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Boutique river company Pandaw has deployed an additional ship, the RV Kha Byoo Pandaw to cruise the remote Upper Irrawaddy region.

With only 10 cabins, the 10-night expedition cruise will sail from Pagan to Mandalay past the old capitals of Royal Mandalay into the dramatic scenery of the Upper Irrawaddy.

The educational cruises are suitable for families as children under 18 years of age travel free and there is no single supplement for solo travellers.

The Kha Byoo Pandaw built in 2016 has five staterooms in the upper deck and five on the main deck. All staterooms are 16sq m and finished in teak and brass.  The ship has a library and mountain bikes.

Departing from Pagan, the ship will cruise past the confluence of the Chindwin River and call at Yandabo village, famous for its production of terracotta pottery made from the riverbank clay.

It will then call at Amarapura, visiting Bagaya Kyaung, the 200-yeat old royal monastery made of teak with elaborate carvings before arriving in  Kyauk-Myoung where the spectacular, huge water pots are handmade.

The cruise will then visit Khanyat village and visit the monasteries and climb the Pagoda Hill to take in the stunning views of the Upper Irrawaddy River before sailing to the colonial town of Katha, the setting for George Orwell’s days in old Burma. Little has changed since. There will be an excursion to an elephant logging camp in the hardwood forests of the hills.

The ship will then cruise through the 2nd Defile, the most dramatic of the three gorges with cliffs towering over the narrow river. The cruise will also call at the ancient city of Tagaung and Mingun to see the largest working bell in the world before reaching Mandalay.

Prices start from US$3780. Visit www.pandaw.com