Adventures in Paradise (10 Nights)
Cairns / Kavieng – Alotau / Cairns (or reverse)
This is our most refined Indo-Pacific voyage – an adventure packed with diverse destinations and fascinating experiences. From the Bismarck Sea to the beautiful Louisiade Archipelago, this itinerary travels through a stunning tropical landscape of island and reef. Fly in the ship’s helicopter over the active volcano at Rabaul and visit the stirring Isurava memorial on the Kokoda Track. Swim with manta rays, snorkel endless coral walls in the Lusancay group and enjoy sunset drinks on your ‘very own’ sand cay! Oversize mackerel, dog-tooth tuna and coral trout will keep the anglers busy. Our Melanesian friends greet us with a warm hospitality that is normally reserved for returning family and the smiles and laughter of their children will leave lasting and cherished memories.
Return charter flights ex Cairns ARE INCLUDED in the cruise tariff. This itinerary is provided as example only – prevailing conditions and local arrangements may cause variation. Helicopter flights can be purchased additional to the cruise tariff as a package or individually.
Your “welcome aboard” is in the vibrant city of Cairns – but this time embarkation proceedings will be a little different! One of our crew members will escort you aboard True North Adventure Cruises' very own charter aircraft! Now sit back and enjoy the comfortable flight to Kavieng. As soon as you step off the plane you will begin to reshape your impressions of the “land of the unexpected”. Perhaps the clean and fresh sea breezes will take you by surprise, or will it be the huge smiles of locals so eager to welcome you to their island paradise! After clearing customs, we will transfer you to the onboard luxury of the TRUE NORTH and, the delights of our renowned galley! Enjoy a welcome aboard lunch as we cruise to nearby Lissenung Island Resort – join the first of our ‘shore parties’ and discover ‘post card’ beaches, palm trees, tranquil villages and a flotilla of canoes. The many islands in this area are a cruise highlight. You will certainly find endless irresistible beaches and amazing coral gardens that are just a ‘fin kick’ away! And, what a place for diving and snorkelling – Papua New Guinea’s reputation as a diving destination could very well be without peer! There will also be lots of hot action in the fishing tenders – do battle with hard fighting table fish such as mackerel, yellow fin tuna and mahi mahi. At day’s end, relax with a drink in the alfresco bar before returning to the dining saloon for more culinary delight!
The many islands around Kavieng and New Hanover are a cruise highlight. A morning sing sing will be a memorable event as every man, woman and child turns out in welcome. Off the beach we find ships, planes and even submarines wrecked in shallow water and beyond the reef it’s time to encounter a marauder of another kind!
This morning we arrive at the Duke of York Islands – 17th century trading ships collected water from here. A Methodist preacher by the name of Reverend George Brown settled here in 1875 and, the beautiful and very enterprising daughter of an American whaling captain started a trading empire here! The grim reminders of a world conflict are here too – the snorkelling expeditions will re- discover Japanese tanks in shallow island waters. The ship’s helicopter will provide stunning island views that have been the privilege of few before. Then visit Rabaul– once described as the most beautiful town in the South Pacific! Perched on the edge of a magnificent natural harbour and, surrounded by active volcanoes! In 1994, the town was smothered under a cloud of ash and now lies largely abandoned – courtesy of nearby Matupit! The volcano still belches smoke throughout the day and helicopter flights over the smoldering crater are very spectacular indeed.
Wake to find the TRUE NORTH off the coast of New Britain and the beautiful Jacqinot Bay area. Dense jungle and mighty rivers will dominate proceedings today as the TRUE NORTH’s ‘shallow draft’ provides unique access! Join our comfortable adventure boats as we explore deeper into the jungle visiting isolated villages that have little contact with the outside world and visit the grotto where fresh water pounds out of a rock face onto a pristine beach. No matter what your desire, the coast of New Britain promises unrivalled adventure! Another star filled night in the silhouette of the jungle, and tonight is party night – things might just get a little ‘South Pacific’!
