VIENTIANE, Laos 4 August 2021: Popular river cruise operator Pandaw is staying with its plan to reopen river cruises in Southeast Asia in October 2022.
The luxury riverboat line offers cruises in India, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
While it is unlikely the company’s Myanmar boat trips will be back any time soon, Pandaw is taking bookings for cruises in the three Mekong region countries – Laos and Cambodia and Vietnam. Recent sales promotions focus on a new combination; a 21-night cruise and overland trip featuring the Mekong and Red rivers in Laos and Cambodia.
In its latest post to travel partners, Pandaw says it will operate a full schedule for the 2022/23 season, and initial bookings have been high as travellers look beyond the restrictions and seek an escape.
“With the roll-out of vaccinations beginning worldwide, we are confident that restrictions will be lifted and safe international travel will have resumed in time for our departures.”
Combo river cruise
Pandaw’s new two-nation river cruise features Vietnam’s Halong Bay and the Red River combining the itinerary with a cruise on the Mekong River in northern Laos.
The 21-night cruise has a starting price of USD7,940.50, with members quoted rates from USD6,672.40. The launch date is October 2022, with scheduled departures until March 2023.
Billed as a “first” for river cruises in the Mekong Region, the trip explores key sites in northern Vietnam by river ship traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries and connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with a side trip to the country’s capital Hanoi.
The itinerary combines with a Mekong River cruise that starts from the Lao capital Vientiane going north to Luang Prabang and beyond, sailing to the notorious three-country Golden Triangle where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet.
This trip included a flight between Hanoi and Vientiane with a one-night hotel stay.