LAOS – Upper Mekong – Pandaw Cruise

Embarking on a Pandaw river cruise provides a way to explore remote parts of the 1800 km section of the Mekong that flows through Laos and enables travelers to discover places that the average visitor ordinarily wouldn’t get to see.

Theme

Cruise & River Cruise, Family, Honeymoon, Wellness

Country - City

Laos - Vientiane - Houei Xai

Market segment

Thematic Leisure

Total number of cabins

10-14, depending on the boat

Price Level

$$$$

Description

The Mekong River is one of the world’s great rivers. Covering a distance of nearly 5,000 km from its source on the Tibetan Plateau to the Mekong Delta. Embarking on a Pandaw river cruise provides a way to explore remote parts of the 1800 km section of the Mekong that flows through Laos and enables travelers to discover places that the average visitor ordinarily wouldn’t get to see.

During the 10 day cruise itinerary, interact with the warm and welcoming native people and learn about their way of life in their remote and isolated tribal villages along the riverbanks. Be immersed in the culture and be awe-inspired by the varying, stunning landscapes from lush jungle scenery to mountains, forests, gorges and rapids. Visit working villages, local markets and experience the difference between the French colonial Laos capital of Vientiane, the UNESCO temple city of Luang Prabang and the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar border.

Aboard a specifically designed Pandaw ship, purpose-built for sailing on the Upper Mekong with low draft and extra powerful engines, the staterooms are spacious and come with fresh fruits and flowers on arrival, with staff who go above and beyond to make every stay as comfortable as it can be.

The cruises on the Pandaw riverboats travel both upstream and downstream between Vientiane in Laos and Chiang Khong on the northern Lao-Thai border.

Itineraries:

  • 10 Nights : Chiang Khong to Vientiane / Vientiane to Chiang Khong

Number of cabins

10-14, depending on the boat

Cabin type and Surface

There are 3 Pandaw Cruise ships operating on the Upper Mekong:

RV Champa Pandaw

  • 12 main deck staterooms – 14m²
  • 2 upper deck staterooms – 14m²

RV Laos Pandaw

  • 10 main deck staterooms – 14m²

RV Sabaidee Pandaw

  • 8 main deck staterooms – 16m²
  • 6 upper deck staterooms – 16m²

Notes:

  • Rooms can be set up in a twin (2 single beds) or double configuration (single beds joined)
  • Single bed size: 6’7” x 3’3” (approximately 2m x 1m)
  • Connecting rooms are not available.
  • Extra beds are not available.

Selling points

  • Excellent way to explore the main waterway of northern Laos in style and comfort.
  • Both downstream and upstream itineraries are possible.
  • There are 3 Pandaw boats operating their itineraries, all of the same standards.
  • Itineraries are interesting and have varied activities, including the highlights to ensure that travelers get to experience everything that makes Laos special.
  • The cabins are comfortable and have panoramic French sliding doors to provide the best views from the room.
  • An excellent range of services and amenities are provided for guests to ensure their comfort.

Notes

Facilities

Air Conditioning

Bar

coffee and tea making facilities

Full Board - B/L/D

Hair Dryer

Safety Box

Airport transfer

Complimentary bottle of water

Complimentary fresh towel

Laundry services

Disabled Facilities

No disable access

Restaurant information

Restaurants on the Pandaw Cruise Ships

  • Capacity: 20-28pax, depending on the boat.
  • Opening hours: scheduled meal times.
  • Type of cuisine: Asian and western cuisine.

Pros

  • Excellent way to explore the main waterway of northern Laos in style and comfort.
  • Both downstream and upstream itineraries are possible.
  • Itineraries are interesting and have varied activities, including the highlights to ensure that travelers get to experience everything that makes Laos special.
  • The cabins are comfortable and have panoramic French sliding doors to provide the best views from the room.
  • An excellent range of services and amenities are provided for guests to ensure their comfort.
  • Easy to organize as the supplier takes care of everything.

Cons

  • Fixed itineraries and schedules.
  • Non-refundable 20% deposit to be paid upon booking.
  • Local Easia guide cannot join.
  • English-speaking Pandaw guide only.

