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Papua New Guinea - The Last Frontier

Discover the Wonders of Papua New Guinea aboard the MS Caledonia Sky

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  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World
  • Expedition Cruising
  • Tufi Tribe

Few lands have such an exotic and mysterious allure as Papua New Guinea. The world’s second-largest island sits off the north coast of Australia and is home to more than 1,000 indigenous tribes — each with their own traditions — as well as flamboyant birdlife, tropical forests rich with orchids, steepsided volcanoes, pristine coral wonderlands and golden beaches. Our past travellers and field staff who have visited this mysterious land, where nothing is contrived and every experience is truly authentic, have enthused about the spectacular scenery and truly astounding array of native cultures which are known to only a few privileged travellers.

Travelling independently in Papua New Guinea can be difficult, with little infrastructure in place to accommodate for tourists and information about getting around often scarce. This is of course what makes the region alluring to the genuine traveller, but also why travelling with just 100 passengers and our expert onboard team aboard the all-suite MS Caledonian Sky, is an ideal way to explore this fascinating part of the world in comfort. Afloat and ashore, our exploration will be filled with unforgettable images and we hope you will join us for this unparalleled opportunity to explore one of the most intriguing places on the map.

Useful Links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  

  • What to Expect

    Tribesman

    Flexibility is the key to an expedition cruise; sometimes the whole day’s schedule will be changed to maximise your experience, something that would not be possible on a large cruise ship. Each day holds something new and below are some extracts from the ship’s log from a previous voyage in the region which will provide you with an idea of what to expect.

    "Lababia: This morning we took to dugout canoes paddled by villagers, and set off up a wild river in convoy. The west side of this river has been designated the Kamiali Wildlife Management Reserve, 27,000ha where no crops are grown, nor trees felled. It remains pristine rainforest and because the only sound we were making was the plashing of canoe paddles, we could hear the cicadas, falling leaves and the liquid calls of many forest birds from the surrounding trees. On our way back there were lorikeets screeching overhead, swiftlets above the treetops, a sulphur-crested cockatoo creaking to one side of the river, the huge dusky crested Palm Cockatoo in a tree on the other. At one point a Grey Goshawk swept across the river carrying a small bird in its talons, and a kingfisher raced past us upstream.

    Once back at the river mouth, we walked past thatched wooden houses on stilts, to reach the central square just back of the beach. Here the local primary school children gathered to sing us the moving National Anthem, and then a fearsome group of warriors with headdresses adorned with hornbill, cockatoo and goshawk feathers leapt and stamped to the insistent beat of kundu drums. What a spectacle, a performance enjoyed as much by the villagers themselves as by our appreciative audience. By now the day was heating up so many returned to the cool haven of the ship while the more active made for the snorkel Zodiac and enjoyed the soothing balm of clear coral reefs and their myriad fish shoals. After such an action-packed morning, the afternoon was a welcome respite, as the Captain hauled anchor and we headed south to a new destination. The afternoon was a quiet time to recuperate and attend two lectures on offer: Tony on the Birds of New Guinea and Micronesia, and Ian on Coral Reefs and their fishes."

    More information

Caledonian Sky

Caledonian Sky

The MS Caledonian Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

View vessel details

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 - London to Cairns , Australia.

Fly by scheduled indirect flight.

Day 3 - Cairns.

Arrive this morning and transfer to our hotel for a two night stay. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 4 - Cairns.

After breakfast at the hotel enjoy a full day in Cairns. Choose to spend the day exploring the underwater world on the Great Barrier Reef or discover the wildlife at the Daintree Rainforest. We meet this evening for dinner at the hotel.

Day 5 - Cairns to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

After breakfast in the hotel we will transfer to the airport for our specially chartered flight to Port Moresby. On arrival transfer to the MS Caledonian Sky and enjoy Welcome Drinks and Dinner on board as we sail this evening.

Day 6 - Bonarua.

