Pandaw Cruise – A Voyage into Nagaland

Only the small RV Kalay and RV Zawgyi Pandaw ships, with their ultra-low drafts, can journey north beyond Homalin in the high water season from mid-August to Mid-October. Nagaland is famous for the fierce and distinctive Naga warriors and various ethnic communities. Along the way, the Chindwin River passes through dramatic scenery of dense jungles, high cliffs and deep gorges and visits remote villages each with a unique way of life.

To further enhance your experience, we now have a number of quality mountain bikes for your use on the cruise.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Kalewa

This morning fly from Yangon or Mandalay to Kalewa. On arrival transfer to the your Pandaw Ship. Explore ashore visiting the local market and enjoying panoramic views over the Chindwin from top of a hill.

Day 2: Mawlaik

Set sail to charming Ma Sein Village and continue to Mawlaik, the former seat of the Bombay Burma Corporation’s timber extraction operations for the Chindwin Area. The old Headquarters building still stands here.

Day 3: Kindat

Sail to Kindat (translated in Burmese meaning a military outpost), with its old colonial post office (now a school). Also visit the tiny village of Yuwa, where previous Pandaw travellers report a delightful atmosphere from friendly locals.

Day 4: Sitthaung

Continuing upstream we sail to Sitthaung, the final resting place of a number of Irrawaddy Flotilla Company steamers. Scuppered there in 1942 in an ‘act of denial’ from the advancing Japanese who were a matter of hours behind. Remains of these ships can be found here. It was from here that the survivors of the Japanese invasion marched out to Tamu on the India border. Pantha was an important oil refinery belonging to the Indo-Burma Petroleum Co (Steel Brothers). We also explore Paungpyin village and take a walking tour including a visit to the market and the attractive wooden houses.

Day 5: Toungdoot

Morning visit to Toungdoot or Hsawng-hsup in Tai, is an ancient Shan enclave who in British times still had a ruling Sawbwa complete with palace and court. It will be interesting to see what has become of the royal family and their home and to see these Shan people so far from their Tai-Shan homelands. Alistair McCrae wrote of his visit there 1935 ‘I loved the atmosphere of quiet and peaceful living there. At night I could hear greylag geese as they came in to the flooded land around us from far away north’.

Day 6: Khamti

Scenic explorations upstream into the remote Nagaland. Afternoon arrive at Khamti, known as ‘the land full of gold’ due to the prevalence of gold panning in the nearby tributary of the Chindwin. We visit the town, the monastery meet local Tai speaking peoples.

Day 7: Nagaland

Morning visit to Khampti market and sail the Chindwin today towards Homalin stopping at villages not used to western travellers.

Day 8: Homalin

Morning visit Homalin, an interesting town close to the Indian border with attractive forested mountains on either side – some rising to over 9,000 feet. Irrawaddy Flotilla Company used to visit here and during World War II, Homalin was occupied by the Japanese. In the afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Flights: Domestic flight: Yangon or Mandalay to Kalewa / Homalin to Yangon or Mandalay
Transfers: Transfers to / from ship as described
Accommodation:7 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Mountain Bikes:Use of quality mountain bikes for independent exploration
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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Pandaw Cruise – The Mergui Archipelago

The Mergui Archipelago with its 800 islands is one of those areas that remain almost totally unvisited by foreigners. Though now some live-a-board dive boats and yachts venture with special permission into the southern islands from their bases in Thailand, the bulk of the archipelago has remained unvisited since colonial times. During that period when the archipelago was first charted most of the islands were named after colonial civil servants, a number retain these quaint names to this day.

The local population IS Mokkein, often called sea gypsies and sometimes called pirates. During the Burmese socialist period the Mokkein controlled the smuggling routes and would prey on shipping. Nowadays they have reverted to fishing and fish curing. They are a people with their own language and culture who entirely live on the sea and have evolved a remarkable way of life. We will visit Mokkein islands such as Lampi in the Sullivan Islands.

The ship carries kayaks and snorkelling equipment for free use.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Kawthaung

Passengers embark at the border port of Kawthaung. After lunch explore the town of Kawthaung and surrounding area. Overnight in Kawthaung.

Day 2: Naung Wee Island

Sail on to Naung Wee island to visit a Moken (sea gipsy) village and learn about their extraordinary water bourn life. Overnight off Barwell Island.

