Pandaw River Cruises
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A fabulous way to discover the mighty Irrawaddy River aboard a Pandaw with up to two weekly departures between the historic royal capitals with two nights moored at Pagan and three at Mandalay as well as exploring small towns and villages of lost Burma in between. Exceptional value for money with no single supplement on many selected departures!


The situation in Burma has deteriorated rapidly to the point where we are now looking at long-term impacts on the country and the local people. After much deliberation and discussion with our team on the ground, we have come to the difficult decision to cancel all of our scheduled departures in Burma for the foreseeable future, returning only once the situation is settled.

To register your interest for this expedition once we return to Burma please click the button below and complete your details, we will contact you to discuss your arrangements when travel to Burma is possible again.

Click Here to Register Your Interest






MPP - Pre Cruise Rangoon (including domestic flight)

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2 Nights Mystical Inle Lake Pre Tour

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Mystical Inle Lake & Southern Shan State Adventure (4 nights) - Kalaw Hill Lodge

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2 Nights Southern Shan State Adventure - Kalaw Hill Lodge

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MPP - Post Cruise Rangoon (including domestic flight)

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2 Nights Mystical Inle Lake Post Tour

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Mystical Inle Lake & Southern Shan State Adventure (4 nights) - Kalaw Hill Lodge

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2 Nights Southern Shan State Adventure - Kalaw Hill Lodge

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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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Upstream      Downstream


Transfer from the airport to the ship for lunch followed by exploration of a selection of the 3000 plus Pagan monuments by bicycle or coach.

The first temple visited is Ananda, known as the finest temple in Pagan in terms of ancient architecture, built in AD 1105 by King Kyansit Thar, the third king of Pagan dynasty. Explore the high standard of Pagan craftsmanship including niches with statues, glazed plaques, the standing Buddha statues and murals.

Next stop is Myingabar Gubyaukgyi temple built in AD 1113 by Prince Rajakumar, son of King Kyansit Thar. Discover the well-preserved murals which also depict typical day-to-day life in Pagan.

End the day with a walk through Phwar Saw Village; a small village with just over 500 inhabitants situated between New Pagan and Nyaung U airport. It was named after the very famous and influential queen for three consecutive Kings in Pagan’s late 13th century. The villagers rely on bean and pea farming, breeding cattle and producing small lacquerware handicrafts. A short stroll in the village under the shimmering sunshine in the late afternoon is the perfect way to capture the villagers’ way of life including fetching water, herding cattle back home and preparing for dinner.

Moor overnight Pagan.

More about Pagan


Further exploration of Pagan and visit a lacquerware workshop. Visit to Shwe San Daw stupa, one of only a few monuments allowing travellers to climb it, gaining a 360-degree view over the pagoda-studded plain. The next visit is to Shwe Zi Gone Pagoda, built in AD 1086 and believed to enshrine a hair relic of the Buddha.

Before returning to the ship for lunch, take a stroll around the Khay Min Ga pagoda complex to learn about the different architectural styles: Indian, Sri Lankan, Myanmar-Mon hybrid and Myanmar.

In the afternoon, visit a Lacquerware workshop to explore the process of making lacquer handicrafts which is the specialty craft of Pagan.

Continue to the unique Payathonezu, three inter-connected temples with a narrow passage built in the late 13th century.

End the day with a visit to Dhamayangyi from AD 1170, the widest and largest temple in Pagan.

Watch the sunset from the top of Taung Guni temple before returning to the ship.

Overnight Pagan.

More about Pagan


Set sail early morning to Salay, a small town which was once a bustling trading port, now a sleepy village filled with colonial architectural treasures and timeless teak monasteries.

Walk to Yoke-Sone Kyaung, the best-known teak carved monastery in Burma, stopping at Salay House on return.

Sail upriver to the Ayardaw charity clinic supported by Pandaw then drive up the winding road of the Tant-Chi-Taung mountain to visit the hill-top stupa.

Late afternoon, watch the traditional paper-mache elephant dance performed by the villagers from Tant-Chi.

Moor overnight near Nyaung U.

More about Salay and Salay House


Explore Pakokku, experiencing the local market and town centre by Tuk Tuk.

Pakkoku is a city of about 100,000 inhabitants located 30 km from Pagan. Main produce are tobacco, cotton, peanuts, Thanatkha (traditional make-up and sun lotion) and textiles. Visit Pakokku’s main market by Tuk Tuk.

Stop at a cheroot workshop and discover how traditional cheroot cigars are made.

Moor overnight at Aung Pan Chaung near the Chindwin confluence.

