Belmond Orcaella Cruise – 8 DaysAyeyarwaddy River, Central Myanmar
A luxury river cruise from Bagan to Yangon. This river cruise is every luxury seekers dream. This cruise is combining great service, beautiful riverside views and local culture. On Board Orcaella has a cooling swimming pool a high class restaurant and all the wellness services that will guarantee that your eight days on the river will go lake a beautiful dream.
Orcaella is Belmonds newest ship that offers a collection of seven- and 11-night cruises along both the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin Rivers. Small amount of guests (maximum 50) will give you personal service and smaller ship means that it can seal to more remote areas of the river.
You enjoy longer cruising days, combined with the pleasure of gaining greater insight into Myanmar’s cultural and natural wonders. Back on board, a relaxed atmosphere awaits. You can join Yoga and Tai Chi sessions that are held on board. Enjoy different kind of wellness services or just sink in to the beautifull surroundings.
Orcaellas attentive on-board team invites you to enjoy the outstanding but unobtrusive world class Belmond service as you cruise the country’s waterways. Belmonds 17 years’ experience of operating cruises in Myanmar has enabled them the ability to present amazing experiences.
With offshore excursions offering genuine insights into everyday life, the country’s remarkable story and, above all, the opportunity to meet its hospitable and friendly people, this is a voyage of a lifetime, a journey of never-ending discovery. We are 100% sure that after this trip even the most demanding luxury seekers feels satisfied and has many unforgettable experience.
DAY 1: BAGAN [-/L/D]
Please check in on board at 11:30, when our crew will escort you to your cabin and give you a brief introduction to the facilities.
At 12:00 please make your way to the Restaurant on the Upper Deck, where a delicious buffet lunch is served.
At 13:30 your first excursion begins. Led by an experienced guide, and travelling by bus, you will visit ancient sites in and around Bagan—including the temples of Ananda, Shwegugyi, Sulamani and Shwesandaw—and witness an unforgettable sunset over the magnificent Bagan plain.
Tonight, at 19:00, you are invited to a welcome cocktail party on the Observation Deck. From 19:30 make your way to the Restaurant for your first enticing dinner prepared by Chef Bansani and her team, promising a delicious choice of local specialities and fusion delicacies. The ship moors overnight at Bagan.
DAY 2: BAGAN & SALAY [B/L/D]
Today you may enjoy breakfast either in the Restaurant or in your cabin, depending on preference, between 07:00 and 08:30.
At 08:30 you are escorted on a morning shopping tour of Bagan, famous for its lacquer ware, followed by a visit to the revered Shwezigon Pagoda with its stunning gold leaf-gilded stupa. Return to the ship at 11:00. A buffet lunch is served in the Restaurant between 12:00 and 14:00.
At 14:00 you depart on an afternoon minibus tour of Salay. Visit the beautiful 19th-century ancient teak monastery, Yout-Saun-Kyaung, a fine example of monastic architecture of the late Konbaung period, then continue to the impressive 20ft straw lacquer Buddha. Return to the ship at 16:00 and set sail for Magwe.
From 19:00 dinner is served in the Restaurant. Afterwards we offer you entertainment on the Sundeck in the form of a classical puppet show. Historically puppet shows were performed for the royal court and usually depicted stories from the early life of the Buddha, but they were also used as a way of conveying messages to the king. Belmond Orcaella moors overnight at Yenanchaung.
DAY 3: MAGWE & GWECHAUNG [B/L/D]
At 09:00 you embark on a visit to Magwe by tuk tuk. The first stop is the busy local market to experience the daily hustle and bustle, after which you head to the splendid gilded Myathalon Pagoda, which draws people from miles around during important religious festivals. Rejoin Belmond Orcaella at 12:15.
A buffet lunch is served in the Restaurant between 12:30 and 14:00.
At 15:30 your afternoon excursion begins with a visit to Gwechaung Fort, one of the strongholds built by Italian architects for the Burmese king in 1860 to keep the British at bay. Transfer by local boat to Gwechaung village and enjoy a journey by ox cart for a glimpse of rural life along the Ayeyarwady River. Return to Belmond Orcaella to rest and freshen up.
At 18:45 you will alight again for a special dinner in the grounds of Min Hla Fort, site of a great battle during the third Anglo-Burmese War in 1885. Please gather at reception ready for the 10-minute, torch-lit walk.
DAY 4: SAILING & SRI KSETRA [B/L/D]
A leisurely morning of sailing begins with breakfast, either in the Restaurant or your cabin, between 07:00 and 10:00. At 11:00 you are warmly invited to attend and participate in a “longyi” (Myanmar traditional dress) and “thanaka” (local makeup) demonstration on the Observation Deck.
