Monday, August 23, 2010

Over 1,200 foreigners have travelled on board RV Orient Pandaw

MORE than 1,200 foreign tourists have boarded RV Orient Pandaw, a river cruise ship operating out of Sibu on the Rajang River.

Owned by Rajang Pandaw Sdn Bhd, the 827-tonne ship began its operation on July 1, 2009.

As at the end of June 2010, the cruise ship made a total of 32 voyages and achieved a room occupancy rate of about 70 percent on its 30 cabins.

Pandaw cruise’s ground handling agent Patrick Ling of Greatown Travel Sdn Bhd said more than RM4mil had been pumped into Sibu in the past one year for the operation of the cruise ship.

Ling added that much of the money which was transferred from Pandaw’s headquarters in Singapore, was used to pay the crew’s salaries, food for the crew and passengers, local tours, logistics, fuel and ship maintenance.

“Almost all the tourists were from Europe, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. At least 70 percent of them came through Kuching, while the rest from Kota Kinabalu and by direct flight to Sibu via Kuala Lumpur,” Ling said.

He said these tourists, most of them pensioners, used MAS flights rather than AirAsia because older travellers preferred a more comfortable and hassle-free journey .

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