An interesting piece of news appeared below. It's really up to Sarikei to tap the potential tourism revenue coming upstream the Rajang River. What will make the cruise stop longer in Sarikei besides buying a few packets of fruits? How to attract other tourists (not from this cruise)? We will explore and debate this in the next post.
Source: New Straits Times, 1st Oct 2008
SIBU: A Myanmar-based riverboat company plans to start a luxury Rajang river cruise in July.
The company was set up in 1995, reviving the name of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company of old Burma which in the 1920s, ran a fleet of more than 650 vessels on the rivers of Myanmar.
Pandaw Cruises now runs cruises on the Irrawaddy and Chindwin in Myanmar, the Mekong and Tonle in Cambodia, and the backwaters of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
The company has a fleet of four riverboats, all newly-built replicas of the original Clyde-built steamers, with a shallow draft to enable them to moor at areas where other larger ships cannot.
A new 55m-long ship, the four-deck RV Orient Pandaw from Vietnam, will be used for the Rajang cruise. The ship has 30 luxury state rooms.
The Rajang cruise, over nine days and eight nights, will begin in Sibu with stops at Kanowit, Kapit and Nanga Mujong in Balleh, before moving on to the Pelagus Rapids, Song, Sarikei and Tanjung Manis towns.
The boat will also stop at longhouses, logging camps, the vestiges of the Brooke White Rajah era such as Fort Emma in Kanowit, Fort Sylvia, the Pelagus Resort in Kapit, fruit and pepper farms, traditional songket textile workshops and other places of interest along the way.
Three cruises a month are planned. The cruise will cost US$2,250 (RM7,260.50) per person.
Sibu Sarawak Tourist Board (STB) executive Rudy Anoi said Pandaw's managing director, Paul Strachan, travelled up the Rajang river last month to study its potential and to make preparations for the maiden cruise.
"He also held a meeting with STB chief executive officer Gracie Geikie and local tour operators on the possibility of co-operating with them," he added. -- Bernama