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Sail Date: March 2019
Smallish boat/ship that has accommodation for about 50 people but with a staff ratio of 1 to 2 cruisers. Huge cabins that are exquisitely equipped, spotlessly clean and unbelievably sound proofed. All cabins have an exterior sliding door ... Read More
Smallish boat/ship that has accommodation for about 50 people but with a staff ratio of 1 to 2 cruisers. Huge cabins that are exquisitely equipped, spotlessly clean and unbelievably sound proofed. All cabins have an exterior sliding door and a full sized bathroom that would do many hotels proud. The shower is full sized and is welcome after a day exploring on the land. Each stop is associated with well organized and interesting tours that are included in the tour cost. Great food and open seating with casual clothing OK for any meal - meals are actually low stress and fun This cruise is well above what you get on most ocean going ships and really sets the bar very high with regard to quality and value for money Non-alcoholic drinks and beer are included and any cocktail or drink ordered is reasonably priced. All meals come with good quality free wine and each day their is a free cocktail happy hour (the cocktails are superb). What sets this cruise apart though is the staff who seem to enjoy your company - nothing is too much trouble. I world definitely recommend this cruise and I am alraedy planning to go again Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise as we were staying in the Strand Hotel in Yangon and wanted a similar level of opulence and comfort - we were not disappointed. The ship is a relatively new custom-built vessel, we really appreciated the small size and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we were staying in the Strand Hotel in Yangon and wanted a similar level of opulence and comfort - we were not disappointed. The ship is a relatively new custom-built vessel, we really appreciated the small size and attention to detail when fitting out the interior with traditional décor. From the moment we were picked up at our hotel in Mandalay we were treated to impeccable service from all staff. Neville the cruise manager scheduled the entire trip perfectly. The on shore excursions were interesting and showed off the best that Myanmar has to offer-the small size of the ship allowed it to dock almost anywhere. The excursions were kept to a reasonable length given the heat and were not physically demanding as transport was seamlessly arranged at each stop (we loved the air conditioned buses with iced water and cool towels). On the ship, Bart ensured we were well fed and watered by a well-trained food and beverage team. The food was a mix of local and international cuisine and always of good quality-we really felt we were being treated to the best of the best. Breakfast was made to order every day - no standard buffet here! Lunch and dinner was served in a different location every day, one night we had a barbeque on a sandbank, other times we ate on deck on in the bar if we preferred. The small size of the ship allows for highly personalised service and we really enjoyed sharing our time with the wonderful staff. We also enjoyed some time by the pool and in the spa. There were also some interesting on-board activities such as a cooking demonstration and local dance performance. Every night there was a little gift in on our bed and we just received in the mail and additional gift of a beautiful set of prints of Myanmar - this truly was a cruise unlike any other with so many thoughtful touches thrown in. This was truly the experience of a lifetime and the best way to experience the interior of a beautiful and interesting country. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
It was by chance that my wife found the Strand advert and decided to join as we’ve never been on a cruise before. We had no idea what to expect but the local knowledge does indicate that the name “Strand” is a premier name. From ... Read More
It was by chance that my wife found the Strand advert and decided to join as we’ve never been on a cruise before. We had no idea what to expect but the local knowledge does indicate that the name “Strand” is a premier name. From the outset, we were welcomed warmly and on joining the ship , we felt the class and the luxury setting in. The ship is well refurbished with elegant colonial interiors mixed with modern technology. The cabins were on two floors and ours , the Strand Cabin was comfortably spacious for two with sliding doors to experience the outside environment. Plenty of light through the floor to ceiling glass doors and good air conditioning. The bathroom was well appointed and had very high standard amenities. There were a few occasions of power outage but didn’t take long to restore. The chef , the catering manager Bart and the catering department were excellent providing us with fantastic meals throughout the trip and waiting staff gave us a superb service seeing to all the