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Kiriwina and Kitava (Trobriand Islands) (Photo:Wayne Via/Shutterstock)
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Roderick Eime
Cruise Critic Contributor

Port of Kiriwina and Kitava (Trobriand Islands)

The two major ports in this remote and mysterious island group in the northern part of Papua New Guinea's Milne Bay Province are Kiriwina and Kitava. Kiriwina is the larger of the two, with Kitava traditionally taking up the overflow from its larger neighbour.

Keep an eye out for locally made handicrafts and shell jewellery, particularly the ornate and intricate ebony carvings and shell necklaces. With the influx of cruise tourists, prices have begun to creep up, but this merchandise is the real deal, so don't embarrass yourself or insult the artisan by haggling too hard.

With crystal clear water and abundant marine life, snorkelling is another popular activity, but it's best to take an outrigger canoe to get to the reef as the water is too shallow to safely swim over it.

About Kiriwina and Kitava (Trobriand Islands)


Pro

These remote ports offer an authentic cultural experience, particularly through native dance performances

Con

Haggling at the markets is likely to reduce the price by only 10 or 20 percent

Bottom Line

Rarely featured on cruise itineraries, Kiriwina and Kitava are rich in natural beauty and culture


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Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The Trobriand Islands' strongest currency is the yam -- yes, the vegetable -- which represents wealth. Because cruise passengers are unlikely to successfully take yams through customs, islanders do accept kina, the official currency of Papua New Guinea.

Language

Kilivila, an Austronesian language, is the official tongue spoken by the people of the Trobriand Islands. However, you'll likely find different dialects. Children who attend school learn English, and many younger residents of the islands are able to speak English with visitors.

--By Rod Eime, Cruise Critic contributor

--Photo: Austronesian Expeditions/Flickr