Pandaw River Cruises
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Luxury small ship river cruises in Asia
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THE ORIGINAL AND BEST CRUISE ON THE MEKONG

CLASSIC MEKONG

7 NIGHTS FROM US$2,559.00
SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

Save 10%, No Single Supplement & Kids go FREE on selected dates

New for 2024, Pandaw's Classic Mekong expedition will be sailing from central Saigon. Embarking or disembarking in Vietnam’s bustling metropolis our 7-night expedition takes intrepid travellers along the mighty Mekong River through the vast delta so rich in human life and endeavour, to the serene countryside of Cambodia.

There can be no tapestry of river life as fascinating and varied as the River Mekong and our specially designed expedition ships are the perfect hosts to explore this delightful region in comfort and style and experience truly authentic culture, people and adventures as we sail off-the-beaten-track in keeping with the Pandaw spirit.

HIGH WATER NOTICE: During the months September to November, water levels may rise significantly leading to issues accessing the Tonle Sap River. During this time, we may replace itinerary points on the Tonle Sap with sailing north to Kratie and excursions at the dolphin grounds.

CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE

or call TOLL FREE 1-877-872-6329
represented by Sayang Holidays
7 NIGHTS FROM US$2,559.00
SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

Save 10%, No Single Supplement & Kids go FREE on selected dates

IMAGES

EXPEDITION MAP

YOUR SHIP

OPTIONAL EXTENSIONS

PRE CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Pre Tour Saigon & Surroundings (Hotel Des Arts)

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Pre Tour Saigon & Surroundings (The Myst Dong Khoi)

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5 Night Vietnam's Heritage Road: Hue, Hoi An & Saigon Pre Tour

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POST CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Exploring Angkor (Jaya House Riverpark) Post Tour

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Exploring Angkor (FCC Angkor) Post Tour

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Kratie and the Dolphin Grounds 2 Night Post Tour

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OPTIONAL PACKAGE ADDONS

Private Dining

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Pre-Bookable House Wine Package

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Free Flow Drinks

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Free Flow Drinks & Wine Package

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Language Guides (Classic Mekong cruise portion only)

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Pandaw Spa (Vietnam & Cambodia)

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ITINERARY

Upstream      Downstream

DAY 1 FROM SAIGON TO THE DELTA

Embark your Pandaw vessel in central Saigon and relax on the spacious sundeck as we set sail past the towering skyscrapers of Vietnam’s bustling metropolis. After lunch onboard you will meet the crew and enjoy local entertainment on the deck as we sail toward the Mekong Delta. We moor overnight on the Vam Co River.

From Saigon To The Delta
From Saigon To The Delta

DAY 2 BEN TRE AND THE FERTILE WATERWAYS

Early morning we set sail through the Cho Gao Canal, a vital waterway link for the transportation of goods to and from the city which was constructed in 1876 by the French and offers a fascinating insight to life along the water. We reach Ben Tre and journey by sampans through mangroves and bamboo forests to the fruit orchards abundant in the area. This is a fertile farming region with half of Vietnam's rice production coming from the Mekong Delta. It also hosts a rich artisanal culture which we will witness at a local village specialising in handicrafts. Back aboard we sail deeper into the delta toward Chau Doc.

DAY 3 CHAU DOC AND INTO CAMBODIA

In the morning, we take minivans for a short drive to Sam Mountain, the location of Phuoc Dien Tu or the Hang Pagoda. After climbing the steps we are greeted with stunning views across the Mekong. For those not keen on the stairs, explore the local market instead. Afterwards, we visit the nearby floating fish farms by Sampan before being treated to a private Lion dance performance at a local Village. Upon return to the ship, we navigate a web of canals before dropping anchor on the Vietnam/Cambodia border to undergo Immigration formalities.

Note: During high water periods in October and November, navigation into Chau Doc may be hampered by low bridges meaning today's excursion will be replaced with a local village visit at Long Thuan.

