CruisePandaw cites lack of liquidity and funding as reasons for closure after 25 years in Asia.

Pioneer river cruise operator ends a good run

River pioneer Pandaw ceases operations, another victim of the pandemic.
River pioneer Pandaw ceases operations, another victim of the pandemic.

After plying Asia's rivers for 25 years, Pandaw’s iconic traditional-styled river vessels will cease operations, as founder Paul Strachan announced the business' closure in the wake of liquidity problems and lack of investors to fund the company.

The company cited the continuing Covid-19 impact on international leisure travel, the closure of its destinations in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and India, and the critical political situation in Myanmar as contributing factors.

The announcement was made bittersweet by the fact that Pandaw still saw strong demand in advance bookings for 2022, thanks to loyal customers.

However, the company needed urgent funds to continue layups for its 17 vessels for another year, and to start essential refurbishments for its fleet.

Founded in 1995, Pandaw pioneered river expeditions in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and India with its iconic boutique ships. Up until the pandemic, Pandaw said it had enjoyed a loyal following, high occupancy and year-on-year growing revenues, with positive financial results.

Its river boats are unlike any other as the design stayed true to original colonial Burmese Irrawaddy Flotilla vessels, even in its new builds.

“This is a very sad moment for me, my family, our crews and clients,” said Strachan.

“It marks the end of an era for all of us after 25 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 300-plus crew members and shoreside personnel who have stood by Pandaw and were hoping to get going again next year.”

Source: Seatrade Cruise News

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