Singapore-based river cruise company Pandaw has started building a new vessel, after the sinking of one of its other boats late last year.
The Saigon Pandaw was being towed to Myanmar when it sank in heavy seas off the coast of Malaysia in December.
To make up for the lost capacity, Pandaw is now working on a new boat that will be used to ply the waters of Myanmar’s Chindwin River, the company said.
The Kha Byoo is described as a “river recce vessel”, as it sits just 75cm in the water, allowing it to explore further upstream than other boats.
It will join the Kalay Pandaw on the Chindwin River, sailing seven-night itineraries between Monywa and Homalin. These trips can also be booked back-to-back with the new Kindat Pandaw’s Mandalay-Bhamo routing on the Irrawaddy River.
Measuring 40-metres-long, Kha Byoo will feature an owner’s state room on the upper deck plus nine other cabins with French windows that open on to promenades on either side of the ship. There is also an indoor bar-dining area and outdoor deck.
The new vessel is being designed as a replica of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company ship of the same name, which plied the Burmese waterways 100 years ago. Pandaw will be hoping however, that the new boat has a less dramatic existence than its namesake; the original Kha Byoo spent three days caught in a whirlpool in the Irrawaddy in 1899.
Kha Byoo will be Pandaw’s 13th vessel, and following the unfortunate events surrounding the Saigon Pandaw, the company will be hoping for a bit more luck with its latest boat.