Monday, 20 April 2009

West Papua Discoverer - Places available


One person’s loss is another one’s gain.

Up until just the other day, the first West Papua Discoverer itinerary from North Star Cruises (who operate the multi-award-winning True North II) was a total sellout.

Due to a last minute cancellation, a handful of cabins have come back on the market for this ground-breaking expedition cruise.

In the genuine spirit of adventure and discovery, True North will venture to seldom-visited lands to the west of Papua New Guinea, formerly known as Irian Jaya.

A few things to make clear up front; 1) This is an expedition. There is a general itinerary planned, but unplanned things will almost certainly happen. Landing sites will alter which could just as easily mean unexpected surprises and discoveries. 2) It’s expensive. Why? Because the logistics of operating a small ship in remote waters, included passenger transfers and provisioning add unavoidably to the costs. How much? Starting price AUD $20k per person, twin share.

Even so, with space available for less than a dozen passengers, this could be the adventure of a lifetime. All of True North’s renown expedition facilities will be at hand for this journey; diving, snorkeling, fishing, helicopter sight-seeing as well as shore excursions to islands only Google Earth can reveal.

Kofiau Island, Aljui Bay, Karas Island, Pulau Mansuar and even one nick-named ‘Jurassic Park’ (Arguni) because of its steep, densely wooded atolls and sheer cliffs. At the conclusion, guests will fly out of Timika by charter to Darwin.

All of this wonder isn’t much good unless you have someone to help you interpret it and that’s where Drs Gerry Allen and Mark Erdmann (pictured) come in. Both will hold lectures and enrichment sessions for guests to help them come to terms with the fascinating above- and underwater landscapes and all that they hold.

True adventurers with both the spirit and the where-with-all, especially those with SCUBA diving experience, will gain enormously from this rare opportunity.

North Star Cruises director, Craig Howson, concedes the company has a lot riding on this journey. “Obviously we conceived this itinerary before the economic crunch, so while we are committed to this journey, we will have to very carefully assess future sailings.”

So this rare opportunity could be an only opportunity.

See the proposed itinerary at the North Star Cruises website: www.northstarcruises.com.au or just get on the phone. (+61 8) 91921 829