Pandaw has announced the river cruise operator will offer two new itineraries on Myanmar's Salween River and the Irrawaddy Delta, running weekly from October 2016 to March 2017. The itineraries can be combined together or with Pandaw’s cruises on the Irrawaddy or Chindwin rivers.
The Salween River is the longest river in Myanmar at 1,749 miles from its source in Tibet. The Salween is only navigable for larger vessels for about 100 miles between its mouth at Martaban and the Karen hill station of Hpa-an. Highlights in the area incldue Moulmein, the first British capital of Myanmar, with some fascinating old churches and splendid royal Buddhist monasteries; the war graves at Thanbyuzayat; the Karen capital of Hpaan; and the dramatic Mount Zwekabin with its Karen dancing school. Pandaw guests will also stop at the Golden Rock Pagoda of Kyaikhtiho and Pegu, with its Shwemadaw Pagoda, the tallest in Myanmar.
The ultra-low draft Kalay Pandaw will operate the itinerary on the Salween River. The ship has four main deck staterooms, an upper deck owner’s suite and dining room.
Upstream itinerary - cruise only:
Day 1 - Transfer via Kyaiktiyo (Golden Rock) to Moulmein. Embark Kalay Pandaw.
Day 2 - Explore Moulmein, Theinbyuzayat War Cemetery and Amherst beach.
Day 3 - Sail to Belu Island to see traditional hat and bamboo pipe making.
Day 4 - Sail to Martaban, a small town the Salween River.
Day 5 - Explore Hpa-an, capital of Karen state with its famous caves. Climb Mount Zwekabin.
Day 6 - Sail deeper into Karen state too see traditional crafts including hand weaving and enjoy jungle treks.
Day 7 - Continued exploration of Karen villages.
Day 8 - Disembark and travel, via Pegu, to Rangoon.
Downstream itinerary operates in reverse.
Prices start from $2,695 per person, sharing a main deck cabin.
The second itinerary explores the Irrawaddy Delta, which was originally a vast inhabited wetland and jungle, much of which was cleared and cultivated by the British who annexed the country in 1855. It subsequently became the rice basket of Asia. During this period of prosperity a number of rice towns developed in the colonial style, the most famous of which was Bassein. By the 1920s The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company operated over 100 creek steamers across the Delta, connecting these towns and villages at a time when there were neither roads nor bridges.
Pandaw will offer two short cruises (four nights outward and two nights inward) from Rangoon to Bassein, which can be combined with a stay at the Ngwe Saung Beach, where there is a choice of two hotels: the Eskala Hotel or the Ngwesaung Yacht Club.
Pandaw’s Irrawaddy Delta programme will operate on the Katha Pandaw, which was built in Vietnam in 2012 to offer 16 staterooms ranging over two decks. With open deck dining suited to the Southeast Asian climate, this is one of the most popular ships in the Pandaw fleet, Pandaw said.
Day 1 - Embark Katha Pandaw in Rangoon and set sail to Pyapon.
Day 2 - Explore the old trading port of Bogale.
Day 3 - Sail through creeks and channels, stopping at a charming Delta village to Myaungmya.
Day 4 - Cruise the great Bassein River and explore Bassein where monk’s waxed cloth umbrellas are made.
Day 5 - Disembark at Bassein - extend your stay on peaceful and undiscovered Ngwe saung Beach or return to Rangoon by car.
Day 1 - Drive from Rangoon to Bassein. Embark the Katha Pandaw. Set sail to Wakema.
Day 2 - Sail to pleasant Maubin. Enjoy a sunset walk along its colourful strand.
Day 3 - Cross the Twante Canal and cruise the Rangoon River to our berth in colonial downtown Rangoon and disembark.
Prices start from $540 per person for two nights or $1,080 per person for four nights, sharing a main deck cabin.