Final touches perfected on Sanctuary Ananda

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Sanctuary Ananda, our new luxurious new boutique river cruiser In Myanmar (Burma), has been delivered ahead of schedule and is now undergoing its final touches before its maiden cruise in November 2014.

This beautiful all-suite ship, set to bring new levels of luxury to cruising in Myanmar, combines contemporary design with authentic Burmese style.  The 21 suites are the largest of any river cruise ship in Myanmar and all have floor-to-ceiling windows plus full balconies from which to enjoy riverside life en route.  The most exclusive of these is the Owner's Suite, with a king sized bed, dressing area in its master bedroom, a free standing bathtub, and monsoon shower as well as private living and dining areas and superb panoramic views of the river.  With one of the highest staff to guest ratios on the rivers, guests will be able to explore this vibrant and culturally rich destination in style.

Owners Suite Bedroom

Owner's Suite Bedroom

Further details of Sanctuary Ananda's itineraries and on board experiences have also been confirmed.  In line with our ethos of 'luxury, naturally' there are some wonderful locally inspired touches.  As well as seeing classic highlights of Myanmar, such as U Bein Bridge at sunset and the Ananda Temple in Bagan (after which the ship is named), there will also be experiences unique to Sanctuary. These include a trip to the local spice market in Pakokku, under the guidance of the ship's Executive Chef, as well as traditional transport on offer on selected shore excursions such as trishaws and even Bison cart rides should clients wish.

Sanctuary Retreats is renowned for their strong philanthropic credentials and Sanctuary Ananda will be no exception. In a unique aspect to their itinerary, Sanctuary Ananda will visit the traditional village of Sin Kyun near Mingun. Sanctuary is undertaking a philanthropy project in the village, building a library, along with a home for an English teacher. On the visit, as well as getting the chance to see the philanthropy project in action, guests will be served dinner on a sandbank on the outskirts of the village, enjoying magical views of the pagodas of Mingun lit up at night.

The luxurious, yet authentic feel is reflected in every aspect of the ship. Interiors incorporate local fabrics, lacquerware and even traditional parasols.  Slippers and dressing gowns in the suites are made in local villages and there is an art gallery on board offering traditional and contemporary Burmese art.  Menus feature traditional dishes with a Sanctuary twist - including dishes such as Mohinga (fish and noodle soup) and Burmese curries.  Even the cocktail menu offers favourite tipples with authentic Burmese flavours including Bellinis with kafir lime, Bloody Mary's with house spices as well as the House Classic Sanctuary Sour with vodka, sours, citrus lemongrass and mint.  This unique choice of 'midday' and 'midnight' drinks can be enjoyed on the sun deck, by the pool or perhaps in the elegant teak bar.

Talifoo Restaurant

Talifoo Restaurant

Activities on board include 'Question and Answer' sessions with local guides and experts, encouraging an interactive experience for guests and enabling them to learn more about the history and culture of Myanmar. There will also be cooking classes and some more unusual local specialties such as Longyi demonstrations and cheroot tasting. 

Marco Rosa, Sanctuary Retreats Senior Vice President for Worldwide Sales & Marketing commented: "The Sanctuary Ananda brings a new level of luxury to Myanmar's rivers, and we are delighted with the high standards of craftsmanship and beautiful décor delivered by the Burmese shipbuilders."

He continued: "The Sanctuary Ananda cruises appeal to guests who have a genuine interest in the cultural richness of the country and who are looking for bespoke packages combining the cruise with other experiences on land."

The ship's fascinating 3, 4 and 7 night cruises on the Ayeyarwady River include a full choice of excursions and unique cultural experiences. Longer 10 and 11 night itineraries on the Chindwin River to Homalin, the Upper Ayeyarwady to Bhamo, and sailings between Yangon and Mandalay will commence in 2015.