Tours & River Cruises

Tours in Myanmar / Burma

Extensive Tour of the Irrawaddy

Extensive Tour of the Irrawaddy

Extensive Tour of Irrawaddy Map

11 days / 10 nights

from / to Yangon

Tour Highlights
• 11 days and 10 nights of exciting adventure
• Explore various sites along the Irrawaddy River
• Visit the famous Shwedagon Pagoda
• Explore the town of Dhala aboard a trishaw
• Enjoy river scenery on board Orcaella
• Visit the historic town of Danuphyu
• Watch Myanmar folk dance performance
• Join a cooking demonstration
• Participate in a pre-dinner Longyi cocktail party
• Tour the ancient city of Sri Ksetra
• Join an excursion to the Gwechaung Fort
• Experience rural life along Ayeyarwaddy River
• Enjoy a visit to Magwe town
• Learn more about Myanmar history in Bagan
• Select your own excursion on your last day
Traveling on board the luxurious Orcaella ship, you’ll experience breath-taking moments on the famous Ayeyarwady River. The ship flies the flag of luxury travel company Belmond (formerly Orient Express) and the onboard facilities leave no wish unfulfilled. You’ll explore one of Asia’s most pristine, unspoiled countries in the most comfortable surroundings possible: floating along the river from Yangon to Bagan, you’ll stop at interesting sights and have the chance to make the most of the excellent service on board.


Day 1: Arrival in Yangon

After arriving at Yangon Airport, you’ll be met and escorted to your hotel. After some time to relax, you’ll enjoy an afternoon sightseeing tour around the most interesting sights of the city, with the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda as the highlight: as well as being Yangon’s most famous landmark, it’s also one of the country’s most revered Buddhist temples. Though the origin of the pagoda is unclear, legend has it first came into existence around 2,500 years ago, was renovated and expanded multiple times over the following centuries and was given its current appearance in the 15th century AD. The eight-sided central stupa is 99 meters high, adorned with gold lead and surrounded by 64 smaller stupas. Enjoy the breathtaking ambience of the golden stupas and let yourself be captivated by the devout prayers of Burmese worshippers.

Please note: The hotel room will be available from 14:00. You will be able to store your luggage at the hotel from earlier in the day. 

Day 02: Yangon

Today, you’ll have time to explore Yangon on your own. Though the city formerly known as Rangoon is relatively quiet and relaxed, its power to enchant and captivate should not be underestimated – its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage makes it one of Southeast Asia’s most fascinating cities. Overnight stay in Yangon. (B)

Day 03: Yangon – Sailing day aboard the Orcaella

Expect a heartfelt Vietnamese welcome as you board the luxury Orcaella ship! As the crew escort you to your cabins, you’ll get a rundown on all the facilities and entertainment available on board. As soon as the Orcaella lifts itsanchor, you’ll leave the busy trade center of Yangon and set sail in the direction of Bagan. Expect to see small villages and golden pagodas dotted among the lush greenery on the banks of Myanmar’s lifeline, the Ayeyarwady River. In the afternoon, you can relax on the sun deck and soak in the beautiful landscape. Overnight stay on the Orcaella. (B, L, D)

Day 04: Sailing day aboard the Orcaella

Today, the Orcaella will set sail in the direction of Danuphyu. This somewhat remote little town is where the much-admired General Maha Bandula led the Burmese troops into battle against the British during the Anglo-Burmese War. After visiting the Maha Bandula memorial (located in the Pali University, a Buddhist monastery) and taking a tour round a small  cigar factory, you’ll make your way back onto the ship. In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy afternoon tea and an interesting talk from Robert Percival on “Poets & Writers in Myanmar”. After dinner at the onboard restaurant, you’ll have chance to see a typical Burmese folk dance performance. (B, L, D)

Day 05: Orcaella

Spend a day relaxing on board. One of Myanmar’s most famous astronomers will join you on board for the morning – have your palm read and see what the future holds! Mid morning on the sun deck, you can learn how to tie a longyi (a traditional 2-meter-long piece of clothing that is worn round the stomach on men and the waist on women) and to apply thanaka, a traditional white cosmetic paste. In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy a cooking demonstration with our very own executive chef. A cocktail party (chance to show off your new longyi-tying skills!) precedes the evening meal, during which you’ll have chance to admire the stunning surroundings. Overnight stay on the Orcaella. (B, L, D).

Day 06: Sri Ksetra

Early this morning, the Orcaella will set sail towards the former capital of Myanmar, Pyay (Prome). After a tasty breakfast,  you’ll transfer to shore and travel to the ancient city of Sri Ksetra (literally “Fabulous City”), a city that flourished during the rule of the Phyu from 5th – 9th century AD (look out for the unique cylindrical stupas!) On the way back to the ship, you’ll stop off at the spectacular Shwesadaw Pagoda, one of Myanmar’s oldest and holiest sites, which is located on a hill and offers fantastic views of the surrounding area. The rest of the day will be spend on board, as the ship makes its way through the fantastic Burmese landscapes. In the evening, movie lovers can enjoy an screening of “Wild Burma” with popcorn and ice cream. Overnight stay on the Orcaella. (B, L, D).

