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Exterior, Mandalay, Sanctuary Ananda

Sanctuary Ananda, Myanmar

Luxury Cruise Ship – typically more than £400 per room per night


Short description

Combine Burmese beauty with modern luxury as you cruise Myanmar’s fabled historic cultural sights


Recommended for:
Exploration cruise | History & culture | Jungle | Natural world | River cruise | Unique & unusual


While Ananda puts on a range of itineraries, its signature offerings link the twin delights of Mandalay and Bagan, making use of the mighty Irrawaddy River. Call into riverside monasteries and hidden villages as you visit Mandalay’s imperial riches and hilltop stupas before exploring a 13th century lost city in Bagan, complete with literally thousands of temple sand pagodas. Available in reverse, longer itineraries will also involve cooking classes and visit to craft workshops. Alternatively, head off the beaten waters with the Chindwin River or Upper Irrawaddy for tribal villages, wild jungles, colonial market towns and unspoiled verdure, topped with golden pagodas. Lastly, an 11-night journey will bring you from the capital in the south, though Pyay’s pagodas and Danuphyu’s colonialism to Bagan and Mandalay.


Custom built by local craftsmen using traditional materials, Ananda combines a gorgeous Burmese aesthetic with sleek, contemporary luxury. As the only all-balcony ship on the Irrawaddy, it features just 21 suites where lush silks, polished teak and detailed lacquerware celebrate Myanmar’s rich heritage while Egyptian-cotton sheets, L’Occitane bathroom products, monsoon showers and iPad with complimentary WiFi mix in modern touches. Watch as colonial towns, shoreside markets and dense jungles drift by from your open balcony or plush bed. Upgrade for extra space, balcony seating and morning tea and coffee; the Owner’s Suite even features butler service, a freestanding tub and an oversize verandah, complete with sun loungers.


Across three dining areas, chefs showcase only the freshest local ingredients – handpicked during your village-market visits – in cuisine that evokes Myanmar’s fragrant flavours. Soft-shell crabs, red curries and mango salads come to life with lemongrass, kaffir lime and sweet chilli finishes while Italian cuisine caters for more homely tastes. Think freshly made pastas and delightful salads as steaks and burgers keep the carnivores happy. Take your meals by the picture windows of the Kansi Panorama Lounge, enjoy al fresco dining on deck for lunch salad and dessert buffets or relax in the Talifoo Restaurant where soft drinks, local beers and selected wines are available on the house. If you’re inspired, consider an itinerary with a cooking course to learn how Burmese cuisine combines Indian richness with South East Asian sensibilities.


On Ananda, both on-board and on-shore activities are designed to give you an authentic taste of Myanmar. In the evenings you’ll enjoy performances from local dancers, lectures from experts on the country’s history and culture, cooking classes and demonstrations on local customs. And, after visits to workshops, ancient pagodas, monasteries and folk villages, return to the superb spa and its range of massage treatments. Perhaps round off your trip with a balloon flight over Bagan’s temple jumble. 

Stay here on these holidays

Classic Waterways of Myanmar on Sanctuary

15-day tailor-made journey from £3,645 pp incl. flights

After private tours and luxury stays among Yangon’s colonial charm, Inle Lake’s floating villages and Mandalay’s royal palaces, a luxury river cruise showcases the Irrawaddy’s charm, from Bagan’s wonders to rural villages.

Chindwin River Explorer

18-day tailor-made journey from £4,485 pp incl. flights

This itinerary is very much a chance to head along the river less travelled as you visit cultures unchanged and landscapes pristine on a luxury cruise along the Chindwin River. In between, tours of Inle, Yangon and Bagan will showcase Myanmar's golden highlights.

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