Australia & New Zealand Cruises
(Papua New Guinea Cruise)
Papua New Guinea
Travel in the footsteps of those first intrepid explorers to the lost paradise of Papua New Guinea. This was the world of headhunters and deadly tribal battles, and it's still light years from the 21st century - but as you step ashore, you will be greeted with an excited and heartfelt welcome from gentle villagers and you'll sense an overwhelming simplicity of life that is long gone from our Western world. You will witness mysterious ceremonies derived from a thousand cultures across the South Pacific. Explore remote coastal villages surrounded by rainforests and towering volcanoes. Swim and snorkel in some of the clearest, most unspoilt waters in the world. And be reminded of how a vibrant culture can be built from a strong family and tribal foundation. The joy of this cruise expedition is to experience this deeply satisfying lifestyle first-hand and to learn about the skills and knowledge that create a sustainable culture.
Available Cruise Departure Dates:
Cairns>Rabaul: Oct 2 & Oct 24 (2012), Mar 27 (2013)
Rabaul>Cairns: Oct 13 (2012), Mar 16 (2013)
A private transfer between Cairns airport and your hotel accommodation, or vice versa, is provided for today.
The Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, one of the most distinguished hotels in Cairns, sets the standard for contemporary luxury and service in one of Australia’s most beautiful seaside destinations.Cairns' premier hotel, Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns, provides a haven of unsurpassed luxury in a tropical city setting. The hotel is magnificently positioned within the cosmopolitan Pier complex, overlooking the Marlin Marina and the Coral Sea. Shangri-La's special blend of service and attention to detail, combined with the ultra-chic guestrooms, make for memorable stays, and guests aspiring to return. It is a fresh modern hotel with appealing decor, offering all the creature comforts that well travelled guests anticipate. The spectacular waterfront location is renowned as Cairns’ premier dining precinct, hosting some of Cairns’ most acclaimed restaurants and bars.
Join this fun and informative tour as you discover the sights of Cairns and its northern beaches area. Visit the historic Royal Flying Doctors base, Cairns best scenic lookouts, paradise palms golf course, and some of the most pristine northern beaches with your professional naturalist guide.
Welcome aboard your cruise vessel!After embarkation, meet some of your fellow cruise passengers and get settled in.
Technically and aesthetically, Orion is arguably the most sophisticated vessel in its class. The Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships guide describes her as "the latest in the quest to build the ideal expedition cruise ship". Constructed by the world-leading Cassens Shipyard in Emden, and launched in November 2003, she boasts a host of advanced design features including technology that sets new standards in sustainable marine environmental practices. Although custom-made for expedition cruising, Orion is the epitome of elegance. No expense has been spared when it comes to the quality of fittings and furnishings, and the range and calibre of onboard recreational facilities are nothing short of five-star. Orion's luxurious appointments means she is more mega-yacht than cruise ship and her guests are few; around just 50 couples, all cared for in 5-star comfort by a crew of 75. Chart your own path less travelled.
Days at sea aboard Orion are less structured than a typical cruise ship. Rise at your leisure and select from a variety of breakfast options. Late morning consider joining a presentation in the Lecture Theatre by one of the Expedition Staff or a Guest Speaker. Luncheon is served both indoors and out and the timeless tradition of afternoon tea is observed at 4:00pm.
