Inside Asia Tours

Expedition cruising on the Irrawaddy River

By river is one of the best ways to explore Burma, with an enticing range of options guiding you to the remote corners of this beautiful country.

Myanmar is home to one of Asia's great rivers, the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady), which begins in the north of the country and flows south for more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi) past many of the Myanmar's most celebrated destinations. During the British colonial era the Irrawaddy was the principle route for transport between the capital of Rangoon (Yangon) and the north, giving rise to Kipling's reference to the river as "the road to Mandalay".

Longer cruising options of varying lengths are available in a wide variety of ship styles to suit a range of budgets, though the majority link Mandalay with Yangon in the south or Bhamo in the north.

In recent years a selection of new, purpose-built ships have been launched on the Irrawaddy to cater for the luxury end of the market, including The Strand cruise and the Sanctuary Ananda ship. Other popular options include the delightful RV Pandaw ships and the well-regarded Belmond Road to Mandalay cruise. For more details on cruising dates and costs please contact us.

Expedition cruising on the Irrawaddy River

located in Mandalay

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Other suggested Cruises experiences

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  • Day Cruise from Mandalay to Bagan

    Day Cruise from Mandalay to Bagan

    A sedate downriver cruise to take you from Mandalay to Bagan.

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  • Sunset cocktail cruise on the Irrawaddy River

    Sunset cocktail cruise on the Irrawaddy River

    After day exploring the hot and dusty plains of Bagan, enjoy cocktails or a cool beer as you cruise down the Irrawaddy River beneath the setting sun.

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  • Yangon River sunset cruise

    Yangon River sunset cruise

    Gain a different perspective on Myanmar's biggest city with a relaxing sunset cruise on the wide Yangon River.

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