1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Scenic
  4. Scenic Cruise Reviews

12 Scenic Mandalay Cruise Reviews

Our time in Myanmar was fantastic. Having a day in Yangon prior to the tour was beneficial and we were rested and saw some different sites to those included. The hotels prior to and after the cruise were excellent Our tour ... Read More
Our time in Myanmar was fantastic. Having a day in Yangon prior to the tour was beneficial and we were rested and saw some different sites to those included. The hotels prior to and after the cruise were excellent Our tour guide, Tin Pa Pa Min was the best. She looked out for every hidden opportunity and was full of fascinating information. On board Scenic Aura the staff were fantastic. Always friendly and helpful and looking after everyone's needs. Special mention for Sai on the front desk and Lal and Moon in the dining room. The ship was always spotless despite the determined effort of some flying insects at one stage. The small gifts each evening were a treat and will be valued. We thoroughly recommend a visit to the spa for a massage. The ports of call were all excellent and the sandbank campfire most enjoyable. We especially liked that, in addition to important locations, such as Bagan, we visited small villages and interacted with the people. Every effort was made to include those with mobility issues on all excursions, although access to the boat would be all but impossible for anyone in a wheelchair. We would thoroughly recommend this trip and are glad we picked February for the best weather Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
If you are considering Myanmar as a destination I would highly recommend it. The country is beautiful and it's people friendly. We felt totally safe and welcome at all times. The Scenic Aura was up to Scenic's usual standards. ... Read More
If you are considering Myanmar as a destination I would highly recommend it. The country is beautiful and it's people friendly. We felt totally safe and welcome at all times. The Scenic Aura was up to Scenic's usual standards. Everything was fantastic with the attention to detail and extra touches making it even more special. Our cabin was large with a sitting room and electric full length glass windows which lowered to turn the space into a balcony. The food was excellent and varied and the guests were continually encouraged to ask for any food or drinks they required. Our tour guide was fantastic and all the staff friendly and attentive. There was a good balance between shore excursions and time to relax. The trips ashore were varied and interesting with some special highlights including a temple view dinner one evening. I would highly recommend this cruise and Myanmar as a destination. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
More tourists should experience the culture and delightful people in this Country which needs to improve its economy and it infrastructure. The Scenic experience is second to none and the cabins, dining and services on the tour were ... Read More
More tourists should experience the culture and delightful people in this Country which needs to improve its economy and it infrastructure. The Scenic experience is second to none and the cabins, dining and services on the tour were exceptional. Many of our friends don’t know much about Myanmar and are now very interested in visiting this Country and are looking at a Scenic cruise down the Irrawaddy River based on our recommendation. We enjoyed this trip as much as the the Scenic river cruise in the south of France and Spain. Very different experiences but amazing opportunities to enjoy wonderful interactions and to learn more about their rich history and religion. It was sobering to learn that only one third of the population have access to electricity however the infrastructure is slowly being installed across the Country. Our boat, the Scenic Aura was only launched in 2016 and was beautifully appointed and maximum guests of 44 on board meant that we had amazing service. We strongly recommend a visit to Myanmar to experience the Burmese culture and history. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I'd been to Burma 21 years ago on business. And got arrested. And met the General running the country. But that's another story. What I saw then made me want to return. So pleased I did, with my wife this time. We are ... Read More
I'd been to Burma 21 years ago on business. And got arrested. And met the General running the country. But that's another story. What I saw then made me want to return. So pleased I did, with my wife this time. We are Scenic regulars and appreciate the fact they make a holiday effortless. And so it was this time on our Road from Mandalay on Aura. Yes, the song is road TO Mandalay - but we sailed downstream. And that's my first fault. The song says "... see the flying fishes play". No flying fish! But then there aren't any on the Irrawaddy. By now you can probably guess I'm striving to find faults. Aura has spacious cabins and with only 36 guests (it can take 42) the dinning room was never crowded. In fact you got to know everybody on the boat. Great camaraderie. Good food selection, though I would have preferred more fruit choices at breakfast, but excellent omelettes. I'm picky about food but while the lunch and dinner choices were more limited than on the European river cruises I didn't starve. As for all the crew - best we've ever experienced on any vessel, sea or river, anywhere in the world - they have genuine smiles and never say No. Other people have commented about being helped ashore and having shoes cleaned on return. It's all true. We were very fortunate that when we visited the home for the young novice monks and nuns a kind