Chau Doc And Into Cambodia
Chau Doc And Into Cambodia

DAY 4 PHNOM PENH

Morning orientation of Phnom Penh by cyclo visiting the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda followed by the National Museum with its marvellous collection of Angkorian statuary. In the afternoon we visit the Killing Fields and Genocide Museum to learn more about the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. We dock overnight in Phnom Penh city port with its lively bars, restaurants and nightlife. Feel free to explore the city before returning to your hotel on the water.

DAY 5 LIFE ON THE TONLE SAP RIVER

We leave the dock at Phnom Penh early morning and sail up the winding channels of the Tonle Sap River to Kampong Tralach. We travel by ox-cart around the river-side villages, markets and temples to get a sense of life in rural Cambodia. In the evening cocktails are served around a fire pit at a small fishing village where we will be joined by village folk keen to share tales and show us their traditional dancing.

Life On The Tonle Sap River
Life On The Tonle Sap River

DAY 6 OUDONG MEDITATIONS AND PAK RUSSEI SILK

In the morning, travel by coach to the ancient capital of Cambodia, Oudong where we visit the Vipassana Dhura Meditation Centre. Walk around the vast complex with it's impressive Khmer architecture and experience a short meditation class to quieten your mind. We re-join our ship at Prek Kdam before sailing back onto the Mekong proper during lunch. This afternoon we step ashore at Pak Russei, a small and remote village on the banks of the Mekong. We will explore on foot and visit local craftspeople weaving silk and producing handmade noodles. Before returning to the ship, we learn about the ancient art of Bokator, a traditional form of martial art with a private performance in the village.

DAY 7 PEAM CHI KORNG POTTERY VILLAGE

Enjoy morning Tai Chi or just a coffee on deck as we take a sunrise cruise to Peam Chi Korng, an untouched gem that is a hub of pottery in Cambodia. After a short tuk tuk ride from the banks of the Mekong, we witness the local potters in action before continuing to explore the village and local fresh market where you can test your language skills. In the afternoon we continue sailing along the mighty Mekong to Steung Trang, our final destination before your crew provides some final evening entertainment and a sumptuous farewell dinner is prepared by your kitchen team.

Peam Chi Korng Pottery Village
Peam Chi Korng Pottery Village

DAY 8 SIEM REAP DISEMBARKATION

Disembark after breakfast and travel by coach from Steung Trang through stunningly lovely countryside to reach Siem Reap. Arrival into Siem Reap betweeen 12 - 1pm at the FCC Angkor Hotel, located next to the Royal Palace.

WHATS INCLUDED

Cruise Price Includes: Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes, transfers between the meeting point and the ship in Siem Reap.

Cruise Price Excludes: International flights, port dues (if levied), laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), all beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes and tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.

TRANSFERS & JOINING

DAY 1 FROM SAIGON TO THE DELTA

Join your Pandaw ship in central Saigon between 10-11am latest.

Dock address: Cruise Passenger Port, No. 5 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Ward 12, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City.

Please note: Your cabin may not be available until after lunch.

DAY 8 SIEM REAP DISEMBARKATION

Early morning coach transfer to the FCC Angkor by Avani hotel in Siem Reap, arriving mid-afternoon (approx. 13.30). Transfer by coach from Steung Trang to Siem Reap takes approx 4 hours.

VISA INFORMATION

Upstream
E-visa for Cambodia are not accepted at the river border. Visa on arrival for Cambodia will be arranged for you by the crew. Please bring 1x passport photo and fee of $35 USD.
Click here for full visa information.

Downstream
E-visa for Vietnam are now accepted at the river border. On your application, please enter SONG TIEN LANDPORT as your arrival port.
Click here for full visa information.

