7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was chosen as way to see the more rural side of Vietnam and Cambodia and did not disappoint. In fact it went way beyond our expectations. The itinerary is new with many small villages visited, often being transported by local ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as way to see the more rural side of Vietnam and Cambodia and did not disappoint. In fact it went way beyond our expectations. The itinerary is new with many small villages visited, often being transported by local tuk tuk, ox cart or horse cart.The excursions are varied and well run, with a lot of local content , including making pots, basket weaving, cooking pancakes and planting trees. My highlight was one of our 2 school visits and sitting with a 12 year old student, in his open air classroom helping with his lessons. The amenities and space on board were truly amazing. Our cruise was about half full but even if is was at capacity you would never feel crowded. There is space and quiet when needed and a wonderful cocktail hour to mix with others. We dined with everyone on board at at various times during the week and the dining experience was always exceptional. The meals were varied with a lot of local dishes to try and beautifully presented. Lastly, the crew went above and beyond to ensure our safety and the enjoyment of all on board. Be ready for the crew/guest dance on the last night! I genuinely recommend this cruise and can’t wait to try another adventure with Pandaw. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I have never been on a cruise before but wanted to do a river cruise in Asia. I saw the other reviews about this ship and decided that I should give it a try. I was not disappointed! Everything about the cruise vastly exceeded my ... Read More
I have never been on a cruise before but wanted to do a river cruise in Asia. I saw the other reviews about this ship and decided that I should give it a try. I was not disappointed! Everything about the cruise vastly exceeded my expectations: the room, the excursions, the guides, the food, and, most importantly, the staff. I was expecting a smaller-sized room, but was pleasantly surprised to find a room that was relatively big, with plenty of space to put away clothes. The bathroom was very decently sized and the water pressure in the shower was excellent. Opening your door at any time of the day and looking at the Mekong River truly was awe-inspiring. Even though the rooms had exterior doors, the way the ship was laid out resulted in very little outside foot traffic and noise. There were two excursions that were given on most days, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. All were great and our leaders in Vietnam and Cambodia were friendly, knowledgeable and professional. Head counts were taken at all tours to make sure that all persons were accounted for! The tours were varied in nature and were all enjoyable. Having never been to either Cambodia or Vietnam before, I learned a lot at each tour. All of us soon got used to the post-excursion Pandaw regimen upon return to the ship: taking off your shoes to be cleaned by the Pandaw staff; given hand sanitizer; given a wonderfully-scented cold towel; and being given an ever-changing delicious cold beverage! The food was uniformly excellent. I truly enjoyed the mix of Asian and Western dishes and did my best to sample all. Standouts, however, were the Asian breakfasts, the banana crepes that we had one night for dessert and, yes, the Blue Cheese. In fact, there were a number of persons who commented (and me being one of them) that the Blue Cheese they served was some of the best that they had ever sampled. But far and away the best thing about the cruise was the staff. Simply put, they were all incredible! All were polite, professional, but most importantly, personable. By the time the cruise was over, I felt that most of them were friends rather than staff who were looking after me. I went out of my way to tell Brian, the cruise manager, how good of a job Pandaw did in their hires. There was another cruise ship that moored next to us when we were at Phnom Penh. I asked if I could have a quick look of the ship. Yes, it was a bit spiffy. But in a heartbeat, I felt that I made the right decision in taking the Pandaw cruise. I went to thank all with Pandaw for making this possibly the best vacation I have ever taken!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Quite a long coach trip to reach the boat, but a packed lunch was provided - which was adequate, there was also a short comfort break where you could buy snacks or souvenirs if you wished to. Embarkation was smooth and well prepared and ... Read More
Quite a long coach trip to reach the boat, but a packed lunch was provided - which was adequate, there was also a short comfort break where you could buy snacks or souvenirs if you wished to. Embarkation was smooth and well prepared and the staff were very helpful. The cabin was excellent - all facilities as advertised, and plenty of room. Dining room could accommodate several different sized tables, we opted for a table for two, but others wanted to sit at a table for 6 - food was very good, especially as I had a gluten free requirement, which was catered for - including producing fresh rice bread at several meal times. The cocktail hour, with a different featured cocktail each night, was also good, and we gradually got to know the other passengers on board during this - a lovely mix of people, which also helped make the experience memorable. Each day we had two excursions ashore - which were fairly varied, and all were enjoyable and informative. Loved Cambodia, and Vietnam, and really enjoyed meeting the school children in Cambodia who were very enthusiastic students. The crew were very helpful and welcoming and nothing was too much trouble - Would recommend this cruise to anyone thinking of cruising from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City (Siagon). Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Our Mekong cruise with Pandaw exceeded our expectations. This ship was very comfortable, the food was very good and quite plentiful, the guides were knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and the staff was just superlative. I left my coat on ... Read More