Day 07: Oracaella & Gwechaung

Enjoy breakfast in the restaurant or in your cabin. During late morning, you’ll make your way to the lounge bar for a lecture by art historian Dr. Charlotte Galloway, who specializes in Burmese Buddhist art. In the afternoon, you’ll take a trip to the Gwechaung Fort, which was built by Italian architects in 1860 to defend the area from the British. You’ll board a local boat to visit the small village at Gwechaung, where you’ll hop on an ox cart for a ride along the banks of the Ayeyarwady River. Enjoy an insightful and authentic glimpse into the villagers’ traditional way of life! You’ll eat your evening meal at the Min Hla Fort, a historic battle site, and the Orcaella will moor for the night at Min Hla. Overnight stay on the ship. (B, L, D)

Day 08: Magwe

The Orcaella will depart for Magwe (also known as Magway) in the early hours, where you’ll later be picked up with a tuk-tuk and whisked off to see a lively local market – dive into the hustle or bustle or simply watch from a distance! After that, you’ll visit the famous Myathlon Pagoda, a popular destination of pilgrimage during important religious festivals. You’ll return to the ship late morning and depart from Magwe. After the evening meal, you’ll be entertained by a traditional Burmese puppet show on the sun deck. (B, L, D)

Day 09: Sale & Bagan

The day begins with a tour of Sale – join us on a visit to the 19th century wooden monastery of Yout-Saun-Kyaung, which is famous for its exquisite wooden carvings. After that, you’ll take an approximately 90-minute bus ride to visit the ancient sites in and around Bagan, where an experienced guide will be available to answer your questions. At the end of day, you’ll have chance to witness a beautiful sunset over Bagan’s temples and plains. Overnight stay on the Orcaella. (B, L, D).

Day 10: Bagan

After eating breakfast in the restaurant, you’ll disembark the ship for a tour of Bagan, starting with a stroll around the colorful market of Nyaung-U. You’ll then visit the 11th century Shwezigon Pagoda – one of Myanmar’s most important and spectacular sacred sites – and the 46-meter-high Htilominio Temple. After eating lunch on board, you have a choice of afternoon activities. Take part in an excursion to the sacred Mount Popa, an over 700-meters-high volcano that is traditionally considered home to the 37 “nats”: animals spirits that have been worshipped in Myanmar since long before Buddhism placed its roots. Those with a desire to do so can climb the approximately 700 steps to the temple at the summit, which offers breathtaking views over the surrounding landscape. During the two-hour bus ride to the mountain, you’ll stop off at a Toddy palm plantation to see how traditional palm wine is made. Naturally, you’ll also have the opportunity to try a sip or two! (Do not wear red or black). If you’d prefer to spend the afternoon visiting the temples of Bagan, you can hire a private horse and carriage to take you around the sights, or discover the area by bike. For the last evening of your tour, you and your fellow travelers will enjoy a cocktail party on the sun deck and a special evening meal. Overnight stay on the Orcaella. (B, L, D).

Day 11: Orcaella – Yangon

Time to say goodbye! After enjoying a sumptuous breakfast, you’ll disembark the ship and be accompanied to the airport in Bagan, from where you’ll catch your flight back to Yangon. (B)

Rates & Services

Rates: 01.01.2015 – 30.04.2016

Dates: 23.01. – 31.01. / 24.02. – 04.03. 6 13.03. – 21.03.

Price per person in USD (private tour) 2 persons in double room 1 person in single room(single traveller) Single room supplement
Hotel Category Standard 6.000 On request 2.112
Hotel Category Superior 7.236 On request 3.576
Hotel Category First Class 8.556 On request 4.224

Dates: 01.04.2015 – 31.05.2016

Dates: 29.04. – 07.05.

Price per person in USD (private tour) 2 persons in double room 1 person in single room(single traveller) Single room supplement
Hotel Category Standard 5.832 On request 2.112
Hotel Category Superior 7.068 On request 3.576
Hotel Category First Class 8.376 On request 4.224

Would you like to book this tour or request changes to the itinerary?

Please fill out our form for tailor-made changes to an itinerary here.

For rates for 3 or more travellers in one booking, please inquire with our team.

Services included in our rates:
• hotel accommodation inc. breakfast (B)
• 8 nights aboard the Orcaella in your choice of cabin category
• other meals as detailed in the itinerary (L=lunch, D=dinner)
• tour price includes round-the-clock mineral water, soft drinks and local beer in addition to house wine at lunch and dinner
• local specialized tour guide (English-speaking, other languages available on request)
• all transfers
• boat tours and air-conditioned car/van transportation as detailed in the itinerary
• domestic flights as detailed in the itinerary, economy class (20 kg luggage per person)
• sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary inc. entrance fees
• one high-quality guidebook per room
Services NOT included in our rates:
• international flights from and to your country of origin
• travel insurance
• meals other than those explicitly mentioned, drinks, tips and personal expenses
• visa fees

Our Selection of Hotels for You

Hotel Category Standard:
Yangon: Belmond Governor’s Residence (garden view room)
Cruise: Belmond Orcaella (deluxe cabin)
Hotel Category Superior:
Yangon: Belmond Governor’s Residence (garden view room)
Cruise: Belmond Orcaella (State cabin)
Hotel Category First Class:
Yangon: Belmond Governor’s Residence (Governor’s room)
Cruise: Belmond Orcaella (junior suite)
Situated in the midst of lush gardens and framed by ponds of lotus blosoms, this romantic, colonial-style teakwood building originates from the 1920s and was once the residence of governors of the British Crown Colony of Burma. Here is where stylish design and the dignified air of times past are expertly blended with the comforts of modern living. The rooms and suites are decked out in cotton and silk with exotic teakwood furnishings, while the friendly staff are there to ensure that your every need is met. After an eventful day in Yangon, you can relax in the fan-shaped pool, savor a refreshing cocktail in the bar or enjoy the exquisite Asian and European cuisine on offer in the restaurant.
This comfortable cruise ship offers a unique blend of traditional and modern Myanmar. Designed to offer its guests the best possible view of the Ufer’s legendary waterways and sights, its 25 spacious external cabins afford you magnificient perspectives on the river and the surrounding landscape. The floor-to-ceiling glass doors provide a stylish frame for the exquisite views.

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