7 Night cruise departing roundtrip from Yangoon onboard Kanee Pandaw.
The Irrawaddy Delta covers an area of over 1000 square miles with Rangoon, its most famous port and capital of all Burma from 1886 to 2005. Originally a vast inhabited wetland and jungle, much of it was cleared and cultivated by the British who annexed Lower Burma in 1855. It subsequently became the rice basket of Asia, effectively feeding much of the Indian Raj. During this period of prosperity a number of rice towns developed in the colonial style. The most famous of which was Bassein. The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company by the 1920s operated over 100 creek steamers across the Delta connecting these towns and villages at a time when there were neither roads nor bridges.
There are seven main channels and myriad lesser ones forming a complex labyrinth of waterways understood only by the most experienced pilots. In the backwaters there is the feel of Kerala, on the larger channels it could be New Orleans and the Deep South.
Contrary to expectation these great wetlands are not monotonous at all and there is considerable human interest in the form of pretty towns, markets, temples, churches and mosques. There is also profuse bird life in the less populated areas.
Our 7-night programme enables relaxed exploration of this fascinating region, starting and returning to Rangoon.
Highlights of this cruise:
DAY 1 RANGOON TO PYAPON
Early morning departure from Rangoon via the Twante Canal stopping at Twante to view the potteries and on to Pyapon (64miles) a delightful delta town and seaport with lively docks and markets.
DAY 2 PYAPON TO BOGALE
Bogale is at the heart of the delta and once a Mon capital and trading port connected to international trading routes between the 15th and 18th centuries. It features the only mangrove ecosystem reserve in the Delta. A visit to the monastery of the town will be organized.
DAY 3 BOGALE TO MYAUNGMYA
This will be the most fascinating day’s sailing as we weave through creeks and channels cross-country across the heart of the delta. We will stop for a walk about in a suitable village.
DAY 4 MYAUNGMYA TO BASSEIN
Morning cruise across the final section of delta to join the great Bassein River that takes us up to Bassein, the capital of the delta and an important seaport too. Of interest here are the traditional umbrella manufacturies, where the typical monk’s waxed cloth umbrellas are made. On foot we will explore the town, its shrines and vibrant markets.
DAY 5 BASSEIN
A day at leisure in this charming port town and optional day trip by car to Ngwesaung Beach with lunch there.
DAY 6 BASSEIN TO WAKEMA
Noon departure with lunch to follow, taking the more usual upper delta route of the old IFC ‘launch service’ between Rangoon and Bassein. Evening exploration of this attractive river port.
DAY 7 WAKEMA TO MAUBIN
On these busier channels there will be a variety of shipping whilst the riverbanks team with life and activity. Maubin is a very pleasant place to enjoy a sunset walk along its colourful strand.
DAY 8 MAUBIN TO RANGOON
Morning run crossing the Twante Canal and home to the Rangoon River and our berth in colonial downtown and disembarkation between 12 and 12.30 pm (lunch excluded).
Please note, while prices and inclusions are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to changes in cruise line policies and pricing and due to currency fluctuations. Currency surcharges may apply. Please check details of price and inclusions at time of booking.