There are three different tours that you can choose from today as your inclusive activity. The Alotau WWII History Tour is graded as an easy tour focusing on the WWII history of the region, the Alotau Highlights Tour is more general in scope covering both historical and cultural aspects and is also an easy tour to participate in, and finally the Alotau Bat Cave Adventure which requires a little more physical dexterity and an adventurous spirit.Alotau WWII History Tour:Sometimes battles are fought for the prize of a harbour, a city or a town. The Battle for Milne Bay was fought for an Airstrip that is today called Gurney Airport but back in August 1942, was simply known as Number 1 Strip. A small garrison of mainly Australian Infantry and RAAF crews fought off a numerically superior Japanese force to win a battle that was a turning point in the war. This tour will follow the battle from landing zone to the airstrip where the Australians turned the Japanese force back. Knowledgeable local guides will give you a unique insight into every twist and turn in the battle.Alotau Highlights Tour:Alotau has been the capital of Milne Bay Province since 1966. Prior to this the area was known as Hiwehiwe in the local Tawala language, which means “slight breeze”. This tour will allow you to experience the town, the history, the culture and the local people, with a visit to a small village just outside the town area at the base of the Stirling Ranges, as well as stops along the way to WWII memorial sites.Alotau Bat Cave Adventure:Just 20km from town is an extensive cave system. These caves are still unchartered, however the “Bat Cave”, or “Damawewe”, is known by the private landowners of Yane Yanene village. With local guides, you are able to venture into the large caverns (some several metres high), through tunnels and across underground streams. The limestone formations and thousands of bats create a spectacular sight that you’ll long remember. Requires a medium level of fitness, suitable footwear and can involve a lot of contact with mud and guano.
In the early 1900s Samarai Island was the thriving colonial capital of the territory of Papua and the town’s streetscape carries reminders of those bygone, halcyon days. Back then it was described as one of the most beautiful places in the South Pacific. You will be transferred ashore by Zodiacs to Samarai where the Expedition Team will guide you in your exploration of the historical areas. There will also be the opportunity to walk to the church on Kwato Island. Your cruise ship will reposition in the afternoon closer to Deka Deka for water activities.
Your visit today will be to Kitava Island and the lagoon formed by the tiny coral cay of Nuratu Island just off the main beach of Kitava, part of the Trobriand Islands. Here locals will perform some of the Trobriands famous dances including the Tapioca Dance. There will be opportunities to walk up to a nearby village during the day and see the famous Trobriand Yam houses. Swimming, snorkelling and sea kayaking will be available in the lagoon all day as well.
The cruise ship will anchor outside the spectacular fjords around Cape Nelson, and the Zodiacs will take you ashore to a white sandy beach, for swimming, snorkelling and sea kayaking today. You may also choose to participate in a local village tour, which includes being paddled in local outrigger canoes. This tour does require a reasonable level of physical dexterity.
TUFI VILLAGE EXPERIENCEAfter a 20-minute cruise along the coast you'll enter one of the scenic fjords, where you glide along the clear and smooth waters until the local guides are picked up. You transfer to traditional outrigger canoes manned by the local people and are paddled further up into the fjord, passing under canopies of ancient mangrove forests. While gliding along you will see the local people going about their tasks of hunting and gathering. We soon come to a small beach nestled on the bank of the now freshwater river; you'll disembark here and proceed on foot through the rainforest where you come to a small jungle clearing that has a small waterfall cascading down into a rock pool. Here you are offered a refreshing cool drink from a coconut and while enjoying the unique scenery, we will be given a demonstration of traditional canoe making. Proceed back to the river where you continue down stream to the waiting boats and head over to the island. Upon disembarking at the island, you will be given a traditional welcome by the villagers. You will be led to a shaded area to sit in comfort and experience the spectacular dances that are unique to the Tufi area. You will also be able to watch a demonstration on the making of the Tapa cloth, for which this area is world-famous.
Optional:Three optional activities are available today, in addition to your included excursion.Scuba Diving for Certified DiversWith a fleet of fast dive boats you’ll be in the water diving on world-class reefs in no time at all. All equipment and transfers are included. This dive is for certified divers only and your certification card must be shown.Outer Reef Snorkeling TourOn departing your cruise ship, you will spend 30 minutes cruising out past the colourful reefs of the Solomon Sea. On the way keep a lookout for dolphins, giant manta rays, turtles and schools of pelagic fish. You will see a small dot on the horizon start to appear, this is your destination. Cyclone Reef has a very small coral cay island that is surrounded by a pristine atoll. Upon arrival, you'll be briefed by a local expert on the best parts of the reef to go snorkelling. You will enjoy a guided tour of this magnificent reef experiencing hundreds of different species of colourful fish, beautiful corals, crystal clear water and fantastic drop offs.Suicide Point WalkThe local chief's son will guide you on a walk through villages, and into the bush, along the ridge that divides the two large fjords at Tufi. When the track comes to its narrowest point, the path is barely wide enough to accommodate one person at a time and it is all that separates you from vertical drops at either side into the brilliantly clear waters of the two fjords. This narrow division between the fjords is all that prevents Tufi Station from becoming an island. Resting on the path, it is easy to see why Suicide Point is so named. After admiring the view and taking some photos you make your way back to the ship.