needs of the guests . The Strand Restaurant and the Sarkies Bar were spacious,comfortable and had a relaxing feel. Cabin attendants did a good job and the turn down service in the evenings always had a little surprise where we would be left with an unexpected present relating to the activities of the day, which was a very thoughtful touch . The programmes were always busy and well planned. The tours were designed to allow the guests to explore the area and also for the local community to benefit from the visitors. This kind of symbiosis is always there in tourism but it was more evident here as The Strand would provide electricity to the village while in dock and also appointing young locals to get jobs on the cruise. The heat in summertime can be intense and could be uncomfortable for some on these tours. The on board activities were a credit to the cruise manager Neville Joseph who did a fantastic job of providing us with information and entertainment and allowing the guests to taste the wit, humour ,colour and culture of the country. The captain and his team deserves a mention too as he had to pilot the ship through pretty shallow sections of the Ayeyawaddy River which wasn’t very easy in summer time. My wife and I had a wonderful experience on the Strand Cruise from Mandalay to Bagan and would thoroughly recommend to those interested in such a voyage. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
My wife and I are used to travel worldwide and have had the chance to enjoy remarkable stays in high end hotels or resort but what the Strand has achieved with this unique cruise tops it all! The ship itself is brand new and features ... Read More
My wife and I are used to travel worldwide and have had the chance to enjoy remarkable stays in high end hotels or resort but what the Strand has achieved with this unique cruise tops it all! The ship itself is brand new and features and elegant and discreet decoration which immediately creates a cocoon of understated luxury and class We were hosted in a very nice suite located at the bow and featuring a terrace. the room was also discreetly decorated in a colonial spirit and we had the feeling we were the only one on board. The entire staff, led by Barthelemy, is extremely professional and smiling whilst remaining discreet, I was actually impressed by their work and how they contribute to the entire experience. Bilou, the entertainer on board , is also very knowledgeable and we had the pleasure to have him give us some insight on Burmese culture as well as visit a very local market in Baggan which was not included in the lists of planned visits. The sites visits were perfectly planned and each time we had a local guide joining us to explain the history behind each landmark we were visiting, everything handled seamlessly. From breakfast to dinner only excellent products were served and the Thai chef did a very good job. The dinner on the river bank was so romantic and unexpected, just a piece of magic in the silence of the river. A special thanks to the bar staff which fixes great drinks! What a bliss to sip a delicate cocktail, watching the sunset whilst the wild river banks slowly pass by, feeling the silky and warm caress of the air on your skin, thinking about the visits of the day. Our cruise was a truly memorable experience ! The only downside for us was that, to our great surprise, a number of younger kids were part of the cruise, they were adorable but I would have preferred to be with adults only as this kind of holiday is not really the family style. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We have looking forward this cruise for a long time, it was advertised to us as being one of the finest in luxury on the ayeyarwaddy river. So we thought it would be a nice and tranquil journey. But too many kids running around and so ... Read More
We have looking forward this cruise for a long time, it was advertised to us as being one of the finest in luxury on the ayeyarwaddy river. So we thought it would be a nice and tranquil journey. But too many kids running around and so noisy (we cannot blame them, they are full of life), We have been surprised to see so many "locales" onboard, it shows that the country has some very wealthy people. We enjoyed our time there, but, the tranquility was not there , around the pool so noisy... The excursions was nice but the French magician (he did a trick or 2 to us during the trip) was so rude and so careless on "local" guests, culture and about the country. We were so disappointing about such negativity towards this country... Even our guide has been told off by this person (I think the name was Bilu, but not sure)... My husband did not feel well, but the Indian cruise manager and the French F&B manager looked after him and me well. We wanted to watch the formula 1 grand prix, and they did manage to have it on tv for us.... It was challenging as there was bad connection, but we saw it !!! The service in spa, reception, restaurant and housekeeping was top notch, no time to wait that whatever you asked them, it was done promptly and at times no need to ask, they are bringing it to you. For breakfast, no need to ask for coffee that your waiter (Kel doo too) knew our order before we even asked him... That is service! So overall we enjoyed it it very much, but too many kids (noise, running,...) and a bit more consideration for local people would have made our trip being of the best. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
