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Anticipating pent up demand for cruises on the Halong Bay, Pandaw Cruises adds a second boat for 2023 bookings. 

The RV Song Hong, which means Red River, will join Pandaw’s highly successful RV Angkor on its routing through North Vietnam’s Red and Black River network from Halong Bay to the mountains beyond. 

The announcement is considered a good sign for the river cruise industry and particularly for Pandaw after announcing in October 2019 that it would cease operations due to the lack of funds during pandemic and lack of funding

In December 2021, the company confirmed it has secured financing to cover lay-up and vessel refurbishment costs that result in reactivating its voyages. 

The company reports strong bookings for the 2022/23 sailings with many departures sold out and many passengers using their credits for canceled cruises to rebook. 

Bigger staterooms, same mystical experience 

Voyages in the Angkor are so popular it books out months in advance so Pandaw built a second ship on this routing. 

With just ten enlarged staterooms, going a bit bigger than the classic much-loved Pandaw cabin, this expedition vessel will, like all Pandaw ships, have an ultra-shallow draft to enable it to cope with such tricky waterways.

Pandaw first opened on the Red River in 2015 and it has been one of the company’s most successful small ship routings offering a real insight into the life and culture of North Vietnam with its amazing scenery and time spent in and around the capital Hanoi.

Pandaw founder Paul Strachan said, “Only on one of our very clever, smaller, Pandaw could we do what we do in so navigationally challenged environment as the Red River, this fits with an increasing demand from our regulars for smaller ships that can go deeper”.

The new ship will be built in the region at Hai-phong, and fitted out in hardwood from sustainable forestry. 

It will have the usual Pandaw promenades running around the ship that are conducive to so convivial and atmosphere on board and a choice of indoor or outdoor dining, in the spacious saloon or aft deck.

10-Night Halong Bay and Red River Voyage 

Pandaw Cruises describe the 10-Night Halong Bay and Red River voyage as a “combination of scenic beauty, lively and interesting (sometimes industrial) life of the river and exploring rivers where no other tourist craft operate.

Sailing deep into Highland Vietnam, passengers will discover the mountain villages and a number of tribal areas. The voyage will go as far as is navigable up the Song Red River and then down the little known Da or Black River. 

Fare price starts from $4588.42 with up to 10% and no single supplement on selected dates.