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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pandaw Cancels Ganges Cruise for 2010/11 Season


Paul Strachan writes:

It is with no small regret that I must inform you that I have taken the decision to cancel all future Ganges cruises.

We had always known that the logistics of operating in India would be challenging. We took up the challenge to provide our Pandaw passengers with the sort of adventure othey would expect from Pandaw. The passengers who sailed on board the RV Bengal Pandaw gave us mixed reviews. Most of them loved the “wildness” of the trip while others found the trip not living up to the standards of our other Pandaw Cruises.

With extreme variation in water levels and very strong flow rates navigating the Ganges verges on the impossible. Shifting sand banks damaged the propellers more than once, resulting in emergency repairs with virtually no engineering or logistical support from ashore. Thanks to the constant support of the Inland Waterways Authority of India, we were able to continue sailing safely through the last season against all the odds. Weighing it up, there are simply far too many factors against running a successful cruise.

I am very very sorry about this. Having pioneered so many other rivers together with our intrepid passengers it is rare that one admits defeat. In the case of India and the Ganges I feel that it would be best to cancel.

Thank you so much for your support and I hope that despite this, you will continue to sail with Pandaw Cruises along the Irrawaddy, Mekong, and Rajang. We have a number of new projects coming up including Laos and Indonesia where I hope conditions will be less difficult.

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