Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pandaw cruise boat cruising into the sunset

RV Orient Pandaw the cruise boat that brings tourists into the heart of Borneo along the mighty Rajang is sailing into the sunset as it will cease operation next year.

It will sail up the longest river in Malaysia for the last time in March and its swansong voyage is already almost fully booked with just a few tickets left available.

The Pandaw newsletter recently announced the cessation of its Rajang cruise explaining that “…logistical and operational difficulties of working are so tough an environment that the project has been commercially unsuccessful”.

Pandaw the largest luxury river cruise operator in South East Asia runs river expedition cruises in four countries in the region – Burma on the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers, Cambodia and Vietnam on Mekong River and Malaysia on Rajang River.

The Sarawak Tourism Board had been notified but there is nothing it could do because as a commercial venture the Pandaw Rajang cruise is subjected to market forces.

Direc tor of Corporation Communication of Angelina Bateman when contacted recently said; “Our role so far has been to help facilitate it by promoting the tour. Other than that we cannot get involved, except in helping them to promote since it is a commercial operation.”

Bateman expressed regret that the cruise failed to succeed as a commercial venture as it had helped to promote tourism in the state internationally.

When it was launched on July 1, 2009 it was hailed as a catalyst for the growth of the tourism industry in the central region of the state but it was also drew flaks from local tour operators who were left out of its travel itinerary.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Pandaw cruise boat cruising into the sunset

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