Cruising vacation in Burma, the Mergui Archipelago

“A beautiful way to see Burma on a tailor made sailing trip around the Mergui archipelago, with white sands, wondrous snorkelling, island idylls, and unforgettable land stays too.”

Highlights

Yangon | Shwedagon Pagoda | Hasting Island | Lampi Island| Clara Island | Pila Island | Frost and Potter Islands | Kawthaung | Bagan | Mandalay | Mingun Pahtodawgyi | HeHo | Inle Lake | Cookery lesson in Pa-Oh village

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Our top tip:
Most people are Buddhists, quiet and respectful. Politics are private, so go easy on questions.
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. Surcharge for own room.
Accomm:
5 nights luxury yacht , remaining nights in good quality, hotels, with pools or spa facilities.
Included:
Flight from UK and internal Burma flights, accommodation, breakfasts, snorkel equipment, transfers, guide.
Meals:
All meals included on yacht. Eat where locals do for best food. Budget 30p-£1 for street lunch.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cruising vacation in Burma, the Mergui Archipelago

Environment

Our ground agents are in the process of establishing a carbon offset programme in place to allow clients to offset their carbon usage. This is being done through an organisation called GERES, a not-for-profit organisation with over 40yrs experience in the field which aims to help preserve the environment, limit climate change and its consequences, reduce fuel poverty and improve living conditions.

Other projects undertaken by our local agents to encourage responsible and sustainable tourism in Burma including tree planting in Bagan and fund raising to build schools in remote rural areas such as Inle Lake, providing the funding for children to attend school longer or even go to university. In addition to clean, hygienic and well-constructed classrooms, our agents aim to ensure clean drinking water and sanitation facilities are available in order to help improve the health of local children.

Our ‘Cruise the Mergui Archipelago’ itinerary visits this little known area while staying on a comfortable cruising yacht, a naturally zero emissions form of transportation which moves with the power of the wind. An engine is available for windless days but this is avoided wherever possible and the roof of the yacht has recently had solar panels installed which cuts onboard generator use by 50%.

The amenities pack provided by the yacht contains only biodegradable toiletries produced by an Australian-based company and are 100% plant based and chemical free. Yacht staff do not dump any non-biodegradable waste into the ocean, and where possible fresh produce is purchased from local villages and fishermen. This ensures money is input into the local village economies and food is as fresh as possible fur guests.

The yacht owners are also in the process of establishing a sailing clinic, a new initiative aimed at transporting medical staff to remote villages in the archipelago to provide free treatment. During the course of the normal sailing itinerary, the yacht has always visited many remote villages with no accessible medical facilities. While the staff transport and provide supplies free of charge to these villagers they are setting up the sailing clinic inviting the medical community to travel with them to the villages and provide free treatment and care.

The Villa Inle Resort & Spa is a new addition to Inle Lake and has worked hard to create a hotel which fit harmoniously into the environment. During the construction phase the hotel planted a huge number of indigenous trees including 1000 banana trees, 500 lime trees, 500 mango trees and 2000 teak trees. Not only do these help the environment they also provide an important source of produce for the hotel kitchens. The gardens are also all organic thereby avoiding adding unnecessary pesticides and herbicides into the natural environment. Recycling of most materials including paper, plastic, cans and glass is practiced in the resort and used cooking oil is used to make candles. The hotel is staffed by 90% locals thereby keeping the majority of staff salaries in the local economy.

Community

Fair salaries are paid to all employees and regular training is provided to support future career development. Only local guides who are aware of local customs and cultures are employed which not only keeps the funds paid to staff within the local community but also helps avoid any potential cultural clashes between visitors and locals. All guides are also required to sign an agreement with our ground agents agreeing not to take visitors in their charge to unplanned sites such as schools, orphanages etc or to ask for donations or tips. Guides are required to turn off vehicles when idling to minimise unnecessary emissions.

Our local Burma agent has been operating socially responsible trips to the country for many years and has a wealth of experience and expertise in the region. They have a strong responsible travel ethos and, in the wake of their exceptional efforts raising nearly $200,000 towards the Nargis Cyclone Relief Effort in Burma which was used to help rebuild schools, clinics and houses, they established their own charitable foundation. With a realisation that tourism can change local lives for better and for worse, our agents have established a responsible travel ethos creating authentic travel experiences which mutually benefit locals and visitors.

The village of Ah Lett Chaung is located on the banks of the Yangon River and was one of the villages heavily affected by the cyclone seeing the destruction of many homes, farms and gardens and the pollution of drinking water supplies causing the spread of many diseases. With the aid of our agents, the village clinic was re-built and is still in operation treating 70-80 patients per week for a minimal fee. Clinic staff also regularly visit neighbouring villages where no clinic exists.

Since 2011, our ground agents have taken over the provision of salaries to the doctors, nurses and a security guard and a representative visits regularly to oversee the allocations of funds. The next goal is to improve the provision of safer drinking water to the village. For all bookings made through us a donation is made which covers one field visit or training session to surrounding villages on aspects of sanitation and hygiene, an important factor in helping avoid the spread of disease in rural communities.

Reviews of Cruising vacation in Burma, the Mergui Archipelago

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 22 Mar 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


All of it but sailing in Mergui archipelago fantastic exactly as in Burma boating video

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Budget for the tips and extra entry payments for foreigners in Myanmar . The MTT guides are flexible so if you want less pagodas and more villages or different trips just ask . Take less clothes a longi / sarong and a t.shirt will dry over night. Take long sleeved shirt for sun protection.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I did have qualms that the Myanmar government took a generous cut but the guides and local businesses would not exist if we did not visit. By tipping and buying local crafts and using local cafes does help local communities. I was also taken to two orphanages run by monks not listed on the programme and anything given to them is direct aid

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fantastic but visit Myanmar soon . The tourist industry has expanded 100 times since 2012 . In the last 2 years power, SIM cards and cars have become affordable so visit before it is all spoilt . Bamboo stilted huts on lakes with solar panels and satellite dishes !

Reviewed on 17 Nov 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Everything! The sights, the colours, the smells, the atmosphere!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Get ready for a lot of action!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, and it was great to be with local guides and drivers for the entire vacation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fantastic, a wonderful journey.

Popular similar vacations

Sounds of the Hebrides cruise in Scotland

Sounds of the Hebrides cruise in Scotland

Sail the Sounds of the Hebrides: Mull, Luing, Jura, Shuna

From £750 - £1200 6 days excluding flights

Liveaboard diving and sailing vacation in Greece

Liveaboard diving and sailing vacation in Greece

Combine a sailing and diving adventure in the Greek islands

From £555 - £647 7 days excluding flights

Sailing vacation in Greece, Mykonos to Santorini

Sailing vacation in Greece, Mykonos to Santorini

The boat, the beach and inviting Greek villages

From US $1411 - US $1461 8 days excluding flights

Greek Islands sailing vacation, Santorini to Mykonos

Greek Islands sailing vacation, Santorini to Mykonos

Sapphire waters, whitewashed villages & history laden ruins

From US $1411 - US $1516 8 days excluding flights

Convert currencies