SINGAPORE, 30 April 2024: Starting this September, passengers on Pandaw’s Mekong expeditions will embark and disembark directly in downtown Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), a luxury river cruise company announced this week.

The change cuts out the two-hour bus journey to and from the ship’s previous homeport at My Tho and provides a more authentic experience for passengers as the river ship sails along the historic Cho Gao Canal. 

In other recent updates  the Mekong expeditions feature the launch of an upgraded onboard spa brand and  enhanced cabin decor and facilities. The river cruise operator has also confirmed its ships will go plastic-free also effective this September.

Bookings are open for Mekong River expedition cruises for the 2024/25 sailing season. To reserve a cabin, visit or contact [email protected]

The historic Cho Gao Canal 

The Cho Gao canal route is 28.5 km, passing through Chau Thanh District (Long An) and four district-level administrative units of Tien Giang: Cho Gao, Go Cong, Go Cong Tay and My Tho. The French colonial administration commissioned the canal and conscripted more than 11,000 workers. The canal opened in 1876, creating a busy waterway connecting the Tien and Vam Co rivers. Today, further mega restoration projects have enhanced the canal’s role as an important waterway to transport goods between the centre of Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong River delta port town of My Tho, 86 km southwest of Ho Chi Minh City.

Every day, about 1,500 to 2,000 barges and river ships carrying construction materials, agricultural products, and cargo containers ply the important canal, which has been undergoing improvements since 2012. These improvements make it feasible for luxury river cruise ships to pass through the canal safely to My Tho, the capital of Tien Giang Province. 

For years, the inland port of My Tho in the Mekong River Delta was the starting point for river cruises exploring the Mekong River to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Following improvements to Cho Gao Canal, river cruises can now start in earnest in central Ho Chi Minh City rather than taking road transport to My Tho, a two-hour drive away.

Classic Mekong
Seven nights
From USD3,358 per person

For more information visit.


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