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Asian River Cruise Line Pandaw Announces Their Return

The pandemic was terrible for everyone, but cruise lines in particular felt the financial wrath of an industry-wide shutdown and some weren’t able to make it. Pandaw looked to be one of those cruise lines when they announced late October that they would be shutting their doors.

At the time, the cruise line cited ” lack of financial liquidity and failure to find additional funding in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis” as well as the political situation in Myanmar at the time as the primary reasons they had to go out of business. 

There’s some great news, however! Pandaw is back with the goal of sailing again in September of 2022! In a press release, the company announced that they had secured the necessary funding to keep their boats afloat after several very serious investors and hundreds of messages from fans around the world heard about their closing. 

According to Paul Strachan, founder of Pandaw, it was the support from their community that turned things around. 

“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”, he said. 

RELATED: Thailand Ends Travel Restrictions for Dozens of Countries 

The cruise line plans to keep the business in the family and relaunch marketing activity as soon as all remaining travel restrictions have been lifted in the region. Currently, India, Thailand and Cambodia are open now to vaccinated travelers, something that will help the cruise line going forward.

As of now, at least one Pandaw ship is open, but not for cruising. The company posted a series of pictures on their Facebook page showing their ship RV Champa Pandaw in Chiang Saen, Thailand operating as a floating bar and cafe. 

Have you cruised with Pandaw before or taken a cruise along one of Southeast Asia’s rivers? Let us know in the comments! 

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Evan Gove is the SEO & Content Manager for Porthole Cruise and Travel's digital department. He covers cruise industry news and writes ship reviews for porthole.com. You can also catch him as a guest on the YouTube series Cruise Control with Bill Panoff. Follow his tweets and posts about the cruise industry from Porthole Cruise and Travel's social media accounts.