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The Mystery of Melanesia Cruise - TRUE NORTH ADVENTURES

10 Night Cruise Only

  • Cruise Line: True North Adventure Cruises
  • Ship: True North
  • Package Departs: 29 November 2022
  • Package Duration: 10 Nights
  • Offer Type: Cruise Only
  • Embark Ship: Cairns, Qld, Australia
  • Disembark Ship: Cairns, Qld, Australia
10 nights Cruise-Only

Travel with True North to one of the great island arcs of the South Pacific stretching some 400km along the northern rim of the Coral Sea. Don't forget the mysterious Trobriand Islands, spectacular Bougainville and much, much more! Return charter flights ex Cairns ARE INCLUDED in the tariff.


THE MYSTERY OF MELANESIA CRUISE Cruise-Only prices include:
- One way charter flight from Cairns to Alotau
- Transfer from plane to ship on embarkation day in Alotau
- 10 night small ship adventure cruise aboard True North (36 guests) from Alotau to Baku
- All shipboard main meals featuring superb fine dining
- All adventure boat excursions
- Non-alcoholic refreshments throughout the day
- All fishing equipment
- Complimentary cafe style coffees and tea are available all day onboard
- Port and Govt taxes
- Transfer from Baku port to airport
- One way charter flight from Baku to Cairns

This itinerary is provided as example only – prevailing conditions and local arrangements may cause variation. Helicopter flights can be purchased additional to the cruise tariff as a package or individually.
Special Conditions
*Conditions Apply: All prices shown here are per person share twin (unless stated as single) in AUD, based on best cruise fare at time of publication (09Aug21). Some categories may be sold out. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. Please note that the prices shown here are not shown in real time. While we endeavour to keep our pricing as up-to-date as possible, the advertised prices shown here may differ from the prices in our booking system at time of reservation. Transfers only included if guests are arriving/departing by air at specific airports on exact package dates. Offer subject to availability at time of booking. We reserve the right to correct errors without penalty. Note - the following are not included in your cruise fare: Visitor pass fee, adventure wear and other purchases made on-board, and alcoholic beverages (except as offered on special excursions) are additional. Helicopter flights can be purchased additional to the cruise tariff as a package or individually. This itinerary is provided as example only – prevailing conditions, local arrangements and indeed, what we discover on the day, may cause variation.
Special Validity Dates
Special is valid from 10 August 2021 to 29 October 2022 or until sold out/withdrawn.
Cruise Itinerary
Date Port Arrive Depart
29 Nov 2022 Cairns, Qld, Australia Flight to Alotau
29 Nov 2022 Alotau, Papua New Guinea Embark
30 Nov 2022 Deboyne Lagoon
1 Dec 2022 Rossel Island, PNG
2 Dec 2022 Egum Atoll, PNG
3 Dec 2022 Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea
4 Dec 2022 Woodlark Island, PNG
5 Dec 2022 Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea
6 Dec 2022 Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea
7 Dec 2022 Buka Is, Bouganville, Papua New Guinea
8 Dec 2022 Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea
9 Dec 2022 Buka Is, Bouganville, Papua New Guinea Disembark Flight to Cairns
9 Dec 2022 Cairns, Qld, Australia
10 Night Cruise sailing from Alotau to Buka aboard True North.

Rare opportunity to explore the acclaimed Louisiade Archipelago – one of the great island arcs of the South Pacific stretching some 400km along the northern rim of the Coral Sea. Plus the mysterious Trobriand Islands, spectacular Bougainville and much, much more!

Day One
In the wake of turbulent times very few tourists have journeyed to the island of Bougainville. The more intrepid are only recently rediscovering the island’s mysterious charms and, your time aboard the TRUE NORTH is bound to embody the spirit of adventurous travel.

Begin your quest with a short flight in a chartered private jet, to the seaside village of Alotau in Papua New Guinea. Here your floating boutique hotel awaits and it’s time to settle into your cabin and to enjoy some welcoming refreshment as we set sail for the Louisiade Archipelago.

Day Two
Wake this morning at the stunning Deboyne Islands. During World War II the Japanese used the atoll briefly as a seaplane base. It was quickly discovered and bombed by Australian aircraft and several ships and planes were either sunk or ditched in the surrounding lagoons. Time to don mask and snorkel and to drift over the shallow wrecks. The ship’s adventure boats will also venture outside the lagoons on fishing and diving excursions. A visit to Panepompom Island provides opportunity to experience idyllic archipelago life. The ‘locals’ will welcome you on the beach, treat with impromptu singing (and laughing) and then invite all to stroll amongst their huts. Our crew will also take the opportunity to deliver appreciated resources to the local school before the adventure boats are away again. In the afternoon the ship’s helicopter will provide breathtaking orientation to the Calvados Chain especially distinctive Panasia and Duchateau Island. Here the islands are steep sided and ‘Jurassic Like’. Fishing, diving and snorkelling will be on the agenda or perhaps you would prefer a short hike to a picturesque cave on exotic Panasia!

