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Scenic Aura

Itinerary

With an international airport and a population of more than 1 million people, Mandalay is one of the largest cities in Myanmar, second only to Yangon. It serves as an embarkation/debarkation port for some cruises on the Irrawaddy River, and a port stop for others.

Mandalay is a bustling city, and like much of Myanmar it's a study in contrasts, where tradition and modernity clash at every turn. You'll see street vendors cooking food over open flames in front of flashing neon signs advertising cell phones, and pharmacies that sell both Western and traditional herbal medications.

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With an international airport and a population of more than 1 million people, Mandalay is one of the largest cities in Myanmar, second only to Yangon. It serves as an embarkation/debarkation port for some cruises on the Irrawaddy River, and a port stop for others.

Mandalay is a bustling city, and like much of Myanmar it's a study in contrasts, where tradition and modernity clash at every turn. You'll see street vendors cooking food over open flames in front of flashing neon signs advertising cell phones, and pharmacies that sell both Western and traditional herbal medications.

Read More
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Bagan is a frequent stop on Irrawaddy River cruise itineraries. The city was once the capital of Myanmar, and is the birthplace of Buddhism in the country. More than 2,000 religious monuments -- stupas, temples and pagodas -- still stand today; you can see their spires dotting roughly 16 square miles. With its proximity to a small airport, Bagan serves as an embarkation/debarkation port.

A port stop in Bagan will likely include a visit to Ananda Temple and the Shwezigon Pagoda, which are among the best-preserved religious monuments in the city. You'll also see hot-air balloons flying over the temples, particularly at sunrise.

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With the nation's ruling military regime loosening its grip, Myanmar (also known as Burma) is attracting lots of attention. In 2011, a new government began implementing reforms, including freeing hundreds of political prisoners, and holding credible elections -- during which pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party won a landslide victory. That led to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's landmark visit in late 2011, followed by President Barack Obama's in November 2012.

The warming of relations and easing of U.S. sanctions has helped boost Myanmar onto nearly every travel hot list. Cruise providers -- many of them river operators -- have been scrambling to put together itineraries that call on Myanmar's largest city of Yangon (also known as Rangoon). Premium and luxury lines are also including Yangon on select Southeast Asia and world cruise itineraries.

Read More

With the nation's ruling military regime loosening its grip, Myanmar (also known as Burma) is attracting lots of attention. In 2011, a new government began implementing reforms, including freeing hundreds of political prisoners, and holding credible elections -- during which pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party won a landslide victory. That led to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's landmark visit in late 2011, followed by President Barack Obama's in November 2012.

The warming of relations and easing of U.S. sanctions has helped boost Myanmar onto nearly every travel hot list. Cruise providers -- many of them river operators -- have been scrambling to put together itineraries that call on Myanmar's largest city of Yangon (also known as Rangoon). Premium and luxury lines are also including Yangon on select Southeast Asia and world cruise itineraries.

Read More

With the nation's ruling military regime loosening its grip, Myanmar (also known as Burma) is attracting lots of attention. In 2011, a new government began implementing reforms, including freeing hundreds of political prisoners, and holding credible elections -- during which pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party won a landslide victory. That led to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's landmark visit in late 2011, followed by President Barack Obama's in November 2012.

The warming of relations and easing of U.S. sanctions has helped boost Myanmar onto nearly every travel hot list. Cruise providers -- many of them river operators -- have been scrambling to put together itineraries that call on Myanmar's largest city of Yangon (also known as Rangoon). Premium and luxury lines are also including Yangon on select Southeast Asia and world cruise itineraries.

Read More
12 reviews
Why Choose Scenic Aura?

Scenic Aura Overview

Scenic Aura launched in September 2016 and sails the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar (Burma) between the cities of Mandalay and Pyay. With only 22 suites, this 213-foot boutique ship is expected to offers a luxurious experience for up to 44 passengers, with an almost 1:1 staff-to-guest ratio. Butler service is included as are tips and gratuities, expert local guides and onshore activities including Scenic Enrich special events and Scenic Sundowners cocktail receptions. 

Cabins

Each of the 22 suites will have a balcony and a separate bedroom and living room. Accommodation ranges in size from a 24 square metre (258 square feet) Balcony Suite to the largest suite on the Irrawaddy, the 70 square metre (753 square feet) Royal Panorama Suite, which has an outdoor forward-facing deck with a daybed and Jacuzzi.

Dining

Scenic Aura offers a choice of dining venues, from "five-star" a-la-carte menus to casual daytime snacks. Complimentary beverages are available throughout the ship 24 hours a day.

