Mandalay to Yangon River Cruise: The Sanctuary Ananda ( Price & Booking 2021)
Extraordinary adventures, authentic experiences and refined yet relaxed elegance.
At Sanctuary Retreats we like to whisper secrets about remarkable cultures and steer you to soul-stirring landscapes – all while surrounding you in the warmest hospitality.
Sanctuary Ananda introduces a new level of sophistication to the rivers of Myanmar. Custom-built with just 21 suites, our latest vessel showcases original Burmese design and contemporary chic in an atmosphere of five-star comfort – ‘luxury, naturally’ is the guiding philosophy of all our safari lodges and river cruisers.
Discover the mysteries of Myanmar, care of seven enchanting itineraries led by expert guides, as we immerse you in traditional cultures and introduce captivating characters.
Cruise the majestic Irrawaddy from the Yunnan-influenced northern city of Bhamo down to colonial Yangon in the south, visiting bell-shaped temples, Chinese pagodas and Buddhist monasteries.starting from 1487$
Mandalay to Yangon Cruise (12 days / 11 nights)
Welcome on board the Sanctuary Ananda.
Check-in is 12.30pm, but should you arrive on an early flight there’s an optional sightseeing tour of Mandalay. We’ll see Mahamuni Pagoda which houses the Mahamuni Image, the teak Shwenandaw Monastery, the only place to have survived WWII bombings, and Kuthodaw Pagoda, which was modelled on Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan. It is often referred to as ‘the biggest book in the world’ thanks to its hundreds of marble slabs inscribed with the Buddhist canon.
Once on board, enjoy lunch as we cruise towards the pagoda-dotted hills of Sagaing. Formerly the capital of the Shan kingdom, it’s home to hundreds of monasteries and thousands of monks and nuns. This afternoon, we’ll visit several pagodas, and a highlight will be pausing on the terrace of Soon U Pon Nya Shin on Sagaing Hill.
We’ll set off for Amarapura; once known as the City of Immortals, it held some 200,000 inhabitants in its heyday. But instead of the noisy bustle of yore in this former capital, today you’ll hear a leisurely clack-clack from the looms of the cotton and silk weavers at work. We’ll pop into textile workshops, and then pause by the U Bein Bridge.
This long teak bridge snakes across Taungthaman Lake and it really is a spectacular spot to enjoy sunset. Built by a notorious mayor in 1847, the fraudster pocketed the money raised for its construction, reusing the timbers from the abandoned Ava Palace – thankfully the king eventually saw through his ruse. After the sun has gone down, we’ll head back to the boat moored at Gawein jetty to enjoy dinner on board.
SIN KYUN TO SEMIKHONE
Early morning tour of Sin Kyun – here you’ll get a true taste of traditional farming and artisanal life in our adopted village. After the village tour we will take a small boat to cross the river and will visit Mingun. Here in this sleepy village, an ox cart will transport you to the unfinished Mingun Pagoda. Building started in 1790 but all that remains of King Bodawpaya ambitious scheme today is a huge pile of bricks.
Also noteworthy is the massive Mingun Bell, which measures an eye-watering 12 feet high and 16 feet wide. Lastly, you’ll see a most unusual white pagoda known as Myatheindan. King Bodawpaya’s grandson Bagyida created it in memory of his senior wife, the Queen Hsinbyumei.
Return at 11.30am to the ship so that we can start sailing south, passing unspoiled scenery that rarely gets exposed to tourists. This region backdropped by rich tamarind trees and hillside white and golden pagodas is unique for its unintended beauty – look out for scenes of ladies perched on rocks chatting as they do their daily wash, or ox carts waiting on the banks for a boat to arrive and unload its goods. A perfect place from which to observe these authentic filmic tableaux from is the air-conditioned Kansi Panorama Lounge.
Early evening, Sanctuary Ananda will drop anchor at the confluence; this is the ideal time to ask the barmen to create your favourite sundowner as an aperitif in a setting you’ll never forget.
