Kimberley Snapshot (7 Nights) Broome to Wyndham / Kununurra
Sydney Rocks – Blue Water Classic (4 Nights) Sydney to the Hawkesbury River and Return
Adventure South West (8 Nights) Perth/Esperance to Fremantle
enquire now

PNG by sea by Roderick Eime

PNG, By Sea, Paradise Vol. 14

Once the domain of fearless National Geographic photojournalists and intrepid explorers, PNG is re-emerging as the ideal adventure destination – this time by ship in five-star luxury. Roderick Eime reports.

Like fleeting shadows in the undergrowth, they move silently and stealthily, occasionally stopping, half-hidden, to check the progress of our canoes along the narrow, mangrove-lined creek. Our stalkers are smeared head-to-toe with the thick volcanic mud and just a tiara of mangrove leaves as camouflage. Are they looking for an opportunity to ambush us, or just satisfying their curiosity? My question will soon be answered.

Papua New Guinea has a wild reputation, but here we are on True North, one of the world’s acclaimed luxury expedition cruise ships. We’re on a “New Adventures in Paradise” cruise, beginning in the capital of New Ireland, Kavieng. The 11-day expedition, among the islands and along the coastal fringe of the Solomon Sea, visits volcanoravaged Rabaul, the uninhabited Lusancay Islands, stunning Tufi, the D’Entrecasteaux Group, the Louisiades and finally, Milne Bay and its port of Alotau.

All the time, we are feted by a handsome, fascinating people of warm, heart-felt generosity with a deep respect for custom and tradition. Shore visits from True North are conducted using its six aluminium runabouts. These hi-tech “tinnies” are more durable, faster more durable and versatile in tropical waters than the Zodiacs common on most of the world’s adventure cruises.

Landings are almost invariably wet on the many atolls and isolated beaches such as Nimoa and Kimuta; so don’t pack your best Florsheims. One of True North’s trump cards is the six-seat Eurocopter, piloted by full-time aviator Rainor Marshall. Used for the trickier landings and extra-special excursions, this asset really makes any expedition outstanding and sets North Star Cruises’ offering apart from rivals in this arena. You might think all this opulence is foreign out here in the wild, but a hot shower and crisp lager is just the ticket after a day on the baking sand or trekking in the steamy jungle.

Hardcore adventure purists and Kokoda trekkers may want to bunk down with all the jungle has to offer, but we have the opportunity to experience the impossible and unheard of while retreating to supreme comfort at day’s end.

Meals aboard True North are at least equal to the highest standards aboard boutique adventure yachts anywhere. With the enforced “barefoot” cruising aboard True North, where all staff and guests are shoeless inside, it’s hard to call this fine dining, but head chef, Nik Flack, knows all about “hats” due to his previous role. He turns out what he likes to call “sustainable, organic and very Australian cuisine”, using lots of locally sourced items, including seafood, greens and root crops.

As our barefoot staff serve delicate seafood, steak and poultry, there’s great Western Australian wine, too. Scuba diving is a big part of any True North expedition into these glorious tropical waters, and every opportunity is there for certified divers to explore the pristine reefs and corals that make PNG one of the world’s top diving spots.

Dr Andy Lewis, one of Australia’s foremost marine biologists, is there every step of the way, helping us unravel the mysteries of these remote waters, while dive master Oli Oldroyd keeps an eye on us underwater.

To read the full article please click here: PNG By Sea by Roderick Eime

A Helicopter Takes Off from TRUE NORTH in Papua New GuineaA Warm Welcome to Papua New GuineaPNG Shore Visits on TRUE NORTH expedition boatsPNG Locals Welcome TRUE NORTH

Feb. 10, 2017 The Rowley Shoals An Underwater Smorgasboard Web 284x149 1

The Rowley Shoals: an underwater smorgasbord

Nigel Marsh visited one of the most remote dive destinations in Australia aboard the mighty TRUE NORTH and discovered a collection of corals, fish and sharks that blew his socks off! From my first dive at th...

Read more
Nov. 06, 2019 Wild Wonder e1571819016603 182x149 1

Wild wonder

Cruise ships have a way of arousing fierce loyalty in their passengers. Guests develop an emotional connection to a vessel that has offered shelter, sustenance and comfort over the course of many days at sea. B...

Read more
Apr. 29, 2016 David Kirkland Photo 3 284x149 1

True adventure by Jane Freebury

"True Adventure To the Sepik River and the Bismarck Sea" with Jane Freebury featured in The Weekend Australian, April 2016. Jane recalls her experience as a guest of the TRUE NORTH and the PNG Tourism Promot...

Read more
Oct. 26, 2018 kimberley ashoreforaclimb 000 1160x697 1

Captivating Kimberly: cruising Australia’s west coast

Weathered by eons of rain, wind and sea spray, these cliffs are almost as old as the Earth itself. As you cast your eyes on the golden hues of the savagely weathered stone edifices along the Hunter and Prince ...

Read more
Dec. 13, 2019 TrueNorth ROWLEY SHOALS 2021 0416

Where coral is king

In Western Australia, the little-known atolls of the Rowley Shoals have not only somehow escaped coral bleaching, but are thriving in defiance of global trends. Marine biologist Carolyn Beasley takes a Chummy l...

Read more