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Mergui Archipelago & Irrawaddy Delta

This scenic expedition combines two very remote destinations. The Mergui Archipelago with its 800 islands, one of those areas that remain almost totally unvisited by foreigners and the Irrawaddy Delta. The Delta covers an area of over 1000 square miles with Rangoon, its most famous port and capital of all Burma from 1886 to 2005. Originally a vast inhabited wetland and jungle, much of it was cleared and cultivated by the British who annexed Lower Burma in 1855. It subsequently became the rice basket of Asia, effectively feeding much of the Indian Raj.

This trip includes flights from Kawthaung to Rangoon.

02 February, 2020 to 17 February, 2020 Make a booking request for Mergui Archipelago & Irrawaddy Delta, departing on 02 February, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Twin Cabin. From £ 4661 GBP pp (+ Port Charges 195 USD pp)
Generously proportioned suites with separate sitting room area, private bathrooms, kimonos and slippers, spa-branded amenities, unlimited mineral water, electric mini safe, imported quality linens with duvet and two kind of pillows, premium mattresses, convertible bed configuration, welcome flower arrangement and welcome gift, mirror, multi-configuration plugs, generous closet space and under-bed storage, hair dryer, daily nightly turndown service, 24hr laundry service, yoga mats in all cabins.
view cabin photo

Mergui Archipelago & Irrawaddy Delta itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
DAY 1 KAWTHAUNG
Passengers embark at the border port of Kawthaung. After lunch explore the town of Kawthaung and surrounding area. Sail on evening or morning tide.
DAY 2 NAUNG WEE ISLAND
Sail on to Naung Wee island to visit a Moken (sea gipsy) village and learn about their extraordinary water bourn life. Sail all night.
DAY 3 SAILING THE ARCHIPELAGO
Sail all day north through the archipelago with a stop to swim and snorkel and explore ashore on an island of interest.
DAY 4 MERGUI
All day ashore to explore this fascinating colonial port city. Afternoon voluntary trip by car to the rarely visited town of Tanintharyi (Tenasserim), once capital of this region.
DAY 5 LUN LE ISLANDS
Morning sail to Port Maria to visit the Karen communities there. Swimming and snorkeling off a desert island in the afternoon. Sail all night.
DAY 6 LAMPI MARINE NATIONAL PARK
Visit the Lampi Marine National Park with its mangrove forests and diverse bird life including the hornbill. We go up river by kayak deep into the mangroves with excellent bird watching and return to the beach to swim or snorkel. Afternoon visit to Mokkein sea gypsy villages.
DAY 7 COCKSCOMB ISLAND
Sail to Cockscomb Island with its limestone caves and hidden lagoon accessible only on the ship’s tenders. In the afternoon we will move round to the South Bay where we can kayak and swim off pristine white sandy beaches and watch the sun go down as cocktails are served on the beach.
DAY 8 KAWTHAUNG - RANGOON
Arrive at Kawthaung in the morning and disembark and fly to Rangoon for a pre night on the Delta Pandaw vessel. Afternoon at leisure.
DAY 9 RANGOON TO PYAPON
Early morning departure from Rangoon via the Twante Canal stopping at Twante to view the potteries and on to Pyapon (64miles) a delightful delta town and seaport with lively docks and markets.
DAY 10 PYAPON TO BOGALE
Bogale is at the heart of the delta and once a Mon capital and trading port connected to international trading routes between the 15th and 18th centuries. We hope to visit the Mein Ma Hla Kyun Wildlife Reserve, an island of just under one hundred square miles classified as a mangrove eco system reserve and home to salt water crocodiles.
DAY 11 BOGALE TO MYAUNGMYA
This will be the most fascinating day’s sailing as we weave through creeks and channels cross-country across the heart of the delta. We will stop for a walk about in a suitable village.
DAY 12 MYAUNGMYA TO BASSEIN
Morning cruise across the final section of delta to join the great Bassein River that takes us up to Bassein, the capital of the delta and an important seaport too. Of interest here are the traditional umbrella manufacturies, where the typical monk’s waxed cloth umbrellas are made. On foot we will explore the town, its shrines and vibrant markets.
DAY 13 BASSEIN
A day at leisure in this charming port town and optional day trip by car to Ngwesaung Beach with lunch there.
DAY 14 BASSEIN TO WAKEMA
Noon departure with lunch to follow, taking the more usual upper delta route of the old IFC ‘launch service’ between Rangoon and Bassein. Evening exploration of this attractive river port.
DAY 15 WAKEMA TO MAUBIN
On these busier channels there will be a variety of shipping whilst the riverbanks team with life and activity. Maubin is a very pleasant place to enjoy a sunset walk along its colourful strand.
DAY 16 MAUBIN TO RANGOON
Morning run crossing the Twante Canal and home to the Rangoon River and our berth in colonial downtown and disembarkation between 12 and 12.30 pm (lunch excluded).
Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Mergui Archipelago & Irrawaddy Delta reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Itineraries are subject to change.
Morning run crossing the Twante Canal and home to the Rangoon River and our berth in colonial downtown and disembarkation between 12 and 12.30 pm (lunch excluded).
On these busier channels there will be a variety of shipping whilst the riverbanks team with life and activity. Maubin is a very pleasant place to enjoy a sunset walk along its colourful strand.
Noon departure with lunch to follow, taking the more usual upper delta route of the old IFC ‘launch service’ between Rangoon and Bassein. Evening exploration of this attractive river port.
A day at leisure in this charming port town and optional day trip by car to Ngwesaung Beach with lunch there.
Morning cruise across the final section of delta to join the great Bassein River that takes us up to Bassein, the capital of the delta and an important seaport too. Of interest here are the traditional umbrella manufacturies, where the typical monk’s waxed cloth umbrellas are made. On foot we will explore the town, its shrines and vibrant markets.
This will be the most fascinating day’s sailing as we weave through creeks and channels cross-country across the heart of the delta. We will stop for a walk about in a suitable village.
Bogale is at the heart of the delta and once a Mon capital and trading port connected to international trading routes between the 15th and 18th centuries. We hope to visit the Mein Ma Hla Kyun Wildlife Reserve, an island of just under one hundred square miles classified as a mangrove eco system reserve and home to salt water crocodiles.
Early morning departure from Rangoon via the Twante Canal stopping at Twante to view the potteries and on to Pyapon (64miles) a delightful delta town and seaport with lively docks and markets.
Arrive at Kawthaung in the morning and disembark and fly to Rangoon for a pre night on the Delta Pandaw vessel. Afternoon at leisure.
Sail to Cockscomb Island with its limestone caves and hidden lagoon accessible only on the ship’s tenders. In the afternoon we will move round to the South Bay where we can kayak and swim off pristine white sandy beaches and watch the sun go down as cocktails are served on the beach.
Visit the Lampi Marine National Park with its mangrove forests and diverse bird life including the hornbill. We go up river by kayak deep into the mangroves with excellent bird watching and return to the beach to swim or snorkel. Afternoon visit to Mokkein sea gypsy villages.
Morning sail to Port Maria to visit the Karen communities there. Swimming and snorkeling off a desert island in the afternoon. Sail all night.
All day ashore to explore this fascinating colonial port city. Afternoon voluntary trip by car to the rarely visited town of Tanintharyi (Tenasserim), once capital of this region.
Sail all day north through the archipelago with a stop to swim and snorkel and explore ashore on an island of interest.
Sail on to Naung Wee island to visit a Moken (sea gipsy) village and learn about their extraordinary water bourn life. Sail all night.
Passengers embark at the border port of Kawthaung. After lunch explore the town of Kawthaung and surrounding area. Sail on evening or morning tide.
* = Indicative
Map for Mergui Archipelago & Irrawaddy Delta
Andaman Explorer, the ship servicing Mergui Archipelago & Irrawaddy Delta

