As part of my on going need to keep abreast of what’s available in the market place for my valued clientele I was part of a recent webinar about this incredible company. The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company (out of which Pandaw Expeditions evolved in 1998) was originally established in 1865 and celebrated their 150th anniversary in 2015.
Pandaw is all about reaching remote places, navigating the trickiest of rivers with their hand-crafted, shallow draft, small, luxury, boutique-style all inclusive vessels. The atmosphere is that of very laid back, relaxed and informal cruising as you would expect in these sorts of climates and areas. The emphasis of life with Pandaw is essentially that of the outdoors. Vast promenade and observation areas. Excursions (included) – usually one in the morning and sometimes another in the afternoon (but at least one a day). You won’t see many (if any), coaches or cars for your excursions – more likely you may be on foot, in the back of a truck, on a speedboat, horse cart rides (in Burma), on a cycle, to name a few possibilities.
Accommodation on board the Colonial, wooden-style Pandaw vessels: balcony staterooms are the same size on all ships. They come configured as twins as standard but can be converted to doubles on request. Kimonos and slippers are provided along with flower and fruit on arrival. Spa branded amenities, unlimited mineral water.
Dining on board: will comprise a great choice of local cuisine and exotic dishes. European alternatives will be available as well. Breakfast is buffet style. Lunch and dinner is served to you. Your wining and dining is included however there are some alcoholic beverages which are chargeable. The dining rooms on board open up along the sides during the day to enable the best possible views and take advantage of the cooling breezes.
Pandaw’s fleet comprises 16 vessels specifically designed for the rivers – all of which they have built themselves. Six of these are their P Class paddle steamer style vessels. They all have the ultra shallow draft design so they can reach areas/places that are unreachable either by land or other larger vessels. This of course, provides you with the most incredible experience of really getting up close and personal in this part of the world. There is also the Andaman Explorer which offers just 10 suites from which you can discover the little known coastal routes of South-East Asia.
The fantastic portfolio of Expedition areas covered by Pandaw include:
Burma – Vietnam and Cambodia – Laos and China – South America – India
A few current offers include (subject to availability of course):
- 50% reduction on selected voyages if you back to back 7 nights river with 7 night ocean.
- Savings of up to 25% on selected voyages
- Single travellers – Pandaw have a number of selected voyages with ZERO single supplement which is fantastic news. These are representing amazing value.
A few suggested trips:-
- Combine the hustle and bustle of Vietnam with the relaxing tranquility of Cambodia. Marry up with perhaps Angkor Was pre and/or post in Saigon and Mon Pen.
- How about Halong Bay with the Red River (around Hanoi and Northern Vietnam)
- Expedition across three countries. Pandaw are the only company who do the border crossing from Laos to China or vica versa – a pioneering 14 night adventure. Not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
- With a Pandaw partner – Rio, Iguacu and the Amazon
- Another with a Pandaw partner – The Golden Triangle and Brahmaputra
To view a fabulous overview video see below:
Offering the highest deck to passenger space ratio, fantastic, adventurous, off-the-beaten-track, magical itineraries, lovely cuisine on these wonderful Colonial-style, traditional vessels – the Pandaw experience is really rather like stepping back in time.
They are also great supporters of ‘giving back’ to healthcare and education in Burma via their Pandaw Charity which was founded in 2008 in response to Cyclone Nargis when their ships were converted into hospitals and saved thousands of lives. They have raised enough to build 12 schools on remote river islands and villages too distant from towns to send children to school. Built 3 primary schools and one high school on the Irrawaddy and they also operate 7 clinics in middle Burma.
To hear more about this fabulous ‘product’, discuss possible itineraries and check out prices, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and I’ll be delighted to assist.