Experience Borneo in style with Star Clippers

10th May 2018

A journey to the mesmerising island of Borneo is considered by many to be an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Shared by three nations – Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei – this unique destination offers a fine blend of relaxing beaches, lusciously green landscapes, cultural landmarks and an abundance of wildlife.

Sailing aboard the traditional tall ships of Star Clippers, you can enjoy everything this island has to offer while also taking the time to appreciate a bygone era of transport. Furthermore, you can also extend your itinerary with pre and/or post-cruise stays added to your cruise – enabling you to get the most out of your time in South East Asia. This week, we take a look at why a sail and stay holiday in the island of Borneo should definitely be considered as an addition to the bucket list.

Luxury in Singapore


To the naked eye, Singapore may appear to be a city dominated by towering skyscrapers and a bustling financial district. However, among exploring this impressive metropolis, you will also discover authentic flavours, distinctive aromas and beautiful gardens that offer unique appeal.

This is where the magnificent Star Clipper will await your arrival, but it is definitely worth getting a full taste of everything Singapore has to offer prior to your sailing. A pre-cruise stay opens up a range of luxurious options, with opportunities to stay in one of the many impressive hotels. Be sure to sample the Singapore Sling – a refreshing cocktail which was crafted at the Raffles Hotel.

Experience Malaysia


After setting sail out of Singapore, you spend two days at sea heading towards the island of Borneo, with the first port of call being the impressive city of Kuching. Situated in the region of Sarawak, Kuching offers a fine blend of modern shopping malls and eateries with traditional landmarks. These including the Tua Pek Kong Temple, which is of Chinese origin, the Kuching City Mosque and Fort Margherita, which was completed in 1879. Enjoy a stroll along the one-mile long promenade that follows the Sarawak River, which will also take you to the 19th-century Old Court House.

Following an overnight stay in Kuching, your next port of call is the former fishing village of Bintulu. Upon discovering large offshore reserves of natural gas in 1969, Bintulu saw rapid development and the plan is for it to be fully industrialised by 2020. There are many bars and restaurants dotted throughout the city, but there are also many unique experiences to be enjoyed. A journey to the Taman Tumbina zoo offers a chance to admire crocodiles and pythons, while nature-lovers can enjoy a spot of jungle-trekking or hill climbing.

Mosque Kuching

Miri is the place to go for nature lovers, with a visit to the nearby Niah National Park opening up opportunities to visit an impressive collection of caves and waterfalls. There are a number of cultural sites worth visiting including the Unity Tower, Petroleum Museum and the San Ching Tian Temple. Alternatively, you can head to the Esplanade Beach at Luak Bay and soak take advantage of the opportunity to soak up the sun.

Although not actually part of the island of Borneo, the small, uninhabited coastal island of Pulau Tiga is the perfect place to go to for a spot beach relaxation. Formed just over 100 years ago, in 1897, following a volcanic eruption near Borneo, this island offers one of the closest examples to paradise on earth. You can snorkel or dive and uncover the treasures of the surrounding waters, or enjoy a detox session with some therapeutic, natural volcanic mud.

Bandar Seri Begawan | Brunei


Although Brunei may be one of the world’s smallest countries, it offers a unique cultural insight and no shortage of things to see. Docking into the capital of the sultanate, Bandar Seri Begawan, you will almost instantly see the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque – regarded as one of the calmest mosques in the world. This could be because of the surrounding trees and the glow from the sunlight as it touches the golden dome.

Bandar Seri Begawan is also home to Kampong Ayer – an impressive village where houses seem to float on the water. The village is fully equipped with all the required services including its own schools, mosques, fire brigade and police station. It is the largest stilt settlement in the world and is thought to date back more than 1,000 years.

Proboscis Monkeys and Orang-Utans

Orang Utan

The Malaysian city of Kota Kinabalu is where your sailing comes to an end, but there are plenty of reasons to make the most of your time in Borneo by extending your holiday with a post-cruise stay. This is especially appealing for those excited by the prospect of being able to enjoy close encounters with orang-utans and proboscis monkeys.

A short journey out of Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan will enable you to visit the Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre, where you can observe man’s closest relative being rehabilitated for life in their natural habitat. There is also an opportunity to see sun bears in their natural habitat, via a walk in the tropical low land of Dipterocarp Forest.

One of the best ways in which to see proboscis monkeys as well as a range of native bird species is to embark on a short cruise along the Menanggul River towards Sukau village. These monkeys are known for their distinctively long red noses, so be sure to have your camera at the ready.

The smaller size of the Star Clippers ships enables them to sail to and dock in a range of destinations that are generally considered to be inaccessible to larger vessels. This makes them the perfect base upon which to explore the mesmerising south-east Asian island of Borneo. With so much to see and do across the island, it really does pay to enhance your cruise with pre and/or post-cruise stays.

For more information or to make a booking, contact our friendly sales team via the freephone number above or chat to an advisor online.

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UK and Eire passengers please contact Fred. Olsen Travel, the General Sales Agent for Star Clippers or any ABTA Travel Agent.

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