For those who truly seek a path less traveled, Papua New Guinea ranks as one of the world’s most diverse, remote, and absorbing geographic and cultural destinations.
A total solar eclipse is one of those astronomical phenomena that have long inspired, and helped shape, Western scientific tradition. But in many parts of the world, an eclipse is also an important cultural phenomenon – a spectacle in the heavens that embodies deeply held spiritual and cosmological beliefs.
So what better way to get a fresh perspective on this rare event than by journeying to a corner of our planet that remains largely untouched by Western influences? That’s the goal of our 2012 TravelQuest adventure in Papua New Guinea. Gathering a small group of travelers aboard a five-star expedition ship, we land at remote villages beside the Bismarck and Solomon seas. Then we carry those cultural impressions with us when we sail to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef on November 14 to witness in awe the Moon’s shadow slowly blacking out the Sun.
Our expedition will begin and end in Cairns, Australia, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. At the start of our expedition, we will fly by private charter to Rabaul, PNG, where we will enjoy a full-day tour of the area before setting sail.
Discovering Papua New Guinea
Our Papua New Guinea adventure offers inquisitive travelers a rich diversity of cultural experiences amidst breathtaking natural beauty.
After a rendezvous in Cairns in eastern Australia, we take a chartered flight to Rabaul, a historic port town ringed by six volcanoes, where you can do some exploring before our luxury cruise ship sets sail. During the next week, we have unique access to a coast renowned for its spectacular landscapes overlooked by volcanic mountains and for the sheer abundance of its flora and fauna. And at every stop on our journey, there are incredible opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and diving in crystal-blue waters.
The human side of Papua New Guinea is equally diverse – from its 800 distinct languages to the magical traditions of people whose exposure to our world has largely been through missionaries and traders. You gain deeper insights into these ancient tribal societies thanks to their superb artwork and artifacts, in performances by elaborately costumed dancers, and just by interacting with village children who are intrigued to meet visitors from afar. And then there are the relics of more recent history, from colonial and missionary outposts to the wrecks that mark key battles of the Second World War.
Sailing toward the Sun
Carrying just 100 passengers and a crew of 75, the five-star m/v Orion is nimble enough get you ashore where larger ships simply can’t sail. It’s also the perfect floating platform for viewing the solar eclipse – with totality of slightly more than two minutes at roughly 17° south latitude. Joining you on board are travelers who share keen interests in astronomy, photography, marine biology, bird watching, anthropology, and maritime history – and who appreciate the comforts of luxury travel, along with the solid support of TravelQuest’s knowledgeable Expedition Team.
From isolated tropical villages to pristine white-sand beaches to our amazing finale on the Great Barrier Reef, this is an eclipse cruise experience like no other. Space is limited to just 100 travelers – so make your reservation today!