It is hard to find the right words to describe how wonderful it was. Pure luxury, most friendly and helpful staff, very clean cabins and decks, quiet, fantastic interior design all over the ship, food and beverage first class, nice and ... Read More
It is hard to find the right words to describe how wonderful it was. Pure luxury, most friendly and helpful staff, very clean cabins and decks, quiet, fantastic interior design all over the ship, food and beverage first class, nice and spacious cabins and very interesting excursions to temples and cultural highlights along the Irawady river. It simply could not be any better and I can highly recommend this cruise (Bagan-Mandaly and/or back). When I boarded the ship, the handle of my travel bag was broken, they immediately offered to fix it and they repaired it perfectly. This special cruise was a theme cruise with the Orchestre de Paris, another highlight ! Our fellow passengers were very nice and pleasant ladies and gentlemen from all over Europe and the world. My sincere thanks to the crew, to Helen and Neville, to Barthelmy, the captain and the many more wonderful members, who did everything possible to make this trip a very memorable and wonderful experience to the guests. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
The wife and I chose to celebrate our 60th birthdays and my retirement on the Strand Cruise. It had been a long held ambition to see Burmese life from the river. Everything about the trip was simply superb. The boat is new and luxurious. ... Read More
The wife and I chose to celebrate our 60th birthdays and my retirement on the Strand Cruise. It had been a long held ambition to see Burmese life from the river. Everything about the trip was simply superb. The boat is new and luxurious. Its one of the few that has a swimming pool which was an ideal location for many cold beers. The service was attentive without being intrusive. The crew always had a smile and genuinely seemed to enjoy what they were doing. The food was a mix of international and local cuisine and everything we ate ranging from lobster to fois gras ravioli was exquisite. The cabins were larger than expected and bigger than many hotel rooms I have stayed in with full height windows to watch the world go by. The excursions and the activities organised provided fantastic vignettes of everything that Burma has to offer without us having to organise a thing. My only regret is that we chose the 3 night cruise rather than the 4 night one. Strongly recommended. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
It is not easy to write a review of the Strand Cruise because it was so much more than a travel experience, it felt more like participating in a carefully orchestrated spectacle; you need an art connoisseur to do it justice. But let’s ... Read More
It is not easy to write a review of the Strand Cruise because it was so much more than a travel experience, it felt more like participating in a carefully orchestrated spectacle; you need an art connoisseur to do it justice. But let’s try anyway… The cabins are spacious, comfortable and represent a well balanced blend of contemporary décor and traditional furnishings. The public areas are well designed and appointed, whether you choose to chill on the sundeck, workout in the gym or cool down from the tropical heat with a splash in a swimming pool, you can be sure to relax body and mind. Sightseeing was well organized and diverse; we saw the ancient temples of Bagan, buildings of historical importance in Mandalay and its environs but also brushed shoulders with the locals in small towns and villages. But what made the biggest difference was the impeccable service which is a result of assembling the crew of an all star caliber; the cruise manager – Neville, one of the friendliest people you will ever meet, was happy to share his unrivaled wealth of knowledge of the Irrawaddy River. Room Division Manager – Helen was discretely attentive, courteous and very helpful, the F&B manager – Bart is clearly passionate about his job and his professionalism is on another level; he always took the time to explain the dishes and drinks, those introductions were in fact so engaging and compelling that I couldn’t imagine having a meal without them. The Chef – Christian, prepared truly spectacular and various dishes of the top quality. The Bar Manager – Mr. Win conjured up superb drinks at the drop of a hat, the concierge – Bilou is a Swiss army knife, not only is he a great organizer but also a magician, painter and comedian. All the other staff members, whose names I don’t remember, were also magnificent. I recommend it to anyone who values luxury, opulence personalized service and… a bit of adventure. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Living in hong kong, we were keen to visit the burmese heritage in a comfortable environment. The strand cruise was introduced by a friend who was delighted by his experience. The ship is brand new and decorated with very good ... Read More
