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Cruises to Kiriwina (Papua New Guinea)

Kiriwina Island, Papua New Guinea (Photo: Mouskie/Shutterstock)

About Kiriwina (Papua New Guinea)

If you've ever flicked through a National Geographic magazine and been awed by the remote cultures of Papua New Guinea, then visiting Kiriwina Island will introduce you into this unique tribal life. While cruise ships have been visiting Kiriwina for a number of years, the traditional way of life has remained, allowing visitors to truly appreciate this rich and fascinating culture.

As you step ashore, the beach is lined with locals selling their exquisite handicrafts: mostly wood carvings, jewellery and other handmade items. While cruisers might be used to haggling for a better price in other parts of the world, it would be mindful to remember that most of the locals have walked for hours to greet cruise passengers in an effort to sell their beautifully intricate items, many of which have taken countless hours to create. Kiriwina Island, the largest of the Trobriand Islands, has its own currency, made from banana leaves -- and the locals also barter -- so the concept of cold, hard cash is relatively new to the locals. However, they do accept the kina, so ensure you have small notes on hand.

While there aren't many attractions on Kiriwina Island, there are ship-organised tours. There are also tours that can be organised once ashore: locals will approach you and offer to take you to a local village or on a canoe to snorkel on the other side of the island where the coral and marine life is exquisite. Swimming off the beach where the tender drops you off is lovely and there are lots of shady spots to relax.

  • Why go to Kiriwina (Papua New Guinea)?

  • Kiriwina (Papua New Guinea) Cruise Port Facilities?


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11 Night
Cruise to Kiriwina (Papua New Guinea)Details

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Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
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Why go to Kiriwina (Papua New Guinea)?


A unique cultural experience exploring an untouched part of Papua New Guinea


Language barrier; the poverty can be confronting

Bottom Line:

An eye-opening port offering an authentic experience without the commercialisation found on other islands

Kiriwina (Papua New Guinea) Cruise Port Facilities?

The tender drops off cruise passengers on the beach, which is where most will spend the day. Facilities are basic; however, a medic tent will be set up by the cruise line not far from the beach.

Good to Know?

The locals are extremely friendly and keen to sell their handicrafts. Some might interpret this as pushy, but a polite 'no thank you' will suffice if you do not wish to purchase anything. It's also a good idea to bring insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants and to see your doctor before travelling for any vaccinations or anti-malaria tablets. Bring your own drinking water and take any rubbish back with you on the ship to dispose of responsibly. Reef shoes are also recommended as stonefish can be found here at certain times of the year.

Be mindful to ask permission before taking photographs as this is also an opportunity for locals to make money. You will be expected to pay five kina or similar to take photos of local wildlife (such as parrots and cuscus) that are owned by locals.

Villages are very basic with no running water or electricity, but you will see traditional huts and the yam houses -- which contain the island's most prized commodity. Yams are harvested and stored in the intricately carved and decorated yam houses to be eaten at special occasions. If you have the opportunity to watch traditional dancing or a local cricket game, don't hesitate; this will definitely be a highlight of a day spent on Kiriwina Island.

Getting Around?

On Foot: The best way to explore is by foot, but locals do have vans and mini buses to take you on tours if you plan on venturing out further than the beach. Be mindful that these vehicles are not up to western standards. Canoes are also available, and locals will take you out for a scenic trip or for some swimming/snorkelling at a negotiated fee.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Kina is the currency accepted on Kiriwina. Some locals will accept Australian dollars, but not coins. There are no ATMs or credit card facilities.


English is spoken and understood by some locals, however the language spoken on Kiriwina is Kilivila, which is unique to the island.

Kiriwina (Papua New Guinea) Cruise Reviews
Kiriwina was a delight. Loved the people.... Read More
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Loved Kiriwina. Beautiful island, lovely people, amazing cultural experience due to it being their independence day while we were there, so lots of authentic celebrations and dances. Beautiful wood art to buy and... Read More
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Kiriwina was nice enough. Very friendly locals but an oversupply of markets..hundreds of stalls all selling the same kind of thing. Beautiful hand crafted timber carvings and baskets/ bags. Great prices. The beaches... Read More
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Tender ports, we didn't get to go ashore at Kitava, but Kiriwina was wonderful. Snorkelling was difficult due to the low tide.... Read More
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