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Treasures of Golden Myanmar

A river cruise along the Irrawaddy aboard the luxurious RV Irrawaddy Explorer

  • 16 January 2021
  • 21 February 2021
  • History and Culture
  • U-Bein Bridge, Amarapura

Myanmar is without doubt one of the most endlessly fascinating and most beautiful lands on the planet. The mighty Irrawaddy River which flows from the head to the toe of the country offers the seasoned traveller one of the greatest travel experiences possible. Visually the country is unique: in no other land is the eye so constantly delighted by scenes of casual, almost unintended beauty and there is no better way to enjoy this picture than to travel by river along the Irrawaddy River. From the anonymous vantage point of the deck or your cabin, you can absorb the essence of the country: a background of soft browns, wooden ploughs following patient oxen across broad fields, the dazzling green paddies, noble tamarind trees and above all white and golden pagodas strewn across the hills and fields like a cascade of jewels.

Our cruise aboard the luxurious Irrawaddy Explorer which features just 28 suites, combines scenic interest with a study of local life and culture. Simply witnessing the everyday life, rituals and routines of the people and encountering their great charm and natural warmth adds a special touch to this wonderful trip. During our exploration we will visit bustling Yangon, observe daily life of the riverbanks and discover the sheer beauty of the 2000 standing monuments at Bagan. We will also explore local markets and picturesque villages and travel to Amarapura to visit the iconic U-Bein Bridge. It is true to say that Myanmar is still a country of a different age. Here, time moves at a different speed. It is a country of quiet eccentricity and gentle charm, but a country on the threshold of great change so now is the time to see the many wonders of this Golden Land.

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  


Irrawaddy Explorer

Irrawaddy Explorer

For this exploration of Myanmar we have chartered the all-suite, luxurious river vessel the RV Irrawaddy Explorer. Launched in September 2014, the vessel features 28 spacious suites and is the perfect vessel for our exploration. The friendly onboard staff of 33 will provide you with excellent service and do much to contribute to your enjoyment throughout your journey and the atmosphere on board will be relaxed and informal.

View vessel details

Itinerary

  • Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon
  • Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung Monastery

Day 1 London Heathrow to Yangon, Myanmar.

Fly by scheduled indirect flight to Yangon.

Day 2 Yangon.

Arrive and transfer to the Sule Shangri-La Hotel for a two night stay. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. This evening join your fellow travellers for dinner at the hotel. (D)

Day 3 Yangon.

After breakfast, enjoy a morning walking tour of Yangon. We explore the architectural heritage and view buildings dating back to the 19th century including the Strand Road, post office and Gandhi Hall. Our tour continues with a visit to the impressive 65 metre long reclining Buddha at Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda. Afterwards, we enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before returning back to the hotel for some time to rest. In the late afternoon we will enjoy a sunset viewing of the Shwedagon Pagoda, an inspiring golden stupa, one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites of Myanmar. Dinner will be under your own arrangements this evening. (B, L)

Day 4 Yangon to Prome.

Check out early this morning and enjoy the scenic drive from Yangon to Prome (approximately 6-hours drive). Once controlled by the Mon tribe during the Bagan Era, and then conquered by the Burmese King Alaungpaya in 1754, Prome boomed, along with The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company in the 1890’s, and it is now an important trading post. It is here we embark our ship the RV Irrawaddy Explorer. Enjoy lunch on board and this afternoon we drive to Thayekhittaya (also known as Sri Ksetra, the “Fabulous City” in the Pali language), an ancient Pyu city that ruled in this area between the 5th and 9th century. We visit the well-documented Sri Ksetra Museum which exhibits maps and artefacts including Hindu deities and Buddha images from the 6th century. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner on board with your fellow travellers this evening. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Thayet Myo.

Enjoy a relaxing morning sailing upstream. After lunch on board we will ride on tuk tuks to explore the town of Thayet Myo which was once the border town between the Royal Burmese North and the British Colonial South. We stop at the oldest golf course of Myanmar and then continue on to visit the local market passing colonial homes constructed during the British colonisation of Burma. Return to the ship and enjoy an afternoon of scenic cruising. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Magwe.

Spend a leisurely morning on board as we sail towards Magwe. This afternoon we venture out into the district capital city of Magwe aboard Trishaws (three wheeled bicycles where one person sits alongside the driver). A short walk takes us to the local market and after some time to explore we will re-board the trishaws for a ride through the city to visit Mya Tha Lun pagoda. Mya Tha Lun is a beautifully gilded stupa set atop Naguttama Hill which offers a wonderful view of the river and surrounding area. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Salay.

This morning we will sail towards Salay. After lunch we take a walk through Salay, a small town founded in the 13th century with Bagan-era shrines, beautiful 19th century teak monasteries and preserved British colonial buildings. We explore the Salay House, a restored 1906 colonial trading company warehouse on the bank of the Irrawaddy. Our walk takes us along the town’s main Strand Street towards the local market before turning away from the river to visit the beautiful Yoke Soun Kyaung Taw Gyi wooden monastery. This ornately carved teak monastery was designed as a copy of the Crown Prince House of Mandalay and is now a museum boasting remarkable wood carvings and artefacts. We pass some interesting Bagan-era monuments on our way to visit Mann Paya, a pagoda with a beautiful lacquerware Buddha, before returning to our ship with a stroll past some of Salay’s many beautiful colonial buildings. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Bagan.

Bagan is the former Royal historical capital, and with more than 3000 Buddhist shrines, it is a major archaeological centre in South East Asia. This morning we visit some of the most important temples and pagodas listed around Bagan. Afterwards, we take a short ride through the temples on ceremonial oxcarts. Following lunch on board, we visit a workshop to see the ancient technique of Burmese lacquerware making. We continue on to visit the Gubyaukgyi Temple and the gilded Myazedi Stupa. Our day will end at the Bagan Viewing Hill where we have the opportunity to view the beautiful sunset over the pagodas and stupas of Bagan. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Bagan & Hnaw Gone River Village.