Your visit to the Tami Islands includes activities such as swimming, snorkelling and sea kayaking. You will have time to explore the village today before moving to one of the smaller uninhabited islands for a beach BBQ.
A minibus will transfer you from the wharf to downtown Madang to visit the Town Markets with their colourful array of fresh fruits and handicrafts. Your visit to the town will be followed by a fascinating visit to the village of Bilbil, famous for its earthenware pots, which you may wish to purchase. The houses in the village are made from traditional materials, such as the Sago Palm, and often an entire house can be constructed without the use of nails. The Bilbil people will treat you to a traditional sing-sing while you sip a cool drink. On the return journey, a stop will be made at the local museum, the Haus Tambaran, to observe the historical and cultural items they have on display.
Optional:Interested passengers may forgo the Bilbil village tour, and instead go on a scuba diving excursion. Madang has long been the tourism centre of Papua New Guinea and the diving around the area is something special. The local operator is one of the most experienced operators in Papua New Guinea, and can offer a morning of two dives at one or two of the local dive sites with the exact location chosen dependant on local conditions on the day. Certified divers only: must show certification.If you wish to participate in an optional activity, please contact your travel consultant.
Your exclusive access to Watam village will offer an insight into life in a remote Sepik village that very few outsiders have witnessed, even today. There are no roads, no phones, there is no electricity and there are not too many other luxuries to be found. The villagers will welcome your group with a special “dragon” dance and continue with a performance of the dances of their ancestors. You will be shown how to make Sago, the staple food of the Sepik coastline, and the local teacher will open the school to the group. Unique carvings and woven baskets will be available to buy. After repositioning over lunch, you will be able to explore the river mouth of the mighty Sepik near the village of Kopar by Zodiac.
Today you continue cruising to your final destination, Rabaul. Relax at the jacuzzi on the sun deck, or make your way to the hub of social life, the deck 3 lounge.
During your day in Rabaul you can choose one of two included tours. The two tours on offer are the Rabaul History and Highlights Tour or the Rabaul Volcano Adventure. The Volcano Adventure requires a greater degree of physical ability and a sense of adventure where as the History and Highlights Tour is suitable for just about anybody and mainly involves visiting local features by bus. For the History & Highlights Tour, you will jump aboard a mini-bus to explore the eerie ghost town of old Rabaul, sitting metres under tonnes of ash dumped primarily by the twin eruptions of Mt Tavurvur and Mt Vulcan in 1994.The Volcano Adventure will depart by Banana Boat across to the base of the volcano. Your tour will take place around the base of the volcano rather than climbing to the rim, as the volcano is still active. You will walk around the old lava flow and let the local Matupit villagers treat you to a “Kulau” (fresh green coconut) to refresh you after your efforts. There is a chance to see Megapodes (wild fowl) who make this area their home.
Today you'll arrive at the port in Rabaul, where you will disembark from your ship, and say farewell to your fellow cruisemates.
A private vehicle with driver will transfer you between hotel and port.
Enjoy a half day tour around Rabaul to discover the history surrounding these locations. Visit include the famous Japanese Barge Tunnel, the Rabaul Volcano logical Observatory, a Submarine base, Admiral Yamamoto's Bunker & Historical Center the Tavurvur Hot Springs, some Japanese Airplane wreckage and the Rabaul Market.
