Papua New Guinea Custom Group Trip 2021
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2021 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!
July 6 - 14, 2021
Trip Leader: Katie Yonker
Signature Itinerary | Diving Kimbe Bay, Witu Islands, and Fathers Reefs
8 Nights for:
$3,990 per person double occupancy
Optional land tour: July 14 - 19
Land Tour Price: $3,947 per person
Liveaboard price does not include the required $72 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 including the annual Rabaul Mask Festival, and exploring the incredibly remote region of the Sepik waterways
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
- Tanks, air fills, weights, and weight belt
- Local airport transfers to/from MV Oceania
- 1 night accommodations at Rondon Ridge , 1 night accommodations at Kokopo Beach Bungalows, and 3 nights accommodations onboard Sepik Spirit
- Meals for land-based extension starting with lunch on July 15, ending with breakfast on July 19
- Charter flight from Mount Hagen to Karawari on July 16 and charter flight from Karawari to Mount Hagen on July 19
- Airport transfers in Rabaul, Mt. Hagen, and Karawari for land-based trip
- Local tour guides and village visits
- Rabaul Mask Festival entrance ticket
- 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 July 6, Rabaul to Mt. Hagen via Port Moresby on July 15, and Mt. Hagen to Port Moresby on July 19
- Environmental & Safety Fees ($72 per person, collected in advance)
- Drinks/alcoholic beverages
- Nitrox, optional ($210 per person)
- Hotel stays before or after the trip
- Papua New Guinea visa (currently free on arrival)
- Personal dive insurance (Dive insurance is mandatory. Travel insurance is recommended, but optional)
Day 14: Fly from Karawari airstrip to Mt. Hagen, and Mt. Hagen to Port Moresby.
Day 13: Full day culture tour of Sepik region.
Day 12: Full day culture tour of Sepik region.
Day 11: Fly by charter flight from Mt. Hagen to Karawari airstrip. Board Sepik Spirit. Cultural village visit, time permitting.
Day 10: Check out of hotel. Fly from Rabaul to Mt. Hagen via Port Moresby. Huli Village visit.
Day 9: Disembark MV Oceania. Check in to Kokopo Beach Bungalows and attend the opening day of the annual Rabaul Mask Festival.
Day 8: 2 morning dives
Days 2-7: Up to 4 dives
Day 1: Fly from Port Moresby to Hoskins. Board MV Oceania.
DETAILED TRIP ITINERARY
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.
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
- International, domestic or air transfer flight fares
- 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: $1,400, Due Dec. 1, 2020
Balance: Due April 1, 2020
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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.