Like her twin sister ship Kindat, the Kalaw Pandaw was originally built and launched in Yangon in 2014 and boasts an ultra light, shallow draft design ideal for sailing the silty waters of the River Ganges’ lower stretches along the Hooghly River, and an elegant air reminiscent of the bygone days of the British Raj.
Despite her 36 passenger capacity, the double-decked ship doesn’t feel crowded at all, indeed the boat features one of the highest passenger space ratios on India’s rivers. Her two ample decks mean there is lots of outdoor deck space to enjoy, and her 18 cabins—10 main deck cabins and 8 upper deck cabins— are all generously sized, each measuring 170 square feet (16 square meters) and include plenty of closet space and under-bed storage, kimonos and slippers, spa-branded amenities, yoga mats and panoramic French windows.
Quite literally named after the historic paddle steamer PS Kalaw that was launched in 1917 and sunk in 1942 in the War—her owner witnessed the salvaging of the Kalaw in 1998 and managed to acquire her name plate and bell, the former of which the vessel now features—she is no longer sports a paddle or steam power, but still resembles upscale versions of the colonial-style ships of the past, all decked out in teak and brass, and her Sun Deck does come aptly adorned in steamer chairs, the perfect spot to settle in with an afternoon G&T and watch the world float by.
She also features a guest relation desk, library with contemporary and classic literature, and a flexible bistro space offering passengers indoor (air-conditioned) or outdoor dining depending on inclination, often prompted by the season. Breakfast and lunch are semi buffet-style, while dinners are served and often themed, all prepared by the master chef who heads an experienced international culinary team.
Her seven night round-trip journey from Kolkata takes visitors on a voyage through the rich history and lush countryside of West Bengal to discover places that the average traveler wouldn’t ordinarily get to see. Meandering through some of the prettiest parts of deepest India, stop off to walk through mustard fields and mango orchards, explore sleepy villages and traditional towns, and witness some of the most impressive temples and palaces this majestic country has to offer.
Off ship excursions and on board enrichment activities are all focused on engaging with the local culture, religious monuments and rich village life along the banks of one of the world’s most sacred and culturally significant rivers. Take a rickshaw ride to see a unique Shiva temple with concentric rings made up of 108 lesser shrines, visit a brass-working village and history-changing battlefield, learn of the Hare Krishna movement and its connections to Henry Ford, and so much more.
An elegant ship with great attention to detail and interesting cultural experiences, not to mention a generous policy of waiving single supplements on several select sailings throughout the year, it’s no wonder the vessel is as popular with solo passengers and groups of odd-number size as it is with intrepid couples. For all who step aboard the RV Kalaw Pandaw, an eye-opening exploration of rural India along the lower Ganges’ River Hooghly awaits.
Suites & Cabins
The river level cabins of the Main Deck have been delightfully finished in teak and brass, and feature panoramic French windows and an ensuite bathroom with spa-branded amenities and hairdryer. Inviting beds with premium mattresses and linens are convertible between twin and double as desired.
The Upper Deck cabins are slightly fewer in number but equally spacious and well equipped to ensure guests have a comfortable stay. Whichever cabin you choose, guests can expect air conditioning, kimonos and slippers, an electric mini safe, multi-configuration plugs, and generous closet space and under-bed storage, not to mention unlimited mineral water.
- Air conditioning
- Lecture room
- WIFI available
- Kosher Meals
- Medical staff
- Souvenir shop
- Hot showers
- All inclusive
- Charging areas for electronic equipment
- Yoga mats
- Flash lights
- Water canteen/bottle
- Insect repellent