Enjoy a morning at sea. As we follow the coast of Papua New Guinea, the peaks of the dramatic Stanley Owens Range come into view and we arrive at the island of Bonarua in Milne Bay at lunchtime. We will go ashore to view fishing and weaving demonstrations, and wander through the enchanting village, sampling local delicacies. Birders have the chance to trek into the thicket whilst the warm inviting waters of the Coral Sea offer a first opportunity to explore the underwater world.

Day 7 - Alotau.

Today we arrive in Alotau, the provincial capital. As the centre for Milne Bay many of the islanders come here to sell their wares and the vibrant local market is a trove of local artefacts including Trobriand carvings. We will have time to explore the town whilst our naturalists will take walks to explore the surrounding rainforest looking for birds. The more adventurous may wish to investigate the local caves which are home to thousands of bats.

Day 8 - Tufi.

Arrive at first light in the fjordland of Papua New Guinea. These fjords are over 90 metres deep and rise vertically to 150 metres from the water. The faces of the fjord are covered with moss and orchids and waterfalls fall into the sea. We will use our Zodiacs or local boats to explore the fjords and also visit the local villages. In the markets we will see the local pottery, jewellery and tapa cloth typical of this region. Due to the protection of the fjords the coral reefs are rich in colour and variety and have good visibility. We will find a suitable spot with our Zodiacs to snorkel amongst the gobie, mandarin fish, pigmy seahorses, sponge and shelf corals.

Day 9 - Lababia.

Arrive at breakfast time in Lababia, our entry to the Kamiali Wildlife Management Area. It is accessible only by boat and the area has been formally protected but is under the control of local landowners. It includes a wide range of lowland and mid-montane rainforest, together with inshore marine areas including lush coral reefs, and has a rich array of plants, animals and ecosystems. We can take a rainforest walk on the David Suzuki Trail, seeking hornbills, parrots and palm cockatoos or enjoy time in the local village. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon at one of the nearby reefs swimming or snorkelling.

Day 10 - Madang.

After a morning at sea we arrive at Madang, which is sometimes dubbed the ‘prettiest town in the Pacific’ perched on a peninsula surrounded by picturesque islands and sprinkled with parks, ponds and water-lily filled waterways. Madang’s warm, wet climate and fertile soil produce luxuriant growth and any of the huge casuarina trees that tower over the Madang streets support huge colonies of flying foxes. The trees may have escaped World War II relatively unscathed but Madang itself wasn’t so lucky. The town was rebuilt after it was virtually destroyed during the Japanese occupation and subsequent fighting. A morning tour will include the Catholic Mission and Coastwatcher’s Memorial Lighthouse and vibrant market.

Day 11 - Tami Islands.

Arrive this morning on the Tami Islands, four tiny atolls situated seven miles off the Huon Peninsula with around 400 inhabitants. We will be welcomed by the islanders and have a chance to see the distinctive wooden bowls, figure carvings and masks of the region. Alternatively we will use our Zodiacs taking the opportunity to snorkel in the crystal clear waters. Enjoy lunch on board as we sail this afternoon.

Day 12 - Kuiawa & Nakwaba, Trobriand Islands.

Over breakfast we arrive in Kuiawa in the Trobriand Islands. First discovered by the French vessel, Esperence in 1793 and named after the first lieutenant, they are also known as the “Islands of Love” after the study by anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski who wrote about them in his study “The Argonauts of the Western Pacific”. We will be welcomed to the island by the local villagers before having time to explore and learn about their culture. Over lunch we sail the short distance to Nakwaba, a sand cay emerging from the blue waters of the lagoon. Spend the afternoon lounging on the beach, snorkelling along the surrounding reef or the birders may take a walk and hope to see a variety of terns and Pacific golden plovers.

Day 13 - Fergusson & Dobu Islands, D’Entrecasteaux Islands.

