The fact that Pandaw refers to its itineraries as river expeditions, and not simply ‘cruises’, tells you a little bit about what you can expect from your time with them. The operator specialises in trips within Asia, focussing on taking guests to countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia Laos, India and Myanmar (Burma).
Life on board is a thoroughly relaxed affair with no need for conventions such as dressing up or dining at the captain's table. This helps to create a friendly atmosphere and an environment in which the crew offer some of the best service on the world's rivers. In fact, the excellent ratio of one crew member to every two guests is something that brings people back time and time again.
The vast majority of itineraries are all-inclusive. There will be no need to find extra money for shore excursions and meals; even your gratuities to the dedicated crew members are covered by the price you pay before you sail. You are also free to do as you wish during your time with Pandaw, joining in with the shore excursions if you like, or choosing to stay on board and relax with a cocktail if you prefer.
The fleet of beautifully handcrafted vessels have the shallowest drafts of any ships operating in this part of the world, so you won't be restricted by water levels at any time of year. And with profits being passed onto local community projects, you can rest assured you are travelling with an operator that cares about the destinations they visit as well as their paying guests.
Finished in brass and teak by skilled local craftsmen and in the tradition of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company. All seventeen of Pandaw’s unique fleet are finished to exacting first-class standards with all modern conveniences. Objects of great beauty, these vessels have an ultra shallow draft and can venture where other ships can not.
Mealtimes offer the chance to sample some of the delicious local flavours found in the regions you are exploring. However, if you would rather stick to typical European offerings, these are available too. Wherever possible, sustainable ingredients are sourced from the ports visited to create delicious meals around the clock. Buffet breakfasts, lunches with buffet and served elements, and a la carte dinners are all included in the cruise fare – as is afternoon tea and a cocktail hour every evening.
So that you don’t miss a second of the passing scenery, the main dining area has retractable walls to allow fresh air in and provide wonderful views. At night, these are closed off and the air-conditioning is used instead.
All scheduled shore excursions are included in the cruise fare and encompass tours under the guidance of local experts, market visits accompanied by the ship’s chef and the chance to visit some of the Pandaw Charity projects in the area. There are no coaches or cars used; we provide authentic local transport in the form of horse and carts or cyclos. Pandaw's fleet of mountain bikes is also available for independent exploration.