CruiseDecision was made "with great sadness" amid country's ongoing turmoil.

Pandaw pulls plug on Myanmar cruises

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Pandaw will offer alternatives or refunds for affected passengers, and relaunch Myanmar sailings when advisories against travel are lifted.
Pandaw will offer alternatives or refunds for affected passengers, and relaunch Myanmar sailings when advisories against travel are lifted.

Pandaw said it is announcing the cancellation of future cruises in Myanmar, in light of the country's ongoing turmoil following the military coup in February.

The announcement was made "with great sadness", as the luxury river cruise operator believes the situation in Myanmar will "only deteriorate further and it may be some time before any kind of normality returns and it is safe to travel".

"We feel that it is unfair to have to keep rebooking passengers over and over and it would be better to cancel now, offer alternatives or refunds, and then relaunch Myanmar when advisories against travel are lifted," said Paul Strachan, Pandaw Cruises' founder.

The travel brand went on to credit Myanmar as the backbone for its subsequent entries into other rivers in other countries, including the birth of its "unique expedition style".

"Myanmar, despite its political ups and downs, has been one of Pandaw’s most popular destinations over the past 26 years with a very strong following amongst Pandaw Club Members many of whom go back regularly.

"I know many will be disappointed to be not able to travel at this time, but I am sure they will understand."

Pandaw's seven ships are currently docked at Bagan and looked after by the local community who worked for the company and had family members who did, according to the company.

The ongoing political turmoil has only added to the severe hardship the Covid-19 crisis brought to the people in Myanmar, prompting Myanmar Tourism Marketing to make the urgent call for overseas partners to continue to support and stand with the people of Myanmar.

Pandaw has made an emergency appeal to its members to aid the people and has since raised more than US$100,000, enabling the team to "extend our Pandaw Clinics operations to a wider area providing medical assistance and other forms of humanitarian support to traumatised communities.

"We have also been able to share these funds with a number of other NGOs that we believe are making a marked contribution in helping the injured in the streets of Yangon and other cities," added Strachan.

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