Pandaw River Expeditions has acquired the 34-passenger motor yacht Callisto for coastal cruising off of Myanmar, which the company will launch in 2015.

The Callisto was built in Hamburg, Germany, in 1963 and was rebuilt in 2005, when it was converted into a small luxury cruise ship.

Pandaw plans on fully refitting the vessel while retaining its classic motor yacht style. It will introduce colonial elements more suited to its new environment, such as rattan furniture, hardwood floors and other furnishings typically found on Pandaw ships.

At 50 meters in length and with a shallow draft, the Callisto will sail between the Thai border town of Ranong to Yangon, Myanmar, on a one-way weekly schedule.

It will stop at the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar as well as in the Burmese coastal ports of Tavoy, Mergui and Mawlamyine.

The coastal expedition includes a day at leisure in Yangon, where it will be moored on the Strand Road Jetty in front of the city’s colonial downtown area.
Passengers then have the option to connect to a Pandaw river cruise.

Additionally, the Singapore-based company has announced that it has hired Hugh Clayson to serve in the newly created role of commercial director. This month, Clayson will open a new global sales and marketing office for Pandaw in West London.

Clayson most recently served as product director for U.K. tour operator Titan Travel. He has been charged with developing relations with British tour operators and overseas trade partners. He will be joined by Pandaw’s Sven Zika, who is relocating to London from the company’s Phnom Penh office, and will continue to offer sales support to tour operators and travel agents.

By the end of 2014, Pandaw will have 12 river vessels in operation in Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia. In 2015, Pandaw will offer its first Myanmar coastal cruises.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI