Alotau is one of the world’s last great frontiers. This port is the gateway to a land of thriving tribal cultures, smoldering volcanoes and vast pristine mountainous rainforests of Papua New Guinea, as well as many historical memorials and relics from the Battle of Milne Bay during WWII. If you stay in town, stroll along the bustling harbor filled with fishing boats, outriggers and small ferries to arrive at the market. Delight in the scents and tastes of fresh tropical fruits from pineapples to guavas to kumquats.

Port: Alotau
Experience

Alotau

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  • Cultural Extravaganza

    Gain a greater understanding of the local culture by visiting a cricket ground and two neighboring villages that are both traditional but quite different.

    After departing from the pier, you will drive along the naturally beautiful coast of Milne Bay, an island-dotted body of water first explored in 1660. Before long, you will arrive at the country’s first cricket ground.

    Missionaries introduced the game to Papua New Guinea in the 1890s, and it has grown in popularity ever since. Cricket is even played in rural areas, and the country boasts a national team nicknamed the Barramundis.

    Continuing on, you will approach Daduwe, which requires a short walk through the forest to reach. It’s well worth the effort. While in this traditional village, you will watch the residents prepare meals, weave mats and baskets, and perhaps even make canoes.

    You may also see ancient potshards from the days when various chiefs gathered in Daduwe to feast when traveling the Kula trade route. Trade was important beyond the exchange of goods because Kula rituals determined social hierarchies and created strong bonds between distant villages and islands.

    You will see some of those cultural differences in the nearby village of Bou. Here, you will watch a folkloric performance and see children paddling their canoes as they are trained to become skilled for sea ferrying once they reach the age to sail the seas. Canoes are the means of transportation in these islands for those who embark on trade missions or wish to visit neighbors or relatives at places that require sea travel to reach.

    Finally, on the return to the pier, you will pause at the seaside Alotau War Memorial, a black granite monument dedicated to those who lost their lives at the Battle of Milne Bay.

    This tour includes just under 2-hours of easy to moderate walking/standing, at times over natural and uneven surfaces. All wheelchair guests must have a collapsible wheelchair, be able to make their own way on and off the transportation and have an able-bodied companion to assist them; however, dependent upon the type of transportation used, the tour may not be available to wheelchair guests. Please check with the Destination Services Desk onboard. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. The local tour operator reserves the right to deny participation to anyone whose physical limitations they deem makes the tour not suitable for them. Neat, yet casual clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests may wish to bring a bottle of water from the ship and should be prepared that the transportation used may not have air-conditioning or PA systems. The guides here are not professionally trained, but have local knowledge. Of special note, the only restrooms on this tour are at the local villages and are rudimentary pit toilets.

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  • Village Experience

    Experience life in a traditional village, see a palm oil plantation and nursery, and pause at a memorial that commemorates a major World War II battle at Milne Bay.

    After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a leisurely drive along the coast of Milne Bay, an island-dotted body of water first explored in 1660. While natural beauty prevails, you will also see architectural highlights that include an Anglican church.

    Continuing on past several picturesque coastal villages, you will arrive at the Hagita estate and watch the picking of the pail oil fruit and the nursery. Being the world’s most popular vegetable oil, palm oil is vital to the local economy. It’s used to manufacture items such as shortenings, shampoos and perfumed soaps.

    Following your enlightening visit, you will next stop at Gabugabuna village for another perspective of life in Papua New Guinea. You will watch cultural performances and traditional methods of cooking, gardening and extracting starchy sago from palm stems. The sago is then made into a paste for food, so it’s a vital staple for the villagers.

    Then, it’s on to the beach to watch a re-enactment of fierce-looking warriors returning to the village in a large canoe. It wasn’t so long ago that the villagers actually used these war canoes in conflicts with neighboring islanders.

    Finally, on the return to the pier, you will pause at the seaside Alotau War Memorial, a black granite monument dedicated to those who lost their lives at the Battle of Milne Bay.

    This tour includes approximately 2-hours of easy to moderate walking/standing, at times over natural and uneven surfaces. All wheelchair guests must have a collapsible wheelchair, be able to make their own way on and off the transportation and have an able-bodied companion to assist them; however, dependent upon the type of transportation used, the tour may not be available to wheelchair guests. Please check with the Destination Services Desk onboard. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. The local tour operator reserves the right to deny participation to anyone whose physical limitations they deem makes the tour not suitable for them. Neat, yet casual clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests may wish to bring a bottle of water from the ship and should be prepared that the transportation used may not have air-conditioning or PA systems. The guides here are not professionally trained, but have local knowledge. Of special note, the only restrooms on this tour are at Gabugabuna Village and are rudimentary pit toilets.

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  • Historical and Scenic Experience

    Discover the significant role that Milne Bay played during World War II by visiting memorials at key sites, as you tour some of the area’s most beautiful settings.

    After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a leisurely drive along the coast of Milne Bay, a spectacularly scenic, island-dotted body of water first explored in 1660. In World War II, hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers passed through the huge naval base here.

    You will discover the details of their heroic efforts at the Turnbull War Memorial, which is named after the commanding officer, who was killed in 1942 during the Battle of Milne Bay. The battle was especially significant as it was the first major defeat of the Japanese on land.

    Next, it’s a brief photo stop to view the remains of an Australian shipwreck at Numamaka before reaching the KB Mission, another important World War II battle site. As you will learn, heavy casualties were suffered on both sides during the fierce fighting here. The Allied forces eventually prevailed, driving the Japanese back toward Milne Bay.

    Continuing on to the bay, you will pause at the seaside Alotau War Memorial, a black granite monument dedicated to those who lost their lives at the Battle of Milne Bay. It’s a somber reminder of the sacrifices made during the war. While here, there’s an opportunity to shop a good selection of arts and crafts from the Milne Bay province.

    Finally you will drive up to Top Town Lookout for a sweeping view of Alotua and the sea beyond before returning to the pier.

    This tour includes just under 2-hours of easy to moderate walking/standing, at times over natural and uneven surfaces. All wheelchair guests must have a collapsible wheelchair, be able to make their own way on and off the transportation and have an able-bodied companion to assist them; however, dependent upon the type of transportation used, the tour may not be available to wheelchair guests. Please check with the Destination Services Desk onboard. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. The local tour operator reserves the right to deny participation to anyone whose physical limitations they deem makes the tour not suitable for them. Neat, yet casual clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests may wish to bring a bottle of water from the ship and should be prepared that the transportation used may not have air-conditioning or PA systems. The guides here are not professionally trained, but have local knowledge. Of special note, the only restrooms on this tour are at the Turnbull War Memorial.

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