Day Three
Today we visit Rossell Atoll where a SCUBA dive at the aptly named “Fish City” is likely to be an early cruise highlight. The site reliably produces large numbers of schooling fish including big mackerel, parrot fish, batfish, trevally, coral trout, tuna and snapper.

We will also visit nearby Sudest Island (also known as Vanatinai Island). The island features a wooded mountain range that runs the length of the island with Mount Riu reaching 806 metres near the island centre. Sudest was once the site of a gold rush that peaked in 1889 - gold was found in nearly all of the island’s water courses. At Rambuso Village on the island’s north coast – we visit a picturesque spot where a sparkling creek cascades out of the jungle and into the ocean.

Day Four
A day set aside for exploring beautiful Egum Atoll which lies between the D’Entrecasteaux, Woodlark and Trobriand Island groups. A visit to the main village includes a delightful experience with the local school children. Enjoy fishing, snorkelling and diving and conclude the day with beach drinks on your ‘very own’ palm-fringed beach!

Day Five
The first European visitors to the Trobriand Islands came in 1793 aboard the French ship Esperance and the ship’s navigator, Bruni d’Entrecasteaux, named the islands after his first lieutenant, Denis de Trobriand. Even today, the island’s residents are somewhat infamous for their local customs which include a very relaxed attitude to sexual encounters. Most villages have a special hut called a bukumatula which is used for extramarital encounters and babies are thought to be the result of magic without any link to sex and pregnancy. Yams and banana leaves are traditional local currency.

Join the crew on a fascinating visit to one of the main villages where the locals will entertain with a cultural sing-sing and showcase handmade wood carvings. There may also be opportunity to join in a sporting event with a twist – cricket, Trobriand style!

Day Six
Woodlark Island is a small island with a population of about 6000. The island is surrounded by coral reef and there will be plenty of opportunities to fish, snorkel, dive and sightsee in this remote and picturesque location. Meeting the locals is also a highlight.

In the afternoon we will visit the northern side of the island where dense jungle meets the ocean and hangs overhead as you sit in the atoll’s crystal clear waters. Woodlark is also home to an extensive creek system that will beckon the explorers on-board.

Day Seven
After an overnight steam from Woodlark, wake this morning ready for the impressive scenery of Bougainville! The island is covered in thick jungle and the dormant volcano of Mount Balbi rises to 2685 metres.

Take a heli-flight over Mount Bagana. Although Mount Balbi rises taller, Mount Bagana is one of the most active volcanoes in Papua New Guinea. We will also overfly Benua Cave – an impressive sinkhole located on the west coast of the island. Benua is the largest ‘cavern’ in the world and contains tall stalagmites.

The underwater environment along the west coast of Bougainville is also a treasure trove of tropical fish species making snorkelling and diving equally enticing activities. The visibility is exceptional and there are more opportunities to discover wartime wrecks in shallow water.

In addition to the stunning scenery, you will also find the Bougainville locals to be incredibly friendly and keen to showcase their arts and crafts.

Day Eight
Another day off magical Bougainville!

In the early morn snorkel or dive over more relics from an era past. West Bougainville features some known fish ‘pressure points’ which often produce exceptional species diversity. There will also be opportunity to tackle light game species in the blue water.

And then something special is on the agenda today. The chance to join a ‘famous’ TRUE NORTH heli - picnic albeit one that is a little different to the norm! Land in a clearing midst dense jungle with towering canopy and join a short walk along a jungle track. Then picnic TRUE NORTH style adjacent to a picture-perfect waterfall and swimming splendour!

Day Nine
After two days exploring the west coast of Bougainville it’s now time to turn our attention to North Bougainville. This includes the bustling town of Buka which is actually located on its own island only separated from the main island by a narrow passage. Take to the air today for a stunning heli-flight as your pilot circumnavigates Buka Island. The day is also filled with snorkelling and diving in and sightseeing around the many surrounding atolls. In the afternoon we’ll visit a marketplace on Buka.

Day Ten
Today we explore the eastern side of Bougainville and encounter distinctive cultural display. Hear stories of the island’s infamous civil war and squeeze in one last day of snorkelling and diving.

Visit colourful Pok Pok village and see a bamboo windpipe sing-sing. Fly over the nearby volcanic lakes and the also infamous Panguna mine site before finishing the day with sunset drinks on a ubiquitous palm-fringed beach.

Day Eleven
The chefs will prepare one final breakfast as you look back on your South Pacific impasto. A voyage filled with culture, character and the very nature of Papua New Guinea - a world far from tourism en masse! After breakfast we will provide transfer to the airport at Buka for your charter flight back to Cairns. And, we will already be looking forward to our next adventure together!

The TRUE NORTH allows discerning adventurers to experience wilderness in surroundings more akin to one of the world’s most exclusive hotels! Guests are able to take advantage of a number of lavish vantage points including a sundeck, a forward observation lounge, a ship’s lounge and an alfresco bar. The ship’s naturalist presents interpretative information on plasma screens and, an internet café enables convenient communication with the outside world.

A popular venue on any True North cruise, the lower deck dining room offers the ultimate in comfort and uninterrupted vista – large panoramic windows ensure that guests never miss any of the action, even when they are enjoying the ‘finest in fine dining’. All cabins feature stylish décor, en-suite facilities, in-house entertainment and satellite telephones. The Explorer Class staterooms and the River Class cabins offer king size beds that can be converted to singles and the Ocean Class twins feature roomy single beds.

Multiple adventure boats provide guests with greater opportunity to do “what they want, when they want” and, to add yet another dimension to adventure, most cruise options feature an onboard helicopter!The purpose built TRUE NORTH is able to explore the upper reaches of shallow river systems – guests need only step out of their cabins to experience wilderness and, the latest in computer controlled motion stabilizers ensures a comfortable ride.

Ship Profile & Stats
  • Maiden voyage: 2005
  • Tonnage: 740 tonnes
  • Length: 50 metres
  • Draft: 2.2 metres
  • Speed: 14 knots
  • Ship registration: Australian
  • Passenger capacity (dbl): 36
  • Crew nationality: Australian
  • Officer nationality: Australian
  • Dining nationality: Australian
Ship Amenities
  • All cabins have private ensuited facilities
  • Air Conditioning
  • In cabin entertainment and satellite telephone
  • 240 V and 110 V (normal Australian plugs)
Ship Facilities
  • Most cruise options feature an onboard 5 seater helicopter (Eurocopter Squirrel)
  • Forward Observation Lounge
  • Ships Lounge and Alfresco Bar
  • Sports Deck
  • Lower Deck Dining Room
  • Fully equipped gourmet galley
  • 6 x fully surveyed expedition boats
  • Internet Cafe

True North Adventure Cruises is the winner of numerous awards for excellence.

True North Adventure Cruises is an undisputed market leader and offers activity based itineraries especially designed for the most discerning adventurer.

True North Adventure Cruises consistently operates with impeccable customer satisfaction rates.

True North Adventure Cruises pioneered luxury adventure-cruising along the Kimberley coast 30 years previous. Others cannot equal our experience and knowledge!

Explore the magnificent Kimberley coast on either a 7 night, 10 night or 13 night voyage of discovery.

The TRUE NORTH is an Australian registered ship and is not required to exit territorial waters during Australian voyages – every day on-board the TRUE NORTH is an activity day!

The TRUE NORTH is the ONLY adventure-cruise ship in the southern hemisphere that travels with an on-board helicopter – an air conditioned Eurocopter.

The TRUE NORTH features enhanced levels of comfort throughout – allowing guests opportunity to experience wilderness in surroundings more akin to one of the world’s most exclusive hotels.

The TRUE NORTH features several lavish vantage points including a sundeck, an observation lounge, a ship’s lounge, an alfresco bar and a sports deck.

All cabins feature en-suites, in-cabin entertainment and private satellite telephones.

An internet café enables guests to maintain contact with the corporate world.

The TRUE NORTH is purpose built for accessing shallow coastal environs and river systems – bigger ships cannot go where we go!

The TRUE NORTH features computer controlled motion stabilizers.

The TRUE NORTH is fully licensed for fishing activities.

The TRUE NORTH is revered for its on-board dining.

Legendary and authentic service – the TRUE NORTH welcomes just 36 guests and, an AUSTRALIAN crew uniquely chaperones your every experience ensuring our renowned reputation for attention to detail.

Avoid the crowds – we carry 6 dedicated adventure boats (not rubber boats) that provide guests with opportunity to experience wilderness in comfort and, in small groups. We can also make greater provision for guests to do ‘what they want, when they want’!

Experience the destination – our cruises are activity-based and extended periods at sea are specifically avoided. Daily activities include scenic walks, helicopter flights, culture, fishing, snorkelling, picnics, diving, exploring, nature and much, much more!
A ship’s naturalist presents entertaining interpretative sessions.

All Decks

~Approximate dimensions 3m X 4m (Ensuite 2m X 1.75m)
~King size bed (can be split into singles if requested)
~2 large viewing windows in the main cabin area
~Private spacious ensuite featuring double basin and windows
~Original Windram artwork in the cabin
~Plenty of drawer and closest space to store clothing and other personal items
~Mini Fridge
~Writing desk and chair
~In house entertainment featuring a large plasma TV & DVD player
~Personal air conditioning unit
~Satellite phone

~Approximate dimensions 3.5m x 3.5m (Ensuite 2m x 1.75m)
~King size bed (can be split into singles if requested)
~Private spacious ensuite featuring windows
~2 Large viewing windows in the main cabin area
~Plenty of drawer and closet space to store clothing and other personal items
~In house entertainment featuring a plasma TV & DVD player
~Personal air conditioning unit
~Satellite phone

~Approximate dimensions 2.5m to 3m x 3m (Ensuite 1.5m x 1.75m)
~Twin single beds
~Private Ensuite with spacious shower
~2 oval port holes allowing plenty of natural light into the cabin
~Drawers and closet space to store clothing and other personal items
~In house entertainment featuring a plasma TV & DVD player
~Personal air conditioning unit
~Satellite phone

AU $25,995*

per person
*All prices are per person twin share unless stated as solo, triple or quad share.
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