Orient-Express is launching a new river cruiser in Burma, to commence cruising in July 2013.
Currently under construction in Yangon, the 50-guest ship will become the third string in the company’s Burma bow – the other two are the 48 room Governor’s Residence in Yangon and the Road To Mandalay river cruiser which has been cruising the Ayeyarwady River for 17 years.
Named Orcaella after the dolphins known to inhabit the Ayeyarwady River, the Irrawaddy Flotilla style ship will offer a collection of cruises giving passengers access to the heart country.
Operating between January to April and July to December, Orcaella will offer seven and 11 night itineraries.
It will cruise the Ayeyarwady River between Yangon and Bhamo stopping at key cultural sites and towns as well as dropping anchor at interesting sites off the beaten track.
The ship will also cruise the Chindwin River, passing extensive mountain ranges, winding through western Burma as far north as Homalin, just 30 miles from the Indian border.
With 40 staff onboard and a maximum of 50 guests, the four-deck river cruiser small size and shallow draft will enable it to ply remote areas of both rivers.
Each of the 25 river-facing cabins will feature floor to ceiling sliding glass doors and Juliette balconies There will be two Balcony Suites at the bow on the Main Deck, 15 State Cabins and eight Deluxe Cabins, across the Main Deck and Upper Deck.
All cabins will have air conditioning and en-suite facilities and four cabins will be interconnecting.
On the Observation Deck, there will be a relaxing area with a retractable awning and reclining chairs It will also have a lounge and bar, which will be open all day for refreshments and alfresco dining, and a swimming pool.
There will also be a fitness centre and treatment room which will offer a range of relaxing locally-inspired treatments. On the Main Deck will be the restaurant with comfortable seating and large picture windows and two boutiques selling a variety of traditional and local crafts.
Excursions include the chance to witness a traditional Noviciation Ceremony of local monks, a local ‘tea-shop’ experience, trekking though the jungle, the chance to play 9-holes at an old colonial golf course, exploring caves housing 492 Buddha chambers carved into the hillside just outside of Monywa, a visit to the only bespectacled Buddha (thought to have healing powers) close to Pyay, a train journey into thick Kachin jungle and a chance to meet working elephants in the Burmese teak forest.
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