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Pandaw River Cruises
Travel with...
American River Cruises
Luxury Small Ship River Cruises In Asia
Explora Journeys
Explora Journeys represents the ambition and long-held dream of the MSC Group and the Aponte family to create a transformative luxury ocean travel experience and brand that redefines the luxury cruise category.
Explora Journeys
Sailing on a Pandaw ship is an outdoor, fresh air experience. However comfortable and roomy the staterooms, passengers prefer to spend their time sitting outside, on the promenade decks or on the vast observation deck above. Unlike most other cruise ships, every window on board (except for the portholes on the lower deck) can be opened and closed to suit your comfort.

As we sail, we find that our passengers like to sit on deck, absorbed by the awe-inspiring riverside panoramas that unfold before them. From the comfortable vantage point of a teak-floored Pandaw deck, it's hard not to become hypnotised by the unceasing human and wildlife activity that characterises the great rivers of Asia.

Your Stateroom

Pandaw stateroom
Pandaw stateroom
Pandaw stateroom

The Pandaw stateroom is the most celebrated feature of our ships, combining splendid colonial-era character with exquisite contemporary comfort.

Finished in brass and teak, the main and upper deck rooms are a spacious 168 square feet (15.6 sqm), with the exception of the Zawgyi Pandaw which is 150 square feet (14 sqm). As the space is much loved by all our passengers, we have ensured that with each ship we build, the stateroom remains essentially the same. Be advised: our cabins do not have mini-bars, satellite TV's, internet access or telephones. Passengers tend to choose Pandaw in order to escape from the tiresome features found in international business hotels.

New for 2021 are the exclusive Pandaw suites, available on Mekong Pandaw, Tonle Pandaw, Orient Pandaw and Pandaw II. These suites, the size of two regular Pandaw Staterooms, offer guests even more space and comfort with private balcony and lounge area in every suite from which to enjoy the serene surroundings. In addition to the original 'Owners Suite' aboard the RV Kalay Pandaw, guests now have more opportunities to experience true colonial luxury with Pandaw.

Pandaw stateroom
Pandaw stateroom
Pandaw stateroom

Many passengers have described life on board a Pandaw as more like being a guest on a private motor yacht, than a passenger on a conventional cruise ship. For a start, our itineraries and our quest for the most spectacular sights and experiences is far more intrepid than conventional cruises. And when passengers return to the ship after experiencing the wonders of life onshore, they are coming back to a floating oasis of low-key luxury, caring service and all the good things of life.

  • Fruit and flowers on arrival
  • Kimonos and slippers
  • Spa-branded amenities
  • Unlimited mineral water
  • Free use of mini DVD player on request and selection of DVDs from our library (subject to availability)

Dining

Pandaw dining
Pandaw chef
Pandaw dining

The Pandaw dining rooms are designed to open up along the sides to allow cool breezes to waft through. Only at night we do close them up and turn on the air-conditioning. We know our passengers prefer fresh air to chilled air. The new Katha Pandaw, designed in response to feedback from our passengers, has no formal dining room but rather an open air dining space on deck.

At Pandaw we pride ourselves on offering a great choice of local cuisine and exotic foods. We source supplies and ingredients as locally as possible, always in accordance with strictly-monitored environmental health standards.

Breakfast is a buffet, while lunch features a buffet, plus soup, salad and a desert table, with the main course served at the table. Dinner is by waiter-service at the table.

We are happy to cater for individual dietary preferences. Passengers who prefer not to be served hot or spicy foods are offered delicious European-style alternatives and vegetarians are especially well catered for. Other special diets may be accommodated, by prior arrangement. Our chefs know that most passengers want to sample versions of the best, most characteristic dishes of each country they pass through.

Spa & Gym

Pandaw spa
Pandaw lounge library
Pandaw exercise equipment in gym

Currently only available on our Mekong Pandaw ship, the Pandaw Spa offers head massage, foot massage and body massages in dedicated spa areas.

Our onboard spa is compact in size and staffed by a single highly-trained individual. As demand can be high, please be sure to book in advance.

Lecture & Cultures

Pandaw on board entertainment


From its earliest days, the Pandaw concept has been deeply rooted in cultural and historical expertise, worn lightly. On any Pandaw river expedition, daily briefings are hosted by your purser and guide, which provide a forum to discuss the day's events and plans.

Most sailings will feature at least one cultural performance: in Burma it is the marionette theatre; in Cambodia the Royal Khmer Ballet; in Laos villagers perform a dance on deck.

We also offer a range of onboard activities including: cooking demonstrations, fruit carving, napkin tying and a tour of the working ship.

Themed movie nights are also popular - the film Indochine in Vietnam, The Killing Fields in Cambodia and The Lady in Burma are some of the favourites.

Activities

Pandaw cooking demo
Pandaw lounge library
Pandaw massage

Whilst the peace and tranquillity 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 social activities that have become a traditional part of any Pandaw river expedition.

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.

Excursions

Pandaw excursion
Pandaw excursion
Pandaw excursions

Excursions ashore are a key part of any Pandaw river expedition. These may take the form of a good walk through the countryside and villages; further explorations by speedboat 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 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.