Our Mekong cruise with Pandaw exceeded our expectations. This ship was very comfortable, the food was very good and quite plentiful, the guides were knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and the staff was just superlative. I left my coat on the van that took us from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, and Pandaw tracked it down and sent it to me, with excellent communication. This would be a surprise from many companies, but after the wonderful service we experienced on our cruise, I wasn't a bit surprised. Weve been on top cruise lines, especially Seabourn, so our standards have been raised considerably. Pandaw suited us just fine. Book with confidence that you made a good choice. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
As we worked more than 30 years for international organizations, we have been frequent travelers all our life, but this travel was really a highlight. This travel started at Ho Chi Minh city and ended at Siem Rep in Cambodia. The ... Read More
As we worked more than 30 years for international organizations, we have been frequent travelers all our life, but this travel was really a highlight. This travel started at Ho Chi Minh city and ended at Siem Rep in Cambodia. The entire cruise included daily shore excursions with small boat tours, great buses to reach other places, horses and cows carts,etc., and always excellent guides explaining absolutely everything you wanted to know. Entertainment was fantastic too: local traditional music and dances shows in the evening, marionettes spectacle, local musicians, etc. Disembarkation in every place (including spontaneous spots discovered on the way) was really amazing: in minutes, an absolute secure bridge to the coast was built, including side protections, hand rails, and a row of staff helping gently to safely walk down. The boat is so nice, well equipped, comfortable. The food exceptionally good (we are expert cooks ourselves...and we learned a lot!!). The staff in the boat, ALL, were really exceptionally good, friendly, efficient… and any good thing additionally you can think about!! SUMMARY: All in all, just perfect!!! There is absolutely nothing that we could criticize negatively. The contrary, just congratulations to Pandaw for a fantastic cruise!!! Every day was a new enjoyable journey, and we were sad to leave the boat at the end of our travel... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
I have recently returned from the Pandaw Cruises trip between Siem Reap in Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam on the RV Mekong Pandaw. It is impossible to highlight one particular service or event as they do it all so brilliantly. ... Read More
I have recently returned from the Pandaw Cruises trip between Siem Reap in Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam on the RV Mekong Pandaw. It is impossible to highlight one particular service or event as they do it all so brilliantly. From the roomy cabin on a limited passenger river boat to the fine dining and casual luxury, it is just magic. All land tours during the cruise are escorted with options for pre and post cruise tour options, leisurely paced and very well presented. Of course, you can just sit back and do nothing if that's what you want. If you're in the mood for a trip on a luxury river boat in SE Asia I highly recommend Pandaw Cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
We chose this cruise because we had been on 2 previous river Asian cruises with Pandaw and they are certainly the best for Asian river cruising. We were met at Mandalay and taken to our hotel for the previous night to embarking on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had been on 2 previous river Asian cruises with Pandaw and they are certainly the best for Asian river cruising. We were met at Mandalay and taken to our hotel for the previous night to embarking on the ship, well organised and good accommodation there. As usual they welcomed us on board the ship with their wide smiles and taken care of as far as our luggage and safety was concerned - they are very caring and from all three trips with them we have never met any staff who were not friendly or caring down to the tiniest detail of making sure you didn't step the wrong way or that you may have had a sore leg and they took extra care of anyone elderly - very caring. Cabins are great, all that you need with extras added every day and great service to your cabins and in the dining and lounge area. Shore excursions were wonderful, taking you to places unvisited before, which is a real treat to see how the communities work and live in these villages. The food is fantastic, just too much to choose from and tasting the local dishes on board each day is great too. The entertainment was all that we could ask for. The ships are smaller, but this adds to the experience as the crew become your friends, as you get to know all of them personally. Pandaw has been the only ones we have come across that make sure you take water with you each time you leave the boat, clean your shoes when you get back on and greet you with a lovely cool drink and face cloth and of course a smile. Recommend Pandaw as the best for Asian river cruising. Can't say enough good words for them. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2014
Our expectations have been exceeded by far: the RV Mekong Pandaw is an absolute lovely and comfortable boat, ex- and interior fits perfect to Vietnam and Cambodia, without jeopardizing any comfort. The entire vessel has just been complete ... Read More
