Papua New Guinea Custom Group Trip 2022
Why Join this Trip? - Why Travel with Bluewater? - Trip Overview - Package Details - Itinerary - Accommodations - Trip Leader - How to Get There - Booking & Payment - Additional Infomation - Underwater Photos
2022 Papua New Guinea Custom Trip
Join Bluewater Travel's Katie Yonker on this amazing trip to dive the diverse Kimbe Bay via liveaboard followed by an optional cultural land extension to visit local tribes in the rarely visited Sepik waterways and attend the annual Rabaul mask festival!
April 5 - 14, 2022
Trip Leader: Katie Yonker
9 Nights for:
$5,200 per person double occupancy
Optional land tour: April 14 - 18
Land Tour Price: $3,803 per person
Liveaboard price does not include the required $81 per person environmental & safety fee.
- 25% off rental photo gear from Bluewater Photo
- Modern luxury liveaboard - the MV Oceania: great amenities and spacious cabins
- Unparalleled cultural experience
- Custom itinerary exploring the incredibly remote region of the Sepik waterways plus seeing the Huli wigmen.
Start by spending 8 nights aboard PNG's newest and nicest of 3 liveaboards, the MV Oceania diving Kimbe Bay, Witu Islands, and Fathers Reef. From this luxury catamaran, you'll experience incredible diversity - coral gardens, seamounts, walls, reef walls, arches, and muck sites are home to a variety of fish, crustacean and invertebrate life and many of the reefs have resident schools of barracuda, tuna and jacks. A range of shark species are regularly sighted, including hammerheads and silvertips, particularly on the offshore reefs. A resident pod of dolphins frequently entertains divers. The occasional sightings of orca, pilot whales, whale sharks and other marine life passing through Kimbe Bay and West New Britain waters always delight both guests and staff.
- 8 nights accommodations onboard MV Oceania
- Full board meals onboard Oceania (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), tea, coffee, and water
- All dives with tanks, air fills, weights, and weight belt
- Local airport transfers to/from MV Oceania
- Light laundry daily aboard MV Oceania
- 1 night accommodations at Rondon Ridge and 3 nights accommodations onboard Sepik Spirit
- Meals for land-based extension starting with lunch on April 14, ending with breakfast on April 18
- Charter flight from Mount Hagen to Karawari on April 15 and charter flight from Karawari to Mount Hagen on April 18
- Airport transfers in Mt. Hagen, and Karawari for land-based trip
- Local tour guides and village visits
- Luggage storage in Port Moresby during land extension
- International airfare to/from Port Moresby
- Air Niugini domestic airfare as follows: Port Moresby to Hoskins on April 5, Hoskins to Mt. Hagen via Port Moresby on April 14, and Mt. Hagen to Port Moresby on April 18
- Environmental & Safety Fees ($81 per person, collected in advance)
- Drinks/alcoholic beverages
- Nitrox, optional ($270 per person)
- Personal dive insurance (Dive insurance is mandatory. Travel insurance is recommended, but optional)
- Hotel stays before or after the trip
- Papua New Guinea visa (currently free on arrival)
- Travel Insurance: click here to learn more about our preferred plan
Day 1: Fly from Port Moresby to Hoskins. Board MV Oceania.
Days 2 - 8: Up to 4 dives
Day 9: 2 morning dives
Day 10: Disembark MV Oceania. Fly from Hoskins to Mt. Hagen via Port Moresby. Huli Village visit.
Day 12: Fly by charter flight from Mt. Hagen to Karawari airstrip. Board Sepik Spirit. Cultural village visit, time permitting.
Day 13: Full day culture tour of Sepik region.
Day 14: Full day culture tour of Sepik region.
Day 14: Fly from Karawari airstrip to Mt. Hagen, and Mt. Hagen to Port Moresby.
DETAILED TRIP ITINERARY
Day 1 (April 5): Fly from Port Moresby to Hoskins - more flight details to come. Boarding Oceania begins at 4:00pm. If you take the earlier flight, you will be allowed to relax in the Walindi main house area where there is also a restaurant. Boarding begins at 4:00pm and the boat sails at approximately 6:00pm.
Day 2 (April 6): Up to 4 dives. See below for more info on diving the fabulous Kimbe Bay.
Day 3 (April 7): Up to 4 dives
Day 4 (April 8): Up to 4 dives
Day 5 (April 9): Up to 4 dives
Day 6 (April 10): Up to 4 dives
Day 7 (April 11): Up to 4 dives
Day 8 (April 12): Up to 4 dives
Day 9 (April 13): Two morning dives, (to adhere to PADI's 18 hour dive/no fly recommendation)
Day 10 (April 14): We'll disembark early in the morning and fly from Hoskins to Mt. Hagen via Port Moresby. Specifc flight details TBC. The currentt flight schedule is changing frequently, so please do not book any flights until you've heard from us with more information. In Port Moresby we'll be met by a Trans Niugini Tours staff member who will assist us with luggage storage of unneeded dive bags and check in for our flight to Mount Hagen. Fly from Port Moresby (POM) to Mount Hagen (HGU) on Air Niugini, Flight TBD. Mount Hagen is in the upper Wahgi Valley - a valley with some of the oldest evidence of agriculture in the world. Enroute to our hotel, we'll enjoy a packaged lunch before stopping in a Huli village to witness the elaborate costumes worn for their song and dance called a sing-sing. Afterwards, we'll check in to our accommodations at Rondon Ridge, perched high on Mount Kuta with unbelievable views of the valley.