Notes

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Prices available on request – we check the dynamic pricing and book directly on their system.
  • There are 3 different boats belonging to Pandaw that operate the same 10-day upstream and downstream itineraries.
  • Detailed itinerary can be found here: https://www.pandaw.com/expeditions/laos-mekong
  • Dates and departures can be found here: https://www.pandaw.com/expeditions/laos-mekong/cruise-dates
  • Sometimes they have special promotions (save xx%, no single supplement, kids go free etc.) so we should always check to get the best price.
  • Alternative cruises with cabins: Mekong Sun, Mekong Pearl, Heritage Line.
  • Booking T&Cs: https://www.pandaw.com/passenger-information/terms-conditions-carriage
    • Cancellations 60 days or less before departure incur a 100% cost.
    • If the cruise has less than 5 cabins filled the departure can be cancelled with notification given 30 days before departure.
    • 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.

CRUISE INCLUSIONS:

  • Entrance fees
  • Guide services (English language)
  • Gratuities to crew
  • Main meals
  • Local mineral water
  • Jugged coffee, teas & tisanes.
  • Transfers Chiang Rai / Chiang Mai to ship and ship to Vientiane.

CRUISE EXCLUSIONS:

  • International flights
  • Port dues (if levied) – this will be added when making the booking
  • Laundry
  • All visa costs
  • Fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions) – this will be added when making the booking
  • All beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes
  • Tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.

OPTIONAL ADD ONS:

  • Free flow drinks package
  • Free flow drinks + wine package

START OF THE ITINERARY – PICK-UP:

  • The downstream itinerary starts on day 1 with pick-up from hotels in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai.
  • Hotel pick-ups from city hotels in Chiang Mai can be as early as 06.00 or as late as 08.00. From Chiang Rai hotels can be as early as 08.30 or as late as 10.00. Timing varies according to the docking place of the Pandaw vessel. A representative will call the traveler on the evening before or leave a message with the hotel to reconfirm the exact pick up time.
  • If the traveler’s arrival is after the above mentioned time Pandaw will pick them up from the airport Chiang Rai (arrival must be before 13.00) or airport Chiang Mai (arrival must be before 13.00) and transfer them to the ship. This transfer will not include any visits to Golden Triangle, Opium House and Lunch due to time limit.
  • The upstream itinerary starts on day 1 with pick-up from hotels and airport in Vientiane.
  • Transfers included from airport or hotel in Vientiane. Pandaw suggests an early morning arrival. Any late arrivals will also be transferred to the ship but the travelers might miss lunch and/or the afternoon excursion. If staying at a city hotel in Vientiane travelers will be picked up between 11.00 and 12.00. The representative will call the travelers on the evening before or leave a message with the hotel to reconfirm the exact pick up time.

END OF THE ITINERARY – DROP-OFF:

  • The downstream itinerary ends on day 11 in Vientiane with a transfer to the airport or hotel.
  • Disembark 08.30 in Vientiane after breakfast followed by transfer to airport or hotel.
  • The upstream itinerary ends on day 11 in Chiang Khong.
  • Disembark by 8.30 in Chiang Khong and group transfer to hotel/airport. En route, there will be visits to the Halls of Opium and the Golden Triangle before continuing to a Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai hotel or airport. Travelers will reach Chiang Rai at 15.30 and Chiang Mai at 17.30

STAFF ON BOARD THE BOATS:

  • Captain
  • River Pilot
  • First Officer
  • Chief Engineer
  • 1st Engineer
  • Electrician
  • Bosun & nautical crew
  • Ship manager
  • Housekeeping
  • Dining
  • Bar keeper
  • Chefs
  • Local tour guides

SAFETY AND SECURITY:

  • All onboard crew are trained and certified as per international marine standards
  • Fire alarm system in all cabins, public areas and back areas
  • Fire fighting system in all ship areas
  • Expert marine superintendent
  • 24 hrs watch on duty

Important notes

BOOKING INFORMATION:

Contact

  • Registered Address: Pandaw Cruises Ltd, 16a Regents Park Road, London, United Kingdom, NW1 7TX, Company Registration No: 04998699
  • Website: www.pandaw.com
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: +84 (0)28 4458 2618 Reservations & Enquiries
  • Phone: +84 (0)98 541 7758 Operations & Emergency

Special Information

STATEROOM LAYOUT:

CHAMPA PANDAW CABIN LAYOUT:

LAOS PANDAW CABIN LAYOUT:

SABAIDEE PANDAW CABIN LAYOUT: