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Borneo - Across the Wallace Line

Borneo Cruise

Summary : From the clear tropical waters of the Derawan Islands to the remote Kutai National Park, the expedition will take you down the seldom-visited eastern side of Borneo. A visit to Samboja Lestari to view the reforestation projects and rehabilitation of the orangutans near Balikpapan is sure to be a highlight. Cross the famous Wallace Line, named after the 19th century British naturalist, and take an overnight journey through the ancient and mystical Toraja Land in Sulawesi. Finish off the journey with an insight into the ancient Goan Kingdom and the more recent Dutch history of Makassar.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Snorkeling


Combine this voyage with Borneo - Camp Leakey - Faces in the Forest and save an additional 5% per person off each voyage.

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$999,999,999 to $0

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Day 1
Tawau, Malaysia / Embark

Tawau is the third largest town of the state of Sabah. It is a relatively new town in Malaysia, boomed in early 1980s for its lumber and cocoa farming industry. Today Tawau is a bustling town where it is a transit point to the rest of the world and where you will begin your expedition.

Day 2
Pulau Derawan, Kalimantan

The Derawan Islands are located in a global biodiversity hotspot, featuring over 2,000 species of reef fishes and 507 reef building corals. There are two inhabited islands, namely Derawan (1 village of 1,259 people) and Maratua (4 villages of 2,704 people) with fishing as the main income generating activity for the community. You will visit the main island of Derawan.

After clearance procedures into Kalimantan from Sabah, make your way to Derawan Island. Zodiacs will carry you up the river into Derawan Village to meet local guides who will give insights into life on Derawan. In the late afternoon, enjoy cocktails and canapes on the beach. If all goes as planned, a local cultural performance will entertain you on the beach before sailing to the next islands.

Day 3
Pulau Kakaban & Sangalaki, Kalimantan

Kakaban and Sangalaki are both located just off the coast of the Kalimantan portion of the mainland of Borneo. Kakaban has an unusual lake filled with non-stinging jelly fish. In addition to snorkeling in the amazing reef system, you can also snorkel in the lake and observe the hundreds of unusual jelly fish. The ship will relocate over lunch to Sangalaki for more great in water experiences. Sangalaki has a large number of mantarays off shore and normally snorkeling with these magnificent creatures is possible.

Day 4
Sangatta River / Kutai National Park

The Sangatta River will be used to access the Kutai National Park today. There will be ample opportunities for watching primates and birdlife from the Zodiac fleet. Many species of animals exist in this Kutai National Park, such as orangutans, Proboscis Monkeys, deer, crocodiles and at least 300 bird species. The principal vegetation types include coastal mangrove forest, freshwater swamp forest and kerangas forest. There have been 900 species of vegetation identified in the park. The park provides habitat to a wide range of mammals including orangutan, Malayan Sun Bear, Sambar deer, Banteng, Maroon Leaf Monkey, White-fronted Leaf Monkey, Hose's Leaf Monkey, Proboscis Monkey, Bornean Gibbon, Clouded Leopard, Black Flying Squirrel, Marbled Cat, Flat-headed Cat, Yellow-throated Marten, Otter Civet, and Smooth-coated Otter.

Day 5
Samboja, Kalimantan

Samboja Lestari is an area of restored tropical rainforest near the city of Balikpapan in East Kalimantan, Borneo. It was created by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) led by Dr. Willie Smits, with the aim of providing a safe haven for rehabilitated orangutans while at the same time providing a source of income for local people. Since 2001, the once barren land has been planted with more than a million trees. With the growth in the forest, the density and diversity of wildlife has returned. So far 137 bird species and nine primate species have been recorded. Air temperature has fallen by 3 to 5 degrees centigrade, cloud cover increased by 12% and rainfall by 20-25% with the forest cooling the atmosphere and attracting rain clouds.

