Luxury River Cruise “Into The Heart of Borneo”


by Jaxon S on March 4, 2009

in Borneo Environment,Borneo Tourism,Borneo Travel

There is still plenty of nature in Borneo notwithstanding reports of habitat loss due to logging and oil palm plantation.

A vast portion of the world’s second largest Island (well… third, if you count Australia as an island) will remain protected and covered in pristine jungle if the initiative to conserve the area known as the Heart of Borneo succeeds.

Cruise into the Heart of Borneo

This is where you will be if you choose to take the brand new six-star luxury river cruise on the Rajang River — Malaysia’s longest river — starting July this year.

The cruise is called “Into the Heart of Borneo”, based on the title of a book by Redmon O’Hanlon.

O’Hanlon will be among 60 passengers on the cruise’s maiden voyage using a replica of an American paddle steamer, which will set sail from the town of Sibu on July 9.

It will sail up to the Baleh River, a tributory to the Rajang River, which recently shot to worldwide fame following the release of two pictures, purportedly those of the Borneo giant snake, the 100-feet Nabau.

The pictures show a serpentine figure swimming in the river. The photos later turned out to be a hoax. Good thing… now we can cruise in peace.

RV Orient Pandaw

borneo-cruiseThe cruise, onboard the RV Orient Pandaw, is operated by Southeast Asia’s biggest cruise operator Irrawaddy Flotilla Company which has carved a name for itself in specialised river cruise excursion under its Pandaw cruise brand.

The New Straits Times newspaper quoted Sarawak Tourism Board chief executive officer Gracie Geikie as describing the cruise as the first of its kind in Malaysia.

The Rajang River (in red marking)

“There’ll be stops along the river to enable the passengers to go hiking and visit longhouses and towns,” she said.

Rajang River into the Heart of Borneo

There will also be a stopover at Kampung Rajang, near Tanjung Manis at the river mouth, for a visit to the songket factory.

Another stop is Sarikei to visit a pineapple farm, for which the town is famous. Passengers can also choose to shoot the Pelagus rapids, the New Straits Times said.

Up to Baleh and back

The cruise, however, will not cover the whole of 640km Rajang. According to the cruise operator, “The Rajang is navigable on a ship of Pandaw’s size for at least 250km until the Pelagus Rapids.”

After the Pelagus rapids, the cruise heads upstream Rajang’s main tributary, the Baleh River.

The area along river is populated by the Ibans who were headhunters until in the 1950s.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

lunaticg March 5, 2009 at 10:31 am

This will be on my plan to sarawak this year. thank you for sharing this info.

Jaxons March 7, 2009 at 10:16 am

i would want to be in this trip too… maybe sometime in the future

Andre August 6, 2009 at 12:05 am

We are booked on the early October cruise. I can’t wait! Anybody out there who has been on the cruise so far who can give some tips? I would love to know how it was. I’ve been on the Pandaw cruise up the Irrawadi in Burma two years ago and must say, that was absolutely fantastic.

PhillyPhan331 November 5, 2010 at 2:50 am

Would love to go there!! If I was the richest man in the World, I would buy as much land as I could to save it from being ruined and cut down! Every time I see how AMAZING THIS PLANET IS, I get so mad at the lack of respect that people and governments show for the beauty of this planet! This planet would be better off without us here as sad as that is to say! Borneo, Indonesia, Pacific Islands, The arctic, alaska, Russia, North America, The Amazon, Andes…… So many beautiful places that I wish I could see, but by the time I can go, It may not even be there anymore in any way that it resembled before the industrial revolution! Wish people would wake up! Governements NEED TO STEP IN AND REGULATE THIS STUFF NOW!

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