RiverCruise.com River Cruise Specialists
Escorted Tours Escorted
Cruises Cruises
Hotels and Resorts Hotels &
Africa Safaris  Africa 

Golden Myanmar & the Alluring Irrawaddy 2019

14 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!

  • Save $1,000 to $2,000 per couple off this cruise. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay no single supplement in certain cabin categories on select 2019 river cruises. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Avalon Journeys Club members save 5% off the cruise/land price. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary
Welcome to Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, the country’s largest city and former capital. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Historic Landmarks, Hot Tea, and Harmonious Living

CLASSIC A Guided Walk introduces you to the city’s famous and historic landmarks, including old colonial buildings and Sule Pagoda, built during the time of Buddha. Along the way, stop for a cup of tea or coffee with the locals. Next, stop at Chaukhtatgyi to see the massive Reclining Buddha measuring 213 feet. Later in the day, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, a national symbol. Here, an enchanting scene unfolds as the sun sets on the golden stupa, and locals come to pay their respects. 

Tonight, dine in one of Yangon’s best restaurants for a delicious welcome dinner. (B,L,D)

Beautiful Bhamo and Your Suite Ship® Beckon

Late in the morning, fly to Bhamo. Upon arrival explore Bhamo by local trishaw and by foot, then transfer to the port for embarkation. This afternoon, spend time at leisure as you sail through the dramatic Second Defile with its magnificent cliffs reaching down the narrow channel. A welcome reception starts your evening.


Engaging Local Encounters

DISCOVERY Explore the island village of Kyun Daw, where over 7,000 stupas surround the monastery. Your Guided Excursion includes a visit to a fisherman’s home and a school where you will 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.

DISCOVER Enjoy time onboard your ship this afternoon. Join your Local Guide for a presentation on the Burmese language. 

As you sail south, with some luck, you may catch a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy dolphin, with its distinctive round forehead.


Burmese Days & Minority Culture

DISCOVER Start your morning Guided Sightseeing tour at the local wet market, where you will see locals buying and selling fish, meat, and produce, and more. Next, learn more about life during British rule at the former British Club, featured in George Orwell’s novel, “Burmese Days.” Lastly, meet with the Jingpo, one of over 100 ethnic minority groups in Myanmar. Here, you will learn about their culture, traditional dress, and unique method of making rice wine.

DISCOVERY This afternoon, explore the village of Tigyang on a Walking Tour through its narrow lanes and to visit the Reclining Buddha on a hilltop with stunning views OR:

ACTIVE Take the normal Walking Tour but make the steep climb up to the Reclining Buddha


Giving Alms and Blessings in Return

DISCOVER Interact with the monks at a Monastery Visit in Kya Hnyat. This is a truly memorable experience as you present alms to the monks and witness their lunch ritual. 

Join your Local Guide for a longyi and thanaka presentation this afternoon.


Glazed and Amazed

DISCOVERY This morning, join a Guided Walk through the captivating pottery-making village of Kyauk Myaung to learn more about and see the pottery-making process. Most interesting is the eye-catching 50-gallon variety, often referred to as Martaban or Ali Baba jars. These pots could transport large quantities of goods and have played an important part of maritime trade throughout Asia for centuries. 

Enjoy time onboard your ship this afternoon.


A Robust Bell and Prominent Pagoda

CLASSIC This morning, take a Guided Walk through the village of Mingun to see its bronze bell—considered the largest working bell in the world—and see the famed unfinished pagoda.

Afterward, sail a short distance to Mandalay.

A Bridge to the Sun

CLASSIC This afternoon, travel to nearby Amarapura, former capital of Myanmar. Your Escorted Visit focuses on the famous U Bein Bridge, a 3/4-mile-long bridge built in 1783 from reclaimed teakwood from the old royal palace in Inwa. Take a sampan ride on the lake for memorable views of the sunset.


The Golden Tapestries of Mandalay

CLASSIC In the morning, join a Guided Visit to local workshops to see skilled artisans at work making tapestries, woodcarvings, and gold-leaf. Lastly, visit Mahamuni Pagoda to see its impressive gold-leaf Buddha. Due to the continual application of gold leaves, officials note the gold is six inches thick!

CLASSIC This afternoon, visit Kuthodaw Pagoda and Shwenandaw Monastery, the only remnants of former King Mindon’s “Golden City” to survive the bombing of World War II. Today, the original gilding has faded, but the intricate wood carvings endure.

DISCOVERY This evening, enjoy a traditional Dance Performance featuring local song and dance.


Revelations and Relaxation

CLASSIC Enjoy a Morning Visit to Sagaing with countless pagodas dotting the hillside. Stop to see Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its unique egg-shaped dome and a silversmith workshop. Lastly, explore Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda for stunning views across the Irrawaddy to Mandalay. 

Join your Local Guide for a longyi and thanaka presentation this afternoon.


Rural Life in Myanmar

Enjoy time onboard your ship this morning.

