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Cruises to Alotau

Alotau (Photo:Wayne Via/Shutterstock)

About Alotau

As you cruise into Alotau, the region's natural beauty transports you to an ancient paradise of lush jungle and undiscovered secrets. Sometimes, the low-hanging clouds cover the tops of the surrounding mountains, adding a sense of wonder and mystery. As the ship gets closer to the port, the rhythmic beats of drums and the melodic voices of a welcoming party can be heard. Soon, the colourful costumes come into view and you know you have arrived somewhere special.

As the capital of Milne Bay Province, Alotau is the gateway to many remote islands in Papua New Guinea. As the location where the Battle of Milne Bay took place in 1942, history buffs will enjoy the historic sites, including the Australian War Memorial.

Shuttle buses or private vehicles will transport you into town to explore. A highlight is the Alotau Cultural Festival where you will experience the dances, music and costumes of the locals, many of whom have travelled long distances to take part in the performances. There are market stalls to purchase items from and a small canteen to buy snacks. The people are friendly and welcome photos to be taken.

  • Why go to Alotau?

  • Alotau Cruise Port Facilities?

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Seven Seas Explorer
Seven Seas Explorer

18 Night
South Pacific CruiseDetails

227 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Jan 26, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Westerdam
Westerdam

51 Night
South Pacific Australia & New Zealand CollectorDetails

1,067 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 2, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Westerdam
Westerdam

36 Night
South Pacific CrossingDetails

1,067 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 2, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth (Photo: Cunard Line)

18 Night
Transpacific CruiseDetails

570 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Cunard Line
Mar 10, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

18 Night
Europe - Northern CruiseDetails

707 Reviews
Leaving:Oslo
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Aug 5, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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25 Night
South Pacific CruiseDetails

365 Reviews
Leaving:Tahiti
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Feb 2, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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19 Night
South Pacific CruiseDetails

227 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Jan 19, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

11 Night
South Pacific CruiseDetails

998 Reviews
Leaving:Brisbane
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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116 Night
116 Night Mediterranean - Western CruiseDetails

334 Reviews
Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
Jan 4, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
South Pacific CruiseDetails

22 Reviews
Leaving:Cairns
Cruise Line:Ponant
Feb 10, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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18 Night
Europe - Northern CruiseDetails

240 Reviews
Leaving:Oslo
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Aug 10, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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20 Night
Australia CruiseDetails

355 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Mar 22, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

16 Night
Australia CruiseDetails

232 Reviews
Leaving:Cairns
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
Feb 12, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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21 Night
21-nt Astounding Australia/asia VoyageDetails

11 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Azamara
Mar 1, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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28 Night
Transpacific CruiseDetails

570 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Cunard Line
Mar 10, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Why go to Alotau?

Pros:

Alotau is the historic centre of Milne Bay and is home to the annual Kenu & Kundu Festival in November

Cons:

Not many attractions to visit; snorkelling and swimming spots are not easily accessible

Bottom Line:

A relaxed port that offers an insight into Papua New Guinean culture

Alotau Cruise Port Facilities?

Although Alotau is a working port, the facilities are quite basic. However, there is an ATM and currency change facilities. There is a shelter from the sun near the bus transfer pickup area and an information kiosk, too.

Good to Know?

The weather in Alotau is very hot and humid, so it's advisable to take water, a hat and insect repellent. The port facilities are modest, however there are some shaded areas available to wait in before your transfer. For those who prefer to walk around on their own to explore, Alotau is a safe town and locals are very friendly. Visitors need to be sensitive to cultural differences, such as modesty, so longer skirts and pants are advised. On the other hand, traditional dress might seem confronting to visitors, so keep in mind that some costumes might be more revealing, but this is the norm in Alotau. Many locals - including children - chew betel nut which discolours teeth and gums, turning them reddish-brown.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Alotau is a great town to explore on foot, however it can get very hot so you might not get too far. The streets are safe and there are footpaths to walk on. However, the infrastructure is not very modern and there is quite a lot of roadworks and construction around the town.

By bus/van: If you have organised a tour through your cruise line, then you will be transported via van. However, there are a variety of 'coaches' that are available, from basic mini-vans to public transport-sized buses.

By Taxi: Taxis are available and are reasonable. Negotiate a price before accepting a ride.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The kina is used in Alotau; however, some market stalls will accept Australian dollars. There's an ATM at the port and currency exchange facilities, however it would be best to have kina with you before arriving.

Language?

English is spoken and understood in Alotau, however other languages are also spoken including Tawala, Suau and Tok Pison. You will find that older locals do not speak as much English as the younger generations.


Alotau Cruise Reviews
There is not much to see in town - you need to get a guide to explain what you are seeing and the culture and history is fascinating Read More
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lissie
As this was our first port we just walked around the city. Later we took a taxi to a small museum and had a look at the museum.Read More
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marinaantonova
Did a village and town tour really good.Read More
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mrmcgoo1950
Alotau was our least favorite port, but it was still really interesting and a good introduction to PNG. Alotau is the regional centre of Milne Bay province. The villagers in the surrounding area come to Alotau for Read More
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dawn.nicholson@ymail.com

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