P&O Australia Cruises’ Pacific Encounter made its maiden call to Papua New Guinea last week to signal the restart of cruising operations in the region, according to a press release.
The Pacific Encounter made its first visit to Alotau last Friday, followed by stops in Kiriwina, Rabaul, and the Conflict Islands.
The calls are the most recent in a series of visits by the vessel as the industry gradually returns to normal in several countries, according to P&O Cruises.
“P&O Cruises first started operating dedicated cruises to Papua New Guinea in 2013 so we are thrilled our guests can once again enjoy the nation’s beautiful scenery and vibrant culture,” said Marguerite Fitzgerald, president, Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia.
Earlier this month, P&O Cruises’ Pacific Explorer became the first cruise ship to return to New Caledonia, following the August resumption of cruising to New Zealand and Fiji.
“Cruise tourism makes a valuable economic contribution to Papua New Guinea and we’re excited to be working with our partners there as we recommence our cruises to Alotau, Rabaul, Kiriwina and the Conflict Islands,” Fitzgerald added.
Over the rest of 2022, ships from three Carnival Australia brands, including P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, and Holland America Line, are expected to make 14 port calls in Papua New Guinea. The return of Carnival Australia to Papua New Guinea will also be preceded by the reopening of Vanuatu this November.
“Once cruising to Vanuatu resumes, our Pacific cruise network will be up and running again, which is wonderful news for our guests and the cruise community,” Fitzgerald commented.