A holiday in Papua New Guinea offers new surprises every day – you can laze on pristine white sand beaches, snorkel in clear waters that teem with bright topical fish, sample delicious local fruits and get acquainted with its World War II history, lush flora and exotic animals. A cruise itinerary is the ideal way to experience all this and more, allowing you to unpack just once and settle in, ready for each fresh adventure. This is our beginner’s guide to a cruise holiday in Papua New Guinea.
The capital of Papua New Guinea’s Milne Bay Province, this is a wonderful place to get to know both the local culture and its place in World War II history books. Find out more about the events of the 1942 Battle of Milne Bay and the Australian digger who was awarded a Victoria Cross for his bravery, visit the Alotau Festival for a snapshot of the many and varied cultures of this region, and pick up some ornate wood carvings, locally-made woven baskets or fresh food at the town’s markets.
Don’t be fooled by the name – this is possibly the most peaceful place on Earth. Whether you’re in, on or under the waters of this picturesque group of 21 islands, you can spend your day soaking up the wonders of one of the world’s most biodiverse reef systems. Take a glass-bottom boat or outrigger canoe tour, go kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, or snorkel effortlessly through the clear waters of the lagoon.
Kiriwina is one of the world’s most intact island cultures: the largest and most populous of the famed Trobriand Islands. Your time ashore offers a chance to experience a slice of real Papua New Guinean culture – browse the markets for intricate carvings or a rehydrating fresh coconut or allow yourself to be drawn into watching one of the locals’ favourite pastimes – a game of Trobriand cricket. Just don’t expect to witness a conclusion to the hotly-contested match – games can last for days.
At the eastern end of Papua New Guinea lies the island of New Britain, and its former capital, Rabaul. The town has been destroyed by volcanic eruptions not once, but twice in the past hundred years, as well as being flattened by aerial bombardment during World War Two. Having been rebuilt since the last eruption in 1994, its harbour is one of the most impressive in the Pacific and its kilometres of underground tunnels, built by the Japanese during their wartime occupation, make for a fascinating story. If you’re interested in volcanology, a visit to the Observatory, which sits amidst three volcanoes, or to Mt Tavurvur, one of the most active volcanoes in the Pacific is a must.
In between visiting these fascinating and beautiful ports of call, you can enjoy your time on the open sea as your ship effortlessly transports you to your next destination. Start planning your next day’s activities, take in a show in the on-board theatre or spend the afternoon lazing by the pool. Ask your personal travel manager for details of cruises to this fascinating part of the world.