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Pandaw cruises to new frontiers and adds new vessel in an action-packed 2018

2018 is set to be an action-packed year for Pandaw as the South-East Asia river-cruise pioneer welcomes a brand new ship, launches a new expedition - The Great Irrawaddy Delta - and expands its first foray into ocean cruising.

Pandaw’s newest addition, RV Sabei Pandaw, will join the fleet in November, becoming the company’s third ship on the Mekong River in Laos. The new ship will be the 17th vessel in the Pandaw fleet, which navigate the fascinating waterways of six South-East Asian countries.

The brand new RV Sabei will be joining the Pandaw fleet on the Mekong River in November

The Sabei Pandaw, which will feature 14 classic Pandaw staterooms and an open plan saloon with flexible indoor or outdoor dining, will begin by sailing the 10-night The Laos Mekong itinerary from 11 November.

From September 2019 it will move further along the mighty Upper Mekong to China’s Yunnan province, to sail the 14-night The Mekong: from Laos to China expedition. This four-country expedition will visit Laos, Thailand, Burma and China, with highlights including the ancient Laos capital of Luang Prabang, visits to tribal villages and national parks, and simply experiencing the dramatic and wild river itself.

The double-decked vessel will be 45 metres long and designed to meet the navigational challenges of shooting the rapids in the Laos gorges. At the same time, it will have the shallow draft to enable year-round passage across Yunnan into China.

Prices for the 10-night Laos Mekong cruise, featuring the Sabei Pandaw, start from US$4,200pp, and for the 14-night The Mekong: from Laos to China cruise from US$6,808.50pp, both based on twin-share.

Pandaw founder Paul Strachan believes that, of all the Pandaw rivers, the Upper Mekong is the most exciting. “There can be no waterborne experience to match sailing through Laos. The fast river with its continual spate of white water, the jungle clad peaks, the gorges; then there is the friendly welcome in every village, the ethnic diversity and the cultural riches. Traversing the remotest parts of four very different countries you see all of South-East Asia, lost and timeless”.

New Itinerary – The Great Irrawaddy Delta

This year will also see the launch of a brand-new expedition, The Great Irrawaddy Delta. Sailing into the heart of the vibrant and varied landscape and exploring its maze of tributaries which remain untouched by tourism, the new itinerary was initially scheduled for just two departures on 10 and 18 March but, due to popular demand, further departures have been confirmed for 2019 and 2020.

Cruising The Great Irrawaddy Delta is launched by Pandaw this year

The cruise will set sail from and return to Yangon, weaving through the complex labyrinth of waterways on a fascinating seven-night expedition. 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. On the waterways, fishermen and turtle egg hunters ply their ancient business, while exotic migratory water birds paddle in the shallows.

Prices for the seven-night itinerary on the 16-cabin RV Katha Pandaw start from US$2,117pp based on twin-share.

Ocean Cruising – The Mergui Archipelago

Pandaw acquired a classic 1960’s motor yacht in 2016, naming her MY Andaman Explorer. The ship has been refurbished and has been taking guests on a voyage around the Mergui Archipelago’s 800 unexplored islands since November 2017.

Various departures are available to April 2018, October 2018 – April 2019 and October 2019 – April 2020. Prices start from US$3,510 per person, based on two sharing.

The Andaman Explorer, which features 10 generously proportioned suites, explores many islands which have remained unvisited since colonial times. The local Mokkein people, who have their own language and culture, live entirely on the sea and have evolved a remarkable way of life.

Guests arrive in the departure port of Kawthaung via a flight from Yangon in Myanmar or a boat trip from Ranong, Thailand. From Kawthaungguests spend seven nights cruising to several national parks, islands and lagoons in the archipelago – including Naung Wee island to visit a sea gypsy village, Lampi Marine National Park with its mangrove forests and diverse bird life, the Nga Man group of 115 islands and Cockscomb Island with its limestone caves and hidden lagoon.

Pandaw: 0208 326 5620 or visit

Posted on 16th February 2018 at 05:11 pm in Cruise News | Cruise Lines | Pandaw |

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