applicable.  For some tours, permit costs may not be refundable.    

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