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20 The Strand Asia River Cruise Reviews

The strand cruise from mandalay to bagan in myanmar was a once in a lifetime experience, I have never enjoyed a river boat cruise so much, exceptional staff, so endearing, so polite, so helpful. The cabin was beautiful, so clean, so comfy, ... Read More
The strand cruise from mandalay to bagan in myanmar was a once in a lifetime experience, I have never enjoyed a river boat cruise so much, exceptional staff, so endearing, so polite, so helpful. The cabin was beautiful, so clean, so comfy, so quiet. the facilities are amazing and the food was really varied and delicious. The bar, the pool deck and the spa just capped off an amazing experience, thank you to all the crew for a perfect 3 days aboard. It is the perfect way to see the hinterland of Myanmar, you get the sunrise and the sunset from the top decks. I was amazed at how smoothly and quietly the Ship cruised down river, not a mosquito in sight at nighttime. the food really was impeccable and so varied every day, with so much choice from a prepared menu. The massage in late afternoon was the cherry on top, I was a very lucky and spoilt holidaymaker. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Smallish boat/ship that has accommodation for about 50 people but with a staff ratio of 1 to 2 cruisers. Huge cabins that are exquisitely equipped, spotlessly clean and unbelievably sound proofed. All cabins have an exterior sliding door ... Read More
Smallish boat/ship that has accommodation for about 50 people but with a staff ratio of 1 to 2 cruisers. Huge cabins that are exquisitely equipped, spotlessly clean and unbelievably sound proofed. All cabins have an exterior sliding door and a full sized bathroom that would do many hotels proud. The shower is full sized and is welcome after a day exploring on the land. Each stop is associated with well organized and interesting tours that are included in the tour cost. Great food and open seating with casual clothing OK for any meal - meals are actually low stress and fun This cruise is well above what you get on most ocean going ships and really sets the bar very high with regard to quality and value for money Non-alcoholic drinks and beer are included and any cocktail or drink ordered is reasonably priced. All meals come with good quality free wine and each day their is a free cocktail happy hour (the cocktails are superb). What sets this cruise apart though is the staff who seem to enjoy your company - nothing is too much trouble. I world definitely recommend this cruise and I am alraedy planning to go again Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
A whole different experience, nothing is left to chance. From the cabins to the spectacular meals, everything is exclusive and worthy. Not a flaw along the cruise, nor a fault, defect or error. Never had experienced such exclusivity. ... Read More
A whole different experience, nothing is left to chance. From the cabins to the spectacular meals, everything is exclusive and worthy. Not a flaw along the cruise, nor a fault, defect or error. Never had experienced such exclusivity. From moment one, timing was perfect, as well as the work of each and every crew member. Almost 2 crew members per passenger, everything has been extremely thought. From the english soaps and lotions to the exceptional Michelin Star level meals to the excursions and fine entertainment, it was worth every cent. Only catch, from now on I’ll never be able to set foot in ordinary cruises. Won’t be able to stand it. Once you try exclusiveness, you’d rather save longer in order to repeat the same experience than rushing to a cheaper, now unfulfilling, experience, Elegant, worthy, peaceful and even balsamic for both heart and soul. Hope the strand keeps this level of excellence Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We have been to a 3 weeks trip through Myanmar and booked this 2 days trip to have a different experience in travelling. This short 2 days ride from Mandaley to Bagan was an unforgettable experience for us. We have never travelled by boat ... Read More
We have been to a 3 weeks trip through Myanmar and booked this 2 days trip to have a different experience in travelling. This short 2 days ride from Mandaley to Bagan was an unforgettable experience for us. We have never travelled by boat so it was totally new for us. The RV Strand and especially the crew, thanks Barth! and at least everybody on board - were excellent. Especially the BBQ dinner on the sandbank was outstanding, but also cooking class, beauty tips and how to wear the Longhi will be never forgot. Thanks for the nice picture from all of us. Also the handed recipes are helpful - I will try my best to cook them at home. The whole boat, the sun-deck, bar, restaurant, SPA, the cabins, guided trips outside made a real difference to a lot of things we have seen before. So thank you all again and hope to see you soon in your beautiful country. Annette & Martin Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
It was by chance that my wife found the Strand advert and decided to join as we’ve never been on a cruise before. We had no idea what to expect but the local knowledge does indicate that the name “Strand” is a premier name. From ... Read More
It was by chance that my wife found the Strand advert and decided to join as we’ve never been on a cruise before. We had no idea what to expect but the local knowledge does indicate that the name “Strand” is a premier name. From the outset, we were welcomed warmly and on joining the ship , we felt the class and the luxury setting in. The ship is well refurbished with elegant colonial interiors mixed with modern technology. The cabins were on two floors and ours , the Strand Cabin was comfortably spacious for two with sliding doors to experience the outside environment. Plenty of light through the floor to ceiling glass doors and good air conditioning. The bathroom was well appointed and had very high standard amenities. There were a few occasions of power outage but didn’t take long to restore. The chef , the catering manager Bart and the catering department were excellent providing us with fantastic meals throughout the trip and waiting staff gave us a superb service seeing to all the needs of the guests . The Strand Restaurant and the Sarkies Bar were spacious,comfortable and had a relaxing feel. Cabin attendants did a good job and the turn down service in the evenings always had a little surprise where we would be left with an unexpected present relating to the activities of the day, which was a very thoughtful touch . The programmes were always busy and well planned. The tours were designed to allow the guests to explore the area and also for the local community to benefit from the visitors. This kind of symbiosis is always there in tourism but it was more evident here as The Strand would provide electricity to the village while in dock and also appointing young locals to get jobs on the cruise. The heat in summertime can be intense and could be uncomfortable for some on these tours. The on board activities were a credit to the cruise manager Neville Joseph who did a fantastic job of providing us with information and entertainment and allowing the guests to taste the wit, humour ,colour and culture of the country. The captain and his team deserves a mention too as he had to pilot the ship through pretty shallow sections of the Ayeyawaddy River which wasn’t very easy in summer time. My wife and I had a wonderful experience on the Strand Cruise from Mandalay to Bagan and would thoroughly recommend to those interested in such a voyage. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My wife and I are used to travel worldwide and have had the chance to enjoy remarkable stays in high end hotels or resort but what the Strand has achieved with this unique cruise tops it all! The ship itself is brand new and features ... Read More
My wife and I are used to travel worldwide and have had the chance to enjoy remarkable stays in high end hotels or resort but what the Strand has achieved with this unique cruise tops it all! The ship itself is brand new and features and elegant and discreet decoration which immediately creates a cocoon of understated luxury and class We were hosted in a very nice suite located at the bow and featuring a terrace. the room was also discreetly decorated in a colonial spirit and we had the feeling we were the only one on board. The entire staff, led by Barthelemy, is extremely professional and smiling whilst remaining discreet, I was actually impressed by their work and how they contribute to the entire experience. Bilou, the entertainer on board , is also very knowledgeable and we had the pleasure to have him give us some insight on Burmese culture as well as visit a very local market in Baggan which was not included in the lists of planned visits. The sites visits were perfectly planned and each time we had a local guide joining us to explain the history behind each landmark we were visiting, everything handled seamlessly. From breakfast to dinner only excellent products were served and the Thai chef did a very good job. The dinner on the river bank was so romantic and unexpected, just a piece of magic in the silence of the river. A special thanks to the bar staff which fixes great drinks! What a bliss to sip a delicate cocktail, watching the sunset whilst the wild river banks slowly pass by, feeling the silky and warm caress of the air on your skin, thinking about the visits of the day. Our cruise was a truly memorable experience ! The only downside for us was that, to our great surprise, a number of younger kids were part of the cruise, they were adorable but I would have preferred to be with adults only as this kind of holiday is not really the family style. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have looking forward this cruise for a long time, it was advertised to us as being one of the finest in luxury on the ayeyarwaddy river. So we thought it would be a nice and tranquil journey. But too many kids running around and so ... Read More
We have looking forward this cruise for a long time, it was advertised to us as being one of the finest in luxury on the ayeyarwaddy river. So we thought it would be a nice and tranquil journey. But too many kids running around and so noisy (we cannot blame them, they are full of life), We have been surprised to see so many "locales" onboard, it shows that the country has some very wealthy people. We enjoyed our time there, but, the tranquility was not there , around the pool so noisy... The excursions was nice but the French magician (he did a trick or 2 to us during the trip) was so rude and so careless on "local" guests, culture and about the country. We were so disappointing about such negativity towards this country... Even our guide has been told off by this person (I think the name was Bilu, but not sure)... My husband did not feel well, but the Indian cruise manager and the French F&B manager looked after him and me well. We wanted to watch the formula 1 grand prix, and they did manage to have it on tv for us.... It was challenging as there was bad connection, but we saw it !!! The service in spa, reception, restaurant and housekeeping was top notch, no time to wait that whatever you asked them, it was done promptly and at times no need to ask, they are bringing it to you. For breakfast, no need to ask for coffee that your waiter (Kel doo too) knew our order before we even asked him... That is service! So overall we enjoyed it it very much, but too many kids (noise, running,...) and a bit more consideration for local people would have made our trip being of the best. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
It is hard to find the right words to describe how wonderful it was. Pure luxury, most friendly and helpful staff, very clean cabins and decks, quiet, fantastic interior design all over the ship, food and beverage first class, nice and ... Read More
It is hard to find the right words to describe how wonderful it was. Pure luxury, most friendly and helpful staff, very clean cabins and decks, quiet, fantastic interior design all over the ship, food and beverage first class, nice and spacious cabins and very interesting excursions to temples and cultural highlights along the Irawady river. It simply could not be any better and I can highly recommend this cruise (Bagan-Mandaly and/or back). When I boarded the ship, the handle of my travel bag was broken, they immediately offered to fix it and they repaired it perfectly. This special cruise was a theme cruise with the Orchestre de Paris, another highlight ! Our fellow passengers were very nice and pleasant ladies and gentlemen from all over Europe and the world. My sincere thanks to the crew, to Helen and Neville, to Barthelmy, the captain and the many more wonderful members, who did everything possible to make this trip a very memorable and wonderful experience to the guests. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The wife and I chose to celebrate our 60th birthdays and my retirement on the Strand Cruise. It had been a long held ambition to see Burmese life from the river. Everything about the trip was simply superb. The boat is new and luxurious. ... Read More
The wife and I chose to celebrate our 60th birthdays and my retirement on the Strand Cruise. It had been a long held ambition to see Burmese life from the river. Everything about the trip was simply superb. The boat is new and luxurious. Its one of the few that has a swimming pool which was an ideal location for many cold beers. The service was attentive without being intrusive. The crew always had a smile and genuinely seemed to enjoy what they were doing. The food was a mix of international and local cuisine and everything we ate ranging from lobster to fois gras ravioli was exquisite. The cabins were larger than expected and bigger than many hotel rooms I have stayed in with full height windows to watch the world go by. The excursions and the activities organised provided fantastic vignettes of everything that Burma has to offer without us having to organise a thing. My only regret is that we chose the 3 night cruise rather than the 4 night one. Strongly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
There were only a few luxury cruises plying the Irrawady, so we quickly narrowed down to the Strand based on their great reviews. We were not disappointed. The cruise was extremely well run, with every detail taken care of. The crew was ... Read More