Day 11 (April 15): Fly by charter flight from Mount Hagen to the Karawari airstrip. During the flight mountains rise up to startling heights out of the flat lands of the Sepik Basin to Mount Hagen. Upon arrival, transfer to the Sepik Spirit. Enjoy lunch onboard the Sepik Spirit as we begin our voyage of discovery to local villages. Inspired by the local architecture of the "haus tambaran" or spirit house, the Sepik Spirit has a truly unique design.
Day 12 (April 16): After breakfast we'll leave the boat for a full day tour and a picnic lunch to the remote Blackwater Lakes. We will visit villages where the people are prolific carvers. Here you can purchase many interesting items such as masks, elaborately carved hooks, ancestral figures, hand drums, baskets, bilums and gourds. (Itinerary subject to change)
Day 13 (April 17): After breakfast we'll visit the village of Mumeri. Enjoy a jet boat ride to meet with the Sepik Spirit at the Krosmeri Junction for lunch. After lunch a tour to the Mindimbit villages, we'll meet up again with the Sepik Spirit while cruising back to the Karawari area. (Itinerary subject to change)
Day 14 (April 18): Enjoy an early breakfast before we transfer to the Karawari airstrip. Fly by charter from Karawari to Mount Hagen. In Mount Hagen, we'll be taken to Banz Kofi for lunch. Fly from Mount Hagen to Port Moreseby on Air Niugini 187 departing HGU at 2:55pm, arriving POM at 3:55pm - SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Upon arriving in POM, collect stored bags that were left with the Trans Niugini Tours office. (It's highly unlikely there will be ample time to make an international flight connection, therefore guests will most likely need to stay overnight in Port Moresby on April 18 and take an international flight out on April 19.)
diving kimbe bay
New Britain Island's Kimbe Bay is known for abundant, diverse marine life and exceptionally healthy reefs. National Geographic magazine apparently agrees, as does photographer David Doubilet, ranking these reefs among the world's most beautiful. Kimbe Bay highlights include Father's Reef and South Emma, known for pelagics like sharks and barracudas, and Susan’s Reef, celebrated for its colorful soft corals, sea fans and other wide-angle scenery. Other top sites include a fully intact Japanese Zero fighter plane, and picturesque Rest Orf Island, where the scenery is equally good above and below the surface. Witu Islands are also famous for schooling fish and loads of soft corals as well as unusual critters. A range of shark species are regularly sighted, including hammerheads and silvertips, particularly on the offshore reefs. A resident pod of dolphins frequently entertains divers. Though less reliable than the reef dwellers, various marine mammals also make regular appearances in Kimbe Bay including pilot whales, orcas, and sperm whales on occasion.
diving witu islands
Witu Islands are situated to the North West of Kimbe Bay and this area is visited by MV Oceania at selected times during the year. A cross section of diving includes sea mounts and black sand bays around the islands, so this area provides a perfect mix of both pelagic activity and critters.
Diving fathers reef
Fathers are series of off shore reefs, volcanic in origin. The underwater topography is startlingly different with dramatic reefscapes, arches and swim throughs. Being offshore, these reefs also attract pelagic activity such as sharks, rays, turtles, schools of barracuda, jacks, etc.
the sepik spirit boat and the sepik culture (LAND tour)
The Sepik Spirit is a 9-room river cruise boat with a unique design inspired by the local architecture of the spirit house. This one-of-a-kind ship is used to take guests on a voyage along the waterways of Papua New Guinea’s Sepik region, thus, allowing for the unique opportunity to journey into remote villages that could not otherwise be reached on daytrips. Currently, the Sepik Spirit primarily journeys on the Karawari River, the storied tributary of the Sepik River, and on to the Krosmeri River which allows entry to the mysterious Blackwater Lakes. The densely forested riverbanks of the Karawari River contrast with the wide open expanse of the Blackwater Lakes. Bird life is rich throughout both regions.
These tribes live their life on the water. For them, the spirits of the crocodiles and the river gods are still highly revered. As you coast along the rivers you will be met by the welcoming calls of the villagers resting or working on the banks of the river, by the women fishing from their hollowed canoes, and the children paddling to school. The tribes that inhabit the Sepik region still maintain many of their traditional beliefs and ways of life, such as the reverence of the Spirit house and the ancient and unique sculptures and art that decorate them. Travelers can look forward to authentic experiences as they wonder these remote villages that still maintain many of their traditional ways of life.
LAND TOUR INCLUSIONS
- Airport transfers/tours on scheduled basis
- Meals as specified
- Local English speaking guides.
land TOUR Exclusions
- Domestic commercial airfare
- Items of a personal nature
MV Oceania is a 27-meter (88.5-ft) liveaboard catamaran that began operating in January 2019 out of Walindi Plantation Resort, alongside MV FeBrina in the Bismarck Sea, Papua New Guinea. She accommodates up to 16 divers in 8 comfortable en-suite cabins.
Payment 2: $2,000, Due Oct. 1, 2021
Balance: Due Jan. 1, 2022
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MV OCEANIA AND KIMBE BAY DIVING:
RONDON RIDGE AND THE HULI WIGMEN:
SEPIK SPIRIT BOAT:
Frequently ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Is Papua New Guinea safe?
A: In a nutshell, yes! The majority of crime happens in the urban area of Port Moresby. The areas we visit (i.e. Kimbe Bay, Mount Hagen, and Sepik) are not high crime areas, and we'll be with a local guide for all the tours. Currently, there are no US State Department travel warnings for Papua New Guinea.