RV Mandalay Cruise is a newly built cruise ship. She was constructed in 2016 in the shipyards of Mingun in Myanmar (Burma), and is made of steel and plated with teak. The materials are sourced from local steel workshops and cabinetmakers. Construction of the 35 metre vessel by local ship builders started in autumn 2015 and finished at the end of summer 2016.
You’ll find a cruise through the beautiful landscape of central Myanmar is both impressive and relaxing at the same time. You’ll pass by exotic riversides, golden pagodas and the jungle with its intense green foliage. You can watch fishermen at work and might even be lucky enough to observe some of the remaining Irrawaddy dolphins.
RV Mandalay Cruise offers eight cabins: six with twin beds, which can be joined, and two with double beds and large panoramic windows. Each cabin has its own bathroom and shower.There is space for 16 adult passengers. Children are also welcome.
Our tours start or end in Mandalay, the ancient capital of the Burmese kingdom. From here, we offer trips to various touristic highlights, including the Mingun Bell, the pagodas of Bagan and Sagaing or the U-Bein-Bridge in Amarapura. You will see everyday places, and enjoy daily life as it unfolds around you. You will visit local pottery, lacquerware and painting workshops and have the opportunity to meet the incredibly lovely people of Myanmar. On our trips everyday life is as important as visiting touristic highlights.
The cruise leads us from the ancient royal city to Mingun, with it’s impressive bell, marvellous Hsinbyume Pagoda and the huge remains of Mingun Pagoda. I In Sagaing, you’ll find the dusty air of transport vessels mingles with the transcendental beauty of the pagodas on the river bed. On demand, we make a trip to Amarapura with its wooden bridge U-Bein.
Duration: 3 days/2 nights
Ayeyarwady River connects two highlights: the ancient king’s residence; Mandalay and Bagan with its endless numbers of pagodas. We will also visit Mingun, Myinmu and Yanabo, small villages with big pottery workshops, monastries and local markets. Depending on the water-level, we may have the chance to branch off to the Chindwin River – for a romantic sunset dinner on a sandy riverbank.
Mandalay-Bagan oder Bagan-Mandalay: 4 days/3 nights
In the west of Mandalay, the Chindwin River flows into the Ayeyarwady. Only a few touristic vessels experience this wonderful river. We will have plenty of chances here to explore some of the unbeaten tracks of Myanmar and meet its people. We will have a sunset dinner on a sandy riverbank, visit fishing-settlements, local markets, potteries and local workshops. On the way it’s also possible to visit Sagaing and/or Myinmu.
Mandalay-Monywa-Mandalay: 5 days/4 nights
The cruise takes you 600 km upstream to Bhamo or from there downstream to Mandalay. Bhamo is an important place of trade close to China. The Ayeyarwady is at it’s loveliest in this region with it’s undulating landscape, and the rich green of the jungle. The small town of Katha was hometown to the British author, George Orwell back in 1926-1927. His experience in this faraway part of Burma – in those days colonized by the British – inspired his romance, “Burmese Days”. Here we will visit workshops, pagodas, villages, fishing-settlements and local markets.
Mandalay-Bhamo: 7 days/6 nights
Bhamo-Mandalay: 6 days/5 nights
Accommodation; daily (group) shore-excursions & entrance fees; sightseeing and transfers during the cruise; transfers from/to Heritage Line’s meeting point to/from the ship (please read details in the embarkation guide); English speaking tour guiding on-and offshore; entertainment/activities during the cruise as mentioned in the program; meals as mentioned in the program; welcome drink, brewed coffee, tea and mineral water; passenger liability insurance; internet on the ship (subject to cellular network signal); complimentary usage of ship facilities (exclusive of spa treatments); port or anchorage fees; river pilots; fuel.
Crew and guide gratuities; visa fees; private transfers; personal expenses; beverages other than those stated under inclusions; medical services; spa treatments; port and anchorage fees; all other services or items not listed under inclusions.
Cancellation by Customer
For cancellations of bookings, the following charges will apply:
The rivers you will sail on are subject to seasonal rises and falls of water level, in some places as much as 30 metres. Water levels can change dramatically overnight and a sudden rise can impede our progress upstream considerably and even prevent us from passing under certain bridges. A sudden fall can result in our being unable to get into certain places or go as far upstream as we would hope. Groundings on sandbars are not infrequent and are part of the
excitement of any expedition. Published itineraries are indicational only and subject to sudden change. In such events alternative itineraries will be provided and we do our best to ensure that if a stop is missed we make up for it with another stop.
