NEED TO KNOW
WHEN TO GO The sevenand eight- night itineraries run mid-june to early September, and mid- November to end of December. The 10- night signature itinerary runs April to mid-june and September to mid- November. The New Britain South Coast itinerary is offered in January and February, and the trans-solomon Sea 12- night trips run in March.
TRAVELERS TIPS Fly from LA direct to Brisbane in 14.5 hours, change planes for a three- hour flight to Port Moresby, and then change again for the 90- minute flight to Hoskins. From the airport to the boat takes an hour. Divers get an extra 33- pound baggage allowance on top of the standard 33 pounds for domestic flights.
Good chocolate is hard to come by, as are the latest DVD releases. Take a few bars and some movies on a memory stick for the crew.
Using a PNG specialist like Best of PNG (bestofpng. com), it’s easy to combine a cruise with cultural land tours or resort diving at one of the five dive resorts elsewhere in the country.
DIVE CONDITIONS With temperatures between 83 and 88 degrees F, only a light wetsuit or skin is required. Visibility runs between 60 and 120 feet, and there are mild currents on pinnacles on rising and falling tides.
OPERATOR Febrina (febrina .com) has seven below- deck en-suite cabins with individual air conditioning, which house 12 divers. It’s not a luxury boat, but the crew provides five-star service.
PRICE TAG Prices per person double occupancy run from $3,720 for the eightnight South Coast itinerary to $5,640 for the 12- night Milne Bay to Rabaul run.