Living in hong kong, we were keen to visit the burmese heritage in a comfortable environment. The strand cruise was introduced by a friend who was delighted by his experience. The ship is brand new and decorated with very good taste. The cabin are spacious and very confortable. Bath room is big enough. The food served during the cruise was excellent and diverse, since we tasted various types of cuisine such as burmese, thailand, french among others. Onboard activites were based on local shows and tradition and was quite interesting. The staff is extremely efficient and discret, the food is enchanting and the onboard and shore activities are pleasant and culturally enriching. Shore activities are mainly focused on the visit of religious monuments dating as far as 11 century. The guides are well trained and very helpful. WE ARE TOTALLY SATISFY WITH THIS EXPERIENCE AND WOULD STRONGLY ADVISE PEOPLE INTERESTED IN THE DISCOVERY OF MYANMAR CULTURE AND TRADITION TO JOIN THIS CRUISE Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
After reading a review of luxury cruise options in Myanmar in 'The Weekend Australian' in October 2016, I opted for the RV Strand's short cruise from Bagan to Mandalay (4 nights). This was my first experience of small vessel ... Read More
After reading a review of luxury cruise options in Myanmar in 'The Weekend Australian' in October 2016, I opted for the RV Strand's short cruise from Bagan to Mandalay (4 nights). This was my first experience of small vessel luxury cruising but it won't be my last. Great food across several international cuisines, flexible excursion choices, a stateroom with plenty of space (the word cabin does not do it justice), and an interesting combination of activities highlighting Burmese (i.e. Myanmar) culture. The cream on an already rich cake was the thoughtful evening surprises: every night the stewards left an example of a Burmese artifact on the bed: a model of a Burmese marionette, a lacquer box or tray (finely-crafted lacquerware is one of Myanmar's main traditional products). The service was impeccable: I arrived unexpectedly in my room one evening to find a steward ironing my pillowcases while they were still on the pillow! Nothing was too much effort for the crew members. Though not a cheap holiday, I certainly have not ruled out doing this cruise again in combination with a trip to the Inle Lake. I book ended the cruise with a couple of nights at The Strand Hotel in Yangon -- a superbly restored colonial hotel incorporating much appealing indigenous design where everything matches the standards on the cruise. The attention to detail at the hotel and on the ship is impressive: I informed the hotel manager in passing of a food allergy and when I arrived on the ship the maitre d/chef knew about it. My only reservation about the cruise concerned a lecture on the history of the Bagan Temple precinct. A fascinating subject which could have made for a marvellous presentation. Instead, we were given a boring academic lecture by an authority who was difficult to understand. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
Though the Strand cruise we took was just three days, it was possibly one of the more memorable three days we have ever spent on vacation. From our greeting in Mandalay by our host Bilou to the first evenings BBQ on a sandbar in the ... Read More
Though the Strand cruise we took was just three days, it was possibly one of the more memorable three days we have ever spent on vacation. From our greeting in Mandalay by our host Bilou to the first evenings BBQ on a sandbar in the Arawati River, everything was perfect. The food, the service, and our suite went well beyond our expectations and we've travelled extensively throughout Asia so we know what we speak of. A special shout out to Bart, Helene, Bilou and Chef Tang who were always there to ensure all was going well. It is worth mentioning that when the weather is 43 degrees celsius, and after an afternoon of touring temples and pagodas, the upper deck pool was a real treat - I am pretty sure not many boats on the Arawati have a pool. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were events in themselves. If you are looking to lose weight this ship is not for you - from Burmese, Thai to French to Italian, we basically toured the world during lunch and dinner and every meal was delicious. I would not hesitate to recommend this trip to anyone - it was five star through and through. Read Less
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