Entertainment and Activities

Watch a movie at the sun deck open-air cinema, cool down in the pool or catch up with fellow passengers at the spacious bar and lounge. Scenic Aura also has an onboard gym, wellness center and library.

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Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: November 2017
Staff was superb, ship was great, food was excellent, guides were superior, itinerary was top notch, attention to detail above the norm. Cabins were a total surprise with windows that lowered electrically, 2 shade blinds, large size. The ... Read More
Staff was superb, ship was great, food was excellent, guides were superior, itinerary was top notch, attention to detail above the norm. Cabins were a total surprise with windows that lowered electrically, 2 shade blinds, large size. The cabin person was always there, but rarely seen. One of the largest staterooms we have bee in. Shore excursions were well conducted and interesting, each one being more thatn we had thought it was going to be. First time on scenic, and the best river cruise we have had. Dining room staff so very good. Lal ram was a delight to be around and all of the staff a huge asset to the ship. The two guids, tu tu, and papa were tops, both true professionals. We all really ejoyed tu tu's laugh. A real delight. Our captain was a true good sport and involved in many ways with the guests and crew. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Having travelled with Scenic in the past we decided to book our Myanmar trip with them and see the country before it gets too crowded. Firstly the Ship - the Aura. On initial inspection a lovely yacht type ship, nice entrance and ... Read More
Having travelled with Scenic in the past we decided to book our Myanmar trip with them and see the country before it gets too crowded. Firstly the Ship - the Aura. On initial inspection a lovely yacht type ship, nice entrance and ambiance but it does have some issues. The general feel is of spaciousness with only a max of 44 passengers, the bedoms are very nice with electric beds, lounge area, small walk in wardrobe, compact but very accessible bathroom with reasonably large shower and 2 opening (electronic slide down) windows. However the first issue with the ship is the balcony in the room. This is a complete waste of space and badly designed. It should either have been a dedicated balcony with sliding doors or part of the lounge. It is awkward at present because it has folding doors and we left them open and it became a dumping ground for bags. The dinning room is lovely with central serving area and a small dedicated specialist area, which everyone is invited to during the cruise. There is plenty of space for all the passengers and the food was excellent. There is a small compact pool area at the back with bar and seating and this was used for entertainment at night. The library did not seem to be in much use only for getting on and off the ship when docked. The main issue with the ship's design is the lounge. This is a strange design with a central section separating it into 4 quadrants, so not easy to accommodate everyone altogether for the port talks, in fact they need 2 screens to do their presentation. This is a very poor design feature and interestingly not many people used it. This is the worst feature on the ship. There is a great top sundeck however with walking area and plenty of seating; a great place to cool-off when sailing. Also as the ship was built in Myanmar it does have a slightly 'cheap' feel to it and to say that it is only 18months old is showing signs of wear already. However despite the faults it was a pleasure to sail on the Aura. Next the crew - they were fantastic and always ready with a smile. Many thanks to Chantel, the Cruise Director , who was always around to solve any hitches or have a chat with and the Captain who was always there with a helping hand when embarking or dissembarking. A word of warning here, this trip is not for people with mobility issues as there are no proper docking facilities, at many of the places the ship stops climbing up sand banks or rough ground was the norm. So in conclusion the Aura is a nice ship with plenty of space for the passengers, it has good bedrooms, fantastic dining area and one of the nicest crews we have come across. Also the food was as good as any river or sea cruise ship and not overtaking. The variety of the Wines were reasonable and premium drinks were included throughout the day. Scenic always have great tours and this cruise (Yangon to Mandalay) was no exception. Some wonderful cultural visits, insight into the people and their ives all brought to life with a great Tour Diector - PA PA Min. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Having previously visited Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, we thought a visit to the recently opened Myanmar would be interesting and chose Scenic as our operator due to previous excellent experience. With a crew to guest ratio nearing ... Read More
Having previously visited Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, we thought a visit to the recently opened Myanmar would be interesting and chose Scenic as our operator due to previous excellent experience. With a crew to guest ratio nearing 1:1 the service was excellent. Most of the hospitality crew greeted guests by name from the first day. The buffet lunches and breakfasts offered a wide range of fare, excellently prepared and presented. The a la carte dinners a gourmet delight. A very adequate range of 5 white, 2 rose and 5 red wInes and champagne as house wines for lunch and dinner with a a small but very adequate selection of wines available for purchase. The daily excursions led by two very knowledgeable and competent tour guides who guided us to interesting sites each day. The Scenic Aura is a new vessel which has been developed taking guest comfort and convenience in mind and excels in every respect. We will certainly recommend the Scenic Aura experience to anyone wishing to undertake a trip to Myanmar. Read Less