PAKOKKU TO BAGAN
Early morning we’ll start sailing towards Pakokku, just south of the confluence of the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin Rivers. The site of a well-known battle at the end of World War II, Pakokku is famous for tobacco and sugar palm (jaggery). You will visit the local market where colourful, exotic fruit and vegetables are laid out as though for a photographer, brightened up with sprigs of tropical flowers. Then it’s on to the cheroot factory, where the girls who roll the cigars work with incredible speed and dexterity making it quite a thing to see.
Return to the ship for 12.00am and the boat will sail 25 miles so as to arrive at Bagan just after lunch. Here you’ll see the remarkable Ananda Temple. Completed in 1091 AD, it is considered one of the four great temples in Bagan, celebrated in folklore as one of Myanmar’s most beautiful. Shaped like a perfect Greek cross, the temple rises in graduated terraces to a height of about 170 feet.
Inside, there are four magnificent golden Buddha statues and within the grounds is the Ananda Oakkaung, the well-preserved remains of a monastery where murals depict the secrets of Burmese life from the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries.
Next is a visit to Htilominlo Temple, a two-storey redbrick temple built around 1211 AD. A magnificent structure, it is heavily restored, standing at 150 feet high and 140 feet wide. Inside are four Buddha images facing the cardinal points, and some of the old murals can still be seen, as well as a number of friezes and old horoscopes, which were painted to protect the building from damage.
The day’s finale is the sunset view over Bagan. The ‘Golden Hour’ light on these mysterious ancient pagodas is mesmerizing and when the sun sets behind the hills on the far side of the Ayeyarwady River, the sky glows red.
BAGAN TO SALE
After breakfast there’s a visit to Bagan by bus to experience the bustling Nyaung-U market. Farmers and traders meet here daily to buy and sell fruit and vegetables and china and lacquerware. Next is a visit to the golden Shwezigon Pagoda; begun by King Anawrahta it was finished by his son, King Kyanzittha, in 1087 AD.
It holds a special place among Burmese pagodas for two reasons: it was the first major monument built in the Burmese style (as distinct from Mon style) following the country’s conversion to Theravada Buddhism, and it was the first pagoda to have nat (spirit) images allowed within. The Shwezigon is said to contain important relics of the Gautama Buddha: two bones and a copy of a tooth. In Myinkaba, you’ll learn about the ancient art of creating fine lacquerware from watching artisans in their workshops.
Return to the ship at 12.30pm and we’ll sail downstream towards Sale, passing Chauk, one of the original oil fields where the ‘nodding donkeys’ (oil-well pumps) work away at the river’s edge. We’ll get to Sale (Salay) around 3pm. We will visit Yoke Sone Kyaung monastery, a fine teak building with some beautifully crafted reliefs.
Our final stop before returning to the boat for dinner is Tha-ta-na Kyaung – this small temple has an interesting Buddha image made from bamboo.
MINBU TO MAGWE TO MINHLA
We’ll spend the morning sailing to Magwe, and this leg of our adventure includes passing Minbu village around lunchtime. Nga Ka Pwe Taung, meaning ‘Dragon Lake’, is a unique gas-and-mud-bubbling pool set here in what seems like a lunar landscape. Not many tourists have the opportunity to stray to this part of Myanmar.
Around 2pm we’ll dock in Magwe and take you to Myat Than Lun Paya, a stunning 1929-built pagoda of solid-gold bricks set on a river-view hilltop. Later this afternoon we will carry on along the river towards Minhla where we’ll dock overnight. Minhla Fort, the dramatic military construction here, which harks back to the Konbaung era.
MINHLA FORT TO THAWUTTI TO PYAY
At 9am we will take a walking tour of the Minhla Fort. An unusual construction built for the Burmese king by Italian engineers, it was intended to resist a British invasion in the second Anglo-Burmese War.
Back aboard the ship, we’ll cruise on to Thayet where we’ll dock overnight.
THAYET TO PYAY
The next chapter in our adventure includes the mystical white pagodas and charming colonial houses as we explore postcard-perfect rural Thayet. Built by the British in 1887, Myanmar’s first golf course is also here.
Pyay (pronounced by some as ‘pyay’ and ‘pyi’ by others) is a charismatic dock with a startlingly beautiful pagoda. Late afternoon we will have a look around this destination formerly referred to as Prome by the British, this is a highlight of this cruise.
Shwe Daung village is next on our day’s agenda. Look out for the only Buddha wearing gold sunglasses at Shwe Myet Hman pagoda, before we head back to Sanctuary Ananda about 6.30pm.
PYAY TO KENAUNG
This morning, before returning to see more of Pyay, we will visit Thayekhittata, an old Pyu Dynasty city; on display is a wealth of different-sized stupas, built between the 4th and the 13th centuries.
Worthy of a pilgrimage, Shwesandaw Paya is not only impressive in scale, but this temple is celebrated for housing supposed strands of Buddha’s hair and also an actual tooth which takes the form of a golden bell which is revealed only during November’s full-moon festival. From this hilltop pagoda, it is impossible not to be awestruck by the vision of the 10-metre-high Buddha statue.
Returning to the boat at in time for lunch, you’ll be able to enjoy an afternoon on board. On the way we pass Akauk Taung; here you’ll be able to capture the best possible photos of these truly staggering cliffs. Meaning ‘Tax Mountain’, this quirky site takes its name from all the 19th century toll-takers who would kill time in between charging passing boats by carving hundreds of Buddhas right here into the steep cliffside.
KENAUNG TO ZALUN
At about 9am we will pause at Kenaung village.
After lunch, as we sail 68 miles south towards Zalon, this is another chance to savour your time on this extraordinary riverboat. As the ship continues south, enjoy a restful on your private balcony or take full advantage of Sanctuary Ananda’s extensive services and facilities. Whether you choose to relax and unwind or seek stimulation or conversation, boredom is never an option aboard Ananda.
ZALUN TO DANUPHYU
This morning we will visit the small port town of Zalon where we’ll whisk you on the local tuk tuk to see the Buddhas in the remarkable Pyi Taw Pyan; these bronze figures were controversially stolen by the British Army but then returned by order of Queen Victoria.
After sailing south to Danuphyu, we will take a local trishaw and visit a monastery and the Maha Bandula memorial at Pali University. It was from here that General Maha Bandula led a Burmese defensive against British troops during the Anglo-Burmese War.
DANUPHYU TO YANGON
Your last day will be the perfect chance to relax and reflect on all that you’ve seen and done. We’ll spend today sailing downstream, which means you have ample time to make the most of the many luxuries on board Ananda. Maybe have a spa treatment or relax by the pool with a book from our library? Or just enjoy gliding through the soul-stirring riverscapes that so few foreigners get to see…
Tonight’s farewell dinner features a special puppet performance.
As your cruise comes to an end, we thank you for sailing with us on board the Sanctuary Ananda and immersing yourself in the magic of Myanmar.
|LUXURY SUITE||OWNER’S SUITE|
|Rate per person|
(2 people sharing)
|Single Suppl.||Rate per person|
(2 people sharing)
|Single Suppl.||Rate per person|
(2 people sharing)
|Single Suppl.||Rate per person|
(2 people sharing)
|Single Suppl.||Rate per person|
(2 people sharing)
Departure Dates The Sanctuary Ananda Cruise 2020 / 2021
*Rates are based per person / on double/twin cabin occupancy, single cabin suppl. apply.
Rates quoted in this agreement are valid from 1st November 2010 to 30th December 2021.
- Rates include all meals, soft drinks and local beer during the day, local wine with lunch and dinner, guided excursions, and all port charges.
- Prices exclude international and internal flights, transfers, wine (outside of meals), spirits and gratuities.
- Rates are subject to availability and can be withdrawn without prior notice anytime at the sole discretion of Sanctuary Retreats.
