Paul Strachan, Founder of Pandaw Cruises has issued a statement on the situation in Myanmar, saying, “It is with great sadness that we must announce that we are cancelling all future cruises in Myanmar (Burma)”.
He said, “We believe the current deplorable situation will only deteriorate further and it may be some time before any kind of normality returns and it is safe to travel” and “We feel that it is unfair to have to keep rebooking passengers over and over and it would be better to cancel now, offer alternatives or refunds, and then relaunch Myanmar when advisories against travel are lifted”.
He added, “Myanmar was where Pandaw was born and remains the company’s spiritual home and much of our success on other rivers in other countries has been on the back of what we developed in Myanmar, in particular our unique expedition style”, and “Myanmar, despite its political ups and downs, has been one of Pandaw’s most popular destinations over the past twenty-six years with a very strong following amongst Pandaw Club Members many of whom go back regularly. I know many will be disappointed to be not able to travel at this time, but I am sure they will understand.
Strachan said. “Our seven ships are safe at Pagan and being watched over by the local community many of whom have worked for the company or had family members working for us, in some cases now into the second generation”, and “I know they will be lovingly cared for and all our team there like us will be keen to get going again as soon as peace returns.”
He said, “We have been overwhelmed by the many kind and generous donations from our members towards our emergency appeal”, adding, “With over USD100,000 raised in a week we have been able to extend our Pandaw Clinics operations to a wider area providing medical assistance and other forms of humanitarian support to traumatised communities”, and “We have also been able to share these funds with a number of other NGOs that we believe are making a marked contribution in helping the injured in the streets of Yangon and other cities.
Further donations can be made at: www.pandawclinics.com.
A report by John Alwyn-Jones, Cruise Editor.