Pandaw Cruises in Myanmar

Jun 13th, 2012, 10:44 AM
  #1  
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Pandaw Cruises in Myanmar

We are booked for a cruise on the Irrawady river on Pandaw Cruises in late October 2013. There's been a flurry of negative comments on some travel sites regarding the financial status of this cruise company. Does anyone have more concrete information? Since we have plenty of time to make changes, I'd like to hear more about it. So far, I have not found anything definite on google and hope this is just a nasty rumor.

Have you traveled with Pandaw in Myanmar? What was your experience?
kamana is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 03:29 PM
  #2  
 
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Have you read this classic report:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...yssey-2010.cfm

You'll find a long prelude before the Pandaw sets sail, but sail it does.
Marija is online now  
Jun 13th, 2012, 04:32 PM
  #3  
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Read the whole thing! Will make notes on some of the restaurants suggested, as well as the food selections! Thanks so much for pointing the report out to me. You people were having entirely too much fun on that forum!

Unfortunately, it was all written in 2010, before our world economy took a real serious nosedive. So the question about Pandaw's financial situation remains unanswered.Still hoping someone will weigh in on this.
kamana is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 06:13 PM
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I'm hoping that our local Pandaw expert, dogster, will chime in on this.
Kathie is online now  
Jun 13th, 2012, 06:26 PM
  #5  
 
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Mmmph. Wha...? I was sleeping.

I think, as I can't read her mind, if the O.P. would care to give me the source of this flurry of negative comments it might be possible to decipher them...
dogster is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 06:46 PM
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So glad we awakened you, dogster. We've missed you - it's been too quiet around here.
Kathie is online now  
Jun 14th, 2012, 12:28 AM
  #7  
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Thanks, dogster for chiming in! I'm hoping all this I have heard are only rumors and nothing serious. As you can imagine, these rumors coupled with the current unrests in Myanmar, have me a bit worried. Please tell me I have nothing to worry about!

The comments were originally in Tripadvisor. They involved someone not being able to contact Pandaw regarding a reservation and a subsequent comment about this probably being a sign of financial trouble. I researched it a bit on google, but all I could find was the news of their suspension of service in Borneo about a year ago. Another rumor mentioned that Pandaw will show a cruise date fully booked and what they are really doing is canceling a date that was not filling up. In our case, the ship went from totally empty, to fully booked in less than three days. Could have been a group, I suppose.(Yuck!) Our departure date, Oct. 26 '13, doesn't even show up on their webpage now, which doesn't make me feel very secure.

Lots of aloha and many mahalos for your help!
kamana is offline  
Jun 14th, 2012, 05:07 AM
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I'm not going to comment on any of this till you give me the specific links. In your effort to find out rumours, you are spreading them instead. Now you're feeding us the shadow of a whisper of a half-remembered innuendo that may, or not, be true.

I suspect this topic may have a lot more to do with you than Pandaw. Stay calm, don't stress about this. I'll hold your hand.

Send them an E-mail about your 'missing' booking in October 2013 - then take a chill pill till you get a reply. They may well have changed something - they may well not. I dunno. It's a long time in the future. Things are changing hourly in Burma right now - I'd imagine that Pandaw is doing catch-up, just like the rest of the country.

Remember this: you have made a very smart choice. I've spent nearly three months on the rivers in Burma, most of them with Pandaw.
dogster is offline  
Jun 14th, 2012, 02:26 PM
  #9  
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We're booked for the December 5 ten-day Pandaw Golden Land cruise, and will admit, Kamana, that your post did give me some concern--but I started checking sites and couldn't find anything other than that the Borneo cruises were being discontinued. About a month or so ago I tried to call the U.S. Pandaw office and kept getting a message that the head of the office, Rob???, was traveling and would be returning at the end of February. As it was well after the end of Feb, and none of the other phone extensions had a live person, I got concerned. I e-mailed them, however, and got a prompt response from an Emily Chen, in their Singapore office, who said that they had closed their U.S. office--and then provided me with the information I was requesting.

I agree with Dogster (who it's great to see posting again; he's been missed!) that there was much hearsay based on zero concrete information.