sponsor had brought them gifts and provided lunch, and that later we were at festival time and experienced the collection of alms for the monks with processions noisily filling the streets. We travelled by pony and trap, horse-drawn carts, tri-cycles, boats to watch the sunset over the world's longest wooden bridge. All so different. And don't miss the balloon flight over Bagan. At the end of the cruise the seven hour coach ride to Yangon from Prome was something I would not want to do again, though the bus was Business Class. Other cruise lines go all the way to Yangon. We were told that was boring. But I'd have been happy to be bored on the boat for a day or two. Scenic need to rethink this. Now my second fault. We stayed the first night in Mandalay at the Mandalay Hills Hotel. Lovely room. Amazing grounds. Bibulous Welcome Dinner. The cruise (ok bus ride) ended in Yangon. A couple of nights at the one year old Pan Pacific Hotel. Very modern hotel with excellent rooms and food - and toilets where the seat cover rises as you enter the bathroom, has a quick pre-whatever flush, a fan to remove odours and water jets to wash various parts of the anatomy. I had to take a video (not actually in use). And that leads me to my second fault. Not at the Pan Pacific (where I would really have enjoyed the dinner buffet), but to the Farewell Dinner at an old colonial hotel called The Strand. Food choice limited. Drinks ... one glass of wine. You paid for a second or third. So the real Scenic had gone. Ridiculous. Finally, to our Cruise Director Tin Pa Pa Min - you were the best ever. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The Scenic Aura should not be compared to the Space Ships operating on European waterways as some reviewers seem to do. Scenic have done really well creating this experience in Myanmar which is a difficult country to operate in. True, the ... Read More
The Scenic Aura should not be compared to the Space Ships operating on European waterways as some reviewers seem to do. Scenic have done really well creating this experience in Myanmar which is a difficult country to operate in. True, the build quality of the Aura is not the same as the European river boats, however you soon won’t notice because you’ll be under the charm of the excellent crew. Most of them are from Myanmar and are all very professional and friendly. The lounge, restaurant and food is all first class. They will soon get to know if you like a strong cappuccino at breakfast time or a cognac after dinner. Scenic have put together a number of itineraries involving the river cruise operating both up and downstream. We did the 18 day Mystical Myanmar downstream which includes Inle Lake and a 10 day river cruise. Inle Lake is well worth including if you have time and budget. There is also a cruise only option. The Aura has its two Royal Panorama Suites at the front and not the rear as on the European boats so you can watch the scenery unfold and if your budget allows then we thoroughly recommend at a generous 70 sqm including a large terrace with a Jacuzzi. In fact all of the 22 suites are very large. You need to be open minded with a sense of adventure to travel in Myanmar, however the visits to villages and towns along the Irrawaddy that have seen few tourists is very rewarding. The local people are curious, shy and very welcoming. The water level in the Irrawaddy varies significantly over the year and disembarking in the dry, hot months of March and April can be challenging if you don’t have good mobility, however the crew including the captain are always there to assist. The off-boat excursions are many and varied and you can choose to do them all or relax on board if you wish. It's a very active program and includes transport by walking, trishaw and horse & cart. The ship’s internet access along the river can be unreliable in places so one option is to buy a local SIM card when you arrive. We were told MPT is the operator with the best service coverage and it worked well for us. You will have a Myanmar number if you do this, however you can let the people back home know your temporary number. SIM cards are available at the airport or anywhere you see MPT, ooredoo or Teledor signs and they are very cheap. We bought a SIM card with 2.5G of data for about AUD$6.50. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Myanmar was on the bucket list. True much of the country is still 3rd world but the cultural experience and friendly attitude of the people coupled with the luxury aboard ship made the entire experience worth while. Also don,t forget to ... Read More
Myanmar was on the bucket list. True much of the country is still 3rd world but the cultural experience and friendly attitude of the people coupled with the luxury aboard ship made the entire experience worth while. Also don,t forget to bargain when purchasing tourist bits and pieces, its still the real deal there. The only warning to give is take care on various river disembarkations, but the crew do there most to ensure all is safe for passengers. There was a wide variety of shore excursions to choose from and moderate fitness was required, although with those not quite up to it every assistance was given to ensure they could enjoy experiences. Overall the cruise met all our expectations and we had researched it so we were aware of some challenges, for example onshore in some areas Asian toilets only available and of course drink , the supplied, bottled water. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
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
Sail Date September 2017
We Love river cruising and nobody does it better than scenic! My husband and I have recently returned from cruising the Irrawaddy through Myanmar, we chose the eleven day option, and added a couple of days of our own in Mandalay, and ... Read More
