Secure Card PaymentsSecure card payments
90% of customers would book again90% of customers would book again
Sign up to our Newsletter

Grand Journey of Sri Lanka & the Maldives - MV Yasawa Princess

18days from
£4,728*per person


18 Days - Classic Escorted Tours


  • You should arrive at the airport to take your flight to Colombo. Please note that this itinerary will be operating on the following departure dates: 26/01/2024 & 08/03/2024 After your lunchtime arrival we stay for one night at the four-star Arie Lagoon Hotel.
  • After your lunchtime arrival we stay for one night at the four-star Arie Lagoon Hotel.
  • Today the adventure begins and the sights and the sounds of Sri Lanka gradually unfold. The countryside is stunning – scenic paddy fields studded by water buffalos accompanied by wiry, loin-clothed farmers, extensive coconut groves, pineapple fields, working elephants with attentive mahouts astride their necks and everywhere the dense jungle interspersed by huge lakes. We visit the amazing, 1st century cave temples of Dambulla, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a wonderful introduction to the Buddhist religion. Set in an immense granite outcrop and reached by a number of steps, this serie of five caves are richly adorned with remarkably preserved frescoes and over 150 Buddhist statues. In the caves’ semi-darkness, surrounded by the serene faces of dozens of beautifully painted statues, it’s not difficult to imagine the incredible sense of awe this sacred site held for generations of worshippers. We stay two nights at the four-star Habarana Village Hotel by Cinnamon.
  • This morning you visit what for many will surely be the most memorable and fascinating monument in Sri Lanka: Sigiriya, or the ‘Lion Rock’, is a massive 600ft granite tower with sheer cliffs on all sides crowned by the remains of a 1,500 year old royal palace. The entire site is encircled by a moat and ramparts enclosing a variety of water gardens, the remains of numerous buildings and caves. As you approach Sigiriya rock, you see some of the finest ancient murals in the country – the ‘cloud maidens’ are found under a fold of rock and show in exquisite detail a procession of jewelled, beautifully dressed women bearing offerings of lilies and lotus flowers. Facing us is the imposing final entrance to the palace above: in ancient times the colossal head of a lion (hence ‘Lion Rock’) was built in brick and plaster, visitors entering through its mouth. Today, just the two front paws remain, their claws menacingly extended, still guarding the palace. It should be noted that there are numerous steps to the top of Sigiriya rock, but should pose no problem for those with normal mobility. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to enjoy our hotel’s pool and facilities.
  • This morning we leave Sigiriya for Kandy. Sri Lanka is noted for its magnificent spices so en route we visit a fascinating garden where we see many indigenous plants such as pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon before arriving at Kandy, the country’s royal capital. You stay two nights with dinner at the four-star Cinnamon Citadel Hotel, beautifully located overlooking the scenic Mahaweli River and surrounded by peaceful forested hillsides. The hotel as a pool overlooking the river, with a colonnaded lobby, a charming bar and restaurant.  Kandy is famous for its traditional dancing and so this evening we experience a colourful and hugely skilful display of this ancient art.
  • Kandy’s crowded and bustling streets teem with daily comings and goings: the many white-uniformed children returning from school and the myriad of shops. The centre is dominated by a beautiful lake and the fascinating Temple of the Tooth, said to hold Buddha’s tooth. This is Buddhism’s most sacred shrine on the island and during our visit (today or tomorrow morning), you may be lucky enough to witness one of the many ceremonies. You also visit the stunning Royal Botanical Gardens. Planted over 150 years and covering a huge 150 acres, the gardens hold thousands of plant species and some superb examples of mature tropical trees. Strolling through lawns, shady avenues and immaculately kept flower beds, we see exotic birds and the commemorative trees planted by Edward VII, George VI, Princess Anne and the Queen. Other highlights are the Avenue of Royal Palms and ‘Bat’ Drive where you can spot the large fruit-eating ‘Flying Foxes’ hanging upside down! The gardens also house Lord Mountbatten’s imposing HQ from World War II. 
  • Today you leave Kandy and the train  from Peradeniya Station to Nanu Oya, Nuwara Eliya. We journey through increasingly mountainous scenery including some spectacular views of Sri Lanka’s premier tea growing areas. Lush tropical jungle gives way to tall pine forests and then box-like tea bushes, few at first and then seemingly covering every fold of the  landscape like a huge green carpet right to the landscape horizon. Arriving early afternoon to Nuwara Eliya, the main hill station, is nearly 7,000 feet above sea level and called ‘little England’ due to its spring-like climate, parks and gold course. You stay one-night at the four-star Golden Ridge Hotel, located within a 5 acre ridge. 