- Any items of a personal nature such as laundry (if not staying in the Luxury Suites or the Owner’s Suite), telephone calls and purchases from the gift shop
- Extra optional excursions other than those mentioned
- International and domestic flights or transfers other than those mentioned
- Wine (outside of meals) and spirits
- Gratuity to staff
- Medical services, travel insurance or visas
- Other meals than those mentioned
- Regardless of occupancy, the minimum Owner’s Suite rate is two full paying adults.
- The lounge area can be converted to accommodate an extra adult or one/two children each paying 50% of the adult rates.
- All single occupancy bookings are subject to the single supplements – please contact us for details.
- Deluxe Suites do not offer triple accommodation but 2 sets of interconnecting deluxe suites are available.
- Children aged 6 and over are welcome on board Sanctuary Ananda.
- One child aged up to and including 12 years sharing a Luxury Suite with two adults pays 75% of the adult rate.
- One or two children aged up to and including 12 years sharing the Owner’s Suite with two paying adults pay 50% of the adult rate.
- On all other occasions children pay the adult rate.
- Luxury Suites can accommodate an extra child by converting the sofa into a smaller bed. Maximum occupancy of a Luxury Suite is 2 adults and 1 child or 1 adult and 2 children.
- The living area of the Owner’s Suite can be converted to accommodate one extra adult or one or two children.
Marvel at lush untouched countryside, gold-spired temples and rare birdlife without straying from Sanctuary Ananda’s peaceful sundeck. Can there be a more soul-uplifting start to the day than early-morning meditation in this tranquil setting? We promise entertainment to match every mood.
Browse coffee-table art and history books in the library or borrow a bestseller to read by the pool; discover up-and-coming Myanmar artists in the gallery and buy pieces to take home; finish your day with a citrus-enhanced Sanctuary Sour in the sociable cocktail bar. We keep you inspired from dawn until dusk and beyond. Sign up for edifying lectures and masterclasses where you can learn about traditional thanaka make-up techniques and how to dress in longyi.
To unwind, try therapies such as a traditional Thai massage or reflexology session in the Thambyadine spa by L’Occitane.
THAMBYADINE SPA BY L’OCCITANE
Sanctuary Ananda has partnered with L’Occitane en Provence to offer an unrivalled spa experience to our guests. Our expert therapists have been trained by L’Occitane en Provence to deliver the best treatments in Myanmar while our menu has been exclusively designed to embrace traditional Burmese therapies that stay true to the L’Occitane spa experience.
We invite you to explore our range of treatments in our Thambyadine Spa by L’Occitane.
The fragrant flavours of Myanmar, including lemongrass, kaffir lime and sweet chilli, are evoked as we handpick the freshest local ingredients during our village-market visits. Specially crafted menus and inspired dining experiences encompass dishes such as soft-shell crab, red curries, and mango and pomelo salad.
Enjoy dinners à la carte in our Talifoo restaurant, with soft drinks, local beers and selected wines available on the house. Mindoon is the perfect spot to enjoy al fresco breakfast and lunches, with a tempting buffet as well as à la carte options. Relish breath-stealing views through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the air-conditioned Kansi panorama lounge while you take afternoon tea with traditional treats and organic teas and coffee.
Sanctuary Ananda is a perfect combination of local culture and luxury, because we understand that even when you are immersing yourself in a new experience, there are some things you should never be without, such as a large comfortable bed, the pleasure of a good drink, excellent food, immaculate service, and the company of like-minded people.
Custom-built with just 21 suites, Sanctuary Ananda showcases original Burmese design and contemporary chic in an atmosphere of five-star comfort.
In every suite, lush silks, polished teak and beautiful lacquerware celebrate Myanmar’s rich heritage of arts, crafts and textiles and Malaika Egyptian-cotton sheets ensure that we make you as relaxed as can be.
Expect L’Occitane-stocked ensuite bathrooms, individually controlled air-conditioning and, naturally, consummate craftsmanship throughout.
