LUXURY RIVER CRUISER “ANAWRAHTA” MAKES ITS WAY FROM VIETNAM
21.07.2015 25 °C
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam ― The luxury river cruiser “Anawrahta”, owned by Heritage Line, left Ho Chi Minh City on July 8th aboard the heavy lift vessel, Rolldock Storm, bound for a 5-day journey to Myanmar where it will ply the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin Rivers beginning late-September 2015.
“Myanmar is a very hot destination with a lot of potential because it’s practically untouched by the commercial world,” said Maarten Perdok, Managing Director of Heritage Line Co., Ltd., of the country that has been named “Destination of the Year” by Travel + Leisure magazine. “The Ayeyarwady is a stunning river to cruise and explore. In fact, river cruising is one of the best ways to discover a country and its culture. You get to see the country from a different angle and go to places other tourists don’t because there are simply no roads going to those places. This is especially true in Myanmar where infrastructure is lacking, making cruising one of the best, if not the best way to travel the country.”
Built entirely in Vietnam over 14 months, the 23-cabin luxury vessel has an aluminum superstructure on top of a steel hull. “Because of the low water levels in Myanmar, we used a lot of lightweight materials for this cruiser which are typically not used,” said Technical Director Stefan Malin. “We took advantage of the experience we had from building two other ships, bringing together the right contractors and the right materials to build a very high-quality vessel.”
“We wanted to reach a low draft of just one meter, so that we could stay ahead of the competition and cruise further out, and stay longer in areas with very low water levels,” added Perdok. “We can go to remote places on the Ayeyarwady where no one else can go, offering guests a very unique experience all year round. I’m happy to say that we succeeded in reaching this very low draft.”
The Anawrahta will sail on four different itineraries ranging from 4 to 11 nights, visiting ports including Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Bhamo. The longest itinerary is the 901-mile, 12 days / 11 nights journey from Mandalay to Homalin on the Chidwin River and ending in Bagan on the Ayeyarwady River, with excursions to textile and silversmithing workshops, temples and convents and teak forests with working elephants, amongst others.
Guests on the four-deck Anawrahta can expect a five-star experience, including the highest crew-to-passenger ratio (46 crew serving 46 passengers) and the largest cabins on the Ayeyarwady River all with private balcony, luxury amenities, world class cuisine and unique excursions as well as daily onboard lectures and entertainment.
“You’re very close to life on the river which is quite unique,” said Perdok. “But then you have your floating hotel, luxury that’s always on standby. During the day guests go off on excursions but in no time are back to their cabin, their comfort zone, with a chilled glass of wine waiting for them.”
Named after King Anawrahta, the 11th century founder of the Burmese nation, Anawrahta is modeled after a turn of the century vintage steamer and mixes Burmese motifs and British colonial-style décor. In addition to 23 spacious cabins, it features a bar, lounge, restaurant, spa, gym and Jacuzzi pool. It joins the five other unique Heritage Line ships in Halong Bay, Vietnam and on the Mekong River between Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Siem Reap (Angkor Wat), Cambodia.