Asia river cruise line Pandaw has ceased operating after failing to find additional funding to see it through the COVID crisis.
In a message posted on its website, the cruise line said it was suffering from ‘a lack of financial liquidity’ due to the closure of its destinations in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and India, and the political situation in Myanamar.
Though forward bookings for a restart in 2022 remained strong, ‘with great support from the ever-loyal Pandaw community’, it said it lacks the funding to continue layup operations of itss 17 ships for another year.
Also, it would need to carry out essential refurbishment to prepare for renewed operations, the timing of which is highly uncertain it said, and would not likely occur until winter 2022/23.
“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,” added the message.
Founded in 1995, Pandaw pioneered river expeditions in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and India with its iconic, boutique ships.
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.
“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 the closure of Pandaw Cruises, the Pandaw Charity, which has supported people in Myanmar during the on-going crisis there, will continue its work under the guidance of its trustees.