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Pandaw Laos Cruise Mekong

Description

The Pandaw Laos Cruise was built in 2015 with only 10 cabins with colonial character. This small cruise has ultra shallow drafts and can travel to remote areas, which would be unreachable by other vessels, let alone overland. The warm and embracing atmosphere on the cruise invites to feel at home from the first step aboard.

  • Pandaw Cruise
  • Launch 2015
  • 10 cabins
  • Metal
  • Mekong River
  • Laos

Pandaw Laos Cruise's Facilities

  • 24-hour Security
  • Boutique Library
  • Observatory
  • Restaurant
  • Spa & Beauty

Pandaw Laos Cruise’s Travel Map

Pandaw Laos Cruise Mekong

Cruise Itineraries

Upstream: Vientiane – Chiang Saen / 11 days

PLEASE NOTE: The itinerary for this expedition is indicative only and subject to reconnaissance. As we travel to remote areas, changes to the itinerary will inevitably occur. A flexible approach is required if you book this cruise.

Embarkation 12.30, followed by lunch and afternoon exploration of the delightful French city including visits to the golden Pha That Luang Stupa, Sisaket Temple, the President’s Hall, Wat Prakeo Temple and the Phatouxay monument. Set sail late afternoon, enjoy a welcome dinner on board and overnight near Vientiane.

Meals: Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Cruise upstream on the Mekong, passing lush jungle scenery and tiny riverside villages. Morning presentation on the Lao language. Afternoon cooking demonstration on the upper deck. Arrive in Ban Xanakham to moor overnight.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Afternoon visit to the French administrative town of Pak Lai with many colonial buildings and a bustling local market. This town boasts the largest elephant festival in South East Asia, usually in February.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Morning visit and walking tour to Khamo tribal village, a typical village, set on the banks of the Mekong amidst lush jungle. In the afternoon pass through the Xanyaburi Hydro Electric Power Plant.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

In the morning visit a Hmong village and continue upstream to the village of Ban Mouang Khai. Afternoon sightseeing by minibus visiting the jungle pools and dramatic Khaung Si waterfall then on to a butterfly garden. Arrive in the heart of the temple city of Luang Prabang where there is a buzzing night market and many great cafes and some good local restaurants.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

In the morning explore by tuktuk this well-preserved and unique world heritage site with its many Buddhist temples, libraries and royal palace. Visit the National Museum and have the afternoon free to explore the beauty and unique atmosphere of Luang Prabang on your own. Enjoy traditional Laos dancing on the upper deck late afternoon. Moor overnight in Luang Prabang.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Early morning walking tour to see the alms offering by the local people to hundreds of monks who walk around the city every morning. Passengers are invited to join in with offerings we provide for the alms giving. Morning sightseeing by local boat exploring the unique Pak Ou Caves, a Buddhist sanctuary with spectacular limestone cliff faces. Evening cocktails on a sandbank. Sail upstream on the beautiful Mekong towards Ban Bo

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Morning visit to a local Khamo village. Sail upstream on the Mekong passing Pak Beng towards Pak Sit.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Early morning walking tour in a Khamo village then cruise through stunning scenery to the border of Laos and Thailand. The night is spent on the Lao side in the Huay xay area where we take a late afternoon village walk.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Cruise upriver to the Town of Chiang Sean for border crossing at the Golden Triangle. Farewell cocktails and Thai traditional dance on board for your last evening.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Disembark by 8.30 in Chiang Sean and group transfer to hotel/airport. En route, explore the Golden Triangle including a visit to the opium museum. Continue to airports or city hotels in Chiang Rai (2 hours) and Chiang Mai (6 hours).

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: n/a

Downstream: Chiang Saen – Vientiane / 11 days

PLEASE NOTE: The itinerary for this expedition is indicative only and subject to reconnaissance. As we travel to remote areas, changes to the itinerary will inevitably occur. A flexible approach is required if you book this cruise.