More about Pakokku


Explore Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery from the river bank clay.

This village is well-known as the place where the first Anglo-Burmese war ended by the peace treaty signed in 1826. Morning walking tour and a visit to a pottery workshop to see first-hand the production process. This is a hands-on experience which you are welcome to try.

Visit the Pandaw supported Yandabo School (if no school holidays).

Afternoon sailing and moor overnight at Pauk-taw Pauk-myaing village near Ava.

More about Yandabo


Morning visit to the ancient city of Ava, which served as the capital of the Burmese kingdom for nearly 400 years, longer than any other ancient capital. Morning tour by coach to Ava jetty and across the Myit Nge(Dokehtawady) river by small ferry boat, followed by horse carts to Menu Oak Kyaung monastery built by the chief queen in 1822. End the morning with a visit to the splendid Bagaya Kyaung monastery built entirely of teak in 1834.

Afternoon excursion to Sagaing where there are 1000 hermitages and sanctuaries rich in woodcarving and religious art. From Sagaing Hill admire the bird’s eye view over the Irrawaddy river curving around Sagaing from Soon U Ponnya Shin hill top-pagoda. Later an introduction to the Buddhist nuns’ way of life at a nunnery.

Drive to Amarapura, a former capital (initially from 1783 to 1819 and subsequently from 1839 to 1852). Visit a silk and cotton weaving workshop, Amarapura’s major business.

At sunset take a local boat on Taungthaman lake at U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak bridge.

Moor overnight at Sagaing.

More about Amarapura


Set sail to Mingun for a morning walking tour around the unfinished stupa built by Amarapura’s King Bodawpaya in 1790 which was intended to be the world’s largest stupa but remained unfinished since 1808 and also visit the world’s largest ringing bell. Drive to Mandalay in the afternoon. Mandalay is not only the country’s second largest city but also the religious centre of Burmese culture.

The excursion starts with a visit to Mahamuni Buddha Image, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Myanmar. The statue was brought here in 1785 by King Bodawapaya after the invasion of the Arakan Kingdom in 1784. To pay respect to the Buddha image, male devotees apply gold leaf to the image. As a result, the Mahamuni Buddha Image has been covered with a thick layer of gold leaf (about 15 cm). The walk continues along the street renowned for its marble carvers.

Continue to Shwe Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery) which was built in 1857 and was originally part of the royal palace before it was moved to the present site in 1879.

Explore UNESCO listed Kuthodaw Pagoda, with the world’s biggest book. It accommodates 729 marble slabs engraved with the Buddha’s Parli Scriptures housed in shrines.

After the gold leaf hammering workshop, stop by the moat surrounding the Royal Palace for a great photo opportunity with a backdrop of Mandalay Hill.

Moor overnight at Sagaing.

More about Mingun


By 09:00am disembark in Mandalay and transfer to either hotel or airport.

More about Mandalay



Cruise Price Includes: Airport or hotel transfers to/from ship on DAY 1 and DAY 8. Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes.

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.



Embarkation Details
Embarkation - Ayar Jetty at 11.30am
Transfer - Transfer from airport or hotel in Pagan/Mandalay on the day of embarkation will be provided. Please note that it takes approximately 3.5 hours by drive for transfer from Mandalay airport or hotel to ship (Pagan) for embarkation.

Please Note: We are not able to accept early arrivals before 11.00am.


Disembarkation in Mandalay Saggai Lay Kyun Man Aung Jetty and transfer to the airport or hotel in Mandalay/Bagan (included).


We have just spent a wonderful week on the Orient Pandaw from Bagan to Mandalay - posted by Yvonne and John Ellison

I had very high expectations of the whole trip, but did not expect all the additional touches from crew and front of house teams - posted by Mrs G L Wilkinson

The cruise exceeded our expectations in so many ways - posted by Jan and Tony Hembling

The cruise, WOW - posted by Kerrie and Stephen

We will definitely return to Myanmar and another Pandaw adventure - posted by Elaine Watters

Having never visited Asia before, both my sister and I were thoroughly spoilt and overwhelmed by everyone's kindness and the Pandaw experience - posted by Cathy

Pandaw truly understands how to ensure their guests travel in comfort and experience all the fascinating sights - posted by Suzy Lamont

The whole trip was first class, the meals were wonderful the crew went above and beyond at all times - posted by Richard and Kay Rankin

I truly hope that I will be able to enjoy another cruise with Pandaw. It was one of the most wonderful experiences in all of my travels. - posted by Catherine Wheeler

