Belmond Cruise

Belmond Road to Mandalay: Gorges of the Far North Mandalay-Bagan (Price & Booking 2021)


Mandalay – Bhamo – Bagan, 11 nights river cruise in Myanmar.

Explore the wonders of hidden Myanmar in unrivalled comfort and style, marvelling at the gorges that rear up from the scenic Ayeyarwady River.

This unforgettable cruise takes you to Bhamo, near the Chinese border.


  starting from 3400$
The Strand cruise map

The Strand cruise map

Gorges of the Far North Mandalay-Khata – Bhamo- Bagan (12 days / 11 nights)

Day One

Mandalay & Mingun

Please arrive at our jetty in Shwe Kyet Yet village between 10.30 and 11.00.

Once on board you are escorted to your cabin and then invited to the Lounge & Bar to meet our ship’s Hotel Manager. A short safety briefing is given.

At 11.30 Belmond Belmond Road to Mandalay sets sail. A buffet lunch is served as we cruise past the Sagaing Hills towards Mingun.

After lunch prepare for a short boat transfer to shore. Enjoy a walking tour of Mingun and visit Pahtodawgyi, an enormous unfinished pagoda that was started in the late 18th century by King Bodawpaya but never finished due to a prophecy that the king would die upon its completion.

You will have the chance to ring the world’s biggest uncracked bell, which weighs 90 tonnes and stands 13 feet tall. You will also see the dazzling Myatheindan (Hsinbyume) Pagoda, whose seven whitewashed terraces symbolise sacred Mount Meru. Those who wish can climb the 88 steps to the top, which represents obtaining nirvana.

In the evening you are invited to mingle with fellow guests, our Captain and officers at a welcome cocktail party on the Observation Deck. Afterwards enjoy your first enticing dinner in the Restaurant, choosing from Chef’s selection of local specialities and fusion delicacies. House wines are included, or you might prefer to choose a bottle from our onboard Wine Cellar.

Day Two

Nwe Nyein & Sailing

Early risers may wish to enjoy a refreshing drink from the Healthy Juice Bar on the Observation Deck. An extensive breakfast buffet with à la carte menu is served in the Restaurant, or you can order room service.

During the cruise a variety of activities are available, including morning yoga and meditation and evening tai chi and kickboxing. A daily schedule is provided in your cabin.

After breakfast, board our fast boat for a visit to the village of Nwe Nyein, renowned for its high-quality pottery. During a short walking tour you can witness the age-old methods still used to sculpt and glaze the clay pots, which are popular throughout Myanmar. If you wish, you can try your hand at spinning a pot in the traditional way.

Return to the ship for lunch and continue sailing. This afternoon Belmond Belmond Road to Mandalay enters the first scenic defile, or gorge, emerging a few hours later. This is a perfect time to relax on the Observation Deck or by the pool and take in the stunning views.

You may also wish to attend a talk on Myanmar Ways of Life while indulging in afternoon tea.

This evening, after dinner, you are invited to make a wish and release colourful Shan balloons into the night sky, creating a magical, glowing spectacle (weather permitting).

Day Three

Kyan Hnyat & Sailing

Early this morning we alight at the quaint village of Kyan Hnyat, where a tranquil stroll reveals how life is lived on the riverbank. Experience the vibrant morning market before joining our resident onboard doctor at the local school, where he will donate stationery to the school children—you are welcome to participate.

After setting sail a leisurely day on board awaits.

Indulge in a treatment at the spa, relax by the pool or practice tai chi. Our doctor will give a presentation on the healthcare system in Myanmar and Belmond’s Social Contribution Projects. These include pop-up health clinics, constructing schools and providing clean water and solar panels in villages we visit along the rivers of Myanmar.

Tonight Chef offers another gourmet menu of Asian and Western delicacies in the Restaurant.

Day Four

Katha & Sailing

Today Belmond Belmond Road to Mandalay arrives in Katha. This was where the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company scuttled a fleet of riverboats in 1942 in order to prevent their use by the invading Japanese. After a transfer to shore, enjoy a walking tour to the bustling, colourful market, then travel local-style by trishaw to the Katha Tennis Club, which remains virtually unchanged since its starring role in George Orwell’s 1934 novel, Burmese Days.

Visit the house where the author began writing his cutting indictment of British colonial life.

