Cruising the Irrawaddy River from Yangon to Mandalay aboard the AmaPura

Overview

On this wonderful tropical journey, cruise up the fabled Irrawaddy River from Yangon to Bagan, visiting sacred sites, traditional villages, craftsmen’s workshops, and Buddhist monasteries. Enjoy a full-day tour of Bagan and its rich collection of stupas, temples, and pagodas, take in the stunning view from atop Mt. Popa, and visit the Golden City of Mandalay, with its fascinating markets and monuments, before returning to Yangon for a final overnight.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary

Day 1
Yangon

Arrive in Yangon, former royal capital known as the “Garden City of the East” for its lush tropical setting. Transfer to your hotel to check-in and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 2
Yangon

Your full-day tour includes a visit to the city center and the unusually shaped Sule Pagoda, a photo stop at Kandawgyi Lake, and Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott’s Market), where you can shop for handicrafts, clothing, and local delicacies. You also see the massive reclining Buddha at Chaukhtautgyi Temple and Shwedagon Pagoda, one of Myanmar’s most iconic religious sites...B

Day 3
Yangon / Pyay / Embarkation

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before boarding a motor coach for the drive to Pyay. Embark the ship and, tonight, meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Dinner...BLD

Day 4
Pyay

Take a walking tour of this former capital that once served as an important junction between Lower and Upper Burma. Pyay is home to more than 80 gilded pagodas, including the Payagi Pagoda. During your city tour you will also see the ancient Sri Kestra City Gate and enjoy a visit to the Sri Kestra Museum...BLD

Day 5
Minhla / Magwe

Further upstream today, the ship will stop at Minhla, site of a great battle during the Second Anglo-Burmese War. A short walk brings you to a Colonial Fort, built by Italian engineers in 1860 to keep British forces out of Burma. You will also have an opportunity to stop a local market. Later, visit Magwe and take a panoramic coach tour to see the Mud Volcano in Minbu, the mythical home of fire breathing dragons living deep beneath the earth. You’ll also see the General Aung San “Bogyoke” Statue and the Myathalon Pagoda, situated on the banks of the river...BLD

Day 6
Salay

Your ship cruises to Salay today, a small community that boasts more than 50 monasteries built of teak. Visit Yokesonekyaung, built in 1882 and the region’s oldest surviving wooden monastery, famous for its wood carvings and collection of religious artifacts. You will also see a splendid colonial-era house and the 13th century Man Pagoda, which contains the largest lacquer Buddha in Myanmar...BLD

Day 7
Tana Kyi Taung / Bagan

Join your fellow passengers for an excursion up Tant Kyi Taung Mountain to visit its famous pagoda, built in the year 1059 by King Anawrahta and known to house a sacred Buddha relic. Later, your ship’s Sun Deck offers the perfect vantage point for your first glimpse of the plain of Bagan, one of the world’s most awe-inspiring archaeological sites. Upon arrival in Bagan, you will have two tour options. Choose to visit an observation tower where you will enjoy a beautiful sunset while sipping on a refreshing cocktail. Afterwards, transfer to a local temple and participate in a candle lighting ceremony blessed by local monks. Or you may choose to watch the sunset from the top of Guni Temple instead, and then meet with your fellow travelers at the temple for the candle lighting ceremony...BLD

Day 8
Bagan

Your full day in Bagan offers three sightseeing options. The first is a journey to the 4,980-foot-tall Mount Popa, legendary home of animist nat spirits. You will have the opportunity to climb to the top—777 steps take you to the very top, or take 250 steps to reach the observation terrace (shoes must be removed). Afterward, stop for lunch and enjoy a tasting of Jaggery, palm sugar that is made from the Totty Palm Tree. Your second option today provides a less strenuous visit of Mount Popa. Instead of climbing to the top, you may enjoy free time to shop and explore other attractions at the Mount Popa Resort. After lunch you will also enjoy a sampling of Jaggery before returning your ship. Your third tour option today offers an excursion to some of the most distinctive pagodas in the Bagan Archaeological Zone. Begin with a visit to the Shwezigan Pagoda, the oldest and most impressive of all. Afterward, you will spend some time at the lively Nyaungoo market, where you can search for local handicrafts, colorful textiles, as well as other unique souvenirs and gifts. Later, visit the 13th century Gubyaulgyi Temple, which is situated near the Wetkyi-inn Village. Your Bagan tour continues with a stop at the Pyathada Paya temple where you can snap a picture-postcard photo of Bagan...BLD

Day 9
Bagan / Yandabo

Admire one last sunrise over Bagan before the ship departs for Yandabo, a peaceful village where the British and Burmese signed a treaty ending the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1826. Yandabo is widely known for its finely crafted terracotta wares and you’ll have a chance to see a pottery-making demonstration by local artisans while exploring typical village life...BLD

Day 10
Inwa

This afternoon you will visit Inwa, the capital of the Burmese kingdom for more than four centuries. Explore the ancient ruins of the city by horse-drawn cart and see splendid teakwood monasteries intricately designed with wood carvings. Afterward, drive to Amarapura to watch the sunset at the world’s longest teakwood footbridge, the U-Bein Bridge. If you prefer to spend more time relaxing on board, you may forego the Inwa village visit and choose to take the U-Bein Bridge excursion only...BLD

