P&O Passengers Become First to Step Foot on Conflict Islands
P&O Cruises' Pacific Jewel made history last week becoming the first cruise ship to call at one of the most remote island groups in the world - the Conflict Islands in Papua New Guinea.
The uninhabited islands became P&O's latest cruise destination – and eighth port in Papua New Guinea – when the 2000-guest ship anchored off Panasesa Island last Tuesday.
The historic call was part of a landmark partnership for the region, with the cruise line working closely with entrepreneur and passionate conservationist Ian Gowrie-Smith to bring cruise ships to his islands - one of only a few parcels of land owned freehold in Papua New Guinea.
A picturesque group of 21 islands surrounding a bright blue lagoon, the Conflict Islands are home to one of the world's most biodiverse reef systems. During their visit, guests made the most of the island paradise taking part in kayaking, snorkeling and stand-up paddleboarding as well as glass bottom boat and outrigger canoe tours.
The only cruise line offering calls to the untouched Conflict Islands, P&O has added the destination to 11 of its Papua New Guinea itineraries in 2016.
P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said P&O was excited to be bringing undiscovered paradises like the Conflict Islands within reach of more Australian holidaymakers.
"Even though they are close to Australia, many of Papua New Guinea's picturesque islands are rarely visited because they are difficult to access. Cruising really is the easiest way to see this stunning corner of the world so we're thrilled to add the beautiful Conflict Islands to our great list of destinations," Mr Myrmell said.
For more information visit pocruises.com.au, call 13 24 94 or see a licensed travel agent.
Note to editors: The region's largest and longest-serving cruise operator, P&O Cruises Australia leads the way in cruising as Australasia's only 'home brand' and its favourite cruise line. P&O Cruises has been sailing the region for more than 80 years, and has pioneered new destinations around Australia, the Pacific and Asia including Papua New Guinea, as reported in the New York Times' 52 top destinations for 2015. P&O Cruises is the nation's largest cruise line with five ships cruising from eight home ports in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. In November 2015 Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden were added to the cruise line's existing three-ship fleet and in 2017 P&O Cruises will welcome its latest ship – Pacific Explorer. In another milestone, P&O will become the first cruise line to build a ship specifically for the local market, launching a brand new 135,500-tonne ship in 2019 - the biggest cruise ship ever to be based fulltime in Australia.