Day 3: Lampi Marine National Park

Visit the Lampi Marine National Park with its mangrove forests and diverse bird life including the hornbill. After a tour of the area with excellent bird watching we return to the beach to relax.

Day 4: Kyun Pila Island

At sea and on to visit the Kyun Pila island for a picnic ashore.

Day 5: Nga Man Group Of Islands

We explore the Nga Man group of one hundred and fifteen islands and land on the main island for a trek inland and time on the beaches to snorkel and see something of the amazing marine life here.

Day 6: Sailing The Mergui Archipelago

Sailing the Mergui.

Day 7: Cockscomb Island

Sail to Cockscomb Island with its limestone caves and hidden lagoon accessible only on the ship’s tenders. In the afternoon we will move round to the South Bay where we can kayak and swim off pristine white sandy beaches and watch the sun go down as cocktails are served on the beach.

Day 8: Kawthaung

Arrive at Kawthaung in the morning and disembark for your onward journey.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Accommodation:7 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Equipment:Kayaks & snorkelling equipment
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itainerary
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Pandaw Cruise – Mandalay Bagan Packet

A fabulous way to discover the mighty Irrawaddy River aboard a Pandaw Cruise with up to two weekly departures between the historic royal capitals with two nights moored at Pagan and three at Mandalay as well as exploring small towns and villages of lost Burma in between. Exceptional value for money with no single supplement on many selected departures!

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1:  Mandalay

Transfer from the airport to the ship for lunch followed by excursion to Mandalay which is not only the country’s second largest city but also the religious centre of Burmese culture. The excursion starts with a visit to Mahamuni Buddha Image, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Myanmar. The statue was brought here in 1785 by King Bodawapaya after the invasion of the Arakan Kingdom in 1784. To pay respect to the Buddha image, male devotees apply gold leaf to the image. As a result, the Mahamuni Buddha Image has been covered with a thick layer of gold leaf (about 15 cm). The walk continues along the street renouned for its marble carvers. Continue to Shwe Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery) which was built in 1857 and was originally part of the royal palace before it was moved to the present site in 1879. Explore UNESCO listed Kuthodaw Pagoda, with the world’s biggest book. It accommodates 729 marble slabs engraved with the Buddha’s Parli Scriptures housed in shrines. After the gold leaf hammering workshop, stop by the moat surrounding the Royal Palace for a great photo opportunity with a backdrop of Mandalay Hill. Moor overnight at Sagaing.

Day 2 Mingun – Sagaing – Amarapura

Set sail to Mingun for a morning walking tour around the unfinished stupa built by Amarapura’s King Bodawpaya in 1790 which was intended to be the world’s largest stupa but remained unfinished since 1808 and also visit the world’s largest ringing bell. In the afternoon, drive up to the top of Sagaing Hill and admire the bird’s eye view over the Irrawaddy river curving around Sagaing city from SoonU Ponnya Shin hill top-pagoda. Later an introduction to the Buddhist nuns’way of life at a nunnery. Drive to Amarapura, a former capital (initially from 1783 to 1819 and subsequently from 1839 to 1852). Visit a silk and cotton weaving workshop, Amarapura’s major business. At sunset take a local boat on Taungthaman lake at U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak bridge. Moor overnight at Sagaing.

Day 3 Yandabo

Explore Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the river bank clay. This village is well-known as the place where the first Anglo-Burmese war ended by the peace treaty signed in 1826. Morning walking tour and a visit to a pottery workshop to see first-hand the production process. This is a hands-on experience which you are welcome to try. Visit the Pandaw supported Yandabo School (if no school holidays). Moor overnight at Shwe Tan Tit village.

Day 4 Pakokku – Ayardaw

Explore Pakokku, experiencing the local market and town centre by Tuk Tuk. Sail to the Ayardaw charity clinic supported by Pandaw. Afternoon walk around the village. Pakkoku is a city of about 100,000 inhabitants located 30 km from Pagan. Main produce are tobacco, cotton, peanuts, Thanatkha (traditional make-up and sun lotion) and textiles. Visit Pakokku’s main market by Tuk Tuk. Stop at a cheroot workshop and discover how traditional cheroot cigars are made. Moor overnight at Tant Chi village.

