P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Encounter made her inaugural stop in Papua New Guinea last week, marking the formal restart of passenger shipping in the Pacific.
The ship, a new addition to the P&O fleet, had her first voyage last Friday, stopping at Alotau in Papua New Guinea before continuing to Kiriwina, Rabaul, and the Conflict Islands. Marguerite Fitzgerald, president of P&O Cruises Australia and Carnival Australia, expressed gratitude to the people of Papua New Guinea and the Milne Bay Province for their encouragement of the cruise industry.
Fitzgerald said, “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.” P&O Voyages began offering dedicated cruises to Papua New Guinea in 2013.
She also said, “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,” all of which contribute significantly to the economy of Papua New Guinea.
With PNG’s reopening, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line will also visit the region for 14 port visits by Carnival brands in 2022. Fitzgerald stated that the itinerary enhancements would provide even more advantages to the PNG economy by including lengthier visits and, perhaps, overnight stays in Rabaul.
The last remaining Pacific island, Vanuatu will be reopened to tourists aboard P&O’s Pacific Explorer beginning next month. “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 said.