Source: The National, Wednesday, April 17, 2013
CULTURALLY-rich Trobriand Islands, also known as the Islands of Love, along the northern straits of Milne Bay, is gearing up for its biggest ever invasion of tourists.
Milne Bay will be inundated with hundreds of tourists later this year, the biggest number ever, as P&O Cruises launches the first dedicated Papua New Guinea cruises.
In a first for P&O Cruises, PNG will feature in two dedicated itineraries, with Pacific Dawn sailing from Brisbane to the turquoise waters of Milne Bay, where it will visit provincial capital Alotau as well as the beautiful white sand beaches of Doini Island and the Trobriand Islands.
|View of Milne Bay from Alotau International Hotel.-Pictures by MALUM NALU|
The first cruise from Oct 31 to Nov 9, takes in Alotau, Kiriwina Island, Kawanasausau, and Doini Island.
The second cruise from Nov 16-Nov 26, takes in Kitava, Kiriwina Island, Alotau, Kawanasausau, and Doini Island.
|Beautiful sun, surf and sand along the road from East Cape to Alotau.|
The maiden cruise to Milne Bay in October is timed to coincide with Alotau’s Canoe and Kundu Festival, where local communities compete in canoe races, costume display and other cultural performances.
|Milne Bay baskets at the arts and crafts shop in Alotau. So many more will be needed for the tourist 'invasion'.|
Kiriwina-Goodenough district administrator, Nou Labui Bua, is now working against time to get things ready, including setting up new jetties on Kitava and Kaibola.
“We’re expecting cultural groups from the Trobriand Islands to perform in all those venues that we will put up,” he told The National in Alotau.
|One of the many forest streams along the road from East Cape to Alotau.|
“In the meantime, the preparation work is that we will have to put up jetties.
“Jetties will cost K1 million at Kaibola and K600,000 at Kitava.
“Kiriwina-Goodenough MP Douglas Tomuriesa is getting the money out of his district services improvement programme (DSIP) funds to have these jetties put up.
|Milne Bay magic along the road from East Cape to Alotau.|
“There is enough time.
“PNG Ports, with the assistance of cruise operator P&O, is getting the plans for the jetties prepared.
“We expect the entire Kiriwina community plus the smaller islands around there to converge on Kaibola on the day to perform.
“They have been told to get their baskets, whatever they can put up, to make a bit of money on the day.”