TESTIMONIALS

We were so impressed, that when we are in a position to investigate another holiday, we will definitely have Pandaw on our list - posted by John and Dianne Ellis

We have never been on a river cruise before and this has definitely whetted our appetite for a similar experience - posted by Cathy Byrne

The cruise was an excellent and easy way to see lots of interesting things and places and we would thoroughly recommend it - posted by Carole Samuels

This was a wonderful cruise, and we are already looking at the new cruises in India with Pandaw - posted by Priscilla Kuzyszyn

The experiences we were able to enjoy due to the size of the ship and the knowledge of the local guides were unbelievable, we didn't see any other tourists apart from in Phnom Penh - posted by Tracy and Lesley

We went on your 7 day Pandaw cruise down the Mekong River, which was a wonderful experience and the highlight of our 24 day holiday - posted by Pauline and Nigel Hawkins

I really enjoyed all the hotels and tours you booked before and after the cruise as well as the cruise itself - posted by Candice W

My wife and I went on the Mekong cruise, it was indeed a very good experience - posted by Michael Vinding

Wonderful 7 day cruise, would definitely recommend this cruise - posted by Carol Gordon

This was my second trip with Pandaw and even exceeded my expectations from the first cruise - posted by Victoria Oliver

We spent an amazing week on the Mekong Pandaw. The crew were all amazing, well trained, polite, helpful, efficient - posted by Julie Evans

The cruise had just the right amount of excursions with enough time to meet fellow travellers and relax. It exceeded our expectations - posted by Brian Costello and Fiona Jackson

You would have to be very picky to find a fault as they have mastered the concept of managing their customers' experience, rather than just taking them on a cruise - posted by David Hinds

All I can do is rave! This was possibly the best holiday we’ve ever had as a family - posted by Sophie Ray

The 7 day Mekong cruise on the Pandaw was the highlight of our 3 week trip - posted by Linda Lee

We will take another river cruise on Pandaw! - posted by Joan Stockbridge

We can’t speak too highly of the entire experience - posted by Anne and George McKay

The whole cruise was excellent and beyond my expectations - posted by Ron Chisholm

Such an enjoyable experience for us with the usual friendly, professional, conscientious thoughtful attention to the needs of guests - posted by Margaret Sewell and Wendy Purba

The experience was beyond all our expectations and dreams - posted by Chris and John Speight

We particularly liked that Pandaw shares the tourism wealth with these small communities - posted by Margaret Kay and Michael Smart

Just wanted to let you know that once again I had an excellent cruise with Pandaw - posted by Diana Welsby

The service we received was far and above what we expected - posted by Bill and Jean Adam

Any suggestions for improvement? Not really. Why go with Pandaw twice? Why not go three times? - posted by Malcolm and Cath Lister

With Pandaw you not only get what you pay for but you get memories like never before - posted by Mr Rodney and Valerie Nash

What a wonderful experience! From start to finish this was a first-class trip in every way - posted by Susan Donaldson and David Perry

I can only say that it was a fantastic, informative, memorable and enjoyable adventure - posted by Susan and David Burgess

We had the most amazing time and have returned with lovely memories that we will cherish forever - posted by Barry and April Palmer

What is there to say, except that it was probably our best trip for many years! - posted by Pierre and Patricia Laederich

The ship was first class and all your crew were a credit to you - posted by Valerie John

Thanks to all the crew for making our cruise truly memorable. It has now left us with a problem. Which Pandaw cruise shall we go on next? - posted by Gordon and Christine Halliday

The Pandaw Mekong cruise provides a fantastic moving picture of village life along the river - posted by Trevor and Sandy Johns

The service and friendliness of the staff was sensational - posted by Andrew Wannan

As you can see I loved every minute and wish more people knew about it - posted by Betty Geldard

I just wanted to say how much we enjoyed the cruise, the food, the cocktails and the company of our fellow travellers and the staff - posted by Vivienne Bourke

The journey itself was magical, experiencing the local villages and being amongst the locals was very special - posted by Camilla Gomes

Well done Pandaw - we would highly recommend this voyage to any traveller as the best river cruise - posted by Neville & Jill Pinkham

What a wonderful experience we had on the RV Mekong Pandaw - posted by Bob & Barbara Hackman

We fully intend to book another cruise with Pandaw - posted by Bill & Michelle Hammons

