Above: The Road to Mandalay will soon be joined by another Orient-Express ship.
For almost two decades passengers on the Road to Mandalay boat have rubbed shoulders with the dolphins of Myanmar’s magnificent Irrawaddy River, so it seems a fitting tribute that Orient-Express’ next vessel should be named after the creatures that call the river home.
Currently under construction in Yangon, Orcaella—the genus of dolphin found on the river—will from next year offer a collection of cruises giving passengers a riverside seat to Myanmar. Operating between January to April and July to December, Orcaella will offer seven- and 11-night cruise itineraries.
With 40 staff onboard, and a maximum of 50 guests, Orcaella’s principal route will be between Yangon and Bhamo, stopping at cultural sites and towns, but it will also run the Chindwin River, passing extensive mountain ranges, winding its way through western Myanmar as far north as Homalin—less than 50 kilometers from the Indian border.
All 25 cabins will open on to the river via floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and Juliette balconies. A fitness center and treatment room will also be included on board in addition to a swimming pool.
All itineraries can be combined with stays in Yangon, Inle Lake or Ngapali, which lies on the Indian Ocean. Prices start from US$5,040 per person for a seven-night cruise and includes all meals, excursions, transfers and domestic flights.