Pandaw Expeditions closes

Pandaw Expeditions closes

Company ceases river cruise operations due to impact of Covid-19 on international travel

Pandaw Expeditions has closed due to the impact of Covid-19 on international travel.

The company’s founder Paul Strachan said he was “heartbroken” to cease its river cruise operations but that the company had “no alternative” because of the closure of its destinations in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and India; and the critical political situation in Myanmar.

Although forward bookings for a restart in 2022 were strong, the company said it “lacks the funding to continue layup operations of their 17 ships for another year” and to “undergo essential refurbishment” to prepare for renewed operations.

In a statement, Pandaw said it had to close “due to the lack of financial liquidity and failure to find additional funding in the wake of the Covid 19 crisis”.

It added: “The company has worked tirelessly over the past year to find new investors or other forms of finance to carry the company through, but without success.”

Founded in 1995, Pandaw pioneered river expeditions in Vietnam, Cambodia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and India with its boutique ships.

The company enjoyed high occupancy and year-on-year growing revenues until the impact of the pandemic.

Pandaw founder Paul Strachan said: “This is a very sad moment for me, my family, our crews and clients. It marks the end of an era for all of us after 25 years of real adventure.”

He added: “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.”

Despite the closure of Pandaw Cruises, the Pandaw Charity, which has supported people in Myanmar during the ongoing crisis there, will continue its work under the guidance of its trustees.

 

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