12-Day Belmond Orcaella Cruise (Gorges of the Far North from Mandalay) – Group Discovery

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Tour type

Tour Level: Relaxed / Easy

Tour Comfort: Luxury

Tour Period: 12 Days

tour highlights

  • 11 Nights river cruise on the Ayearwaddy River to the Gorges in the Kachin State
  • Relaxing atmosphere on luxury Orcaella Cruise
  • Follow the trails of George Orwell in Katha
  • Visit New Nyein to see traditional clay-pot making
  • Boat transfer and visit to Shwe Paw Island
  • Enjoy a sunset tour of the ancient city of Bagan
  • Tour to Mount Popa and its summit monastery

tour details

This luxury cruise tour on the upper Irrawaddy River is one of the highlights Myanmar offers. Sailing up to Bhamo is a great experience and the many stops in remote villages will give you time to discover more of the rural population. You end the tour in Bagan with its hundreds of stupas and pagodas. This luxury and leisurely cruise will bring you a wonderful experience discovering busy Mandalay, magic Bagan followed by Salay, Magwe and Prome. Your tour will include a visit to one of the latest addition to the Unesco World Heritage Sites, Sri Ksetra.

Join-in tour with departures as per schedule.

Board Belmond Orcaella in Mandalay and cruise on the Ayeyarwady River towards northern Myanmar. A stop at Mingun includes a visit to the world's largest brick-built pagoda and the biggest uncracked bell. This evening you will get to know fellow travellers at the welcome cocktail and dinner Party.
Disembark at Nwe Nyein for a guided walking tour and a chance to meet artisans sculpting traditional clay pots. Afternoon tea is served in the Lounge Bar. Lecture "Myanmar ways of life" by your guide at the Lounge Bar.
Dinner is served in the Restaurant.
Release of Shan Balloons at the Observation Deck (weather permitting).
Spend the morning strolling around the delightful village of Kyan Hnyat. Children greet you on their way to school and the market begins bustle with activity.
As Belmond Orcaella continues its voyage, you can admire the rural villages dotted along the shore.
Visit Katha by trishaw and take in the market made famous by George Orwell in Burmese Days. Return on board and set sail. Lunch buffet is served in the Restaurant. Afternoon tea is served in the Lounge Bar where you can also enjoy a lecture.
This evening dinner is served in the Restaurant, followed by entertainment from Shan Dancers on the Observation Deck.
Arrival at Shwe Paw Kyun. Transfer by boat to the pretty Shwe Paw Island and walk among the stilt houses of the Kachin fishermen. Visit the island monastery, and perhaps call into the village school.
Return on board and set sail for Bhamo. We will be entering the dramatic, narrow 2nd defile around 10:00 and passing through should take about two hours. Enjoy the scenery from the Observation Deck. Buffet lunch is served in the Restaurant
Transfer to shore by fast boat for a walking tour of the lively town of Bhamo, the major northern trading post between China and Myanmar.
Arrive at Weima village and enjoy a visit to an elephant camp. Continue with a visit to the local school to donate school stationary. Return on board. Spend the afternoon on board and enjoy afternoon tea in the Lounge.
In the early morning, board a train to the forest station of Naba and journey into the thick Kachin jungle and teak forest. Myanmar traditional dress "longyi" and thanakha (local make up) demonstration on the Observation Deck. Afternoon tea is served in the Lounge Bar. Join for a longyi cocktail party.
Alight at Ma Lae Village for a walking tour of the village and a visit to the monastery. Witness a traditional Noviciation Ceremony, regarded as a very important moment for young Burmese boys. After dinner enthusiastic young actors from Mandalay's School of Performing Arts will enact scenes from the Yamayana play on the Observation Deck. This is a Hindu Creation Epic that is widely performed across all of South-East Asia and features characters from Bali, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Mandalay comes into view in the early morning. Disembark for a tour of Myanmar's second city, including lunch at a local restaurant. A special dinner will be served on the sandbank this evening.
Spend the day gazing at the passing scenery as the ship continues towards Bagan. This evening take in the unforgettable sunset over the Bagan plain and enjoy a puppet show by traditional Bagan artists.
Visit the ancient sites in and around Bagan with an expert guide. In the afternoon you may choose to join a tour of Mount Popa-the legendary home of animist spirits known as Nats-with its impressive summit monastery. Or take a horse-drawn cart or a bicycle to explore on your own. Celebrate your final evening on board at this evening's cocktail party, and say goodbye to your new friends during the Farewell Dinner.
Disembark early morning for your return flight to Yangon and onward travel.


Our tour prices are included of:

  • All sightseeing tour and transfer services arranged by Belmond Orcaella cruise
  • Accommodation in twin/sharing cabin (or single cabin)
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner)
  • All entrance fees for the places as mentioned in the program
  • Tours with English-speaking on board guide (all tours are join-in)
  • Service charges, room tax and baggage handling
  • Domestic airfare from Yangon to Mandalay and Bagan to Yangon


Not included are:

  • Myanmar visa fee
  • Surcharges for throughout guides (English and other languages)
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Laundry Service
  • Telephone calls and Fax charges
  • Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation in the event of accident or illness)


Important Notes:

  • All timings shown on this website are for your guidance only. Confirmed timings will be supplied with your travel documents.

  • The rivers of Myanmar vary from season to season, with as much as a 30 foot variance in water level. During the months of January through June, the water levels of the Ayeyarwady may drop for a period of a few weeks to a few months, creating a narrower channel for navigation. During the months of July through October, high water levels may affect the Chindwin River. To accommodate for changes in water levels, Belmond Orcaella may operate on an adjusted itinerary during these periods and our mooring locations may be amended.
Tour code: BORC11GFN

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