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A Pandaw River Adventure Is a Very Different Way to Cruise – Discover Why With Sven Zika

November 6, 2020 Headline News, River Cruising No Comments Email Email

I had heard a great deal over several years about Pandaw River Cruises, so when the opportunity came up to have a chat with Sven Zika, Pandaw’s Sales and Marketing Manager it seemed to me, too good to miss.

Discovering that the Pandaw experience is all about exploring remote and often hard-to-navigate rivers in specially-designed luxury small ship, but to also discover that each ship is hand-crafted in brass and teak and an object of beauty in itself, it became very clear that a Pandaw River Adventure is a very different and highly appealing way to cruise.

For over 25 years Pandaw has been the leader in Asian River Cruising, currently operating 17 beautiful ships in 6 amazing countries, including on the mighty Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia; the Red River and Halong Bay in Vietnam; Laos & Thailand on the Upper Mekong; the Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers in Burma; and in India on the Ganges River and the Brahmaputra Rivers.

With the ships small scale, with an informal atmosphere and very friendly, it is not surprising that than 45% of passengers have sailed with Pandaw before, with many of them several times, with also Pandaw ships having the highest passenger to deck space ratio of any cruise ships afloat, making social distancing as a result of COVID-19 very easy, with plenty of hidden corners to relax and say read aa book, or simply watch the river world go by.

You can eat on your own or with family or with friends in the dining room or on deck, with most dietary requirement are catered for, with plenty to help create an appetite for the active including mountain biking and some challenging and exciting trekking ashore, interacting with the locals in the villages or a cyclo or sampan, for excursions with expert guides.

The history of Pandaw is particularly interesting, starting in Scotland, with The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company established by Scots merchants in 1865 and by the 1920s the company ran over 650 vessels on the rivers of Burma, then a British colony, the largest privately owned fleet of ships in the world.  In 1942 the entire fleet was scuppered as an “act of denial” when the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Burma and in 1995, Scots, Paul and Roser Strachan revived the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, the first to offer river cruises on the Irrawaddy since colonial times and in 1998, Paul Strachan discovered an original Clyde-built steamer called the Pandaw and arranged for its lease and restoration, with much more to the Pandaw story….!

So, please join me as I chat with Sven Zika when I discover the magic of Pandaw by clicking below: –

A Report by John Alwyn-Jones

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