Wednesday, 13 June 2012

New PNG Cruises from North Star Cruises

36-passenger luxury expedition cruise ship, True North (file pic)
Bismarck Bonanza

Exploring Northern Papua New Guinea

Continuing their reputation as Australia's pioneers of adventure cruising, North Star Cruises have again set the benchmark with the release of new itineraries in Papua New Guinea.

During 2011, the company's revered adventure-cruise ship TRUE NORTH undertook a 21 day circumnavigation of the Bismarck Sea. Senior captain Brad Benbow and ships biologist, Dr Andy Lewis collaborated with a boatload of enthusiastic passengers to refine the company's new Sepik Safari and Bismark Bonanza itineraries - ensuring brand new opportunities to discover virtually unseen and untouched areas of Papua New Guinea.

TRUE NORTH was purpose built to access shallow coastal environs and river systems allowing all on-board to go where others cannot. The ship also uniquely features an on-board helicopter and six dedicated expedition boats providing guests with much greater opportunity to do what they want when they want. And 20 crew-members look after just 36 guests ensuring the company's reputation for personal service.

Highlights of the refined 2012 itineraries include vast reef complexes around Rambutyo Island, the turquoise waters of Ninigo Atoll, heli-flights over active volcanoes, swimming with manta rays, black-bass fishing and cruising on the mighty Sepik River.

Guests will be intrigued by visits to the spirit house at Yentchan Village and may even witness rarely seen rituals. There are also opportunities to purchase exotic artefacts.

Life on-board the TRUE NORTH offers something for everyone, from a lazy basking in the sun to diving, hiking and fishing in what can only be described as a fisherman's paradise.

Divers and snorkelers can expect some of the best underwater scenery on the planet, with the myriad reefs in the Hermit and Ninigo atoll complexes providing countless coral playgrounds, no words can describe the underwater beauty.

And fish guru Dr. Gerry Allen will also be part of the 2012 line up.

"The 2011 voyages completely surpassed all our expectations, when world experts see things that cause them to gasp in awe we know we are seeing something very special and sharing all this with our guests is always our joy", said North Star Cruises director Craig Howson, a veteran of 25 years adventure-cruising on the Kimberley coast.

Another major drawcard for guests has been meeting the Melanesian people of PNG. The new cruises continue to provide guests with wonderful opportunities to interact with local people throughout the very remote areas that are visited. Highlights include witnessing tribal gatherings along with log drumming so powerful that it shakes the earth and, being welcomed to watch festooned warriors and brightly dressed maidens perform the traditional sing-sings.

On the Sepik River visual feasts abound as the young Australian crew chaperones in the expedition boats through narrow waterways that suddenly open into vast inland lakes whilst while a further journey down-river reveals a village on stilts. Warm greetings from locals bearing flowers and gifts will overwhelm everybody on-board.

Guest can expect first class service and revered cuisine including the daily catch of mackerel, wahoo and yellow fin tuna. Guests can completely relax, knowing that after each day of adventure they will return to their luxurious cabins to prepare for pre-dinner drinks and fine dining.

Cruises to PNG start from 27th October 2012.

Full details and pricing: www.northstarcruises.com.au