Posted April 21st, 2017, 10:36 AM
Last edited by tring; April 21st, 2017 at 10:45 AM
We did Vantage Irrawaddy plus Mekong Oct-Nov 2016. All in all a very nice trip. Myanmar was a fascinating country and boat crew was fantastic. 2018 has a new boat versus the one we took, and our trip included Bangkok on both front and back; we went down river - are you going up? Vantage had us on United, but they switched us at our request to ANA (3 inches more leg room on Coach) and we flew in 2 days early to overcome jet lag. No additional cost to us, but that may be because we are President's Club. We told Vantage Air the precise flights we wanted and they said fine, no cost - YMMV.
Interesting you have done both Irawaddy and Mekong with the same company. How did the rivers compare overall? I think the Mekong has been a cruise destination for much longer so are the places visited more touristy and are the rivers in similar terrain? We would like to do both but we have things booked for the next two autumns and It looks like that would be the best time for us as I am asthmatic and the Irrawaddy can suffer from dust/smoke and low water levels early in the year.
I have rang Fred Travel and have been told that someone with a knowledge of that area will ring back - does not seem to be happening though! They sell Vantage in the UK apparently - sometimes specific agents are used in other countries, even for companies who sell direct at home.
I have been able to request a brochure for Pandaw by ringing UK office - they seem very good, are very well established in the country and offer a number of itineraries with shallow draft boats, so would not have problems with water levels south of Mandalay. I have seen a review which says the APT ship had to stop south of Mandalay and people needed to be bussed from ship the last 3 days.
I tried ringing Avalon and got very abrupt message saying no one available. Was able to request brochure from website, but cruise seems to be part of a tour from Yangon with flights in/out of Yangon and hotel base sat end, so may not be suitable for us as we want to take cruise and arranged hotel stays at either end and in other countries. So we need cruise only really.
Thank you for answering some questions on the thread you started. Can you tell me if you had to be bussed from ship for last few days because of low water levels and, if so, how long were those transfers?
Also, I see people do the Yangon sight seeing whilst resident on the APT ship. Can I ask if it was berthed fairly centrally and how long it took to get into the city centre from the berth (I know the big pagoda is a bit further out of the city centre)?