Day 5 Tant-Chi-Taung – Salay

Drive up the winding road of the Tant-Chi-Taung mountain to visit the hill top stupa. On the way back, watch a traditional paper-mache elephant dance performed by the villagers from Tant-Chi. Sail to Salay, a small town which was once a bustling trading port, now a sleepy village filled with colonial architectural treasures and timeless teak monasteries. Walk from the ship to Yoke-Sone Kyaung, the best-known teak carved monastery in Burma, stopping at Salay House on return. Moor overnight at Salay.

Day 6 Salay – Pagan

Morning cruise upstream from Salay to Pagan to explore its many temples. The first temple visited is Ananda, known as the finest temple in Pagan in terms of ancient architecture, built in AD 1105 by King Kyansit Thar, the third king of Pagan dynasty. Explore the high standard of Pagan craftsmanship including niches with statues, glazed plaques, the standing Buddha statues and murals. Next stop is Myingabar Gubyaukgyi temple built in AD 1113 by Prince Rajakumar, son of King Kyansit Thar. Discover the well-preserved murals which also depict typical day-to-day life in Pagan. End the day with a walk through Phwar Saw Village; a small village with just over 500 inhabitants situated between New Pagan and Nyaung U airport. It was named after the very famous and influential queen for three consecutive Kings in Pagan’s late 13th century. The villagers rely on bean and pea farming, breeding cattle and producing small lacquerware handicrafts. A short stroll in the village under the shimmering sunshine in the late afternoon is the perfect way to capture the villagers’ way of life including fetching water, herding cattle back home and preparing for dinner. Moor overnight Pagan.

Day 7 Pagan

Further exploration of Pagan and visit a lacquerware workshop. Visit to Shwe San Daw stupa, one of only a few monuments allowing travellers to climb it, gaining a 360-degree view over the pagoda-studded plain. The next visit is to Shwe Zi Gone Pagoda, built in AD 1086 and believed to enshrine a hair relic of the Buddha. Before returning to the ship for lunch, take a stroll around the Khay Min Ga pagoda complex to learn about the different architectural styles: Indian, Sri Lankan, Myanmar-Mon hybrid and Myanmar. And In the afternoon, visit a Lacquerware workshop to explore the process of making lacquer handicrafts which is the specialty craft of Pagan. Continue to the unique Payathonezu, three inter-connected temples with a narrow passage built in the late 13th century. End the day with a visit to Dhamayangyi from AD 1170, the widest and largest temple in Pagan. Watch the sunset from the top of Taung Guni temple before returning to the ship. Moor overnight Pagan.

Day 8 Pagan

By 0900am disembark your Pandaw Cruise in Pagan and transfer to either hotel or airport.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Transfers: Airport or hotel transfers to/from ship
Accommodation:7 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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Pandaw Cruise – Bagan to Mandalay

We are pleased to offer a convenient four-night Pandaw Cruise on the irresistible Irrawaddy River from Bagan to Mandalay discovering the ancient Royal capitals, riverside villages, lively local markets and stunning scenery and sunsets.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Pagan

Embark your ship in Pagan before lunch. In the afternoon, visit a Lacquerware workshop to explore the process of making lacquer handicrafts which is the specialty craft of Pagan. Continue to the unique Payathonezu, three inter-connected temples with a narrow passage built in the late 13th century. End the day with a visit to Dhamayangyi from AD 1170, the widest and largest temple in Pagan. Watch the sunset from the top of Taung Guni temple before returning to the ship. Overnight Pagan.

Day 2: Salay – Ayardaw – Tant-Chi-Taung

Set sail early morning to Salay, a small town which was once a bustling trading port, now a sleepy village filled with colonial architectural treasures and timeless teak monasteries. Walk to Yoke-Sone Kyaung, the best-known teak carved monastery in Burma, stopping at Salay House on return. Sail upriver to the Ayardaw charity clinic supported by Pandaw then drive up the winding road of the Tant-Chi-Taung mountain to visit the hill-top stupa. Late afternoon, watch the traditional paper-mache elephant dance performed by the villagers from Tant-Chi. Moor overnight near Nyaung U.