We Love river cruising and nobody does it better than scenic! My husband and I have recently returned from cruising the Irrawaddy through Myanmar, we chose the eleven day option, and added a couple of days of our own in Mandalay, and one in Yangon. We chose to stay at the Mandalay Hill resort, which is the hotel that scenic uses for its longer trip option. It is a lovely hotel, and we were lucky enough to be upgraded to a top floor junior suite. We met our fellow passengers and tour guides the night before the commencement of the cruise, and on the day of the cruise our bags were picked up from the room, and the next time you see them they are in your room on board! wonderful, and so easy. The ship is really fantastic, We were in room 303, top floor, second best rooms on the ship. All the rooms are good, I visited the other rooms, and would have been happy with any of them. so choose from price point, but if money is no object get the Diamond deck 301 or 302 ! own front deck, with jacuzzi! 70msq. the room we had was huge, at 40 sqm and had to full windows, balcony if you wanted it, The most comfortable bed ever! lovely bathroom, walk through robe and loads of space, we also had our own lounge area, it felt like a small apartment ! I could have lived there permanently! the availability of washers and dryers for guest use at any time was a boon indeed. The staff on board are the most delightful friendly bunch . Notably Yii Mon , our guide and helper in all ways, TJ who made everyone happy, and what a dancer ! and also the chefs, who bent over backwards to please. All the staff were wonderful. Some reviewers have criticised the shape of the bar lounge, being a horse-shoe shape, but this is to accommodate the swimming pool on the floor above and is, therefore totally worth it ! you can't beat a little swim at the end of a busy day sightseeing. Others have said that the ship needs a lift. If you need a lift to get around, this is not the trip for you, a certain amount of fitness is required for the offshore trips, and getting on and off the boat is 'interesting' at times. the staff were always there to help those less able. Bagan was the stand out onshore event, we didn't get to do the hot air balloon ride, it is only available at certain times of year. The Trishaw rides would be more comfortable for those with small bottoms! Bring shoes that are easy to slip on and off.you will need them. there are times when the local sales pitch ladies can get a little over the top, but try to remember that it is there livelihood, and smile. buy something, and help the local economy! There is a long bus ride between Pyay and Yangon, the bus is comfortable, but in retrospect, I would probably have chosen the Yangon to Mandalay upstream run, and got that bit done at the beginning. Having said that, I would have no hesitation in recommending this journey with Scenic, and loved the intimacy of the smaller boat with only 44 guests max. it was super, and I am so glad we did it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our very first River cruise and we were not disappointed. Myanmar is a marvellous country and Scenic Cruises made sure we had a truly superb vacation from the moment we set foot in Mandalay until the last handshake in Yangon. ... Read More
This was our very first River cruise and we were not disappointed. Myanmar is a marvellous country and Scenic Cruises made sure we had a truly superb vacation from the moment we set foot in Mandalay until the last handshake in Yangon. The Scenic Aura is a spacious and comfortable boat and the crew were thoughtful, full of smiles and extremely helpful. The meals were excellent and the all inclusive drinks menu made sure our glasses were never empty. We adored the included Teriyaki evening. We had some excellent excursions and every day was a new sunrise and sunset opportunity. We enjoyed the visits to the Temples, Stupas and Pafgodas and to local craft villages. We were able to partake in local life and enjoy local transport. The Hot Air Baloon experience, although a payable extra, was well worth every dollar and the sunrise over the Bagan plain was unforgettable. All in all an excellent vacation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We wanted to cruise in Myanmar and upon reading about Scenic's new ship (Aura) we decided to use this operator. A good decision. The ship was only launched in September and our cruise started in late November - mainly December. The ... Read More
We wanted to cruise in Myanmar and upon reading about Scenic's new ship (Aura) we decided to use this operator. A good decision. The ship was only launched in September and our cruise started in late November - mainly December. The ship lived up to the computer generated images and, before I point out some issues, I unreservedly recommend this ship to anyone considering a cruise in Myanmar. Cruising in Myanmar is not like cruising in most other Countries - there are no wharfs at which to dock - the ship (mostly) just nudges into the shore and the gangplank is lowered for passengers to get off. Occasionally it docks against another ship and the only way to exit is through the other ship - happened only once on our voyage. There are 22 cabins - hence a maximum of 44 fellow travellers - 39 in our case as 5 cabins were occupied by singles. The rooms vary in size but all are big by river (and ocean) cruise standards. We had a grand deluxe suite which measured 40 square metres (just over 400 square feet). The cabin was well appointed with only a bath missing. The restaurant is open seating and can seat all passengers at the one sitting. There is a Teppanyaki bar in the restaurant that seats six