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Luxury River Cruise on board the Belmond Orcaella

Destinations : Bagan, Mount Popa, Yangon

Duration: 9 days

Embark on an unforgettable river cruise along the Irrawaddy River. Sail from the former capital of Yangon up to historic, spiritual Bagan on board the luxury Orcaella. Spend the day watching scenes of river life passing by and venture ashore to discover small towns and famous monuments, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sri Ksetra. On board, lectures and demonstrations provide an opportunity for a deeper understanding of Myanmar whilst fine dining and excellent service ensure a memorable holiday.

The detailed program

Day 1 : Yangon

This morning board the luxurious Belmond Orcaella–your home for the next 8 nights–and settle in to your suite. The ship will cruise along the Yangon River, passing busy ports and the city’s skyline. The contrasting landscape also features small villages and farms with local boats passing by transporting people and goods – a perfect introduction to life on the water. Late this afternoon a lecture on the architectural heritage of Yangon will be held followed by dinner.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner on board.
Overnight stay on board.

Day 2 : Yangon – Danuphyu

A shore excursion to Danuphyu starts today’s activities. This town, which receives very few visitors, is where the revered General Maha Bandula led a Burmese defensive against the British troops during the Anglo-Burmese war. Visit the war memorial and get a taste of village life by visiting a local cigar-making family followed by a stop in a tea shop–an integral part of daily life in Myanmar. Return to the ship for an afternoon of cruising with afternoon tea and a discussion on Burmese literature on offer for those interested.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner on board.
Overnight stay on board.

Day 3 : On Board

As you enjoy breakfast this morning, the Belmond Orcaella sets out for a full-day of sailing toward Pyay. On board you will be joined by famous astrologers who can read your palm, astrological chart, and see what your future holds for you. Other activities today include a longyi-tying lesson, a thanaka application demonstration, and a late afternoon cooking demonstration. A special longyi-themed cocktail gathering and post-dinner cane-ball (chin lone) demonstration highlight the evening’s activities.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner on board.
Overnight stay on board.

Day 4 : Sri Ksetra

Early this morning the Belmond Orcaella will dock in Pyay where you will disembark for a shore excursion. This morning visit the ancient city of Sri Ksetra which was recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the 5th – 9th century ruins built at the time when Sri Ksetra was a powerful capital of the Pyu Kingdom. In town, visit the Shwesandaw Pagoda and the imposing 10-story seated Buddha before returning to the ship. A film screening of Wild Burma will be shown after dinner with ice cream and popcorn being served.

Overnight stay on board.

Day 5 : Sailing & Gwechaung

Continuing north on the Irrawaddy River, the ship makes its way to Gwechaung. An on-board lecture will be held before disembarking for an excursion to the Gwechaung Fort. Built in 1860 by Italian architects, the fort was intended to keep the British at bay from Royal Burma. Then travel by local boat and ox cart to a riverside village to observe the unique lifestyles of the river’s residents. A special dinner will be held on the grounds of the Min Hla Fort near the jetty where the ship is docked.

Overnight stay on board.

Day 6 : Magwe

Early this morning, the Belmond Orcaella sets sail towards Magwe. Using a tuk tuk, we will visit the town’s vibrant morning market and its famed Myathalon Pagoda, a golden stupa on the banks of the river. Return to the ship in the late morning and cast off. The ship will cruise for the remainder of the afternoon. An on-board lecture will be held in the late afternoon followed by a dinner with a traditional Myanmar puppet performance on the sundeck.

Overnight stay on board.

Day 7 : Salay & Bagan

Today is an exciting day as you will visit two memorable towns: Salay and Bagan. Disembark in Salay and visit the 19th century wooden Yout Saun Kyaung Monastery which is known for its exquisite wooden carvings. Continue by bus to Bagan (approximately 1.5 hours) where an experienced guide will introduce you to the wonders of this architectural gem. Witness a breath-taking sunset over the temples of Bagan before returning to the ship for dinner.

Breakfast is on board. Lunch at local restaurant. Dinner on board.
Overnight stay on board.

Day 8 : Bagan & Mount Popa

Today enjoy a full-day shore excursion in Bagan and its surroundings. The visit begins with the morning market of Nyaung Oo followed by the major monuments of Bagan. This afternoon includes a visit to Mount Popa, the traditional home of the nats, animist spirits of Myanmar. The bus journey takes around 1.5 hours each way but there will be a stop en route at a palm plantation to see the traditional methods of processing toddy juice. Or should you wish to explore more temples, hire a horse-drawn carriage or bicycle in Bagan for more local sight-seeing. A special farewell dinner with a traditional Myanmar Elephant Dance performance will be held on board for your final night.

Overnight stay on board.

Day 9 : Bagan Disembark

An early breakfast is served on board before disembarking from the Belmond Orcaella in Bagan.  From here, you will continue with your individual onward journey to explore the Golden Land further.

Price Includes:
  • Overnight stay on the Belmond Orcaella
  • Meals as mentioned in the program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • Soft drinks and local beer on board
  • Activities and sight-seeing with an English-speaking guide as mentioned in the program
  • Entrance fees for visits mentioned in the program (except camera fees)
Price Excludes:
  • International airfare
  • Domestic airfare with neither Air Bagan, Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways, Asian Wings, Golden Myanmar Airlines, Air KBZ, nor Man Yadanarpon Airlines (please refer to the airfare table)
  • Visa fee for Myanmar
  • Travel insurance
  • Entrance fees for visits not mentioned in the program
  • Guide from Yangon
  • Personal expenses (souvenirs, laundry, etc.)
  • Tips for guides, drivers, and other suppliers
  • Hotel accommodation in Mandalay and Bagan
  • Alcoholic drinks excluding local beer
  • Transfer from and to Kawthaung or Yangon airport, bus station, or harbor
  • Any other services/items not mentioned in inclusions


Mount Popa



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