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Magic of the Irrawaddy & Irrawaddy Discoverer Cruise

17 Day
Between Yangon and Yangon
Irrawaddy
From *
$9,645
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Magic of the Irrawaddy & Irrawaddy Discoverer Cruise  - 17 day
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Savour the colonial and spiritual heritage of Myanmar with this once-in-a-lifetime journey through the country’s heartland, following the spine of the Irrawaddy from Yangon to Mandalay and back again. This 17 day expedition tours Myanmar’s captivating colonial-era cities, its ancient archaeological wonders and the natural spectacle of Inle Lake – for the ultimate adventure in Southeast Asia.

Welcome to Yangon, where your tour begins with a choice of EmeraldPLUS activities, from shopping at a local market, a tour of Kandawgyi Park, and a special visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. After a luxury hotel stay, transfer to the airport for your flight to Inle Lake, one of the most spectacular regions of the country.

Vast, colourful and enduringly peaceful, Myanmar’s Lake Inle lies in perfect contrast to the bustling heart of Yangon. Board a small motorboat to begin your exploration of this sprawling lake, where you’ll pass humble villages built on stilts over the water, and witness leg-rowing fisherman tending to their floating gardens – a truly extraordinary encounter.

After three days of leisurely exploration within the peaceful tranquillity of Inle, you’ll fly to Mandalay to begin your luxury river cruise on the Irrawaddy. Journeying south, savour the heritage wonders of Mingun and Monywa, as well as an EmeraldPLUS visit to a local school in Yandabo, where you’ll meet with local children to learn about life on this life-giving passageway.

Arrive in Bagan, an archaeological site rich in ancient carvings, pagodas and temples. EmeraldPLUS gives you the chance to enjoy a tour of the region on a traditional oxcart, before visiting a local workshop to learn about Myanmar’s thriving tile lacquering industry and its unique traditions.

Your journey ends in Pyay, the former capital of the ancient kingdom of Pyu. Here, visit the Sri Ksetra Museum, whose artefacts date back to the 6th century, before visiting the impressive Shwesandaw Pagoda complex, a distinguished pilgrimage site. Returning to the ship, enjoy a farewell dinner and raise a glass to the end of your incredible trip with new-found friends.

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Yangon to Yangon in 2019
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* From price is for a 23 February 2019 departure. For a full list of pricing and availability, please see below. All prices are per person, twin share in CAD, based on two guests sharing. Terms and conditions apply and we reserve the right to withdraw our offers at any time. Please note, the ship operating a particular cruise is subject to change.
View your 17 day itinerary
Day 1

Mingalaba and welcome to Myanmar! You will be met by an Evergreen representative and transferred to your hotel. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, holds an impressive colonial and spiritual heritage. This evening meet your Tour Director for a tour briefing and enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Two Night Stay: Yangon

Meals included: Dinner
Day 2
Yangon

After breakfast, set off for a day of living like a local in Yangon. EmeraldPLUS: Board the slow moving Circle Train for a taste of local life before visiting a local market, home to colourful stalls, friendly shopkeepers and busy shoppers purchasing their daily essentials. Visit the vibrant Chinatown area to witness noodle and rice paper making. Following your included lunch, visit the Kandawgyi Park and see the glittering Karaweik barge, a replica of the royal barge with views across the vast lake. Finish your day at the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. Marvel at the breath-taking views of the golden stupa, some 99 metres tall and surrounded by 64 smaller stupas.

Please note: It has just been announced that the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon will be undergoing renovations to its main stupa between October 2018 and March 2019. As such, the main stupa will be covered by scaffolding which will obscure the view of the main temple from all angles.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3
Yangon – Inle Lake

This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Inle Lake. Enjoy a scenic drive before boarding a private motorboat across Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most spectacular sights. Pass villages built on stilts over the lake, inhabited by the local Intha people. Observe the famous leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens.
Three Night Stay: Inle Lake

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4
Inle Lake

Visit the colourfully-clad vendors from the Pa-Oh, Shan and Intha ethic groups at the daily market on the north shore of the lake. Continue to the village of Khaung Daing, famous for its traditional Shan tofu. Observe as they make their famous crackers, treats and cakes before visiting the local monastery for lunch. EmeraldPLUS: Visit a boat-making workshop and see how the lake’s iconic boats are made. Return to the water and venture through the maze of canals that act as ‘streets’ for the lake’s residents. This afternoon is at leisure.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5
Inle Lake

Enjoy a full day at leisure to enjoy and explore Inle Lake. Discover More: Inle Lake Cooking Class, or The Inthar Life tour (additional cost).

