Frequently Asked Questions
What’s included in the cost?
Entrance fees, port dues, government tax, porterage, guide services (English language), main meals, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water, crew gratuities. Transfers between ports of embarkation and Jorhat and Guwahati Airports at the start and end of the voyage. Services of a Pandaw Expeditions cruise director.
- Welcome cocktail party
- Signature hors d’oeuvres at cocktails each evening **
- Celebration cake on birthdays and anniversaries
- Cookery demonstrations using local produce
- All scheduled excursions
- At least two cultural performances per cruise
- Tour of the engine rooms, galley and working parts of the ship for those interested
- Film presentations on local culture and history
- Sodas, beers and local spirits *
- Cold towels on deck all day
- Jugged coffee, tea and tisanes on deck from sunrise till sunset
- Crew gratuities are included in your cruise program price
What forms of payments are offered?
We accept ONLY Visa, Mastercard or Discover for settlement of all cruise booking invoices as well as charges incurred on board. NO OTHER CREDIT CARDS ARE ACCEPTED. Any transactions over USD 10,000, will be subject to an additional charge of 2% and will be levied on the invoice accordingly.
How often does the ship run?
2015 Nov 22
2016 Feb 16, Mar 16, Nov 16
2017 Feb 5
**(These are the departure dates from the website)**
2015 Mar 26, Nov 15, Dec 20
2016 Jan 17, 31, Feb 14, 28, Mar 13, 27, Apr 10
**(These dates are from the “Pandaw India 2015-16” excel file)**
What activities/excursions is included off-shore?
Excursions: We try not to used cars or coaches wherever possible and in some places only the most basic of local transportation is available, like at Katha in Burma where you may find yourself in the back of a truck looking for a working elephant camp.
We stop at least once a day, usually twice. On the Mekong we will spend a day and a night in exciting Phnom Penh; in Burma we need at least a day and a half in both Pagan and Mandalay. Our expert guides will accompany you on these explorations ashore or you are welcome to make individual excursions as there are no issues of safety or security in any of the ports or stops we visit.
- All scheduled excursions accompanied by members of the crew with first aid kits, water and cold towels
- Entrance fees for sights included in the itinerary
- Comprehensive fact sheets or ‘trip books’ provided
- Visit Pandaw Charity projects along the way and interact with the local communities who welcome us
- Opportunity to travel to local markets with the Pandaw Chef at least once during the cruise program
- Crew assists in areas where river banks are steep and slippery
- Individual excursions welcomed, but please rejoin the ship on time
What activities are included on board?
Activities: cooking, fruit carving and napkin arrangement demonstrations; exploring local markets with our chefs; talks from our on board guides; film presentations, with documentaries on local history and culture as well as movies; tours of the working ship and many other activities.
During the expedition there will be at least one cultural performance on board whether the Royal Khmer Ballet in Cambodia, the Marionette Theater in Burma or Iban tribal dances in Borneo. On longer cruises there will be at least two performances per cruise.
There are a number of social events during an expedition which will include a welcome dinner, cocktail parties on deck, a farewell gala dinner and dinners themed with local menus and costume. In the Burma dry season we often tie up on a sandbank and have a barbeque beach party on the sands, usually around a bonfire in winter.
What’s the dress code?
Attire is smart casual remember the country you are in – no dressing up is required.
Is there an on-board spa?
We have two new beautiful Spa treatment rooms on our refitted RV Mekong Pandaw. Pamper yourself with an oil massage or traditional Khmer massage after an exciting excursion day, or even a mani pedi on the sundeck!
What about Safety?
- All onboard navigation crew is trained, certified and experienced as per international marine standards
- Fire alarm system in all cabins, public areas and back areas
- Fire fighting system in all ship areas
- 24 hour watch on duty
What is the Electricity & Voltage on the ship?
230 volts two round pin type as found in Continental Europe (multi plugs on all vessels after their refit).
Is there a gift shop onboard?
We have a small boutique on board with a collection of locally made handicrafts. Post Cards and stamps are also from the Ship’s Shop. Outside of the tourist centres of Saigon, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, opportunities to buy postcards are virtually non-existent.
What about Laundry service?
A laundry bag is provided for your laundry needs, and a laundry list is to be found in the rattan folder by your bed. Laundry is collected each morning when your room is made up and will be returned to you by the following day. Please leave items in the bag provided and mark up the list. The charges will go on your bill in US$. If there is an item that you do not wish ironed please advise us.
Is there Internet or Wi-Fi and telephone service?
All India, Cambodia and Vietnam boats do have Wi-Fi; except for some cruising along the Tonle Sap river and Cai Be. A pretty strong signal all along the cruise and iPads can be borrowed to use.
In Burma and Laos Wi-Fi is also available, depending on the vessel’s position.
What is the Luggage Restriction?
Luggage Limit on Internal/ Flights: Within India: 15 kg per check-in luggage and 7 kg for hand luggage. Excess charge for check-in luggage is approximately INR 300.- (USD 5.-) per kg
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