Pandaw puts new ship into production
Construction of Pandaw River Expeditions’ newest ship, RV Sabei Pandaw, is underway in South East Asia. The ship, which is set to make its river cruise debut on 11 November 2018, is being built at Loon Prasert’s shipyard in Laos.
Against a backdrop of palm trees and shimmering waters, in a scene far removed from the typical industrial-style shipyards of the giant cruise liners, the highly skilled, local craftsmen are laying the new ship’s keel plates, using coconut tree trunks for support. The hull is expected to be completed by January 2018 and the remainder of the build by summer, ready to journey along the Mekong from November.
RV Sabei Pandaw will become Pandaw’s third ship on the Mekong River in Laos and the 17th vessel in the fleet, which navigate the fascinating waterways of six South-East Asian countries.
The RV Sabei Pandaw, which will feature fourteen classic Pandaw staterooms and an open plan saloon with flexible indoor or outdoor dining, will begin by sailing the 10-night “The Laos Mekong” itinerary, from 11 November 2018. From September 2019, it will move further along the mighty Upper Mekong to China’s Yunnan province, to sail the 14-night “The Mekong: from Laos to China” expedition. This four-country expedition will visit Laos, Thailand, Burma and China, with highlights including the ancient Laos capital of Luang Prabang, visits to tribal villages and national parks, and simply experiencing the dramatic and wild river itself.
The double decked vessel will be 45 metres long and designed to meet the navigational challenges of shooting the rapids in the Laos gorges. At the same time, it will have the shallow draft to enable year-round passage across Yunnan into China.
Prices for the 10-night Laos Mekong cruise, featuring the new RV Sabei Pandaw ship, start from US$4,200pp, based on twin-share. Prices for the 14-night The Mekong: from Laos to China cruise, start from US$6,808.50pp based on twin-share. The cruise price includes local transfers, entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water. International flights are additional.
Pandaw Founder, Paul Strachan believes that of all the Pandaw rivers the Upper Mekong is the most exciting, “There can be no waterborne experience to match sailing through Laos. The fast river with its continual spate of white water, the jungle clad peaks, the gorges; then there is the friendly welcome in every village, the ethnic diversity and the cultural riches. Traversing the remotest parts of four very different countries you see all of South-East Asia, lost and timeless”.
For reservations and more information, go to www.pandaw.com or contact your local travel specialist.