  • You say goodbye to Sri Lanka’s hill country this morning on your way to Yala National Park in the south of Sri Lanka.  At around midday we arrive at the Elephant Transit Home, supported by the UK’s Born Free Foundation, at Udawalawe National Park, where you’ll be able to watch young elephant orphans being given one of their daily feeds. You stay two nights at the excellent three-star superior Chaarya Resort and Spa Hotel, near Tissamaharama. 
  • An early start this morning, accompanied by the unique sound of a tropical ‘dawn chorus’. As the morning mist disappears with the rising sun you explore the jungle and its incredible range of wildlife in 4x4 vehicles. The normally elusive leopard offers the Park’s most exciting game viewing and Yala has a high concentration of these big cats. They are the island’s top predator so are far less shy than elsewhere in the world. Yala is also known for its elephants, saltwater crocodiles, wild boar, sloth bears, monitor lizards and a huge variety of birdlife. After a late breakfast you can relax by the hotel’s pool before an optional second, early evening park drive (book and pay local).
  • Today we journey to Colombo, stopping at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Galle, with its imposing 16th century Dutch fort. In the late afternoon we arrive at the four-star superior Kingsbury Colombo for one night.
  • Transfer from your hotel to Colombo airport for the 1hr.25 flight to the Maldivian capital Malé with a short domestic flight to Maamagili Regional Airport in South Ari Atoll.  On arrival you’ll be taken by dhoni (traditional Maldivian wooden boat) to the Yasawa Princess, your charming cosy home for the week, where the friendly crew will help you check into your comfortable cabin. During this evening’s informal welcome meeting, you’ll be briefed on week’s itinerary, meet crew members and the other guests on board. Enjoy your complimentary pre-dinner cocktail as you catch the first of many spectacular sunsets over the Indian Ocean.
  • Get your first taste of cruising as we take a short cruise north west to  Hurasdhoo, a small deserted island with a white sandy beach. Take the opportunity for snorkelling to experience your first taste of the underwater world or relax and soaking up the sun and cooling off with a dip in the Indian Ocean. The ship’s tender makes trips to this beautiful island in the morning and afternoon. For a small additional charge payable locally, you may wish to take a boat out with local guides and go in search of the graceful giant manta ray visiting a manta ray cleaning station with the option to snorkel (seasonal January to April). Tonight, you may wish to experience reef night fishing with traditional hand line bottom fishing technique (catch and release method).
  • A short cruise to the western edge of the atoll we moor up near the small charming deserted island of Embudu. The tender takes you to the island in the morning and afternoon. Access to snorkelling is with ease, with a bit of luck you may find local residents Eagle rays or turtles passing by or simply relax on the long stretch of beach. You really are in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Tonight, why not try your hand at traditional fishing in the open ocean under the stars? Maldivians are true fishermen at heart, so you’re in good hands with our local guides. 
  • After a leisurely cruise this morning, we arrive at the island of Raiydhigaa with a natural habour. With soft white sands, lush coconut trees and astonishingly clear water, this remarkably picturesque island appears to have sprung to life from the cover of a travel magazine! There is easy access to the reef for snorkelling. Lunch today is a picnic on the island. For many, this evening will be a real highlight. Few experiences can compare with a meticulously prepared barbecue on the beach, served with warm Maldivian hospitality. Enjoy a wide selection of delicious food including music and dancing under a starlit sky, a truly memorable experience.
  • Located in the centre of Ari Atoll is Alikoi Rah sandbank, a snorkellers haven with a house reef abundant to spot colourful fish, turtles and rays, visiting in the morning and afternoon.  This evening we watch the sky take on an array of magical shades of orange as we take a sunset cruise to the nearby Maaya sandbank.
  • Heading to the northern edge of Ari atoll, visited in the morning and afternoon is the large sandbar of Maayafushi is renowned for flocks of common seabirds. A wonderful sandbar with a stunning sea-green lagoon and a surrounding reef, making snorkelling an absolute dream.
  • This morning we cross the open Ocean channel of Alihuras Kandu cooling off with a final dip in the warm ocean clear waters on a sandbar en route to Male. Once reaching our final mooring, our dhoni is ready to take you on an informal guided tour to the world’s smallest capital city. With an area of approximately 2.3 square miles and a population of over 150,000, Malé is a fascinating commercial hub of the country. See the bustle and buzz of everyday life including local markets, whilst wondering around. Enjoy locals favourite pastime of having an ice cream or coffee or simply watch the world go by from one of various cafés in the area of Boduthakurufaanu Magu.
  • After breakfast, we take our return flight to the UK via Colombo.

