Tailor-Made Holiday

Myanmar - Irrawaddy River Cruise with Inle Lake

Cruise for three nights from Bagan to Yangon on Sanctuary Ananda

Special OfferSave up to £1,000 per person on all three night cruises in 2019

8 days

from £1,945pp (excluding flights)
Limited Offer
  • Save 30% on all cruise departures in 2019
  • This holiday idea includes a saving of £140 per person
  • save up to £1,050 per person per cruise dependent on departure date and cabin type

This holiday to Myanmar includes the highlights of Bagan and Yangon as well as a three-night cruise on the Irrawaddy River onboard the boutique Sanctuary Ananda.

  • Visit the magical plain of temples at Bagan at sunrise
  • Be inspired through knowledgeable and dedicated guides on board Sanctuary Ananda
  • Experience the famed "leg rowers" on Inle Lake


Spend a few nights in Yangon on arrival with time to explore the colonial buildings and spiritual Shwedagon pagoda as well as a high tea at The Strand.


Fly to Bagan, the starting place for your Irrawaddy cruise. Before boarding the Sanctuary Ananda visit the charming Minnanthu Temple and take a picnic amidst the ruins.

Irrawaddy Cruise

Over four days cruise the Irrawaddy River taking in magnificent archaeological temples and pagodas, visiting local markets as well as the chance to take a mesmerising balloon ride over Bagan at sunrise.

During excursions, guests experience the fun of local transport, horse-drawn carts, trishaws and small boats rather than seeing the sites from behind the windows of an air-conditioned bus. By combining must-see sights and smaller villages the Ananda really gives a chance to meet the Burmese people going about their everyday lives.

Activities on board the ship include some wonderful lectures and tastefully presented demonstrations on Myanmar customs.

Inle Lake

On leaving the boat in Mandalay, take a flight to Inle Lake, allowing time to fully explore this fascinating area learning about the culture of the Intha people as well as the chance to experience some local home cooked cuisine. Return to Yangon for a day of pampering and shopping.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 1945 £ 700
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Entrance fees to all sites as detailed
  • Meals as detailed in itinerary
  • Three night Irrawaddy Cruise on board Sanctuary Ananda on a full board basis including all sightseeing
  • All accommodation as detailed
  • Internal flights
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Any meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Gratuities
  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Half Day Yangon Heritage Walk
Yangon downtown is unique with much of its colonial era architecture still standing. This relaxed tempo walking tour follows a route through downtown Yangon focusing on the old colonial buildings. At the end enjoy a well-earned gin and tonic at Gekko.

No longer the capital but still Myanmar's largest city, Yangon remains one of the country's most important commercial hubs. International isolation over the last five decades has left the city with an enduring colonial charm. Architecture from a bygone era lines the streets of the old centre, whilst the beautiful Shwedagon Pagoda - a dazzling Buddhist temple attracting pilgrims from all over the world - dominates the skyline.

High tea included

You will be staying at The Strand Hotel, Yangon, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Spiritual Shwedagon Pagoda
After breakfast this morning you will be met by your guide for a tour of the Shwedagon pagoda, which dates back more than 2,500 years and is one of the holiest places in Myanmar. Originally built to house eight hairs of the Buddha, it has been added to and rebuilt almost continuously since.

During your tour learn about the history of the pagoda, witness daily prayers and gain a deeper insight into Buddhist Myanmar and how it is mixed with a belief in nats - the Myanmar spirits. This intriguing tour will also include a traditional Burmese meal and a visit to a fortune teller.

Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

You will be staying at The Strand Hotel, Yangon, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Fly Yangon to Bagan

The ancient, lost city of Bagan in Myanmar is a truly extraordinary sight. Set in a 70 square kilometre expanse of open countryside and farmland, framed by a backdrop of distant mountains, the 4000 or so temples scattered across the plain are all that remain of a once important capital.

Half Day Visit to Minnanthu Temple
Minnanthu is arguably our favourite temple area - it’s quiet, in a beautiful area and the temples here are often completely deserted. Your guide will take you to this forgotten part of Bagan and spread out a blanket and serve a great picnic lunch in this historical setting before or after visiting two or three ancient temples ruins in the area.

Transfer to the ship to check in and enjoy lunch on board. This afternoon visit Kayminga pagoda complex to see the different architecture of the stupas first-hand. After, visit the Ananda Temple, regarded by folklore as one of the most beautiful temples in Myanmar.

Watch the sunset over the Bagan plains and the surrounding pagodas before returning to the ship for a welcome briefing and champagne reception followed by a candlelit sandbank dinner.

You will be staying at Sanctuary Ananda, full board

Day 4

Before breakfast, have the option (advanced booking and additional payment required) to take a balloon flight over Bagan's ethereal dawn landscape. Alternatively, visit the busy local market of Nyaung U to browse local wares and shop for souvenirs. After returning to the ship for breakfast, have time to explore the impressive Shwezigon Pagoda. Overlooking the Irrawaddy River, this beautifully-gilded 12th-century pagoda sits on three rising terraces.

Afterwards, set sail upstream, towards Sagaing. Have lunch on board, before participating in a variety of ship-based activities. Options will include demonstrations of traditional clothing and cosmetics, as well as a presentation on Myanmar's past, present and future.

No visit to Myanmar is complete without a trip down the Irrawaddy. Be it on a humble local ferry or a deluxe river boat offering luxuries galore, the chance to experience life on both the river and its banks should not be missed. Witness the locals going about their daily business and trade, and admire the range of memorable landscapes that unfold as you journey down the river.

You will be staying at Sanctuary Ananda, full board

Day 5

After the option of an early-morning meditation session, sit down for breakfast on board. Spend the morning cruising through idyllic Myanma countryside. Have the chance to take a back-of-house tour or participate in a cooking class led by the ship's executive chef.

In the afternoon, arrive beside Sagaing, an important religious centre. The nearby hills are dotted with pagodas and monasteries, whilst the town itself is home to around 6,000 monks and nuns. Continue on to Amarapura, once known as 'The City of Immortals'. Here, visit a local textile workshop, before admiring the sunset from the U Bein Bridge.

You will be staying at Sanctuary Ananda, full board

Day 6

Breakfast is served before check out at midday.

The city of Mandalay lies on the eastern banks of the Irrawaddy River and is the modern-day economic hub of Myanmar. Mandalay is almost a byword for exotic, yet nowadays the city centre has become standard modern fare. Look beyond the norm, however, and its backstreets and surrounding areas hold more than their fair share of culture and old-world charm.

Fly Mandalay to Inle Lake

Nestling in a valley of the Shan Plateau, Inle Lake is a spectacular freshwater lake at an altitude of almost 1000 feet. It is notable for its inhabitants, known as the Intha people or 'leg rowers', who developed a culture that has survived for centuries. Floating markets and the surrounding villages make this a fascinating place to visit during a trip to Myanmar.

Half Day Tour of Indein
In the south of the lake the ruins of Indein are certainly worth a visit. Partly covered by vegetation the area looks like a 'pagoda forest'. Walk for about one hour to enjoy a fantastic view over the lake. A home-made cooked lunch is served in a local house. Continue towards the Nam Pan village for a very interesting trip going local with a small canoe. Whenever you are tired paddling yourself, continue by motorboat back to your hotel.

Lunch included

You will be staying at Villa Inle Resort & Spa, bed and breakfast

Day 7

A day on Inle Lake
Inle Lake in southern Shan State is a vast natural lake surrounded by traditional Shan villages. On the lake itself the Intha people have been living for many centuries in villages built entirely on stilts. Travel by private motorboat around the lake to discover its natural beauty, visit the floating gardens, see some of the famous leg rowers and take tea at a local family's house. On and around the lake traditional markets are held in different villages according to a five day rotating schedule and you will be able to enjoy a colourful market frequented by Shan and PaO people living nearby. Also visit a local cheroot factory (where the Burmese cigars are made), Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda and Intha house where a traditional Intha lunch will be served.

Lunch included

You will be staying at Villa Inle Resort & Spa, bed and breakfast

Day 8

Fly Inle Lake to Yangon

Pampering and Shopping Half Day Tour of Yangon
An excellent half day tour starting with a lunch at Sharky's restaurant - a local entrepreneur who is growing organic vegetables and producing locally made "French" cheese, ham and other delicious food. A one hour foot massage is what is deserved after a long trip to Myanmar and afterwards, enjoy a personal shopping guide, to ensure you bring home only the best souvenirs. The specialists know where to find it.

Car and Guide available until departure to international flight this evening.

Lunch included


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Villa Inle Resort & Spa

Villa Inle Resort & Spa

Occupying a 20-acre plot on the banks of Inle Lake the Villa Inle Resort & Spa comprises 27 spacious wooden villas....

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The Strand Hotel, Yangon

The Strand Hotel, Yangon

The Strand, Yangon has remained true to its architectural past whilst transiting elegantly into the 21st Century....

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Sanctuary Ananda

Sanctuary Ananda

The Sanctuary Ananda is a boutique floating hotel, styled in beautiful Burmese furnishings....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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Deborah Brock-Doyle, Travel Expert

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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