The Orangutan Reintroduction Project at Wanariset has moved to Samboja Lestari with around 200 orangutans now living there. Several Forest Schools provide natural, educational playgrounds for the orangutans in which to learn forest skills before returning to cages to sleep at night. Samboja Lestari is also the home to 52 Malaysian sun bears. See the work being done by the project with reforestation and the rehabilitation of orangutans and sun bears. Participate in a scatter feed of the sun bears during the day. A wonderful local lunch will be served ashore. Also, attend a presentation ashore from one of the project leaders on the work of the project.

Day 6
Lampuko Mampie Wetlands, Sulawesi

After crossing the Wallace Line, find yourself on the island of Sulawesi. The area comprises about 740 acres of swamp forest and some mangroves, dominated by Ceriops and Bruguiera spp. Also, the wetlands are good for spotting waterbirds such as Egrets, Storks, Ibis and various types of Duck. Explore by Zodiac focusing particularly on the birdlife in the wetlands. Also, pass through a local village where you may make a landing if invited.

Day 7 – 8
Pare Pare, Sulawesi

There are two action-packed days planned starting out from Pare Pare, which will focus on the area of Tana Toraja. The two days will be used to explore the history and culture of Tana Toraja. Also, you will witness a special cultural performance during dinner.

Disembark the ship to travel inland to Tana Toraja, staying overnight in Rantepeo. With majestic panoramas, captivating villages and dramatic ceremonies, Tana Toraja is the undisputed highlight of any journey to Sulawesi. This unique culture, the scenic beauty, cool climate and gentle people are the main reason that Toraja is gaining popularity as a tourist destination.

Day 9
Makassar, Sulawesi

Makassar is the provincial capital of South Sulawesi and the largest city on the Island. From 1971 to 1999, the city was formally named Ujung Pandang, after a pre-colonial fort in the city, and the two names are often used interchangeably. Ujung Pandang had an important role as the gateway to the former kingdom of Gowa and now to the whole province because of its natural harbor. The most important landmark is ‘Ujung Pandang fortress’ that faces the sea front. One of the eleven fortresses of the kingdom built in 1545 during the reign of Tuni Pallanga, the 10th Gowa sultan. When Gowa capitulated to the colonial forces under the treaty of Bungaya in 1667, the fort was renamed Rotterdam by Admiral Spellman who constructed bastions and buildings of typical Dutch architecture making it the center of the civilian government.

You will have the opportunity to visit Fort Rotterdam, using local pedal rickshaws to travel there from the port, to help understand the history and culture of Makassar. Also, you will visit the small town of Bulusarang in Banti Murung Park where there is a fantastic little waterfall. Take a refreshing dip in the pools beneath the falls and take the chance to meet and mix with locals of Sulawesi.

Day 10
At Sea

Enjoy some time relaxing onboard the ship and listening to lectures from your naturalist guides on this day at sea.

Day 11
Bali / Disembark

The Indonesian island of Bali represents an oxymoron. The city center of Denpasar is crammed with hotels and tourist activity. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking and music. The countryside is picturesque incorporating rice paddies flooding the hillsides and volcanoes reaching to the skies. The rainforests are lush and tropical, and the beaches are washed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia's small Hindu minority. This is where you will disembark your vessel and say goodbye to new friends.


Optional Excursions:
Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details on optional excursions including, but not limited to a Sangalaki Scuba Dive with a local dive operator.

Accommodations onboard the ship; cruise transportation; all meals onboard; 24-hour room service; a range of shore excursions led by expedition team; entertainment and educational programs; use of ship's sporting equipment and facilities; port & handling charges; Zodiac excursions and tender transfers; access to the ship's library; govt. fees & taxes; services of crew.

Not Included:
Airfare; items of a personal nature, including but not limited to: travel and medical insurance; laundry charges; shopping onboard; bar expenses; hair dressing and massage treatments; optional shore experiences; medical treatment; telephone and Internet charges; gratuities for individual staff members (optional).

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