The heritage of the iconic Strand Hotel in Yangon now extends to the Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar with the launch of The Strand Cruise. In early 2016, a new luxury river cruise is brought to one of Myanmar’s most visually captivating waterways steeped in history. Built locally, the vessel will offer 27 cabin suites and 24 hour butler service. The luxurious ship will also host a spacious pool deck, wellness center and wine tasting corner as well as gourmet á la carte cuisine in a restaurant with panoramic views of the river.
The Strand Cruise is an authentic cruise experience offering exclusive and unique onshore tours curated intelligently to reduce ground transportation time andto enable maximum relaxation on-board – all while the ship is continuingly moving at the foot of the landmarks it visits.
A schedule of regular sailings of three and four nights between Bagan and Mandalay will commence in early January 2016. Also known as The Elephant River, The Ayeyarwady River flows through the center of Myanmar and its banks are lined with hundreds, if not thousands of temples, stupas and nats. The Strand Cruise will moor in exclusive locations along route, right by Old Bagan itself, as well as at the foot of one of the most ancient Buddhist monasteries on Sagaing Hill when in Mandalay, and at a remote and picturesque riverbank for a private farewell dinner.
The Strand Cruise will have 10 Deluxe Cabins, 13 Strand Cabins, two State Suites and two Strand Suites. The spacious cabins each with floor to ceiling windows and outdoor balconies are tastefully decorated with Burmese craftsmanship and Teakwood floors and furnished with pieces of original, local art. Each cabin offers an en-suite bathroom, complimentary Wi-Fi and international TV channels.
Special activities for guests include evening BBQ’S on the upper deck as well as outdoor afternoon tea. The upper deck will include a wine tasting corner with temperature controlled cellars and on-board sommeliers creating special pairing menus for all occasions. The Lounge and Library will showcase exclusive cocktails made famous at the sister property, The Strand Hotel. The Spa facilities will offer massages and treatments in either individual rooms or double rooms for couples. A reflexology station on board will offer foot massages to help rejuvenate weary feet.
“Having operated The Strand Hotel in Yangon for the past decade, we know that there has been a steady growth in demand from luxury travellers to explore the ancient monuments of Myanmar by using the Ayeyarwady’s waterways,” commented Jerome Seban, general manager of The Strand Cruise. “This demand presented us with an opportunity to reinvent the legendary style and unique personality of The Strand Hotel within a contemporary river cruise experience.
“What makes a journey along the Ayeyarwady River so special is the fascinating landscape through which you glide, from ancient temples to daily life of the communities living at the water’s edge. Every aspect of The Strand Cruise is designed to echo this, with floor to ceiling windows welcoming in the views of the river banks and our colour palette reflecting the natural beauty of the waterways,” continued Seban. “We are working with Myanmar craftsman as much as possible and are using traditional materials such as locally carved teak, some of which will be detailed with gold leaf, connecting the golden age of the Strand to Myanmar’s golden land.”
Named after its sister property the iconic Strand Hotel in Yangon, The Strand Cruise offers the same level of premium luxury in one of Myanmar’s most stunning destinations.