Today we explore one of Bagan’s largest markets, selling fresh produce, spices, wood carvings, longyis and rattan products. After our walk through the market we continue on to the gilded Shwezigon Pagoda. This important religious site dates to the reign of King Anawrahta, founder of the Bagan Empire. Alternatively, explore Bagan at your own leisure or enjoy a splendid optional excursion – an early morning hot air balloon flight. This afternoon we sail to Hnaw Gone village for a leisurely walk through a typical river village. (B, L, D)

Day 10 Yandabo.

This morning we arrive at Yandabo, a picturesque village famous for its pottery and for being the place where the peace treaty of the First Anglo-Burmese war was signed on 24 February 1826. As we take a leisurely walk through the village, we can witness the making and firing of the Yandabo pottery in family homes and workshops. (B, L, D)

Day 11 Ava & Amarapura.

This morning we explore Ava by horsecart visiting the beautiful 200 year old teak Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, Nanmyin watchtower at 27-metres high and the Yadana Hsemee pagoda complex. After lunch, we drive to the penultimate Burmese royal capital (1783) of Amarapura to visit a silk workshop. Next we continue on to visit the U-Bein Bridge, believed to be the world’s longest and oldest teak wood bridge. Local sampans will take us on a leisurely cruise of the lake while admiring the sunset over the bridge. (B, L, D)

Day 12 Mingun & Mandalay.

After breakfast we visit the small town of Mingun to see the famous King Bodawpaya’s monument, an uncompleted stupa. We continue our walk to the Mingun Bell, which was the heaviest working bell in the world until 2000. There will be some time at leisure to explore the small local market on the way back to the ship. After lunch, we visit Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung Monastery, the only original monastery left from the royal era. We then proceed to a workshop that produces the gold leaf commonly used to adorn Buddha images at temples throughout Myanmar, and the Mahamuni Pagoda, to see how the gold leaf is used. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travellers. (B, L, D)

Day 13 Mandalay.

Disembark after breakfast and enjoy a guided tour of Mandalay, the former Royal capital of Burma. Our tour will include Mandalay Hill where spiraling staircases lead to sweeping views of the city and its temples. Nearby, we will visit Kuthodaw Paya, which contains the world’s biggest book. After lunch in a local restaurant we transfer to the Mercure Mandalay Hill hotel for an overnight stay. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure with dinner under your own arrangements. (B, L)

Day 14 Mandalay to London Heathrow.

After breakfast, check out and transfer to the airport for the scheduled indirect flight to London. (B)

Day 15 London Heathrow.

Arrive this morning.

  • U-Bein Bridge, Amarapura
  • Rice paddy
  • Bagan

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £500 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
16 to 30 January 2021 • 21 February to 7 March 2021
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Category 4 Maugham Suite twin with French Balcony £5595 £5095
Category 3 Orwell Suite twin with Balcony £5795 £5295
Category 2 Kipling Suite with King sized bed with Balcony £6095 £5595
Category 1 Mandalay Suite with King sized bed with Balcony £6395 £5895
Category 4 for sole use £7795 £7295
Category 3 for sole use £8095 £7595

Tour Reference Code: RCIEMYANMAR

PRICE INCLUDES: Economy class scheduled air travel • Two nights hotel accommodation in Yangon • Nine nights aboard the RV Irrawaddy Explorer • Meals as indicated (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D- Dinner) • Drinks with meals (wine is only included with dinner) • Overnight hotel accommodation in Mandalay • Cruise Director & Noble Caledonia Tour Manager • Excursions with local English speaking guides • Gratuities • Transfers • Port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, visa, optional hot air balloon ride.

  • All Decks

    Deckplan

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Irrawaddy Explorer

For this exploration of Myanmar we have chartered the all-suite, luxurious river vessel the RV Irrawaddy Explorer. Launched in September 2014, the vessel features 28 spacious suites and is the perfect vessel for our exploration. The friendly onboard staff of 33 will provide you with excellent service and do much to contribute to your enjoyment throughout your journey and the atmosphere on board will be relaxed and informal.

 
  • Irrawaddy Explorer
    Irrawaddy Explorer
  • Restaurant
    Restaurant
  • Writers Lounge
    Writers Lounge
  • Gym
    Gym
  • Sun Deck
    Sun Deck
  • Mandalay Suite
    Mandalay Suite
  • Maugham Suite
    Maugham Suite
  • Orwell Suite
    Orwell Suite
  • Maughm Suite
    Maughm Suite
  • Irrawaddy Explorer - Suite Bathroom
    Irrawaddy Explorer - Suite Bathroom
  • Kipling Suite
    Kipling Suite
  • Your Suite

    Your Suite

    The 28 suites range in size from 273 to 409 square feet and are attractively furnished and embody the grace and style of the British colonial era, incorporating modern conveniences and luxuries that rival the finest hotels of Asia. All suites feature panoramic floor to ceiling glass doors and beds can be configured as twin or double (not applicable to Mandalay Suite & Kipling Staterooms), a flat screen television with on-demand movie system, hairdryer, generous closet space and under-bed storage, individually controlled air-conditioning, in-room electronic safe and a private shower and toilet (all cabins feature showers except for the Mandalay Suite which features a shower and bathtub). Bottled water is replenished daily in the suites and there is a welcome flower arrangement and fresh fruit upon arrival. In addition, guests in the Mandalay Suites will have the added advantage of a complimentary, one-hour spa treatment and complimentary laundry.