Transfers from airports or any city hotel in Chiang Rai (2 hours) and Chiang Mai (6 hours) including a visit to the Golden Triangle and the now infamous opium museum. Embark your ship by 16.00 and cruise up river towards the Burma border for sunset.

Meals: Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Pass through immigration formalities at the Thai/Laos border and re-join the ship. Set sail downstream on the beautiful Upper Mekong River. After lunch, if time allows, sightseeing on foot in a Laos jungle village.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Morning walk in a Khamo village. Sail downstream on the beautiful Mekong then relax with evening cocktails on a sandbank.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Continue cruising downstream to Pak Ou, transfer to a local boat and enter the Nam Ou River to visit the extraordinary Pak Ou Buddha Caves. Admire spectacular limestone cliff faces in the Buddhist sanctuary.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

In the morning explore by tuktuk this well preserved and unique world heritage site with its many Buddhist temples, libraries and royal palace. Visit the National Museum and have the afternoon free to explore the beauty and unique atmosphere of Luang Prabang. Traditional Laos dancing on the upper deck late afternoon. Moor overnight in Luang Prabang.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Early morning walking tour to observe the morning alms offering by local people to the hundreds of monks who walk around the city every morning. Drive to see the deep jungle pools at the Khaung Si Waterfall, the teak forest trails and butterfly farm.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Pass through the Mekong water control lock at Xayaburi Hydro Electric Power Plant (itself an interesting and perhaps controversial tourist attraction). Late afternoon walking tour of a local village.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Morning visit to Ban Pha Leab with its beautiful limestone mountain. Continue to Pak Houng-Thai Lao Border for an excursion to a plantation village and meet the local people.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Pass through a dramatic landscape of jungle and mountain where the river flows fast and wild. Amazing rock formations straddle the river banks. Here we enter the cultivated plains of Vientiane province. Arrive mid-afternoon in Vientiane to moor overnight. Opportunity for independent exploration of this delightful, French influenced city.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Morning exploration of the delightful French city including visits to the golden Pha That Luang Stupa, Sisaket Temple, the President’s Hall, Watt Prakeo Temple and the Phatouxay monument. Opportunity for independent exploration and experience the many cafes and bistros in this charming little corner of L’Indochine. Farewell cocktails and dinner.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Accommodation: Pandaw Laos Cruise

Disembark in Vientiane after breakfast and transfer to airports or hotel in Vientiane or Udon Thani in Thailand (1.5hrs, just across the river).

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: n/a

Important note*

  • PROGRAMS & SCHEDULES SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO THE WATER LEVEL. WE WILL KEEP YOU UPDATED 2 WEEKS BEFORE DEPARTURE
  • For overnight registration, we will need passport information (Full name, sex, Nationality, passport number, date of birth) of passengers at least four weeks prior to cruise date.

Cabins & Rates

Cabintype Rates
(US$/person)

Pandaw Laos Cruise
  • 16sqm
  • Main deck
  • Double/twin beds
  • Max 2 persons


Contact us for price

Pandaw Laos Cruise Mekong
  • 16sqm
  • Upper deck
  • Double/twin beds
  • Max 2 persons

Note*: The tour price would vary depending on date of departure and group size. Please book the tour or contact us for a free updated quote.

Booking Policy

Cruise Price Includes: Entrance fees, guide services (English language), main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes. Transfers Chiang Rai / Chiang Mai to ship v.v. and ship to Vientiane v.v.

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.

Cancellation by Customer
Cancellation is not confirmed till we receive your official email. For cancellations of bookings, the following charges will apply:

  • A 30% deposit of your total booking value with Pandaw is required upon confirmation and is non refundable.
  • Final balance must be paid 75 days before departure or the booking will be cancelled and the deposit forfeited.
  • Certain special offers may require higher non-refunable deposits. These will be advised to you at the time of booking.