There were only a few luxury cruises plying the Irrawady, so we quickly narrowed down to the Strand based on their great reviews. We were not disappointed. The cruise was extremely well run, with every detail taken care of. The crew was amazing, anticipating every need and then some. The few times we asked for something beyond standard, they not only took care of them immediately, they over delivered. The food was awesome - every meal was a cultural experience e.g. Thai, Myanmarese, French. The service was impeccable - there were more staff than guests, so you practically never have to wait for anything. The cruise is small enough and hence intimate, with the staff knowing the groups and their preferences (awesome feeling when you sit down and your drink shows up without even as much as a nod towards the wait staff). The experience on board was so great that even when my parents skipped a few of the included excursion, they were completely content to just stay on board. Our only negative comment is that about a third of our fellow passengers were not respectful of the smoking rules, with the end result being that sometimes the entire upper deck became a smoking area from the swimming pool to the back. It was tolerable when the boat was sailing as the smoke drifted off, but the last night when we were moored and this behavior continued, it was a bit too much as we were watching the cultural performance packed around the deck and the smoke permeated the place. We note with interest that no other reviewers mentioned this, perhaps just luck of the draw that we got a large group of inconsiderate smokers. All in all, a wonderful experience other than wishing the staff would have been more proactive in enforcing smoking rules. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
All aspects of this cruise were absolutely great and we enjoyed every minute of it. We had chosen the four night cruise from Bagan to Mandalay and stayed in one of the two Strand suites. The suite had a good size, a comfortable bed, ... Read More
All aspects of this cruise were absolutely great and we enjoyed every minute of it. We had chosen the four night cruise from Bagan to Mandalay and stayed in one of the two Strand suites. The suite had a good size, a comfortable bed, excellent walk-in closet, a decent bathroom and a nice balcony. The atmosphere on board was fantastic with lots of activities/excursions but it remained very relaxing and informal. We were only 17 passengers on board and we were treated like royalty by the outstanding crew. The service was extraordinary. The excursions were interesting and organised with a good pace. Unfortunately, the hot air balloon flight over Bagan got cancelled due to unfavourable weather conditions. The food and beverages were outstanding. Very delicious food served in different locations on the boat, and it was basically a different theme with each meal, which made it exciting and varied. Excellent evening cocktails and good wines. I had three very good massages during the cruise, and we very much enjoyed the small but functional gym on board. This cruise experience is highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Clearly a lot of thoughts & efforts have been put into all aspects of the cruise which add up to an amazing experience. The boat : Spacious common areas is the first thing one might notice with state of the art dining room and ... Read More
Clearly a lot of thoughts & efforts have been put into all aspects of the cruise which add up to an amazing experience. The boat : Spacious common areas is the first thing one might notice with state of the art dining room and comfy deck seatings while the pool is slightly on the small side. Special mention about the Bar / colonial style game and reading salon. The room : Branded amenities, simple yet beautiful wooden furnitures, extra comfy bedding, spot on bedside reading lights and usb plug, branded amenities and more. The F&B : Less is definitely more through the 2 to 4 options already set in the menus that change for every meal. A variety of cuisines displayed with a special care about selecting best and often locally sourced products. No compromises done on the house wine selections even though virtually on free flow over each meals. French diner might simply be bringing the best occurence of this cuisine in the bagan / mandalay region. We wined on that white Bordeaux throughout the evening ! The excursions : a careful attention to timing to beat the heat of the hottest hours, back up transportation and alternative itin. for those less keen on long walk / horse carriage, sight-seeing to focus only on the most meaningful places, knowledgeable guides that take you through all the narrative often with a fun/personal twist. The special attentions: 1 gift a day ( keeps the devil away...) , fresh drink after each sightseeing, fresh wet towels to welcome you back on board, local music and dance show, life event celebration setup and even full crew song !! The people : Making sure your glass and plate is refilled before you even thought of it, reminding you of the upcoming schedule, handwriting a daily note, cleaning up your shoes after a muddy outing, taking time to share their stories and hear yours few times a day, spa staff waiting for you to finish a meal even though taking them beyond off hours. Thank you Neville, Helene, Mr Barthélémy, Olivier and the whole crew for pampering us. Hope many more can enjoy The Strand as we did ! Ewen / Charlotte Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