  • Your Space

    Your Space

    The RV Irrawaddy Explorer is both elegantly furnished and spacious throughout the public areas. The Writers Lounge on the Sun Deck is a relaxing environment to watch the passing scenery, browse the library or enjoy a drink from the bar. Enjoy handcrafted cocktails, fine wines, and onboard entertainment in a relaxing environment – a fitting end to a perfect day on board your home on the Irrawaddy. The spacious observation and sun deck area features chaise lounges and comfortable, shaded, seating areas. The onboard attentive staff are always available to offer a cool beverage, whether you prefer fresh-squeezed juice as you enjoy the warm breeze watching an incredible sunrise, or a favorite cocktail while photographing a dramatic sunset. The Explorer Spa is an oasis to relax, rejuvenate and truly pamper yourself. Guests may enjoy the traditional massage of Myanmar along with oils and creams made with the ground bark of the Thanaka tree. Western spa treatments utilising all-natural products are also available while enjoying the serenity of the passing landscape. There is a small fitness centre with panoramic views of the landscape. E-mail/internet is available in all public areas of the vessel, free-of-charge for passengers that bring their own Wi-Fi-capable devices (please note that Wi-Fi will only be available in certain areas and can be very weak in remote areas.

  • Your Dining

    Your Dining

    The Restaurant seats all passengers in one sitting and is located on the Colonial Deck. Mandalay Suite With a cuisine as diverse as the region, the Culinary Director has innovatively created a menu which highlights the diverse cuisine of Myanmar, as well as Western favourites that will be reflected in sumptuous buffets and artfully prepared, multi-course dinners. Complimentary coffee, water, tea, soft drinks, local beer and free flow house wine (wine with dinner only) are also offered. The culinary team will offer an occasional shopping excursion to local markets taking every opportunity to utilize the fresh, local fruits and vegetables throughout the voyage.

     

  • Videos

    Virtual Tour of the Suites

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    Virtual Tour of Irrawaddy Explorer

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  • Ship Directory

    Ship Directory

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    Please find below further details pertaining to the vessel or click on the booklet to download.

    We are delighted you have chosen the RV Irrawaddy Explorer for your upcoming voyage along the Irrawaddy.

    The RV Irrawaddy Explorer is an all-suite, luxurious river vessel. Launched in September 2014 with 28 spacious suites she is the perfect vessel for your exploration. The friendly onboard staff will provide you with excellent service and do much to contribute to your enjoyment throughout your journey and the atmosphere on board will be relaxed and informal.

    We hope this information booklet answers any questions you may have pertaining to the vessel and wish you a pleasant voyage.

    VESSEL TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Passengers: 56
    Length: 188 feet/57.3 metres
    Width: 40 feet/12.19 metres 
    Draft: 4 feet/1.22 metres
    Registered: Myanmar
    Crew/Staff: 33
    Year built: 2014
    Language: English 
    Gross Tonnage: 1279
    Net Tonnage: 384

    AIR CONDITIONING

    All public rooms and staterooms on board are air-conditioned. Adjustable climate control allows you to regulate the temperature in your own stateroom. For maximum efficiency, keep windows and doors closed whenever the air-conditioning is switched on. ALARM An alarm will be sounded in the event of an emergency. Please follow the instructions provided on board for what to do in the event of an emergency.

    ALL ABOARD

    The daily programme specifies the ship’s arrival and departure times in the various ports visited each day. When participating in shore excursions, our tour guides will ensure that you return to the ship in time for departure. Should you decide to explore on your own, please return to the ship no later than the

    ALL ABOARD TIME

    indicated on that day’s daily programme. It is the sole responsibility of our guests to be aboard in time for the vessel’s departure.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The ship is equipped with a PA system. Announcements will be made during an emergency situation. No daily announcements are made on the ship’s speaker system, except for one announcement 15 minutes prior to a tour departing.

    BAR/BEVERAGES

    The Writers’ Lounge is open daily from 6:00am until late. Complimentary teas, coffee, selected soft drinks, and local beer are available throughout the day. Premium drinks are available for purchase. Bar service is also provided on the Sun Deck. Please check that your name and suite number are correctly indicated on all receipts when signing for purchases made.

    BEAUTY SALON

    The Explorer Spa is an oasis where relaxation and pampering is offered. Guests may enjoy Western spa treatments, or the traditional Myanmar massage, which uses oils and creams made with the ground, sandalwood-scented, bark of the Thanaka tree, said to have anti-fungal and anti-aging properties, as well as sun protection. The Explorer Spa only uses all-natural products.

    BICYCLES

    No bicycles are available on board.

    CABIN FACILITIES

    The cabin facilities include luxury cotton robes, slippers and bath amenities, a pillow menu, luxury cotton linens with duvet, premium mattresses and a convertible bed configuration (excluding the Mandalay Suite & Kipling Staterooms). The cabins also feature individual climate control, electronic safe, flat-screen LCD television with on-demand movie system, I-phone docking station with alarm clock, hairdryer and generous closet space and under-bed storage. For your comfort, bottled water is provided, and replenished daily, and upon arrival there is a welcome flower arrangement and fresh fruit. All cabins feature floor-to-ceiling French doors or a balcony.

    CABIN SIZES

    • Category 1 Mandalay Suite with king sized bed and balcony measures 409 square feet/38 square metres. • Category 2 Kipling Suite with king sized bed with balcony measures 273 square feet/25.4 square metres. • Category 3 Orwell Suite twin with balcony measures 280 square feet/26 square metres. • Category 4 Maugham Suite twin with French balcony measures 280 square Feet/26 square metres.

    COMMUNICATION

    At the time of writing, international SIM cards will not work in Myanmar. You may purchase an inexpensive Myanmar-registered SIM card whilst in Myanmar, and your Cruise Director will be able to assist you with this. However, even with a Myanmar-registered SIM card please note there may be little or no signal along the Irrawaddy River. There is a mobile phone on board which passengers may use in case of an emergency, and any phone charges will be added to your onboard account.

    CRUISE DIRECTOR

    The ship’s professional, English-speaking Cruise Director will look after your comfort and answer any questions. Please do not hesitate to contact them at any time. A Noble Caledonia Tour Manager will also accompany you on your voyage.

    CURRENCY

    The official currency on board is USD. The ship does not offer a currency exchange on board, but the Office will assist in breaking down larger bills into smaller increments. Please note that personal cheques are not accepted on board.

