A New Pandaw Vessel Launched in Burma

David Pettitt

We recently received confirmation of the long-awaited news from Pandaw that they have launched their latest ship – the Kalaw Pandaw. Excitingly, the Kalaw Pandaw is a true expedition vessel, designed with an extremely shallow draft of just 80cm which allows the boat to travel far up the Chindwin and also high up the Irrawaddy the year round. Uniquely, this will be the only river cruise ship currently able to do this in the country. Smaller than the other Pandaw vessels, the Kalaw Pandaw will only have two decks and twenty deluxe staterooms which, for us, is another big selling point. The boat is expected to commence operations this coming summer.

View of the Irrawaddy River at Bagan in Myanmar

The addition of the Kalaw Pandaw opens up many further interesting possibilities – whether it’s following the Chindwin north of Monywa towards Mawlaik and Homalin (an area considerably under-explored and difficult to reach by road and air) or north-east from Mandalay on the Irrawaddy towards Katha, Bhamo and the mountains of the north. Using Mandalay as a post-cruise base, it will still be possible to include many of the country’s best known sites with Maymyo and Hsipaw a short road or rail journey away and Bagan, Kalaw and InleLake a quick flight. For the more adventurous continue to Keng Tung and cross the Shan Hills to neighbouring Thailand. Once over the border you can stay, should you wish, at the fabulous Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort and learn, amongst other things, to be a mahout!