Orcaella: Gorges of the Far North


12-Day Escorted Tour

Cruise

The Tour

Enjoy 12 days aboard the luxurious river boat Orcaella and take in the scenic majesty of Myanmar. The boat, the staff, the dining, the visits: it all added up to one of the best IRT journeys ever when we traveled on this ship in 2014.

Any description of this ship or the journey itself comes up short, because it is so much more.

It is, in fact, one of the best trips IRT has ever offered. Read all about it in our blog, Track 25.

For details about Myanmar and its incredible people, click here. For details on life aboard the beautiful ship Orcaella, click here.

Get Email Updates On This & Other Tours

“…that fabulous Burma trip, one of the best ever.”

— David Minnerly, veteran of over 40 IRT Society trips.

The Itinerary

Day 1: Yangon-Mandalay-Mingun
Domestic Flight Yangon to Mandalay included. Board Orcaella in Mandalay and cruise on the Ayeyarwady River towards northern Myanmar. A stop at Mingun includes a visit to the world’s largest brick-built pagoda and the biggest uncracked bell. This evening you’ll get to know fellow travellers at the welcome dinner.

Day 2: Mingun – Nwe Nyein
Disembark at Nwe Nyein for a guided walking tour and a chance to meet artisans sculpting traditional clay pots. Later, sail past the picturesque island pagoda of Thihadaw before enjoying a cocktail party on the top deck.

Day 3: Kyan Hnyat – Katha
Spend the morning strolling around the delightful village of Kyan Hnyat. Children greet you on their way to school and the market begins bustle with activity. As the Orcaella continues its voyage, you can admire the rural villages dotted along the shore.

Day 4: Katha – Shwegu
Visit Katha by trishaw and take in the market made famous by George Orwell in Burmese Days. In the afternoon, small boats take you ashore to the port of Shwegu and beyond to experience life in a typical riverside Shan village.

Day 5: Zinbon – Bhamo – Shwe Paw
As the cruise continues, relax and admire the green-clad mountains reaching down to the narrowing channel. Travel past logging camps and the old colonial village of Zinbon. The ship drops anchor off Bhamo. Visit the town centre and enjoy the vibrant activity of this tribal meeting point.

Day 6: Shwe Paw – Katha
Begin the day with a tour of picturesque Shwe Paw Island and its ancient pagodas. Your journey then takes you on to the riverside village of Moe Dar where you’ll witness a traditional noviciation ceremony.

Day 7: Katha – Kyan Hnyat 
In the early morning, board a train to the forest station of Naba and journey into the thick Kachin jungle and teak forest. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon gliding towards Kyan Hnayt, and end the day with a refreshing cocktail on the Top Deck.

Day 8: Kyan Hnyat – Mogok
This morning the ship anchors at Thabeikkyin. A winding road will lead you past a lush forestry reserve to Mogok, where you’ll meet elephants working in the teak forests.

Day 9: Mandalay
Mandalay comes into view in the early morning. Disembark for a tour of Myanmar’s second city, including lunch at a local restaurant. Rejoin the ship at the quaint village of Shwe Kyet Yet and enjoy a tribal dance performance in the evening.

Day 10: Bagan
Spend the day gazing at the passing scenery as the ship continues towards Bagan. This evening take in the unforgettable sunset over the Bagan plain and enjoy a magical performance by traditional Bagan artists.

Day 11: Bagan – Mt Popa
Visit the ancient sites in and around Bagan with an expert guide. In the afternoon you may choose to join a tour of Mount Popa—the legendary home of animist spirits known as Nats—with its impressive summit monastery. Or take a horse-drawn cart or a bicycle to explore on your own. Celebrate your final evening on board at this evening’s cocktail party, and say goodbye to your new friends during the Farewell Dinner.

Day 12: Yangon
Transfer to Bagan airport for your flight to Yangon.

Please note this itinerary is subject to change.

IRT Virtuoso difference: Let our expert advisors help you choose how to extend your journey with Virtuoso hotels, guides, sightseeing, adding a minimum of $500 in complimentary amenities value to your booking.  Combine this with an Eastern & Oriental Express journey an enjoy reductions of up to 15%. Offer subject to change.

2017 Dates:

August 30 - September 10
September 28 - October 9
December 22-January 2, 2018 (New Year's Eve Celebration Cruise including Pyay)

The Prices

No single supplement in deluxe cabins. Price for sole use of State Cabin is $9,758.Price for sole use of Junior Suite is $11,739.
 2017 Pricing
Deluxe Cabin $4,718
State Cabin $6,097
Junior Suite Cabin 7,336
Balcony Suite $8,568

Prices are per person. Deposit is 15%.

New Year’s Eve
Celebration Pricing
Deluxe Cabin $7,740
State Cabin $9,710
Junior Suite Cabin $11,480
Balcony Suite $13,240

Prices are per person. Deposit is 15%.

 

Other

The New Year’s Eve trip does not go to Bhamo. The itinerary is Mandalay to Payay to Bagan. Please inquire for more information.

to top

The Highlights

  • Guided tour of Mandalay, Myanmar’s ‘second city.’
  • Visit elephants working in the teak forests of Mogok
  • Guided tour of Bagan
  • Optional tour of Mount Popa, legendary home of animist spirits
  • Cocktail parties on the Top Deck of the Orcaella
  • Trishaw trip to Katha, famed market of George Orwell’sBurmese Days
  • Sail past the picturesque island pagoda of Thihadaw
Orcaella.  Photo by Owen Hardy, The Society of International Railway Travelers.
Orcaella. Photo by Owen Hardy, The Society of International Railway Travelers.
Temple visit during Orcaella journey.  Photo by Owen Hardy, The Society of International Railway Travelers.
Temple visit during Orcaella journey. Photo by Owen Hardy, The Society of International Railway Travelers.
Children of Myanmar. Photo by Owen Hardy, The Society of International Railway Travelers.
Children of Myanmar. Photo by Owen Hardy, The Society of International Railway Travelers.
Balloons over Bagan excursion during Orcaella trip.  Photo by Owen Hardy, The Society of International Railway Travelers.
Balloons over Bagan excursion during Orcaella trip. Photo by Owen Hardy, The Society of International Railway Travelers.