Irrawaddy River, Burma
Belmond Orcaella is no longer in operation. Please speak to our Burma specialists for alternative cruise options.
At a Glance
Beautiful cabins all equipped with floor to ceiling glass doors over-looking the river
Fantastic range of itineraries from 7 to 11 nights allowing for in-depth exploration of the destinations along the way
Incredible service with a guest to staff ratio of 1:1
Permanent and incredibly knowledgeable guides on-board providing intimate guided experiences with small tour groups
Delicious gourmet cuisine on board including an array of local Myanmar, western and wider Asian dishes
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The best time to visit Burma is during the dry season from November to April. At this time the warm and sunny days are ideal for sightseeing throughout the country. The temperatures start to rise in March and May to September is best avoided as this is the rainy season when sightseeing can become difficult.
Call us on to start planning your holiday to Belmond Orcaella or take a look at our itineraries to Myanmar (Burma)
Belmond Orcaella takes you on a magical journey to uncover the secrets of Myanmar on the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin rivers. From the comfort of your luxury cabin you have the chance to experience local river life and explore the country's highlights.
Offering relaxed but culturally enlightening cruises along the main rivers of Myanmar - the Chindwin and Ayeyarwady, Belmond Orcaella provides a fantastic way to uncover this stunning country. With cruises spanning seven and eleven days, you can explore all of the cultural highlights and off-the-beaten-track destinations as you float down the river in luxury and style.
There are four different cruises to chose from ranging from seven night adventures from Yangon to Bagan and longer eleven night trips taking you up north to the lesser visited Bhamo. Whichever itinerary you choose you will be treated to an incredible journey. Stopping along the way to visit all the major cultural and iconic sites while also experiencing local villages and markets to encounter local rural life.
The cabins are all beautifully appointed and range from Deluxe to Suites. All of the cabins offer floor to ceiling glass doors, providing spectacular views out to the river. The Suites come equipped with a butler service to make the stay even more luxurious.
On board there is plenty of space to relax and unwind with a swimming pool, wellbeing and spa area and observation deck. Alongside these, there is a fantastic restaurant where you will be treated to the best of Myanmar cuisine complemented by wider asian and western dishes, a piano bar where afternoon tea is served daily and a lovely deck pool bar.
There are 25 luxurious cabins with floor to ceiling glass doors, providing a fantastic view point for Myanmar's river life as you float by. All of the cabins are beautifully appointed with lovely local touches and highlights of Myanmar design. Each cabin is en-suite and range from the Deluxe Cabins to the larger State rooms and ever larger suites.
Children are welcome aboard Belmond Orcaella. There are two sets of interconnecting rooms, ideal for families and there is a games room on-board. However, for their safety it is asked of parents to supervise children at all times.
As you travel along the Ayeyarwady River it is not just a feast for the eyes but gastronomically as the chefs take you on a tour through the country with deliciously fragrant dishes. Alongside the local cuisine, there is also a European menu with an array of international plates. On the top deck, the bar and lounge provide fantastic views across the river and makes for the perfect place to relax with a cocktail or two, whilst the piano bar serves afternoon tea daily.
On board there is a swimming pool and sundeck on which to relax after days exploring as well as a wellbeing centre. For those on the lookout for local life, the observation deck provides the perfect platform partly covered by canopies with a relaxed atmosphere.
Along the cruises, whether you choose seven or eleven nights, you will have the chance to venture ashore with local guides to explore areas of particular interest. From the colourful and varied workshops of Mandalay and tens of thousands of temples in ancient Bagan to the majestic Mount Popa and the untouched and verdant Bhamo, you will be constantly in awe of this magical country.
On board the cruise, there are a number of lectures and presentations by local and international experts detailing different aspects of Myanmar. Alongside these, there are cultural shows, cooking classes and yoga and thai chi classes.
Clare Monro (Staff)
This is a great option for those looking to get off the beaten track, and explore Burma's less-visited rivers. Very elegant and there are some great lecturers etc.
Belmond Orcaella - 40% off offerBook any trip and enjoy 40% off
Subject to availability and terms and conditions. Please contact our Burma specialists for more information.
Archaeology Tour of Bagan
A full-day experience, with an expert on-hand, exploring one of Asia’s most striking archaeological sites. Bagan’s architectural wonders include the famous Ananda and Shwezigon pagodas, showcasing Burma’s legendary kings and the country’s glorious culture
Bagan Balloon Experience
Serenely float over Bagan’s remarkable temples in a hot air balloon at sunrise and appreciate the sheer scale of these archaeological wonders while watching the Irrawaddy River flow far below.
