Pandaw reveals its most off-the-beaten track river cruise adventures

Pandaw - Chindwin

As the longest established river cruise company in Southeast Asia, Pandaw Expeditions is the pioneer of boutique river cruising, specialising in creating exhilarating itineraries that take guests off the beaten track. 

The unique design of Pandaw’s small but powerful shallow-draught ships, beautifully hand-crafted in teak and brass, allows them to reach remote areas that other cruise operators cannot in Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China.

Passengers are captivated by awe-inspiring riverside panoramas that unfold before them, wined and dined by expert staff offering authentic local cuisine, enchanted by the local culture and sights on daily excursions, and entertained with on-board activities and cultural performances as they cruise the greatest rivers in Asia.

In addition to the classic river cruise favourites, Pandaw offers a selection of pioneering itineraries that venture off the tourist trail. Following are five of Pandaw’s most seductive sailings, each one offering an experience that no other cruise company can.

The Great Irrawaddy Delta, Burma

From 10 March 2018, ‘The Great Irrawaddy Delta’ itinerary will navigate guests through a complex labyrinth of waterways that no other river cruise company operates in. From Rangoon, the voyage takes guests to Pyapon, Bogale, Myaungmya, Bassein, Wakema, Maubin and back to the starting point of Burma’s capital. Passengers will savour the contrasts of indigenous village life, markets, ancient trading ports, temples, churches and mosques, and have the chance to spot a plethora of birdlife and wildlife. In the backwaters the vibe is reminiscent of Kerala, on the larger channels it could be New Orleans.

The ship sailing this itinerary is the 16-guest bedroom RV Katha Pandaw. The price starts from USD$2,117 per person, based on two sharing. This includes the seven-night cruise on a full-board basis, with local drinks, excursions, tipping for crew and transfers at the start and end of the voyage. International flights are additional.

Halong Bay And Red River, Vietnam

Pandaw is the only operator to offer the ‘Halong Bay And Red River’ itinerary, on which travellers explore the highlights of Northern Vietnam by traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries. From Halong Bay and the vibrant capital Hanoi, guest will discover mountain villages and tribal areas as they sail deep into Highland Vietnam, heading as far as is physically possible up the Song Red River and then down the little known Da or Black River. The itinerary combines scenic beauty, the vibrancy of river life and the exploration of, otherwise unreachable, areas of the river.

The ship sailing this itinerary is the 16-guest bedroom RV Angkor Pandaw. The price starts from USD$2,925 per person, based on two sharing. This includes the 10-night cruise on a full-board basis, with local drinks, excursions, tipping for crew and transfers at the start and end of the voyage. International flights are additional.

The Mekong: From Laos to China

For the first ever time, Pandaw made it possible for travellers to sail on the mighty Upper Mekong River from Vientiane to Jinghong, or vice versa, on ‘The Mekong: From Laos to China’ itinerary. This two-week pioneering expedition allows passengers to encounter charming villages, stunning scenery, pristine jungle, the Golden Triangle and the emerald green Mekong in China’s Yunnan province, with many little-known ports of call and overnight stops in Luang Prabang and Chiang Saen.

The ship sailing this itinerary is the 10-guest bedroom RV Laos Pandaw. The price starts from USD$6,300 per person, based on two sharing. This includes the 14-night cruise on a full-board basis, with local drinks, excursions, tipping for crew and transfers at the start and end of the voyage. International flights are additional.

Classic Mekong, Vietnam & Cambodia

Guests on the ‘Classic Mekong’ cruise will experience the striking cultural contrast between the bustling Vietnamese delta and the tranquillity of Cambodia. Pandaw’s exclusive itinerary visits the charming French colonial town of Kratie and takes guests to see the Mekong dolphins in a protected national park. No other river cruise operators offer these thrilling ports of call. Travelling ‘Upstream’, guests will pass from the vibrant port of Saigon, through the vast Mekong delta, to travel along the main channel into the rich countryside of Cambodia. The destinations are experienced in reverse on the ‘Downstream’ itinerary. Includes a full day in charming Phnom Penh, time exploring remote waterways and the remarkable monuments of Angkor.

The ships sailing this itinerary are the 30-guest bedroom RV Bassac Pandaw, 24-guest bedroom RV Mekong Pandaw and 28-guest bedroom RV Tonle Pandaw. The price starts fromUSD$1,755 per person, based on two sharing. This includes the seven-night cruise on a full-board basis, with local drinks, excursions, tipping for crew and transfers at the start and end of the voyage. International flights are additional.

The Chindwin, Burma 

Passengers setting sail on ‘The Chindwin’ adventure will explore one of the most picturesque waterways as the river carves its way through mountains and forests and stops at delightful unspoilt towns. The little-visited and truly fascinating ports of call reached from Monywa include Phowin Taung, Mingkin, Mawlaik, Sitthaung, Toungdoot and Homalin, or the same starting from Homalin and travelling in reverse. Pandaw operates a revised itinerary from Monywa to Kalewa (and vice versa) from December to February due to low monsoon water levels, but the ultra-low draught Pandaw ships can continue to sail during these months.

The ships sailing this itinerary are the five-guest bedroom RV Kalay Pandaw, 14-guest bedroom RV Kha Byoo Pandaw and 10-guest bedroom RV Zawgyi Pandaw. The price starts from USD$2,800 per person, based on two sharing. This includes the seven-night cruise on a full-board basis, with local drinks, excursions, tipping for crew and transfer from/to Hanoi and an internal one-way domestic flight. International flights are additional.

For reservations and more information, call 0208 326 5620 or go to www.pandaw.com.

 

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