    DAILY PROGRAMME

    The daily programme is printed on board and delivered to your cabin every evening during dinner. It provides details of the following day’s programme, meal times and other activities, as well as interesting and helpful information about your next port of call.

    DRESS CODE

    The dress code on board the ship is casual and comfortable by day and smart casual for dinner. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes for shore excursions. At Buddhist sites visitors are required to walk barefoot, therefore we recommend wearing sandals or slip-on shoes that are easy to remove. Please also remember to keep legs and shoulders covered.

    DRINKS

    Bottled water is available in your stateroom and is replenished daily. Complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer and house wine are included with lunch and dinner on board (wine with dinner only).

    ELECTRICITY

    The electrical current in the ship’s public areas and suites is 220v/50Hz. The suites are equipped with multi-configuration plugs to accommodate most western plugs. Electrical products from the United States that are not dual voltage will require a converter plug.

    EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION

    Embarkation is approximately 16.00 hours, unless advised otherwise. The official embarkation time will be advised in your final documentation. The official disembarkation time is between 08.30-09.00 hours and your Cruise Director will provide detailed information prior to the end of the cruise. This will include departure transfer information.

    EMERGENCY AND SAFETY PROCEDURES

    A safety evacuation plan is posted on your cabin door. Please take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with your closest emergency exit and indicated routes to all Muster Stations. Please speak to your Hotel Director if you miss the safety briefing or if you are unclear of the emergency procedure.

    FIRE SAFETY

    On your cabin door is a deck plan displaying your closest (and all other) emergency exits. Emergency exits are marked in green and fire extinguishers fitted in all corridors. An alarm button is fitted in your cabin should an emergency arise. Should you detect fire or smoke please alert the reception desk immediately and await instructions from the crew.

    FIRST AID

    A number of crew are fully trained and certified to provide First Aid. Should you require further medical attention, please contact the Hotel Manager or your Cruise Director immediately. Further medical assistance can be sought from one of the hospitals along the river in the event of emergency. Please note there is no doctor on board.

    FITNESS ROOM

    The ship’s Fitness Centre is located on the Sun Deck and open from 06.00 hours until 20.00 hours daily. Please note that the use of fitness equipment is at your own risk.

    GIFT SHOP

    The gift shop is located in the Writers’ Lounge selling a selection of local handicrafts from Myanmar, shirts and hats. Kindly note that the ship is prohibited to sell or supply any prescription medications on board.

    GRATUITIES

    Gratuities have been included in your holiday price, however if you feel that certain individuals deserve a special award, you are of course free to remunerate as you please.

    HAIR DRESSER

    None on board.

    HYGIENE

    In the interest of health and hygiene we kindly ask all guests to consistently use the hand sanitiser when entering the Customs House Dining Room at all meal times. The hand sanitiser is located at the entrance to the dining room.

    HOT TUB/SWIMMING POOL

    None on board.

    HOUSEKEEPING

    Your suite will be serviced by your Housekeeping Attendant twice-daily: a morning service and an evening turndown service.

    ‘INFOTAINMENT’ SYSTEM

    Your cabin comes equipped with a flat-screen LCD television, with on-demand movie system.

    KEYS TO CABIN

    Each cabin will receive their own cabin key. Before leaving the ship we kindly ask all passengers to swap the cabin key with a shore pass which will be provided to you by the ship’s reception desk. After your return to the ship, please exchange your shore pass for your cabin key at reception.

    LAUNDRY

    A laundry bag and price list are available in your closet. Please leave the laundry bag and completed list on your bed and the Housekeeping Attendant will collect it during the morning or evening service. Generally, laundry service requires a 24-hour turnaround time. Please note that no laundry service is available on the day before disembarkation.

    LIFT

    There is no lift or chair lift on board.

    LIBRARY

    The Library is situated inside the Writers’ Lounge. The library provides a small selection of books including some by authors who were enchanted by Indochina. The ship asks that all books are returned prior to the end of the cruise. If you do not wish to keep any books that you bring with you from home, the ship will gladly adopt them for the library.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Lost property should be handed to the ship’s reception. Please ensure you have all of your belongings with you before you return home. Should you leave items on board the ship we are only able to return them at your own cost.

    MEALS

    Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style, whilst dinner is seated waiter service. Meals are served at a single open seating. The cuisine will be a choice of regional and western dishes. Complimentary tea, coffee, water, soft drinks and local beer are available throughout the day. House wine with dinner is included. At all other times, spirits and wines are not included and will be added to your on board account. Drinking water is provided at all meal times and complimentary bottles of water are provided in your suite for drinking. The ship’s water supply comes from the river after passing through a sterilisation plant. This water is suitable for washing but NOT for brushing teeth and should not be drunk. Bottled water is used for cooking, food preparation and ice on board. Guests are welcome to eat ashore but should select an establishment that looks clean and well run. We suggest that you avoid eating at roadside stalls. Off the vessel do not accept ice in drinks. Avoid ice creams, crushed sugar cane, salads and fruits unless you peel the skins yourselves. Special dietary requests such as vegetarian, low salt and low cholesterol diets should be made to Noble Caledonia (in writing) at least six weeks prior to departure. However, we recommend that you contact the Hotel Manager once on board to reconfirm such requests. We regret that the ship is unable to guarantee special requests and is not equipped to prepare or serve kosher or halal cuisine.

    MOSQUITOES/INSECT PRECAUTIONS

    Outer glass or screen doors and windows should be kept closed at all times in order to minimize the number of insects entering into your suite. While you can expect to encounter insects, many are harmless. Make sure to turn off your lights when leaving your suite, so as not to attract them. Insect repellent is recommended when going ashore.

    NEWSPAPERS

    Newspapers are not available on board.

    OPERATIONAL CHANGES

    Sometimes it is necessary to make amendments to the itinerary, both for logistical and safety reasons. The Master of the vessel shall decide if necessary. A night watchman is on duty who performs a security check every hour and thus may be away from the office for a short time.

