Luxury river boat operator Sanctuary Retreats has successfully completed its first two sailings in Myanmar, after cruises were suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Its vessel, Sanctuary Ananda (pictured), operated two sailings on the Irrawaddy river in July.

The company said the river cruises “proved to be a great success amongst Myanmar’s international residents and citizens looking to travel domestically”.

“Similar success is expected on upcoming sailings which are nearly fully booked,” it said in a statement.

Pieter van der Schee, global sales and marketing director of Sanctuary Retreats, said: “As beautiful countries like Myanmar come to life again, we expect that international travel will soon also resume and this first cruise demonstrates that travellers are keen to explore the ‘Golden Land’ with its wealth of ancient temples, monasteries and palaces.”


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Its cruises along the Irrawaddy take guests to attractions between Mandalay and Bagan.

The Sanctuary Ananda has 21 suites and is available for exclusive charters for larger groups and families.

New Covid-19 measures have been introduced onboard the Sanctuary Ananda, including enhanced cleaning procedures, health and temperature screenings and the use of PPE.

The Sanctuary Retreats has a portfolio of luxury safari lodges in Africa and expedition ships cruising the Yangtze in China, the Nile in Egypt and the Irrawaddy in Myanmar.