MEKONG PANDAW CRUISE - MEKONG RIVER

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MEKONG PANDAW CRUISE - MEKONG RIVER



OVERVIEW

We have six luxury river cruise ships in operation that we built ourselves. Each ship, hand finished in brass and teak by traditional craftsmen are in themselves objects of great beauty. The secret of our success is that on our ships, whilst luxury and comfort are discreetly present, it is the colonial character and friendly atmosphere that predominate. All our Pandaws have ultra shallow drafts and can travel to remote areas unreachable by other vessels, let alone overland.

Specification

Length: 200ft / 60m

Beam: 36ft / 11m

Draught: 4ft / 1.5m

Berths: 64 pax

Decks: 4: Lower, Main, Upper, Sun

Engines: 2 x 550bhp Isuzu

Propulsion: Inboard system

Built: 2003

Comms

Cell phones, Sat phones (where permitted by local authorities) VHF and SSB radio, internal phone system, PA system and tannoy system for navigation purposes.

Safety

Smoke detectors in all cabins and public places, emergency lighting and generator, fire pump, hydrants and hoses, fire extinguishers, life jackets for all on board and life rafts.

Navigation

Navigation lights, ships horn, searchlight, GPS, Radar (where permitted by local authorities).

Amenities

On board laundry, bakery, fully equipped galley and refrigeration units; air conditioning for all inside areas.

Water

Treatment plants for desalination, de sedimentation and purification using UV and osmosis.

Sewage: Micro biotic treatment plants.

Flag: Country flags in areas of operation.

Insurance

Ship Owners UK: P&I policies with over USD45 million per vessel.

Crew: 28 per vessel of mixed Asian nationalities.

SALON

CABIN
The Pandaw stateroom is the most celebrated feature of our ships. Finished in brass and teak, the main and upper deck rooms are very spacious at 168 square feet (15.6 sqm). Much loved by all our passengers we have ensured that with each ship we build the stateroom remains the same. Our cabins do not have mini-bars, satellite TV's, internet or phones. There is a 24 honesty bar on the sundeck. Pandaw passengers usually want to escape from the tiresome features found in international business hotels.
Many passengers describe life on board a Pandaw more like being a guest on a private motor yacht than a cruise ship. Where we go and what we see is intrepid in extreme. What you come back to is a floating base of discreet comfort, caring service and all the good things one looks for in life.

BATHROOM


TWIN CABIN


RESTAURANT & BAR
The Pandaw dining rooms are designed to open up along the sides and only at night do we close them up and use air conditioning. We know our passengers want fresh air not chilled air.
We offer a great choice of local cuisine and exotic foods. We source supplies as locally as possible, given environmental health regulations. Breakfast and lunch are buffets and dinner is served at the tables. Passengers who do not like hot or spicy foods are offered European alternatives and vegetarians are well catered for. Our chefs know that the majority of passengers want to eat the best of each country they pass through.

Photo gallery



BREAKFAST



DINING ROOM

DINING WINDOW


BAR DUTY


SHOP


CORRIDOR


SUN DECK

STAIR WAY


STAIR

PROGRAM OF THE JOURNEY

4 DAYS FROM PHNOM PENH TO SAIGON THROUGH THE MEKONG DELTA

Day 1: Phnom Penh

The ship is moored at the tourist Jetty in Sisowath Quay at walking distance to the Royal Palace. The check-in time should be no later than 13.30 hrs. as we need your passport to process the immigration formalities for the border crossing.
Afternoon and Evening Free at Leisure to discover the city on your own
Phnom Penh has a lively night life, and some passengers choose to dine ashore and try one of the capital's many watering holes; a favorites being the Foreign Correspondents' Club. Otherwise you can have your dinner on board.

Day 2: Cruising the Mekong / Border Crossing

We cast off early in the morning for a day cruising in the main Mekong channel, an international shipping route. Today we stop at Prek Touch, a jungle village, to visit fruit orchards, and then set off for the Vietnamese border for the usual formalities.

Day 3: Chau Doc - Cu Lao Gien

We travel from the main Mekong channel to Chau Doc jetty where we transfer to small boats to visit a Cham tribal village and a cat fish farm. We make a trishaw ride round this fascinating town of fine French-colonial buildings and bustling market. We return to the ship for lunch and cast off for Sadec. Stopping on the way at Cu Lao Gien Island, we visit a Catholic monastery called "La Providence" built in 1875 by the French nuns of "Saint Paul de Chartres". Cu Lao Gien became an important Catholic centre with mission, an orphanage, school, hospice and leprosy centre that can treat 1,000 people. During the Japanese invasion the monastery was abandoned; operations were resumed after 1945 until 1977. Nowadays Cu Lao Gian serves as a retreat for 180 retired nuns taken care of by novices.

