Specifications of Andaman Explorer
|Year built||1963 / Age: 57|
|Builder||Mjellem & Karlsen Verft (Bergen, Norway)|
|Owner||Paul Strachan (owner of Pandaw Expeditions)|
|Speed||13 kn / 24 kph / 15 mph|
|Length (LOA)||61 m / 200 ft|
|Beam (width)||10 m / 33 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||1090 gt|
|Decks with cabins||3|
|Former names||MS Marina, Atlantic Guard|
Andaman Explorer Review
Review of Andaman Explorer
MS Andaman Explorer cruise ship was purchased by Pandaw River Cruises at the end of 2015. This 22-passenger luxury yacht started operations for Pandaw in June 2016. Since 2019, the luxury vessel (still Pandaw-owned) no longer operates cruises. You can read what Pandaw's owner Paul Strachan shared in early-2017 (about the ship's initial technical and logistic difficulties) at Andaman Explorer's CruiseMinus page.
In 2017-2019, for Pandaw, Andaman Explorer offered Southeast Asia coastal cruises visiting ports in Indonesia and Burma (Myanmar). The ship was launched in 1963 (under the name "Atlantic Guard"). It was designed as Norwegian Coast Guard vessel with an ice-strengthened hull and ice-class capabilities. It was most recently owned by a Dubai shipping company and operated under the name MS Marina. Before that, in 1998 the ship was acquired by an Italian oligarch family Malaspina that owns marble quarries in Carrara. This is the reason why an 11-suite cruise ship is floored with Carrara marble and fitted with many other premium amenities.
After being bought by Pandaw Expeditions' owner (Paul Strachan), the ship was repositioned from Dubai to Rangoon / Yangon, where was redecorated and refurbished. The full refit was completed in 2017. In 2019, when the ship stopped running cruises for Pandaw (with no plans to run it again yet), its flag-state / registry was changed from Cayman Islands (MMSI 319729000) to Panama (current MMSI 370620000).
The yacht Andaman Explorer has a total of 11 staterooms, all of which are categorized as suites. Each cabin has a sitting room, separate bedroom, marble bathroom. Amenities include individual air-conditioning, luxury slippers, premium kimonos, unlimited mineral water, hairdryer, multi-configuration power outlets, electronic safe (in the closet), generous wardrobe, plenty of storage space (including under-bed and chest of drawers). Upon boarding, all passengers receive a welcome gift and fresh flowers. The voyage ends with a classy farewell party. The ship provides 24-hour laundry and nightly turndown service.
Andaman Explorer cruise itineraries are in Southeast Asia and the Mergui Archipelago, with Indonesian cruises from Bali and visits to Lombok, Pulau Sumbawa Island, Pulau Komodo Island and Pulau Flores Island. Another itinerary set offers voyages between Ranong (Thailand) and Rangoon (Burma), stopping at the Mergui Archipelago and Moulmein (Mawlamyine). Signature destinations include Lampi Marine National Park (mangrove forests, birds), Naung Wee Island (Moken / gipsy village visit), Nga Man Islands (beaches, trekking, snorkelling), Kyun Pila Island (South Bay/kayaking, swimming, beaches).
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
Shipboard amenities include 2 teak observation decks, bar, library, small shop, Jacuzzi. Wi-Fi is free of charge. Meals are served in an air-conditioned dining room restaurant, as well as on the outdoor open-air lounge. A local chef prepares a variety of gourmet meals with lighter options. Water, tea, coffee, juices, soft drinks, local beers and spirits are complimentary. Passengers can also order from Pandaw's list of premium wines. The ship also features Fitness (Gym Room), aft Sun Deck and forward Observation Deck.
Shore excursions are also cruise price inclusive. Pandaw's shore program offers tours of villages and museums led by private guides. On all tours, bottled water and transportation are provided. After each excursion, passengers are welcomed back onboard with a cocktail drink, shoeshine and cold towel service.
Pandaw's clientele consists mainly of 50+-year-old travellers from the UK, USA, Germany, Australia.
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