Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Voyages Back in Time to the Lost Paradise of Papua New Guinea


During March and April 2013, the award-winning expedition cruise ship Orion will again provide a very civilised and luxurious way to explore the coast and islands of near-neighbour, Papua New Guinea.

11-night itineraries conveniently commence and conclude in Cairns, Queensland, seamlessly incorporating a charter flight direct to or from the ship in Rabaul for boarding or disembarkation.

Discover the photographer-within or anthropologist-within as you explore this land of over 800 languages and a diversity of largely self-contained cultures that will challenge the imagination. Until relatively recently Papua New Guinea was still perceived as an isolated world of head-hunters; a land of mythology, sorcery and witchcraft.

Bypassing the main towns, as Orion does, many villagers have only been exposed to the modern world through the workings of missionaries and occasional traders. Yet step ashore with members of Orion's specialist expedition team and you will be greeted with broad smiles and warm welcomes from gentle villagers - an eye opening introduction to a way of life far removed from our Western world.

Between 1920 and 1926 famed Australian Antarctic photographer, Frank Hurley, visited New Guinea, returning with a portfolio of stunning black and white images. Men in dugout canoes, women carrying babies in string bags, delicate shell and feather ceremonial decorations, intricate tattoos; amazingly, photos of scenes that could have been taken this year so little has changed in a century, perhaps many centuries.

On these Orion voyages encounter primitive tribal cultures (and perhaps purchase superb indigenous artwork and carvings), see unique flora and fauna and enjoy luxuriant snorkelling and fishing in warm indigo and cobalt blue waters, home to some the world's most prolific marine and coral life.

In Rabaul, volcanic Mt Tavurvur grumbles, expelling smoke, gases, ash and volcanic rocks from deep within the earth. Here Admiral Yamamoto directed much of the Japanese Pacific campaign and the detritus of World War II lies scattered for your examination. Tufi's villages are situated within a picturesque series of jungle clad volcanic fjords, tribal cultures unchanged for centuries; while the colonial town of Madang conjures scenes of a Conrad or Hemmingway sitting in a cane chair well positioned to catch the afternoon breeze, sipping pink gin.

Orion's voyages to Papua New Guinea provide modern day explorers with the opportunity to venture to places far from mainstream tourism, yet to do so in the company of like-minded fellow travellers, in comfort and safety and without sacrificing creature comforts.

Priceless experiences that will stay with you for life.

Putting a price on priceless experiences:

11-night Papua New Guinea Cultural Highlights: CAIRNS - optional direct charter flight to RABAUL (overnight onboard), Sepik River & Watam Village, Madang, Tami Islands, Tufi, Kitava (The Trobriands), Samarai and Kwato Islands, Alotau (Milne Bay), CAIRNS. (Or vice versa commencing in Cairns and ending in Rabaul followed by an optional return charter flight to Cairns.)

2013 Departures: 16 March, 27 March

Fares: 11 night fares from $8,070 per person for an ocean view Stateroom /
Junior Suites begin from $9,590 per person / Balcony Suites are $14,205 per person / Owners Suites are $14,560 per person
All prices twin share. Charter flight to or from Cairns/Rabaul $600 per person

Details of Papua New Guinea voyage itineraries available at www.orionexpeditions.com/png

Further information on Orion Expedition Cruises can be obtained by visiting the website www.orionexpeditions.com

For reservations or to obtain a 2013 brochure call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) / 0800 444 462 (New Zealand) or see your travel agent.

Email: info@orionexpeditions.com