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Mysteries of Melanesia Luxury Adventure Cruise

11 Days
On request

DELUXE | CRUISE: Sail between some of the world’s least understood islands on this eye-opening adventure cruise through Melanesia and Papua New Guinea. Meet the tribes who call these islands home, and explore the largely unspoiled reefs and remote sights of this little visited part of the world.

True North Cruises are all about getting out there for a unique adventure, and this 11-day cruise through Melanesia delivers that adventure in spades.

Embark in Alotau on the northern shore of Milne Bay, and sail overnight to the Deboyne group of islands, a former seaplane outpost for the Japanese Navy in WW2. The ill-fated outpost leaves behind some incredible wrecks that await your snorkeler’s curiosity. Then sail on to Panepompom Island to meet the locals, followed by the Calvados Chain, where you’ll be awed by the steep mountainous islands. At your next stop, the Rossell Atoll, say hello to ‘Fish City,’ a SCUBA diving experience you will never forget. Afterwards, admire the striking views both of and from Sudest Island and picturesque Rambuso Village.

Take a day to fish, snorkel, dive, or explore the Egum Atoll, going on to the famously open-minded Trobriand Islands. Enjoy a village visit with a traditional sing-sing, and learn about the local customs which scandalized conservative Europeans when they were first written about in the early 20th century. Less controversial is the beauty of the coral reef surrounding Woodlark Island, where you’ll have another opportunity to snorkel and explore.

Sail on to Bougainville, and take a heli-flight over Mount Bagana, one of the most active volcanoes in Papua New Guinea. Then take some time to explore underwater along the west coast, particularly known for its stunning array of tropical fish. The following day, explore more of Bougainville, with time to snorkel in the morning before a heli-picnic takes you for lunch and a jungle track walk. In fact, there’s so much to see on Bougainville, you have two more days here, the first of which is devoted to the northern part of the island. Take another heli-flight to see the unique sights of this part of the island, and enjoy the markets of Buka, a unique offshore settlement. Your visit to Bougainville ends on the eastern side, where you’ll learn about its infamous civil war and fly over several volcanic lakes before returning to ship.

Disembark and fly to Cairns for your journey home.


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11 Days
On request

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Fly to Alotau and Embark

Your morning begins with a charter jet flight to Alotau in Papua New Guinea where your floating boutique hotel awaits! Once on-board the mighty True North it's time to settle into your cabin and enjoy a welcome aboard cocktail as you begin cruising the beautiful Louisiade Archipelago.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration10 Nights

True North

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Location View map
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    True North

    The True North is purpose built to sail deep into the very heart of wilderness- we visit areas that larger ships simply cannot access. Our itineraries specifically exclude lengthy periods at sea and feature frequent daily excursions and, an Australian crew that will uniquely chaperone …

    The True North is purpose built to sail deep into the very heart of wilderness- we visit areas that larger ships simply cannot access. Our itineraries specifically exclude lengthy periods at sea and feature frequent daily excursions and, an Australian crew that will uniquely chaperone your holiday experience.


    • Bar
    • Dining Room
    • Lounge(s)
    • Sundeck

    More Details

Day 2

Deboyne, Panepompom and Calvados

Wake this morning at stunning Deboyne Atoll in the Deboyne Island group. During World War II the atoll was briefly used as a seaplane outpost by the Japanese Navy. The base 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 expedition 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 some impromptu singing (and laughing) and then invite all to stroll amongst their huts. The crew will also take the opportunity to deliver appreciated resources to the local school before the expedition boats are away again.

In the afternoon the ship's helicopter will deliver a 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 again be on the agenda or perhaps you would prefer a hike on exotic Panasia!

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Rossell Atoll

Today you 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 snappers. Also on the agenda is a visit to 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 - you visit a picturesque spot where a sparkling creek cascades out of the jungle and into the ocean.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Egum Atoll

A day set aside for exploring beautiful Egum Atoll which lies between the D'Entrecasteaux, Woodlark and Trobriand Island groups. Enjoy fishing, snorkelling and diving and conclude the day with sunset drinks on your very 'own' palm fringed beach!

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Trobriand Islands

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 an easy going attitude to sex where both married men and women are able to take lovers. 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 the 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.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Woodlark Island

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 also promises to be a highlight.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7


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. You 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 reported to be exceptional and there are more opportunities to discover wartime wrecks in shallow water. Besides the astounding scenery, you will also find the Bougainville locals to be incredibly friendly and keen to showcase their arts and crafts.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8


Another day off magical Bougainville! In the early morning snorkel or dive over more relics from an era past or fish for blue-water game species. 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 waterfall and swimming splendour!

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9


After two days exploring the west coast of Bougainville it's now time to turn your attention to north Bougainville. This includes the bustling town of Buka which is actually located on its own island 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 sightseeing, snorkelling and diving in and around the many surrounding atolls. In the afternoon you will visit a marketplace on Buka.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10


Today you explore the eastern side of Bougainville. Learn about the island's infamous civil war and squeeze-in one last day of snorkelling and diving. Visit yet another colourful village and fly over nearby volcanic lakes and the also infamous Panguna mine site.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 11

Disembark and fly to Cairns

This morning the chefs will prepare one last scrumptious breakfast before you take a short ride to Buka airport and your charter jet back to Cairns.

Your crew will already be looking forward to their next adventure with you!

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Other Information


True North
2023: Nov 28


  • 10 nights accommodation in air conditioned cabin
  • All meals
  • Non alcoholic beverages
  • All activities such as fishing, sight-seeing, swimming, on-shore visits etc,
  • Fishing gear (rods, reels, handlines).


  • Travel insurance
  • All scenic helicopter flight
  • Purchases from resort shop
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Lures for fishing
  • Personal valet/laundry
  • Use of satellite phones and internet access.
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

28 Nov 2023
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