Pandaw taps funds to weather Covid storm

SINGAP0RE, 20 December 2021: Pandaw Expeditions is making a comeback after securing funding to restart cruises in September 2022, reversing an earlier decision to close the company.

A pioneer of luxury river cruises in Southeast Asia and India, the company announced last November it was closing after the Covid-19 pandemic grounded the entire fleet of riverboats in India, Mayanmar Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam for more than two years.

A statement released by Pandaw founder Paul Strachan confirmed the company had secured funding to see it through to September 2022, when it intends to restart operations on Asian waterways.

The Strachan family, who own Pandaw, have managed to secure further finance to cover the lay-up and vessel refurbishment costs for a restart planned for next Autumn. They plan to keep the business in the family and relaunch marketing activity as soon as all remaining travel restrictions have been lifted.

Strachan commented: “If it were not for the incredible support from the members of the Pandaw community, with so many kind words evoking memories of incredible experiences with us, I think we would have thrown in the towel. A big thank you to all our supporters for raising morale after nearly two years of hell”.

Meanwhile, destinations where Pandaw offers river cruises, are slowly reopening, with India, Thailand and Cambodia taking the lead to welcome vaccinated travellers. Parts of Laos and Vietnam will be accessible in January 2022 to vaccinated travellers, and that will lead up to a full return of river cruises by September 2022.