Revenge travel has reignited Southeast Asia's river cruise industry,
so much so that once-battered river cruise operator Pandaw is now
bringing more ships back into its fold.
The river cruise line is now activating a third ship, the 14-cabin
Sabaidee Pandaw, for its 10-night Mekong expeditions between Vientiane,
Laos and Chiang Saen, Thailand, beginning in January 2023.
Two of Pandaw's ships, the Laos Pandaw and the Champa Pandaw, are set to cruise the Mekong once more from October 2022.
Pandaw had initially closed down n October 2021 due to liquidity
issues, due to hardships compounded by the pandemic's travel
restrictions and lockdowns. However, it managed to secure funding in
December 2021 to reopen its 2022-23 season with Thailand, India and
travel returning in several Southeast Asian destinations, booking
demand for the company's river cruise expeditions bookings has surged.
According to Pandaw founder Paul Strachan, the Laos Mekong itinerary
is one of the company's most popular, as it offers "probably the most
exciting river expedition anywhere, with fast waters cutting through
rocky gorges, towering mountains and rich forests." The itinerary also
includes stops in tribal villages and visits to Buddhist shrines in
Meanwhile, AmaWaterways is also returning to Asia after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic.
The river cruise line will offer itineraries on the 124-passenger
AmaDara to Cambodia and Vietnam on the Mekong River from 17 October.