Day 3: Pakokku

Explore Pakokku, experiencing the local market and town centre by Tuk Tuk. Pakkoku is a city of about 100,000 inhabitants located 30 km from Pagan. Main produce are tobacco, cotton, peanuts, Thanatkha (traditional make-up and sun lotion) and textiles. Visit Pakokku’s main market by Tuk Tuk. Stop at a cheroot workshop and discover how traditional cheroot cigars are made. Moor overnight at Aung Pan Chaung near the Chindwin confluence.

Day 4: Yandabo

Explore Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the river bank clay. This village is well-known as the place where the first Anglo-Burmese war ended by the peace treaty signed in 1826. Morning walking tour and a visit to a pottery workshop to see first-hand the production process. This is a hands-on experience which you are welcome to try. Visit the Pandaw supported Yandabo School (if no school holidays). Afternoon sailing and moor overnight at Pauk-taw Pauk-myaing village near Ava.

Day 5: Sagaing

By 0900 After breakfast disembark at Sagaing.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Transfers: Transfers to/from ship as described
Accommodation:4 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Mountain Bikes:Use of quality mountain bikes for independent exploration
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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Pandaw Cruise – Bagan to Mandalay Short Cruise

For those without the time for a longer classic Pandaw cruise join one of our cult short cruises between the two ancient capitals of Burma. We started these in 1998 and they are a great component in a tailored land tour.

You will see the best of river life with stops in the bustling monastery city of Pakokku and the delightful pottery village of Yandabo with its Pandaw School.

Warning! Most people who book the short cruise rebook for a classic longer cruise in a future year.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Bagan

Board your Pandaw Cruise ship. After embarkation, followed by lunch we start cruising upstream. In the afternoon enjoy a tour of Pakokku by trishaw. Pakkoku is a city of about 100,000 inhabitants located 30 km from Pagan. Main produce are tobacco, cotton, peanuts, Thanatkha (traditional make-up and sun lotion) and textiles.

Day 2: Yandabo

Explore Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the river bank clay.

This village is well-known as the place where the first Anglo-Burmese war ended by the peace treaty signed in 1826. Morning walking tour and a visit to a pottery workshop to see first-hand the production process. This is a hands-on experience which you are welcome to try.

Here we visit the Pandaw School built with donations from past Pandaw passengers (if no school holidays).

Day 3: Mandalay

Disembark in Mandalay after breakfast at 09.00.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Accommodation:2 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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Pandaw Cruise – The Mekong: From Laos to China

For the first time it is possible for Pandaw Cruise passengers to sail on the mighty Upper Mekong River from Laos to China. This will be an incredible, pioneering 14-night river expedition discovering charming villages, stunning scenery, pristine jungle, the Golden Triangle and the very different emerald green Mekong in China’s Yunnan province. Our journey also includes overnight stops in Luang Prabang, Chiang Saen and Jinghong.

The river recces sail aboard a Pandaw, specifically designed and built for sailing on the Upper Mekong with low draft and extra powerful engines.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Luang Prabang

Embark by noon for a lunch followed by an afternoon walking tour of this World Heritage Site with its delightful traditional Laos wooden houses and many gilded monasteries. Return to ship for drinks and dinner and a welcoming Lao baci ceremony.

Day 2: Luang Prabang

Further visits in Luang Prabang: The Royal Palace was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. After the death of King Sisavang Vong, the crown Prince Savang Vatthana and his family were the last to occupy the palace.

We will visit the Buddhist temples Wat Xienthong and Wat Mai, the latter being the biggest and most decorated temple.

Afternoon at leisure for individual exploration. In the evening visit Luang Prabang’s lively night market and savour the buzzing café life.

Day 3: Kuang Si Falls

05.30am walk to the town centre to watch the alms giving and ceremony. Visit the morning market before returning to the ship for breakfast.

Our bus will take you to the butterfly park, founded by a Dutch couple in 2014 as a research and preservation centre of Laotian butterflies. After a brief journey we reach our next stop, the stunning Khaung Si Waterfalls with stunning jungle pools and scenery. Don’t forget your swimsuit!

This afternoon we will sail upstream towards Pak Ou.

Day 4: Pak Ou Buddha Caves

Visit to Pak Ou, a Buddhist sanctuary and one of Laos’ most respected holy sites with spectacular limestone cliff faces. Packed with over 4,000 Buddha icons, the caves which are a shrine to the river spirit and Lord Buddha, are set in a dramatic limestone cliff at the point where the Mekong joins the Nam Ou River.

