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Luxury small ship river cruises in Asia



The Irrawaddy River in Burma ranks as the 55th longest river in the world at 2,170km but it is in the top ten rivers in terms of discharge at 13,000 litres per second. The river begins at the confluence of two rivers in Kachin State, the N'mai (Nam Gio) and Mali Rivers, and discharges into the Andaman sea through a vast 10,000-square mile Delta.

You can experience one of our Irrawaddy river cruises year round, for 1,600km from Rangoon to Bhamo and, for part of the year, for another 200km as far as Myitkina close to the confluence. The main tributary is the Chindwin River. In the monsoon the average rise on the low water level is 30m but in the 1st Defile it is double this. There are three defiles between Mandalay and Myitkyina, the most spectacular of which is the second defile below Bhamo. Between here and the Delta the river varies hugely from mountains to plains. In the defiles the width is only a couple of hundred feet but in the plains it can be miles wide. In the low water season sand islands appear, many farmed on a seasonal basis, and navigation channels become serpentine and often hard to find.

Pandaw operates several vessels on the Irrawaddy with services connecting Rangoon to Bhamo.

Popular River Cruise Expeditions

River Cruise itinerary for The Golden Land

The Golden Land

Mandalay - Rangoon

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

10 nights

from US$3,856.50
members from US$3,428

River Cruise itinerary for The Golden Land
River Cruise itinerary for Pagan and The Upper Irrawaddy

Pagan and The Upper Irrawaddy

Pagan - Katha - Mandalay

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

10 nights

from US$3,780
members from US$3,360

River Cruise itinerary for Pagan and The Upper Irrawaddy
River Cruise itinerary for The Irrawaddy

The Irrawaddy

Rangoon - Mandalay

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

14 nights

from US$5,391
members from US$4,792

River Cruise itinerary for The Irrawaddy
River Cruise itinerary for Mandalay Pagan Packet

Mandalay Pagan Packet

Pagan - Mandalay

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

7 nights

from US$1,885.50
members from US$1,676

River Cruise itinerary for Mandalay Pagan Packet

Off the Beaten Track

River Cruise itinerary for The Great Irrawaddy Delta

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

7 nights

from US$1,905.30
members from US$1,693.60

River Cruise itinerary for The Great Irrawaddy Delta

Short Cruises

River Cruise itinerary for Mandalay to Pagan Four Night Cruise

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

4 nights

from US$1,408.50
members from US$1,252

River Cruise itinerary for Mandalay to Pagan Four Night Cruise

Combination Cruises

River Cruise itinerary for Chindwin & The Upper Irrawaddy

Chindwin & The Upper Irrawaddy

Monywa - Kalewa - Mandalay - Pagan

Save up to 10%

17 nights

from US$7,843.50

River Cruise itinerary for Chindwin & The Upper Irrawaddy

Image Galleries


Travel Blogs

World Heritage Site Status for Pagan

It was extraordinary that Pagan did not have World Heritage Site status, all the other great historical sites in South-East Asia, like Angkor or....

River Cruise Stops



A former capital city of Myanmar, Amarapura is situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy River . To explore this ancient city, you can join us on o....



“And here it may be said that of all the ruined capitals of Burma which make their appeal on behalf of the transitoriness of life. . . Ava is th....



Bogale is a small city located in the Bogale Township, Ayeyarwady Region, Myanmar. It is located on the southwestern part of Myanmar/Burma on th....



Little known town with a busy port and bustling markets....



Kalewa is one of the largest ports on the Chindwin River and an important trans-shipment point for goods going to and coming from nearby India.....



The enchanting colonial town of Katha was setting for George Orwell’s Myanma Days. Katha was also the final resting place of the old flotilla an....



Visit a Buddhist orphanage and the grave of an English officer assasinated here during the Pacification of Burma (1887).....



Visit the spectacular potteries near Kyauk-myoung We enter the Third Defile and sail upstream all day stopping at Khan-nyat village with its man....



At Magwe we climb the river bank and wend our way through a labyrinth of passages and paths to reach the magnificent Myat-thalon Pagoda. This pa....



Though Rangoon is the modern day capital, Mandalay, or Yadanapura — the ‘City of Gems’, remains the Golden Land’s spiritual capital. To know Man....



A town in the Ayeyarwady Division in south-west Burma, Maubin (also known as Ma-ubin) is an incredible place to visit. Known for its growing com....