DISCOVERY This afternoon, partake in a Walking Tour through Shwe Pyi Thar village. Here, visit a farmer’s home to learn more about daily life and see the locals making palm candy. After the sap is collected, it is cooked in an iron pan over an open wood fire until it thickens and can be formed into small pieces by hand. 

DISCOVERY After dinner, a traditional Puppet Show will be presented in one of the lounges.


Day 12 BAGAN
Temples and Shrines—from Sunrise to Sunset

Today, explore Bagan, one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites. From the 9th to the 13th centuries 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.

DISCOVERY Early risers can visit one of the temples with a Local Guide to witness the sunrise. 

CLASSIC Start your Morning Excursion at a local market selling handicrafts, fabrics, and longyis. Then, stop at Shwezigon Pagoda, one of the country’s most important shrines. Lastly, visit a lacquer workshop to learn more about this ancient craft. 

CLASSIC After lunch, your Guided 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. 

DISCOVERY End the day with an Ox-Cart Ride to a temple, where you will ascend to the top as the sun sets. (B,L,D)

Farewell to the Irrawaddy

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Yangon. The remainder of the day is yours to spend at your leisure. (B)

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Yangon: walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit a local tea shop, Chaukhtatgyi, and Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Yangon–Bhamo (Embarkation)-Second Defile: fly to Bhamo and explore the town by trishaw and foot; cruise through the dramatic second defile; onboard welcome reception
  • Kyun Daw: visit a fisherman’s home, local school, and nunnery
  • Katha-Tigyang: visit a local market and excursion to a local ethnic minority village in Katha; walking tour through village and walk to hilltop pagoda in Tigyang
  • Kya Hnyat: visit a monastery and present alms to the monks and see their lunch ritual
  • Kyauk Myaung: walking tour through a pottery-making village
  • Mingun-Mandalay-Amarupura: see unfinished pagoda & bronze bell in Mingun; visit U Bein Bridge and take a sampan ride at sunset in Amarapura
  • Mandalay: sightseeing including Mahamuni, Kuthadaw and Shwenandaw Pagodas; visit tapestry, woodcarving, and gold leaf workshops; traditional dance performance
  • Sagaing: visit Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, a silversmith workshop, and Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda
  • Shwe Pyi Thar: walking tour through this typical river village to visit a local farmer's home and see palm candy being made; traditional puppet show
  • 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
  • Bagan (Disembarkation)–Yangon: fly to Yangon
All This Included
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. Your river cruise will get underway in dramatic fashion as you sail along the untouched upper Irrawaddy. Visit remote villages for fascinating interactions including visits with schoolchildren, nuns, monks, and pottery makers. You’ll also pass through the second defile with its magnificent cliffs. In the exciting city of Mandalay, be inspired by a visit to the revered shrine of Mahamuni Pagoda with its impressive gold-leaf Buddha and enjoy a traditional dance by local performers. Continue your river cruise to Sagaing and see the stunning Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its egg-shaped dome and watch a local silversmith at work. You’ll be immersed in 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. 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.

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!
  • Ship Amenities - Avalon Myanmar:
    • Air-conditioned Panorama Lounge
    • Open-air observation lounge with shade system & premium lounge chairs
    • Spacious, open-seating dining room
    • Bar serving premium spirits, wine & complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and local beer/spirits throughout the day
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi access in the lounges (where signal is available)
    • Spa treatment rooms
    • Fitness Room
    • Library and games
    • Non-smoking interior and staterooms
  • Ship Dining - Avalon Myanmar:
    • Spacious, open-seating dining room
    • Delectable regional & Western cuisine with all onboard meals
    • Seasonal recipes featuring the freshest local ingredients
    • Vegetarian options available with all meals
    • Complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer/spirits with all onboard meals
    • Daily early-riser coffee & tea
    • Full breakfast buffet with live cooking station
    • Lunch buffet with live cooking station showcasing local specialties served by our Head Chef
    • Four-course à la carte dinners with choice of salads, soups, entrées, dessert or cheese
    • Complimentary wine with all onboard lunches & dinners
Accommodations on this Tour
Yangon: Sule Shangri-La
Cruising: Cabin aboard Avalon Myanmar
  • Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Avalon Waterways, not included in pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only, starting at $630. Required intra-vacation air segments: Yangon/Bhamo; Bagan/Yangon. Air prices in this brochure were effective on February 7, 2018 and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.
  • Gratuities for Local Guides & drivers are included (excludes extensions which are to be paid locally).
  • Avalon offers the opportunity for solo travelers to sail with no single supplement (subject to availability). Please call for single accommodation details and prices. Triples not available.
  • All prices are per person based on double room occupancy. Cruise price based on Category B in a Panorama Suite on Irrawaddy Deck. To upgrade to a Category A on Mandalay Deck, add $400 per person or $800 in single occupancy.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.

OR Click to inquire
Open Mon-Fri 7am to 10pm, Sat 8am to 8pm, Sun 9am to 8pm, CDT
River Cruise a division of Vacations To Go