RV Katha Pandaw arrives in Varanasi
The Katha Pandaw reached Varanasi last week sailing fourteen nights up the Ganges from Kolkata covering nearly 1000 km. It was a great moment for all on board to sail past the river ghats of this the world’s oldest city.
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The Upper Ganges River
Kolkata – Varanasi
members from US$4,464
Embark at either Kolkata or Varanasi and set sail on an extraordinary 14-night journey on the Upper Ganges River. The much-loved Katha Pandaw will become your home whilst you visit over 20 towns and villages. Places of sacred importance, battlefields, working villages, the world’s largest opium factory and the famous Bihar School of Yoga are just some of the places you will experience before disembarking at Varanasi or Kolkata.
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This was a radical new design, based on the old K class used in Burma from the 1880s on. This ship is the third Katha to run on the Irrawaddy. The first was built at Dalla in 1887 but lost on the Chindwin in 1889. The second was built by Denny of Dumbarton in 1904 and decommissioned in 1937 and the third was built by us in Vietnam in 2012.
We ran her a year on the Mekong before sending to Burma. With only two decks these smaller K class ships have lower air draft so can get under bridges and supposedly a shallower draft, though in fact the Vietnam ship yards were not as successful in achieving this as the Burmese yards and later Burmese-built K class ships achieved remarkable reductions in draft.
The Katha general arrangement was radical in that we eliminated the formal indoor dining room. This led to great protests from regular passengers and indeed our staff. In the end all agree it is far more pleasant to eat outside than in a stuffy, noisy enclosed dining room and the bugs are really not that bad. Up river in Burma it can be a little cold in winter but currently we deploy this ship in Middle Burma where the cold is less of an issue.
Refitted for expedition sailings in India from September 2019, we have reduced the number of staterooms from sixteen to fourteen to create an enlarged indoor saloon / dining area as winter cruising in India can be chilly first thing.
The ship has quality mountain bikes for your independent exploration.