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Cruising Burma's Great Irrawaddy Delta

8 days from £1575 per person

Jutting determinedly into the Andaman Sea, Burma’s Irrawaddy Delta is a low-level riverine region of twisting creeks, meandering waterways, sediment enriched farmland and lively port towns. Once a largely uninhabited jungle wetland, during British rule the delta was cultivated by the British and, by the latter 1800s, was the rice basket of Asia. This unique seven-night river cruise aboard the charming RV Katha Pandaw follows in the footsteps of the original Irrawaddy Flotilla Company steamers exploring the far-flung reaches of the Irrawaddy Delta and visiting pretty towns, river-side villages, busy markets, important temples and wildlife rich wetland habitats. Operating yearly during February and March, all cruises begin and end in central Yangon.

Route: Yangon - Pyapon - Bogale - Myaungmya - Bassein - Wakema - Maubin - Yangon

Itinerary Highlights

Away from the main tourist trail, this cruise is a pioneering journey through the Irrawaddy Delta following in the footsteps of the historic Irrawaddy Flotilla Company paddle steamers.

Bassein is the capital of the Irrawaddy Delta and a major river port. Explore the busy markets, learn about traditional umbrella manufacturing and visit the town’s main shrines.

Little-known, Mein Ma Hla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary is a vital reserve of primary mangrove forest. Here search for saltwater crocodile and, if lucky, spot the rare Irrawaddy dolphin.

Itinerary: Cruising Burma's Great Irrawaddy Delta

Early this morning transfer to the jetty in central Yangon by 0730 hours and board the RV Katha Pandaw for the seven night ‘Great Irrawaddy Delta’ cruise. Set sail at 1000 hours and travel through the Twante Canal, stopping in Twante – a small town known for its pottery and cotton weaving. Visit the potteries then re-board the boat and continue to the lively delta port of Pyapon which is located a short distance from the Andaman Sea on a tributary of the Irrawaddy. Explore this fascinating town, visit the docks and agricultural markets then continue on towards Bogale. (L/D)
Set in the heart of the delta, Bogale is a fascinating place to spend the morning. This small port town was once the capital of the Mon kingdom and from the 15th to the 18th centuries was directly connected to worldwide trade routes. Later hopefully visit the Mein Ma Hla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary – a delta island of mudflats and protected mangrove forest. The reserve supports the country’s largest population of saltwater crocodile, twenty-nine mangrove tree species, a small population of endangered Irrawaddy dolphin and over one hundred species of bird. Later set sail for Myaungmya. (B/L/D)
Today is largely spend onboard as the vessel weaves its way through narrow creeks and twisting channels in a northerly direction directly through the heart of the Irrawaddy Delta. There will hopefully be a chance to stop en-route and stretch the legs in a bankside village before arriving in Myaungmya during the afternoon. This small town is home to the Myanmar Union Adventist Seminary, a Seventh Day Adventist seminary, and once also played host to George Orwell during the 1920s when he served in the local police. Later leave Myaungmya and continue to Bassein. (B/L/D)
This morning join the Bassein River and sail on to Bassein, capital of the delta region and with a port second only in importance to Yangon. On arrival disembark and explore Bassein on foot to visit a number of the more important shrines. The markets in Bassein sell a wealth of produce grown in this particularly fertile agricultural region and the town is also known for its manufacture of traditional umbrellas. (B/L/D)
Today will be at leisure to relax and further explore Bassein under your own arrangements. An optional day trip by car can also be made to the beach at Ngwe Saung which is less well known and less developed than its northern neighbour Ngapali. (B/L/D)
Around noon cast away from Bassein and sail to Wakema following the original upper delta route of the historic Irrawaddy Flotilla Company which once linked Bassein with Yangon. Bustling Wakema is a typical delta river port and this evening explore the town. (B/L/D)
Heading east, the river channels become increasingly busy as you travel towards Yangon. In this low-lying region the economy is sustained by both fishing and rice production and the riverbanks hum with activity as barges are loaded and passenger ferries set sail. Maubin was founded at the end of the 19th century and in the afternoon enjoy an evening walk along the town’s colourful strand. (B/L/D)
This morning cruise the Twante Canal back to Yangon disembarking in the city centre at 1230 hours. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • Cruise accommodation and sightseeing with other passengers
  • Shared transfers as specified

What's not included

  • Any International flights
  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Meals unless specified

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Burma / Myanmar Holiday Review

Our itinerary was varied and interesting at all times; the logistics were impeccable. We found the people of Myanmar to be kind and considerate. What we most enjoyed was the authenticity of all we did and saw. Once again, many thanks to the team for a truly great experience.

PB & MT - Burma / Myanmar - February 2018

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Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

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