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Pandaw launches new Asia itinerary with ‘Limited Edition’ Mergui Archipelago sailings

Pandaw River Expeditions has unveiled a new, limited edition, itinerary in Burma’s extraordinary Mergui Archipelago following the successful launch of its first ocean cruise on the MY Andaman Explorer.

The classic 1960’s motor yacht acquired in 2016 and lovingly refurbished by Pandaw founders Paul and Roser Strachan began sailing a seven-night Mergui Archipelago itinerary around the Mergui Archipelago’s 800 unexplored islands in November.


The new Mergui Archipelago itinerary will visit a number of different islands to the original, seven-night sailing

Now Pandaw has developed a new 10-night Burma Coastal Voyage sailing that will depart from Burma’s largest city, Yangon,  making it easier for guests who previously had to take a flight to Kawthaung to embark the ship.

Once in the Mergui Archipelago, the new itinerary will visit a number of different islands to the original, seven-night sailing. Four departure dates confirmed for late 2018 and early 2019 are on 5 and 18 November and 5 and 18 January.

Paul Strachan said: “Our first foray into cruising in the Mergui Archipelago has been a terrific success, with many a first and some quite extraordinary discoveries in this rarely visited coast, with its thousand islands and diverse marine life.

“In view of this success, we have decided to introduce a new, extended itinerary with four confirmed departures, that will cover the entire distance between Rangoon and Kawthaung. These voyages will include exciting stops at the old coastal ports of Mawlamyine, Myeik and Dawei.”

Strachan added: “In addition, we will explore several little-known islands with opportunities to snorkel or kayak up rivers into the mangrove forests. So evocative of Kipling, Maugham and Collis, we find these lively coastal ports full of architectural interest, whether colonial or Buddhist.

“Likewise, we have identified key islands, some with communities of Baptist Karens loyal to the KNU, others with the Mokkein sea gypsies who speak an unusual sort of Malay. But the majority are totally deserted with pristine white beaches, coral and diverse bird and sea life, not to mention the odd reptile like giant monitor lizards.”

For the southbound route, passengers will embark in Yangon and set sail down the Yangon River to cruise out to sea. On day two, the Andaman Explorer will moor in the estuary at Kaikkame and passengers will travel by car to Thanbyuzayat to visit the war graves and to explore Mawlamyine, an important colonial outpost that was annexed by the British in 1824.

On day three, the ship cruises all day, with passengers enjoying an island stop to swim and explore ashore. Day four will see the ship anchor in the mouth of the Dawei creek while guests visit the sleepy, tropical town the creek is named after. On day five, Andaman Explorer will anchor off Myeik, allowing passengers to spend a full day exploring the many architectural marvels of the old British port town.


The Andaman Explorer features 10 generously proportioned suites, with separate sitting room area and private bathrooms

Day six starts with a morning visit to Port Maria in Lun Lun Island, populated by welcoming Karen people, before sailing to Bailey Island for spectacular snorkelling or swimming in a beautiful bay. On day seven, the ship will cruise through the archipelago with a stop to swim and snorkel. Passengers will visit Tann Shey Island on day eight, which forms the main part of Lampi marine national park, to explore the mangroves by kayak and spot wild monkeys.

On day nine, the Andaman Explorer will sail the Loughborough Passage, where dolphin sightings are common, and stop to visit a Mokkein sea gypsy village on Phi Lar Island. On day 10, the ship will moor off Coxcombe Island to explore the secret lagoon by swimming or by kayak. Andaman Explorer will then continue to Kawthaung, the bustling port city where the cruise ends. After an evening discovering the city and a last night onboard, passengers will transfer to Kawthaung Airport for flights to meet their onward connections.

The Andaman Explorer features 10 generously proportioned suites, with separate sitting room area and private bathrooms. The ship is floored with Carrara marble throughout and boasts a saloon, dining room and two teak observation decks.

Prices for the Burma Coastal Voyage start from $4,450 per person, based on two people sharing a cabin, and $6,350 for single occupancy. International flights are additional.

The original seven-night The Mergui Archipelago itinerary will continue in 2018 with departures available from January to April and October and December 2018 and beyond.

Pandaw River Expeditions: 0208 326 5620 or visit www.pandaw.com

Posted on 23rd January 2018 at 12:05 pm in Cruise News | Cruise Lines | Pandaw |

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