Andaman Explorer

The Andaman Explorer was built as the MV Atlantic Guard in 1963 in Norway as a Norwegian coast guard vessel. She is 61 meters long with her original Rolls Royce engines. The hull is built to 'ice class' with extra thick plates and she has the power to withstand north Atlantic storms or chases out to sea. Very handy when cruising in tropical waters!

She retired from coast guard duties in 1998 and was acquired by one Doctor Bogazzi, an Italian oligarch whose family owns the Carrara marble quarries. Dr Bogazzi lavished many a million on the ship, now renamed the MY Marina, completely refitting her with eleven very generous suites. Much of the ship is floored with Carrara marble, pleasantly cool under foot for those who go unshod.

In recent times she has belonged to a powerful shipping family based in Dubai who maintained the ship to a very high standard.

The Andaman Explorer really is a sixties classic. The sort of plaything associated with Onassis, Jackie Kennedy and more glamorous times. There could be no vessel more appropriate for the exploration of South-East Asia's unknown coasts.

Cabin layout for Andaman Explorer
• Explore the town of Kawthaung and surrounding area

• Sail on to Naung Wee island to visit a Moken (sea gipsy) village and learn about their extraordinary water bourn life

• Visit the Lampi Marine National Park with its mangrove forests and diverse bird life including the hornbill

• Sail to Cockscomb Island with its limestone caves and hidden lagoon accessible only on the ship’s tenders
Enquire now about Mergui Archipelago & Irrawaddy Delta

Travel on the Andaman Explorer

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