Passengers are thus forewarned and expected to be flexible and patient. River cruising in Asia can be a dramatic and adventurous experience – not like cruising the controlled waterways of Europe or America. Note also that we operate in areas with little or no developed infrastructure and subject to the strictures of local officialdom. Be prepared for this and it is all more the fun!
For itineraries that include flights in the price of the ticket it should be noted that regional airlines can change departure times or cancel flights at very short notice. In such an event we endeavour to arrange alternative flights but note that this can result in delays often resulting in embarking or disembarking on a different day to that indicated in the itinerary. In such an event the company will cover the cost of hotel accommodation and main meals only, but will not be liable for any claims for compensation for missed days on board a ship, drinks or curtailment of the said itinerary.
We recommend wearing loose and comfortable clothing made of cotton or modern material that can readily cool off sweat and body hear. The type of shoes will depend on the excursion types so best to have both light, open toed shoes as well as good walking/hiking shoes with you. A sun hat is always a good idea to bring along.
Southern Vietnam and Cambodia are warm all year-round, but our other cruise destinations can get chilly during the winter months (Laos, Myanmar or northern Vietnam). Therefore, it is always recommended to bring a pullover or a warm jacket with you during this period.
Many of our cruises include visits to local temples or pagodas. When visiting these holy sites, make sure to wear appropriate clothing which covers your shoulders and knees.
Generally speaking, the rivers we are cruising on in Southeast Asia are very calm and there is hardly any motion on any of our ships. A bit of motion can occur during monsoon rains with stormy winds, but the amount of motion is much less than one would feel during bad weather on the open ocean.
Sea cruises as we offer in Halong Bay or Lan Ha Bay can sometimes encounter heavier waters and ship motion, although this happens very rarely and port authorities will most likely not allow sailing under any such circumstances anyway.
If you are new to cruising or prone to motion sickness, it does not hurt to bring along some motion sickness medication. Drinking a nice hot fresh ginger tea is a natural remedy and tasty alternative our staff is always happy to make for you.
All food and beverage on board is completely safe to eat and enjoy, including the ice cubes you enjoy in your chilled drinks. We do not recommend drinking water straight from the tap anywhere, including onboard. We provide you with complimentary clean drinking water throughout your cruise.
You may want to be bit careful with local dishes as they can be spicier than you are used to from home. Approach new dishes slowly and carefully. If you have a sensitive stomach, then you may like to double check with our chef or onboard managers about specific dishes or meals.
On excursions, it may be a good idea to avoid local foods and snacks unless offered by our tour guides. Besides the above, in general we recommend the following motto for your pre- and post-cruise travelling in the Southeast Asian tropics: boil it, peel it, cook it, wash it or forget it!
The most effective protection from personal contamination is ensuring strict attention to personal hygiene and in particular, frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water and refraining from hand-to-mouth contact. Colds and other viruses can spread quickly in an enclosed area such as a ship. Continue to practice common-sense hygiene and respiratory courtesy. Wash your hands often and cover your coughs and sneeze. It is recommended that passengers carry anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, which does not require rinsing with water. Use sanitizer frequently and throughout the day, particularly after shore excursions and prior to meals. If you have any questions regarding your health or safety, please do not hesitate to ask your cruise director.
Motion sickness can be a problem for some people when cruising, flying or travelling on coaches and trains and it is a good idea to take precautionary measures. Over-the-counter drugs for treating motion sickness can be purchased at pharmacies in most countries, though a side effect can by drowsiness. Alternatives such as ginger tablets and acupressure wristbands are also available and work well for some people.
Cambodia visas are easily obtained for most travelers on arrival. Note that passports must have a validity of at least 6 months after your last date of travel in Cambodia.
Because travel restrictions across Southeast Asia are constantly changing, we recommend checking with the Cambodia embassy/consulate in your home country for the latest information.
With the exception of visa exemptions, all travelers must arrange their visa prior to arrival in Vietnam. Passports must also have a validity of at least 6 months after your last date of travel in Vietnam.
Because travel restrictions across Southeast Asia are constantly changing, we recommend checking with the Vietnam embassy/consulate in your home country for the latest information.
We recommend at least purchasing travel health insurance which covers both in- & outpatient visits and medical repatriation. Buying additional trip cancellation and interruption coverage may also be beneficial in case you have to cancel your travel plans due to unforeseen circumstances.
We always recommend bringing a travel adapter as a standard item in your travel kit. You can borrow an adapter on board, but these may be limited.
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $3-$5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service.
Indochina Countries use 220V, and a mixture of flat 2-pin, round 2-pin or 3 pin plugs. It is recommended to bring a universal plug adapter.