We continue upstream and visit a village by small boat known locally as the “Whisky Village”. Learn how they produce their alcohol.

Day 5: Sailing The Mekong

An exciting day spent sailing through dramatic scenery with lush jungle and forest punctuated by tiny villages clinging to the river bank.

Pause for a walk ashore at Ban Huay La village with wooden houses and women at work weaving. Later presentation by the guide on Laos language and culture.

Day 6: Pak Beng

The scenery becomes even more dramatic and the river faster and more treacherous. This passage can be very exciting and most passengers sit spellbound on deck. Morning cooking demonstration of favourite Laos dishes by our Pandaw chefs. Afternoon walk around the market town of Pak Beng. Jungle mooring.

Day 7: Sailing The Mekong

A long sailing day covering a considerable distance but punctuated by a morning walk around Ban Pak Sit village, a traditional riverside village full of charm and life, and an afternoon walk around Pak Tha village. Village mooring.

Day 8: Into Thailand

After an afternoon visit to the local pagoda, we proceed to Lao and Thai Immigration, joining the Pandaw ship again in Chiang Kong. Sail further into Thailand in the late afternoon and moor overnight in Chiang Kong.

Day 9: Chiang Saen

This morning we visit a Thai hill-tribe village to appreciate a very contrasting culture from Laos.

After lunch on board we explore Chiang Sean and the Wat Phangao Pagoda. In the evening traditional Thai dancers perform on deck. Overnight in Chiang Saen.

Day 10: Golden Triangle

In the morning transfer by bus to the smuggler city of Tachilek in Burma where we will visit the “extraordinary“ market (essentially one massive duty free area), Chinese temples and the Tachilek Shwedagon Pagoda.

After lunch a visit to the Hall of Opium. The Golden Triangle used to be infamous as one of the largest producers of opium. Various Thai organizations led by the Royal Project and Doi Tung Development Project have spent decades battling this trade. As part of this campaign, the Hall of Opium was built to educate people about the dangers of the drug through an entertaining exhibition which traces opium’s history from its first use 5,000 years ago to current issues of drug abuse and addiction.

To end the day we will reunite at the Buddha Statue at the Golden Triangle to take in the view over the three bordering countries Thailand, Laos and Burma.

Overnight in Chiang Saen.

Day 11: Ban Dom Moon

Leaving behind the bustle of the Golden Triangle we return to a Mekong that is now narrower and faster than anything encountered so far on this journey. Afternoon walk around the Pok Lok village followed by a talk by our guide on the region’s ethnography.

Day 12: Sob Luoy Province

Visit Ban Pak Keo, its villagers and walk up a small hill adorned with a pagoda and enjoy the beautiful view over the Mekong.

Stop at Ban Na Kor (Sob Luoy Port) in the afternoon and sail on to a remote sand bank to moor for the night. Canapés and cocktails are served on the sundeck followed by local Laos folklore stories and traditional floating fire lanterns.

Day 13: Guan Lei

Crossing into China at Guan Lei Port in the morning, we are free to take a walk and explore before passing immigration. Sail the final stretch of the scenic and dramatic Mekong in China to Jinghong where we moor overnight.

Note: In the event that water levels are too low, too high or the flow too fast, we may not reach Jinghong. In this case you will be transferred for the final stretch by speed boat and lodged in the best available four or five star hotel.

Day 14: Jinghong

Jinghong was founded in 1180 by Tai King Phanya Coeng. Its turbulent history has been influenced by Thai, Burmese and Chinese occupations, which can be seen in its buildings and the local language.

In the morning we will visit the fascinating Tropical Plant Institute, a vast garden with over 13,000 plant species and 35 exhibits. We then continue to Manting Park, the oldest park in Xishuangbanna, dating back 1300 years. Previously a Dai Imperial Garden, the park’s attractions include the opportunity to learn about the culture of the Dai people. Manting Park is also called ‘Chunhuan Park’ which means the place where people can have relieve their mind and soul of all earthly worries.

On our final evening in Jinghong, experience an evening cultural show at Maxmumbani, where dancers from 38 different ethnic groups display their traditions with acrobatics and fascinating story of China and its people. Moor overnight in Jinghong Port.

