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Superior Class

Pandaw has by far biggest fleet of river cruisers 12 in Myanmar and is also operating cruises on the Mekong River. Traveller’s can now choose from different duration expedition style cruises to short cruises and heritage sites cruises that cover the most famous cultural treasures of the country.


Pandaw Cruises Routings and Schedules 2016 – 2017

Andaman Explorer
Rangoon to Ranong and the Mergui Archipelago – 10 nights on board a classic 1960s motor yacht.

There could be no more romantic way to travel between the colonial port cities of Rangoon and Moulmein than by steamer. Throughout the colonial era steamer services connecting these trading posts that dotted the shores of the Andaman sea.

Andamna Yatch


Pandaw Cruises on the Ayeyarwaddy River (Irrawaddy)
The Irrawaddy – 14 Nights Cruise Yangon to Mandalay including upper Irrawaddy
Golden Land – 10 Nights Cruise on the Irrawaddy River
Bagan & Upper Irrawaddy Cruise – 10 Nights Bagan to Mandalay
Upper Irrawaddy Cruises – 7 Nights starts and ends in Mandalay
Royal Capitals Cruises – 7 Nights Mandalay – Bagan & v.v.
Short Cruises – 2 Nights Bagan – Mandalay, 1 Night Mandalay – Bagan

Pandaw Expedition Cruises in Myanmar
Chindwin River Cruises
New – Upper Mekong to Yunnan China

Pandaw River Cruise boats in Myanmar

Zawgyi Pandaw | Kalay Pandaw | Kalaw Pandaw | Kindat Pandaw | Kaho Byoo Pandaw | Katha Pandaw | Orient Pandaw | Pandaw II | Andaman Explorer Pandaw

About Pandaw Cruises

There is no dressing up for dinner and no ‘captain’s table’. The atmosphere on board is very friendly and informal, more like a party on a private yacht than a cruise ship. Nearly everything is included in the price and there are no hidden extras for excursions. Even your drinks and the crew tips are included in the price of your ticket. There is an incredibly high level of personal service and care aboard, with a crew passenger ratio of 1:2. For these reasons passengers keep coming back and exploring more of a lost South-East Asia.

By 2015 there will be twelve beautifully crafted Pandaw ships in operation. Each ship, hand finished in brass and teak by traditional craftsmen are in themselves objects of great beauty.

The secret of our success is that on our ships, whilst luxury and comfort are discreetly present, it is the colonial character and friendly atmosphere that predominate.All our Pandaws have ultra-shallow drafts and can travel to remote areas, which would be unreachable by other vessels, let alone overland.

Pandaw River Cruises are very different from other cruise experiences

We’re lucky to have such a huge following with passengers returning again and again to expereince all of what our cruises have to offer.

What’s key to our success? Well, we say YES to lots of things…


Curl up with a kindle and relax in our peaceful sittings areas dotted throughout the ships. Rest assured you won’t be interrupted with unnecessary PA announcements or annoying drones of TV’s in neighboring cabins. We promote a relaxed atmosphere on our ships so all our cabins give to a very social promenade deck.


We don’t believe in compulsory excursions, a Pandaw river cruise is whatever you want it to be! With so many river stops, we guarantee you’ll find it hard to resist exploring and creating your own adventures.

Gone are the days of the mini bar – if you’re feeling in need of refreshment whilst in your cabin, there is a bar service on the sundeck open from dawn to dusk waiting for you. We don’t do captains tables at dinner either; instead, everyone can dine together, alfresco style with our open-air environment.


We offer daily briefings to whet your appetite for the cultural events and activities available onboard. Fancy kicking back with a cocktail? That’s fine too!

All our Pandaw ships have the highest public space to passenger ratio of any ship, seagoing or river, in the world. With at least one stop and excursion per day, you’re never cruising for long uninterrupted periods of time which make our cruises unique to other cruise liners.

