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Impressive Gorges of Ayeyarwady River

8 days 7 nights


Category Myanmar Cruise Tours

  • Difficulty Level 1
  • Trip Starts From Mandalay
  • Trip Ends At Mandalay
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Takaung Katha Shwe Gu Thagara Hsithe Mandalay
Dates & Prices
Please, contact us for the price and the dates for this trip


Offered by Heritage Line- Southeast Asia's leading cruise operator- Impressive Gorges is Myanmar's most demanded cruise tour. This trip takes you through the most dramatic scenery of the entire Ayeyarwady River- Myanmar’s great river and flows south from its source in the mountainous north of the country through a series of defiles or narrow gorges. We follow the footsteps of George Orwell in Katha, the real-life setting for his Burmese days, before visiting a nearby elephant logging camp. Onboard, we attend the cultural demonstrations & lectures and learn about Burmese culture and life and also enjoy our luxurious, three-room Spa facility. 

The cruise embarks and disembarks in Mandalay. Let us know if you are interested in pre-trip or post-trip private tours to Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake, or other destinations of Myanmar.

Trip Dates 2019

17 Nov.

Note: To view the rate, scroll through the month in the calendar above, and click on the date you are interested. Click on the 'select' button to book the trip. For detailed information on extra bed, child policy, and seasonal supplements, please click on the "Trip Info" tab.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 2~Takaung

Today's sailing is through the rolling hills of the Third Defile, but we will start our day in the morning by offering tranquil yoga and meditation on the sun deck. As you sail, we pass by bamboo villages and small fishing settlements, and you will understand how peaceful these lives can be. In the morning, join and enjoy our chef for a cookery demonstration and in the afternoon, attend an informal Burmese language lesson.

Late afternoon, we will reach Takaung for another excellent tour. This tour will show life on the riverbank and familiarize you with this small town. There are ancient fortifications, archeological areas, and also famous nat or spirit shrines in this town.

Nwe Nyein to Takaung: 76 miles/121.6 km.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3~Katha

Have a relaxing morning. You can choose to enjoy the facilities of our Spa, including the only Swedish-style sauna on the Ayeyarwaddy. Or our 8-meter whirlpool swimming pool, conveniently raised so while lying in the water you can still enjoy the passing scenery as we sail to Katha. Early afternoon, we reach the fascinating colonial town of Katha, a setting of George Orwell’s Burmese days; there have been little changes since then. You will visit the fire station’s collections of the Irrawaddy Flotilla company’s ship’s bells taken from sunken ships in the second war. This place is undoubtedly interesting. Katha was the final resting place for much of the old flotilla as over a hundred ships were scuppered here in 1942 - an act of Denial before the advancing Japanese. Our tour will take you around all the places that appear in the book and allow you to imagine how life was in this far-flung corner of the British Empire. 

Taguang to Katha: 65 miles/104 km.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4~Naba Train Ride & Katha Market

A pleasant oriental train ride from Katha to Naba begins in the morning. This scenic train passes through the thick Kachin jungle and teak forest and the villages in the woods.

Upon arrival in Naba, we transfer back to Katha for a colorful local Katha Market visit and enjoy some shopping here. This market is the perfect place to practice your Burmese language skills during a market rally. There will be a language lesson, assistant and some cash for shopping. In the afternoon, you may unwind on the sun deck while we continue sailing upstream to Shwe Gu, and there will be a lecture on Myanmar history and current affairs after your afternoon tea and, a special event will take place at the Kipling’s Bar in the evening. So you may want to dress up to the best in style if you're going to. We raise a toast to the past during a British Club gathering where you may enjoy according to your choices. Share some tales of the old British-Burmese days. This is the perfect time to lose time, and you may want to join us for a movie after dinner, on the sun deck. 

Katha – Shwe Gu: 45 miles/72 km.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5~The Second Defile and Kyun Daw

We will stay prepared on the sun deck as we make our first passing through the impressive Second Defile. It will take approximately two hours, depending on the force of the current. You will be served breakfast on the sun deck while passing through the dramatic Second Defile. Once we reach on the other side, we will turn to the Sinkan Bridge and start our journey back by plunging again into the fast-flowing waters of the Defile. It will take us as less as twenty-five minutes to reach the other end. As we sail on, we will pass by Kyun Daw Island. Here we visit countless small pagodas, local villages, and river nomads living on the river banks of the Ayeyarwaddy. We come back to the ship for lunch and cover our journey to the South of the Ayeyarwaddy River. After a nice dinner, our talented crew will thoroughly entertain you with their Myanmar’s traditional dance.

