Sanctuary Ananda is a stylish river cruise ship reminiscent of a 1930s steamer, showcasing original Burmese design and craftsmanship, providing the highest standards of accommodation and service, offering a choice of cruise itineraries and durations.
There are 21 suites on 3 decks. All are wonderfully spacious, each with a living area, lavish bathroom with the newest fixtures and fittings, and ample storage space. All are air conditioned and equipped with Wi-Fi and iPads, and have full length windows and private balconies. Polished teak, fine silk and colourful lacquerwork add an air of luxury. The 4 luxury suites and the owner's suite have butler service.
The Talifoo restaurant serves delicious a la carte meals using fresh seafood, fruits, local herbs and spices. You can also sample freshly made pasta, steaks and burgers. The floor-to-ceiling windows means you won't miss out on sightseeing as you dine. Hot and cold drinks are available at the bar.
You can unwind in the lounge as you curl up with a good book or chat to other passengers. On the top deck there's a lounge with easy chairs arranged by picture windows. Sliding glass doors lead to the sun deck, where you can relax, enjoy an early morning yoga session and cool off in the plunge pool. For an indulgent treat you can visit the spa for your pick of therapeutic and beauty treatments.
Open: Sanctuary Ananda operates from January to April and July to December each year (no departures in May and June). She went into operation in November 2014. Location: Sanctuary Ananda cruises mainly on the Irrawaddy (or Ayeyarwady) River between Bagan and Mandalay. Some cruises travel downstream to Yangon, and others travel on the Chindwin River in the north of the country.
Rooms: There are 21 suites. These comprise 2 standard and 14 deluxe suites, between 27 and 28 square metres, on Bagan and Mandalay Decks, 4 luxury suites of 31-33 square metres on Bhamo Deck and the owners suite (67 square metres) on Bhamo Deck. All have large beds, wardrobes, chests of drawers, sitting areas, en-suite bathrooms with monsoon showers, and private balconies with chairs and a table. All are air conditioned and have Wi-Fi and iPads. The luxury and owners suites come with butler service, early morning tea and coffee and a free laundry service. The owners suite has a dining area and large veranda.
Activities: There are usually 2 excursions per day (not compulsory), as well as lectures and demonstrations in the Kansi Panorama Lounge, and cookery classes.
Itineraries: Sanctuary Ananda offers the following cruises:
2 nights Bagan to Mandalay
3 nights Bagan to Mandalay
4 nights Mandalay to Bagan
7 nights Bagan to Mandalay to Bagan
7 nights Mandalay to Bagan to Mandalay
10 nights Mandalay to Homalin to Bagan
11 nights Mandalay to Yangon
11 nights Mandalay to Bhamo to Bagan
Facilities: Talifoo restaurant on Bagan Deck serves tasty Burmese a la carte dishes plus Italian cuisine. Mindoon is an open air restaurant on Mandalay Deck and is open for breakfast and lunch, both served as buffets. Burma Bar serves tea, coffee, fruit smoothies and alcoholic drinks. The Dufferin Library is a cosy place for quiet reading and conversation and can be used for private dining. The main Kansi lounge is a large open plan area on the upper Bhamo Deck, used for lectures as well as relaxation. Also on this deck is a plunge pool and sunbathing area, plus shaded seating. The spa offers traditional Thai massage, reflexology, body scrubs and facials, all using L'Occitane products. There is also a small gym. Dining: Meals are eaten at separate tables at Talifoo and Mindoon restaurants.
Children: Children aged 6 years and over are welcome on Sanctuary Ananda. Luxury suites can accommodate a child on the sofa bed. Maximum occupancy is either 2 adults and 1 child or 1 adult and 2 children. The lounge of the owners suite can accommodate either 1 extra adult or 2 children.
Health: Malaria prophylactics may be recommended for some parts of Burma.
Communication: There is Wi-Fi internet access in all suites and iPads are provided. Notes: The rivers in Burma are subject to seasonal fluctuations in water levels, which can occur quickly and without prior warning. For this reason it may be necessary to amend the cruise itinerary at short notice.
Experience life on board a luxury cruise ship on the Irrawaddy River, visiting ancient temples & pagodas, & witnessing scenes of rural life.
"First class in every way but it is worth getting a private guide for the excursions as being in a large group can detract from the sense of involvement with the local people who are wonderfully friendly and welcoming."