Our Papua New Guinea adventure continues in the D’Entrecasteaux islands. We will use our Zodiacs to land on Fergusson Island, the largest of the chain, in a small fishing village. From here we will walk to the local hot springs and bubbling mud pools surrounded by lush vegetation, birders can keep a lookout for parrots and cockatoos. A welcome dance will be accompanied by local foods cooked in the hot pools. This afternoon we will cruise through the spectacular Dobu passage and use our Zodiacs to explore and snorkel or alternatively land to meet the villagers and visit the local church.

Day 13 - Samarai.

This morning we will explore Samarai which was once known as the “Pearl of the Pacific” and was the Provincial capital until 1968. Samarai was the country’s first provincial headquarters and the faded colonial charm of the buildings is indicative of its former importance. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon at sea as we return to Port Moresby.

Day 15 - Port Moresby to Cairns, Australia.

Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our specially chartered flight to Cairns. On arrival transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay. The remainder of the day is free for independent exploration.

Day 16 - Cairns to London.

After breakfast in the hotel transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London.

Day 17 - London.

Arrive this morning.

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER - SAVE £400 PER PERSON
Prices per person based on double occupancy
28 September 2018 to 14 October 2018
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Castle Deck Standard Suite £8795 £8395
Caledonian Deck Superior Suite £8995 £8595
Promenade Deck Premium Suite £9295 £8895
Bridge Deck Deluxe Balcony Suite £10395 £9995
Promenade Deck Premium Balcony Suite £10595 £10195
Promenade Deck Owner's Corner Suite £11595 £11195
Castle Deck Standard for sole use £9795 £9395
Caledonian Deck Superior for sole use £9995 £9595

Tour Reference Code: SCCS280918

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel from London to Cairns, specially chartered flights between Cairns and Port Moresby, three nights hotel accommodation in Cairns on bed and breakfast basis, 10 nights aboard MS Caledonian Sky on a full board basis, house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, Noble Caledonia expedition team, shore excursions, gratuities, group transfers, port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, visas.

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Caledonian Sky

The MS Caledonian Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

 
  • MS Caledonian Sky
  • MS Caledonian Sky
    MS Caledonian Sky
  • Castle Deck - Standard Suite
  • Caledonian Deck - Superior Suite
  • Promenade Deck - Premium Suite
  • Bridge Deck - Deluxe Balcony Suite
  • Promenade Deck - Premium Balcony Suites
  • Promenade Deck - Owner's Corner Balcony Suite
  • Bar
  • Dining Room
    Dining Room
  • Bar Lounge
  • Panorama Lounge
    Panorama Lounge
  • Gym
  • Sun Deck
  • Canapes
  • Drinks on deck
  • Zodiacs
  • Your Suite

    On board there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites, 23 of which have private balconies located on the Promenade or Bridge Decks. Each cabin exudes great character and grandeur with wood panelling and brass features found throughout. The large suites are arranged over four decks and all have outside facing views. All suites feature a sitting area complete with coffee table, armchairs and flat screen televisions (DVD players and DVDs can be borrowed from reception for use in your suite). The beds in each cabin offer exceptionally comfortable mattresses and pillows and can be configured as large double beds or twins. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, a heated towel rail, shaver outlet and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or corner bath tub. Dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.

    Further facilities in the suites include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, cabin to cabin telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, bottled water replenished daily, as well as extra blankets and pillows. Ship announcements made from the Bridge and Reception area are also broadcasted in your suite. A laundry service is also available on board.

  • Your Space

    The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Caledonian Sky include a large lounge featuring comfortable seating. Daily briefings given by the onboard team and talks from Guest Speakers take place in the main lounge which is fitted with multiple screens. For your convenience it is also possible to follow the onboard lectures from the comfort of your suite. Also featured in the Lounge is a a 24-hour tea and coffee station along with an elegant bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day.

