In the 1990s, Paul Strachan revived the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, originally founded in the 19th century by Scots merchants and sailing on the Irrawaddy until the Second World War when the Japanese invaded. The new Irrawaddy Flotilla Company became the first to offer river cruises on the mighty Irrawaddy since colonial times, and thanks to the intrepid and pioneering spirit of owner and Burma historian Paul Strachan, Pandaw continue to be dedicated to exploring remote and exotic waterways, often going way off the beaten track and charting difficult to navigate waterways, taking discerning and adventurous guests through beautiful scenery and to cultural treasures. With at least one or two stops a day, you can explore rural villages and gain an unique insight into local life with the guidance of expert guides, while there's longer stays in such fascinating cities as Phnom Penh, Bagan and Mandalay, to allow you to fully absorb the atmosphere, history and culture. During your river cruise, you'll be treated to at least one cultural performance, as well as cooking demonstrations, and themed movie nights, to further enhance your understanding and appreciation of the destinations you'll discover.
With Pandaw, there's no dressing up, no 'captain's table' - instead, guests enjoy an informal and sociable atmosphere, enhanced by a number of social events throughout the cruise: a welcome dinner, cocktails on deck, perhaps a beach barbecue in Burma, a gala dinner, and themed dinners showcasing local costumes and menus. With no hidden extra costs on these boutique all-inclusive cruises, and an exceptionally high level of personal service and care onboard, with a crew to guest ratio of 1:2, there's no need to worry at all. The beautifully crafted ships are hand finished by local craftsmen in brass and teak, and boast some of the highest space ratios on the rivers, and there are plenty of cosy nooks onboard to relax and take in the stunning surroundings as you sail by. Onboard, there's a great choice of local cuisine - or European alternatives - and the dining room opens up along the sides during breakfast and lunch, so you can enjoy plenty of fresh air. With expert chefs using locally sourced ingredients, you'll have the opportunity to join the chef on a visit to a bustling local market.
Rachel has cruised the Mekong with Pandaw
Cruise with Pandaw to...
Pandaw are river cruise pioneers, navigating remote and exotic waterways, and going off the beaten track. The first to offer Irrawaddy river cruises since the Second World War, Pandaw were also the first to launch Mekong river cruises. They're one of the few to offer cruises on the Chindwin, and have previously pioneered cruising on the Ganges and much more besides. They're the only river cruise line on Vietnam's Red River!
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