    PAYMENTS ON BOARD

    The currency used on board is the US Dollar. At the end of the cruise you will be presented with your final bill for on board purchases. This can be settled in cash in US Dollars. Credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) are accepted. Travellers Cheques and personal cheques are not accepted.

    POST

    Please note that although the reception staff may be happy to post letters and postcards on your behalf, they may not be able to do so straightaway or indeed at the port of call at which you make such a request. Please also note that some postal services are unreliable and that any letters or postcards that you ask to be delivered on your behalf may be delayed or even lost en-route. Staff cannot be held liable for such occurrences and we would recommend that you post your own letters or postcards to be more certain of their prompt delivery.

    QUESTIONNAIRES

    A questionnaire will be provided to all passengers towards the end of their sailing. We would be grateful for you to complete and return this.

    QUIETVOX/AUDIO SYSTEM

    Noble Caledonia have arranged for guests to be provided with individual Audio Vox Systems to use on shore excursions for the duration of the cruise. This device enables you to clearly hear the guide’s commentary so you can enjoy each tour to the fullest. The audio device can be found in your stateroom in a charger unit on the desk. Please make sure to always re-insert the device once you return to your room to ensure it is fully charged for the next day.

    RECEPTION

    Reception can be contacted 24-hours a day by telephone and is manned during the early hours.

    SPA & MASSAGE

    Please ask the Hotel Director or Purser to setup an appointment for a massage or spa treatment. A menu of available spa treatments can be found in your suite. The spa is open from 08.00 hours to 20.00 hours daily.

    SAFE

    Your cabin is equipped with a small safe for your personal use. We recommend placing valuables in the safe whenever you are away from your room. Please remember to remove all items from the safe and leave the safe open before disembarking.

    SAFETY

    In accordance with international law, the Captain has full control over the ship and every person on board must obey his lawful commands. Captains have the authority to take any action deemed necessary to manage situations where guests are verbally or physically disruptive towards any other person on board or otherwise causing problems during the cruise. There is a zero tolerance policy regarding such disruptions as the safety of our guests, crew and the ship remains our first priority.

    SMOKING

    The ship enjoys a non-smoking environment in all public areas and suites, including balconies. Smoking is only allowed on the aft section of the Sun Deck, behind the bar. When smoking on the Sun Deck, please use the ashtrays provided to discard the cigarette butts and do not throw them overboard. Every suite and public area on board is equipped with an automatic heat and smoke detector.

    SUN DECK

    Located on the Sun Deck are the Writer’s Lounge, Spa and Fitness Centre and the Observation Deck with chairs, loungers and sun beds. The Sun Deck area may be closed in the evenings and/or overnight to ensure your safety. Please also note that the Sun Deck and its steps may become slippery if the weather is cool or dew forms.

    TELEPHONE

    To make an internal call please dial the corresponding cabin number.

    TOILETRIES

    Spa quality bath amenities are supplied in all cabins.

    VISITORS

    Visitors are not permitted aboard the vessel without the prior consent of the ship’s senior staff. Please provide as much notice as possible to the senior staff so that the necessary arrangements can be made. The ship’s operator reserves the right to deny boarding to any visitors.

    WATER

    Please do not drink the tap water while on board or ashore. The ship’s water supply comes from the river after passing through a sterilization process. This water is sufficient for bathing, but should not be consumed. Complimentary water is provided for consumption, and additional bottled water will be made available free of charge on excursions. To save water and reduce detergent use, the ship will only change towels daily if they are placed on the bathroom floor.

    WI-FI

    E-mail/internet is available in all public areas of the vessel, free-ofcharge, for passengers that bring their own Wi-Fi-capable devices. However, please note that Wi-Fi will only be available in certain areas and that the signal may be particularly weak in remote areas.

    PLEASE NOTE: 

    The above information is accurate and correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Noble Caledonia accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions and none of the facilities or features of the vessel described herein which are not specifically described in our advertisements and on your holiday invoice as being included in your holiday price will be deemed to be included in your holiday package. If you would like further information about the vessel or about any of your holiday arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    V.2 Aug 2017

  • Deck plans
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  • Your Suite

    Your Suite

    The 28 suites range in size from 273 to 409 square feet and are attractively furnished and embody the grace and style of the British colonial era, incorporating modern conveniences and luxuries that rival the finest hotels of Asia. All suites feature panoramic floor to ceiling glass doors and beds can be configured as twin or double (not applicable to Mandalay Suite & Kipling Staterooms), a flat screen television with on-demand movie system, hairdryer, generous closet space and under-bed storage, individually controlled air-conditioning, in-room electronic safe and a private shower and toilet (all cabins feature showers except for the Mandalay Suite which features a shower and bathtub). Bottled water is replenished daily in the suites and there is a welcome flower arrangement and fresh fruit upon arrival. In addition, guests in the Mandalay Suites will have the added advantage of a complimentary, one-hour spa treatment and complimentary laundry.

  • Your Space

    Your Space

    The RV Irrawaddy Explorer is both elegantly furnished and spacious throughout the public areas. The Writers Lounge on the Sun Deck is a relaxing environment to watch the passing scenery, browse the library or enjoy a drink from the bar. Enjoy handcrafted cocktails, fine wines, and onboard entertainment in a relaxing environment – a fitting end to a perfect day on board your home on the Irrawaddy. The spacious observation and sun deck area features chaise lounges and comfortable, shaded, seating areas. The onboard attentive staff are always available to offer a cool beverage, whether you prefer fresh-squeezed juice as you enjoy the warm breeze watching an incredible sunrise, or a favorite cocktail while photographing a dramatic sunset. The Explorer Spa is an oasis to relax, rejuvenate and truly pamper yourself. Guests may enjoy the traditional massage of Myanmar along with oils and creams made with the ground bark of the Thanaka tree. Western spa treatments utilising all-natural products are also available while enjoying the serenity of the passing landscape. There is a small fitness centre with panoramic views of the landscape. E-mail/internet is available in all public areas of the vessel, free-of-charge for passengers that bring their own Wi-Fi-capable devices (please note that Wi-Fi will only be available in certain areas and can be very weak in remote areas.