Our expectations have been exceeded by far: the RV Mekong Pandaw is an absolute lovely and comfortable boat, ex- and interior fits perfect to Vietnam and Cambodia, without jeopardizing any comfort. The entire vessel has just been complete refitted, large rooms in teak wood, comfortable beds, all clean and tidy. If we understood correct, they have reduced the number of cabins (which other cruise line does that?). The almost entire lower deck is a generous public space with a large gym, movie room, a lounge-style library and full equipped massage rooms. On the upper deck the boats has a cozy saloon bar + a huge sundeck (with free ice cream all day). All, meals, beverages (including alcoholic), excursion was included - no hassle or anyone trying to sell you anything during the cruise. While the boat looks like it dates back from French Indochina times, they have WI-Fi in all cabins and provide even programmed Ipads; keeping you always updated on the upcoming excursions, route, program, menus etc and free use of internet We had some concerns, we are in our 30/40s, and feared we might be by far the youngest couple – but no. Fellow travelers of all ages and we counted 7 different nationalities. We all had common interest and so much fun and interesting conversations. During the cruise we had enough opportunities to escape the “crowd”, like a private table for dinner when we requested it (we celebrated our anniversary) and in Phnom Penh you can choose from a variety of excursions (all included in the price). I went to take a lesson in Khmer boxing at a local boxing school (what an experience!), my wife took the cooking classes at a local training center for underprivileged children. But what made this cruise so very special was the service provided! Service, food and the ship managers where outstanding. Nothing was too much, all done with a smile. All a very causal 6 star experience without being stiff and formal. Their Chef is a local master Chef and was always available in the dining room to explain or take special orders. Neville, the ship manager, is a super star! But even their ground staff! We had booked through an agent and had some issue with our onwards journey after the cruise. The Pandaw head office assisted us with all and rerouted our flights and amended our hotel stays. We had the vacation of a lifetime! My advice: Book direct with Pandaw, they are extremely helpful.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2014
This cruise from near Ho Chi Minh City to Kampong Cham was part of the Viking Magnificent Mekong tour. By comparison with European cruise ships, Tonle Pandaw is a boutique experience. The cabins are well-designed and comfortable, with ... Read More
This cruise from near Ho Chi Minh City to Kampong Cham was part of the Viking Magnificent Mekong tour. By comparison with European cruise ships, Tonle Pandaw is a boutique experience. The cabins are well-designed and comfortable, with excellent storage. The dining room is a good size and the food overall was excellent. The sundeck is a delight, especially in the afternoons and evenings when a river breeze cools the passengers, and has its own bar and restroom. The downstairs meeting room is functional for movies and talks. The staircases are rather narrow and especially up to the sundeck are steep. The crew all provide excellent service. Internet access can be rather patchy unless close to the server in the Saloon Bar. I found the excursions interesting throughout but they can definitely be a culture shock for unwary Westerners. Only people with good mobility and health should attempt this cruise, unless they are happy to stay on board and not get to the sundeck, movies, talks and excursions. Getting off the boat can be a struggle at times due to steep banks and lack of formal staircases. The company – a mix of Americans, British, Canadians and us two Aussies – was very amiable. Tummy bugs were rife and our Tour Director kept telling us to avoid the salad and ice – just eat hot, cooked food and drink bottled water. This cruise was part of a longer tour that began in Ho Chi Minh City and ended in Hanoi. Best part was actually Angkor and the temples. We did an extension to beautiful Ha Long Bay. I loved Hanoi too, a mix of French and Vietnamese. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2014
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. I preferred the relaxed atmosphere on the boat, there was no pressure to dress up and compete for seats at the captains table. The food was excellent, varied and plentiful. We were provided with three ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. I preferred the relaxed atmosphere on the boat, there was no pressure to dress up and compete for seats at the captains table. The food was excellent, varied and plentiful. We were provided with three meals a day and it was more than I needed but so delicious that I could not resist! There was entertainment provided in the evenings, sometimes films and sometimes live performances. During the day we were given a class on spring roll making and a demonstration of fruit carving, which seemed very difficult. There were three excursions available while we were on board. All were very interesting and I was glad that I attended them. I must say that they were also varied as we went to a floating market, a Cham village, a sweet making establishment a street market and the Lovers House. Our cabin was very comfortable and had plenty of room for suitcases and other belongings. One comment that I would have is that there were no brighter lights in either the bathroom or the bedroom and this made removing and inserting my contact lenses rather difficult. Disembarkation was very easy. We were transferred by coach to a hotel in Saigon and we dispersed from there. All in all we had a fabulous trip and are enquiring about cruising with Pandaw on the Irrawaddy next January. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2010
We have taken many cruises all over the world, but we particularly like river cruises, and we LOVE cruising with Pandaw. We have taken 3 Asian river cruises with Pandaw in the past 5 years, and have thoroughly enjoyed each one. The Mekong ... Read More
We have taken many cruises all over the world, but we particularly like river cruises, and we LOVE cruising with Pandaw. We have taken 3 Asian river cruises with Pandaw in the past 5 years, and have thoroughly enjoyed each one. The Mekong River was our first experience with Pandaw, and it got us hooked. Everything about this trip was wonderful: the fabulous, personable, ever-attentive staff, the casual atmosphere on board, the very comfortable cabins, the leisurely pace. All of our creature comforts were met, the food was creative and delicious, and we especially liked the all-inclusive arrangement for cocktails. It was a spectacularly scenic cruise, and guides took groups on 2 daily excursions into local villages. The Killing Fields in Cambodia were heart-breaking but a must-see, and Siem Reap was a lovely end to the cruise. We highly recommend that everyone stay longer and tour the magnificent Angkor Wat. All-in-all, this cruise exceeded our expectations, and we look forward to taking more with Pandaw. Read Less
Mekong Pandaw Ratings
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