Pandaw reports that the Katha Pandaw, a smaller, newly refurbished ship that had been slated to sail the Upper Ganges in India starting in January, has been postponed due to issues with exporting the vessel from Myanmar. These issues are now fully resolved, the cruise line said, and the Katha will sail from Yangon next week, while plans for the full launch on the Ganges of the Orient Pandaw in September remain unchanged.
Passengers booked on the Katha's January and February departures have been offered a full refund or rebooked, the cruise line said. Most chose alternative Pandaw river expeditions in other destinations or land tours arranged for them within India. Meanwhile, the March and April departures are still going ahead.
Sailings on both the Lower Ganges, out of Kolkotta, and the Upper Ganges, as far as Varanasi, are now nearly fully booked, Pandaw said. As a result, the line is now sending a third vessel from Myanmar to cope with the demand: the Kalaw Pandaw. That ship, which has only two decks, can pass under obstructive bridges in high water and go year round as far as Varanasi on account of its ultra-shallow draft, Pandaw said.
Last October Pandaw launched a third vessel in Laos, the Sabaidee Pandaw, which sails up river to China. With near full occupancy of its Mekong ships, the company plans to launch a fourth vessel in Vietnam and Cambodia for the 2019-20 season.