Those feeling particularly energetic are welcome to pedal your own trishaw and take your driver on a trip around town!

Return to the ship and continue the journey north. Our guides will present a showcase of market produce and typical daily items used by Myanmar people.

Later, in the Lounge & Bar, glean an insight into Buddhism in Myanmar at a talk during afternoon tea.

On the Observation Deck this evening prepare to be mesmerised by Shan dancers from Northeast Myanmar, who perform a spiritual dance telling the story of mythical half-human, half-bird creatures.

Day Five

Shwe Paw Island & Bhamo

Today you visit Shwe Paw Kyun (“kyun” means island in Burmese), where you see the intriguing stilt houses of the Kachin fishermen and visit a small island monastery.

As Belmond Belmond Road to Mandalay continues along the Upper Ayeyarwady River, you enter the dramatic, narrow second defile, which takes about two hours to pass through. Soak up the spectacular scenery from the Observation Deck as the ship approaches Bhamo.

Head to shore this afternoon for a visit to Bhamo, the major northern trading post between China and Myanmar, and the northernmost point of our river journey. Board a tuk-tuk and explore the town, first stopping at a local market where our staff will purchase supplies for a donation. Continue to a Buddhist nunnery, where an offering will be made and you will have a fascinating glimpse into the monastic way of life. The nunnery enables poor and orphaned children to receive an education.

Dinner is served on board. Afterwards make your way to the Observation Deck to experience an unforgettable surprise on the river (weather permitting).

Day Six

Weima Village & Sailing

Early risers may enjoy a sunrise yoga session on the Observation Deck.

Enjoy a leisurely day of sailing. Admire the wonderful views from the Observation Deck, take a dip in the pool, or book an appointment with one of our spa therapists. You may also wish to join our Chief Engineer for a talk about Life on the Rivers of Myanmar, followed by a tour of the ship, including the engine room and bridge.

In the evening we return to Katha to enjoy a sumptuous dinner in one of the town’s original colonial buildings, home to the British District Commissioner in the 1920s.

Day Seven

Naba & Sailing

Today brings an adventure into the countryside. Board local transport for a ride to a train station, where a specially chartered local train has been arranged for a trip to Naba, a small village deep in the teak forest.

Travel along the mainline between Mandalay and Myitkina and through the teak forests of the Gangaw Taung mountain range. This section of the branch line was first opened on October 2nd 1895 with the specific purpose of transporting teak logs down to the steamers waiting on the river to take them downstream.

Journey overland back to Belmond Belmond Road to Mandalay and enjoy an afternoon of relaxed cruising. Our Housekeeping staff will give a demonstration of how to tie a longyi, the Myanmar sarong worn by both men and women, and how to prepare thanaka, a paste that serves as both decorative make-up and protection from the sun.

This evening you are invited to a Longyi Cocktail Party, enabling you to practice your longyi-tying skills and dress in your new traditional outfit.

Day Eight

Ma Lae village & Sailing

After breakfast Belmond Belmond Road to Mandalay arrives at the small village of Ma Lae where you disembark for a morning walk. Witness a Buddhist Noviciation Ceremony, a rite of passage that signifies boys becoming monks. This auspicious occasion is one of the most important for any Buddhist family and the whole village will often come out to watch.

The boys, dressed as princes to symbolise Buddha before his enlightenment, ride in a procession to the monastery on decorated horses. There the head monk presents them with their simple, saffron-coloured robes and their heads are ceremoniously shaved.

Return to the ship and continue sailing south. During afternoon tea one of our guides will give an engaging talk on the Past, Present and Future of Myanmar.

After dinner on board it’s movie night in the Lounge & Bar. Today we are showing “The Lady”, the fascinating story of Aung San Suu Kyi, as Chef serves fresh popcorn and homemade ice cream.

Day Nine


Late morning Belmond Belmond Road to Mandalay drops anchor off Htin-Win jetty, where you disembark for a full day of discovery of Mandalay, considered the religious heart of Myanmar and the home of Burmese traditional arts.

Explore some of Mandalay’s great treasures with our guides, including Kuthodaw Pagoda, a UNESCO-listed site with 729 stone tablets inscribed with Buddhist scriptures, and the atmospheric Shwenandaw, an intricately-carved wooden monastery which used to be part of King Mindon’s living quarters.

