25 June 2013
Sanctuary Retreats Announces New River Cruiser, Sanctuary
Luxury cruise and safari specialists Sanctuary Retreats' newest
Sanctuary Ananda- is due to set sail in late 2014, and
bookings are now being taken for this all-suite ship, which will
offer guests an authentically Burmese, yet exclusive experience, in
line with Sanctuary Retreat's 'Luxury Naturally' philosophy.
Named after the beautiful Ananda Temple in Bagan, Ananda also
translates in Sanskrit as 'extreme happiness' - one of the highest
states of being.
Sanctuary Ananda will offer eight exciting
itineraries in Myanmar including
3, 4 and 7 night 'Discovery Cruises' between Bagan and
Mandalay. As well as 7, 10 and 11 night 'Exploration Cruises'
which allow guests more time to explore the Upper Ayeyarwady river
towards the gorges and Bhamo; the Chindwin river towards Homalin
and sailing down the Lower Ayeyarwady river to Pyay (formerly
Prome) and twice a year down to Yangon.
Sanctuary Ananda will sail every day on
each itinerary, offering plenty of time to combine the 'must see
sights' with smaller villages to meet the indigenous peoples and
see local crafts being made first hand. From
spectacular temples, beautiful monasteries and ancient
archaeological sites to the varied landscapes,Myanmar is a country
just waiting to be discovered.
All Sanctuary Ananda's guides will be
local, Burmese experts, enhancing the experience still further, and
where possible, guests will experience the fun of local transport,
such as horse-drawn carts, trishaws and small boats, rather than
always seeing sites from behind the windows of an air-conditioned
bus. Sanctuary Retreats is renowned for bringing
its guests closer to local cultures and experiences, and Myanmar
will be no exception, with guests returning home with unique and
Accommodation on board is spread over three
decks - the Bhamo, Mandalay and Bagan decks with a fourth deck, the
Yangon deck, housing the Thambayadine Spa and Gym (where local
treatments and massages will be available) and additional
accommodation for private guides (for guests wanting to bring their
own guide on-board).
There are 20 spacious suites and the
exclusive Aloungpayah Suite, offering large private balconies with
room to sit and enjoy wonderful, uninterrupted views of the
surrounding countryside, towns and villages and riverside
life. Sanctuary Ananda will accommodate a maximum of 48
guests, and offer a high level of personal service to all.
The Aloungpayah Suite, along with the 4 Luxury suites will also
have private butler service.
Ananda's suites are named after the
original Irrawady Flotilla ships and will feature vintage
photography of their namesakes. All are air-conditioned, and
will combine authentic Myanmar touches, such as local fabrics, wood
and lacquerware, with contemporary luxuries including an iPod
docking station and iPad TV connectivity. Deluxe suites will
have either a double or twin beds and en suite bathroom with a
monsoon shower, whilst Luxury suites will have an additional indoor
seating area and can accommodate a third guest. The
ultra-luxurious Aloungpayah Suite has 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.
Burmese design echoes throughout the cruise
ship, with local Myanmar fabrics and artefacts as well as specially
commissioned art. There are plenty of public areas to relax
in, from the stylish Talifoo restaurant, to the spacious Sundeck,
and air conditioned Kansi panorama lounge, where guests can enjoy
stunning views through the floor to ceiling windows, whilst
enjoying afternoon tea, or perhaps a sundowner cocktail from the
Food on board will also have a Burmese
focus, with guests being able to choose between international
cuisine and a range of delicious local dishes selected to reflect
the diversity of Myanmar's cuisine from one of its 135 ethnicities.
The Talifoo restaurant will offer an early breakfast, including
Myanmar's traditional breakfast mohinga (fish noodle soup) as well
as cooked and continental breakfasts. Lunch and dinner can be
enjoyed in the Talifoo, on the Bagan deck, or al fresco in the
Mindoon restaurant, on the Mandalay deck.
Days will start with complimentary early
morning meditation and sunrise yoga on the Sundeck. During the day
the Sundeck is the ideal spot for relaxing on a sun lounger under
the shade of a canopy and watching Myanmar life drift by, or taking
a dip in the outdoor plunge pool.
In the afternoons and evenings, there will
be lectures and demonstrations of local customs held in the Kansi
panorama lounge, where guests can learn more about the culture,
history and wonders of Myanmar.
Philanthropy is at the heart of Sanctuary
Retreats' ethos. Hence, the cruise ship itself is being
custom-made for the Myanmar rivers, is being built by two Burmese
brothers in a local shipyard, supporting local employment.
Sanctuary Retreats will be investing in and supporting local
community projects, including helping orphaned children and
investing in their secondary education. Local 'cottage'
industries will also be supported through using handwoven fabrics
and handmade soap in the suites which have been made by women in
Prices start at £1,669 per person, based on
two people sharing a Deluxe Suite including all meals, soft drinks
and local beer. Price valid for December 3, 10 & 17 2014
sailings on a 3 night itinerary.
Sanctuary Retreats operates boutique
expedition cruises on some of the world's most beautiful rivers.
For more details visit www.sanctuaryretreats.com or call 0207 190