What's Included

Holiday Highlights

  • Choice of two itineraries on selected departures
  • Explore four UNESCO world heritage sites of the Golden Temple Dambulla, sacred city of Kandy, Sigiriya and the old town Galle Fort
  • Experience superb scenery, shimmering paddy fields, rubber and spice plantations, verdant tea estates, swaying coconut groves, and exotic wildlife
  • Guided tour of the 5th-century Royal Palace and Citadel at Sigiriya Rock plus a guided climb of the rock
  • Visit Kandy and see the Temple of the Tooth, said to house Buddha’s tooth, plus visit the stunning Royal Botanical Gardens
  • Guided tour of the local tea-growing areas in Nuwara Eliya with a Ceylon tea tasting
  • Visit feeding time at the Elephant Transit Home, where elephant orphans are looked after, before being re-introduced to the wild as endorsed by the Born Free Foundation
  • Enjoy a 4x4 drive in Yala National Park, famed for its wildlife
  • Hand-picked three and four-star accommodation, including all local taxes, with daily breakfast and dinner
  • Explore the extraordinary underwater worlds of the Maldives
  • Discover idyllic islands and stunning sandbanks
  • Enjoy an unforgettable beach barbecue on a desert island
  • Try traditional Maldivian-style line fishing under starlit skies
  • All meals included on board, including a beach BBQ and unlimited bottled water, tea and coffee daily
  • Experience a sunset cruise in the middle of the Indian Ocean
  • Opportunity to experience snorkelling with manta rays
  • Visit the world’s smallest Capital City of Malé

Our Price Includes

  • The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room on the Sri Lanka tour and a lower main-deck cabin on the Maldives cruise. Price includes:
  • Scheduled return flights to and from Colombo and from Colombo to Malé with a domestic flight in the Maldives
  • Nine nights with breakfast and dinner at three and four-star hotels in Sri Lanka
  • Seven nights with breakfast, lunch, dinner including unlimited bottled water, tea and coffee on the three-star MV Yasawa Princess
  • All transfers
  • All local taxes
  • All port charges
  • All tours as mentioned
  • The services of a Riviera Travel tour manager.
  • Night snorkelling, whale shark trip and an extra night fishing may be purchased locally at US$15 per person per activity.
Request a Callback
First Name
Last Name
Contact Number
Email Address
Comments (optional)
Sign up to our newsletter
By Clicking "Send" I confirm I have read and agreed to the site's Terms & Conditions

Dates and Prices

January 2025
  • Available
  • Limited Availability
  • Not Available
Departure Airport:
London Heathrow (LHR)

Number of Passengers:

Price from:£4,728
Request Callback


4* Kingsbury Hotel - Colombo -


Located centrally in Colombo near to Galle Face Green and The Dutch Hospital Precinct, the four-star Kingsbury Hotel is ideal for relaxing after your journey from Yala and before taking the flight from Colombo to Malé. The hotel has a pool. There is a choice of dining options including an all-day poolside light-bite dining, a modern Asian restaurant as well as a Chinese restaurant.  The rooftop bar Sky lounge is perfect for a sundowner to view the Colombo coastal skyline. Facilities also include a spa and gym.  All the 229 air-conditioned contemporary rooms feature a rain shower, hairdryer, safe, minibar (extra charge), iron/board, cable TV, tea and coffee maker, and complimentary Wi-Fi.