Children from 5 years up to 18 years old get:

  • 1 adult and 1 child – 1 cabin – child receives 50% reduction from adult price.
  • 2 adults and 1 child – 2 cabins – 1 cabin with no single supplement and 50% reduction for the child.
  • 2 adults and 2 children – 2 cabins – 50% reduction for both children.
    Larger family groups – prices on request.
  • Please note our cruises are not suitable for young or small children as the ships have railings but no netting.

Pandaw Laos Cruise’s Deck Plan

  • 10 cabins on Main Deck
  • 6 cabins on Upper deck
Pandaw Laos Cruise Mekong

Pandaw Laos Cruise Amenities

  • Air-conditioner
  • Cabinet
  • Free Wifi - Public area
  • Hair Dryer
  • Non Smoking Rooms
  • Private Bathroom
  • Toiletries

Video about Pandaw Laos Cruise

Questions & Answers


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The rivers you will sail on are subject to seasonal rises and falls of water level, in some places as much as 30 metres. Water levels can change dramatically overnight and a sudden rise can impede our progress upstream considerably and even prevent us from passing under certain bridges. A sudden fall can result in our being unable to get into certain places or go as far upstream as we would hope. Groundings on sandbars are not infrequent and are part of the
excitement of any expedition. Published itineraries are indicational only and subject to sudden change. In such events alternative itineraries will be provided and we do our best to ensure that if a stop is missed we make up for it with another stop.

Passengers are thus forewarned and expected to be flexible and patient. River cruising in Asia can be a dramatic and adventurous experience – not like cruising the controlled waterways of Europe or America. Note also that we operate in areas with little or no developed infrastructure and subject to the strictures of local officialdom. Be prepared for this and it is all more the fun!

For itineraries that include flights in the price of the ticket it should be noted that regional airlines can change departure times or cancel flights at very short notice. In such an event we endeavour to arrange alternative flights but note that this can result in delays often resulting in embarking or disembarking on a different day to that indicated in the itinerary. In such an event the company will cover the cost of hotel accommodation and main meals only, but will not be liable for any claims for compensation for missed days on board a ship, drinks or curtailment of the said itinerary.

We recommend wearing loose and comfortable clothing made of cotton or modern material that can readily cool off sweat and body hear. The type of shoes will depend on the excursion types so best to have both light, open toed shoes as well as good walking/hiking shoes with you. A sun hat is always a good idea to bring along.
Southern Vietnam and Cambodia are warm all year-round, but our other cruise destinations can get chilly during the winter months (Laos, Myanmar or northern Vietnam). Therefore, it is always recommended to bring a pullover or a warm jacket with you during this period.
Many of our cruises include visits to local temples or pagodas. When visiting these holy sites, make sure to wear appropriate clothing which covers your shoulders and knees.

Generally speaking, the rivers we are cruising on in Southeast Asia are very calm and there is hardly any motion on any of our ships. A bit of motion can occur during monsoon rains with stormy winds, but the amount of motion is much less than one would feel during bad weather on the open ocean.
Sea cruises as we offer in Halong Bay or Lan Ha Bay can sometimes encounter heavier waters and ship motion, although this happens very rarely and port authorities will most likely not allow sailing under any such circumstances anyway.
If you are new to cruising or prone to motion sickness, it does not hurt to bring along some motion sickness medication. Drinking a nice hot fresh ginger tea is a natural remedy and tasty alternative our staff is always happy to make for you.

All food and beverage on board is completely safe to eat and enjoy, including the ice cubes you enjoy in your chilled drinks. We do not recommend drinking water straight from the tap anywhere, including onboard. We provide you with complimentary clean drinking water throughout your cruise.
You may want to be bit careful with local dishes as they can be spicier than you are used to from home. Approach new dishes slowly and carefully. If you have a sensitive stomach, then you may like to double check with our chef or onboard managers about specific dishes or meals.
On excursions, it may be a good idea to avoid local foods and snacks unless offered by our tour guides. Besides the above, in general we recommend the following motto for your pre- and post-cruise travelling in the Southeast Asian tropics: boil it, peel it, cook it, wash it or forget it!