Day 4: Sadec - (Vinh Long) - Cai Be

Half day cruise excursion on board traditional sampan boats to Cai Be via Vinh Long, along small canals and back waters.
Sa Dec is a little "Venice" with numerous narrow canals and various kinds of traditional activities on the banks. You will disembark at the local market for a visit, and then proceed to the splendid ancient house of Mr. Huyn Thuy Le, the "lover" of Marguerite Duras, famous French novelist and inspiration for the film L'Amant-The Lover directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud.
Back on board your sampan, we will drift down the Tien River. On the way we visit a traditional brick and tile factory. Proceeding further we see water hyacinths, an important Mekong delta product used for furniture and baskets.
Traveling from Vinh Long water to Dong Hoa Hiep islet on sampan we explore the rural life and the daily activities of the delta inhabitants seeing palm tree leave weaving, traditional wooden boat factories and fruit orchard plantations. We visit a Mandarins house dating from late 19th century. Reaching Cai Be, we will cruise through its colorful floating market which takes place daily in front of the Catholic Church.
After lunch on board the Pandaw, continue by Sampan deep into the country backwaters, passing traditional wood and bamboo bridges and suspended fishing nets. On the banks, you will be able to see large rice fields, fruit markets, plantations and visit local houses to see how people in the Delta live.

Day 5: Mytho / Saigon

Early morning sail from Cai Bei for My Tho, where we disembark at 08:30 for coach transfer to Hotel Sofitel Plaza Saigon (17 Le Duan Boulevard, District 1, Ph +84 8 38241555) arriving approximately at 10:30.

Cruise Price Includes

Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft and alcoholic beverages, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water. Transfer to the meeting point in Saigon from the ship at the end of a voyage.

Cruise Price Excludes

International flights, port dues , laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), imported beverages such as wines, premium spirits and liqueurs, fancy soft drinks like Perrier, espressos and cappuccinos at bar. Transfer to the ship in Phnom Penh at the start of a voyage

4 DAYS PHNOM PENH - FIVE DAYS INTO THE HEART OF CAMBODIA

Day 1: Siem Reap to Kampong Cham (Mekong River)

At 11:30 o'clock register at the historic ELEPHANT BAR located in the legendary 1932-built Raffles GRAND HOTEL D'ANGKOR (11 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum) to transfer by coach to Kampong Cham on the Mekong River, enjoying a snacks and cold drinks on the way with a stop at Kampong Thom. Arrive by 1700. The ship is docked at walking distance to the city centre.

Day 2: Kampong Cham area

Morning journey upriver to the hilltop pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Dating from the 8th century, these ancient brick structures characterize the architecture of the Chenla Empire which predated the glories of Angkor. Sail back downstream over lunch for an exploration of the Kampong Cham Area. We travel by bus to the 12th century Angkorian temple of Wat Nokor. We continue to the eco village of Cheungkok supported by the French-Cambodian NGO AMICA and the Kampong Cham orphanage, supported by the Pandaw ProBono programme. We make a late afternoon departure from Kampong Cham heading for Phnom Penh. Overnight mid-stream.

Day 3: Tonle River to Kampong Chhnang

We glance by the capital Phnom Penh in the early morning to change pilots and sail the Tonle River which connects Tonle Lake with the Mekong and Bassac Rivers that merge at Phnom Penh.
1. Low water, approximately November to July
The river journey to Kampong Chhnang is one of the highlight of the trip. Temples abound along the river banks at Kampong Chhnang, and we see the rich tapestry of Cambodian rural life. This is a busy rural port town with bustling markets. Mooring mid-stream, we make a truly wonderful motor boat excursion into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the river. Here a stunning variety of bird life may be seen and of considerable interest are the great fish traps.
2. High water, approximately July to November.
Stop at Preak Dom Bridge. Proceed by coach to Kampong Chhnang where we can see the rich tapestry of Cambodian rural life. This is a busy rural port town with bustling markets. We make a truly wonderful motor boat excursion into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the river. Here a stunning variety of bird life may be seen and of considerable interest are the great fish traps. Back to the ship at lunch time.

We make a late afternoon departure from Kampong Cham heading for Phnom Penh.

