Luxury river cruise company Pandaw River Expeditions has announced its newest journey, “Exploring Ancient Arakan,” a seven-night cruise down the Kaladan River in the Rakhine state on the west coast of Myanmar beginning next year. The first company after World War II to offer cruises down the Irrawaddy River, Pandaw has long been an expert at navigating the country’s waters, and this new experience is sure prove an expertly led tour through corners of the country rarely ventured to by outsiders. Formerly the independent Arakan kingdom, the Rakhine’s waterways have made it a cultural crossroads, resulting in its own language, cuisine, and culture that differ from the rest of the country. Passengers depart from Yangon on the first day and fly into the colonial city of Sittwe, where they can explore the markets and waterfront before beginning the trip down the Kaladan River the following day. The ensuing journey is spent exploring various traditional villages that dot the river’s banks: the weaving village of Wabo, the monuments in Mrauk U, the villages further inland where tattoo art still thrives as an ancient tradition, the sacred Buddhist site of Kyautaw. As for the floating accommodations, the two-level, 10-room luxury RV Kaladan Pandaw riverboat is being built this year in and features panoramic French windows and staterooms finished in teak and brass, not to mention amenities including kimonos and slippers, personalized meal services from a local master chef and international culinary team, and cultural performances and classes. The cruise package includes round-trip flights between Yangon and Sittwe as well as English guides, main meals, unlimited beverages, and all associated entrance fees and port dues. The cruise won’t launch until October 2015, but those who book more than 300 days in advance will receive a 10 percent discount.
For more information, visit Pandaw River Expeditions.