Going Up the River: A Borneo River Cruise

Ever wonder what it’s like to sail along picturesque rivers through some of the world’s oldest rainforests? Mariel Kennison of GoNOMAD.com writes about a cruise that will take you into the heart of Borneo on board the Orient Pandaw and have you wondering no more!

The Orient Pandaw on the Semarik River.

If you’re looking for an exotic island getaway that is certainly unique, try a cruise to Borneo. Cruising the Semarik and other rivers is the best way to see what the world’s third largest island has to offer, including the right to boast the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia in Kota Kinabalu, and the rain forests so old they outdate those of the Amazon by 70 million years.

There is so much to do in Borneo that your days aboard the Orient Pandaw will be a flurry of new adventures. The first four nights are spent in a hotel and a jungle resort prior to going aboard, but you won’t just be sitting around.

There is an overabundance of fascinating things to do here, like guided hikes through the jungle, caves to explore in Mulu National Park and seeing the world’s longest underground river, rare flowers to discover.

On day five, the river cruise begins with a cocktail get together. You’ll meet people from all around the world about to join you on y our journey. You will make friends as you take in Borneo’s unparalleled beauty and alluring environment. The passengers may be international, but don’t worry, the crew speaks English and prepares delicious meals made from fresh, local produce purchased at local markets.

The ship itself, chartered by Lernidee of Berlin, Germany, cruises for nine days once you are aboard at the end of March and once again in October. Though it’s the hot and humid season in Borneo, the cabins have air conditioning and are very comfortable. That also means it’s not the rainy season!

No Seasickness

If you’re prone to seasickness there is a remedy. Since the Pandaw only cruises the rivers during the day and anchors drop for the night, the ride is smooth and enjoyable. Says BJ Mikkelsen for Lernidee, “There are very few comfortable ways to get around Borneo. The Pandaw is the way to do it.”

”You get to see the whole northern part of Borneo. Mulu, the national park is unbelieveable 204 square miles! Very unique. At narrow parts of the cruise you can almost reach out and touch the trees along the river.”

Excursions take you off the ship everyday to interact with the locals and experience the beautiful landscape that makes Borneo so special. Once you cruise up the Kanowit River, you’ll have the chance to take a walk into the jungle before returning to the ship for a sunset in Kapit.

Going Up the River: A Borneo River Cruise