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PNG cruise

Introduction

The cruise on the Star Dancer starts from the Walindi hotel, where a BBQ is held with all passengers and staff before the departure. The first day of the cruise, all luggage are brought on board, and divers have some time to visit the boat – and to appreciate the luxurious amenities. While normal cruise boats offer only little space for the passengers as well as small and unequipped cabins, the Star Dancer is a large and comfortable boat, offering an upper deck with deck chairs and hammocks. The cabins are very attractive too, with a huge bed and a large window as well as a bathroom with a small bath and toilets.

During the cruise, we met the Febrina boat (same owners), which makes a cruise similar to the Star Dancer; we therefore could discuss with the passengers from the other boat.

Travel facts

Calendar

JanFebMarAprMayJuneJulyAugSepOctNovDec
best period
acceptable period
not recommend

Diving type

Destination
easily accessible
easily accessible
bargain destination
bargain destination
Diving level & type
for beginners
for beginners
for advanced divers
for advanced divers
shore diving
shore diving
liveaboard
liveaboard
Diving Characteristics
pelagics
pelagics
lots of fish
lots of fish
lots of corals
lots of corals
interesting underwater scenery
interesting underwater scenery
Other activities
attractive natural spots
attractive natural spots
gastronomy
gastronomy
night life
night life
beach
beach
snorkeling
snorkeling

Map

map

Infrastructures

  • liveaboard
    Star Dancer (Peter Hughes)
    logo
    Star Dancer (Peter Hughes) (liveaboard)
    rating : 4 / 4 starsrating : 4 / 4 stars
    comments :
    The day starts very early, since the coffee is brought by the staff to the cabins at 6 o'clock (the boat itself often cruises earlier, around 5:30 am, which can be noisy). At the same time, a buffet is available for breakfast (juice, cereals, and toasts). At 6:20 am, first briefing of the day, followed 10 minutes later by the dive itself. Food is served at 8:30 am (complete breakfast, after the first dive), 1:30 and 8 pm; the quality of the food is OK for a cruise boat, although we could have expected a little better. Snacks are available all day. The staff really takes care of the passengers. Because of the underwater landscape – no wall, but isolated coral pinnacles, it is necessary to travel a lot from site to site. A lot of diving sites can therefore be visited in one week..

    All days followed a similar schedule, with up to 5 dives per day.

Diving Sites

  • rating : 4.0
    Aka
    rating : 4.0
    depth : 20 m
    visibility : excellent
    description :
    A small pinnacle from 20 meters down to a depth of 3 meters; perfect location for a night dive, during which we saw two lobsters, crabs, one moray and a snake, a turtle as well as a frog-fish and a devil fish.

  • rating : 4.0
    Barnie's Reef
    rating : 4.0
    depth : 25 m
    visibility : excellent
    description :
    Our two first dives on the Star Dancer. This site is a reef whose top is just under the surface of the water, at about 3-5 meters, with fallings going down to more than 30 meters. Marvelous corals both on the top and along the slope, with varied fauna, from pelagic to reef fish: a shark on the bottom, two eagle-rays, large tuna and bigeye trevally in schools, five octopuses, batfish, clown-fish in their anemones, lizard-fish, trumpet-fish, angelfish. Also a nudibranch. Since the current often changes direction, it is often possible to see both side of the reef the same day.

  • rating : 4.0
    Crack Afat
    rating : 4.0
    depth : 15 m
    visibility : very good
    description :
    Dive around a reef at a depth of 10-15 meters. Strong current can be present, which explains why a rope is used to reach the reef from the mooring. In this case, it is often more pleasant to just stop in a quiet place, at 15-20 meters, and observe the fish that will pass in front of you... Lots of pelagic animals on this site! A shark, schools of hundreds of bigeye trevally, huge tuna, groupers and a green moray. Corals are also great.

  • rating : 4.0
    Dickie's Knot
    rating : 4.0
    depth : 35 m
    visibility : good
    description :
    Dive in a rather strong current, reason for which a rope is available, and can be grabbed if the current becomes unbearable... Dive starts at 40 meters, where the visibility is good, even if plankton is present. An eagle ray, some grey sharks, as well as schools of tuna, bigeye trevally and mackerel. On the top of the reef, in more shallow waters, lots of angels and parrots.