Freedom on the river too; we can operate in all seasons and all areas due to the shallowest drafts on the river, so we’re not restricted by water levels.


Our onboard staff do a great job of making our passengers feel welcomed and fully entertained for the duration of their stay. We have a 1:2 staff passenger ratio which means we’re always on hand to satisfy whatever requests our passengers throw at us.

Safety is number one priority for our crew – we have a full time ex Royal Navy officer responsible for emergency drills, safety appliance checks and ship security. You’re in safe hands!

We care about the towns and villages we cruise through, we do not pocket the profits, we distribute them to a variety of community projects. All meals are prepared onboard and nearly 100% of supplies are sourced from local producers. We work in partnership with local businesses and a number of NGO providers.


Your cruise price includes gratuity to the crew and there are no hidden extras for shore excursions. We won’t charge you for drinks, coffee, tea or mineral water. To see what we do charge for, please CLICK HERE.


Pandaw History – The old Irrawaddy Flotilla Company was revived in 1995 by the Burma historian Paul Strachan, who is a Scot.

We were the first since the Second World War to offer pioneering cruises on Burma’s spectacular Irrawaddy River, reaching Bhamo, one thousand miles from the sea, and went on to be a first on the stunningly attractive Chindwin River.


The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company was established by Scots merchants in 1865. By the 1920s the company ran over 650 vessels on the rivers of Burma. It had become the largest privately owned fleet of ships in the world. Mainly paddle steamers, the largest class of vessels were 350ft long and licensed for 4,000 passengers. In 1942 the fleet in its entirety was scuppered as an Act of Denial when the Japanese invaded.


Paul and Roser Strachan revive the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company and are the first to offer river cruises on the Irrawaddy since colonial times. Local boats are chartered and converted and high adventure was had by all.


In 1998, Paul Strachan discovered an original Clyde-built steamer called the Pandaw and arranged for its lease and restoration. Thus Pandaw was born and a unique concept and style of river cruising was created.


In 2003 we took our Pandaw concept to the Mekong River in Indochina plying between Saigon in Vietnam and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Here, the Pandaws broke the seemingly impenetrable river border between two very different countries. In high water our vessels accomplished the first cross navigation of the Tonle Sap, an inland sea previously un-navigated by anything other than local speed boats.


We inaugurated new river cruises on the Rajang in Borneo and Ganges in India. Another two magnificent Asian rivers, rich in things to do and see, with varied topography of great beauty. We pulled out of India and Borneo as a result of operational and safety issues.


We now have twelve beautifully crafted ships that we built ourselves. Each ship, hand finished in brass and teak by traditional craftsmen, is in itself an object of great beauty. The secret of our success is that on our cruise ships, whilst luxury and comfort are discreetly present, it is the colonial character and friendly atmosphere that predominate.



Thanks to Pandaw’s ultra-shallow drafts we can moor almost anywhere and explore unspoiled areas along the river banks of the mighty Mekong.

All Pandaw ships have ultra shallow drafts and can travel to remote areas, which would be unreachable by other vessels, let alone overland.

Other Floating Hotels – Cruises

Paukan 1947 Cruise

Deluxe Class

The Pandaw 1947 (as it was originally named) is an original colonial era twin screw steamer, built in1947. The famous shipbuilding company of Yarrow & Co. of Clyde on the River in Glasgow built the Pandaw for the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company. Arriving in Myanmar in 1950, under the ownership of the Inland Water Transport Board (IWTB) she ran on the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to Bhamo, one of the most popular routes on this great river.

Belmond Road to Mandalay Cruises

Luxury Class

Memorable landscapes unfold when gazing at the banks of Ayeyarwady River from this elegant river cruiser. From the royal city of Mandalay, it carries its 82 passengers south to the ancient capital of Bagan, with its 2,500 pagodas spread out on a dusty plain; it also voyages north through forested gorges to Bhamo, near the Chinese border.