One of the most amazing experiences I've had in my life! The best way to travel and get into unexpected placer in Myanmar, you cannot imagine the feeling when arriving to the cruise, all luxury, and then disembarking in the most ... Read More
One of the most amazing experiences I've had in my life! The best way to travel and get into unexpected placer in Myanmar, you cannot imagine the feeling when arriving to the cruise, all luxury, and then disembarking in the most mystique places you've ever seen. From the sunrise in the temples to the traditional dinner party, all amazing! Get on board and let yourself be pampered by the best crew, best service ever. No joke we were coming form Peninsula Hotel in another Asian City, and this is way above. The best service in my more than 20 trips I´ve done in Asia, hard to believe but true. The last dinner, the specialty of the chef is the best French meal you can try in all Asia. If it wasn't in the other side of the world from where I live, I would do it very often, just for the pleasure to indulge myself and meet great people. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
After reading a review of luxury cruise options in Myanmar in 'The Weekend Australian' in October 2016, I opted for the RV Strand's short cruise from Bagan to Mandalay (4 nights). This was my first experience of small vessel ... Read More
After reading a review of luxury cruise options in Myanmar in 'The Weekend Australian' in October 2016, I opted for the RV Strand's short cruise from Bagan to Mandalay (4 nights). This was my first experience of small vessel luxury cruising but it won't be my last. Great food across several international cuisines, flexible excursion choices, a stateroom with plenty of space (the word cabin does not do it justice), and an interesting combination of activities highlighting Burmese (i.e. Myanmar) culture. The cream on an already rich cake was the thoughtful evening surprises: every night the stewards left an example of a Burmese artifact on the bed: a model of a Burmese marionette, a lacquer box or tray (finely-crafted lacquerware is one of Myanmar's main traditional products). The service was impeccable: I arrived unexpectedly in my room one evening to find a steward ironing my pillowcases while they were still on the pillow! Nothing was too much effort for the crew members. Though not a cheap holiday, I certainly have not ruled out doing this cruise again in combination with a trip to the Inle Lake. I book ended the cruise with a couple of nights at The Strand Hotel in Yangon -- a superbly restored colonial hotel incorporating much appealing indigenous design where everything matches the standards on the cruise. The attention to detail at the hotel and on the ship is impressive: I informed the hotel manager in passing of a food allergy and when I arrived on the ship the maitre d/chef knew about it. My only reservation about the cruise concerned a lecture on the history of the Bagan Temple precinct. A fascinating subject which could have made for a marvellous presentation. Instead, we were given a boring academic lecture by an authority who was difficult to understand. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Though the Strand cruise we took was just three days, it was possibly one of the more memorable three days we have ever spent on vacation. From our greeting in Mandalay by our host Bilou to the first evenings BBQ on a sandbar in the ... Read More
Though the Strand cruise we took was just three days, it was possibly one of the more memorable three days we have ever spent on vacation. From our greeting in Mandalay by our host Bilou to the first evenings BBQ on a sandbar in the Arawati River, everything was perfect. The food, the service, and our suite went well beyond our expectations and we've travelled extensively throughout Asia so we know what we speak of. A special shout out to Bart, Helene, Bilou and Chef Tang who were always there to ensure all was going well. It is worth mentioning that when the weather is 43 degrees celsius, and after an afternoon of touring temples and pagodas, the upper deck pool was a real treat - I am pretty sure not many boats on the Arawati have a pool. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were events in themselves. If you are looking to lose weight this ship is not for you - from Burmese, Thai to French to Italian, we basically toured the world during lunch and dinner and every meal was delicious. I would not hesitate to recommend this trip to anyone - it was five star through and through. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This cruise ist just great. The Food and beverages are superb. The staff is beyond expectations. Although the pool was very nice we mostly stayed on the sundeck and ate and drunk and ate and ....... The excurions were very well planed, no ... Read More