The most effective protection from personal contamination is ensuring strict attention to personal hygiene and in particular, frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water and refraining from hand-to-mouth contact. Colds and other viruses can spread quickly in an enclosed area such as a ship. Continue to practice common-sense hygiene and respiratory courtesy. Wash your hands often and cover your coughs and sneeze. It is recommended that passengers carry anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, which does not require rinsing with water. Use sanitizer frequently and throughout the day, particularly after shore excursions and prior to meals. If you have any questions regarding your health or safety, please do not hesitate to ask your cruise director.

Motion sickness can be a problem for some people when cruising, flying or travelling on coaches and trains and it is a good idea to take precautionary measures. Over-the-counter drugs for treating motion sickness can be purchased at pharmacies in most countries, though a side effect can by drowsiness. Alternatives such as ginger tablets and acupressure wristbands are also available and work well for some people.

Cambodia visas are easily obtained for most travelers on arrival. Note that passports must have a validity of at least 6 months after your last date of travel in Cambodia.
Because travel restrictions across Southeast Asia are constantly changing, we recommend checking with the Cambodia embassy/consulate in your home country for the latest information.

With the exception of visa exemptions, all travelers must arrange their visa prior to arrival in Vietnam. Passports must also have a validity of at least 6 months after your last date of travel in Vietnam.
Because travel restrictions across Southeast Asia are constantly changing, we recommend checking with the Vietnam embassy/consulate in your home country for the latest information.

Laos visas are easily obtained for most travelers. Note that passports must have a validity of at least 6 months after your last date of travel in Laos.
Because travel restrictions across Southeast Asia are constantly changing, we recommend checking with the Laos embassy/consulate in your home country for the latest information.

We recommend at least purchasing travel health insurance which covers both in- & outpatient visits and medical repatriation. Buying additional trip cancellation and interruption coverage may also be beneficial in case you have to cancel your travel plans due to unforeseen circumstances.

We always recommend bringing a travel adapter as a standard item in your travel kit. You can borrow an adapter on board, but these may be limited.

Indochina Countries use 220V, and a mixture of flat 2-pin, round 2-pin or 3 pin plugs. It is recommended to bring a universal plug adapter.

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $3-$5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service.

Pandaw Cruise Reviews

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2 star ratingCOVID-19 I am finding my dealings with Pandaw to be very frustrating. Despite Vietnam being closed to international visitors due to COVID-19, Pandaw are refusing to cancel their September Red River cruise and therefore refund deposit monies pursuant to their... read more

Chris D Avatar
Chris D
09/08/20

5 star ratingA Sublime Way to Travel (Laos Mekong) My wife and I have just returned from our second Pandaw trip. Our first was on the Upper Irrawaddy in Myanmar and this one was on the Mekong in Laos. To say - in both cases - that... read more

ICBV Avatar
ICBV
08/03/20

4 star ratingEnjoyable trip A pleasant way of getting from Saigon to Phnom Penh with some excursions along the way.Most of the excursions were within easy reach of HCMC so not a great deal of cruising to begin with. The shore visits were primarily... read more

Maybe16 Avatar
Maybe16
08/03/20

5 star rating1 week Mekong cruise This was the highlight of our 2 weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia. The boat (Tonle) was excellent as was the crew. Each day we had at least one excursion and most days it was 2. The excursions normally took around... read more

Tony M Avatar
Tony M
29/02/20

5 star ratingFascinating trip to see and learn about the real India I took the Varanasi to Kolkata 2 week trip on the Kindat Pandaw and enjoyed it thoroughly. Due to low water levels the first 3 nights had to be spent on shore, 2 in Varanasi at the Taj hotel central... read more

Ann T Avatar
Ann T
28/02/20

5 star ratingGreat excursions to small communities Great boat upstream Mekong. Food and service excellent. The guide and the excursions were amazing - taking you to places and people it would be difficult to meet otherwise.sunset on deck with cocktail of the day gliding along... read more

JuH Avatar
JuH
28/02/20
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from $4,198 /pax
27/09/2022

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