R/V Mekong Pandaw’s low draft allows for the ship to travel 100 kilometres further up the Mekong River than any other passenger vessel. The new itinerary now goes as far as the picturesque French colonial river port of Kratie, from where passengers can travel by local transport into the habitat of the Mekong’s dolphin population.
In addition to the Mekong dolphin, passengers will have the opportunity to enjoy local villages, markets, churches, temples, the vast Mekong Delta, Phnom Penh, the Tonle River, and Kratie.
The Mekong dolphins are very significant spiritually to the local population; however, they are also among the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s critically endangered list with less than 100 left in the river. Pandaw’s dolphin-watching activities are all coordinated with the various conservation charities working in the area.
Outline of the Classic Mekong itinerary:
Day 1 - Saigon to My Tho and embark the R/V Mekong Pandaw.
Day 2 - Explore Sa Dec market on an excursion by sampan.
Day 3 - Visit Cham tribal village and a cat fish farm at Chau Doc.
Day 4 - Full day in Phnom Penh; visits include the Royal Palace and national museum.
Day 5 - Venture up the Tonle River to a silver-making village.
Day 6 - Cruise to the charming colonial port of Kratie.
Day 7 - Observe the Mekong dolphin in the protected national park.
Day 8 - Transfer from Kampong Cham to Siem Reap.
The Mekong dolphins can also be observed on Pandaw’s three- and four-night short cruises operating from July to March from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, and vice versa.
This story orginnally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.