 Shwe Gu to Sinkan: 18 miles/28.8 km. Sinkan to Thagara: 87 miles/139.2 km.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6~Hsithe

On the sun deck, there will be yoga and meditation offered in the morning. You can also join a lecture on 'Religion in Myanmar’ for spiritual knowledge and, before lunch, you can attend another Burmese language lesson. There will be a demonstration of Traditional Burmese Cigar and Chewing Betel Nut after lunch.

Early afternoon, we reach the scenic fishing village of Hsithe, which is home to fishers who conduct co-operative fishing with the critically endangered Ayeyarwady River Dolphin. Take a tour to the village and witness the traditional agriculture products and learn how to cast a traditional fishing net. You will be served with tea in the afternoon at the visitor center of the village, along with a presentation involving the river, the wildlife, and the people. We return to the boat for dinner, and later, you can join the outdoor cinema in the village along with the warm villagers of Hsithe.

Thagara to Hsithe: 125 mile /200 km.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7~Mandalay

Since today is the last day, this is also your last opportunity to unwind. As we sail to Mandalay, enjoy the lavish facilities on board and the beautiful passing scenery. Be prepared on the sun deck as we make our way passing through Mingun, a showcase of the monumental and unfinished stupa of King Bodawpaya. It is incomplete because an astrologer claimed that the king would die once they complete the temple! In the late afternoon, as we reach Mandalay, we will disembark in time. We will visit Amarapua known for its traditional silk weaving, silver and bronze casting, and to see the sunset at the famous “U Bein's Bridge” - the longest teak bridge in Myanmar. We will have our farewell dinner and then enjoy the evening entertainment Ramayana show, a legendary story, and performance accompanied by traditional music instruments. 

Hsithe to Mandalay: 43 miles/68.8 km.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8~Check out

After your breakfast, bid farewell to the crew as you check-out.

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Cruise Package Includes

  • Accommodation.
  • Daily shore excursions as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Entrance fees.
  • Transportation, as mentioned in the program.
  • Transfers to/from the meeting point/ship (if applicable).
  • Tour guide service.
  • Taxes.
  • Fuel.
  • River pilots.
  • Local anchorage fees.
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Free flow of beverages-mineral water, soft drinks, juices, tea, coffee-at all times, free flow of local beer and house wine by glass during lunch and dinner, drinking water in the cabin, and during excursions.
  • Passenger liability insurance.

Cruise Package Does Not Include

  • Crew and guide gratuities.
  • Any visa fees.
  • Private transfers.
  • Personal expenses and purchases.
  • All further beverages other than indicated as included.
  • Premium spirits and other services not mentioned under General Inclusions of cruise packages or in the program.
  • Fuel surcharges, if any.
  • Medical service.
  • Spa treatments
  • Telephone expenses.

Embarkation and Disembarkation

9 a.m. at Ga Wein Jetty (Near Mandalay Karaweik Mobile Hotel, 4.38 miles from Mandalay City Center).

Rate Condition

Rates are in US$ per person on a double occupancy basis. Private room supplement costs 45% of the double occupancy rate.

High season rates apply for the departure from 1st October through 31st October.

Shoulder season rates apply for departure from 1st Apr through 30th April.

The low season rate applies for departure from 1st June through 30th September.

Extra Bed Rate

Extra bed (limited) is available on special request for all Suites categories on Anawrahta.

Child extra bed: 30% of the adult rate per person.
Adult extra bed: 70% of the adult rate per person.

Child Policy

  • One child under 12 years old is allowed sharing the existing bedding with adults at 25% of the net adult rate per person.
  • The cruise operator will not be responsible for the onboard safety of the children. Parents are fully responsible for taking care of their children.

Christmas Eve (24 Dec) and New Year Eve (31 Dec) supplement

US$ 120 surcharge per adult and $ 60 per child.

