Coming into the Pandaw fleet in 2016, Andaman Explorer began life as a Norwegian coast guard vessel, and was most recently owned by a Dubai shipping family. Before that, it had been acquired in 1998 by an Italian oligarch whose family owns the Carrara marble quarries; the 11-suite ship is currently floored with Carrara marble and other upscale amenities.
Built in 1963, the ship is 200-feet long and outfitted with her original Rolls-Royce engines. As a nod to North Atlantic roots, the hull is built to "ice class," with extra plates and power to withstand rough waters. The ship can accommodate 17 passengers.
There are nine suites -- eight doubles and one twin -- with a separate sitting room area and private bathroom with a shower and Carrara marble floors. Amenities include kimonos and slippers, unlimited mineral water, individual climate controls, an electric minisafe, multi-configuration plugs, generous closet and storage space and a hair dryer. Passengers are greeted with flowers and a welcome gift. There is nightly turndown service and 24-hour laundry.
Onboard amenities include a Jacuzzi, two teak observation decks, a bar, library and small shop. WiFi is free. Meals are served in a dining room with air-conditioned indoor seating and outdoor seating. Passengers are welcomed with a cocktail reception and are sent off with a farewell party. A local chef prepares personalized daily meals with lighter/leaner options. Water, coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer, local spirits and juices are complimentary. Travelers can also order from an extensive list of premium wines.
The ship's itineraries will vary around Southeast Asia's coasts, with Indonesian voyages out of Bali with stops in Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo Islands and Flores, as well as cruises between Ranong, Thailand, and Rangoon, Myanmar (Burma), stopping at the Mergui Archipelago and the old colonial seaport of Mawlamyine (Moulmein).
Excursions include tours of museums and villages. All entry fees are paid. Private guides, transportation and bottled water are provided. After excursions, passengers are treated to a shoeshine, cold towel service and a drink.
Passengers tend to be 50 or older and come from Britain, the United States, Australia and Germany.