Pandaw II Review

Pandaw II
Pandaw II

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David Wishart
Cruise Critic Contributor

Pandaw II Overview

Pandaw II looks like a big toy boat but is in fact a luxurious yet unostentatious replica of a colonial-era vessel dating from 1865.

It has a covered sun deck and two passenger decks with 24 cabins of 170 square feet. All have twin beds, air-conditioning and French windows with a table and two wicker chairs outside on the walk-around deck. Bathrooms have good showers, bathrobes, hair dryers, and slippers are provided. Cabins also have desks and safes. There is an onboard laundry and crew clean shoes after excursions.

Passengers spend their leisure time on the sun deck, where they can take in the sights from teak loungers and get drinks from a bar. The upper deck also has a viewing area forward and an air-conditioned bar. There is an open-bridge policy.

Meals are served in the main deck restaurant, with large, floor to ceiling windows. Breakfast is buffet style but preceded by coffee, tea and light bites on the sun deck for early risers. Lunch is served either buffet style or standard sit-down, while dinners are four-course affairs. Produce is fresh, regional and seasonal. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer and domestic spirits are complimentary.

There is Wi-Fi, which is often slow due to the remote areas traveled. However, guides can help find Internet shops in some of the riverside towns.

Pandaw II has two guides who give briefings at cocktail hour every night, and accompany all excursions, which are daily and free. Some local entertainment is offered, such as folkloric dancing and puppet shows. Tipping is optional.

Overnights usually involve stopping at a riverbank and securing the ship with lines attached to stakes hammered into the sand. Sometimes part of the gangway is little more than a plank and sandbags, making this a difficult trip for those with disabilities. But plenty of willing crew hands are always there to assist. Most passengers see Pandaw as a world away from conventional cruising and take such measures in stride.

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Pandaw II Member Reviews

Pandaw II
bwedster
Sail Date: Jan 2018
Took the 7 night river cruise from Yangon to Bagon. I have taken many cruises on larger ships but this was our first river cruise and it was fantastic. The ship was very well done and the crew really tried and...Read More
Pandaw II
Ann Daly
Sail Date: Dec 2016
which was a good introduction to Myanmar and an insight into the culture and life along the river. Pandaw II is beautifully fitted out in wood and brass, the cabins are airconditioned and nothing is too much...Read More
Pandaw II
silverswimmer
Sail Date: Dec 2015
Comprehensive review Our first cruise on the Irrawaddy was on the Road to Mandalay in 1996 and in 2004 we joined a Pandaw expedition cruise from Bagan to Bhamo and enjoyed it so much we waited for Pandaw to start...Read More
Pandaw II
dinog
Sail Date: Sep 2015
We just did an exotic 7 days cruise on the Pandaw on the Chindwin River in North West Myanmar. It was absolutely incredible. It was a small beautiful river ship with 5 cabins, the staff was incredible and the food...Read More

Pandaw River Cruises Fleet