Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Orion Across the Wallace Line expedition to Sulawasi


This ten night expedition on board the expedition cruise ship Orion II takes guests from Tawau to Bali via the seldom visited eastern side of Borneo. 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 civilized 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.

Itinerary:

10 night Across the Wallace Line voyage

22 September, 2012

Tawau, Malaysia / Pulau Kakaban, Kalimantan / Pulau Sangalaki, Kalimantan / Sungai Sangatta , Kalimantan / Samboja, Kalimantan / Lampuko Mampie Wetlands, Sulawesi / Pare Pare, Sulawesi – for overnight trip to Tana Toraja / Pare Pare, Sulawesi / Makassar, Sulawesi / At sea / Bali

Details of Across the Wallace Line voyage itinerary available at www.orionexpeditions.com/expeditions/borneo/itineraries_fares?id=349

Fares – with savings

Currently (5 June 2012) from $7,335 (brochure fare $8,150) per person, twin share for an ocean view Category B suite, $9605 for a Junior Suite (brochure fare $11,300) per person, twin share – check web site for latest fares on offer.

For reservations, or to obtain an Orion brochure featuring itineraries for 69 voyages to 17 countries and 174 destinations stretching from Antarctica to the Russian Far East, call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) / 0800 444 462 (New Zealand) or see your travel agent. Email: info@orionexpeditions.com