I had a very similar experience as far as our initial booking--the boat had many available spaces and then there were only three cabins left--and we grabbed ours. And our cruise is no longer listed on the site as it's no longer available. I'm sure that's why yours is no longer posted on their site also. I hope ours isn't filled with a tour group--but if so, so be it. Everyone I know who's taken a Pandaw cruise has, like Dogster, been extremely enthusiastic about it. Our only concern was/is that it made it tricky to organize the rest of our trip around it, but with the help of Fodorites, have done so...but we may have to return to see those places we can't fit in this trip.

Look forward to hearing your report of your cruise.
520 is offline  
Jun 14th, 2012, 03:20 PM
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Heya 520. Kind words. Thank you.

I've just been perusing the Pandaw website. As they've sold out 95% of the cruises this season I'd say that, ju-u-u-ust probably the company isn't on the brink of extinction.

Paul Strachan is the smartest man on the planet. Like all smart men, he's a tad eccentric, but that's O.K. He's been in the right place all along - and finally the time is right. Watch and wonder.
dogster is offline  
Jun 14th, 2012, 07:33 PM
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kamana, you light want to read Paul Strachan's annual letter to Pandaw passengers, subscribers, whatever. The one for 2012 describes some of the expansions the company has undertaken/is undertaking and the growth it's experienced over these past years. It's refreshingly candid, and reassuring as far as its financial status.

Dogster, thanks for reminding us of his name--I'd read about him when I started researching the Pandaw cruises, but had forgotten his name. Don't know if he's the smartest man on the planet but certainly an impressive one.

Three months on the rivers of Burma?!!! Wow!!
520 is offline  
Jun 16th, 2012, 10:57 AM
  #12  
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Dogster.... I was just trying to get info, not intending to start rumors. Too bad you found it necessary to accuse me of that. I am a very experienced traveler and definitely believe that an informed passenger is a happy passenger.
Many thanks for everyone's help.
kamana is offline  
Jun 16th, 2012, 11:18 AM
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Well, that's a particularly ungracious response. Serves me right for bothering.

I won't in the future.
dogster is offline  
Jun 16th, 2012, 10:22 PM
  #14  
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Dogster... You need to re-read your first message. You clearly say that "in your effort to get information you are spreading rumors". Your words, not mine. But, let's be grown ups about this and not split hairs. I still appreciate yours an everyone's help.
kamana is offline  
Jun 24th, 2012, 01:08 PM
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We are booked on Pandaw Dep 7th Sept 2012 - Mandalay to Prome cruise. Am getting rather concerned about monsoonal rain.Does it rain heavily non-stop for days ? Do you think it would be wise to try for Oct or Nov cruise when weather might be drier.
Bluebird53 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2012, 01:21 PM
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Mandalay is relatively dry. Take a look at this:
http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/c...=&name=Myanmar
I can't find data on Prome (Pyay). In much of SE Asia, monsoons mean downpours alternating with sunshine. There are places where it rains unceasingly for days (look at the weather info for SIttwe for June and July), but that isn't where you will be.
Kathie is online now  
Jun 24th, 2012, 09:06 PM
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All this is academic.

Have you looked on the Pandaw website, Bluebird?
dogster is offline  
Jun 25th, 2012, 01:58 PM
  #18  
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Exactly right, Dogster. The 2012 cruises have been sold out for a very long time.
520 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2012, 10:51 AM
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Thanks. Will keep the current booking and pack the brolly. Only booked 2 weeks ago !Irrawaddy Downstream Tour 8 nights Mandalay to Prome then road to Rangoon, actually departing 11Sept.Have enjoyed reading all the posts- very entertaining Dogster.Have many books from the library- great reads- Little Daughter by Zoya Phan highly recommended as is the film "The Lady".Anything I definately need to pack that you would recommend for an Aussie girl ?
Bluebird53 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 02:44 AM
  #20  
 
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We travelled with Pandaw Dec 20 2012/Jan5 2013 on the Irrawaddy River upsteam. The boat and crew were well up to the standard we have come to expect from previous voyages in Vietnam, Cambodia and Borneo.

We booked 14 months ahead for our 2012 Burma cruise. Everything is sold out now into 2014.
mareeS55 is offline  

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