Pandaw cruises the Lower Ganges

BANGKOK, 17 May 2018: Asian riverboat specialist launches its first expedition cruise on the Lower Ganges with prices starting at USD 1890.

Pandaw’s first India river expedition will take guests on an epic journey along The Lower Ganges, aboard the riverboat “Orient Pandaw”.

The seven-night, “Lower Ganges” sailing from Kolkata to Farraka and vice versa, will debut 23 December and will offer weekly departures until the end of April 2019.

It will re-commence in July 2019 through to April 2020.

“We’re delighted to have our own ship positioned in India to offer customers the full Pandaw experience in a totally new destination,” said Pandaw founder, Paul Strachan. “There’s no river in the world as sacred as The Ganges and an expedition on the Lower Ganges (or “Hooghly”) is one of the most picturesque journeys imaginable.”

The ship chosen to take customers on this India expedition, is the pride of the Pandaw fleet, the Orient Pandaw.

Built in Vietnam in 2012 and having seen service in four countries, the Orient Pandaw features 30 staterooms on two decks, all with personal veranda space; indoor dining, a deck bar, a movie and lecture theatre and a spa.

Starting in Kolkata, the upstream itinerary sets sail at noon, passing by the old Danish colony of Serampore to Barrackpore.

On day two, guests will sail up to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950, and visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House of the former Governor-General of French India.

On day three, the ship will land at the country town of Kalna and guests will be taken by cycle rickshaws to see some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples.

On day four, after mooring near the brass-working village of Matiari, guests will make a morning visit to the a charming riverside village, where they can interact with the locals and witness the primitive process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels.

Day five brings a morning walk to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Mughal-style garden that encloses the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah – the last independent Nawab of Bengal – and his family. A little further upstream, guests will reach the great Hazarduari Palace, built by an English architect in 1837 and host to an extensive collection of pictures, china, weapons and other objects.

On the sixth morning, guests will experience rural India at its most idyllic by enjoying a walk through the fields of the sleepy village of Baranagar to visit its three miniature terracotta temples.

Continuing up The Lower Ganges, which transforms into a charming waterway twisting and turning between banks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards, guests will eventually reach a mooring close to the Farakka Barrage.

Finally, on day seven, the ship will cruise to a mooring by the Farakka lock and guests will disembark and go on a full-day excursion by road to Gaur, near the town of Malda, or English Bazar. The group re-joins the ship in the evening above the Farakka lock gate to complete the cruise upstream.

Prices for “The Lower Ganges” itinerary, start from USD 1890 per person, based on two people sharing a cabin and this includes seven nights’ accommodation aboard the Orient Pandaw, local transfers, all excursions as stated on the itinerary, entrance fees, guide services (English language), main meals, jugged coffee, selection of teas and tisanes, local soft drinks, local beer, local spirits, mineral water, tips and cycling equipment. International flights are additional.

Pandaw is the pioneer of boutique river expeditions throughout Southeast Asia offering sailings on remote rivers and coastal routes in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China.