Road to Mandalay Cruise - History

The Road To Mandalay has been created by Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from the old river-cruiser 'MS Nederland'/'Elbresidenz', operated by Koln-Dusseldorfer (KD). She was originally built as the "Orient-Express" of the river cruise world, to the highest standards of the 1960s. The vessel made her maiden voyage on 6th July 1964 and following a period as a floating hotel in Dresden was purchased by Sea Containers in 1994.

The ship underwent a major refurbishment programme at Lauenberg /Hamburg at a cost of US$6 million. Designer Jenny Maclean supervised the refurbishment and redecoration of all interior spaces. Fourteen State cabins were created by combining two smaller cabins. The air-conditioning was upgraded, a new sewage treatment plant was installed to preserve the purity of the Ayeyarwady River, and the engine room was upgraded.

The ship was then taken to Myanmar on a specialist transporting ship (Condock IV) all the way from Hamburg in Germany to Yangon in Myanmar, through the Suez Canal, arriving a month later.

The first commercial sailing of RTM was on 27 December 1995.