The Top Ten Myanmar River Cruises

Myanmar offers a vibrant and culturally-rich destination to visit. In addition to meeting local people excited to welcome tourists to their beautiful country, walk in the footsteps of famous writers and explorers, such as Marco Polo, Rudyard Kipling, George Orwell, and Ernest Hemingway.

Enjoy cruises on the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers to experience beautiful temples, ornate pagodas, bustling markets, and friendly locals.

  1. The Sanctuary Ananda Cruise

    The Sanctuary Ananda Cruise, Myanmar

    The Sanctuary Ananda Cruise provides a luxury river cruise in Myanmar to absorb the beauty of this incredible region. Cruise the Irrawaddy River and visit temples, monasteries, pagodas, and ornate palaces. See locals go about their normal day and enjoy Myanmar culture.

    You can choose different itineraries on the river, such as Mandalay to Bagan, or travel as far as Bhamo or Yangon. Enjoy the Myanmar rainforest, traditional villages, and historic towns rarely seen by other visitors.

    The Ananda Cruise is a custom-built vessel incorporating traditional design with modern luxury. Choose from a range of suite options right up to the premium Owner’s Suite. There are 21 spacious suites in total, as well as the sundeck, outdoor pool, and the panorama lounge. In the dining room, you will be served award-winning cuisine with Asian and international dishes on offers.

    The Ananda is fitted with both picture and floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the vessel to keep you connected to this vibrant region. You will then enjoy fascinating excursions to take in the culture and local attractions.

  2. The Belmond Road to Mandalay

    Belmond Road to Mandalay, Myanmar

    The Belmond Road to Mandalay offers a luxurious cruise of Myanmar and the Irrawaddy River (Ayeyarwady River).

    The cruise provides an intimate experience of this beautiful river and region. Enjoy the very comfortable vessel and guided experiences of the ancient pagodas, beautiful temples, and fishing villages.

    Aboard the Road to Mandalay vessel, you will find small touches of luxury throughout the cabins, social areas, and dining room.

    Your air-conditioned cabin features elegant furnishings with little touches like handmade soaps and artistic touches. All cabins of the luxury-class cruise offer very comfortable accommodation and you have a choice of suite options, including the Governor’s Suite with its lavish interior, the popular State Cabins with vibrant textiles, Deluxe Cabins with generous ensuites, and the Superior Cabins with very large windows for beautiful scenic views.

    Treat yourself aboard the vessel and relax with a massage or relaxation treatment in the wellness center, or take the daily yoga class under the morning sun.

    On guided tours, explore the communities to enjoy markets full of colors and spices, see the tea fields, and spot the saffron-robed monks heading to the temples.

    When back aboard the vessel, enjoy delicious cuisine in the cruise dining room, including western favorites as well as meals inspired by Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, and India among others. Your dining experience is then accompanied by a selection of international wines. The piano bar then provides the perfect place for a nightcap.

  3. The Strand Cruise

    The Strand Cruise, Myanmar

    The Strand Cruise offers a luxury cruise of Myanmar down the famous Irrawaddy River. With only 25 cabins, the cruise offers personalized service with very comfortable accommodation and delicious cuisine.

    The Strand vessel celebrates the golden age of exploration with gourmet a la carte cuisine and personal touches throughout.

    The floor-to-ceiling windows keep you connected to this incredible region to enjoy the natural beauty of the waterways and local culture.

    Each day, you will explore the region on expertly guided tours to see the ancient temples, ornate pagodas, and the different Myanmar villages. When back aboard the vessel, relax in the social areas, absorb the views from the sun deck, take a dip in the pool, or unwind in your spacious and very comfortable suite. We also recommend visiting the onboard spa for a massage or relaxation treatment after your guided excursions.

    You will be served a variety of international dishes in the dining room, as well as traditional Myanmar favorites. Take in the beautiful views while enjoying your meals.

    The Sarkies Bar is then the perfect place for a cocktail and sharing your experiences with fellow travelers. The armchairs also provide the perfect place to read.

  4. The Anawrahta (The Great King)

    The Anawrahta, Myanmar

    The Anawrahta Cruise offers one of the most generous sized suites of any cruise in Myanmar. Named after the founder of Burma, the Anawrahta is a very comfortable vessel to explore the Irrawaddy River.

    The vessel was designed to resemble a British colonial paddle steamer. The interior was inspired by colonial decor with the three spacious decks featuring luxurious suites, polished lacquer, intricately carved woodwork, white rails, and shining brass.

    There are ten Deluxe staterooms and six Deluxe Executive staterooms to choose from, which all offer a private balcony keeping you connected to this fascinating region. There are also the two Royal Suites offering even more space and incredible views. All suites are then decorated with opulent furnishings, polished wood, and regional artifacts.

    Enjoy relaxing on the vessel in the ornate Mandalay Lounge and have a drink at the Kipling Bar. There is also the onboard spa for a massage and relaxation treatment when on the river. Your delicious meals will then be served in the restaurant, which offers beautiful views of the river.

    On guided tours from the vessel, explore the fascinating villages, temples, local artisans, monasteries, and shrines.