Choose from having a double or twin bed, and look forward to your own relaxing space to lounge in – every suite has its own private balcony.
OWNER’S SUITE (75M² / 807FT²)
The largest suite on the river boasts a luxurious king-size bed, separate dressing and living areas, plus a big veranda with sun loungers as well as table and chairs. The spacious bathroom will spoil you with a freestanding tub as well as a monsoon shower and his-and-hers sinks. Other benefits will include a private guide, butler service, early morning tea and coffee, complimentary laundry and exclusive dining experiences.
LUXURY SUITES (31-33M² / 334-356FT²)
These four suites have an indoor seating area with a sofa bed available to accommodate a child. There is a private balcony with table and chairs, and the ensuite bathroom has a monsoon shower. Other perks include early morning tea and coffee, and complimentary laundry.
DELUXE SUITES (27-28M² / 291-301FT²)
Our 14 deluxe suites are the largest entry level cabins on the river with living space as well as either a double or twin beds, depending on preference. Each has a private balcony with outdoor chairs & table, and a separate en suite bathroom with monsoon shower. Two sets of interconnecting suites are available.
SUITES (27M² / 291²)
Our two suites with 27 sqm of living space have either double or twin beds, depending on your preference. Both suites have a separate en suite bathroom with monsoon shower, basin and separate toilet. The suites have individually controlled air conditioning and have open balconies.
KANSI PANORAMA LOUNGE & SUN DECK
Picture windows with uninterrupted river views in widescreen make this the perfect place to pause for a decadent afternoon tea or a dragon fruit smoothie. Sign up for lectures or demonstrations and you’ll be enlightened in pure, air-conditioned comfort. The lounge leads directly out to the sundeck where you can take a dip in the plunge pool or enjoy a sunrise meditation session.
MINDOON AL FRESCO
Fresh air and fine food await – from just- squeezed juices and house-baked pastries at the Continental breakfast buffet to a menu of local and international favourites. Lunchtime brings an irresistible salad buffet and a spread of desserts as well as à la carte options.
An intimate and cultured setting that’s not only a destination for its literature, and a great place to socialise with new friends, it can be privately reserved for dinners à deux or other special occasions
Terms and Conditions
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.
- 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.
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.
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. A 20% deposit of your total booking value with The Sanctuary Ananda is required upon confirmation and is non-refundable.
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.
Please note that the remitting party must cover their own bank charges.
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
- 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 The Sanctuary Ananda River Cruise Ships:
No OF DAYS’ NOTICE PRIOR TO CRUISE COMMENCEMENT – CANCELLATION CHARGE (per person)
- 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 The Sanctuary Ananda River Cruise Myanmar receiving a minimum number of bookings to operate the tour and ensure an enjoyable group atmosphere.
For cruise departures where occupancy is less than 5 cabins the company reserve the right to cancel the departure giving all passengers with confirmed bookings 30 days prior notice of this intention. An alternative departure date will be offered subject to availability. If this alternative date is not acceptable to the passenger any down payments made for the cancelled cruise will be refunded. In the event that a passenger has cancelled and paid cancellation fees and the Company subsequently cancel that departure then any cancellation fees (and down payment) will be refunded in full on the request of the passenger. The company reserves the right to change a cabin allocated without notice and in the event that a passenger is downgraded to a cheaper cabin then the difference in cost between the cabins will be refunded to the passenger or the passenger’s agents.
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 The Sanctuary Ananda River Cruise.
You hereby acknowledge and agree that The Sanctuary Ananda River Cruise is not liable for any delay or any failure by The Sanctuary Ananda 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, The Sanctuary Ananda 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.
In these circumstances, The Sanctuary Ananda will offer all affected bookings an alternative departure date and itinerary. If no suitable alternative can be offered, a credit for future cruise will be provided for the guests to make a new booking at a later date. In the event of a cruise being cancelled as a result of the above force majeure situations following the commencement of that cruise period then The Sanctuary Ananda is under no obligation to provide any such offer.
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