Stop for a delicious lunch in the city centre at Bistro 82. In the afternoon visit the marble quarter, where artisans sculpt Buddhas of all sizes, before continuing to the workshop of a family of bronze casters to observe, first hand, the creation of statuesque Buddha images and ceremonial gongs. End the day at the magnificent 200-year-old U Bein Bridge, one of Myanmar’s most photographed sites.

Tonight you dine under the stars on the Observation Deck.

Day Ten

Sailing & Bagan

Those who wish may join our guides on an early-morning visit to the village of Shwe Kyet Yet. This small village holds a special place in our hearts, having been the location of the ship’s berth for 20 years. Visit the village pagoda, where you will have the opportunity to donate food to a procession of monks from the local monastery. On the return walk you can observe the bustling activity around the market and tea shops.

During the day’s sailing to Bagan you can participate in yoga or meditation on the Observation Deck, have your fortune told by a renowned astrologer, or join a mouth-watering Burmese cookery demonstration by our Chef.

In the late afternoon, as the ship draws nearer to Bagan, one of our guides will give an introduction to the magnificent ancient city. One of the main visitor attractions in Myanmar for many years, Bagan ranks alongside Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Borobudur in Java as the greatest historic sites in Southeast Asia. Over 3,000 temples dot the plain beside the Ayeyarwady River, most of which were built between the 11th and 13th centuries.

On arrival, you disembark for a sunset ride by horse and cart through Old Bagan. Your local driver will take you on a leisurely, scenic route through the heart of the archaeological zone, passing many ancient pagodas and offering plentiful photo opportunities. You then proceed to a small temple close to the jetty to participate in an exclusive Belmond experience—a magical candle-lighting ceremony.

This evening, enjoy a classical marionette performance on board. Historically these shows were royal entertainment, depicting stories from the early life of Buddha, but they were also considered a safe way to deliver messages to the King.

Day Eleven


Those aching to explore as soon as possible can choose from the following early-morning options:

Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Ride

(Available October-April. Advance reservations essential. Supplement applies)

This is one of the most magical experiences in Bagan, a hot-air balloon ride watching the dawn break over the ancient pagodas. Guests are collected at around 05.00 and returned to the ship at 08.30.


Bagan by Bicycle
(Advance reservations essential. English-language tour only, Supplement applies)

Set off on an independent mountain bike adventure (a map will be provided), or opt to join our staff on a guided ride through Old Bagan. Pedal along small paths and roads that wind their way around ancient temples and pagodas. The ride is suitable for advanced beginners and above and cyclists should expect to bike on dirt road surfaces with patches of sand.


After breakfast on board, disembark for a morning touring of Bagan.

Begin with a visit to a small complex near Minnanthu to discover off-the-beaten-track temples, including one with richly coloured murals dating from AD 1225. Also tour one of the most significant pagodas of Bagan, Ananda Temple. This architectural masterpiece was built in AD 1090 and contains four gilded Buddha statues, each standing 30 ft tall. You will also visit a lacquerware workshop, where you can marvel at the exquisite patience and skill required to produce these finely detailed pieces.

Return to the ship for lunch.

The afternoon tour takes you to the famous Sulamani (“crowning jewel”) pagoda, with its impressive brick and ornamental work and murals dating from the 12th to 18th centuries. As daylight starts to fade, gather to watch the sunset over plains peppered with hundreds of pagodas.

As an alternative, guests also have the option of an afternoon excursion to Mt Popa, the traditional home of the 37 Nats or animist spirits, which have been worshipped in Myanmar since long before the arrival of Buddhism. The journey overland takes about two hours, but there will be a stop en route at a toddy palm plantation to see the traditional methods still employed to produce jaggery, a palm sugar used in sweets and in an alcoholic drink, which you may try.

Mt Popa is actually a 5,000ft extinct volcano, which stands alone on the Myingyan Plain. Its summit, which is home to a mix of Nat and Buddhist shrines, can be reached by climbing 777 steep and sometimes difficult steps (taking about 20 minutes).

Back on board, farewell celebrations await for your final evening, beginning with a cocktail party and an elephant dance on the Observation Deck, and culminating in a splendid farewell dinner in the Restaurant.

Day Twelve


This morning there is another opportunity to experience a bike ride or a sunrise hot-air balloon ride. Please speak to Reception to arrange it.

