Pandaw Cruises

Pandaw Announces Construction of New River Cruise Ship RV Song Hong

Good news continues to pour in for Pandaw River Expeditions. The popular expeditionary river cruise operator has announced that due the popularity of their Vietnam Red River and Halong Bay itineraries they are building a new vessel to be named RV Song Hong, which translates to Red River. 

It was only last October that the company shared that the pandemic shutdown and the political situation in Myanmar had financially affected the company to the extent that ceasing operations was a possibility. Then in December the resiliency of the company and founder Paul Strachan came through with the announcement that the company would resume operations in September 2022.

“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,” Strachan said. 

Strachan explained why the new ship would be so important for the cruise line. 

“Only on one of our very clever, smaller, Pandaws could we do what we do in so navigationally challenged environment as the Red River, this fits with an increasing demand from our regulars for smaller ships that can go deeper,” he said.

RV Song Hong Coming in 2023

Launching in mid-2023 the vessel will join the company’s successful RV Angkor on North Vietnam’s red and Black River itineraries. The vessel will feature ten enlarged staterooms, slightly larger than the standard Pandaw cabins and will retain the company’s hallmark outdoor promenade that encircles the ship as well as both indoor and outdoor dining venues. 


Pandaw first opened on the Red River in 2015 and it has been one of the company’s most successful small ship routings offering a real insight into the life and culture of North Vietnam with its amazing scenery and time spent in and around the capital Hanoi.

As a former Cruise Director, Steve has been cruising the world for the past forty years. Bringing a new dimension to cruise journalism, he continues to spin the globe searching for off the grid cruise adventures and unplugged destinations to share with Porthole Cruise Magazine readers.