Papua New Guinea tour and Sepik River cruise

Description of Papua New Guinea tour and Sepik River cruise

Embark on a true wilderness adventure on this cruise through the remote Sepik region of Papua New Guinea. The Sepik meanders for over 1100 kilometres, passing through densely forested terrain and often inaccessible villages - it remains one of the last untouched wildernesses in Papua New Guinea with a culture which has remained largely unchanged for generations. Life here is lived on the water so what better way to discover it than via a privately chartered river cruiser allowing access to hidden tributaries and communities.
Cruise the mighty Sepik and discover life. Hear snatches of traditional music played by flutes and garamat drums floating on the breeze, watch village children playing in the water and spot indigenous animal and birdlife as you journey up this impressive waterway. Along the way meet some of the more colourful inhabitants including the unique Skeleton Warriors and the iconic mudmen. Attend the 13th Sepik Crocodile Festival to learn about the cultural and spiritual significance of the crocodile to local tribal males and marvel at colourful sing sing performances performed in riverside villages. The cruise will be piloted by Master/Owner Sir Peter Barter, a long time resident of Papua New Guinea and a wealth of knowledge on this remote and impressive landscape.
Some images credit of David Kirkland photography.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1Land Singapore. Transfer to the airport hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 2Day at leisure. Return to the terminal and take the overnight flight to Port Moresby.
Day 3Land Port Moresby and transfer to the hotel. This afternoon visit the Port Moresby Adventure Park, which sits on the edge of the city and away from the hustle and bustle. The park is home to a variety of local animal and birdlife including a flock of birds of paradise. There are also tree kangaroos, Victoria crowned pigeons, cassowaries amongst others. Explore the park before returning to the hotel. (B)
Day 4Take an early morning flight to Mt Hagen, a highland city which sits in the rugged Wahgi Valley. Transfer to the hotel for check-in before spending the day exploring the region. First stop is to meet the iconic Skeleton Warriors of the Chimbu tribe, a very private tribal community who only made contact with the western world in the 1930's. See their intimidating body paintings and witness a sing sing performance. Continue to Polga village to meet the Asaro Mudmen, another recognisable image of PNG tribal culture and end the day at Paiya village to witness a demonstration of a mum lunch. End the day in the hotel. (B)
Day 5This morning board our private charter for the short flight into the heart of the Sepik. This scenic flight passes over rugged mountain ranges and the expanse of the mighty Sepik itself, giving you an idea of the sheer scale of this remote part of the country. Land and take the speedboat to 'home' for the next week, the privately chartered Kalibobo Spirit river cruiser. The ship will be piloted by Master/Owner Sir Peter Barter, a long time resident of PNG and a wealth of knowledge on this remote region after many visits over the years. This afternoon we will head to Ambunti to enjoy a day at the 13th Sepik Crocodile Festival. Here you will get an understanding of the local cultural and spiritual significance of the link between man and crocodile. Enjoy the colourful festival events before spending the first night on the Kalibobo Spirit. (B/L/D)
Day 6Today will be spent exploring the Sepik. The region is home to over 70,000 people and the culture here remains largely unchanged. The final itinerary within the Sepik will be dependent on river conditions and weather but we should be visiting a number of local villages and experiencing a range of cultural activities. Overnight onboard. (B/L/D)
Day 7Continue to cruise parts of the upper, middle and lower Sepik. Visits will be made to villages including Parembei, Kanganaman to see the famous haus tambarans and villages bordering the picturesque Chambri Lakes. (B/L/D) The region is famed for its skilled craftsmen who produce intricate carvings, there will be plenty of opportunities to pick up regional souvenirs as we move around the Sepik region. (B/L/D)
Day 8Further Sepik cruising today. The region is famed for its skilled craftsmen who produce intricate carvings, there will be plenty of opportunities to pick up regional souvenirs as we move around the Sepik region. (B/L/D)
Day 9Cruise the Sepik passing waterside villages where snatches of local music may be audible usually made by traditional flutes and garamut drums. Watch for local birdlife including egrets, herons, kites, along with more exotic birds like hornbills and white cockatoos to name just a few. (B/L/D)
Day 11Further Sepik cruising. Watch for local village children playing in the water or village women making the local staple foodstuff, sago, on the riverbanks. (B/L/D)
Day 12Today is our final day in the Sepik, at this time we should be approaching the mouth of the Sepik before tonight departing on the overnight cruise journey south to Madang. (B/L/D)
Day 13Arrive Madang Resort jetty and disembark. Check in to the resort and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to relax at the resort. (B)
Day 14Today we will be heading back out on the water (with our newly acquired sea legs) for a cruise into Madang harbour. Stop at one of the many picturesque islands to enjoy a spot of snorkelling and swimming before returning to the resort and a break for lunch. This afternoon explore nearby Madang town, a small collection of shops centred around the local market. Stroll through the market which sells an abundance of items from fruit to clothes and tourist souvenirs. Continue to nearby Bilbil village to enjoy a demonstration of pot making before returning to the hotel via the Coastwatchers' Memorial Beacon which dates back to WWII and still acts as a lighthouse to this day. (B)
Day 15Take an early morning flight back to Port Moresby. Land and transfer to the airport hotel for breakfast before taking a short tour of Port Moresby city. Visit Parliament Haus where you can compare its design to those you have seen in the Sepik and explore the National Musuem which has a good selection of local artefacts. Continue to Port Moresby Nature Park for a spot of last minute wildlife viewing. The park has a small souvenir shop as well an outdoor café for lunch before transferring to the airport for the flight back to Singapore. (B)

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Responsible tourism

Papua New Guinea tour and Sepik River cruise

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Papua New Guinea is a country where 'green' policies and principles are not exactly buzz words so it's all about the little things adding up to slowly start to make a difference. We are always talking to our local ground agents about the importance of stressing to clients the importance of basic responsible principles such as appropriate waste disposal, not to waste water, turning off lights on leaving the room in hotels, not replacing towels and bedding daily etc.
Our local agents are also keen to stress to visitors the importance of not straying from marked trails at historic sites, an important step towards maintaining the sites for future generations.

PNG as a country sadly relies quite heavily on domestic flights. Road infrastructure in the country is inadequate and can make many journeys into a trial of nerves and stamina! This tour does rely on a number of domestic flights which are necessary to allow access to the more remote parts of the country. Indeed the Sepik does not have a road infrastructure to speak of so the use of flights and boat is essential to allow access to the region at all.

As a company we have introduced responsible practices in our UK office including paper, cardboard, aluminium and plastic recycling. We also support local UK charities including the RNIB and various charities around the world. 50% of our office staff use public transport (bus and train) and cycle to work. Management encourages this with their introduction of the cycle to work scheme which offers subsidised cycle ownership.

Community

By the very nature of life in Papua New Guinea all services are provided by local people. This includes your local English-speaking group guides/boat crew, the drivers, local guides at various monuments/sites and hotel staff. All staff are paid a fair wage for Papua New Guinea and all wages are kept within the local communities thereby supporting local people. Furthermore, by visiting these hotels and sites additional income is brought into the region, further helping to develop the local area.

Importing food stuffs into Papua New Guinea can be prohibitively expensive so all of the food for meals included on the itinerary is sourced locally whether it is served in hotels or a local restaurant. All hotels on the itinerary are locally owned, managed and run.

Possibly one of the key positive benefits of visiting Papua New Guinea is the albeit sometimes small influence outside attitudes and cultures can make on the people of the country. Papua New Guinean's are always welcoming and friendly and keen to learn a little about Western ways. This holiday helps to allow each culture to learn a little about the other.

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