Pandaw has ordered a new 14-cabin K-class ship for Myanmar, deeming the fleet expansion necessary as demand grows.
While the political situation in Myanmar has been linked to a decline in mainstream routings, Pandaw says the demand for small ship expeditions in the country has increased.
Moreover, having deployed three K-class vessels to India, the boat operator finds it necessary to order one more to meet the increased demand for Myanmar cruises, principally on the Upper Irrawaddy, Chindwin and Delta expeditions into remoter untouristed parts of the country.
Many of these are now fully booked for the coming season and a support vessel is “urgently needed”, Pandaw stated.
In the tradition of naming all K-class ships after original Irrawaddy Flotilla vessels, the new build is to be named the Kanee Pandaw, and is being built in Mandalay.
These safari-style vessels offer outdoor or indoor dining, run-round promenades and indoor and outdoor living space. The cabins are slightly smaller than on Pandaw’s larger ships.
Like all Pandaw’s expedition ships the Kanee will carry mountain bikes and is being aimed at a younger demographic and family travel into these remote reaches.
Pandaw founder, Paul Strachan, commented: “We began in Burma 25 years ago and remain attached to the country and its people. Since we started the Pandaw Charity in 2008 the company has funded the Pandaw Clinics programme providing essential health care to a whole region of the country; to me it is a personal mission to ensure that our business in Burma, despite recent political setbacks, continues to prosper so that we can maintain these funding commitments.”