Lueftner Cruises has entered the burgeoning Burma river cruise sector with Irawaddy Explorer, one of two new ships launched by the Austrian-owned company in Asia.
Designed in English colonial style, this boutique 56-passenger vessel will operate nine-night itineraries from Prome to Mandalay, with the option of land-based stays in Bangkok, Rangoon and Inle Lake.
Suites are located on two decks. All 10 Maugham Staterooms, which have French balconies and measure 292 square feet, are on the Main Deck. The remaining cabins are on the Upper Deck, and all have balconies. There are 14 Orwell Staterooms, measuring 281 square feet apiece; two Kipling Staterooms, at 274 square feet each; and a forward pair of Mandalay Suites, which are each 314 square feet. All cabins have queen-sized beds, which can be configured as twins, and the four largest suites have king-sized beds.
Standard cabin amenities include premium mattresses, slippers and bathrobes, quality toiletries, flat-screen TVs with on-demand movies, air-conditioning and complimentary water that's replenished daily. The two Mandalay Suites have butler service.
The dining room is situated on the Main Deck. Complimentary drinks -- including tea, coffee, soft drinks, local beer and spirits -- are served throughout the cruise, and there is free house wine at dinner. There's a lounge and outdoor seating area on the Sun Deck.
Fares include transfers and shore excursions. International air travel is not included.
By Jeannine Williamson, Cruise Critic contributor