Bagan Cooking Class
A fantastic half-day insight into Burmese cookery exploring local food with a local and highly experienced chef. From shopping at the market, to cooking and plating up, this is a truly unique experience.
Bagan Village Biking
Hop on a bicycle for a unique and memorable day in Bagan’s countryside. A slow-paced journey through narrow lanes reveals a land of farms, rolling hills and tiny villages, much unchanged over the centuries.
Pedal your way through the outskirts of Mandalay on this half-day guided excursion for a chance to see a different side of the city. Pass through small villages, monasteries and temples and visit a local market while stopping chat with locals.
Discover Mandalay and Mingun
This thrilling full-day tour showcases the best of Mandalay and Mingun and involves ascending Mandalay Hill for a bird's-eye view of the city below, exploring the former Royal Capital’s temple and cruising up the Irrawaddy River for a visit to Mingun.
Half Day Local Colour Tour, Bagan
Experience a taste of local Burmese life and see the world from a local’s point of view by visiting neighbourhoods barely touched by the modern world and mixing with the locals at Nyaung U Market.
Introduction to Bagan
Discover the very best of Bagan, from exploring the finest temples to watching traditional craftsmen produce beautiful lacquerware and cruising along the Irrawaddy River. Further insights into local neighbourhoods also reveal age-old traditions, hidden temples and unique cave temples.
Irrawaddy Sunset Cocktail Cruise
A glorious sunset cruise along the famous Irrawaddy River, cocktail in hand. This is a unique way to appreciate Bagan’s incredible temples from afar and an opportunity to see scenes of daily life play out on Burma’s largest waterway.
Mandalay Hill and Environs
The last royal capital of Myanmar comes to life with this half-day guided tour of the main heritage sites of Mandalay. Visit the Golden Palace Monastery, Kuthodaw Pagoda and Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda and climb Mandalay Hill for views over the countryside.
Mandalay Nights by Motorbike
During this exciting night-time tour, you’ll travel like a local, on the back of a motorbike, taking in the evening scenery, meeting friendly locals and stopping at markets, restaurants and bars perhaps to try some crispy duck and a frosty local beer.
Mandalay's Royal Capitals
This is a full-day tour exploring Burma’s iconic and glorious royal capitals, including Sagaing, a spiritual centre, explore the former capital of Ava by horse cart and stop in Amarapura for a walk along the iconic U Bein Bridge.
Morning in Mandalay
This half-day guided tour takes in the morning activities of Mandalay’s residents. Join Buddhist worshipers at a local temple, witness the timeless procession of monks collecting alms and venture through the colourful, busy morning market for breakfast.
Mount Popa & Salay Tour
The chance to learn about Myanmar’s tradition of spirit worship at Mount Popa, to explore Salay, a famous Buddhist centre with unique architecture, and to witness scenes of bygone countryside life.
Pakokku by Bicycle
Cycle to Pakokku, just beyond Bagan’s famous pagodas, and discover beautiful rural villages, local markets and farms that line the Irrawaddy River, all brimming with traditional ways of life. Afterwards, return to historic Bagan along the river, aboard pr
Swe Daw Lay Su Tour
Follow in the footsteps of King Anawrahta and visit four sacred and photogenic sites around Bagan (Shwezigon, Tu Yin Taung, Lawka Nandar and Tant Kyi Taung), where local pilgrims flock.
Tant Kyi Pagoda Adventure
Adventure away from Bagan’s busy centre and travel by boat and jeep to the hilltop pagoda of Tant Kyi, a little-known gem on the western banks of the Irrawaddy River. Views, the chance to mix with Burmese pilgrims and a memorable experience awaits.
Trading Jade in Mandalay
This half-day tour takes in the wonderful Jade Market in Mandalay. A truly authentic market, where tourists are the minority, the market brings together local, Chinese, Indian and Thai traders.
Location & directions
Irrawaddy River, Burma
The cruise takes you from Yangon to Bagan or vice versa, Mandalay to Bagan via Monywa and Homalin or via Bhamo in north Myanmar, travelling along the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin rivers.
How to get there
International flight via Bangkok to Yangon, followed by an internal transfer to the embarkation point in Yangon or Mandalay.
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