  • Your Dining

    Your Dining

    The Restaurant seats all passengers in one sitting and is located on the Colonial Deck. Mandalay Suite With a cuisine as diverse as the region, the Culinary Director has innovatively created a menu which highlights the diverse cuisine of Myanmar, as well as Western favourites that will be reflected in sumptuous buffets and artfully prepared, multi-course dinners. Complimentary coffee, water, tea, soft drinks, local beer and free flow house wine (wine with dinner only) are also offered. The culinary team will offer an occasional shopping excursion to local markets taking every opportunity to utilize the fresh, local fruits and vegetables throughout the voyage.

     

  • Videos

    Virtual Tour of the Suites

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    Virtual Tour of Irrawaddy Explorer

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  • Ship Directory

    Ship Directory

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    Please find below further details pertaining to the vessel or click on the booklet to download.

    We are delighted you have chosen the RV Irrawaddy Explorer for your upcoming voyage along the Irrawaddy.

    The RV Irrawaddy Explorer is an all-suite, luxurious river vessel. Launched in September 2014 with 28 spacious suites she is the perfect vessel for your exploration. The friendly onboard staff will provide you with excellent service and do much to contribute to your enjoyment throughout your journey and the atmosphere on board will be relaxed and informal.

    We hope this information booklet answers any questions you may have pertaining to the vessel and wish you a pleasant voyage.

    VESSEL TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Passengers: 56
    Length: 188 feet/57.3 metres
    Width: 40 feet/12.19 metres 
    Draft: 4 feet/1.22 metres
    Registered: Myanmar
    Crew/Staff: 33
    Year built: 2014
    Language: English 
    Gross Tonnage: 1279
    Net Tonnage: 384

    AIR CONDITIONING

    All public rooms and staterooms on board are air-conditioned. Adjustable climate control allows you to regulate the temperature in your own stateroom. For maximum efficiency, keep windows and doors closed whenever the air-conditioning is switched on. ALARM An alarm will be sounded in the event of an emergency. Please follow the instructions provided on board for what to do in the event of an emergency.

    ALL ABOARD

    The daily programme specifies the ship’s arrival and departure times in the various ports visited each day. When participating in shore excursions, our tour guides will ensure that you return to the ship in time for departure. Should you decide to explore on your own, please return to the ship no later than the

    ALL ABOARD TIME

    indicated on that day’s daily programme. It is the sole responsibility of our guests to be aboard in time for the vessel’s departure.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The ship is equipped with a PA system. Announcements will be made during an emergency situation. No daily announcements are made on the ship’s speaker system, except for one announcement 15 minutes prior to a tour departing.

    BAR/BEVERAGES

    The Writers’ Lounge is open daily from 6:00am until late. Complimentary teas, coffee, selected soft drinks, and local beer are available throughout the day. Premium drinks are available for purchase. Bar service is also provided on the Sun Deck. Please check that your name and suite number are correctly indicated on all receipts when signing for purchases made.

    BEAUTY SALON

    The Explorer Spa is an oasis where relaxation and pampering is offered. Guests may enjoy Western spa treatments, or the traditional Myanmar massage, which uses oils and creams made with the ground, sandalwood-scented, bark of the Thanaka tree, said to have anti-fungal and anti-aging properties, as well as sun protection. The Explorer Spa only uses all-natural products.

    BICYCLES

    No bicycles are available on board.

    CABIN FACILITIES

    The cabin facilities include luxury cotton robes, slippers and bath amenities, a pillow menu, luxury cotton linens with duvet, premium mattresses and a convertible bed configuration (excluding the Mandalay Suite & Kipling Staterooms). The cabins also feature individual climate control, electronic safe, flat-screen LCD television with on-demand movie system, I-phone docking station with alarm clock, hairdryer and generous closet space and under-bed storage. For your comfort, bottled water is provided, and replenished daily, and upon arrival there is a welcome flower arrangement and fresh fruit. All cabins feature floor-to-ceiling French doors or a balcony.

    CABIN SIZES

    • Category 1 Mandalay Suite with king sized bed and balcony measures 409 square feet/38 square metres. • Category 2 Kipling Suite with king sized bed with balcony measures 273 square feet/25.4 square metres. • Category 3 Orwell Suite twin with balcony measures 280 square feet/26 square metres. • Category 4 Maugham Suite twin with French balcony measures 280 square Feet/26 square metres.

    COMMUNICATION

    At the time of writing, international SIM cards will not work in Myanmar. You may purchase an inexpensive Myanmar-registered SIM card whilst in Myanmar, and your Cruise Director will be able to assist you with this. However, even with a Myanmar-registered SIM card please note there may be little or no signal along the Irrawaddy River. There is a mobile phone on board which passengers may use in case of an emergency, and any phone charges will be added to your onboard account.

    CRUISE DIRECTOR

    The ship’s professional, English-speaking Cruise Director will look after your comfort and answer any questions. Please do not hesitate to contact them at any time. A Noble Caledonia Tour Manager will also accompany you on your voyage.

    CURRENCY

    The official currency on board is USD. The ship does not offer a currency exchange on board, but the Office will assist in breaking down larger bills into smaller increments. Please note that personal cheques are not accepted on board.

    DAILY PROGRAMME

    The daily programme is printed on board and delivered to your cabin every evening during dinner. It provides details of the following day’s programme, meal times and other activities, as well as interesting and helpful information about your next port of call.

    DRESS CODE

    The dress code on board the ship is casual and comfortable by day and smart casual for dinner. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes for shore excursions. At Buddhist sites visitors are required to walk barefoot, therefore we recommend wearing sandals or slip-on shoes that are easy to remove. Please also remember to keep legs and shoulders covered.

