Golden Myanmar & the Alluring Irrawaddy – Northbound 2019

14 Day River Cruise Yangon to Yangon

2019 Information. Switch to 2018 »

Explore the best of Myanmar, known as “The Golden Land,” on this captivating river cruise along the Irrawaddy River. In Yangon, formerly Rangoon, you’ll see the magnificent, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda—considered the oldest pagoda in the world. Bagan, a medieval capital of Myanmar, with thousands of historical structures still standing, is one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites. Visit one of the many spiritual temples at sunrise and a local market selling the unique handicrafts of the region. You’ll be immersed in the unique energy of the people on a walking tour through the village of Shwe Pyi Thar as you interact with locals and see the daily work done at a farmer’s home. In Sagaing, see the stunning Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its egg-shaped dome and watch a local silversmith at work. Continue this river cruise through traditional lands to the impressive city of Mandalay, where you’ll visit the revered shrine of Mahamuni Pagoda with its impressive gold-leaf Buddha and enjoy a traditional dance by local performers. Your river cruise will conclude in dramatic fashion as you sail along the untouched upper Irrawaddy. Visit remote villages for fascinating interactions including visits with schoolchildren, nuns, monks, and pottery makers. You’ll also pass through the second defile with its magnificent cliffs.

This river cruise vacation along the Irrawaddy offers everything from peaceful sailing and alluring scenery to grand, majestic temples and shrines and plenty of interaction with locals to learn and feel a part of the ancient culture. More than just a river cruise—an unforgettable adventure!

Dates & Prices Get A Quote Book Online

Cruise at-a-Glance

Day 1 Yangon:Welcome to Myanmar
Day 2 Yangon:Walking tour of the city’s landmarks; visit a local tea shop, Chaukhtatgyi, and Shwedagon Pagoda
Day 3 Yangon–Bagan (Embarkation):Fly to Bagan; onboard welcome reception; traditional puppet show
Day 4 Bagan:Watch sunrise from temple; sightseeing including a local market, Shwezigon Pagoda, lacquer workshop, Ananda Temple, Dhammayangyi Temple, and Sulamani Temple; ox cart ride to temple for sunset
Day 5 Shwe Pyi Thar:Walking tour through this typical river village to visit a farmer’s home and see palm candy being made
Day 6 Sagaing–Amarapura:Visit Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, a silversmith workshop, and Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda in Sagaing; visit U Bein Bridge and take a sampan ride at sunset in Amarapura
Day 7 Mandalay:Sightseeing including Mahamuni and Kuthodaw Pagodas, and Shwenandaw Monastery; visit tapestry, woodcarving, and gold-leaf workshops; traditional dance performance
Day 8 Kyauk Myaung:Walking tour through a pottery-making village
Day 9 Kya Hnyat:Visit a monastery and present alms to the monks and see their lunch ritual
Day 10 Tigyang:Walking tour through village and walk to hilltop pagoda
Day 11 Katha:Visit to local market; excursion to a local ethnic minority village
Day 12 Kyun Daw–Second Defile–Bhamo:Visit a fisherman’s home, local school, and nunnery in Kyun Daw; cruise through the dramatic Second Defile
Day 13 Bhamo (Disembarkation)–Yangon:Explore Bhamo by trishaw and on foot; fly to Yangon
Day 14 Yangon:End of vacation

Always Included

You've always forged your own path...with your own distinct perspective of looking at the world. Avalon Waterways presents a river cruise experience with your unique style in mind—offering expansive views, wider perspectives, and more cruising. That's why we've designed an intimate cruise experience, with a maximum of 36 guests, that's just a bit different. Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships.

Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board. See the Ship Amenities Section below for more information about the amenities in our fleet’s unique ships.

Throughout the Ship
Avalon Choice®

Throughout the Ship:

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi in the lounges (when signal available)
  • Panoramic windows throughout
  • Locally inspired design & décor
  • Friendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise Director
  • Air-conditioned Panorama Lounge
  • Covered open-air observation lounge
  • Bar serving premium spirits, wine & complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and local
  • beer/spirits throughout the day


  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium mattress covers
  • Wall-to-wall, 14-foot-wide panoramic window that opens to transform the living space into a large Open-Air BalconySM
  • Comfortable sitting area with couch & chair
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with rain shower head
  • Premium L’Occitane bath products
  • Spacious closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Minibar with complimentary local beer, soft drinks & bottled water
  • In-room safe
  • Individual climate control
  • And, much more

Avalon Choice®:

Avalon has designed included excursions and onboard activities for a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the included tours, adventures, and events that interest you most, so you can enjoy your cruise your way.

  • Classic: Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.
  • Discovery: We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities designed to speak to your interests—from cooking classes to blessing ceremonies—making it easy to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.
  • Active: Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go—with guided walking through scenic locales.