Day 4: Phnom Penh

The capital of Cambodia retains its French charm. The city has several impressive wats, including Wat Ounalom, Wat Phnom and the newly-painted Wat Lang Ka. Pride of place goes to the Royal Palace and to the spectacular Silver Pagoda, one of the few places in Cambodia where artifacts embodying the brilliance and richness of Khmer culture were preserved by the Khmer Rouge. The National Museum is another highlight, with outstanding displays of Khmer crafts.
For the morning excursion we are delighted to have teamed up with The Cyclo Centre Phnom Penh to offer an alternative to a conventional coach tour. The Cyclo Centre is a charity that provides basic welfare and medical services to cyclo drivers, many of whom are very poor.( Cyclo Centre Phnom Penh )They will provide us with trained drivers with basic English and a good knowledge of the key sights. You decide where you want to go and what you want to see and off you go on your private cyclo for the morning. (For groups if a conventional guide and coach are required we are happy to supply).

Disembark after lunch and Check in at the historic French colonial hotel Raffles Le Royal.

In the afternoon an optional excursion (by coach) is arranged to the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge's grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre situated in the suburbs of the city then shopping at the Russian market or Central market. This tour is included in the cost of your cruise but must be requested at the time of booking in the Booking Comments box or at the latest on board the first day of the cruise.

Dinner free at leisure. Overnight at Raffles Le Royal.

Day 5: Phnom Penh
Breakfast. End of services

Cruise Price Includes Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft and alcoholic beverages, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water. Transfer to the ship from the meeting point in Siem Reap at the start of the voyage.
One night accommodation with breakfast at Raffles Le Royal in Phnom Penh. (Including Transfer from the Ship)
Cruise Price Excludes: International flights, port dues , laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), imported beverages such as wines, premium spirits and liqueurs, fancy soft drinks like Perrier, espressos and cappuccinos at bar.

8 DAYS ON A PANDAW SAIGON TO ANGKOR

Day 1: My Tho

Registration is at 08:30 at the Hotel Sofitel Plaza Saigon (17 Le Duan Boulevard, District 1, Ph +84 8 38241555) and transfer at 09:00 to the Delta Port of My Tho by coach arriving at 11:00 for check in followed by port and immigration formalities. My Tho is the hub of the Delta, but not of great cultural interest, so once on board we set sail at 13:00 and have lunch. In the afternoon we moor near Cai Be and make a fascinating trip by traditional junk to explore evergreen islands and at the former Imperial residence, the An Kiet House. Surviving members of the Kiet family will welcome us with tea and we can wander in the fruit orchards around the house. Overnight moor mid-stream Cai Be.

Day 2: Cai Be - Vinh Long - Sadec - Culao Gien - Chau Doc

Half day cruise excursion on board traditional sampan boats to Sad Dec via Vinh Long, along small canals and back waters.
We begin by visiting Cai Be and its colorful floating market which takes place daily in front of the Catholic Church. A further stop on the river bank then allows us to see local factories where rice pasta, coconut candies and other specialties are traditionally made. Also visit a Mandarins house dating from late 19th century.
Cruise further by Sampan to Dong Hoa Hiep islet to explore the rural life and the daily activities of the delta inhabitants seeing palm tree leave weaving, traditional wooden boat factories and fruit orchard plantations.
Back on board your sampan, we will cruise up the Tien River where we see water hyacinths, an important Mekong delta product used for furniture and baskets and then visit a traditional brick and tile factory.

Sa Dec will then appear like a little "Venice" with its numerous narrow canals and various kinds of traditional activities on the banks. You will disembark at the local market for a visit, then proceed to the splendid ancient house of Mr. Huyn Thuy Le, the "lover" of Marguerite Duras, famous French novelist and inspiration for the filmL'Amant-The Lover directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud.

After lunch on board the Pandaw, cast off for Chau Doc. En route visit Cu Lao Gien Island and a Catholic monastery called "La Providence" built in 1875 by the French nuns of "Saint Paul de Chartres". Cu Lao Gien became an important Catholic centre with mission, an orphanage, school, hospice and leprosy centre that can treat 1,000 people. During the Japanese invasion the monastery was abandoned; operations were resumed after 1945 until 1977. Nowadays Cu Lao Gian serves as a retreat for 180 retired nuns taken care of by novices.