Situated in the in the heart of Kokopo Town, Kokopo Village Resort is only 20 minutes drive from the Tokua airport and a convenient 10 minutes walk from the famous Kokopo War and Cultural Museum and the Kokopo Golf Course The Resort is set in lush tropical gardens and beautifully sits above a magnificent beachfront over looking the Duke Of York Islands. With friendly dedicated staff ready to meet your needs, your stay at the Kokopo Village Resort will be a memorable one.
This tour explores the Gazelle Peninsula of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. Visit in and around the town of Rabaul, stopping to see the famous Japanese Barge Tunnel, the Rabaul Volcano logical Observatory, a Submarine base, Admiral Yamamoto's Bunker & Historical Center the Tavurvur Hot Springs, and some Japanese Airplane wreckage. Tour the Kokopo Village, and visit the remains and historical sites of WWII. Along the way visit some of the other highlights including the Bitapaka Commonwealth War Graves, Kokopo War Relics Museum, Queen Emma Steps, Vunapope Catholic Cathedral, and the Kokopo Market. If time permits visit the Malmaluan Lookout, the Japanese Peace Memorial, and the Toma Lookout. Interact with the local villagers to catch a glimpse into their daily lives.
A private vehicle with driver will transfer you between hotel and airport.
VISA/PASSPORTAmerican and Canadian citizens are required to have a valid passport to enter Australia. Americans and Canadians must enter with an Australian visa or, if eligible, through Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). The ETA replaces a visa and allows a stay of up to three months. It may be obtained for a small service fee. Airlines and many travel agents in the United States are also able to apply for ETAs on behalf of travelers. Please note that American citizens who overstay their ETA or visa, even for short periods, may be subject to exclusion, detention, and removal.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check information about the ETA, other visas, and entry requirements with the Embassy of Australia HEALTHHealth insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/australia.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Canberra. Government: Constitutional Monarchy. Gained independence from the UK in 1901. Language: The official language is English. Many other languages are retained by minorities, including Italian, German, Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese dialects and Aboriginal languages. Religion: 27% Roman Catholic, 21% Protestant and smaller minorities of all other major religions. Time: Australia spans three time zones: GMT + 10 (GMT + 11 from October to March, except Queensland; starts a month earlier in Tasmania). GMT + 9.5 (GMT + 10.5 from October to March, except Northern Territory). GMT + 8 (GMT + 9 from October to March, three-year trial in Western Australia until 2009 followed by referendum). Some states operate daylight saving time during the Australian summer. Electricity: 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Three-pin plugs are in use, however sockets are different from those found in most countries and an adaptor socket may be needed. Outlets for 110 volts for small appliances are found in most hotels. Telephone: Country code: 61. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good in and around populated areas; access in some of the more isolated, outback and rural areas is limited. US handsets are not compatible. Internet: Available throughout Australia. Internet cafes are prevalent in all capital cities and tourist towns, and individual hotels may also provide facilities. Wi-Fi access is increasing in cities and is mainly found in hotels, bars and cafes.
VISA/PASSPORTTravelers must possess a passport valid for at least six months, onward/return airline ticket, and proof of sufficient funds for their intended visit. Travelers may obtain business or tourist visas (valid for stays of up to 60 days, with extensions available for an additional 30 days) upon arrival at Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby. Processing generally takes 7 working days along with a visa processing fee of approximately US$25. All persons boarding international flights originating from Papua New Guinea must pay a departure fee, which is usually included in airline fares.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Papua New Guinea for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is required. Medical facilities are not widespread and poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/papua-new-guinea.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Port Moresby. Government: Constitutional monarchy. Gained independence from Australia in 1975. Language: The official language is English, which is widely used in business and government circles. Pidgin English and Hiri Motu are more commonly used (an estimated 742 other languages and dialects are also spoken). Religion: 90% Christian. Time: GMT + 10. Electricity: 240 volts AC, 50Hz. Australian-style three-pin plugs are in use. Some hotels provide 110-volt outlets in guest-rooms. Telephone: Country code +675. There are no area codes in Papua New Guinea. Mobile Telephone: Coverage is limited. Internet: Services tend to be slow and sometimes unreliable.
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