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Adventure Cruises in Great Swinton Island
Thanks to the opening up of Myanmar (Burma) in recent years a Great Swinton Island cruise is an opportunity to visit a beautiful and untouched part of the world. The island is located in the Mergui Archipelago in the Andaman Sea, famous for its natural beauty and calm clear waters. The coastline is rugged with rocky outcrops and mangrove forests rich in wildlife. The islands also enjoy especially rich marine life with sizable coral reefs and large pelagics such as mantas and whalesharks. Cruises to Great Swinton Island, Myanmar also enjoy one of the largest sand beaches in the Mergui archipelago on the east side of the island.
Top things to do and see on a Great Swinton Island Cruise
Great Swinton Island and the whole of the Mergui archipelago is well known for snorkeling and diving with coral reefs full of fish and the occasional bigger animal too. Lucky snorkelers might spot turtles, reef sharks or even a whaleshark on the reefs here. It is also possible to see whalesharks directly from on board your Great Swinton Island boat cruise, they are so big. It is also possible to snorkel later in the evening and be surrounded by glowing bioluminescence.
Closer into the shore Great Swinton Island is also home to mangroves which are ideal for kayaking and hiking. These mangroves are home to a wide range of animals such as dugongs and the small clawed otter. The entire island is perfect for kayaking which gives you access to all the small coves and less accessible spots. It is also a very popular area for Stand-Up Paddleboards thanks to the calm waters and beautiful ocean views. Kayakers and Paddleboarders often like to take their snorkeling equipment along to enjoy some harder to reach spots.
Nearby the mangroves there are some excellent trails for jungle walks the island is home to several rare creatures such as pangolins and mouse deer. There is also a small buddhist temple on the trail which was built by the inhabitants of a local village and is home to only a single monk. The jungle trail in Great Swinton Island ends on the beach which is an enjoyable walk itself and a great place to look for interesting shells and take in the views.
The temple on Great Swinton Island was built by the local people who are distinct from the population of the mainland of Myanmar. Named Moken or sea gypsies the inhabitants of the Mergui archipelago live a unique way of life spending much of their lives on the water. A visit to a sea gypsy village is a great experience on any small ship cruise around Myanmar. These small rustic villages sit on stilts close to the waterline to allow close access to the water for their sea loving inhabitants.
Visitors to on a Great Swinton Island cruise might spend a lot of time looking at the sky above the Mergui archipelago. During the day, it is a brilliant clear blue with barely a cloud in sight, followed by vibrant sunsets over the sea. It is however at night that the show really starts, the lack of artificial light and pollution means that the sky is full of stars almost every night. There is something really magical about sitting on deck staring up at the star filled sky in complete peace and quiet.
Top Tips for visiting Great Swinton Island on a cruise
The Mergui archipelago is so beautiful partially due to its remoteness but this should be borne in mind when you are packing for your trip. Be sure to bring extras of anything you can’t live without as supplies out on Great Swinton Island are limited. Keep your camera at the ready as wildlife encounters can come quite out of the blue especially with migrating orcas and whalesharks. Bringing your own snorkeling equipment is a good idea as well, there are so many opportunities to snorkel it is important to be comfortable. It may even be worthwhile investing in a waterproof camera to take snorkeling or kayaking.
Best time to cruise Great Swinton Island
Myanmar cruises to Great Swinton Island operate between the months of October and May. Outside of this time there are no cruises due to rough sea conditions. The best time to take a Great Swindon Island cruise is December to February, when the weather is at its best with gentle winds and bright sunshine. If you want to visit Great Swinton Island in December to February, you should plan ahead and book your cruise well in advance. This period is unsurprisingly the most popular time of the year and trips book up quickly. If you want to visit in March and April, the best time for snorkeling and diving be aware that these kinds of trips are particularly busy at these times.
Where do Great Swinton Island cruises depart from?
Small ship cruising around Myanmar does not always start in Myanmar itself but some from neighbouring Thailand. Cruises depart from Kawthaung port on the border between Myanmar and Thailand or from Ranong which is in the same area but on the Thai side.
There are several options for reaching Kawthaung and Ranong, passing between the two is fairly simple by boat. Yangon international airport in Myanmar can be reached through Dubai and Bangkok with connections further afield. You will need to take a short domestic flight from Yangon to Kawthaung. Flying to Ranong is also by domestic flight from Bangkok.
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