Owned by the American-based river cruise company AmaWaterways, the AmaPura is a luxurious, all-inclusive, all-suite ship whose compact size was designed especially to cruise Myanmar’s (formerly Burma) Irrawaddy River all year round. AmaPura’s elegant décor combines the traditional and the contemporary to create an intimate, tranquil environment onboard.
Exotic river cruisers tend to be a well-travelled crowd, and this is certainly true on AmaPura. Most passengers are 45+ and from the USA and Canada, although the AmaPura is also popular with British travellers and people from other English-speaking countries. AmaWaterways prides itself on its attentive, personalised service, and nowhere is this more apparent than on the AmaPura where 36 crew are on hand to attend to the needs of just 56 passengers, giving one of the best passenger to crew ratios in river cruising.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all taken in AmaPura’s stylish, air-conditioned main restaurant where local chefs create menus based on Western classics and Myanmar’s delicious Asian fusion cuisine, which features plenty of rice with delicately spiced fresh meats, poultry, seafood and vegetables. At lunch time passengers can choose from salads, soups and hot main courses and dinner is a multi-course event that passengers look forward to relaxing over each evening.
Wine, soft drinks and beer are in plentiful supply at lunch and dinner, and hot drinks are always available onboard.
The onboard atmosphere is low key, with most passengers happy to enjoy a sundowner on the Sun Deck in the evening as they watch the mysteriously beautiful scenery slip by. However the Sun Deck is also home to the Main Lounge & Bar where local performers are regularly invited onboard to provide entertainment such as a traditional Burmese puppet show.
Cultural events and discussions occasionally take place in the Main Lounge but, generally, the ship is a place to relax with a book or a drink, or enjoy a sunbathing session.
Offshore excursions include all fees and are conducted under the personal care of friendly English-speaking guides, meaning passengers can concentrate on immersing themselves in their surroundings without having to worry about bringing money or queueing.
After their day exploring, passengers are welcomed back onboard with a cool drink and a chilled towel. This is just one of the special personalised touches AmaPura passengers can expect onboard.
All suites on the AmaPura are luxuriously appointed with great views of the passing scenery from their spacious and comfortable seating areas. Deluxe hotel-style bedding, large bathrooms, robe and slippers and spa-standard bath products add to the feeling of pampered luxury. Safes, spacious wardrobes and individual climate control also come as standard in all suites.
The back of the Upper Deck is home to the ship’s two largest Twin Balcony Suites, which have an area of 420 sq. ft. As well as a French balcony, these huge suites also boast a full balcony where passengers can sit outside and enjoy the view in total privacy. They also have a separate bathtub, which is a rarity in river cruising. The front of the deck is home to two 290 sq. ft. Outside Balcony Suites which also offer a fantastic personal viewing and sunbathing platform. Between these two categories of suites are 14 more Outside Balcony Suites with a slightly smaller size of 285 sq. ft.
The Main Deck is devoted to ten 285 sq. ft. French Balcony Suites, divided into three categories according to their position.
The Spa on the Lower Deck offers passengers the chance to experience the delights of traditional Asian spa treatments.
AmaPura sails two similar itineraries, the Golden Treasures of Myanmar and the Hidden Wonders of Myanmar. The Golden Treasures itinerary lasts for 14 days. The adventure starts with three days in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, before moving onto the city of Pyay for embarkation on AmaPura for an unforgettable 11-day cruise. The experience ends back in Yangon for another overnight stay and the cruise operates in both directions. The 16-day Hidden Wonders itinerary is also a round trip from Yangon with the added chance to visit the former capital, Mandalay. Highlights on both itineraries include horse-drawn carriage rides, pottery-making demonstrations, mountain excursions, the chance to see a temple at sunset and plenty of city, village and market visits so that passengers experience all aspects of this fascinating country.