Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The seldom visited eastern side of Borneo.


Enjoy a ten-night voyage onboard the expedition cruise ship Orion II from Tawau to Bali via the seldom visited eastern side of Borneo departing 22nd September 2012. Explore the zoological paradise along the Wallace Line, a memorable voyage encompassing fascinating cultures and history as well as wildlife.   

Named after the 19th century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, his discovery that predominantly Asiatic species are found to the West and Australasian species are found to the East of his line marked the beginning of the science of zoogeography.
The voyage provides opportunity to see some of the primates and birdlife that inspired Wallace, including the chance to see endangered species such as Malaysian Sun Bears and orang-utans undergoing rehabilitation. Then take time to relax, snorkel and swim in the pristine waters of the Coral Triangle.

Cross the Wallace Line to the island of Sulawesi, and then be escorted by the expedition team overland to mystical Tana Toraja. This "Land of the Heavenly Kings" is home to an ancestral cult based on animistic beliefs. Renowned for their elaborate cliff-side burial ceremonies they celebrate death and the afterlife with sacrificial offerings and great feasts.

With majestic panoramas, captivating villages and dramatic ceremonies, Tana Toraja is the undisputed highlight of any journey to Sulawesi. The unique (sometimes confronting) culture encountered within a dramatic setting makes Toraja a rarely–seen must-see destination.

On the same voyage a visit to Makassar, gateway to the former kingdom of Gowa, provides access to the landmark Ujung Pandang fortress, one of eleven fortresses built before Gowa capitulated to the Dutch in 1667. Renamed Rotterdam by the new European rulers, Makassar featured in the fascinating history of Dutch Makassar and the spice wars.

Epitomising the very best of expedition cruising, this Orion II Across the Wallace Line expedition is a very civilised way to travel to remote locations in comfort and safety. Perfect for those who, in the company of like-minded travellers, enjoy the comfort of understated luxury onboard and the stimulation of exploring rarely visited destinations ashore.

The 10-night Across the Wallace Line voyage from Tawau to Bali departs 22nd September 2012 and visits Pulau Kakaban, Pulau Sangalaki, Sungai Sangatta , Samboja, Lampuko Mampie Wetlands, Pare Pare (for overnight trip to Tana Toraja) and Makassar. Prices from £4,401 per person including 10 nights onboard Orion II, all meals, entertainment and educational programmes, use of the ship’s sporting equipment and facilities, Zodiac excursions, port and handling charges, tender transfers and government fees and taxes.

For further information and reservations call 020 7399 7620 or visit www.orionexpeditions.com

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