As you gaze out your cabin window this morning you will notice that our overnight passage has delivered us to a very different place. This morning we are anchored in the middle of the Solomon Sea amongst the corals of Star Reef and, the strikingly beautiful Lusancay Islands. What a place!! So today let’s have some fun at the beach. Take a stroll around your very own deserted island (the Lusancays are uninhabited), snorkel in the shallows or drop off the outer- reef for the dive of a lifetime! The fishing is second to none – battle with tuna, mackerel or even a sailfish. If the fisher- persons have held up their end of the bargain then coral trout could be tonight’s fare but regardless there are bound to be plenty of adventures to re-live in the ship’s bar!
Start the day with a refreshing snorkel; catch your breakfast or just stroll along a pristine beach fringed with coconut palms! Then fill your day with swimming, island walks and village life as we cruise the beautiful fiords of Tufi. The ship’s helicopter will spoil with exhilarating flights to the Isurava Memorial on the Kokoda Track. Tufi is renowned for SCUBA diving and our guides will be looking forward to a spot of mackerel fishing as the setting sun heralds the end of another day in paradise.
Today we visit Ferguson Island. On the morning walk discover jungle that shelters countless varieties of birds including colourful parrots, hornbills, wild fowl and the famed bird of paradise. Many rare species of butterfly are present and Papua New Guinea is also home to over two thirds of the world’s orchid species. You may even be lucky enough to see a reclusive tree kangaroo! An excursion to the Hot Springs will top off an amazing day.
Deboyne Island was a Japanese seaplane base during World War II – but only for 5 days! The Japanese found that their new base was just a little too close to the allied planes based at Port Moresby and the base was quickly abandoned. The Japanese never returned to the island however several ‘Zero’ fighter planes were ditched in the area during the Battle of the Coral Sea. One remains virtually intact in the shallow waters of Deboyne Lagoon and this morning our expedition boats will convey snorkelling teams to examine the wreck. Fishing, diving and sightseeing boats will also explore the lagoon and outer reef. A visit to Panepompom Island provides opportunity to experience idyllic archipelago life. The ‘locals’ will welcome you on the beach, treat with some impromptu singing (and laughing) and then invite all to stroll amongst their huts. Our crew will also take the opportunity to deliver appreciated resources to the local school before the expedition boats are away again.
In the afternoon the ship’s helicopter will deliver a breathtaking orientation to the Calvados Chain especially distinctive Panasia and Duchateau Island. Here the islands are steep sided and ‘Jurassic Like’. Fishing, diving and snorkelling will again be on the agenda or perhaps you would prefer a hike on exotic Panasia!
This morning we wake off Nimoa Island – here the island mission will impress. The five-sided church features murals of island life and all mission buildings are surrounded by well maintained paths and gardens filled with flowering plants. Edged by jungle covered mountains, postcard beaches and crystal clear waters – an island paradise indeed! Then it’s time for another cruise highlight – the aptly named “Fish City” is home to large numbers of parrot fish, batfish, trevally, coral trout, tuna, snapper and mackerel! Nearby Rossel Island is a much larger island – nearly 300 square kilometres! It is also very mountainous with Mt Rossel reaching 800 metres – the helicopter will be handy! From an unassailable vantage scenic flyers will encounter lush jungle and, fringing reefs 12 kilometres to the east and 40 kilometres to the west!
Today we visit the Renard Islands. Kimuta is a very special opportunity to purchase artefacts and here we will also enjoy some of the best snorkelling that Papua New Guinea has to offer! Then we’ve saved the best till last – wait till you see Ebora! The master will reverse the TRUE NORTH stern to beach in an amazing turquoise lagoon built to size. You will be impressed by the steep sided jungle that surrounds. The nearby dive site is big as well – a vertical wall with the best vis yet!
This morning we are alongside in Alotau. Transfer to your charter plane and the return flight to Cairns. We are already looking forward to welcoming you back onboard – the next time you Go Wild in Style!
Perfect! Couldn’t imagine a better holiday!Aaron Gawlinski & Nicole Guala
It was the experience of a life-time. At least of my and Lisa’s life-time. Truly stunning. From choppering into the most sacred site on the Kokoda Track, to scuba diving with a hammerhead shark, to visiting remote PNG villages, the whole thing was invigorating and inspiring from first to last.Peter FitzSimons & Lisa Wilkinson
Fab-u-lous! Best food I have ever had on a cruise ship, best crew, by a distance and a true Adventure in Paradise. The people watching was sensational. Experience of a lifetime. Felt so privileged.David Robson