The Mergui Archipelago

The Mergui Archipelago

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The Mergui Archipelago with its 800 islands is one of those areas that remain almost totally unvisited by foreigners. Though now some live-a-board dive boats and yachts venture with special permission into the southern islands from their bases in Thailand, the bulk of the archipelago has remained unvisited since colonial times. During that period when the archipelago was first charted most of the islands were named after colonial civil servants, a number retain these quaint names to this day.

The local population is Mokkein, often called sea gypsies and sometimes called pirates. During the Burmese socialist period the Mokkein controlled the smuggling routes and would prey on shipping. Nowadays they have reverted to fishing and fish curing. They are a people with their own language and culture who entirely live on the sea and have evolved a remarkable way of life. We will visit Mokkein islands such as Lampi in the Sullivan Islands.

The ship carries kayaks and snorkelling equipment for free use.

Please note: There is no credit card machine available on the Andaman Explorer due to connectivity issues. Please bring USD cash to settle your on board bill at the end of the cruise.

Please note: This expedition requires a sufficient level of fitness and agility to climb in and out of tenders from the ship and at shore. There may be rough water which can challenge those with limited mobility.

Trip Name
The Mergui Archipelago
Vessel Type: Small Ship Passenger Capacity: 20 Lenght: 61 meters Built/Refurbished: 1963/2017 The Andaman Explorer was built as the MV Atlantic Guard in 1963 in Norway as a Norwegian coast guard vessel. She is 61 meters long with her original Rolls Royce engines. The hull is built to 'ice class' with extra thick plates and she has the power to withstand north Atlantic storms or chases out to sea. Very handy when cruising in tropical waters! She retired from coast guard duties in 1998 and was acquired by one Doctor Bogazzi, an Italian oligarch whose family owns the Carrara marble quarries. Dr Bogazzi lavished many a million on the ship, now renamed the MY Marina, completely refitting her with eleven very generous suites. Much of the ship is floored with Carrara marble, pleasantly cool under foot for those who go unshod. In recent times she has belonged to a powerful shipping family based in Dubai who maintained the ship to a very high standard. She has now arrived in Thailand and under going redecoration in the Pandaw Style so the photos of the interiors we show here are as she is now and not as she will be when we have finished with her. The Andaman Explorer really is a sixties classic. The sort of plaything associated with Onassis, Jackie Kennedy and more glamorous times. There could be no vessel more appropriate for the exploration of South-East Asia's unknown coasts. Please note: There is no credit card machine available on the Andaman Explorer due to connectivity issues. Please bring USD cash to settle your on board bill at the end of the cruise. ACCOMMODATION • 10 generously proportioned suites (9 x Double and 1 x Twin) with separate sitting room area • Private bathrooms • Carrara marble floors • Saloon • Dining room • Two teak observation decks • Kimonos and slippers • Spa-branded amenities • Unlimited mineral water • Electric mini safe • Imported quality linens with duvet and two kind of pillows • Premium mattresses • Convertible bed configuration • Welcome flower arrangement and welcome gift • Mirror • Multi-configuration plugs • Generous closet space and under-bed storage • Hair dryer • Daily nightly turndown service • 24hr laundry service • Yoga mats in all cabins WINING & DINING • Local master chef heading an experienced international culinary team • Personalized meal services • Daily lean & light menu options • Complimentary coffee, water, tea, soft drinks, local beer, local spirits, juices • Extensive wine list with premium wines • Welcome drink on arrival • Welcome cocktail • Farewell reception • Theme dinners • Open air lounge and bar • Indoor dining room with outside seating and air-conditioning inside • 24hrs hospitality bar ON EXCURSIONS • Two RIB (rigid hull inflatable boat) tenders • Admissions • Shoe cleaning after excursions • Bottled drinking water • We give away aluminium water bottles • Cold towel service after excursions • Refreshing drink following excursions • Private guide and transportation for all excursions SAFETY & SECURITY • All on-board crew is trained and certified as per international marine standards • Fire alarm system in all cabins, public areas and back areas • Firefighting system in all ship areas • Expert marine superintendent • 24 hrs watch on duty • 61 metres long • Original Rolls Royce engines • Ice class hull


Passengers embark at the border port of Kawthaung. After lunch explore the town of Kawthaung and surrounding area. Sail on evening or morning tide.
Sail on to Naung Wee island to visit a Moken (sea gipsy) village and learn about their extraordinary water bourn life. Sail all night.
Sail all day north through the archipelago with a stop to swim and snorkel and explore ashore on an island of interest.
Day 4 - DAY 4 MERGUI
All day ashore to explore this fascinating colonial port city. Afternoon voluntary trip by car to the rarely visited town of Tanintharyi (Tenasserim), once capital of this region.
Morning sail to Port Maria to visit the Karen communities there. Swimming and snorkeling off a desert island in the afternoon. Sail all night.
Visit the Lampi Marine National Park with its mangrove forests and diverse bird life including the hornbill. We go up river by kayak deep into the mangroves with excellent bird watching and return to the beach to swim or snorkel. Afternoon visit to Mokkein sea gypsy villages.
Sail to Cockscomb Island with its limestone caves and hidden lagoon accessible only on the ship’s tenders. In the afternoon we will move round to the South Bay where we can kayak and swim off pristine white sandy beaches and watch the sun go down as cocktails are served on the beach.
Arrive at Kawthaung in the morning and disembark for your onward journey.
Day 9 - Please Note:
The voyage plan shown here is very much a rough sketch and subject to daily changes depending on weather, pilot's instructions and local permissions. We can assure that it will be varied and interesting. The ship carries two Zodiac tenders so we can make various unscheduled expeditions to the islands, beaches and into the coastal ports.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type


    • Explore the town of Kawthaung and surrounding areas
    • Sail on to Naung Wee island to visit a Moken (sea gipsy) village
    • Visit the Lampi Marine National Park