We stop at least once a day, and 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 we visit.

  • All scheduled excursions are 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
  • Passengers can visit Pandaw Charity projects along the way and interact with the local communities who welcome us
  • There is an opportunity to travel to local markets with the Pandaw Head Chef at least once during the cruise programme
  • We provide crew assists for those who require them in areas where river banks are steep and slippery
  • While individual excursions are encouraged, passengers are asked to rejoin the ship at the appointed time to avoid delays in our schedule
Pandaw cyclist at Temple

Cycling

Imagine making your own discoveries by bike though the pagodas and temples of Pagan or exploring the scenic Burmese countryside and friendly villages at your own pace.

Pandaw offers high quality Giant brand mountain bikes on all Pandaw ships, for departures from December 2015. At each river stop, the Pandaw crew will advise travellers on the best routes to follow for independent exploration and if required, a member of the crew will accompany travellers on their cycle adventures.

Family-Friendly Cruises

Pandaw young people dining on board
Pandaw beach volleyball
Meeting elephants on excursion

Contrary to some perceptions, Pandaw river expeditions are not just for the more mature. They offer brilliant educational experiences for younger people. Given that all our sailing areas are very safe and secure and the local people are friendly, these sailings provide a great way for your kids to interact with locals and learn about different cultures.

We carry fishing rods and badminton nets, and often when we tether for the night on a sand bank, the crew will set up the badminton net or arrange a game of football with the locals all joining in. We carry also board games like chess, Monopoly and Scrabble to while away those long afternoons cruising. Kids also enjoy the cookery demonstrations and other onboard activities. Certain school holiday departures are designated as especially 'family friendly'.

Explora Journeys represents the ambition and long-held dream of the MSC Group and the Aponte family to create a transformative luxury ocean travel experience and brand that redefines the luxury cruise category.

The Aponte family records date back to the 17th century from which 300 years of sea-faring expertise, alongside an inherent passion and respect for the sea has developed.

Indeed, the ocean and its influence on us as human beings sits at the very heart of the Explora Journeys brand.

The oceans connect you with yourself, people and the places around you. It relaxes you, and creates an energy in you that inspires inner and outer discovery, broadens horizons and triggers new connections.

All of this, creates an emotional connection that is powerful, transformative, yet universal.

Find Your Dream Pandaw Cruise

Small Cruise Ships

American Cruise Lines cutting-edge vessels that exemplify top-tier maritime engineering, opulent relaxation, and the utmost in river cruising convenience. Our lineup of American riverboats, paddlewheelers, and compact cruise ships features the latest in amenities, advanced navigation systems, and top-notch safety equipment.

Embarking on a voyage aboard our world-class ships means indulging in plush lounges and expansive observation decks, offering the perfect setting for travelers to unwind and engage with like-minded enthusiasts of American heritage. Encased in glass, the dining salons afford sweeping, unobstructed vistas of the breathtaking scenery that graces every journey with American Cruise Lines.

Our roomy staterooms stand as the most spacious within the realm of small cruise ships. These hotel-style accommodations boast generous picture windows that bathe the rooms in natural light, capacious bathrooms, and many even include private, furnished balconies. Whether your travels lead to charming small towns or gracious southern ports, the American Cruise Lines fleet ensures you reach your desired destination in opulence and ease. For solo travelers, single occupancy options are available across all our vessels, and we also have rooms designed to accommodate three passengers comfortably.

Gracious Amenities

Our contemporary array of small cruise ships and riverboats are meticulously crafted to ensure guest comfort. These state-of-the-art vessels offer guests a private sanctuary while granting unobstructed views of the picturesque surroundings. Each stateroom category boasts some of the most generous space in the industry, serving as an ideal retreat following a fulfilling day of activities.

Daily Entertainment

Musicians, historians, and naturalists join every cruise, creating an entertaining onboard experience.

Spacious Amenities

The largest staterooms of any cruise ship. And with interior entrances, every view is entirely private.

Exquisite Cuisine

Locally sourced and regionally inspired cuisine, prepared by our master chefs.

All-American Experience

American built, flagged, and crewed ships. 35 cruise itineraries to 25 states in America.

Gracious Hospitality

Attentive and personalized service is the hallmark of American Cruise Lines.

Private Balconies

Sliding glass doors lead to spacious private balconies offering panoramic river views from every angle.

Cuisine

American Cruise Line adept culinary experts curate an authentic American menu infused with regional influences, highlighting the freshest local ingredients. Every day, they source fresh produce, directly from the farms and vineyards we explore during your journey. Through American Cruise Lines gastronomic initiative, they seamlessly intertwine your onboard adventure with the essence of the places you traverse.