  • Spacious, open-seating dining room
  • Delectable regional & Western cuisine with all onboard meals
  • Seasonal recipes featuring the freshest local ingredients
  • Vegetarian options available with all meals
  • Daily early-riser coffee & tea
  • Full breakfast buffet with live cooking station
  • Lunch buffet with live cooking station showcasing local specialties served by our Head Chef
  • Four-course à la carte dinners with choice of salads, soups, entrées, dessert or cheese
  • Complimentary wine, local beer/spirits, soft drinks, coffee & tea at lunch & dinner

Day-By-Day Itinerary

(B) = Breakfast   (L) = Lunch   (D) = Dinner

Day 1


Welcome to Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, the country’s largest city and former capital. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Day 2

(B, L, D)


Historic Landmarks, Hot Tea, and Harmonious Living

A Guided Walk introduces you to the city’s famous and historic landmarks, including old colonial buildings and Sule Pagoda, built during the time of Buddha. Along the way, stop for a cup of tea or coffee with the locals. Next, stop at Chaukhtatgyi to see the massive Reclining Buddha measuring 213 feet. Later in the day, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, a national symbol. Here, an enchanting scene unfolds as the sun sets on the golden stupa, and locals come to pay their respects.

Tonight, dine in one of Yangon’s best restaurants for a delicious welcome dinner.

Day 3

(B, D)


Beautiful Bagan and Your Suite Ship® Beckon

Late in the morning, fly to Bagan. Upon arrival, transfer to the port for embarkation. A welcome reception starts your evening.

After dinner, a traditional Puppet Show will be presented in one of the lounges.


Day 4

(B, L, D)


Temples and Shrines—From Sunrise to Sunset

Today, explore Bagan, capital of Myanmar from the 9th to the 13th centuries. During this time over 13,000 temples, monasteries, and pagodas were built in the plains surrounding the city—an area of about 40 square miles. Many of these structures have been lost over time, but around 2,300 still stand today, making this one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites.

Early risers can make an Escorted Visit to one of the temples with a Local Guide to witness a glorious sunrise.

Start your Morning Excursion at a local market selling handicrafts, fabrics, and longyis. Then, stop at Shwezigon Pagoda, one of the country’s most important shrines. Lastly, visit a lacquer workshop to learn more about this ancient craft.

After lunch, your Afternoon Sightseeing centers on the Bagan archaeological zone. Highlights include Ananda, considered by many to be the most beautiful temple, and Dhammayangyi, the best preserved monument left standing. Also, stop to see the exquisite and well-preserved fresco paintings at Sulamani.

End the day with a traditional Ox-Cart Ride to a temple, where you can ascend to the top as the sun sets.


Day 5

(B, L, D)


Rural Life in Myanmar Comes to Life

This morning, partake in a Walking Tour through Shwe Pyi Thar, a typical village along the Irrawaddy. Here, visit a farmer’s home to learn more about daily life and see the locals making palm candy—a sweet and smoky confection—from the sap of the toddy palm.

Enjoy time onboard your ship this afternoon. Join your Local Guide for a presentation on the Burmese language.


Day 6

(B, L, D)


Relaxation and Revelations

Relax this morning and take in the sights from one of the ship’s lounges or from your suite.

Take a Guided Excursion this afternoon to visit the important religious site of Sagaing with countless pagodas dotting the surrounding hillsides. Stop to see Kaunghmudaw Pagoda with its unique golden egg-shaped dome and a silversmith workshop. Lastly, explore Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda for stunning views across the Irrawaddy to Mandalay. Then, travel to nearby Amarapura, former capital of Myanmar. Your visit focuses on the famous U Bein Bridge, a ¾-mile-long bridge built in 1783. Take a sampan ride on the lake for unforgettable views of the sunset behind the iconic bridge.


Day 7

(B, L, D)


The Golden Tapestries of Mandalay

In the morning, visit Local Workshops to see skilled artisans at work making tapestries, woodcarvings, and gold-leaf. Also visit Mahamuni Pagoda to see its impressive gold-leaf Buddha—reported to be covered in six inches of gold leaf from continuous application.

This afternoon, take a Guided Tour of Kuthodaw Pagoda and Shwenandaw Monastery, the only WWII bombing remnants of former King Mindon’s “Golden City” and extravagant teak palace.

This evening, enjoy a traditional Dance Performance featuring local song and dance.


Day 8

(B, L, D)


Glazed and Amazed

Join your Local Guide for a longyi and thanaka presentation this morning.

This afternoon, join a Guided Walk through the captivating pottery-making village of Kyauk Myaung to learn more about and see the pottery-making process. Most interesting is the eye-catching 50-gallon variety, often referred to as Martaban or Ali Baba jars. These pots could transport large quantities of goods and have played an important part of maritime trade throughout Asia for centuries.


Day 9

(B, L, D)


Giving Alms and Blessings in Return

Interact with the monks at a Monastery Visit in Kya Hnyat. This is a truly memorable experience as you present alms to the monks and witness their lunch ritual.

