8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We have just completed a downstream journey on the Avalon Myanmar from Bhamo to Bagan. This is a beautiful new ship with a wonderful crew and it, for the first half, covers a part of the river largely not travelled by other companies. ... Read More
We have just completed a downstream journey on the Avalon Myanmar from Bhamo to Bagan. This is a beautiful new ship with a wonderful crew and it, for the first half, covers a part of the river largely not travelled by other companies. On our cruise there were 24 passengers and a film/video team of 3 ( max of 36) from Canada, Australia, the US and Switzerland. People mixed very well with lively conversation at dinner but by some unspoken agreement, almost complete quiet on the top outside lounge during the day. Ages 55+ (with 2 stellar 90 year olds who were amazing!) The excursions were all included. Many were walking tours through riverside villages while others involved buses, horse-drawn carts, sampans, truck or motor bike taxis. Everything was faultlessly organised. Our excursion guide, Dorothy, came from Bhamo, studied in Mandalay and Yangon, so knew the areas very well and chatted easily to the local people as they shared their lives with us. There was no option to do a dawn balloon flight over Bagan but 2 people on our cruise had booked it independently. Towards the end most of us felt we had seen enough Buddhas and, at Bagan, would have liked a bit more time just to explore the (3000) deserted stupas. Entertainment was suitably low key. A couple of evening movies about Myanmar, a puppet show, traditional dance performance, cooking, photography, Burmese language and traditional medicine. There were a couple of wonderful unexpected surprises but it would be a shame to let on about these! The food was varied and good. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style with cooking stations for freshly made offerings and always a mix of western, Asian and Burmese food. Dinner was a sit down meal, four courses with the same mix of cuisines. There was also coffee and croissants at 6am for the sunrise set and cocktail hour at 6 pm, with the cocktails (plus beer and local spirits) included. A number of us would have preferred a glass of wine and this was available but had to be paid for. The crew were sensational, genuinely friendly and so focused on their guests, even those with little direct contact who were there to help us safely go up and down sometimes steep riverbanks. Mark, the tour manager and Joe, the purser lead a great team. Pre and post cruise was in Yangon at the Sule Shangri-la, which was also excellent. Yangon traffic is something else! Tip: take one pair of comfortable, preferably washable walking shoes and use these for all shore excursions. These are left permanently in a basket on the lower deck and washed for you when you return to the ship after shore excursions. Slippers are provided for wearing around the ship. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Great trip. Avalon was first class. Staff were wonderful, helpful and friendly. Stops were so interesting and the guide was very informative. Moy was a great help. Mark was a very good Cruise director . The ship overall is new and ... Read More
Great trip. Avalon was first class. Staff were wonderful, helpful and friendly. Stops were so interesting and the guide was very informative. Moy was a great help. Mark was a very good Cruise director . The ship overall is new and beautifully appointed. Rooms are very comfortable and give such a great view of the scenery. There was a surprise at most stops. Rickshaw rides, gondola rides at sunset. Ox cart rides and sand bar entertainment complete with fireworks. There was local entertainment nightly or movies with Myanmar history. Couldn't have asked for more. Food was delicious varied. Especially enjoyed the iced ginger tea. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
You begin your trip with an overnight stay at the Shangra-la Hotel Yangon. A very well kept hotel with a restaurant, bar, bakery and more. The hotel employees are very helpful at all times. Centrally located downtown and convenient for the ... Read More
You begin your trip with an overnight stay at the Shangra-la Hotel Yangon. A very well kept hotel with a restaurant, bar, bakery and more. The hotel employees are very helpful at all times. Centrally located downtown and convenient for the tours provided. To start your South bound cruise you fly to Bhamo and sail south (cruises can go either North or South bound) on the Irrawaddy River stopping at 10-12 villages along the way to Bagan where your river trip ends. As you explore each site along the way you take off your shoes and socks to view the Pagodas, walking trips to a farmers home, shops and more. Since the River Ship docks along the banks of the river and you take your shoes off when re-entering the boat and are given slip-ons to wear or your shoes that you left behind on the ship. The crew is excellent and most helpful such as Aye in the dining room, where Western and Asian food is served and Sai in the lounge/bar, where the addictive sesame seed snacks are provided. All the crew is very helpful and do not forget to use the Spa. With 18 cabins you will only have a maximum of 36 passengers Mark is an excellent and informative cruise director and Myo is his most capable assistant and is from Myanmar. Excellent movies are shown about the history of Myanmar that will enhance your trip. An adventuresome trip not to miss while the country is open to tourism. Our Excellent ratings are given as the value exceeded are expectations. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was our 4th experience with Avalon river cruises and each one has been a wonderful experience. This ship was beautifully designed and decorated. Particularly memorable highlights were… · the sunrise and balloons ... Read More
