Introducing exclusive Irrawaddy cruises for Jules Verne clients to Mandalay, Bagan, the Irrawaddy Defiles and Katha, setting of Orwell’s ‘Burmese Days’plus Yangon and Inle Lake
Day 1 - Flight
Day 2 - Yangon
Day 3 - Bagan
Day 4 - Yandabo
Day 5 - Ava/Amarapura
Day 6 - Kyaukmyoung/Third Defile
Day 7 - Khan Nyat
Day 8 - Katha
Day 9 - Kyun Daw
Day 10 - Second Defile
Day 11 - Tagaung
Day 12 - Mingun
Day 13 - Mandalay/Inle Lake
Day 14 - Inle Lake
Day 15 - Kalaw/Naypyidaw
Day 16 - Bago/Yangon
Day 17 - Yangon/Return Flight
Burma’s great river, the Irrawaddy, originates from the Burmese Himalayas, flowing southwards from the mountains through three great defiles to Mandalay, before broadening to continue to Bagan. Here the river is still a main artery for the less developed and more remote areas, with teak logging rafts and local passenger boats. Most cruise ships cannot navigate the most dramatic part of the river through the Defiles north of Mingun but our partner, Pandaw Cruises have ‘colonial steamers’ with suitable shallow draft. So we have chartered smaller Pandaw vessels, which have been top-rated by our customers for exclusive cruises to Katha.
George Orwell would have reached Katha, where he lived and set his novel ‘Burmese Days’, by similar steamer. At Katha of interest are the fire station’s collections of Irrawaddy Flotilla Company ship’s bells from sunken ships, the British club, Anglican church and commissioner’s house. But the main attraction will be the charming riverside scenes, dramatic landscapes and friendly villages, all a long way from the normal tourist track.
According to Sir James Scott “Bagan is in many respects the most remarkable religious city in the world...the whole space is thickly studded with pagodas of all sizes and shapes...you cannot move a foot or hand without touching something sacred”. Today, the view across Bagan plain remains one of the most striking on Earth, one redbrick pagoda after another occasionally interrupted by a tall white spire reaching skywards.
Cruise and Cultural Tour
Small Ship Sailing
Free Cabin Selection
UNESCO Site: Bagan
Jules Verne Sightseeing
Local Expert Guides
Group Size: 2 – 18
Day 1 Fly overnight from your chosen airport to Yangon.
Day 2 Overnight at the 4-star Sule Shangri-La. Visit Sule and Botataung pagodas, the reclining buddha and sunset at Shwedagon pagoda. (D)
Day 3 Fly to Bagan for ten nights on your Pandaw vessel. Visit a selection of the temples at Bagan. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Cruise past the confluence with the Chindwin River towards Yandabo, famous for its terracotta pottery made from the riverbank clay. Afternoon cruising towards Mandalay. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Morning visit to the ancient capital of Ava (Inwa) by horse cart, visiting Bagaya Kyaung, a 200-year old teak monastery. Visit the ancient capital of Amarapura. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Cruise to Kyaukmyoung famous for its 50 gallon water pots. Cruise through the limestone rocks of the Third Defile. (B, L, D)
Day 7 At Khan Nyat village, visit the Buddhist monasteries. Climb Pagoda Hill at Tigyang with views of the Upper Irrawaddy. (B, L, D)
Day 8 At colonial Katha, visit George Orwell’s house museum for cocktails, meeting a local historian. (B, L, D)
Day 9 By local boat to Kyun Daw island to visit the village and its pagodas. (B, L, D)
Day 10 Sail through the dramatic Second Defile with cliffs towering. (B, L, D)
Day 11 A walking tour of the ancient city of Tagaung viewing the fortifications and the archaeological area. (B, L, D)
Day 12 Sail to Mingun to see the unfinished pagoda and the world’s largest working bell. Visit the Sagaing Hills. (B, L, D)
Day 13 Disembark and fly from Mandalay to Heho. Two nights on Inle Lake at the 4-star Pristine Lotus. Tour of Inle Lake by boat. (B, L)
Day 14 Visit the hidden Inn Thein Pagoda complex. Lantern floating ceremony. (B, L)
Day 15 Cross Shan Hills to Kalaw hill station, and the capital, Naypyidaw (6 hrs). Overnight at 4-star Lake Garden MGallery. (B, L)
Day 16 Visit the Parliament Museum. Travel to Bago (4 hrs) to visit Shwemawdaw Pagoda. Overnight in Yangon. (B, L)
Day 17 Visit the National and General Aung San museums, Bogyoke (Scott’s) Market and high tea at the Strand Hotel. Return flight. (B)
Day 18 Arrive home.
The cruise portion of the upstream itinerary will operate in reverse.
Some visits are on uneven surfaces and inclines. Shoes must be removed for temple visits.
The cruise itinerary and hotels may vary according to local conditions.
A 4-star hotel in downtown Yangon near the Sule Pagoda has a selection of restaurants, bars, pool, gym, spa and WiFi (free). 479 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
The 3-star Pristine Lotus is located near Inle Lake and the Shan Hills. Restaurant, bar, spa, sauna and a natural hot spring. 50 air-conditioned villas with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities. WiFi (free).
Located in the modern capital of Burma, this 4-star hotel has restaurants, bar, pool, gym, spa and WiFi (free). 165 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
Operated by Pandaw Expeditions, the RV Kha Byoo Pandaw cruise vessel has ten staterooms over two decks. Five located on the Upper Deck and five on the Main Deck. Completed in 2016, hand finished in brass and teak by traditional craftsmen and with a shallow draft permitting access to remote areas. Whilst luxury and comfort are discreetly present, it is the colonial character and friendly atmosphere that predominate. The pleasant and professional crew are on hand to make this an unforgettable adventure. A great choice of local and exotic cuisine. Breakfast is a buffet, while lunch features a buffet, plus soup, salad and a desert table, with the main course served at the table. Dinner is by waiter-service at the table. The vessel has a covered Sun-Deck, provides al-fresco dining with a complimentary bar with soft drinks, local branded spirits, wine and beer. Staterooms have French windows, twin or double beds, hairdryer and safe. All cabins are (170 sq. ft.)
per person in a twin/double room Main Deck cabin
Singapore Airlines from Heathrow
Supplements per person
Main deck for sole use £995
Upper Deck £395
Emirates from Heathrow – nil
Business Class from £2495
Extra nights – Yangon
Sule Shangri-la (per night) £60
Single supplement £50
Extra nights – Singapore
Park Regis (per night) £95
Single supplement £85
Arrival or departure transfer add £35
Optional half-day city tour £190
Arrival transfer add £20
Departure transfer included with the group
Air travel and taxes, all port charges, transfers, 10-night cruise, 5 nights’ hotel, breakfast daily, full board and most drinks on cruise (water, tea, coffee, soft drinks and local beer, wine and local spirits are included), 4 lunches and 1 dinner, excursions, local guides and representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, visa procurement, overseas airport taxes, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
Please complete this form and a member of our sales department will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your booking and take payment. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and Saturdays 10am to 2pm