and is by invitation only - that way all guest get to use this facility. The food was outstanding as was the service. The bar is a (long) horseshoe shape and consequently it is difficulty for large groups to be accommodated - we usually had about 10-12 in our group and that was just manageable. There is another bar next to the pool but this is mainly used when there are functions at the pool area. There is no problem getting a drink where ever you are on the ship. The pool area was a real treat. The top deck is an open area with seating (some undercover) with a walking track that measured about 60 metres (70 yards). The gym is small but adequate. There is one washer, one dryer and one iron in the laundry. The itinerary is fairly full for the first 8 days with less to do on the last two days. I would recommend sailing from Mandalay to Yangon as the river current is fairly strong and the excursions at the Mandalay end are busy at a time when you have to pack etc. The excursions were, in the main, interesting although one does get over Pagoda's after the first two hundred! The highlights were village visits - actually saw cock fighting in one (not sactioned by Scenic) and visits to monastery’s and schools - you get a real feel of how the people of Myanmar are coping with the opening up of their Country. Onboard entertainment is limited given the small size of both the ship and the crew. Now those issues - at our greeting talk the cruise director (Rikus Visser) explained that there were a few problems with the finishes on the ship - the floor varnish was not adequate and the floors were scratched, some repainting was taking place as the air conditioner had required maintenance and ceilings had to be accessed. We had noticed the smell of paint in our cabin upon arrival but it was completely gone by nightfall. These are small issues that one would expect in a ship built in Myanmar and they will be fixed at the end of the season. Finally the staff - they were fantastic, always friendly and ready to help. We have been on quite a few ocean cruises and there are few cruise directors of the standard of Rikus. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose Myanmar because we thought it was an exciting destination and we were not disappointed. The service provided by Scenic was excellent. However some of the Ports and shore excursions need more thought to provide more active ... Read More
We chose Myanmar because we thought it was an exciting destination and we were not disappointed. The service provided by Scenic was excellent. However some of the Ports and shore excursions need more thought to provide more active alternatives.The cabin was spacious and very comfortable and the service outstanding but the bar/lounge area was an odd shape and didn't really work as a social meeting point. The pool area was great as was the top deck but needed more shade.The crew were especially helpful when disembaking as there wasn't always a pier. The bar staff and waiters were excellent. The wine varieties were more limited than other Scenic cruises we have been on, but all transported from abroad as Burmese local wines weren't up to Scenic high standards. The meals were of a very high standard.The evening entertainment was limited. Not really a family holiday. The only critisism was the very long drive at the end of the cruise to Yangon. I would strongly recommend this trip. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We had never been on a cruise but heard that Scenic was one of the leaders for river cruises and we had always wanted to go to Myanmar so it seemed a perfect combination. We thought that we would try our the company with a view to doing ... Read More
We had never been on a cruise but heard that Scenic was one of the leaders for river cruises and we had always wanted to go to Myanmar so it seemed a perfect combination. We thought that we would try our the company with a view to doing some serious European river cruising in the future. We'd done a lot of independent travel all over Asia and love it. Frankly we felt that the tour was beefed up to appear more interesting than it was. The Irrawaddy River is the most disinteresting waterway, there is simply nothing to see from the water and it was a very disappointing trip. The water is like a warm caramel milkshake, murky and frothy. When I gave feedback the company thanked me but was not at all interested in retaining me as a customer. In their position I would have asked to be given the chance to prove how wonderful Scenic tours could be. Maybe offer a big discount on a future booking or some incentive. Instead they admitted that the cruise of the Irrawaddy was new and they were still feeling their way. Other guests on the cruise admitted that the cruise was not up to the usual Scenic standard and as they were all repeat customers Scenic must do something right but they really missed out on this one. The land content, except for Mandalay was good although when we went on busses we were often put on tatty, old, buses. If this was all that was available we would have understood but there were lots of modern well appointed busses chartered by other tour companies that we saw along the same routes. The boat was lovely, although already showing signs of wear and tear after only 40 days sailing. The cruise director and staff were wonderful but there were so many other things that needed fixing. Our guide was very friendly but almost impossible to understand and wasn’t pro-active. He gave us the bare minimum of information. We are off to Europe to cruise but because it's obvious Scenic aren't interested in having us as customers we will look for other companies who will value our business. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click