Appetizer

Pacific Northwest Scampi – Jumbo Shrimp served in a savory Herbed Butter Sauce over Lemon Arugula Risotto

Pacific Coast Shrimp Bisque

Entree

Widmer Cascadian Ale braised Snake River Farms Pork Shank served with Herbed Polenta, Heirloom Bean Cassoulet, and Apple Gremolata

Delectable Dungeness Crab Cake served with Roasted Red Pepper Remoulade, Rice Pilaf, and Sautéed Green Beans

Delectable Dungeness Crab Cake served with Roasted Red Pepper Remoulade, Rice Pilaf, and Sautéed Green Beans

Dessert

Moist Marionberry Cheesecake

Almond Cake served with flavorful Balsamic Strawberries and Orange Mascarpone

Almond Cake served with flavorful Balsamic Strawberries and Orange Mascarpone

Appetizer

Traditional Chicken & Andouille Gumbo

Cajun Spiced Jumbo Sea Scallops served with an exquisite Creole Beurre Blanc sauce

Garden Fresh Feta House Salad with Walnuts, Red Onion, Sun-Dried Cherries with a White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Entree

Dixie Lager Braised Chicken served with crisp Andouille Sausage, Red Beans, Rice, and Stewed Squash

Pan-seared Beef Tenderloin & Stuffed Lobster Tail served with a Potato Puree and Vegetable Medley

Pasta St. Charles with a delectable Creole Mustard Cream Sauce served over Penne with Louisiana Shrimp and Andouille Sausage

Dessert

Signature Bourbon Pecan Pie

Creole Bread Pudding with a warm Whiskey Caramel

Homemade Peach and Blackberry Cobbler

Appetizer

Crab & Roasted Corn Bisque

Old Bay Poached Shrimp Cocktail

Washington Salad

Entree

Pan Seared Pacific Halibut

Pacific Hazelnut Crusted Chicken with Honey Kissed Risotto, Huckleberry Balsamic Glaze

Dungeness Crab Cake - Roasted red pepper Tartar, wild rice pilaf and sauteed spinach

Dessert

Mount Lebanon Spiced Apple Pudding with Maple Whipped Cream

Gourmet Chocolate Fudge Cake

Vanilla Crème Brule

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Brahmaputra River

India's Brahmaputra River is the 29th longest river in the world at 2,948 km long, and has a discharge of 19,200 cubic litres per second which puts northern India's great waterway in the top 10 when it comes to volume. This is a massive waterway, being the only river on Earth clearly visible from the moon during the Apollo missions.
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River Ganges

The Ganges River is the 34th longest river in the world at 2,620km, flowing down through the Himalayas to form the Gangetic Plain of North India eventually to discharge into the Bay of Bengal through Bangladesh. The Hooghly river connects the Ganges river to Kolkata with a ship lock as part of the Farakka Barrage that diverts water away from Bangladesh.
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Halong Bay

The Song Hong or Red River rises deep in the Yunnan mountains of south-west China to flow 714 miles (1,149km) across Northern Vietnam to discharge into the Gulf of Tonkin. It is an ancient trade route and was the route by which French explorers in the 19th century penetrated Yunnan, eventually reaching Kunming. Hanoi, capital of Vietnam straddles the river and close to its mouth lies Halong Bay, with its dramatic scenery.
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Mekong River

The Mekong River is the 12th largest river in the world flowing 4,350km from SW China to discharge into the sea through a vast delta in Vietnam. Discharging 16,000 cubic meters per second this great beast of a river actually flows through or marks the boundaries of six different nations: China, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam
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Accommodation

View the ocean, from your room

461 Ocean Front Suites

  • 1 Owner’s Residence
  • 22 Ocean Residences
  • 67 Ocean Penthouses
  • 371 Ocean Terrace and Ocean Grand Terrace Suites
  • 78 multi-generation-friendly connecting suites

Featuring

  • Private terraces which are amongst the largest in the category
  • Large floor-to-ceiling windows with elegant interiors
  • Spacious walk-in wardrobe with a seated vanity area
Dining

Eleven distinct inclusive culinary experiences

  • Focused on healthy, delicious food from local, sustainable sources
  • Emporium Marketplace - Effortless all-day dining restaurant
  • Anthology - Sophisticated concept restaurant showcasing up-and-coming chefs from around the globe*
  • Sakura - Pan Asian restaurant
  • Marble & Co. - Steakhouse experience
  • Med Yacht Club - Mediterranean-style restaurant
  • Fil Rouge - International-style restaurant
  • Crema Café - Coffee lounge
  • Gelateria & Creperie at The Conservatory - Poolside dining
  • Chef’s kitchen with private dining and culinary school*
  • In-suite dining

* Experience fee applicable to two venues

Facilities

More than 2,500 square metres (26,909 square feet) of outdoor space delivering spectacular sea views, includes three swimming pools and 64 private cabanas, whilst an indoor pool with a retractable glass roof will allow swimming and poolside relaxation in any weather.

Combined with numerous indoor and outdoor whirlpools on the ship’s promenade deck, the ship has been designed with water as a real focal point of the experience - helping our guests discover their ocean state of mind.

Numerous lounging and entertainment options

  • Several indoor and outdoor bar and lounge experiences with curated entertainment and intimate performances
  • Lobby bar
  • Explora Lounge
  • Malt Whiskey Bar with humidor
  • Chef’s Kitchen
  • Journey’s Lounge
  • Astern Lounge
  • Crema Café
Families
Excursions

Enquire Now

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0800 028 4272

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Contact

Contact usTravel agent centreRequest a brochure
0800 988 3369

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