This cruise ist just great. The Food and beverages are superb. The staff is beyond expectations. Although the pool was very nice we mostly stayed on the sundeck and ate and drunk and ate and ....... The excurions were very well planed, no waiting time. You will see all the Highlights. Be Aware of the sun and brind flip flops, because you have to be barefoot when entering a pagoda. We had so much fun on board Be sure that you also stay at the Strand Hotel in Yangon. We were lucky to be on the first cruise with our own small orchestra from Paris. World class Music on a world class ship. Have you ever had a dinner at a Sandbank in the middle of a river with a concert of 8 worldclass musicians from Paris just for 15 People? I would like to say Thank You again to the wonderful staff, they all went the extra mile for us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Like many we wanted to see Myanmar as it is emerging as a tourist destination. A piece in The Australian Travel section highlighted the Strand Cruise. We chose a date that coincided with one of the Themed cruises- this one was ... Read More
Like many we wanted to see Myanmar as it is emerging as a tourist destination. A piece in The Australian Travel section highlighted the Strand Cruise. We chose a date that coincided with one of the Themed cruises- this one was classical music. The vessel is all style, plenty of space for everyone including those who want to laze around the pool. The restaurant, the bar and all of the public areas were so comfortable and pleasing to the eye. Complementing the ship were the staff and crew and what a fabulous job they do. Everything worked for the comfort of the passengers. The included tours of Bagan, Ava, Mingun and Mandalay were well paced and excellent. Plus they were flexible. We spent 2 nights in Bagan prior to the cruise and the staff made sure we did not revisit temples. Food on board was some of the best we have had. Cultural contacts were genuine and excellent. I used the spa and my treatment was very good. We did catch one of the housekeeping staff in our cabin one day ironing our pillow cases on the pillow. No wonder they always were so crisp! The music from the 8 French musicians was top class and a real bonus. Its a top class cruise in special part of the world, go...Also take the 2 night option in Rangoon at The Strand Hotel, its great to. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We spent a day in Bagan and then boarded our cruise. The boat is very new and has highly trained staff in all areas who provide an amazing service. Whether the food, the bar, the courtesy of all the staff, it is second to none. The ... Read More
We spent a day in Bagan and then boarded our cruise. The boat is very new and has highly trained staff in all areas who provide an amazing service. Whether the food, the bar, the courtesy of all the staff, it is second to none. The dining is excellent and french wine was included with all the meals. A highly personal service. The river is interesting and relaxing but not a massive amount to see. The river level was low and the captain did well to navigate through the shallow waters. We stopped at a number of places and the guides were good as were the tuktuk, horse and cart and other modes of transport. The entertainment on board in the evenings was interesting. If you want a posh, up market, luxurious experience, you cannot do better than the Strand Cruise. We would recommend this cruise to all of our friends. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I wanted to travel to Myanmar, and as a solo traveller the Strand Cruise stood out as a great option. The boat is beautifully decorated and finished, luxurious without being pretentious, and small but well equipped. A maximum of 54 ... Read More
I wanted to travel to Myanmar, and as a solo traveller the Strand Cruise stood out as a great option. The boat is beautifully decorated and finished, luxurious without being pretentious, and small but well equipped. A maximum of 54 passengers (with a possibility for an additional 6 children) means that this is a small and boutique experience. We had a total of 12 passengers and the whole experience was excellent. Firstly the staff are so welcoming, friendly and professional. We were all extremely well looked after and itineraries were adjustable and indeed adjusted for us as requested. The Cruise Manager, Neville, lead his team marvellously and created an amazing atmosphere and environment. The staff were focused on the passengers' well being and happiness and delivered a great experience. Secondly the food was incredible. The restaurant and bar manager leads his teams brilliantly. The standard of the food is superb - varied and totally delicious. The signature cocktails were excellent. The wine was great. The daily activities and itineraries were well thought through and interesting. The fact that these were adjusted to individuals and groups requirements was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
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