Join your Local Guide this afternoon and learn more about the popular Burmese tea leaf and ginger salad.


Day 10

(B, L, D)


Buddha with a View

Explore the village of Tigyang on a Walking Tour through its narrow lanes and visit the Reclining Buddha on a hilltop with stunning views, OR:

Take the normal Walking Tour and add a steep climb to reach the Reclining Buddha.


Day 11

(B, L, D)


Burmese Days & Minority Culture

Start your Guided Sightseeing at the local wet market, where you will see locals buying and selling fish, meat, produce, and more. Next, learn more about life during British rule at the former British Club, featured in George Orwell’s novel, “Burmese Days.” Lastly, meet with the Jingpo, one of over 100 ethnic minority groups in Myanmar. Here, you will learn about their culture, traditional dress, and unique method of making rice wine.

As you sail north this afternoon, with some luck, you may catch a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy dolphin, with its distinctive round forehead.


Day 12

(B, L, D)


Engaging Local Encounters

Explore the island village of Kyun Daw, where over 7,000 stupas surround the monastery. Your Guided Excursion includes a visit to a fisherman’s home and a school where you will interact with the children. You will also visit a nunnery to present the nuns with food purchased the day before at the market in Katha. Unlike monks, they have to collect and cook their own food.

This afternoon, spend time at leisure as you sail through the dramatic Second Defile with its magnificent cliffs reaching down the narrow channel.

Continue to Bhamo, the northernmost point ships can navigate the Irrawaddy.


Day 13



Farewell to the Irrawaddy

After breakfast, disembark the ship and explore Bhamo by local trishaw and by foot. Afterward, transfer to the airport for your flight to Yangon. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Day 14



Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Ship Details



One of our remarkable Suite Ships®, the all-suite Avalon Myanmar offers an unrivaled small-ship river cruise experience ensuring you engage the locals, experience their culture, and revel in the unique sights along the majestic Irrawaddy. The pioneering design allows Avalon to cruise the spectacular, and untouched Upper Irrawaddy on each departure, a feat not possible on any other ship.

The ship has been meticulously crafted to offer all the modern features you expect, yet it reflects the character, symbols, and traditions of Myanmar. While the maximum number of guests on the ship may be small, the ship isn't. Built as long and wide as other ships that carry twice as many guests, the public spaces never feel congested. From the open-air observation lounge to the air-conditioned Panorama Lounge, there is plenty of seating and places to relax. Plus, our lounges are located at the front of the ship, not the back, so no matter where you sit, you'll always have a great view.

Our crew embodies the spirt of you first, no matter what. From the reception staff and bartender to wait staff and room attendant, we always deliver exquisite service that's comfortable and friendly, never stuffy! With Avalon, our ship becomes your home away from home.

Included Amenities

  • Air-conditioned Panorama Lounge
  • Spacious, open-seating dining room
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access in the lounges (where signal is available)
  • Non-smoking interior and staterooms
  • Fitness Room
  • Open-air observation lounge with shade system & premium lounge chairs
  • Bar serving premium spirits, wine & complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and local beer/spirits throughout the day
  • Spa treatment rooms
  • Library and games

Staterooms & Suites

Category A & B - 245 sq. ft.
  • Comfort Collection BedsSM, featuring premium mattress covers
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • 14' Wall-to-Wall Panoramic window measuring that opens to create a large Open-Air Balcony®
  • Spacious closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • In-room safe
  • Egyptian super-combed cotton linens, blankets & European-style duvets
  • Choice of bed configuration (two twins or one king)
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with glass door, hairdryer, and premium bath amenities
  • Easy under-bed luggage storage
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror & comfortable chair
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • In-house telephone




Sule Shangri-La, Yangon

Sule Shangri-La, Yangon 223 Sule Pagoda Road, Yangon,  Myanmar - Burma 223 Sule Pagoda Road
Yangon, Myanmar - Burma

Free WifiFree Wifi


Sule Shangri-La Yangon is centrally located in Yangon. The spacious rooms offer an elegant retreat from the bustling city with a comfortable sitting area and complimentary Wi-Fi access. The hotel also features a fitness center, spa, and outdoor pool. There are two onsite restaurants and if you want a drink stop by the old world Gallery Bar.

Hotel Amenities

Hot Tub
Free WiFi
Fitness Room
Concierge desk
Spa Services
Beauty Salon
Ice Machine
Restaurant On-Site
Gift Shop
Luggage Storage
Currency Exchange
Business Center
Dry Cleaning
Room Amenities

Room Service
Air Conditioning
Climate Control
Pay Movies
Hair Dryer
Internet Access
Iron/Ironing Board
In-Room Safe
Coffee Maker
Complimentary Toiletries
Smoking Rooms
Wake-Up Calls
Complimentary Newspaper
Disabled Access / Rooms
Non-smoking Rooms
Alarm Clock

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)

No Excursions are available at this time.

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