North Star Cruises put the Kimberley region of north-west Australia firmly on the world map. Now, australiancruisingnews.com notes the cruise line’s luxury expedition ship True North is doing much the same for Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Through November and December True North, with onboard helicopter, explores the islands of PNG, which is Australia’s closest northern neighbour.
Here True North lists her Top 10 PNG experiences for cruise passengers.
- Abundant culture: PNG’s 5-million inhabitants speak more than 700 languages, and offer great cultural diversity.
- Nature calls: Bountiful PNG has around 21,000 plant species, 242 species of mammal, and 762 species of bird.
- Diving delights: Some of the world’s most spectacular diving sites are in these warm waters where reefs, coral gardens, and World War 2 wrecks abound.
- Pristine places:The region has more than 600 tropical islands, and True North visits many of them.
- Jungle jaunts: About three-quarters of PNG is covered by jungle, and a guided walk comes alive with an array of colourful tropical plants.
- On the beach: Stroll remote, uninhabited beaches with crystal white sands and azure blue water and listen to bird calls from the surrounding jungle.
- Go fishing: Sport-fishers discover that PNG’s reefs teem with species such as coral trout and monster mackerel, while black bass swim in the rivers there.
- Volatile volcanoes: The ash-covered slopes of Rabaul’s volcano, the smouldering Karkar Island, and still belching Tavurvur are sighted on some True North itineraries.
- Land of smiles: The people of PNG offer a friendly welcome as they show off their villages and richly ancient culture.
- Kokoda history: Territory around this historic wartime track is also covered on some True North adventures, northstarcruises.com.au
FOOTNOTE: Reports of a hostage situation in the PNG town of Alotau this month resulted in a quick response by P&O Cruises Australia which had one of its fleet, Pacific Aria, in port at the time. Passengers on day tours were immediately escorted back to the safety of the ship, before learning from local police that the hostage situation was “a hoax”, pocruises.com.au