Suite Class - Asia
Avalon Myanmar and Avalon Siem Reap, the line's two suite class ships based in Asia, are Avalon Waterways' smallest ships by far, and they have an intimate feel with decor inspired by the region — teak wood carvings, woven fabrics, and vintage photographs. The ships only carry 36 passengers, and all of the staterooms are a relatively spacious 245 square feet, with king beds facing 14-foot-wide sliding glass doors. (What a view!) Avalon Waterways is known for their immersive and thoughtful shore excursions, particularly with these ships. From palm candy making to pottery glazing, you’ll get a glimpse into yet-to-disappear traditional trades that are so important to the region.
What We Love
Local Specialties: The cuisine celebrates the region, with food that is a flavorful combination of pungent, crunchy, and savory. Try the pickled tea leaf salad, the vermicelli in a chicken curry broth, flash-fried cashews, and ginger tea with local honey. At a noodle bar at lunch, you can top your bowl with jalapeno peppers, cilantro, parsley, and garlic.
Outdoor Spaces: Because of the ship’s intimate size, you’ll never have to jostle another passenger for a lounger on the top-level sundeck or the open-air area that’s an extension of the observation lounge.
Best Known For
Unchartered Territory: These ships offer unique itineraries for the region. For example, Avalon Myanmar departs from the northern Bhamo bordering China to the temple-studded Bagan. Many of the villages in between haven’t seen many tourists, unlike the stretches of the lower Irrawaddy where other river cruises navigate.
Panoramic Windows: Despite the scaled-down size, these ships have many of the same features of the company’s European Suite Ships, namely the floor-to-ceiling windows that span the entire room.
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Who It's Best For
The Culturally Curious: These voyages are nothing short of enchanting, from the golden sunsets over temples to handcrafted wares at local markets.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Cabins Need More Soundproofing: Sound travels on this ship; when you’re in your stateroom, sometimes you can hear shuffling in the hallway and footsteps pattering overhead. (There's no need to set the alarm clock for the crack-of-dawn almsgiving ceremonies.)
No Wi-Fi in Remote Areas: Though Wi-Fi is complimentary, you’ll spend most of your days on board without a connection. Purchase a local SIM card if you can’t bear to unplug. Television signals are weak as well, so take the opportunity to look at the view, not a screen. If you really need to connect, read our guide How to Use Your Cellphone at Sea.
Lisa Cheng is a New York-based writer for ShermansCruise who also writes for Travel + Leisure.
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Suite Class - Asia at a Glance
- Line: Avalon Waterways
- Class: Suite Class - Asia
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