A buffet lunch is served in the Restaurant between 12:30 and 14:00.
At 14:30 your afternoon excursion begins with a bus tour to Sri Ksetra (“Fabulous City”) with its unique, cylindrical-shaped stone stupas. Dating from the 5th-9th centuries, this ancient city flourished during the rule of the Phyu. The next stop is nearby Pyay, which in the 1890s was a booming trade town and still enjoys bustling activity in and around the docks. Continue to the impressive Shwesandaw Pagoda (said to date back to 589BC) and the imposing, 10-storey sitting Buddha.
Return to Belmond Orcaella. Wear your new Burmese garment with pride at our vibrant Longyi Cocktail Party, starting at 18:30 on the Observation Deck.
Dinner is served in the Restaurant at 19:00, followed by a folk dance performance on the Sundeck. The ship moors overnight at Pyay jetty.
DAY 5: SHWE TAUNG & SAILING [B/L/D]
For early birds wishing to catch the morning excursion, coffee, tea and pastries are served in the Lounge Bar between 06:00 and 07:30. At 07:30 buses take you to Shwe Taung to tour the Shwemyatmyan Pagoda, home to the only “bespectacled” Buddha in Myanmar (thought to have curing powers). On the way back visits are made to local cottage industries that produce candy and pickled bamboo shoots. Return to Belmond Orcaella at 09:30 and depart from Pyay.
Between 10:30 and 13:30 a buffet brunch is served in the Restaurant, and at 16:30 you are invited to enhance your gastronomic knowledge and skills at a cooking demonstration hosted by Executive Chef Bansani on the Observation Deck.
Tonight enjoy exotic refreshment during cocktail hour in the Lounge Bar from 18:30, followed by dinner in the Restaurant from 19:00. At 21:00 return to the Lounge Bar and make yourself comfortable for movie night—the film showing is “The Stilwell Road” from 1945.
DAY 6: ZALON & DANUPHYU [B/L/D]
Breakfast is served in the Restaurant from 07:00 to 08:30. At 08:30 your morning excursion to Zalon begins. A tuk tuk takes you along the main street, past colonial-style houses and tropical gardens, to the magnificent Pyaytawpyan Pagoda. Also known as the Returning Home Pagoda, it houses the famous bronze Buddha statue that was once stolen by the British Army and later returned by order of Queen Victoria during a visit to India. Return to the ship at 10:30 and set sail.
From 12:30 a buffet lunch is served in the Restaurant.
At 14:00 your afternoon excursion begins with a visit by trishaw to the little remote town of Danuphyu, where the revered General Maha Bandula led a Burmese defensive against the British troops during the Anglo-Burmese war. You will visit the Maha Bandula memorial at Pali University (a Buddhist monastery). Afterwards you can see Burmese cheroots being made and enjoy a local teashop experience. Return to Belmond Orcaella at 16:00.
Cocktails are available in the Lounge Bar from 18:30. From 19:00 take your seat in the Restaurant for another enticing dinner.
DAY 7: SAILING & YANGON [B/L/D]
A leisure morning’s sailing begins with breakfast in the Restaurant from 07:00 to 10:00. At around 11:00 the landscape changes as you pass through the Twante Canal, whose banks are dotted with small villages and farms. The canal, which connects the Yangon River with the Ayeyarwady, was constructed in 1883 during British colonial rule for use by the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company. Today it remains a major thoroughfare for cargo ships and local boats travelling from Yangon to the delta region and Upper Myanmar.
From 12:00 a buffet lunch is served in the Restaurant.
At 14:00 there are two options for your afternoon visit to Yangon, Myanmar’s booming former capital and bustling waterfront city. Choose between a shopping tour by bus or heritage walks.
Return to the ship at 18:00 and freshen up for farewell cocktails on the Observation Deck at 19:00, including special entertainment from the crew. Your final sumptuous dinner is served in the Restaurant from 19:30.
DAY 8: YANGON [B/-/-]
An early-bird breakfast is served in the Restaurant between 06:00 and 07:00. Disembark from Belmond Orcaella at 07:15 for your onward travel arrangements.
Price include domestic flights from/to Yangon.
What’s included in trip costing
- Private transfers and tours & activities as per itinerary
- Entrance and permit fees
- Lodging with daily breakfast
- Full board meals
- Guided tours with English speaking local guides (other languages with surcharge)
- 2 complimentary waters and fresh towels daily