Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500

Pandaw River Adventures

Traditional small ships for river expeditions

Teak panelled cabins and public spaces with brass fittings are distinctive features of Pandaw ships. They recapture the spirit of the colonial Irrawaddy Flotilla Company which by 1920 had over 600 ships on the rivers of Burma.

With extremely comfortable cabins and modern facilities, Pandaw ships range from 10 to 48 passengers, giving a small hotel feel, yet with top quality service and dining. Their itineraries can travel into remote areas of Vietnam, Laos, Burma and India, offering a true sense of adventure.

  • Typical Pandaw 3-deck ship
  • Typical Pandaw 2-deck ship
  • French window cabin
  • Open-air lounge
  • Open-air dining
  • Most drinks included
  • Attentive crew
  • Beautiful cabins
  • Interesting included excursions

About Pandaw River Adventures Cruises

Pandaw River Ships

There are thirteen beautifully crafted Pandaw ships in operation. Each ship is hand finished in brass and teak by traditional craftsmen, and offers luxury and comfort with a colonial character. The ships have ultra shallow drafts and can travel to remote areas unreachable by other vessels or even by land.

On a Pandaw ship the atmosphere on board is very friendly and informal, and there is no dressing up for dinner. Everyone can dine together, alfresco style in an open-air environment. Nearly everything is included in the price and there are no hidden extras for excursions. Even drinks and crew tips are included. With a crew passenger ratio of 1:2 there is an incredibly high level of personal service and care aboard.

Sailing on a Pandaw is essentially an outdoor experience. Whilst the staterooms are very comfortable and roomy, passengers prefer to spend their time sitting outside, on the promenade decks or on the observation deck. With at least one stop and excursion per day, you’re never cruising for long uninterrupted periods of time.


The Pandaw cabin is a renowned feature of our ships. Finished in brass and teak, the main and upper deck rooms are very spacious at 168 square feet (15.6 sqm), and on each ship we build the cabin remains the same. Our cabins do not have mini-bars, satellite TVs, internet or phones. If you’re feeling in need of refreshment there is a bar service on the sundeck open from dawn to dusk.


The Pandaw dining rooms are designed to open up along the sides and only at night do we close them up and use air conditioning. Our chefs know that the majority of passengers want to eat the best of each country they pass through, so we offer a great choice of local cuisine and exotic foods. European alternatives are available and vegetarians are well catered for. Special diets may be catered for by prior agreement.

All meals are single seating. Breakfast is a buffet and buffet lunch has a soup, salad and desert table with the main course served at the table. Dinner is served at the tables. Breakfast and lunch are open-air, dinners are candlelit and any indoor dining rooms are air-conditioned. New smaller ships have outdoor dining. There is no captain's table at dinner.


Excursions ashore accompanied by expert guides are a key part of any Pandaw river expedition. These may be in the form of a good walk through countryside and villages, further explorations by boat 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. Our included excursions are optional, so you can create your own adventures if you wish.

We care about the towns and villages we cruise through, and support a variety of community projects. All meals are prepared onboard and nearly 100% of supplies are sourced from local producers.

Full details of Pandaw river ships are shown in the details of the relevant cruise.

Cruise Collection

Vietnam and Laos River Adventure Cruises

  • Halong Bay and the Red River

    14 Nights - Hanoi and back

    Pandaw River Adventures Ship - Angkor Pandaw Angkor Pandaw

    This new 14-night adventure cruise travels well off the beaten track into the highlands and mountain villages of northern Vietnam. In contrast visit bustling Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, plus an overnight cruise in the amazing limestone island scenery of Halong Bay. Includes flights from the UK, transfers, and excursions. 2017 - Feb, Mar

    Vietnam Adventure to Halong Bay and the Red River Fly Cruise Package
    From £2795pp
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  • Laos and Mekong Adventure

    14 Nights - Vientiane to Chiang Mai

    Pandaw River Adventures Ship - Laos Pandaw Laos Pandaw

    Cruise the upper Mekong river through the mountains and forests of Laos on this 14-night fly-cruise holiday. Includes Laos capital Vientiane, two nights in historic Luang Prabang and visit to the 'Golden Triangle' of Laos, Burma and Thailand. Flights from the UK, transfers, excursions and crew gratuities included. A Mekong river extension to Jinghong in China operates on certain dates. 2017 - Mar

    Laos and Mekong River Cruise Adventure Fly Cruise Package
    From £3995pp
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  • Borneo River Cruises

  • Into the Heart of Borneo

    9 Nights - Tayan to Lanjak

    Pandaw River Adventures Ship - Kapuas Pandaw Kapuas Pandaw

    A brand new, unique expedition cruise from Sanggau along the upper Kapuas River to Lanjak, exploring the remote region of Kalimantan in the heart of the Borneo rainforest, home to the endangered Bornean orangutan. Includes return flights from the UK, guided excursions and overseas transfers 2017 - Mar, Apr, May, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
    2018 - Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May
    Exclusive Blue Water package!

    Into the Heart of Borneo Fly Cruise Package
    From £2750pp
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