Papua New guinea is a must go destination for everyone no matter what age and background you are. Returning expatriates, returning ex-service personnel, children of those who once lived in PNG, inquisitive travelers etc. Our first time with Princess Cruises and they excelled in every area. In Alotau we did the Cultural Festival on board tour which was worthwhile. We noted that independent travelers still had to pay the same as passengers if they wanted entry. Good range of cultural dancers and the arts and crafts were very nice and affordable. We noted that the sellers were not used to haggling and when we were dropped off at the local market on the way back to the ship we could see why. All the produce in the markets was marked with a price and that was what was paid. There were other tours to suit other interests such as WWII or local village and cooking tour. Off to Kitava Island where we were greeted by three young ladies in traditional dress who we felt were only doing it because their mum had insisted. We saw her taking note of the numbers of passengers getting off the tenders so I'd say she billed the cruise line for the privilege as many of the other children had signs "K5 a snap" in front of themselves.
The primary school children were there to greet us and put on small performances and were a delight. More carvings, shells, string bags (bilums) for sale. Lovely place for a swim and snorkel. Off to Rabaul where we took a full day tour with Kokopo Tours (wish I could insert their flyer here so others could benefit!) AU$150.00 each including water and lunch at the Gazel Peninsular Hotel. Saw everything there was to see, Yamamoto's bunker, Bita Paka War Cemetery, Kokopo War Museum and Cultural Center, Hot Springs, Volcano, WWII Zero crash site etc. The devastation of the last major eruption in 1994 is still very evident. Sea day before reaching Doini Island for more snorkeling, dance groups etc. More arts and crafts to buy. What a great little 'resort' island. Check out www.doiniisland.com and if you're cruising there pre-book snorkeling or trips to Samarai Island etc. Love to come back and chill!!!! 2 more sea days and back to Brisbane. On the way up to PNG and on other sea days we were entertained by very knowledgeable speakers who obviously loved their work. All in all a very pleasant visit to our next door neighbours.
I live here.
We visited Kitava one of the Trobriand Islands. Some ships go to Kiriwina Island and some do both. I think the local from all the surrounding islands had come to Kitava before the ship arrived. Fantastic opportunity to see more craft work and possibly buy. The local pre and primary school was in full voice soliciting contributions. I changed the small Aussie coins that had been donated for Kina as they wouldn't have been able to bank these. Aussie notes can be swapped at the bank but there are always excessive charges so if you are going to make a donation ask if you can take there coins, $5 and $10 notes and give them a larger Kina note in exchange. I'm sure you'll spend the money when you get home or you can use it to pay your on board account!! You'll also get ride of any Kina you have left for a good cause.
I've had to call this Madang as there is no Doini Island in the drop down menu and I tried to add another Kiriwina/Kitava but the system won't let me. Doini island is a paradise. Go to www.doiniiland.com to check it out. If you want to visit other off shore islands such as Samarai Island (former seat of administration) you can get a speed boat from here if you have booked earlier through web site. Snorkeling is great and again if you are a serious diver you can book a tour on the web site before you get there. More dancing and arts and crafts. Possibly the last chance to buy up all their loose change and do them a favour. Swimming great and with all these islands it's probably better to wear reef shoes when you get off the tender.