This was our 4th experience with Avalon river cruises and each one has been a wonderful experience. This ship was beautifully designed and decorated. Particularly memorable highlights were… · the sunrise and balloons over the temples at Bagan...magical! · The sunset over the teak footbridge we viewed from sampans . · The children in the Monastery school doing the Hokey Pokey with a guy couple from our group. · The fire pit and local dance troupe on the sandbar at night. · The spectacular Buddhas and temples. · emotional experience with the founding Nun at the Nunnery. · The pass through the 2nd defile. · Sai entertaining and serving us great drinks on the ship We feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to experience this amazing culture with informed tour guides and service oriented crew. While all the crew were so professional and helpful, we particularly want to acknowledge Mark and Dorothy Bauk. Mark kept the whole trip on track and was always willing to share a story and take care of our every need. He is an excellent communicator with a great sense of humor, incredibly competent, and a very likeable person. Dorothy is just a real sweetheart and a genuinely caring person….we so enjoyed our time with her on the trip. She is extremely intelligent, well organized, and has an incredible knowledge of the history and present state of the country. After we left the cruise and were spending our last couple days in Yangon, she went "above and beyond" by arranging for me to have a tailor made longyi and blouse, taking several of us jewelry shopping, and taking us out for dinner at an incredible restaurant on the lake. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We had decided it was time to take a River Cruise ,but wanted somewhere less crowded and more exotic than Europe So we chose Myanmar and The Avalon Myanmar River Cruise looked the most interesting The Itinerary also looked ... Read More
We had decided it was time to take a River Cruise ,but wanted somewhere less crowded and more exotic than Europe So we chose Myanmar and The Avalon Myanmar River Cruise looked the most interesting The Itinerary also looked intriguing ,traveling further north than any other riverboat into remote areas.We decided to take the Southbound route starting in the north and gradually returning to "civilization" . Our Journey started with two nights in Yangon at The Sule Shangri La Hotel, an enormous luxury property beautifully decorated with lovely rooms and great views . A tip if you need an extra night, book direct with the Hotel it is easy and more economical than using Avalon. We met up with our Cruise Director Myo and our local guide Andrew at our first day in Yangon for a briefing, both are Burmese, also their English was very good.This was a huge plus for us as you get so much more from someone who is native to the country. After a day in Yangon, seeing the main sights we were ready to get out of the big city and board our riverboat. We flew from Yangon to Bhamo on a charter flight and on arrival it felt we were somewhere really remote,they closed the airport gate when we left on our Tuk Tuks through Bhamo for, our embarkation . This ship is gorgeous, only two years old decorated throughout in Burmese Teak with lovely indoor and outdoor lounges . a perfect size , the staff are the best, all Burmese, most speaking at least a little English wonderful smiley and helpful, forever cleaning and polishing with cries of Mingalabar at every turn (the Burmese greeting ). The ship had a nice gym ,small but adequate ,a spa , a selection of books to borrow and a very nice bar open for early risers coffee or tea and drinks throughout the day. All the food was delicious , a great selection for all tastes with a nice mixture of Burmese Dishes and Western staples, wonderfully prepared, Breakfast and Lunch selections were from the buffet with hot and cold options . The Dinner Menu had a large selection of choices served at your table. The dining room was set up in tables of 4 or 6 with open seating. Our cruise comprised of 28 travelers, with an age range from 40 to mid 70,s mostly well traveled North Americans , Australians, Austrians and British. We sailed mostly in the afternoons and had tours and excursions in the mornings.The crew stood along the river bank assisting everyone up the slopes, mostly we moored by tying up to trees and no formal jetty. On our return to the ship we were given a refreshing fruit drink while we took our shoes off and wore slippers provided .The crew then cleaned our shoes every day. When we sailed Myo or Andrew , alerted us to sights to watch out for including the famed Irrawady Dolphins, a rare sighting. For Entertainment after Dinner there were several Movies shown also a puppet show and Burmese Dancing. Plus some interesting lectures and demonstrations during the day. We would recommend Avalon Myanmar to anyone with a sense of Adventure ,without giving up the niceties in life . Hot water, comfy beds great food and wine etc! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Can't speak highly enough of the whole experience aboard the Avalon Myanmar cruising the Irrawaddy river, not forgetting the 2 days in the capital Yangon pre -cruise. Myanmar is a fascinating country as yet almost untouched by ... Read More
Can't speak highly enough of the whole experience aboard the Avalon Myanmar cruising the Irrawaddy river, not forgetting the 2 days in the capital Yangon pre -cruise. Myanmar is a fascinating country as yet almost untouched by tourism, and seeing it from the river stopping every day at villages and towns is a great way to get close to Burmese life. The excursions were well planned and varied, but you do need to be mobile and able to walk distances as well as negotiating river banks which are mostly without steps. The cruise director, the local guide, who stayed with the cruise throughout, and the ship's crew were all excellent and the Burmese people in the countryside are just delightful. The accommodation and food exceeded our expectations, and the small passenger capacity ensures a family like feeling within a few days. We were all good friends by the end of the journey. Thoroughly recommended. Read Less
Avalon Myanmar Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 5.0
Entertainment 3.0 4.7
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.3
Family 1.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.8
Enrichment 4.0 5.0
Service 5.0 5.0
Value For Money 4.0 4.7

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