    DRINKS

    Bottled water is available in your stateroom and is replenished daily. Complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer and house wine are included with lunch and dinner on board (wine with dinner only).

    ELECTRICITY

    The electrical current in the ship’s public areas and suites is 220v/50Hz. The suites are equipped with multi-configuration plugs to accommodate most western plugs. Electrical products from the United States that are not dual voltage will require a converter plug.

    EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION

    Embarkation is approximately 16.00 hours, unless advised otherwise. The official embarkation time will be advised in your final documentation. The official disembarkation time is between 08.30-09.00 hours and your Cruise Director will provide detailed information prior to the end of the cruise. This will include departure transfer information.

    EMERGENCY AND SAFETY PROCEDURES

    A safety evacuation plan is posted on your cabin door. Please take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with your closest emergency exit and indicated routes to all Muster Stations. Please speak to your Hotel Director if you miss the safety briefing or if you are unclear of the emergency procedure.

    FIRE SAFETY

    On your cabin door is a deck plan displaying your closest (and all other) emergency exits. Emergency exits are marked in green and fire extinguishers fitted in all corridors. An alarm button is fitted in your cabin should an emergency arise. Should you detect fire or smoke please alert the reception desk immediately and await instructions from the crew.

    FIRST AID

    A number of crew are fully trained and certified to provide First Aid. Should you require further medical attention, please contact the Hotel Manager or your Cruise Director immediately. Further medical assistance can be sought from one of the hospitals along the river in the event of emergency. Please note there is no doctor on board.

    FITNESS ROOM

    The ship’s Fitness Centre is located on the Sun Deck and open from 06.00 hours until 20.00 hours daily. Please note that the use of fitness equipment is at your own risk.

    GIFT SHOP

    The gift shop is located in the Writers’ Lounge selling a selection of local handicrafts from Myanmar, shirts and hats. Kindly note that the ship is prohibited to sell or supply any prescription medications on board.

    GRATUITIES

    Gratuities have been included in your holiday price, however if you feel that certain individuals deserve a special award, you are of course free to remunerate as you please.

    HAIR DRESSER

    None on board.

    HYGIENE

    In the interest of health and hygiene we kindly ask all guests to consistently use the hand sanitiser when entering the Customs House Dining Room at all meal times. The hand sanitiser is located at the entrance to the dining room.

    HOT TUB/SWIMMING POOL

    None on board.

    HOUSEKEEPING

    Your suite will be serviced by your Housekeeping Attendant twice-daily: a morning service and an evening turndown service.

    ‘INFOTAINMENT’ SYSTEM

    Your cabin comes equipped with a flat-screen LCD television, with on-demand movie system.

    KEYS TO CABIN

    Each cabin will receive their own cabin key. Before leaving the ship we kindly ask all passengers to swap the cabin key with a shore pass which will be provided to you by the ship’s reception desk. After your return to the ship, please exchange your shore pass for your cabin key at reception.

    LAUNDRY

    A laundry bag and price list are available in your closet. Please leave the laundry bag and completed list on your bed and the Housekeeping Attendant will collect it during the morning or evening service. Generally, laundry service requires a 24-hour turnaround time. Please note that no laundry service is available on the day before disembarkation.

    LIFT

    There is no lift or chair lift on board.

    LIBRARY

    The Library is situated inside the Writers’ Lounge. The library provides a small selection of books including some by authors who were enchanted by Indochina. The ship asks that all books are returned prior to the end of the cruise. If you do not wish to keep any books that you bring with you from home, the ship will gladly adopt them for the library.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Lost property should be handed to the ship’s reception. Please ensure you have all of your belongings with you before you return home. Should you leave items on board the ship we are only able to return them at your own cost.

    MEALS

    Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style, whilst dinner is seated waiter service. Meals are served at a single open seating. The cuisine will be a choice of regional and western dishes. Complimentary tea, coffee, water, soft drinks and local beer are available throughout the day. House wine with dinner is included. At all other times, spirits and wines are not included and will be added to your on board account. Drinking water is provided at all meal times and complimentary bottles of water are provided in your suite for drinking. The ship’s water supply comes from the river after passing through a sterilisation plant. This water is suitable for washing but NOT for brushing teeth and should not be drunk. Bottled water is used for cooking, food preparation and ice on board. Guests are welcome to eat ashore but should select an establishment that looks clean and well run. We suggest that you avoid eating at roadside stalls. Off the vessel do not accept ice in drinks. Avoid ice creams, crushed sugar cane, salads and fruits unless you peel the skins yourselves. Special dietary requests such as vegetarian, low salt and low cholesterol diets should be made to Noble Caledonia (in writing) at least six weeks prior to departure. However, we recommend that you contact the Hotel Manager once on board to reconfirm such requests. We regret that the ship is unable to guarantee special requests and is not equipped to prepare or serve kosher or halal cuisine.

    MOSQUITOES/INSECT PRECAUTIONS

    Outer glass or screen doors and windows should be kept closed at all times in order to minimize the number of insects entering into your suite. While you can expect to encounter insects, many are harmless. Make sure to turn off your lights when leaving your suite, so as not to attract them. Insect repellent is recommended when going ashore.

    NEWSPAPERS

    Newspapers are not available on board.

    OPERATIONAL CHANGES

    Sometimes it is necessary to make amendments to the itinerary, both for logistical and safety reasons. The Master of the vessel shall decide if necessary. A night watchman is on duty who performs a security check every hour and thus may be away from the office for a short time.

    PAYMENTS ON BOARD

    The currency used on board is the US Dollar. At the end of the cruise you will be presented with your final bill for on board purchases. This can be settled in cash in US Dollars. Credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) are accepted. Travellers Cheques and personal cheques are not accepted.

    POST

    Please note that although the reception staff may be happy to post letters and postcards on your behalf, they may not be able to do so straightaway or indeed at the port of call at which you make such a request. Please also note that some postal services are unreliable and that any letters or postcards that you ask to be delivered on your behalf may be delayed or even lost en-route. Staff cannot be held liable for such occurrences and we would recommend that you post your own letters or postcards to be more certain of their prompt delivery.