The three-star superior Chaarya Resort & Spa  is located nearby to Tissamaharama, set in lush green surroundings. All the rooms feature a balcony or terrace and are comfortably furnished with air-conditioning, TV, safe, tea/coffee making facilities, bath tub, rain shower, hairdryer andcomplimentary Wi-Fi. The restaurant offers a selection of local and international dishes using locally sourced produce. The partial open-air outdoor Cozy Bar is the ideal place to relax after your Yala National Park experience. There is a small fitness room, as well as an outdoor pool. The spa offers a variety of traditional wellness treatments. Please note that your room location could be on either the ground or first floor. Rooms located on the first floor are accessible by steps only.

4* Habarana Village by Cinnamon – Habarana -


The four-star Habarana Village by Cinnamon is located on the shores of Habarana Lake and set in 27 acres of grounds. Facilities include an open-air restaurant, lounge bar, outdoor pool and the Azmaara spa. Take a stroll in the gardens or on the jogging path and you may spot geckos, monitor lizards, monkeys and plenty of birdlife. The 108 rooms are set in detached and semi-detached cottages and are all air-conditioned, with shower, hairdryer, safe, minibar, cable TV, tea/coffee-making facilities and complimentary wifi.

4* Cinnamon Citadel - Kandy -


The recently-renovated four-star Cinnamon Citadel Hotel is located in a quiet position on a bend of the Mahaweli River, with magnificent views over the surrounding forested hills and a 15 minute drive from the centre of Kandy. The hotel’s sun terrace and large pool overlook the river, as does its main restaurant and popular lounge bar. There is also an air-conditioned fine dining restaurant. All 121 air-conditioned and comfortable rooms have a shower, hairdryer, minibar, safe, TV, tea/coffee-maker and a balcony overlooking the river.

4* Golden Ridge Hotel - Nuwara Eliya -


The four-star Golden Ridge Hotel is located in the cooler mountains with scenic landscape views and tea plantations. All the rooms have a balcony and are tastefully furnished featuring a TV, safe, tea/coffee making facilities, mini bar, rainfall shower, hairdryer and complimentary Wi-Fi.  The main restaurant offers a selection of local and international dishes, plus for lovers of tea there is a tea lounge. The Jockey's Pub bar has the charm of little England offering over 100 labels of choice liquors and cognacs! With ever evolving misty mountain views the Infinity Pool Bar is located adjacent to the indoor pool.

4* Arie Lagoon Hotel - Negombo -


Beautifully located between Negombo lagoon on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other, in the fishing village of Thalahena.  The four-star Arie Lagoon is within a short transfer from the airport, making it ideal for relaxing after your flight from the UK. The hotel has two pools of which one has a swim-up pool bar with a panoramic lagoon view.  There is a restaurant as well as a separate bar and wine lounge. There is a cosy small Spa and gym.  All the 55 spacious air-conditioned rooms feature with terrace or balcony in low-rise buildings amongst the garden grounds. Each spacious room has natural wood furniture and offers a shower, hairdryer, safe, minibar (extra charge), iron/board (upon request), cable TV, tea/coffee maker and free wifi.

Phone Icon
Search Icon
Not found what you are looking for yet? Search our full list of holidays.

Other Information

Holiday code


Holiday provided by Riviera Travel

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: This holiday is sold and operated by Riviera Travel (ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430). These ABTA and ATOL bonds mean that, when you book a Riviera Travel holiday, you can be 100% sure that your money is safe.

View Terms and Conditions