Mawlaik replaced Kindat as the administrative capital. Like other towns of the Upper Chindwin, they can only be reached by boat so cars are few.....



Mingkin, with its Konbaung court style teak monasteries are sumptuously decorated. Mingkin may be described as the Luang Prabang of the Chindwin....



We cast off early and stop at Mingun to see the largest working bell in the world and the unfinished pagoda that is the largest single mass of b....


Minhla and Gwechaung

These are two Italian built forts constructed to keep the British at bay from Royal Burmah. These were captured by the British in the 3rd Anglo ....



Entering the Lower Chindwin where the river widens and the forested hills fall away to farmland we pass a number of attractive villages. We will....



When boarding a Pandaw River Cruise, you can be prepared to visit some of the most beautiful places in Asia. One of those incredible places is M....



Pagan is one of the richest archeological sites in the world and the highlight of every tour through Myanmar. In between 11th and 13th century t....



We are visiting the local market and town center by Tuk Tuk....


Phowin Taung

Located in the Sagaing Division of Myanmar, Phowin Tuang is a sight you have to see to believe. Luckily, you can do just that when you book one ....


Prome (Pyay)

As part of The Golden Land and your Irrawaddy River Cruise , you will get to enjoy a stop-off at Prome (Pyay) in Myanmar. Once known as Burma, t....



On one of our Irrawaddy Delta cruises , you can experience the small town of Pyapon on the Pyapon River, a tributary of the Irrawaddy Delta. ....


Rangoon (Yangon)

“Rangoon owes its history to two factors, the Shwe Dagon Pagoda and the River. The former made it a place of note in earlier ages; the latter ha....


Salay and Salay House

One of our Irrawaddy River Cruises through Myanmar can take you to many fascinating destinations. One of the most popular stops on our cruises i....



Here we visit a number of teak monasteries including the Yout-saun-kyaung with its spectacular wood carvings; we also explore an area of splendi....



When you book an Irrawaddy River Cruise with Pandaw, you can expect to stop off at some of the most interesting and enchanting locations. This i....



You can join two of our popular Irrawaddy river cruises to visit the beautiful town of Thayetmyo. Both The Irrawaddy and The Golden Land cruises....



In the Ayeyarwaddy Division of south-west Myanmar lies the idyllic town of Wakema. A small yet bustling town surrounded by awe-inspiring greener....



Here we visit the Pandaw School built with donations from past Pandaw passengers and see potteries, the main industry for this village.....

River Cruise Ships

RV Kalay Pandaw river cruise ship

The Kalay Pandaw was built in Mandalay in 2013 by our own team from within the company. This river yacht was built for private friend and family....

RV Kanee Pandaw river cruise ship

Pandaw are delighted to announce the construction of a new fourteen cabin K-class ship for Burma, now renamed Myanmar. These ultra-shallow twin ....

RV Kha Byoo Pandaw river cruise ship

This ten cabin K class was completed in 2016 and is currently serving as the Pandaw Academy training ship at Pagan. Like so many of our K class ....

RV Orient Pandaw river cruise ship

The first ship we built in Vietnam in 2008, the OP has seen service in five countries now – Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysian Borneo and now Burma. W....

RV Pandaw II river cruise ship

Pandaw II was our first ever new build back in 2001. Though our oldest ship she is still young in river terms – her prototype the old Pandaw is ....

RV Zawgyi Pandaw river cruise ship

We acquired this Z craft in 2008 and fitted her out as a floating clinic as part of the Cyclone Nargis relief effort. Returned to us by the NGO ....

Irrawaddy River Climate

Irrawaddy River climate chart

Optional Extensions

2 Nights Mystical Inle Lake

Inle is one of the biggest lakes in Burma. It’s famous for its stunning location between the hills of Shan State, easy access by air (domestic f....

2 Nights Southern Shan State Adventure - Kalaw Hill Lodge

Shan State is one of the most famous regions in Burma. While it’s southern part is most famous for amazing Inle Lake, relatively easy access by ....

Night stay on board

Extend your stay and board one day earlier bed & breakfast on board your Pandaw vessel for an extra night. Enjoy the experience and perspective ....

Undiscovered Burma's South - Strand Moulmein

Burma’s South is one of the most interesting and picturesque areas of the country. Since the government’s permissions to visit are no longer req....

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