    In addition to the main Lounge on the Caledonian Deck, there is the Lounge on the Panorama Deck which has a bar, library and internet area and further spacious seating arrangements, ideal for watching the world go by as you cruise to your next destination. The travel library is the perfect place to relax with a good book. Well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads, you will not find yourself short of literature on board. A selection of games and two computers complete with complimentary internet access can also be found in the library along with newspapers and magazines which are placed there depending on local availability. The main dining room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Castle Deck. Outside there is a rear Lido Deck which is complete with deck tables and chairs where meals are served in warm weather under shade and often occasions such as sail away parties and barbeques are held here.

  • Your Dining

    It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board the MS Caledonian Sky whilst cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality that befits such a vessel. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapes take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice.

    In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose.

    The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.

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     Click on image above to view a sample menu.

  • Life Onboard

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then our ships are not for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find our flagships the perfect vessels.

    When choosing your next voyage the choice of vessels is astounding. You can select a ship carrying in excess of 4000 passengers with impersonal service or join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky, MS Island Sky or MS Hebridean Sky where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. Instead, the atmosphere is warm and convivial and more akin to a private yacht or country hotel in which you can learn more about the wonders of nature, culture and ancient civilisations in the company of like-minded people. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Expedition Leader or Cruise Director and of course good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make any voyage aboard these wonderful vessels a memorable and joyful experience. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of an exceedingly comfortable ship.

    The daily programme on board is in the capable hands of our Cruise Director or Expedition Leader and staff who coordinate with the Captain and Officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities. Dress on board is casual and relaxed and there will be no ‘black tie’ evenings.

  • For your comfort

    MS Caledonian Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. As is the joy of small ship cruising, during your voyage, we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey (subject to weather or security conditions). There is a navigation channel on the television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck. 

  • Inclusions

    Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included this in your holiday price. In addition we tip all our guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you. We also include excursions and drinks with meals onboard.

  • Ship Directory
    The booklet below contains some further details pertaining to the vessel.
    Please click on the booklet to view. 

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  • Cabin Plans

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  • Deck plans
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What to Expect

Flexibility is the key to an expedition cruise; sometimes the whole day’s schedule will be changed to maximise your experience, something that would not be possible on a large cruise ship. Each day holds something new and below are some extracts from the ship’s log from a previous voyage in the region which will provide you with an idea of what to expect.

"Lababia: This morning we took to dugout canoes paddled by villagers, and set off up a wild river in convoy. The west side of this river has been designated the Kamiali Wildlife Management Reserve, 27,000ha where no crops are grown, nor trees felled. It remains pristine rainforest and because the only sound we were making was the plashing of canoe paddles, we could hear the cicadas, falling leaves and the liquid calls of many forest birds from the surrounding trees. On our way back there were lorikeets screeching overhead, swiftlets above the treetops, a sulphur-crested cockatoo creaking to one side of the river, the huge dusky crested Palm Cockatoo in a tree on the other. At one point a Grey Goshawk swept across the river carrying a small bird in its talons, and a kingfisher raced past us upstream.

Once back at the river mouth, we walked past thatched wooden houses on stilts, to reach the central square just back of the beach. Here the local primary school children gathered to sing us the moving National Anthem, and then a fearsome group of warriors with headdresses adorned with hornbill, cockatoo and goshawk feathers leapt and stamped to the insistent beat of kundu drums. What a spectacle, a performance enjoyed as much by the villagers themselves as by our appreciative audience. By now the day was heating up so many returned to the cool haven of the ship while the more active made for the snorkel Zodiac and enjoyed the soothing balm of clear coral reefs and their myriad fish shoals. After such an action-packed morning, the afternoon was a welcome respite, as the Captain hauled anchor and we headed south to a new destination. The afternoon was a quiet time to recuperate and attend two lectures on offer: Tony on the Birds of New Guinea and Micronesia, and Ian on Coral Reefs and their fishes."

Also of Interest

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  • Port Havannah
  • Espiritu Santo Island
  • Vanikoro, Solomon Islands
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