Pandaw Expeditions announced that due to the continuing COVID crisis impacting international travel, the company was closing its operations in Asia (on rivers in India, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam).
Because of the critical political situation in Burma/Myanmar, Pandaw had no alternative but to cease river cruise shipping due to lack of financial liquidity and failure to find funding in the wake of the crisis.
Forward bookings for the planned 2022's restart remained strong, with support from the loyal customers but the company lacks the funding to go on with layup operations of their 17 riverboats for another year, and then undergo refurbishment to prepare for operations, the timing of which is uncertain, even assuming this might occur for winter 2022-2023 cruise season.
The company has worked to find investors or other forms of finance in order to carry through but without success.
The 1995-established Pandaw pioneered river cruises in Cambodia, India, Laos, Burma and Vietnam, with its iconic boats. Up till the Coronavirus crisis, Pandaw had enjoyed the support of loyal travelers, high occupancy and growing revenues, along with positive financial results.
Pandaw's founder Paul Strachan commented that was a very sad moment for him, his family, the crews and clients.
"It marks the end of an era for all of us after twenty-five years of real adventure. We are truly sorry to disappoint our regular passengers who were so looking forward to making a trip after the lifting of travel restrictions. We are also heartbroken for our three hundred plus crew members and shoreside personnel who have stood by Pandaw and were hoping to get going again next year”.
Despite Pandaw Cruises' closure, Pandaw Charity, which has supported people in Myanmar during the ongoing crisis, will continue its work.