BOSTON, July 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- To meet high demand for travel to Burma, Alan E. Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Grand Circle Corporation, today announced that the company's cruise division, Grand Circle Cruise Line, will offer a small ship cruise tour in Burma for 2013: Burma & the Irrawaddy River: Bagan to Mandalay. Grand Circle Cruise Line joins sister company Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT), which sold out its small group adventures to Burma this year with 850 American travelers vs. initial projections of 456 travelers.
"The release of Aung San Suu Kyi from two decades of house arrest and her election to parliament has helped this once isolated country begin opening its doors to the West," said Lewis. "From calling for a boycott of travel to Burma, the Nobel Peace Prize winner is now encouraging responsible travelers to visit her country, and as result, Burma has become the 'hottest' travel destination of the year. With our new cruise tour, we'll be able to offer more Americans the chance to experience this intriguing country."
Grand Circle Cruise Line's Burma & the Irrawaddy River: Bagan to Mandalay itinerary follows the Irrawaddy River through the heart of central Burma. The journey begins with a 4-night stay at the Montien Bangkok Hotel (or similar) in Bangkok, Thailand, and a 3-night stay at the Sedona Hotel Yangon (or similar) in Rangoon, Burma's most populous city and former capital. Travelers then fly to Bagan, renowned for the 2,000 ancient temples that dot its 26-square-mile plain. There, they board the cruise line's privately chartered, new, 34-passenger river cruise ship RV Paukan for a 7-night cruise, calling on remote villages, untouristed trading centers, and important Buddhist sites en route to Mandalay, one of the country's major cultural centers. The cruise tour will be led by a resident Program Director. Grand Circle Cruise Line is the only cruise line to provide the services and perspective of a local resident.
Departures are available for March-May and September-December 2013. Prices begin at $3795, or just $253 per day, for the small ship cruise only ($253 per day) or 16 days from $4895, including international air, airport transfers, government taxes, fees and airline fuel surcharges. In addition to Superior First-Class accommodations in Bangkok and Rangoon, and the services of a resident Program Director, the 15-day cruise tour includes: 7 nights aboard the privately chartered, 34-passenger RV Paukan; 34 meals (14B, 10L, 10D), including a home-hosted dinner; 11 exclusive, included sightseeing tours with audio headset during the cruise portion of the trip; a Burmese language lesson; and more. Travelers who make their own air arrangements may request one-way or round-trip airport transfers for an additional fee.
To extend the value of one's vacation and to add more choices, travelers may choose optional 6-night extensions to Vientiane & Luang Prabang, Laos, and The Hill Station of Maymyo & Inle Lake, Burma, both priced at $1395, or $233 per day. Solo travelers benefit further from a FREE single supplement on both the base cruise tour as well as any pre-or-post trip extension.
A reverse itinerary, which sails from Mandalay to Bagan following the Bangkok and Rangoon land tours, is also available.
For more information about Grand Circle Cruise Line's Burma & the Irrawaddy River: Bagan to Mandalay or for a free catalog, please call Grand Circle Cruise Line's Catalog & Information Line at 1-800-248-3737.
ABOUT GRAND CIRCLE CRUISE LINE
Grand Circle Cruise Line is part of Grand Circle Corporation, the leader in international travel, adventure and discovery for Americans aged 50 and older. The award-winning fleet has been cited for excellence by readers of both Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure. The cruise line joins sister brands Overseas Adventure Travel and Grand Circle Travel to provide more than 80 river and small ship cruises, small group adventures by land, escorted tours, and extended stay vacations to more than 100,000 travelers each year. Grand Circle's charitable arm, Grand Circle Foundation, has donated or pledged $91 million to humanitarian, educational, and cultural organizations worldwide since 1992. Grand Circle has been in business since 1958 and is based in Boston with more than 30 offices worldwide.
SOURCE Grand Circle Cruise Line