The Road To Mandalay

Well-heeled Globetrotters, Sophisticrats and Epicureans

PRICE: Worth maxing out for

RATING: Out of this world

What could be more evocative than boarding a river cruiser on Myanmar’s mighty Irrawaddy named The Road To Mandalay? And when you hear that it is a Belmond (formerly The Orient Express) river cruiser, the hairs on the back of your neck will start to stand on end for you know what perfection awaits.

It’s time to get your linens out, reach for the wide-brimmed hat and take your position, naturally  with glass of champagne in hand, on the deck of the Road To Mandalay for your three or five-night legendary Irrawaddy River cruise.

Saffron robed monks, golden pagodas, chiming bells and ancient villages come as standard accompaniments to your journey. What’s also guaranteed is a superlative on-board experience. On The Road To Mandalay, which only has outward facing cabins, you are sure to have the best views of the river from the comfort of your air-conditioned cabin. Embroidered cushions, fine linen, exquisite bathrooms and your butler serving bed tea in the mornings are just for starters.

Dining on board The Road To Mandalay is an experience in itself. From Indonesian and Thai to the most fantastic French and Italian, not to mention exquisite Burmese, the food is out of this world. Various themed dinners also take place throughout the voyage. You’ll savour fresh meats including Wagu beef and New Zealand lamb and seafoods including tiger prawns and lobster, as well as a wide variety of fresh fish from the gourmet grill. It’s so good, the combination of dining and sitting under the stars will make you think that you have reached a state of nirvana (without the years of dedicated meditation!).

As with all quality cruises, there will be plenty of exciting shore excursions, captivating onboard lectures and if you prefer to drop off the culture radar for a while, the comfortable environs of the pool or spa make for a welcome retreat.

The Road To Mandalay service is exemplary so whether it is a fresh lime and soda that is needed whilst reading your book on deck watching the mesmerising sights of Myanmar go by, or a cool face towel when you are pounding away in the state-of-the-art gym, you can be sure it will be on hand.

Yonder Insight

Former BBC Blue Planet associate and award-winning travel and wildlife photographer Sue Flood is on hand on most voyages to help ensure you capture the very best photographs.

On your doorstep

Real life as it has been for generations on the fabled Irrawaddy.

Thoughts on a postcard

Heaven on earth! The Orient Express train was amazing but The Road To Mandalay is something else. Min, our butler, has been waiting on us hand and foot and when we go out he is sure to welcome us back with Bellmond Bellinis and refreshing cold towels on his Bagan lacquerware tray.



The Road To Mandalay: The Map


The Strand Cruise

The Strand Cruise is the new kid on the block on Myanmar’s mighty Irrawaddy river. Launched in early 2016 with a single superbly appointed boat, the Myanmar Strand Cruise is unquestionably brilliant. This is hardly surprising when the group behind the oldest and most iconic hotel, The Strand in Yangon (see Yangon hotel options), decides to make a luxury entry into river cruising.