Day 15: Jinghong

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport or hotel

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Transfers: Transfers from Vientiane or Udon Thani to ship in Vientiane.
Transfers from Jinghong airport/hotel to ship in Jinghong.
Accommodation:14 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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Pandaw Cruise – The Laos Mekong

Enjoy a three country expedition as we will traverse Laos to touch Thailand and Burma at the once notorious Golden Triangle with Pandaw Cruises. From Vientiane, the old French capital, and so redolent of L’Indochine Pandaw will be the first river expedition since pre war days to cross all Laos. We stop two nights at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang with its dazzling wood carved monasteries and then on deep into the mountains, through rapids and gorges on our high powered little Pandaw. Visit tribal villages and explore into jungle and countryside. As the first year of operation, please anticipate many a change – but a great adventure!

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Vientiane

Transfer to your Pandaw Cruise Ship and embarkation at 11.30 am, followed by lunch and afternoon an exploration of the delightful French city including visits to the golden Pha That Luang Stupa, Sisaket Temple, the President’s Hall, Wat Prakeo Temple and the Phatouxay monument. Set sail late afternoon, enjoy a welcome dinner on board and overnight near Vientiane.

Day 2: Cruising The Mekong

Cruise upstream on the Mekong, passing lush jungle scenery and tiny riverside villages. Morning presentation on the Lao language. Afternoon cooking demonstration on the upper deck. Arrive in Ban Xanakham to moor overnight.

Day 3: Pak Lai

Afternoon visit to the French administrative town of Pak Lai with many colonial buildings and a bustling local market. This town boasts the largest elephant festival in South East Asia, usually in February.

Day 4: Ban Park Bor Village

Morning visit and walking tour to Khamo tribal village, a typical village, set on the banks of the Mekong amidst lush jungle. In the afternoon pass through the Xanyaburi Hydro Electric Power Plant.

Day 5: Ban Mouang Khai Village & Luang Prabang

In the morning visit a Hmong village and continue upstream to the village of Ban Mouang Khai. Afternoon sightseeing by minibus visiting the jungle pools and dramatic Khaung Si waterfall then on to a butterfly garden. Arrive in the heart of the temple city of Luang Prabang where there is a buzzing night market and many great cafes and some good local restaurants.

Day 6: Luang Prabang

In the morning explore by tuktuk this well-preserved and unique world heritage site with its many Buddhist temples, libraries and royal palace. Visit the National Museum and have the afternoon free to explore the beauty and unique atmosphere of Luang Prabang on your own. Enjoy traditional Laos dancing on the upper deck late afternoon. Moor overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 7: Pak Ou Caves

Early morning walking tour to see the alms offering by the local people to hundreds of monks who walk around the city every morning. Passengers are invited to join in with offerings we provide for the alms giving. Morning sightseeing by local boat exploring the unique Pak Ou Caves and Elephant camp, a Buddhist sanctuary with spectacular limestone cliff faces. Evening cocktails on a sandbank. Sail upstream on the beautiful Mekong towards Ban Bo

Day 8: Pak Beng

Morning visit to a local Khamo village. Sail upstream on the Mekong passing Pak Beng towards Pak Sit.

Day 9: Ban Houayxay

Early morning walking tour in a Khamo village then cruise through stunning scenery to the border of Laos and Thailand. The night is spent on the Lao side in the Huay xay area where we take a late afternoon village walk.

Day 10: Chiang Saen

Cruise upriver to the Town of Chiang Sean for border crossing at the Golden Triangle. Farewell cocktails and Thai traditional dance on board for your last evening.

Day 11: Chiang Saen

Disembark by 8.30 in Chiang Sean and group transfer to hotel/airport. En route, explore the Golden Triangle including a visit to the opium museum. Continue to airports or city hotels in Chiang Rai (2 hours) and Chiang Mai (6 hours).

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Transfers: Transfers Chiang Rai / Chiang Mai to ship and ship to Vientiane / Udon Thani
Accommodation:10 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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Pandaw Cruise – Halong Bay and Red River (December to March)

Explore the key sites of Northern Vietnam by Pandaw Cruise river ship, traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries, connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with the excitements of downtown Hanoi, and then on into the interior, well off the beaten track. This is a combination of scenic beauty, lively and interesting (sometimes industrial) life of the river and exploring rivers where no other tourist craft operate.

