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.