An early-bird breakfast is served before you disembark from Belmond Belmond Road to Mandalay for your onward travel arrangements. Final disembarkation time from the ship is 10.00.

We wish you a very pleasant onward journey.


Please note, routes and associated itineraries may be subject to change.

The rivers of Myanmar vary from season to season, with as much as a 30-foot variance in water level. From January through June, the Ayeyarwady’s levels may drop, creating a narrower channel for navigation. To allow for these changes, Belmond Road to Mandalay may operate a revised itinerary and mooring locations may be amended.


Cabin Prices

MDL – BHO-BGN11N/12DSuite (Twin Sharing)Deluxe (Twin Sharing)
Suite (Single Occupancy)Deluxe (Single Occupancy)


Rates quoted in this agreement are valid from 1st November 2019 to 30th April 2021.

*Rates are based on double/twin cabin occupancy, single cabin suppl. apply.

Cruise Rates Include

  • satellite wifi in the observation lounge and governor’s suite
  • butler service in the governor’s suite
  • individually controlled air-conditioning in each cabin
  • all table d’hôte meals (eastern and western choices available)
  • soft drinks (excluding fresh fruit juice), house beer  and house wine during lunch and dinner, one daily house cocktail
  • daily guided excursions on land
  •  fully qualified doctor resident on board
  • permanent guides on board (languages include english, french, german and spanish)
  • daily onboard programme, including guest lectures
  •  no single supplement on superior or deluxe cabins

* Our rates do not Include:

  • Local government fees. (310 USD per person)
  • Alcoholic beverages,
  • Domestic & International Flights
  • Visa (if you are traveling in Myanmar before or after the cruise)
  • Extra personal expenses

There are five types of cabin: Single, Superior, Deluxe and State, plus the exclusive Governor’s Suite. All cabins have outward-facing windows, air-conditioning and en-suite showers and toilets. Each cabin has a personal safe, telephone, satellite TV and sockets suitable for 2-pin round plugs.

Our acclaimed onboard menu showcases the finest gourmet Eastern and Western delicacies, all served with Burmese courtesy and charm. Situated on the Observation Deck, the alfresco Bar & Grill Restaurant offers refined local cuisine in a truly inspiring setting. Watch the experts in action at the gourmet grill station, and savor fine wines from our vintage selection.

Observation Deck

With the plush loungers and inviting pool, the observation deck is the place to relax. As the largest and most spacious Observation Deck of any cruiser in Myanmar, it gives you ample room to stretch out and admire the stunning river views.


In addition to our resident pianist, a variety of local entertainers perform in the evening, ranging from traditional Burmese puppeteers to thrilling acrobats and graceful dancers. Those looking to discover more about Myanmar’s fascinating culture can attend talks and lectures from our expert guides in the Observation Lounge.

The Bar

The Piano Bar is decorated with a mixture of light wood and Burmese lacquerware. Tales can be shared over delicious local and international cocktails as the resident pianist plays into the night.


Indulge in one of the sumptuous beauty and massage treatments available, from a revising facial to a pampering aromatherapy message.


A variety of delightful items are available for purchase on board as a unique memento of your trip.


Terms and Conditions

  1. 1. Travel Terms & Conditions

    The purchase of any travel services offered by MyanMarvels Travel and Tours, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you (the Traveler) and MyanMarvels Travel and Tours, based in Yangon, Myanmar, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking.

    Important Notes

    • Cruises departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change
    • A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required for MyanMarvels Travel and Tours to secure the cabin for you.

    The following charges are not included in the river cruise holiday  price unless otherwise noted: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; domestic flights, unless specified in the itinerary; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; port fee, unless specified in the itinerary; guide tips, alcoholic drinks unless specified in the cruise itinerary, Myanmar Visa, Vaccinations, Travel Insurance, Laundry, Telephone.


    2. PRICE GUARANTEE Once you have paid in full for your trip, you are safe from any additional charges.


    Cruise Price

    The ‘Myanmar Cruises Price’ is the total amount listed on your itinerary. All Tour Prices are quoted in U.S. Dollars. MyanMarvels Travel and Tours reserves the right to vary Cruise Prices at any time to account for any increase in costs, including but not limited to airfares, fuel, government taxes and charges, exchange rate fluctuations or other tour related costs or tariffs. If payment if received received the full amount of the River Cruise from the customer , there will be no increases to your Cruise price, regardless of any increases in the tour costs inside or outside of our control.