Sailing deep into Highland Vietnam we will discover the mountain villages and a number of tribal areas. We go as far as is navigable up the Song Red River and then down the little known Da or Black River. Note this is a new river expedition and itineraries and schedules very much subject to change due to uncertain local conditions.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay

Transfer from Hanoi International Airport/Meeting point to Halong Bay to embark the cruise with a stop for lunch enroute. Cast off in the late afternoon for an evening sailing to drop anchor in a sheltered bay amidst the amazing island scenery.

Day 2: Halong Bay

Morning sail around Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years. We will visit by local boat a local floating home, kayaking or taking a rowing basket boat to bright & dark limestone caves.

Day 3: Halong Bay

Morning continue cruising in Halong Bay then we will enter the river in the afternoon and setting sail to Pha Lai. We will anchor mid-stream.

Day 4: The Thai Binh River

We are sailing on the Thai Binh River to Thanh Ha. Enjoy a walk through the village of Thanh Hai and experience the water puppet show performed by the local villagers. Back to the ship for lunch while the ship is continuing into Luoc River. Afternoon excursion to Ninh Giang to visit local market & learn about the homemade special cake (BANH GAI). Continue by bus(25min) to Stork’s Island.

During dinner the Pandaw will continue to Kim Son, Ninh Binh Province.

Day 5: Day River

This morning we will visit the famous stone cathedral of Phat Diem. Afternoon sail upstream from Day River to Ninh Binh City.

Day 6: Ninh Binh

In the morning we will visit Tam Coc, taking a rowing boat ride to visit the so call “Halong on land” in Ninh Binh. Afternoon excursion is to visit the bamboo and rattan village where they make their products for both domestic and oversea market.

Day 7: The Lower Red River

In the morning we sail upsteam on the Red River to Dien Xa village where we will walk to the bonsai village and meet with local artists and share their bonsai experience. We then continue on the Red River to Hanoi.

Day 8: Hanoi

Dropped anchor in the bustling city of Hanoi, passengers will visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis, must see’s like the notorious Vietnam war prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Afternoon walking tour of Hanoi including a visit to a coffee shop where we learn about Vietnam’s famous coffee making industry. Before returning to your ship you will enjoy a traditional unicorn and lion dance at the jetty.

Day 9: Hanoi

Morning going off shore to visit Bat Trang ceramic village then sail through day from Hanoi up the Red River to Viet Tri, not the most picturesque of towns but an excellent base for going deeper into Highland Vietnam. Going a shore we visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by lime stone rock formations. Of particular interest is the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas, hardly known, yet with exquisite temples dating from the 8th and 11th century and home to some fine Buddhist statuary carved from jackfruit trees. We will arrive in Vinh Phuc in the evening.

Day 10: The Upper Red River

In the morning we go ashore to visit the UNESCO village of Duang Lam. In the afternoon, visit the carpenter and smith village of Ly Nhan. We sail upstream on the Upper Red River to Viet Tri. Enjoy traditional dances on board.

Day 11: Viet Tri

Disembark after breakfast and visit the conical hat making village of Gia Thanh. By bus we continue to Hung Lo Temple, Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a transfer to Hanoi airport or drop off point Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Transfers: Transfers between the meeting point and the ship at the start and end of a voyage.
Accommodation:10 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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Pandaw Cruise – Halong Bay and Red River (April to November)

Explore the key sites of Northern Vietnam by Pandaw Cruise river ship traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries, connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with the excitements of downtown Hanoi, and then on into the interior, well off the beaten track.

This is a combination of scenic beauty, lively and interesting (sometimes industrial) life of the river and exploring rivers where no other tourist craft operate. Sailing deep into Highland Vietnam we will discover the mountain villages and a number of tribal areas. We will go as far as is navigable up the Song Red River and then down the little known Da or Black River.

Note this is a new river expedition and itineraries and schedules very much subject to change due to uncertain local conditions.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay

Transfer from Hanoi International Airport or Meeting point to Halong Bay to embark the cruise with a stop for lunch enroute. Cast off in the late afternoon for an evening sailing to drop anchor in a sheltered bay amidst the amazing island scenery.

