Belmond announces a 20 Year Anniversary cruise on board the Grand Dame of the Ayeyarwady River, Belmond Road to Mandalay, on 1st October 2016. Marking two decades of exploring the magical rivers of Myanmar, the special four night, five day journey follows the route of the inaugural cruise from Bagan to Mandalay. With special thanks to the communities along the rivers that have generously welcomed Belmond’s guests for 20 years, five percent of the ticket price for this anniversary cruise will be donated to the Belmond Myanmar Foundation, to support the opening of a new hospital facility in Bagan.
Departing Bagan on 1st October 2016, the festivities begin with a traditional dance ceremony and cocktail reception on the banks of the river. For those with a head for heights, there is an additional option to choose a ride above the temples and pagodas with ‘Balloons over Bagan’ * or take a journey in a traditional horse and cart to visit the gilded Buddha statues.
At Taung Be village in Bagan, guests are invited to visit the free clinic where, Dr Hla Tun, the ship’s Doctor and inspirational leader of Belmond’s Myanmar Foundation, treats hundreds of patients in his free time – many travel great distances to receive his treatment. To mark Belmond’s 20 year Myanmar anniversary – the foundations for the new hospital facility will be laid with a traditional Buddhist blessing performed by local monks.
Sailing aboard Belmond Road to Mandalay guests can relax and enjoy the hypnotic rhythms of the great Ayeyarwady river and the mesmerising views of golden stupas dotting the riverbanks; take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool and enjoy alfresco dining in the newly launched Bar & Grill serving local cuisine on the ship’s teak Observation Deck – the largest open space on the river. For health and wellbeing, guests can check into the spa for a traditional Burmese massage or join a sunrise yoga session.
The cruise culminates in Mandalay, with the first ever ‘Belmond Road to Mandalay Rally’ that will see guests try their hand at traditional Burmese skills and activities including driving an Ox and Cart, rolling Cheroots (cigars) and learning a Burmese dance. A prize giving ceremony will take place at the Gala Anniversary Dinner served under the stars.
Belmond made history in 1996 as the pioneers of luxury river cruising in Myanmar with the launch of Belmond Road to Mandalay. With the addition of sister ship, Belmond Orcaella and Belmond Governor’s Residence Hotel in Yangon, Belmond is firmly established as a leading expert in the destination. With two decades of cruising experience; guests travelling with Belmond can expect immersive talks from expert guest speakers; the best local guides and invitations to off the beaten track destinations not normally visited by tourists.
Belmond’s 20 Year Anniversary cruise prices start from £3069 per person including 2 nights at Belmond Governor’s Residence in a Deluxe Garden room including breakfast, transfers to the hotel and onwards to Belmond Road to Mandalay based on two sharing Deluxe Cabin. www.belmond.com
*additional charges apply for Balloons over Bagan.