Day 11
Sagaing / Mingun / Mandalay

Today you'll stop at the former royal capital of Sagaing, famous for its hundreds of monasteries and tranquil atmosphere. In Sagaing, you’ll visit a local monastic school and the Soonuponyashin Pagoda. Continue to Mingun, where you will see its famous 12-foot-high bronze bell and the massive ruins of Pathodawgyi (the “unfinished pagoda”), originally intended to be 499 feet high. Although only a third of it was ever completed, it remains the world’s largest brick pagoda. Alternatively, take a tuk-tuk ride through Mingun to explore the sights. You’ll also have a chance to visit the Myatheindan Pagoda, built in 1816 and painted white as a representation of the mythological Buddhist mountain, Mount Meru. Another option today in Mingun allows you to visit the Pathodawgyi, the Mingun bronze bell, and also offers you a chance to climb to the top of Myatheindan Pagoda (77 steps)...BLD

Day 12
Mandalay

After arriving in Mandalay, head ashore for a full-day tour that includes many of the city’s most iconic sights, including the bronze Mahamuni Buddha, covered by the faithful with a thick layer of gold leaf. Visit the workshops of skilled craftsmen making thin sheets of gold, marble carvings, and tapestries, and stop at Kuthodaw Pagoda (said to contain the world’s largest book—Buddhist scriptures inscribed on 729 marble slabs), Mandalay Hill, and Shwenandaw monastery, an architectural masterpiece filled with wood carvings. Instead, you may choose to take a half-day city tour of Mandalay that includes the Kuthodaw Pagoda, Shwenadaw Monastery, and Mahamuni Buddha. Afterwards you will have the unique opportunity to visit a local school in Mandalay. Tonight, enjoy a Farewell Dinner on board the ship with your fellow travelers...BLD

Day 13
Mandalay / Disembarkation / Yangon

After breakfast aboard the AmaPura, fly back to Yangon and check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure...B

Day 14
Yangon

Bid farewell to Myanmar and prepare for your homeward journey or your optional post-cruise extension to Inle Lake...B

Reverse Itinerary-in-Brief

Days 1-2 Yangon, Myanmar
Day 3 Yangon / Mandalay / Embark
Day 4 Mingun / Mandalay / Amarapura
Day 5 Sagaing / Minwa
Days 6-7 Yandabo / Bagan
Day 8 Tant Kyi Taung / Salay
Days 9-10 MaGwe / Minhla
Day 11 Tha Yet Myo / Pha Hto
Days 12-13 Pyay / Disembark / Yangon
Day 14 Yangon / Depart

Optional Inle Lake Post-Tour Extension

An optional 4-night post land extension is available featuring three nights in Inle Lake and one night in Yangon.

Day 1
Yangon / Heho / Inle Lake

After disembarking the ship this morning, you will be transferred to the airport for a short flight to Heho, then on to Inle Lake. Upon arrival, you will visit a Shan paper workshop, where you can see how the delicate paper is made. Afterwards, head to the town of Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to Inle Lake. Stop at Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery and Pagoda, built in the early 19th century, and Red Mountain winery for a vineyard tour. After your visit to Nyanung Shwe, you will be transferred to your hotel...B

Day 2
Inle Lake

After breakfast, take a boat excursion to Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery (also known as the “Jumping Cat Monastery”) where you will see a fine collection of Buddha images sitting on an elegant throne. Afterwards, you will take a boat ride through a nearby floating village and garden. Continue on to Phaung Daw Oo where you can see the impressive Phaung Daw Oo pagoda. After lunch, the adventure continues as you visit Pauk Par Village and the homes of local artisans making cheroot cigars, silk weaving and lotus weaving...B

Day 3
Inle Lake

Today’s excursion takes you on an unforgettable journey to Indein. Journey back in time as you sail through meandering creeks around Indein Village, located on the southwestern bank of Inle Lake. The village is famous for picturesque, ancient pagodas that date back to the 16th century. After lunch, your excursion continues with a visit to a silversmith workshop and the Padaung tribe, who are famous for wearing brass rings around their necks in order to make them longer...B

Day 4
Inle Lake / Yangon

After breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Yangon. The rest of the day in Yangon is at your leisure...B

Day 5
Yangon

Return flight home...B

$1,120 per Person for Double Occupancy; Single Supplement is $560 per person
Round-­trip Intra-­Myanmar Air is an additional $380 per person including taxes and fuel surcharges

Highlights

Highlights

Ancient Bagan, with its skyline of peaked pagodas
Riding a horse-drawn cart through the ancient ruins of Inwa
Mahamuni Buddha statue in Mandalay, covered in gold leaf by faithful followers

Details

Length: 14 days
Cost From: $7498  
Arrive: Yangon, Myanmar
Depart: Yangon, Myanmar
Lodging: 10 nights aboard a 56-passenger river vessel, 3 nights hotel in Yangon
Meals: All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore
Activity: River Cruising
Trip Level:

11-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours
Cruise collection 2018 brochure

2018 Cruise Collection

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