Discover Mandalay and Myanmar Old Capitals (Amarapura, Sagaing and Mingun), sail up to the spectacular Irrawaddy 2nd Defile (Gorges) with stops at the 50 Gallons pot-making village of Kyaw Myaung and the colonial Teak trading Town of Katha. The river journey begins or ends in Bagan, the ancient capital of the Pagan Kingdom, one of the most amazing archeological sites of Asia recently named as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Itinerary: Mandalay - Mingun - Upper Irrawaddy (Katha, Second Defile) - Dolphins Protected Area -Mandalay
Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights
IMAGES OF THE CRUISE
DAY 1 : MANDALAY - MINGUN
TRANSFER : Transfer from airport or hotel to Jetty can be arranged at supplement upon request. Pls note that it takes approximately 1 hr drive from Mandalay Int'l Airport and 30 mints from Mandalay Hotel to ship (Gawein).
Please note: We are not able to accept early arrival before 12:00 NOON.
Embark the ship at Gawein Jetty in Mandalay between12:00 - 12:30 and cast off after half an hour time.
Welcome cocktail and briefing in the Saloon or Sundeck follow by Lunch.
AFTERNOON EXCURSION: Mingun
After Lunch, we will enjoy a leisurely walking tour of the ex-Royal Capital of Mingun. Our first stop is King Bodawpaya’s monumental and uncompleted stupa. During the construction, an astrologer to the King argued that the Monarch would have died upon completion of the temple, hence the works were immediately halted. Had it been completed; it would have been the largest in the world. The cracks we see are the result of the 23rd March 1839 earthquake that shook the area. We continue our walk to the Mingun Bell, which was the heaviest working bell in the world until the 2,000 when the Bell of Good Luck was unveiled in Henan, China.
Moor overnight midstream North of Mingun.
DAY 2 : KYAUK MYAUNG
MORNING EXCURSION: Ngwe Nyein Pottery Village
After breakfast, visit the spectacular pottery-making village of Ngwe Nyein and see the manufacture stages of the famous 50 Gallons (200 liters) pots, often referred to as Martaban or Ali Baba jars in colonial times, they played an important part of maritime trade throughout Asia for centuries.
Sail all day.
ENTERTEINMENT: Afternoon lecture “Myanmar: Past and Today” & post dinner Movie show.
Moor overnight mid-stream.
DAY 3 : TIGYANG
Enjoy sailing the whole morning.
ENTERTEINMENT: Tea Leaf and Ginger Salad Demonstration
AFTERNOON EXCURSION: Tigyang (14:00–16:00)
Visit the small village of Tigyang for an afternoon WALKING TOUR through its narrow lanes and to visit the pagoda and reclining Buddha on a hilltop with stunning views.
Moor overnight at Inn Ywar Village.
DAY 4 : KATHA
MORNING EXCURSION: Elephant Camp
In the morning, visit Katha Elephant Logging Camp located at the edge of the surrounding teak and hardwood forest, once used for the transportation of the Teak logs now they have found themselves “jobless” due to the logging ban but they are still taken care by their Mahout (the elephant caretaker) with the help of government and private funds. We will experience the Mahout bathing and feeding the Elephants. An interesting reading to know more about the close relationship of an elephant to its mahout is the George Orwell's essay "Shooting an Elephant”.
Back to the ship for Lunch
Sail to Naung Po Village by the entrance of the Irrawaddy 2nd Defile (Gorges) and moor overnight.
DAY 5 : SECOND DEFILE - KYUN DAW - KATHA
MORNING EXCURSION: 2nd Defile of the Irrawaddy & Kyun Daw
Sunrise by the entrance of the gorges and cast off. We will sail upstream through the spectacular Second defile, the largest of the Irrawaddy gorges, with its magnificent cliffs reaching down the narrow channel till the end of it where we will turn around.
Further downstream we will stop at 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 SCHOOL to interact with the children. You will also visit a NUNNERY to present the nuns. Unlike monks, they have to collect and cook their own food.
Back to the ship for Lunch.
AFTERNOON EXCURSION: Katha (15:00–18:00)
In the afternoon arrive at the enchanting colonial town of Katha, the setting for George Orwell’s book “Burmese Days “and the place where in the 1942 hundreds of Irrawaddy Flotilla Company ships were scuttled before the Japanese could seize them. Katha had been an important center for the Teak trading since the colonial days. We explore the old streets, a fresh market, the former British Club and the Tennis Court featured in the novel to learn more about how life was here during the British Rule. We then visit what is claimed to be the Bungalow where George Orwell resided, when he was posted here as a policeman, now turned into a small museum. We drive a short distance to visit a Kachin ethnic Village where you will see their traditional houses and learn about their culture, traditional dress, and their unique method of making rice wine
Moor overnight in Katha.
DAY 6 : KYAUK PONE VILLAGE
MORNING EXCURSION: Kyauk Pone
This morning stop at the gorgeous village of Kyauk Pone with its Pagoda located on a hill for a wonderful view of the Irrawaddy River.
Sail the rest of the day.
ENTERTEINMENT: Afternoon lecture “Buddhism and the meditation practice” & post dinner Movie show.
Moor overnight midstream.
DAY 7 : KOTE TAK VILLAGE - IRRAWADDY DOLPHIN PROTECTED AREA
MORNING EXCURSION: Kote Tak Village
After breakfast, we arrive at Kote Tak Village located in a very nice location at the beginning of the 3rd Defile. We will visit the monastery where we will interact with the Monks and the school children.
AFTERNOON EXCURSION: Irrawaddy Dolphins Protected Area (14:30–15:30)
In the late afternoon, stop by the village of Sheinmaga in the Irrawaddy Dolphins Protected Area. You will board a local small boat to try spotting the dolphins in their natural habitat with the help of some local fishermen, even if not lucky enough to see them popping up it will be anyway an interesting experience the interaction with the local people and the beautiful river scenery.
ENTERTEINMENT: Crew Presentation & Farewell Reception.
DAY 8 : MANDALAY
Disembarkation at Mandalay Gawein Jetty from 06:00 am onwards.
TRANSFER : Transfer to the Mandalay Int'l Airport or hotel in Mandalay can be arranged at supplement upon request. Pls take note that it takes around 1 hr drive from ship (Gawein) to Mandalay Int'l Airport and 30 minuts to hotel in Mandalay.
CRUISE PRICE INCLUDES
All meals &, Coffee/Tea/Water – Complimentary local beer throughout the cruise – a glass of Wine at lunch and dinner - Sightseeing as described in the Itinerary – Ayravata Cruises English Speaking Guide (additional non-English speaking guide is provided if more than 8 cabins are booked by parties speaking the same language) - All Entrance Fees.
CRUISE PRICE EXCLUDES
Drinks, laundry, all items of a personal nature; health-accident-baggage or travel protection plan outside the ship’s boundaries, fuel surcharges if applicable. (*)
(*) Within the above rates the fuel cost is calculated on the Myanmar Market average price of the months of April 2017 (i.e. USD 0.7 per litre). Should the fuel price rise by more than 10%, AYRAVATA CRUISES will be entitled to impose a fuel surcharge equivalent to the amount by which the fuel price exceeds the price allowed for in the above rates, provided that the notice of this rise is given to the Passenger and/or his-her Agent within 30 days prior the cruise departure date.