2018 : Spirit of Myanmar & the Untouched Upper Irrawaddy - Northbound (WBY) - Myanmar
16 Day River Cruise from Yangon to Yangon
Explore the best of Myanmar, known as "The Golden Land," on this captivating river cruise along the Irrawaddy River. In Yangon, formerly Rangoon, you'll see the magnificent, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda-considered the oldest pagoda in the world. Bagan, a medieval capital of Myanmar, with thousands of historical structures still standing, is one of the world's greatest archaeological sites. Visit one of the many spiritual temples at sunrise and a local market selling the unique handicrafts of the region. Feel the unique energy of the people on a walking tour through the village of Shwe Pyi Thar as you interact with locals and see the daily work done at a farmer's home. In Sagaing, see the stunning Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its egg-shaped dome and watch a local silversmith at work. Continue this river cruise through traditional lands to the impressive city of Mandalay, where you'll visit the revered shrine of Mahamuni Pagoda with its impressive gold-leaf Buddha and enjoy a traditional dance by local performers. Sail along the untouched upper Irrawaddy and pass through the dramatic second defile with its magnificent cliffs. Visit remote villages for fascinating interactions with schoolchildren, nuns, monks, and pottery makers. The tranquil Inle Lake is a beautiful area surrounded by mountains with stilted houses dotting the shorelines. You will explore this area, stopping in Silk, Silversmith, and Cheroot Workshops, and attend a traditional song and dance performance by the Padaung long-necked women who live in this part of Myanmar.
This river cruise vacation along the Irrawaddy offers everything from peaceful sailing and alluring scenery to grand, majestic temples and shrines and plenty of interaction with locals to learn and feel a part of the ancient culture. More than just a river cruise-an unforgettable adventure!
It's about you. You are the reason we've used our 85-plus years of travel expertise to design the very best river cruise experience. Inspired by you, we've taken everything special about river cruising and made it even better. Here are some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships.
Highlights & Sightseeing
Day 1 Arrive Yangon: welcome to Myanmar
Day 2 Yangon: walking tour of the city's landmarks; visit a local tea shop, Chaukhtatgyi, and Shwedagon Pagoda
Day 3 Yangon-Bagan (Embarkation): fly to Bagan; onboard welcome reception; traditional puppet show
Day 4 Bagan: watch sunrise from temple; sightseeing including a local market, Shwezigon Pagoda, lacquer workshop, Ananda Temple, Dhammayangyi Temple, Sulamani Temple; ox cart ride to temple for sunset
Day 5 Shwe Pyi Thar: walking tour through this typical river village to visit a farmer's home and see palm candy being made
Day 6 Sagaing-Amarapura: visit Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, a silversmith workshop and Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda in Sagaing; visit U Bein Bridge and take a sampan ride at sunset in Amarapura
Day 7 Mandalay: sightseeing including Mahamuni, Kuthadaw and Shwenandaw Pagodas; visit tapestry, woodcarving, and gold leaf workshops; traditional dance performance
Day 8 Kyauk Myaung: walking tour through a pottery-making village
Day 9 Kya Hnyat: visit a monastery and present alms to the monks and see their lunch ritual
Day 10 Tigyang: walking tour through village and walk to hilltop pagoda
Day 11 Katha: visit to local market; excursion to a local ethnic minority village
Day 12 Kyun Daw-Second Defile: visit a fisherman's home, local school, and nunnery in Kyun Daw; cruise through the dramatic second defile
Day 13 Bhamo (Disembarkation)-Heho-Inle Lake: explore Bhamo by trishaw and foot; fly to Heho; transfer to Inle Lake; lunch at Red Mountain Estate
Day 14 Inle Lake: full-day excursion around the lake to see scenes of daily life; visit workshops of several cottage industries; Padaung music & dance performance
Day 15 Inle Lake-Heho-Yangon: transfer to Heho; fly to Yangon
Day 16 Yangon: your vacation ends
Arrive Yangon, Myanmar
Welcome to Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, the country's largest city and former capital. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