Day 3: Chau Doc / Border Crossing

From the main Mekong channel we travel down to Chau Doc jetty where we transfer to small boats to visit a Cham tribal village and a cat fish farm. We take a trishaw ride round this fascinating town of fine French-colonial buildings and see its bustling market. Return to the ship by boat for lunch and cast off for the Cambodian border for the usual formalities. Evening cruise up the broad Mekong channel, which is an international shipping route. Moor overnight just downstream from Phnom Penh.

Day 4: Phnom Penh

The capital of Cambodia retains its French charm. The city has several impressive wats, including Wat Ounalom, Wat Phnom and the newly-painted Wat Lang Ka. Pride of place goes to the Royal Palace and to the spectacular Silver Pagoda, one of the few places in Cambodia where artifacts embodying the brilliance and richness of Khmer culture were preserved by the Khmer Rouge. The National Museum is another highlight, with outstanding displays of Khmer crafts.
For the morning excursion we are delighted to have teamed up with The Cyclo Centre Phnom Penh to offer an alternative to a conventional coach tour. The Cyclo Centre is a charity that provides basic welfare and medical services to cyclo drivers, many of whom are very poor (Cyclo Centre Phnom Penh). They will provide us with trained drivers with basic English and a good knowledge of the key sights. You decide where you want to go and what you want to see and off you go on your private cyclo for the morning. (For groups if a conventional guide and coach are required we are happy to supply).
In the afternoon an optional excursion (by coach) is arranged to the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge's grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre situated in the suburbs of the city then shopping at the Russian market or Central market. This tour is included in the cost of your cruise but must be requested at the time of booking in the Booking Comments box or at the latest on board the first day of the cruise.
More happily, Phnom Penh has a lively night life, and some passengers choose to dine ashore or try one of the capital's many watering holes; a favorites being the Foreign Correspondents' Club.

Day 5: Phnom Penh to Tonle River

Early morning sail the Tonle River which connects Tonle Lake with the Mekong and Bassac Rivers that merge at Phnom Penh.
1. Low water, approximately November to July
The river journey to Kampong Chhnang is one of the highlight of the trip. Temples abound along the river banks at Kampong Chhnang, and we see the rich tapestry of Cambodian rural life. This is a busy rural port town with bustling markets. Mooring mid-stream, we make a truly wonderful motor boat excursion into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the river. Here a stunning variety of birdlife may be seen and of considerable interest are the great fish traps.
2. High water, approximately July to November.
Stop at Preak Dom Bridge. Proceed by coach to Kampong Chhnang where we can see the rich tapestry of Cambodian rural life. This is a busy rural port town with bustling markets. We make a truly wonderful motor boat excursion into the lakeside wetlands that form the mouth of the river. Here a stunning variety of birdlife may be seen and of considerable interest are the great fish traps. Back to the ship at lunch time.
We make a late afternoon departure from Kampong Cham heading for Phnom Penh. Moor overnight midriver.

Day 6: Kampong Cham (Mekong River)

We glance by the capital Phnom Penh in the early morning to change pilots, and then stop at the little-known Chong Koh silk weaving village for a morning walk at leisure. We cruise past the Mekong's timeless villages and river life with extensive fishing activities. In the afternoon we stop at Peam Chi Kang village to visit the wat or monastery and school. Passengers are at leisure to explore this peaceful and friendly community. In the wat the splendid village racing boats are stored.

Day 7: Kampong Cham Area

Morning journey upriver to the hilltop pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Dating to the 8th century, these ancient brick structures characterize the architecture of the Chenla Empire which predated the glories of Angkor. Sail back downstream over lunch for an exploration of the Kampong Cham Area. We travel by bus to the 12th century Angkorian temple of Wat Nokor. This colorful temple is unique in Cambodia, as a modern Wat is set within the ruins of an ancient temple. We continue to the eco village of Cheungkok supported by the French-Cambodian NGO AMICA and the Kampong Cham orphanage, supported by the Pandaw ProBono programme.

Day 8: Kampong Cham to Siem Reap

Coach transfer at 08:00 to the Raffles hotel d'Angkor in Siem Reap stopping at Kampong Thom. Packed lunch and refreshments provided. Arrive at Siem Reap by 12:00.
Cruise Price Includes Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft and alcoholic beverages, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water. Transfers from/to the meeting point (In Saigon: Hotel Sofitel Plaza - In Siem Reap: Elephant Bar at the Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor) from/to the ship at the start and end of a voyage.
Cruise Price Excludes International flights, laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), imported beverages such as wines, premium spirits and liqueurs, fancy soft drinks like Perrier, espressos and cappuccinos at bar. Port Dues.


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