Travelling between Vietnam’s Mekong Delta and Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, our cruise on the Mekong River on board the intimate RV Bassac Pandaw is one of the stand-out highlights of our tours of Vietnam and Cambodia departing from the UK. This three-night luxury Mekong cruise is a great way to travel between these two countries. With old-world beauty and a special onboard ambience, the pace is slow, allowing plenty of time to absorb the spectacular natural landscapes, whilst taking in the small riverside towns and the wonderful local wildlife too.
RV Bassac Pandaw
The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, was established by Scottish merchants in 1865 and by the 1920s was the largest privately-owned fleet of ships in the world. The RV Bassac is one of the original P-class ships of the Pandaw fleet, built by Yarrows of Glasgow in the late 1940s to replace the ships of the old Irrawaddy Flotilla Company lost in the war. Now beautifully re-designed and hand-finished in brass and teak by local craftsmen, the RV Bassac Pandaw is traditionally-styled with a colonial era charm that reflects the original 1930s design.
The ship has a broad beam and an ultra-shallow draft which allows it to travel to remote areas, unreachable by other passenger-carrying vessels.
Staterooms on board the RV Bassac Pandaw combine combine colonial-era character with added contemporary comforts. Situated on the main deck and upper deck, the staterooms are finished in brass and teak and are a spacious 168 square feet (15.6 sqm). All staterooms are outside cabins, with direct access to the promenade deck, via panoramic French windows. Kimonos and slippers are provided, and the private en suite shower room has spa-branded amenities.
Life on board
Life on board the RV Bassac Pandaw is mostly enjoyed al fresco. With 360 degree promenade decks and plenty of quiet spots to be discovered, both the Promenade and Observation decks, made of polished teak, have comfortable lounging chairs where guests can sit and watch from a great vantage point as life goes by on one of the great rivers of Asia. As you slowly journey along the Mekong towards Cambodia there are several opportunities to join off-ship excursions, along with a number of onboard activities including a cultural performance, all designed to immerse guests within the region and the lives of the people who call the Mekong Delta their home.
Service throughout is attentive and caring, yet unobtrusive.
Dining on board the RV Bassac Pandaw is a relaxed, casual affair with a great choice of local cuisine and international favourites, all cooked with locally-sourced supplies where possible. Breakfast is served buffet-style, while lunch features a buffet, plus soup, salads and a dessert table. Dinner is by waiter-service at the table, and the team of talented chefs are always happy to cater to any dietary requirements. There is an extensive wine list, and whether you’d like an exotic cocktail or a chilled local beer, there’s something to suit all tastes.