    Incoming Taxes. Sales taxes assessed by Myanmar & Local authorities  as identified on your itinerary are included in the Cruise Price.


    3. Booking/Payment.

    Booking / Deposit. You must pay the deposit listed on the itinerary (the “Deposit”) within 5 days of booking your travel. Your Booking will be automatically canceled if your Deposit is not received by MyanMarvels Travel and Tours on or before the due date. Deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable, except as otherwise expressly stated herein.

    Final Payment. The balance of the Tour Price must be paid no later than 90 days prior to the tour departure date. Failure to pay the balance within 90 days of the tour departure date will result in cancellation of your trip and loss of the Deposit.

    Bookings Within 90 Days. If you place a river cruise booking with MyaMarvels Travel and Tours within 90 days or less of your chosen departure date, full payment of the Tour Price is required before we can request and confirm your booking. If the tour is not able to be fully confirmed, then we will refund all funds paid to us, and MyanMarvels Travel and Tours will have no further obligations or liability to you in respect of your booking.


    • Full name as in your passport
    • Date of birth
    • Full passport details
    • Email address & Phone Number
    • Disabilities
    • Medical conditions
    • Dietary restrictions you make known to river cruise company
    • Emergency contact (non-participant)

    If any additional information is required, it will be requested from you with your reservation.

    4. CANCELLATIONS Terms for Belmond River Cruise Ships:


    • 90 days and greater Loss of ]the  Deposit
    • 89-60 days 35% of Cruise Price
    • 59-30 days 50% of Cruise Price
    • Less than 30 days 100% of Cruise Price


    5. Cruise Variation, Cancellation or Delay.

    Itinerary Variations. While MyanMarvels  Travel and Tours & its local cruise partners will make reasonable efforts to operate the tour in accordance with your itinerary, changes or substitutions may be necessary for reasons outside Cruise company control or other Force Majeure Events.

    On tours that include cruises, the ship may be changed due to operational reasons. For departures in early and late season operated in cool weather conditions, itinerary variations may occur and certain activities may not be available due to seasonality or weather conditions. Availability of certain activities may also be limited due to itinerary variations.

    Minimum Required Bookings. Your booking is conditional on Belmond River Cruise Myanmar receiving a minimum number of bookings to operate the tour and ensure an enjoyable group atmosphere. Where sufficient numbers, as determined by Belmond Cruise in its sole discretion, are not achieved, MyanMarvels may cancel or suspend a scheduled departure of the tour. Belmond River Cruise  will use commercially reasonable efforts to provide notice of canceled or suspended tours at least 60 days prior to the scheduled departure date. MyanMarvels Travel and Tours  will endeavor to notify you of any changes to your tour itinerary in the following  manner: (a) if prior to  your tour departure, we will notify you by telephone, email or mail; and (b) if during your tour, personally by your Cruise Director.

    6. Force Majeure. For the purposes of these terms and conditions, a ‘Force Majeure Event’ means any act of God; war; terrorism; fire; flood or any other extreme weather condition; loss of power; epidemics or pandemics; industrial disputes, slow-downs or other strike activities; riots or civil disturbances; acts of government, semi-government or other authorities; inability to obtain any necessary license or consent; delays caused by subcontractors, suppliers or other third parties (including telecommunications carriers); material shortages; or other any other disruption, delay, damage or loss resulting from any action, omission or event outside the reasonable control of Belmond River Cruise.

    You hereby acknowledge and agree that Belmond River Cruise is not liable for any delay or any failure by Belmond River Cruise to perform its obligations under these Terms and Conditions resulting from or as a consequence of a Force Majeure Event. lf a delay or failure occurs or is anticipated due to Force Majeure Event, Belmond River Cruise obligations are suspended for the duration of the Force Majeure Event. If the Force Majeure Event delays performance for a period of 7 days or more, calculated from the date MyanMarvels notifies you of the Force Majeure Event, then MyanMarvels may terminate this agreement and, in such event, you will be issued a future travel credit equal to the amount You paid to MyanMarvels hereunder, less any non-refundable third-party costs. Please note that you are limited to the future travel credit and will not be entitled to a cash refund.


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