Cruise along South-East Asia’s famous Mekong River with Pandaw, passing through rural villages and significant historical sites with the chance to see the rare Irrawaddy river dolphin.
• Bangkok, Thailand
• Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
• My Tho, Vietnam
• Cái Bè & Sa Ðéc, Vietnam
• Châu Ðôc, Vietnam
• Phnom Penh, Cambodia
• Tonlé River, Cambodia
• Kratié, Cambodia
• The dolphin grounds (near Kratié, Cambodia)
• Siem Reap, Cambodia
• See the mysterious Angkor Wat temples in Siem Reap
• Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields and Khmer Rouge’s Tuol Sleng (S21 detention centre)
• Head by local bus to view the dolphin grounds in a national park protected area in Kratié.
RV Tonle Pandaw
Embrace nostalgia and charm on board the RV Tonle Pandaw, a colonial-style ship. The simpler things in life take centre stage on a Pandaw cruise, such as plentiful promenade decks that offer far-reaching views while you sail. There are cultural performances, educational talks, cooking classes and nightly entertainment in the saloon bar, while all meals are served in the main restaurant. There are just 28 staterooms which are finished with teak and brass and feature a French window leading to your private deck space.
Is this for you?
This cruise is designed to explore harder-to-reach destinations including the dolphin grounds near Kratié in search of the rare Irrawaddy river dolphin.
Good to know
• Itineraries are subject to change
• In certain destinations you may be disembarking the ship across a wooden plank straight onto the river bank which can be uneven and muddy at times
• Low water levels between January and April can restrict access to the dolphin grounds near Kratié. In the event of this, a variety of alternative excursions will be available instead
• You should pack comfortable clothes and walking shoes
• Clothing should cover legs and shoulders when entering a place of worship.
What to expect
Day 1 UK to Bangkok, Thailand Depart the UK on your overnight flight to Bangkok.
Days 2-4 Bangkok, Thailand On arrival, transfer to the Rembrandt Hotel for a three-night stay. Your first evening can be spent on an Apsara Cruise for an authentic Thai dinner as you pass Bangkok’s famous sights (at extra cost). The next day you’ll visit the striking temples of Wat Po and Wat Phra Kaew as well as The Grand Palace on a full-day tour of Bangkok. You’ll also take part in a village arts and crafts workshop and spend time at the famous Damnoen Saduak floating market.
Days 5-6 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam Transfer to the airport for your flight to Vietnam where you’ll be staying at the Equatorial Hotel for two nights. While here you'll have the option to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels, a tunnel network built by Vietnamese resistance fighters and used by Viet Cong guerrillas in the Vietnam War (at extra cost).
Day 7 My Tho, Vietnam On arrival, transfer to the RV Tonle Pandaw and enjoy welcome drinks and lunch before beginning your cruise across the Mekong Delta.
Day 8 Cái Bè & Sa Ðéc, Vietnam Begin your morning at the floating market of Cái Bè, then move on to Sa Đéc where you’ll find the old home of Huynh Thuy Le, the lover of the French novelist Marguerite Duras.
Day 9 Châu Ðôc, Vietnam Before you sail for the Cambodian border, you’ll have a choice between a cultural visit to a Vietnamese Muslim Cham Village where the locals farm catfish underneath their stilted houses, or some independent exploration by bicycle.
Day 10 Phnom Penh, Cambodia As you sail past the golden-roofed Royal Palace and moor in the heart of the city, you’ll be shown just why an intimate river cruise creates such lasting memories. Each guest will have their own cyclo here; a three-wheeled mini rickshaw with a friendly driver to take you around Phnom Penh’s sights, including the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. As well as offering a fun way of getting around the city, your day will help Pandaw’s partner charity. ‘The Cyclo Centre’ provide cyclo drivers with training, language lessons and welfare assistance. For an insight into Cambodia’s tragic history, there is an optional afternoon coach excursion to Cambodia’s Killing Fields and Khmer Rouge’s detention centres.
Day 11 Tonlé River, Cambodia Journey along this serene stretch of river, passing picturesque woodland views en route to a silver-making village.
Day 12 Kratié, Cambodia This morning you can enjoy a walk through the historic Angkor Ban. Its beautifully delicate structures offer a glimpse back in time to Cambodia as it was over 100 years ago, before your journey onwards to the French colonial town of Kratié.
Day 13 The dolphin grounds (near Kratié, Cambodia) In a memorable ending to your river cruise, your last day is an exclusive river cruise visit to a protected area that’s home to the rare Irrawaddy river dolphin. A bus transfer will take you to see these vulnerable creatures in this special excursion only offered by Pandaw Cruises.
Days 14-16 Siem Reap, Cambodia Following disembarkation, journey by coach to Siem Reap where you’ll be staying at Tara Angkor for three nights. Enjoy your first day at leisure. The next day is dedicated to seeing the main sights including the South Gate of Angkor Thom and the majestic Angkor Wat. On your last full day, you’ll see various temples followed by a dinner and dance performance at a local restaurant.
Day 17 Siem Reap, Cambodia Start the day at a local pagoda for a Buddhist monk blessing, followed by stops at an art gallery and artisanal store selling soaps and spices. Transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight to the UK.
Departing 19 February 2018; the same itinerary is available on alternative dates, please call for details.
Included in price
• Full-board cruise
• Mixed meal plan at hotels on land
• Select complimentary beverages served on board
• Fruit and flowers on arrival
• Travel to a local market with the head chef during the cruise
• Shore excursions and site entrance fees as per itinerary
• English-speaking guide
• All specified flights.
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Our featured itineraries have been hand-picked by our cruise experts to showcase how you can tailor your own stay and cruise holiday. While the cruise portion of your holiday is set by the cruise lines, the land-based section of your holiday – whether it’s before or after your voyage, or even both – is fully flexible. This means you can choose the airport you fly from and airline you fly with, where you stay, for how long and the adventures you will have while you are there. These featured holidays have been curated using our extensive cruise and destination knowledge, however almost any itinerary can be crafted – just speak to one of our Personal Travel Experts.