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Into Open Seas: Pandaw Breaks Out To The Andaman Islands

Pandaw River Cruises is all about new experiences on new frontiers, which is why we are delighted to announce our latest adventure - to the Andaman Islands.

In early 2020 Pandaw passengers can travel to this spectacular and unspoiled archipelago on our acclaimed and stylishly-refurbished motor yacht, the MY Andaman Explorer with its ten staterooms.

The Andaman Islands in the Mergui Archipelago, Burma

The Andaman Islands, with their pristine beaches and Eden-like interiors bursting with fascinating plant and animal life, are everyone’s idea of an unspoiled and alluring tropical paradise.

Now governed from faraway India, the ethnographically-distinct aboriginal peoples of these mysterious islands thrived for many centuries without contact with the rest of the world. Indeed, they were avoided by early European interlopers in these waters, who believed them to be inhabited by cannibals.

The Mergui Archipelago, Burma

After decades of absorbing Indian, Burmese, Malay and other ethnic influences, the 30-odd inhabited islands that form a way-point in the midst of the wide Indian Ocean presents a fascinating cultural mix that even now, remains far off the beaten track of 21st Century tourism. Pandaw’s expedition will reveal not just the stunning natural beauty of the archipelago but also its considerable cultural and historical interest.

As Pandaw’s planned tour will reveal, modernity started to catch up with the Andaman Islands in the 19th Century. British administrators in India had the islands surveyed, and then, following the “Mutiny” or Rebellion of 1857, chose this isolated spot as the ideal penal colony for subversive elements, a kind of Indian Alcatraz or Botany Bay, a status it retained for many decades afterwards. The legacy is plain to see in the Cellular Jail in the capital Port Blair, one of the Andamans’ most-visited sites, which represents a dark counterpoint to the manifold architectural glories of the British Raj.

The hardship of the penal regime, also memories of the Japanese wartime Occupation, have given the Andaman Islands a special place in the mythology of Indian nationalism. The now jungle-bound architectural ruins of a Raj-era British tropical playground exert a special fascination, and exist cheek by jowl with proud monuments to the martyrs of Indian independence.

Mangrove Forest in The Mergui Archipelago, Burma

Very few expedition ships have ever visited this remote area, but thanks to Pandaw’s addition of the nimble and versatile Andaman Explorer, a converted luxury motor yacht you can sail out or back from Thailand to the Andamans on a 10 night expedition or opt for a shorter seven night round Andaman cruise flying in and out from India.

Please watch this space for the the full itinerary, dates and rates following soon.


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