Read article on Roamarroo.com - posted by Collette & Scott Stohler

The friendliness of the crew made the whole trip such a delight - posted by Lorna & David Williams

Thank you for the very special memories I now hold - posted by Laura Kelly

Thank You again for this wonderful experience, all 7 of us had a fantastic time - posted by Linda Elliott

I don’t know of any other company/staff that would do this for their guests - posted by Vivienne Zaarour

The cruise was fabulous - posted by Ed Barry

All passengers in our group thought this cruise to be the best part of our holiday - posted by Wendy Urquhart

Many thanks and congratulations on creating something terrific - posted by Paul & Emily Christensen

A holiday of a lifetime - up their with going on a safari in Kenya - posted by The Classic Mekong, Apr 2015

My wonderful trip on the Angkor Pandaw cruising up the Mekong River - posted by Jeff Carrier

Stephen Read's blog about the RV Mekong Pandaw - posted by Stephen Read

A cruise on the Mekong is a must whether take a long cruise like this or a short one - posted by The Classic Mekong, Feb 2015

The ship, built in Scotland and modeled on the old steam-ships was fabulous - posted by The Classic Mekong, Oct 2014

Please relay our gratitude again to all the crew - posted by Michael & Anna Cox

You can be very proud of your boat and staff - posted by David & Pamela Bainbridge

We were very delighted at all the Pandaw experience - posted by Philip Johnston

Once again we had a fabulous time on board the RV Pandaw Mekong - posted by Mrs Wade

TRAVEL BLOGS

Oudong - A page out of history

Cambodia is a land of verdant forests and ancient temples. A centuries-old city in this spectacular country is one that champions both time-worn.... read more

 

Insights into the Khmer Empire Under Jayavarman VII

Jayavarman VII (c. 1181–1218) was a great conqueror of the Hindu-Buddhist Angkor Empire, the predecessor state to modern Cambodia . He gained in.... read more

 

Khmer Rouge Killing Fields

One of the darkest times in the history of the modern era took place in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979, following immediately after the end of t.... read more

 

Vietnam and Cambodia by Pandaw

Camilla Gomes, UK, blog and video of her experience in Vietnam and Cambodia with Pandaw Cruises. This was my first time at that part of Asia .... read more

 

Dolphin delight: New opportunities to see the Mekong's favourite inhabitants

We have exciting news: Pandaw's special relationship with the Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) is about to get a great deal closer on t.... read more

 

Happy ending - how a veteran Vietnam War protestor found peace with Pandaw

We're delighted to share this fabulous online album of a Pandaw Indochina adventure, compiled by Lynn Bains , who joined our Classic Mekong c.... read more

 

MEDIA MENTIONS

Vietnam River Cruising - A truly immersive experience (PODCAST)

12 May 2021 - article by Kerry Newsome Episode for What About Vietnam

 

Pandaw redesigns Classic Mekong cruise

20 Jan 2020 - article by TTR Weekly

 

Spirited away on a river cruise in Laos

13 Apr 2019 - article by Lee Beaumann for The Times

 

Five of the best Mekong river cruises for wildlife fans

11 Dec 2018 - article by Tamara Hinson for The Telegraph

 

Mekong River cruise, Cambodia: Flickers of hope along the Mekong Read

02 Dec 2016 - article by Nina Karnikowski from the Wendy Wu press trip

 

RV Mekong Pandaw: along the mighty river from Cambodia to Vietnam

26 Nov 2016 - article by Helen McKenzie for The Australian

 

The Pandaw Luxury River Cruise: An Odyssey on the Mekong from Saigon to Phnom Penh

26 Jul 2016 - article by Glenn Harris for the Luxury Lifestyle Mag UK

 

Mekong river cruise: exploring Cambodia and Vietnam from the water

01 Oct 2015 - article by Telegraph Travel

 

Grand dame of the vibrant Mekong River

01 Apr 2015 - article by Shirley Sinclair, Sunshine Coast Daily