Cruise Spotlight: Papua New Guinea
Have you been everywhere, seen everything, cruised the islands and back again, more than twice or even once? Feeling a bit bored with the current itineraries? Beyond the pristine wilderness of Cape York, across a strait of sparkling ocean and deep trenches, rests a series of islands unexplored and unspoiled by mainstream tourism.
New Guinea is a culturally fluid micro country, once administered and governed by Australia until achieving independence in the seventies. Since then, we’ve kept to our own shores, striding out to the Pacific Islands, attracted like moths to their glimmering resort flames.
Papua New Guinea, occupying the eastern quadrant of the island, has only just landed on the cruising radar. Before you book your tickets (though keep the phone handy), get a feel for this lively, virgin destination and close your eyes, as the brushstrokes of PNG come to life. Be quick, as very few liners are blessed with the opportunity to explore beyond the surface of this isolated island.
The Highlight Reel
Kiriwina Island: Have you ever imagined an untouched culture, complete with its traditions, customs and histories, completely intact? The clans of Kiriwina Island are active, fascinating and musical, thumping an addictive rhythm through the earth as voices rise and a dancing spirit travels through the villages. Delight in the intricate carvings and craftsmanship of yam houses – yes, yam houses – and prepare yourself for a full, local immersion.
Kitava Island: Dreaming of a secluded paradise, free from the trappings and pollution shavings of civilisation? Kitava is virtually untouched, but by the local people, perfect for world class snorkelling, as crystalline water laps at your back and the current cools the summer day from your brow. Relax and feel rejuvenated by the gentle pace of Kitava.
Doini Island: Feel like the last person on earth as you dare to dash into lush rainforests, thick with minute wonders before heading down to the powder white shoreline. Sit, savour and sample a fiery sunset, unspoiled by highrises or camera flashes – just you (and your cruise mates), the breeze, the sky and the trees.
Madang: Fancy yourself a diving fanatic? You’ll never have a better dive session than off the reefs of Madang, home to a multitude of underwater surprises. Snorkel, swim or just relax, as the pulse of PNG is felt through the “Sing Sing”, PNG’s answer to a United Nations Summit, as different tribes come together and share their traditions and tricks of the trade. If you can tear your eyes away, settle your gaze on the intimidating Goroka Mud Men, an awesome spectacle certain to dazzle your inner anthropologist.
Rabaul: History buffs will enraptured by the textured tales of Rabaul, as wartime resilience and environmental odds shaped the landscape of this volcanic confluence of culture (the Tolau Dak Dak Tribe enjoy an extensive presence on the island), remnants of global conflict and an explosive tectonic composition, as the last volcano eruption to wipe the slate clean occurred in the mid 90’s. The water is clear, crisp and irresistible, why would you go anywhere else?
Papua New Guinea is unlike any other cruise you’ve checked off your bucket list. What are you waiting for? Pick up your mobile, dial our number and book in your cabin, starting at a spine-tingling $1,799 per person, twin share. Make 2014 the year of true exploration. Call us now on 1300 954 661.