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Big and small in PNG

Papua New Guinea has undergone a resurgence in popularity as a cruise destination thanks to its astounding marine life and fascinating cultural experiences.

And while it’s possible to visit many PNG destinations on a large mainstream cruise line, some travellers prefer the more intimate atmosphere of smaller vessels.

Large Australian family-owned company APT is catering to that niche with a one-off cruise to PNG next year in partnership with small-ship operator Noble Caledonia.

The adventure starts on October 2 in Cairns, where you board a charter flight to Port Moresby and transfer to the 110-passenger, 75-crew Caledonian Sky.

Highlights of the 11-day trip include cultural experiences in local villages, immersion in World War II history at Milne Bay, snorkelling in PNG’s pristine waters, and visits to the Kamiali Wildlife Management Area and Madang, regarded as one of the prettiest towns in the South Pacific.

MS Caledonian Sky was recently awarded a Star Performer — Top Ten rating in the 2018 Berlitz Cruise Guide, boutique ship category.

From AUD$8995 (US$6,904) a person twin-share, including an early bird AUD$1000 (US$767) saving.

Still in PNG, delegates and officials attending next year’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Port Moresby will be bedding down on three cruise ships moored at the capital.

Carnival Australia has announced three ships — P&O’s Pacific Explorer and Pacific Jewel plus Princess Cruises’ Sea Princess — will offer supporting accommodation to the 10,000 people at the event.

The ships will be moored within the APEC security zones to provide accommodation for those attending the summit, which runs from November 12 to 18.

“Carnival Australia has established a strong relationship with the government of Papua New Guinea and is proud to have included nine destinations in Papua New Guinea on its

itineraries from Australian-based ships since 2013,” said Carnival Australia’s executive chairman Ann Sherry.

It’s the second time Carnival has been involved in offering accommodation for an international conference. In 2014 P&O’s Pacific Jewel provided support in Samoa’s hosting of the Small Island Developing States Summit.

Carnival Australia incorporates several cruise brands in the Australian and New Zealand market, including Carnival, Cunard, Holland America, P&O, Princess and Seabourn.

Silversea’s new luxury expedition ship, Silver Cloud, embarks on its second voyage to Antarctica next week after completing its maiden trip to the remote continent.

Silver Cloud, the ship that launched the Silversea fleet back in 1994, underwent a AUD$52.8 million(US$40.5 million) refurbishment to convert it into an ice-class polar expedition ship.

Its new status doesn’t diminish the level of luxury guests can expect. Accommodation for its 254 passengers (200 in polar waters) is all suite with verandas and butler service, Pratesi bedding and a choice of nine pillows. In addition to the Zagara spa and a photographic studio where you can get expert help to edit your snaps of wildlife and frozen landscapes, there’s a Relais & Chateaux restaurant and four other dining options on board.

Silver Cloud embarks on a 19-day round trip from Ushuaia on December 21 before conducting a series of 10-day expeditions in January and February, several of which are waitlisted. At the end of February the ship will head to South Africa then north to spend the summer in the high Arctic, returning to Antarctica in November.

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