    QUESTIONNAIRES

    A questionnaire will be provided to all passengers towards the end of their sailing. We would be grateful for you to complete and return this.

    QUIETVOX/AUDIO SYSTEM

    Noble Caledonia have arranged for guests to be provided with individual Audio Vox Systems to use on shore excursions for the duration of the cruise. This device enables you to clearly hear the guide’s commentary so you can enjoy each tour to the fullest. The audio device can be found in your stateroom in a charger unit on the desk. Please make sure to always re-insert the device once you return to your room to ensure it is fully charged for the next day.

    RECEPTION

    Reception can be contacted 24-hours a day by telephone and is manned during the early hours.

    SPA & MASSAGE

    Please ask the Hotel Director or Purser to setup an appointment for a massage or spa treatment. A menu of available spa treatments can be found in your suite. The spa is open from 08.00 hours to 20.00 hours daily.

    SAFE

    Your cabin is equipped with a small safe for your personal use. We recommend placing valuables in the safe whenever you are away from your room. Please remember to remove all items from the safe and leave the safe open before disembarking.

    SAFETY

    In accordance with international law, the Captain has full control over the ship and every person on board must obey his lawful commands. Captains have the authority to take any action deemed necessary to manage situations where guests are verbally or physically disruptive towards any other person on board or otherwise causing problems during the cruise. There is a zero tolerance policy regarding such disruptions as the safety of our guests, crew and the ship remains our first priority.

    SMOKING

    The ship enjoys a non-smoking environment in all public areas and suites, including balconies. Smoking is only allowed on the aft section of the Sun Deck, behind the bar. When smoking on the Sun Deck, please use the ashtrays provided to discard the cigarette butts and do not throw them overboard. Every suite and public area on board is equipped with an automatic heat and smoke detector.

    SUN DECK

    Located on the Sun Deck are the Writer’s Lounge, Spa and Fitness Centre and the Observation Deck with chairs, loungers and sun beds. The Sun Deck area may be closed in the evenings and/or overnight to ensure your safety. Please also note that the Sun Deck and its steps may become slippery if the weather is cool or dew forms.

    TELEPHONE

    To make an internal call please dial the corresponding cabin number.

    TOILETRIES

    Spa quality bath amenities are supplied in all cabins.

    VISITORS

    Visitors are not permitted aboard the vessel without the prior consent of the ship’s senior staff. Please provide as much notice as possible to the senior staff so that the necessary arrangements can be made. The ship’s operator reserves the right to deny boarding to any visitors.

    WATER

    Please do not drink the tap water while on board or ashore. The ship’s water supply comes from the river after passing through a sterilization process. This water is sufficient for bathing, but should not be consumed. Complimentary water is provided for consumption, and additional bottled water will be made available free of charge on excursions. To save water and reduce detergent use, the ship will only change towels daily if they are placed on the bathroom floor.

    WI-FI

    E-mail/internet is available in all public areas of the vessel, free-ofcharge, for passengers that bring their own Wi-Fi-capable devices. However, please note that Wi-Fi will only be available in certain areas and that the signal may be particularly weak in remote areas.

    PLEASE NOTE: 

    The above information is accurate and correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Noble Caledonia accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions and none of the facilities or features of the vessel described herein which are not specifically described in our advertisements and on your holiday invoice as being included in your holiday price will be deemed to be included in your holiday package. If you would like further information about the vessel or about any of your holiday arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    V.2 Aug 2017

  • Deck plans
    • All Decks

      Deckplan

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Tour Extensions

    • Enhance your journey with our optional extension which features the iconic Inle lake, a wonderful body of water surrounded by mountains and populated by stilted villages, floating gardens, traditional fishing boats and rich fauna and flora. Travel by local long-tail boat to the Villa Inle Resort & Spa, a hotel spread over more than 20 acres on the eastern fringe of Inle Lake. The hotel features 27 secluded lakeside villas which are designed to harmoniously blend in with the natural environment of the Lake. From your villa, you can watch as fishermen glide by on the lake, and flocks of migratory and native birds take off from the surrounding treetops.

      Inle lake Inle lake

      The Itinerary

      Day 1 Mandalay to Inle Lake.

      After breakfast take a short flight to Heho. Upon arrival, we drive to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway to Inle Lake, a tranquil lake surrounded by mountains. We make a brief stop at Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, a charming red painted teak monastery which was built in 19th century. We continue with a visit to Red Mountain winery, to explore the vineyard and enjoy wine tasting and lunch. We travel by local long-tail boat to the Villa Inle Resort & Spa, for a three night stay. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening. (B, L, D)

      Day 2 Inle Lake.

      After breakfast, explore the south part of the lake by boat, stopping at Indein Village to view its old and very picturesque pagodas. We also have the chance to see the ingenious one-legged rowing technique used by local fishermen. We will stop for lunch this afternoon to taste traditional local produce. After lunch, we continue to visit Phaungdawoo Pagoda and the famous NgaPheKyaung Monastery. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening. (B, L, D)

      Day 3 Inle Lake.

      Spend the day at leisure to explore independently or relax at your lakeside resort. (B)

      Day 4 Inle Lake to Yangon to London Heathrow.

      After breakfast, we fly from Heho to Yangon and continue with the international indirect scheduled flight to London Heathrow. (B)

      Day 5 London Heathrow.

      Morning arrival.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      29 January to 2 February • 6 to 10 March 2021
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £1095
      Single £1395

      Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel from Heho to Yangon, three nights accommodation at the Villa Inle Resort & Spa, meals as indicated (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D- Dinner), excursions with local English speaking guides, Noble Caledonia Tour Manager, gratuities, transfers.

      Not Included: Travel insurance, visa.

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Speak to one of our advisors on 020 7752 0000