Day 2: Halong Bay

Morning sail around Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years. We will visit by local boat a local floating home, kayaking or taking a rowing basket boat to bright & dark limestone caves.

Day 3: Halong Bay

Morning continue cruising in Halong Bay then we will enter the river in the afternoon and setting sail to Pha Lai. Observe the lively and interesting life of the river, a key commercial waterway. We will anchor mid-stream.

Day 4: The Thai Binh River

Morning sail on Thai Binh river. Excursion to Thanh Ha commuinne for water puppet show & village walkabout. Continue cruising to Ninh Giang. Afternoon walking tour in Ninh Giang commute and visit a local market to taste the home made special cake BANH CAI. Then we continue by bus (25min) to Stork’s Island before we return back to the ship for dinner.

Day 5: Bat Trang Village

Today we will be cruising towards Hanoi. Enroute, stop at Bat Trang, a ceramic village, in the afternoon.

Day 6: Hanoi

Dropped anchor in the bustling city of Hanoi, passengers will visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis, must see’s like the notorious Vietnam war prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Afternoon walking tour of Hanoi including a visit to a coffee shop where we learn about Vietnam’s famous coffee making industry. Before returning to your ship you will enjoy a traditional unicorn and lion dance at the jetty.

Day 7: The Lower Red River

Morning sail through day from Hanoi up the Red River to Viet Tri, not the most picturesque of towns but an excellent base for going deeper into Highland Vietnam. Going ashore we visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by lime stone rock formations. Of particular interest is the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas, hardly known, yet with exquisite temples dating from the 8th and 11th century and home to some fine Buddhist statuary carved from jackfruit trees. Afternoon excursion to a carpenter village. We will arrive in Viet Tri in the evening.

Day 8: Lo River

In the morning cruising to Tien Du ferry station to the conical hat making village of Gia Thanh. Take in the sights and sounds of the bustling river with all kinds of craft and activity. By bus we continue to Hung Lo Temple.

Day 9: The Da River

Enjoy a day sailing downstream admiring the unspoilt beauty of the Da River. We pass the Ba Vi National Park with its rich and diverse tropical and sub-tropical flora and fauna before arriving at Hoa Binh. We will visit the UNESCO village of Duang Lam.

Day 10: Hoa Binh

Hoa Binh was the site of a major battle with the French in 1951 & 1952 and is home to the Muong ethnic group.This morning we will take a boat ride on the reservoir of Hoa Binh power station and visit a local village and tonight you will enjoy the traditional performance of local hill tribe people.

Day 11: Hoa Binh – Hanoi

Disembark after breakfast (08.30am) and visit a museum and local village where villagers still wear traditional dresses. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a transfer to Hanoi airport or drop off point Pan Pacific Hotel Hanoi.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Transfers: Transfers between the meeting point and the ship at the start and end of a voyage.
Accommodation:10 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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Pandaw Cruise – Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

Combine the ancient temples of Angkor in Siem Reap with Cambodia’s bustling capital city Phnom Penh with a Pandaw Cruise expedition on the Tonle and Mekong Rivers. Cruise as far as Kratie, where only Pandaw ships can navagate and discover the dolphin grounds and the national park protected areas.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant for availability, latest offers, pre and post cruise touring options and flights.

Day 1: Siem Reap – Kampong Cham

This morning transfer by coach from the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa to your Pandaw Ship moored at Kampong Cham. A packed lunch will be provided on the coach and we will stop at Kampong Thom along the way. Once on board we will set sail upstream to moor overnight at Cchlong.

Day 2: Kratie and The Dolphin Grounds

Sail through the morning to reach Kratie, a charming French colonial river port, and after lunch visit the dolphin grounds travelling further upstream by local bus.

Day 3: Prek Kdam

Sailing down river we stop at the very curious Monkey Temple, Wat Hanchey and Angkor Ban .

Day 4: Phnom Penh

After a full buffet breakfast, we will disembark in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh.

Inclusions 
Meals: All meals & locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water.
Transfers: Transfers from meeting point in Siem Reap to ship in My Tho.
Accommodation:3 nights on-board the Pandaw Cruise
Guide: English Speaking Guide
Gratuities: Gratuities to crew on board the Pandaw Cruise
Entrance Fees & Touring: Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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