This morning, take a WALKING TOUR of the city's famous and historic landmarks, including the High Court, City Hall, Central Railway Station, and Sule Pagoda, built during the time of Buddha. Stop along the way at a LOCAL TEA SHOP for a cup of tea/coffee with the locals. After lunch, visit CHAUKHTATGYI to see the massive reclining Buddha measuring in at 213 feet. Afterward, continue to SHWEDAGON PAGODA, the most important religious site in the country and a national symbol. Here, a truly enchanting scene unfolds as the sun sets on the golden stupa and locals come to pay their respects. Tonight, your welcome dinner is in one of Yangon's best restaurants. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Late this morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Bagan. Upon arrival, transfer to the port and board the Avalon Myanmar to begin your CRUISE up the Irrawaddy. Get acquainted with the ship before your welcome reception this evening. After dinner, a TRADITIONAL PUPPET SHOW will be presented in one of the lounges. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Today, explore Bagan, capital of Myanmar from the 9th to the 13th centuries. It is estimated that during this time over 13,000 temples, monasteries, and pagodas were built in the plains surrounding the city-an area of about 40 square miles. Many of these structures have been lost over time, but around 2,300 still stand today, making this one of the world's greatest archaeological sites. Early risers can visit one of the temples with a Local Guide to witness sunrise. After breakfast, your morning excursion starts with a visit to a LOCAL MARKET selling handicrafts, fabrics, and longyis-a versatile sheet of cloth worn around the waist by most local men and women. Then, stop at the ornate SHWEZIGON PAGODA, one of the country's most important shrines. You will also visit a LACQUER WORKSHOP to learn more about this ancient craft. After lunch, your sightseeing centers on the BAGAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL ZONE. Highlights include ANANDA, considered by many to be the most beautiful temple, and DHAMMAYANGYI, the best preserved monument left standing. Also stop to see the exquisite and well preserved fresco paintings at SULAMANI. Your day ends with an OX CART RIDE to a temple, where you will ascend to the top as the sun sets. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Shwe Pyi Thar-Cruising
This morning, take a WALKING TOUR through Shwe Pyi Thar, a typical village along the Irrawaddy. Here you will visit a FARMER'S HOME to learn more about daily life and see the locals making palm candy, a sweet and smoky candy, from the sap of the toddy palm. To harvest the sap a climber scales the toddy palm and hangs an earthen pot under a slit he cuts in the tree. The sap is then cooked in an iron pan over an open wood fire until it thickens and can be formed into small pieces by hand. This afternoon, enjoy time on board the ship as we sail north for Mandalay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Relax this morning and take in the sights from one of the ship's lounges or your suite. In the afternoon, visit Sagaing, an important religious site with countless pagodas dotting the surrounding hillsides. Here, stop to see KAUNGHMUDAW PAGODA with its golden egg-shaped dome-unique among more traditional pagodas in Myanmar. Next, on to a SILVERSMITH WORKSHOP to learn how the local artisans turn silver into beautiful works of art. Lastly, explore SOON U PONYA SHIN PAGODA at the top of Sagaing Hill for stunning views of the Irrawaddy and across to Mandalay. Cross the Ava Bridge to Amarapura, former capital of Myanmar. Your visit focuses on the famous U BEIN BRIDGE, a three-quarter-mile-long bridge built in 1783 from reclaimed teakwood from the old royal palace in Inwa. The bridge is still a cornerstone of the community as locals and monks use it daily to cross Taungthaman Lake while fishermen and farmers go about their daily work below. Take a SAMPAN RIDE on the lake for memorable views of the sunset behind the iconic bridge. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning, visit a TAPESTRY & WOODCARVING WORKSHOP to learn more about these cottage industries and see the skilled artisans at work. Then, stop at a GOLD LEAF WORKSHOP to see how it is made. Lastly, visit MAHAMUNI PAGODA, the most revered shrine in Mandalay, to see its impressive gold-leaf Buddha. Due to the continual application of gold leaves, officials estimate the gold is approximately six inches thick. This afternoon, visit KUTHODAW PAGODA and SHWENANDAW MONASTERY, the only remnant of former King Mindon's "Golden City" to survive the bombing of World War II. Originally the king's living quarters, the building was moved after his death to its current location and converted into a monastery. Today, the original gilding has faded, but the intricate wood carvings endure, giving you a sense of how extravagant the original teak palace complex was. This evening, enjoy a TRADITIONAL DANCE PERFORMANCE featuring local song and dance. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today, take a WALKING TOUR through the captivating pottery-making village of Kyauk Myaung. Here you will learn more about the pot-making process and see how they are formed, fired, and glazed. Most interesting is the eye-catching 50-gallon variety, often referred to as Martaban or Ali Baba jars in colonial times. These pots could transport large quantities of liquor, fish sauce, peanut oil, and more, and have played an important part of maritime trade throughout Asia for centuries. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
