This weeks Cruise Blog is by our guest blogger Dave Warne. Dave is the Commercial Director for WEXAS, our parent company, and this was his first cruise experience. Join him onboard Orion Expedition Cruises Orion II on his recent trip and discover the amazing ports of call.
Day 8 - Makassar
Makassar is Indonesia's 5th city, known for a while as Ujung Pandang, and has been a major trading centre for centuries. Another functional port but like Pare Pare and Balikpapan before it, the police and officials are remarkably friendly. It is not every day a cruise ship like Orion II arrives here and we are, again, the source of much interest.
Today's excursions start with a Fort Rotterdam tour in the morning. The visit to the old Dutch Fort is brief and rather uneventful, mainly due to the major redevelopment and opening of a new museum and study complex. Some of the old Dutch colonial buildings retain their gracious architecture but it remains to be seen whether the extensive works will have an impact.
We decide to take a 'becak' (rickshaw) around the city. There doesn't seem to be much of obvious interest to visitors, but being pedalled the wrong way up a dual carriageway into the oncoming traffic was certainly exciting enough for us.
After another al fresco lunch on the sun deck we take the 'easier' of the 2 afternoon excursions and visit gold markets in the Chinatown district. This further confirms my suspicions that there isn't much to see or do in modern day Makassar, despite its rich history. The alternative excursion to a waterfall an hour or so away proves to be more popular, so it seems I made the wrong choice. A number of guests choose to stay on Orion II in the afternoon, which was perhaps not surprising after the long journeys to and from Tana Toraja.