Meals included: Breakfast
Day 6
Inle Lake – Mandalay

Spend the morning relaxing at Inle Lake before flying to Mandalay, the last royal capital of Myanmar. Head to the top of Mandalay Hill as the sun begins to set to enjoy magnificent views of the city and Irrawaddy River from the highest vantage point in the area.
Overnight Stay: Mandalay

Meals included: Breakfast
Day 7
Mandalay – Embarkation

This morning enjoy a tour of Mandalay before boarding your luxury Irrawaddy river cruise ship, the RV Irrawaddy Explorer. After lunch onboard, travel by coach to the Burmese capital of Amarapura to visit marble and silk workshops and the U-Bein Bridge, believed to the world’s longest and oldest teakwood bridge before boarding a traditional sampan for a leisurely cruise of the lake to enjoy sunset views. This evening enjoy a welcome reception and dinner onboard. EmeraldPLUS: After dinner, enjoy a traditional Myanmar dance performance.
Nine Night Stay: RV Irrawaddy Explorer

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8
Mingun – Ava

Cruise to Mingun and join a walking tour to discover the stories behind the massive unfinished brick pagoda built at the end of the 18th century for King Bodawpaya. Continue to the Mingun Bell, the heaviest working bell in the world until 2000. Enjoy time at leisure to explore the local market. This afternoon explore the former capital of the Ava Kingdom by horse cart and discover the 200-year-old teak Bagaya Monastery dating back to 1593 and the impressive Mei Nu Oak Kyaung Brick Monastery. Return to the ship for dinner and enjoy a traditional cultural performance on board.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9
Monywa

This morning board your coach to discover Monywa and the Hpowindaung caves and explore the sandstone grottoes decorated with spectacular mural paintings and hundreds of Buddha statues inside dating back to the 14th century. Journey to the Thanboddhay Pagoda, one of the most intricately decorated temples in the country housing almost 600,000 Buddhas before returning to the ship late this afternoon.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10
Yandabo – Hnaw Kone Village

Arrive at the pottery village of Yandabo where, on 24 February 1826, the peace treaty ending the First Anglo-Burmese war was signed. Stroll through the village and witness the craftsmen hone their skills and observe the unusual way of firing the pottery. Return to the ship and enjoy a leisurely cruise to the village of Hnaw Kone, a typical rural river village and see the handicraft of bamboo cane basket weaving. EmeraldPLUS: Visit a local school and meet the children and schoolmaster for an insight into life along the Irrawaddy.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11
Bagan

This morning admire one of the most incredible areas of Myanmar: Bagan, one of South East Asia’s most significant and richest archaeological sites. EmeraldPLUS: Climb aboard traditional, ceremonial oxcarts for a short ride to the massive Htilomino, boasting the finest plaster carvings. Continue on to the Anada Pagoda, one of the most important temples in Bagan, whose based and terraces are decorated with 554 glazed tiles showing scenes and life stories of the Buddha. Bagan is also famous as the centre of Myanmar’s thriving lacquer ware industry and you will discover more about this traditional handicraft during a visit to a workshop. This afternoon view the sunset atop the most significant temple in the area, Shwe San Daw and take in the grandeur of Bagan below.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12
Bagan – Tan Kyi

Take in the fresh produce, meats, spices, woodcarvings and local handicrafts at Bagan’s largest open market. Visit the gilded Shwezigon Pagoda, an important religious site dating back to the reign of King Anawrahta, founder of the Bagan Empire. Enjoy lunch onboard whilst sailing to the village of Tan Kyi. Journey to Tan Kyi Mountain and admire the panoramic views of the Bagan plain across the Irrawaddy. Discover More: Hot Air Balloon Flight over the temples of Bagan (additional cost).

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13
Salay

Cruise to Salay, a small village founded in the 13th century. Visit the beautiful teak Yoke Sone Kyaung Taw Gyi monastery, designed as a copy of the Crown Prince House of Mandalay with exterior sides carved with details of court life and stories of the Buddha’s past life. Later see Mann Pagoda with the largest lacquer Buddha image in Myanmar. Return to the ship with a stroll past some of Salay’s many beautiful colonial buildings.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14
Magwe – Minhla

This morning venture into the district capital city of Magwe aboard trishaws for a ride through the city to the local market. Enjoy time to explore the market before visiting Mya Tha Lun pagoda, a beautifully gilded stupa set atop Naguttama Hill offering views of the river and surrounding area. Enjoy a walking tour of the fortress of Minhla, built by Italian architects to repel the British during the third Anglo-Burmese War in 1855. Return to the ship for an afternoon of scenic cruising.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 15
Pyay (Prome)

Relax onboard this morning as we sail towards Prome, known as Pyay to the locals, an important trading post for goods travelling between northern and southern Myanmar. This afternoon journey to Thayekhittaya, one of the ancient Pyu Kingdoms that flourished between the 5th and 9th centuries. Visit the Sri Ksetra Museum, bursting with maps, artifacts, Hindu deities and Buddha images from as far back as the 6th century. Later, visit the impressive Shwesandaw Pagoda complex, one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites of Myanmar. Return to the ship for a farewell dinner.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 16
Pyay disembarkation – Yangon

Enjoy breakfast onboard before disembarkation this morning. Board a coach and journey south to the city of Yangon. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. (Please note drive from Pyay to Yangon is approximately 7 hours).
Overnight Stay: Yangon

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 17
Depart Yangon

After breakfast, transfer to the airport.

Please note: The Irrawaddy River is subject to extreme variations in water levels. Every effort is made to provide the routing and inclusions stated however depending on water levels prevalent at the time of sailing, this itinerary may be amended.

Meals included: Breakfast
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All prices are per person, twin share in CAD based on two guests sharing.
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