Papua New Guinea

Cruisin’ Papua New Guinea

For Australians tempted by Papua New Guinea’s adventure and intrigue but not willing to forego their creature comforts, the growing cruise industry offers a combination of luxury and adventure for an unforgettable experience.

According to the Australian Cruise Industry, sea-borne holidaying is on the up and up amongst Aussie travellers, particularly in the South Pacific. While PNG remains one of the last, largely un-touched tourist destinations of the world, the growing cruising industry is cashing in on the Australian fascination with our closest neighbour.

Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority’s (PNG TPA) representative, Michael Woods said the comfort of cruise ships is a massive draw card for travellers who want a relaxing holiday with a bit of an adventure hit.

“Cruising allows the more discerning travellers who still want a taste of adventure to be able to experience the incredible culture, snorkelling, landscapes and birdlife of PNG combined with the onboard comfort of a cruising vessel,” Mr Woods said.

The upshot of this is a cavalcade of cruise companies with options to suit a range of tastes and budgets, often with the Aussie traveller in mind.

The 70th anniversary of Kokoda in 2012 means that Aurora Expeditions have launched a special voyage to run in April next year, visiting sites guided by an on-board historian and ending with an ANZAC Day dawn service.   This 13-day expedition starts from $5,690 per person quad-share, including all meals on board, shore excursions and lectures. www.auroraexpeditions.com.au.

For those looking for an authentic, close-up experience, Coral Princess Cruises’ Oceanic Discoverer is designed to allow travel in shallow water and those other hard to reach places – like a trip up the mighty Sepik River. While the scenic Sepik River is popular for canoeing and fishing, Coral Princess Cruises’ passengers are also able to visit remote villages along the Sepik renowned for their artists and woodcarvers. Prices start at $8,690 per person, twin share for 10 nights Alotau to Rabaul or $9,090 per person departing from Cairns. www.coralprincess.com.au

The savvy traveller knows there are ways to get luxe for less, and booking a  cruise adventure is no exception.

Orion Expeditions Cruises’ Orion and Orion II  sets sail in March and October 2012 to explore the islands of Papua New Guinea with their specialist expedition team.  For those with initiative, the earlybird deal takes 25% off all PNG voyages for bookings before 30 November 2011 for the 2012 season ($6,745 per person, twin share).   To book email [email protected] or call (+61) 1300 361 012.

And even if you’ve already booked with North Star Cruises, they have announced half price upgrades for their PNG Adventures in Paradise cruises departing in 2011. The offer is open for a limited time to both new and existing bookings. www.northstarcruises.com.au

For more information about Papua New Guinea visit http://www.papuanewguinea.travel/Australia

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