This is the largest river in Myanmar and begins at the confluence of two rivers in Kachin State, the N’mai (Nam Gio) and Mali Rivers, and flows into the Andaman Sea through a vast 10,000-square mile delta.
This is the lifeblood of Myanmar. The river is navigable all the year round for 1,600km from Bhamo to Yangon passing Mandalay, Bagan and other ancient cities. The main tributary is the Chindwin River. To monsoonal rains, which occur between mid-May and mid-October, the volume of the Irrawaddy and its tributaries varies greatly throughout the year. In summer, the melting of the snow and glaciers in Northern Burma add to the volume. At Mandalay and Pyay, a range of 9.66 to 11.37 meters (31.7 to 37.3 ft) has been measured between low-water level and flood level respectively. Because of the monsoonal character of the rain, the highest point is recorded in August, the lowest in February.
The scenery is always different on the river, between here and the Delta the river varies hugely from mountains to plains. In the low water season sand banks are calling for walking and making a stop but the sands disappear in the high water time. The most well-known of these species is the Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), a euryhaline species of Oceanic dolphin with a high and rounded forehead, lacking a beak.
Our cruise is crafted for very low water level and to navigate at any time.