Life on deck

While the Anawrahta is the perfect stage, the star of the show is the river. Rising early, you make your way to the Sundeck, just as the first rays of gold touch the surface of the Ayeyarwady. A fisherman casts his net, throwing shimmering droplets into the morning light. After enjoying this unforgettable view – and a strong coffee – you are ready to join an open-air yoga or Tai Chi class.

You pass all manner of other craft, from simple fishing canoes to boats crowded with fresh produce, household goods, giggling school children.

Villagers come out to wave. Water buffaloes watch you warily. You keep a lookout for the river’s most famous residents, the Ayeyarwady dolphins.

When it’s time for lunch, you join your fellow guests in the Hintha Hall dining room. The waiters – who now greet you like an old friend – serve tantalizing dishes from throughout Burma. As you learn about the sophisticated cuisine, you understand more about this nation’s cultural diversity.

Sunset finds you and your friends in the Kipling’s bar enjoying freshly made cocktails – and freshly inspiring views. As the river turns from blue to violet, you understand Rudyard Kipling’s long-ago nostalgia: “If you’ve ‘eard the East a-callin,’ you won’t never ‘need naught-else.”

Myanmar Visa

Make sure the remaining validity of your passport is a minimum of six months when you return from the trip and that you are not running out of blank visa pages. You need two blank visa pages for each country you travel on this trip. You can apply eVisa online, which is the most convenient way of obtaining a Myanmar visa.


  • Must deposit 25% upon confirmation of your booking request.
  • Balance payment is due 90 days prior departure. 
  • Full payment is due upon confirmation if you book within 90-days before departure.

Cancellation Terms

  • One hundred twenty days before the departure- NO FEE.
  • Sixty-one - One hundred twenty days before departure-25%.
  • Thirty-one - Sixty days before departure-55%.
  • Thirty days before departure or No show-100%.



Ship Info

anawrahtaBuilt 2015.
Length / Width / Height 65 m.
Beam / Draft 14 m / 0, 9 m.
Gross tonnage 650 tons.
Cruising speed 12 nautical knots.
Electricity 220 Volts.
Capacity / Cabins 46 passengers / 23 cabins.

Safety International safety standard, including smoke and fire alarm system throughout the Ship, emergency lighting systems, emergency communication system, evacuation equipment, Defibrillator (AED) on board, crew is trained on first aid.


nawrahta deluxe stateroom twnAnawrahta’s ten beautifully appointed Deluxe and six Deluxe Executive staterooms, all with private balcony, are decorated with original handicrafts, locally-carved wood panels and richly-textured fabrics inspired by the brocade of Burma’s ethnic minority groups. Large windows and serene colors inspire total relaxation. The Deluxe Executive sits on the upper deck while the Deluxe are located on the main deck.

Size: 32 square meters with private balcony


nawrahta junior suite stateroomNamed after some of the most fascinating rivers in Myanmar, Anawrahta offers three Junior Suites: the Kaladan, the Lenya and the Thandi. Combining dark, regal wood with the bright oranges, saffrons and greens of the floral offerings presented at temples, these suites offer a comfortable seating area and a private balcony from which to enjoy the lush beauty of the Ayeyarwady.

Size: 48 square meters / 517 square feet.


nawrahta executive suite stateroomLocated on the Terrace Deck, each of our two Executive Suites is a spacious 59 square meters/ 635 square feet, including an indoor seating area and a private balcony. Polished wood, locally made brocade and artifacts collected in Mandalay, Bagan and Yangon create a relaxing yet exotic ambiance. These suites are named after of Myanmar’s famous rivers, the Chindwin and the Yangon.

Size: 59 square meters/635 square feet, including 16.5 square meters/177 square feet of balcony space.


nawrahta royal suite stateroomThe two opulent Royal Suites are named after Anawrahta and his son Kyansitta, considered as two of the most famous monarchs in Burmese history. Equipped with a private terrace and a private Jacuzzi, these stunning suites feature elaborate woodcarvings, fine works of Burmese art, and handmade artefacts commissioned throughout Burma.

Size: 86 square meters / 926 square feet, including a terrace of 29 square meters / 312 square feet balcony with a private Jacuzzi.


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