Where is the Saigon Pandaw? At the bottom of the sea, as thought earlier this month? Or, in a bizarre twist, possibly stolen or seized by pirates?
It's a mystery and clearly the most bizarre cruise story of the week thus far.
Earlier this month, Saigon Pandaw was reported “lost” by its owner, Pandaw Cruises, in an apparent sinking at sea last month as the river vessel was being towed -- without any passengers onboard -- from Vietnam to Singapore.
But now there are online rumblings about the ship being possibly stolen – even possibly by pirates. Maritime Matters, a well-respected, maritime-focused site (www.expeditioncruising.com), addressed the issue here: http://www.expeditioncruising.com/2014/01/25000-reward-rv-saigon-pandaw.html
Apparently, Pandaw Founder Paul Strachan wrote to some industry contacts: "I expect you will have heard rumours that the Saigon was stolen in an act of piracy rather than sunk. I cannot comment. But we have offered a reward for any information that might lead to its recovery. Please pass the reward notice to any contacts you might have, particularly in Indonesia. Meanwhile, we have investigators working on the ground."
Travel Agent has contacted Pandaw's U.S. office for comments. We’ll keep you posted as the story develops.