After its final Rajang tour, RV Orient Pandaw will be deported to Myanmar
The 827-tonne, 30-cabin river cruise ship departed from here yesterday evening to Kapit for its last nine-day, eight-night “Into The Heart of Borneo” cruise.
After this, the steamship would be sent to Myanmar where it would be chartered by an Australian tour company for the next three years to cruise along the Mekong River.
Owned by the Strachan family (Paul and Roser), the cruise was set up in 1998 after Paul revived the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company (IFC) when he leased and restored an original Clyde-built steamer called the “Pandaw” in Myanmar.
The cruise operation was later expanded to the Mekong River in 2003, and to the Rajang River in 2009.
Since its inaugural voyage on July 1, 2009, more than 2,000 tourists had joined the popular “Into The Heart Of Borneo” cruise throughout its two-and-a-half year operation.
IFC through its Pandaw newsletter in November last year, however, had announced that it would discontinue the cruise on the 640km Rajang River in April this year, citing logistical and operational difficulties that made the project commercially unsuccessful.
Sources familiar with the cruise earlier said costs to operate RV Orient Pandaw were 60-70% higher than those in Myanmar, Vietnam or Cambodia.
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