You have exceeded our expectations and we will now be regular guests of Pandaw - posted by Martin and Maureen Whitehead

A wonderful experience I will recommend to all our friends! - posted by Gerard Malcuit and Andree Pomerlau

We cannot imagine how our experience could be improved - posted by Marian Cullwick and Catherine MacDonald

What a wonderful wonderful pampered experience - posted by Kevin Barlow and friends

I absolutely loved my holiday on your beautiful colonial boat - posted by Lynda Brown

Thank you so much for a memorable holiday - posted by VC

What a fantastic cruise! - posted by David and Liz Fothergill

If you do just one Asian river cruise, make it Pandaw on the Irrawaddy - posted by Ms Megan Rowe

Without a doubt, the highlight of my recent trip to Myanmar - posted by Jane Bell

I was told that Pandaw cruises can be habit forming and I can understand why, I know I will be back - posted by Sally Hiener

I challenge parents to take their adult children on a Pandaw journey - a real educational treat! - posted by Karel Zijlstra and son Simon

A magical upstream expedition video - posted by Karel Zijlstra

Wow! What a country! But more importantly wow what an experience with Pandaw - posted by Marcus Williams

We have and will continue to pass on our recommendations for Pandaw - posted by John and Nola Davies

The itinerary organised for me by Pandaw met my brief and excelled in so many ways - posted by Peter Morgan

On boarding we were told "welcome to your second home", and that is indeed how it felt - posted by RT

The trouble with our cruise on the Pandaw Orient was that it had to finish - posted by Richard Williams

Their attentiveness to our needs made the trip wonderful in so many ways - posted by Robyn Ogdin

The staff could not have been nicer, and both our Purser and Tour Guide kept us well informed and squared away - posted by Mr Rodger Glenn French

I will be singing Pandaw's praises and encouraging people to visit Myanmar and all its wonderful sites - posted by Clare Wooldridge

The excursions were well paced and interesting, with guides who were knowledgeable and informative - posted by Jennifer Wylie

The best I have had on any holiday - ever! - posted by Patricia Somerset

A holiday of a lifetime, due in no small part to the amazing people that looked after us - posted by Anne Hinds

A wonderful trip and my thanks go to you all for making it so good - posted by Melinda

Wow! What an awesome cruise - posted by Sandra Scott

The trip was great! Pandaw is an excellent company - posted by Kitty C

The boat was a real treat, well designed for its purpose - posted by Sheldon R

The most memorable trip cruising the Irrawaddy on the Kindat Pandaw - posted by Robyn Waters

I'm afraid I can't think of a single complaint about Pandaw - posted by Margaret Berry

The tour was better than I expected! - posted by Flo Loo

Everyone loved every minute of their time on board and we all felt so pampered - posted by Marion & Hermann Oberreiter

We had an absolutely delightful experience - posted by Robyn Waters & Gary Springer

I would like to thank Pandaw for an excellent experience on my recent cruise from Mandalay to Bagan - posted by Bill Page

An amazing river cruise in an amazing country with your Pandaw Cruises - posted by Catherine Mirrlees

We really enjoyed the whole experience - posted by Eddie Taylor & Pietro Ovatta


Ancient Salay

Pandaw expedition managers are constantly carrying out reconnaissance on the routes we sail in search of undiscovered treasures for our guests t.... read more



The perfect holiday in Myanmar

21 Nov 2019 - article by Gill Charlton for the Telegraph


Myanmar River Cruise: Why You Should See Burma By Small Ship Cruise

08 Jul 2019 - article by Judi Cohen for Travel Awaits


Just Back from a Pandaw Cruise in Myanmar

13 Mar 2018 - article by Kristie Kellahan, Cruise Critic contributor


Glorious glimpses of the past on the road to Mandalay

16 May 2017 - article by Mihir Bose for the Mail on Sunday


The rare gems of Myanmar

01 Oct 2015 - article by Travel Weekly


Clive Aslet about Pandaw on the Upper Irrawaddy

01 Apr 2015 - article by Telegraph UK


Mandalay Pagan Packet Burma

01 Oct 2014 - article by Tom Tacker, Naked Hungry Traveller


RV Kalaw Pandaw’s maiden voyage on the Mandalay Pagan Packet

01 Oct 2014 - article by Cruise Adviser by Samual Ballard


Pandaw, Kipling and Orwell Revive the Road to Mandalay

01 Oct 2013 - article by Ralph Grizzle


On song up the Irrawaddy

01 Oct 2012 - article by Glenda Halliwell