River Cruise A Burmese hotel takes on the Irrawaddy By Michelle Baran / September 17, 2015 Share 1 A rendering of the forthcoming Strand Cruise, launching in Myanmar in January. -- After several years of rapid ship-building momentum on Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady (also known as the Irrawaddy) River, one of the country’s well-known hotels has decided to get in on the river action, as well.The Strand Hotel in Myanmar’s capital city Yangon is launching its first river cruise vessel this winter, the 54-passenger Strand Cruise. And the hotel is hoping to translate the reputation it has as a legacy luxury property to the river cruising experience.“Having operated the Strand Hotel in Yangon for the past decade, we know that there has been a steady growth in demand from luxury travelers to explore the ancient monuments of Myanmar by using the Ayeyarwady’s waterways,” said Jerome Seban, general manager of the Strand Cruise. “This demand presented us with an opportunity to reinvent the legendary style and unique personality of the Strand Hotel within a contemporary river cruise experience.”The Strand’s ship is currently under construction in Yangon. The vessel will feature a pool deck, a sun deck for al fresco dining, a library, wine bar and a wellness center that will offer services such as massages, a mani-pedi salon, a gym and a reflexology station.It will have 23 staterooms and four suites, including two Strand Suites located at the bow of the ship with their own terrace areas. Passengers who book the Strand Suites will also receive an included one-hour spa treatment of their choice, a pre- or post-cruise night at the Strand Hotel and private airport transfers. All cabins will have French balconies.The Strand Cruise will begin its regular schedule of three- and four-day sailings between Bagan and Mandalay on Jan. 4, 2016. Excursions will include the U Bein Bridge in Mandalay and the temples of Bagan.Prices for the three-day journey between Mandalay and Bagan begin at $1,782 per person, based on double occupancy. Rates include all excursions and activities; three meals during full sailing days; breakfast on day of disembarkation; soft drinks, local beer and house wine during meals; port charges; English-speaking guides (alternative language guides can be provided on request, subject to availability); satellite WiFi in all cabins and public areas; and complimentary international daily newspapers available on guests’ tablets.