Take a look at this month's news and special offers
Take a look at this month's news and special offers
Take a look at this month's news and special offers

?Today the Laos Pandaw arrived in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, after a ten day run down the fast flowing Upper Mekong from the Golden Triangle where Burma, Thailand and Laos meet.

By all accounts the expedition was an enormous success. The scenery was far more dramatic and exciting than anyone had imagined, the river wilder and faster than expected. It was a bit like white water rafting, only on the comfort of a Pandaw.

The excursions proved very interesting trips into jungle villages and tribal areas, up tributaries and into gorges to meet waterfalls and discovering long lost Buddhist sanctuaries.

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?Breakfasting passengers would see elephants bathing along the banks and everywhere the local people welcomed us jubilantly. Laos dancing girls came and performed on board one evening.

Then there was Luang Prabang, the most charming of South-East Asia’s temple towns. Passengers rose at 5am to watch the monks make their begging rounds as the sun came up over the temple spires.

The ten cabin ship proved well designed and fully functional and unusually for a maiden voyage it was actually finished when passengers boarded in Northern Thailand. It is amazing to think that we bought this cargo barge (in a panic - our usual ship builder having let us down) only in February and by October had a fully operational ship. We kept that quiet!

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?And I am glad to say that the man we bought it from has stayed on as skipper. With his in depth knowledge of the river brought the Laos Pandaw back down to Vientiane eight months later and looking rather different from when he sold it to us.

We had a mixed crew of Laos, Burmese, Khmer, Vietnamese, one Singaporian and one Dutchman. I think they found the whole experience as thrilling as the passengers did.

The next big development will be to take the Laos Pandaw up river from Thailand to China, cruising the Mekong between Burma and Laos. This four country cruise starts in February 2016 and there are still one or two cabins left.

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???We are planning a second ship for Laos to be launched November 2016 and it will cover the southern part of the country from Vientiane to Pakse and the 4,000 islands just above the Khone Falls, that form the Laos - Cambodia border. These expeditions will connect with our Cambodia Mekong expeditions so it will be possible to cruise all the way from Yunnan to Saigon on Pandaw ships.

Paul Strachan

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Take a look at this month's news and special offers
Take a look at this month's news and special offers

????We still have some spaces on the Laos Pandaw in March and April 2016 on our new 10-night programme that combines an overnight hotel stay in Luang Prabang and a 2-night river journey by local day boat staying at comfortable riverside lodges with a 7-night Pandaw reconnaissance cruise on the new Laos Pandaw from Chiang Saen to Jinghong (or vv).

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Take a look at this month's news and special offers
Take a look at this month's news and special offers

????Our popular 14-night journey on the Laos Pandaw exploring the Upper Mekong from Vientiane to Jinghong (or vv) has some availability from 21 Sep 2016 to 19 March 2017. Several dates are already sold out, so book now and don’t miss out on this wonderful exploration of one of the most scenic rivers of Asia.

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Take a look at this month's news and special offers
Take a look at this month's news and special offers

????Departing in March 2016, be the first to discover this beautiful and untouched region aboard our luxury coastal expedition ship – the
MY Drenec.

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Take a look at this month's news and special offers
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Take a look at this month's news and special offers
Take a look at this month's news and special offers

????Save up to 40% on the last few places on our 7-night Xmas departure on The Chindwin – departing 19th December 2015. Prices now from only usd 2,100 per person (main deck twin share).

For details of this and all our November offers, please click link below.

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Take a look at this month's news and special offers

?????In response to client requests, we have expanded the number of departure dates with no single supplement as shown in PDF link below.

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Take a look at this month's news and special offers
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