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Melaka River Cruise
Ben van Wijnen

Melaka River Cruise

From its role as a meeting point between the East and West in the 16th Century, the Melaka River has morphed into a tourism destination today. Both locals and foreigners come to soak in its history from the diverse architecture found along its banks. There are old churches, mosques, bridges, clan houses, warehouses, temples and villages that have withstood the test of time.

When I first saw the Melaka River 20 years ago, it was small and murky, with fishing boats crowding the river mouth. It was hard to imagine that this was the same river that attracted the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British to build a port and fortress here. Today, I see a modern waterfront with gardens, a fort, a fountain, performance stages, breezy walkways and a large windmill.
The Melaka River with its cruise is the biggest surprise. The muddy, murky water is now quite clear, with a tinge of emerald green. Clean embankments on both sides stretch for several kilometres. The river has also been widened and a mechanical device has been installed to control the depth of the water. The idea was to make the river completely pollution-free, so as to develop exquisite gardens on its banks, and pave the pedestrian pathways to perfection.

Passengers on the Melaka River cruise get a feel of the multi-cultural and historical fabric of the country. One can even see the Melaka tree, under which Parameswara was so inspired by the sight of a mouse deer kicking a dog that he named the place Melaka.
The 26 fibre-glass boats are named after historic figures such as Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Munshi Abdullah and Tun Perak. Passengers are also serenaded with traditional songs such as dondang sayang.

There are two types of cruises. One offers recorded commentaries and the other has a tour guide on board. The approximate touring time for Melaka River Cruise is about 45 minutes (9 KM) from the Quayside Heritage Centre to Taman Rempah, Pangkalan Rama. The boats are available daily at every thirty minute interval between the following times: 9.30am to 5pm and 6pm to 12 midnight.
A must-see on the cruise is Kampung Morten, a living museum showcasing a village that's been around for hundreds of years.
There are private museums here where one can get a deeper understanding of the local Malay culture including their costumes and crafts like embroidery work.
The houses are fine examples of Malay architecture, with sweeping staircases in the centre and a veranda where family members can sit in the evenings to enjoy the air.

Kaartje kopen

You can also see the replica of a pirate ship, the Eye On Malaysia ferris wheel, the abandoned Cathay cinema as well as the old express bus terminal. There is also a replica of a royal windmill and a fort, complete with cannons around the walls.
The cruise boat passes under many bridges that had important functions in the old days. The first one, Tan Boon Seng Bridge, marks the strategic place captured by the Portuguese in 1511 in their bid to occupy Melaka. The other bridges are Chan Boon Cheng Bridge, Ghostbridge of Melaka, Old Market Bridge and Jalan Hang Tuah Bridge.

Venue: The Melaka River jetty in front of the Quayside Heritage Centre.
Departs daily from 9am to 11.30pm

RM15 - Adult Foreigner
RM7 - Child Foreigner
RM10 - Adult Local
RM5 - Child Local
RM400 - One boat for Locals
RM600 - One boat for foreigners
  Touroperators 20% discount
Can be arranged by calling Melaka River Cruise at 06-281 4322 or cruise guide Bernard Kenneth Gooting at 012-9127210

You'll find another site about the river cruise here:  (Michael Oon)

Nearby Attractions

There are plenty of attractions near the Melaka River Cruise.  A few of them are:

There are also couples of attractions within walking distance (about 15 – 20 minutes):

  • Menara Taming Sari (a revolving observation deck from a height of 80 meters)
  • St Paul’s Hill (A Famosa)
  • Dataran Pahlawan MegaMall
  • Mahkota Parade Shopping Mall
  • Istana Museum Melaka




  Ben van Wijnen




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