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Pandaw River Cruises FAQs


What’s included in the cost?

Your private en-suite cabin, Shore excursions, all meals including drinks, coffee, tea and mineral water and gratuity to crew (no forced tipping) & transfers from set hotels to the pier. 

How often do the ships run?

There are not severe water level restrictions. Pandaw can operate in all seasons and all areas due to the shallowest drafts on the river. 

What makes Pandaw cruises special?

Pandaw is very different experience from other cruise companies. There is an emphasis on tranquility, friendliness, freedom and care. In addition, Pandaw has a one to one staff passenger ratio. Plus Pandaw has one of the highest public space to passenger ratio of any ship, seagoing or river, in the world. There are no “cruise only days” – every day there is at least one stop and excursion (subject to river conditions). Pandaw also sources nearly all supplies from local producers and businesses and work with a number of NGO providers so your meals are freshly prepared. There’s also an emphasis on openness – excursions are not compulsory and individual expeditions ashore are encouraged, there is no captain’s table, or sealed up dining rooms. 

What activities/excursions are included off-shore?

Excursions ashore a key part of any Pandaw river expedition. These may be in the form of a good walk through countryside and villages; further explorations by speed boat going deeper into jungle or up river; horse cart rides in Burma or cyclos in Cambodia. We try not to use 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. You’ll 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?

Whilst the peace and tranquility of our passengers is our priority and many passengers prefer to read, write or engage in painting or photography we do offer a number of unobtrusive activities that have become a traditional part of any Pandaw river expedition. These include: 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 – no dressing up is required.

Is there an on-board spa?

Currently only available on our Mekong ships, the Pandaw Spa offers head massage, foot massage and body massages in dedicated spa areas on each ship. Due to lack of space we only carry one spa lady on each ship so be sure to book in advance as they can be in good demand

What about Safety?

Pandaw has a full time ex Royal Navy officer responsible for emergency drills, safety appliance checks and ship security

How many ships does Pandaw offer?

At present, these are the following Pandaw Cruise Vessels:

  • RV Indochina Pandaw
  • RV Kalaw Pandaw
  • RV Kalay Pandaw
  • RV Kindat Pandaw
  • Pandaw II
  • RV Mekong Pandaw
  • RV Tonle Pandaw
  • RV Orient Pandaw
  • RV Bassac Pandaw
  • RV Katha Pandaw
  • RV Angkor Pandaw
  • RV Bengal Pandaw

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