  • rating : 4.0
    Killibob's
    rating : 4.0
    depth : ---
    visibility : very good
    description :
    Four pinnacles from 12 to 25 meters, with the possibility to go much deeper... Apart from all the usual reef fish, we saw 5-6 white-tip sharks. On this site, we could also feed the sharks! It is not unusual to see about ten sharks which, in a couple of minutes, will eat all the food that has been brought. They then will continue to swim around the divers. Very impressive!

  • rating : 3.0
    Arches
    rating : 3.0
    depth : 25 m
    visibility : good
    description :
    Two arches at 21-25 meters, under which divers can swim. On both sides of this reef, walls fall down to more than 50 meters. At a more shallow depth, around the mooring (12-15 meters), lots of reef fish. Nice dive with a marvelous scenery, but no large animal.

  • rating : 3.0
    Bradford Shoals
    rating : 3.0
    depth : 25 m
    visibility : very good
    description :
    The top of this pinnacle is at around 20 meters, and therefore this dive is a rather deep one. On the other hand, it is much easier to observe fish that usually are found at greater depths. Nice corals and a huge napoleon (1.5 meter long).

  • rating : 3.0
    Gully's Gilly
    rating : 3.0
    depth : 32 m
    visibility : good
    description :
    Site with a classic configuration: a reef which serves for the mooring. Strong current. On the open sea side, a large variety of corals, but mainly small ones. We also could observe two sharks, an octopus, two long barracudas, tuna, bigeye trevally, and so on. And at the mooring, a turtle which we could approach very, very closely!

  • rating : 3.0
    Inglis Shoal
    rating : 3.0
    depth : 20 m
    visibility : very good
    description :
    Dive at 15-20 meters – a good configuration for night dive. Isolated coral reef of about 200 square meters. It is believed that such reefs were formed on old underwater volcanoes. No shark, but a large quantity of batfish which came to bite the divers – more precisely the spare regulator!

  • rating : 3.0
    Joel's
    rating : 3.0
    depth : ---
    visibility : excellent
    description :
    Deep dive, on a spot that hosts big ones: sharks, tuna, barracudas, a moray and a turtle, as well as schools of reef fish. It might be useful to remind our reader that the first decompression chamber is far, very far. Although the staff is quite flexible about the dive planning (specially the depth), keep in mind the possible risks...

    Our agency's divers who visited this diving site will understand why the depth is not written... The webmaster – who unfortunately stayed in Switzerland (!) – insists on the risks of deep diving, especially when the closest medical support is hundred of kilometers away.

  • rating : 3.0
    Saggy's Ride
    rating : 3.0
    depth : 20 m
    visibility : excellent
    description :
    Dive on a bottom between 8 and 20 meters. In an attempt to attract sharks, the staff fixed underwater a box that used to contain fish. It was successful, since very soon three white-tip sharks were swimming around us... Also two stone-fish.

  • rating : 3.0
    South Emma
    rating : 3.0
    depth : 35 m
    visibility : very good
    description :
    A rather deep site... which is often visited by dolphins. Unfortunately, during our dive there, they did not come! There is also a cave at 33 meters, with the possibility for the divers to swim through it. But then again, we could not found it…

  • rating : 2.0
    Crater
    rating : 2.0
    depth : 16 m
    visibility : good
    description :
    Small bay next to an island, with a sandy bottom. Mainly a dive to observe micro fauna, with the classical nudibranchs, pipehorse, pipefish, harlequin pipefish. Also a location for night dives.

  • rating : 2.0
    Dickie's Reef
    rating : 2.0
    depth : 24 m
    visibility : very good
    description :
    Around a tiny island with a house on it, this dive takes place between the flat top of the reef (2-5 meters) and the sandy bottom (30 meters). This site is essentially appealing for the micro fauna – nudibranchs, clown-fish, coral pipehorse, harlequin ghost pipefish and... squid eggs. Divers who are used to this site, come and dive here with a magnifying glass! Also a night dive.

  • rating : 2.0
    Lid Say
    rating : 2.0
    depth : 20 m
    visibility : excellent
    description :
    Reef coming up to a depth of 3 meters. Site with potential current. Lots of hard, multicolored corals. Mainly reef fishes, including butterfly, angelfish, bigeye trevally, and filefish.

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