  5. The Paukan Cruise 2012

    The Paukan Cruise 2012, Myanmar

    The Paukan Cruise is a small vessel for the Chindwin and Irrawaddy Rivers providing an experience more akin to a floating boutique hotel.

    The vessel offers 18 cabins with ensuite bathrooms, relaxing social areas, a spacious dining room, and a well-stocked bar.

    Aboard the vessel, enjoy elegant interiors dotted with Myanmar culture, such as traditional designs, wooden figures, fabrics, and paintings.

    You will be served delicious meals in the spacious dining room, enjoy a drink at the well-stocked bar, and can relax in the comfortable lounge and sundeck.

    Your itinerary then includes daily guided excursions to explore the river’s many different villages, monasteries, temples, and to try the local cuisine from select restaurants.

  6. The Makara Queen

    The Makara Queen, Myanmar

    The Makara Queen offers a very comfortable cruise of the Irrawaddy River. Enjoy guided tours each day to explore pagodas, temples, monasteries, and culture of the region.

    Your air-conditioned cabins offer private balconies, ensuites, and floor-to-ceiling windows for beautiful views of the river. There are little details in the cabins to keep you comfortable, including L’Occitane toiletries.

    Enjoy a mix of Burmese dishes and international favorites in the dining room, which are made with local and organic ingredients.

    The Makara Queen facilities include a pool, cinema room, as well as a spa with two treatment rooms.

    You can choose itineraries from 3 to 6 nights with the longest cruise traveling on a return journey from Mandalay to Bagan.

  7. The Irrawaddy Explorer

    The Irrawaddy Explorer, Myanmar

    The Irrawaddy Explorer offers a luxury voyage on the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay or from Prome. Explore the region on guided tours to visit temples, monasteries, pagodas, and traditional villages.

    The Explorer offers a luxury-class vessel to experience the beautiful river, friendly locals, and enchanting culture of Myanmar. The vessel was designed with a historic British colonial style. The suites offer floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading to a private balcony, private spa-style bathrooms, and very comfortable beds.

    In addition to spacious and comfortable accommodation, the vessel offers the Custom House dining room, a spa room and fitness center, sun deck, and the Writers’ Lounge with its comfortable sofas. There is a classic theme throughout the Irrawaddy Explorer, which is tied together by the beautiful art nouveau stairway.

    Enjoy a selection of western and Asian favorites in the dining room with beautiful views of the Irrawaddy River.

  8. The Paukan Cruise 2007

    The Paukan Cruise 2007, Myanmar

    The Paukan Cruise 2007 offers a boutique vessel with beautifully furnished interiors influenced by both traditional Myanmar styles and colonial designs. There are different accommodation options to choose from, including the Suites, Superior Cabins, and Deluxe Cabins.

    In addition to the vessel’s comfortable suite options, relax with a traditional Myanmar massage in one of the vessel’s two spa rooms. You can also enjoy the sun deck and talks and movies in the seminar room. You will then be served delicious dishes of both eastern and western favorites in the dining room.

    From the main vessel, head out on guided excursions to the river villages to see different temples and monasteries, to try the local cuisine, and to learn about local Myanmar culture.

  9. The Scenic Aura

    The Scenic Aura, Myanmar

    The Scenic Aura offers a luxury cruise of Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the country’s traditional culture.

    The vessel offers very comfortable and spacious suites, which include comfortable beds fitted with Egyptian cotton sheets, ensuite bathrooms, a nightly turndown service, and private balconies.

    The Aura provides sun lounges, a dedicated wellness center for a massage or relaxation treatment, a butler service, and comfortable social areas.

    On guided excursions from the vessel, explore the many different temples, forts, markets, colonial buildings, pagodas, and statues. Learn about the country’s fascinating history from your knowledgeable guide and soak up the ambiance of the region.

  10. The Avalon Myanmar

    The Avalon Myanmar, Myanmar

    The Avalon Myanmar provides a comfortable and modern vessel to cruise the Upper Irrawaddy River.

    The Avalon Myanmar is as large as similar cruises but carries half the number of guests, which provides a spacious and relaxed experience. Relax in the open-air observation lounge and the air-conditioned Panorama Lounge, which offer fantastic views of the river.

    Your spacious cabins are fitted with comfortable beds, premium linen, a private balcony, and wall-to-wall panoramic windows.

    Enjoy delicious cuisine with a mix of regional and international favorites. Friendly staff then provide personalized service to ensure an enjoyable experience throughout your Avalon Myanmar cruise.

    Each day, you will head out on a tour of the region to visit temples, pagodas, markets, and other places of interest led by knowledgeable and friendly tour guides.

Ash - Author & Travel AdvisorAbout the Author: Ash Card is a frequent visitor to the Tropics and has a passion for helping visitors get the best experiences from tropical locations. Ash is a contributor to both and writing about tropical destinations, rainforests and wildlife. Feel free to contact Ash for tour help in the tropics. When not helping tourists with tours and info, Ash can be found salsa-ing the night away or posing near waterfalls.
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