This morning, visit the village of Kya Hnyat with its many Buddhist monasteries. Here you will INTERACT WITH THE MONKS at a local monastery. Each morning they don their distinctive saffron-colored robes and walk through the streets to collect alms, offerings of food, like cooked rice and curry. This is a truly memorable experience as you present alms to the monks and witness their lunch ritual. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Visit the small village of Tigyang for a WALKING TOUR through its narrow lanes and to visit the pagoda and reclining Buddha on a hilltop with stunning views. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Start your day with a visit to the LOCAL MARKET, where you will see the locals buying and selling fish, meat, produce, and more. Next, stop at the former British Club, featured in George Orwell's novel Burmese Days. Here learn a bit more about how life was here during British rule. Lastly, journey a short distance to a local JINGPO VILLAGE. A subset of the Kachin, the Jingpo are one of over 100 ethnic minority groups in Myanmar. Here you will learn about their culture, traditional dress, and their unique method of making rice wine. As you sail north this afternoon, with some luck, you may catch a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy dolphin, with its distinctive round forehead. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Kyun Daw-Second Defile-Bhamo
This morning, visit the fascinating island village of Kyun Daw, where over 7,000 stupas surround the monastery. Take a WALKING TOUR for memorable encounters with the villagers. Visit a FISHERMAN'S HOME to learn more about daily life here and a SCHOOL to interact with the children. You will also visit a NUNNERY to present the nuns with food purchased the day before at the market in Katha. Unlike monks, they have to collect and cook their own food. This afternoon, sail through the DRAMATIC SECOND DEFILE with its magnificent cliffs reaching down the narrow channel. Continue to Bhamo, the northernmost point ships can navigate the Irrawaddy. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Bhamo (Disembarkation)-Heho-Inle Lake
After breakfast, disembark the ship and EXPLORE BHAMO by local trishaw and by foot. Afterward, transfer to the airport for your flight to Heho, the gateway to Inle Lake, a tranquil lake surrounded by mountains. Pause at Red Mountain Estate to bask in the beautiful scenery as you enjoy a lunch of authentic fare and wine produced from the vineyards here. Continue to your lakeside resort, where you will spend the next two nights. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today, a fascinating excursion to see scenes of life around the lake. Stilted houses dot the shorelines and the local Intha use the famous one-legged rowing technique to fish and tend their floating gardens of tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergine, and more. These clever gardens are made from weeds lashed together and mud from the lake bottom, then anchored using bamboo poles, allowing them to rise and fall with the water level of the lake. Along the way you will stop at a SILK WORKSHOP, where they use the fibers of the lotus plant to weave garments. You will also visit a SILVERSMITH WORKSHOP and a CHEROOT WORKSHOP, where young girls roll the cigars at a dizzying pace. Before dinner, attend a MUSIC & DANCE PERFORMANCE by the Padaung long-necked women who live in this part of the country. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today, transfer to Heho for your flight back to Yangon for an overnight. (Breakfast)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Call (412) 331-2244 for more information or to book today! Mention code 13276966
- Cruise Line
- Avalon Waterways
- 16 Days
- Cruise Ship
Click for more information on this ship.
|Day 8||Kyauk Myaung|
|Day 9||Kya Hnyat|
|Day 13||Inle Lake|
|Day 14||Inle Lake|
Dates and Prices do not include air travel.
Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Avalon Waterways, not included in the pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only, starting at $730. Required intra-vacation air segments: Yangon/Bagan; Bhamo/Heho, Heho/Yangon. Air prices in this brochure were effective on April 5, 2017, and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.
Gratuities to Local Guides & drivers are included.
Prices based on double room occupancy.
Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
Prices shown above include cruise in category B in a Panorama Suite on Irrawaddy Deck. To upgrade to a Category A on the Mandalay Deck, add $400 per person in double occupancy or $800 in single occupancy.
Extra Nights per person in Yangon:
in single room $195; in twin room $103
Prices shown are "starting at" prices and do not include airfare.
Travel Terms & Conditions
The purchase of any travel services offered by Avalon Waterways, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you (the Traveler) and Avalon Waterways, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions cover Deposit & Final Payment information, Air-Inclusive Deposits & Final Payment, Revisions & Revision Fees, Air Arrangements, Participation, Travelers Who Need Special Assistance, Young Travelers, Smoking, Price Policy, Visas and Passports, Hotels & Accommodations, Baggage Allowance, Travel Documents, Not Included in the Land Price, Refunds, Service Inquires After the Vacation, Holidays, Safety, Photos & Pictures, Optional Excursions, and Responsibility.
- Vacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.
- A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required for Avalon Waterways to reserve space for you.
- The following charges are not included in the land/cruise vacation price unless otherwise noted: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; intra-vacation air, unless specified in the itinerary; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; International Air Transportation tax; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; airport taxes and fees, including the September 11th Security fee up to $11.20 per person, passenger facility charges up to $18 per person, Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $4.10 per segment, and U.S. and international arrival and departure and other government-imposed added by the airline and applicable at time of booking; port taxes; passports; visas and vaccinations; tips to your Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship's crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted Avalon menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant or onboard your vessel (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); airport transfers on non-qualifying flights; optional excursions; additional activities and excursions purchased online; porterage at airports and train stations; Travel Protection; and all other items of a personal nature.
- Additional airline-imposed fees for seat assignments may apply and are not included in your total package cost. Please refer to carrier websites for seat assignment policies and applicable pricing.
Booking your Vacation with Air
Our volume buying power saves you money. We may be able to provide you with flight arrangements from your gateway city. Avalon Waterways offers 2 air options: Flex Air and Instant Purchase Air. Early Airfare Price Guarantee locks in a price that is guaranteed not to increase. Air pricing and schedules are available approximately 330 days prior to last travel date in the itinerary. At that time the best air price will be utilized and a new invoice with the air cost and confirmed schedule will be sent. The identity of the carrier, which may include the carrier's codeshare partner, will be assigned and disclosed at this time. If the guaranteed price is the lowest, the schedule with the lowest fare per contracted classes of service will be booked. Any voluntary change to the confirmed flights negates the guaranteed price and is subject to air pricing at the time of the change.
Guaranteed air-inclusive prices - air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation. An additional non-refundable air deposit of $300 per person is required for Flex Air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e. air-inclusive vacation). Air can only be booked by Avalon in conjunction with a vacation package. Instant Purchase Air requires air payment in full at time of booking (i.e. air-inclusive vacation) plus a non-refundable per person service fee of $30 (North/Central America), $50 (Europe/Middle East) or $80 (all other international destinations). Once booked, Instant Purchase Air is non-refundable, and non-changeable. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. However, once your airfare is confirmed and Avalon has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive vacation price is guaranteed.
Air-Inclusive Vacations - Applicable Taxes & Fees
Air-inclusive vacations include government-imposed taxes and fees applicable at the time of booking and will be shown as a Total Amount. Additional airline fees for baggage may apply. At the time of booking your air-inclusive vacation online, carrier Websites will be provided to check baggage fees, or you can visit www.iflybags.com for up-to-date baggage pricing/restrictions. For return travel from some countries, international travelers are required to pay entry and/or exit fees at the airport. These fees will be collected by the local government and are payable by the traveler at time of travel. Your confirmation booking information will contain information about these fees.