Southeast Asia’s luxury boutique cruise operator Heritage Line announced that it is halting its cruise operations in Myanmar due to the global coronavirus pandemic. After monitoring and assessing developments and the effects of COVID-19 on worldwide tourism, the privately owned company has decided to suspend operations of its vessel Anawrahta.
“Looking at the impacts this virus has imposed on tourism, and especially the international cruise industry, many companies are faced with the predicament of earning no revenue while still running their businesses sustainably. For our product in Myanmar, it was therefore in our best interests to stop for a certain period and find another solution,” said founder and CEO John Tue Nguyen, in a press statement.
In Myanmar, Heritage Line, as the proprietor of the ship Anawrahta, has now entered a partnership with local company, Moken Capital. Moken Capital has been offered a three-year contract (starting February 1, 2021) to autonomously manage and operate the vessel. This includes responsibilities of periodic ship maintenance and also grants Moken Capital usage of the ship’s brand name, together with a mandatory signature tagline “by Moken Capital” in its marketing communications. Stationed mid-river in downtown Yangon, Anawrahta by Moken Capital will target the domestic market with cruise and hospitality products for affluent locals and expats, as well as corporates.
Heritage Line plans to resume its operations along the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin Rivers in Myanmar in August 2023. Sales will remain open for these future departures of advertised itineraries listed on the company’s website. Other cruise destinations, such as the Lower/Upper Mekong (Vietnam and Cambodia/Laos) and Halong and Lan Ha Bay (Vietnam) will resume operations earlier, subject to the development of the.