The Albatros In Port Moresby

Absolutely awesome and beautiful...

No, it’s not a bird. It’s a cruise liner called the Albatros.  Looking so awesome in the sunshine. What a beautiful big boat. I wish I could go inside and take a peak.

Anyway, I was personally so happy to see a cruise liner in Port Moresby so soon after some negative reports about a month ago regarding the MS Rhapsody. The reports said it was turned away from calling into Port Moresby because of law and order problems or something to that effect. It was supposed to have called in on 24th February. I’ll never know the truth about that news item. This is not good for visitors to Papua New Guinea or for those of us trying to promote tourism in PNG.

The day the Albatros came to port, there were a few people along one part of Ela Beach displaying arts and crafts for sale and am sure there were similar ones elsewhere in the city. I don’t know whether some of the visitors came on land to experience the sights and sounds of Port Moresby.  It may not be representative of the whole country but it sure has ‘representatives’ from all over Papua New Guinea and it’s 1000 of more different tribes residing here. Such is the cultural diversity of this country.

Wonder how many swimming pools and restaurants are on this cruise liner.

I went up towards Paga Hill to take these shots. On closer inspection, I sighted some PMVs (passenger motor vehicles) at the wharf and even flower pots to beautify the walkway. It seems rather sad though that the passengers are not able to walk up to souvenir shops, tucker shops and some places selling kulau and local fruits. What a pity since cruise ships don’t pay tax, or do they? The place could have been set up to capture some tourist dollars trickling through the visit of the Albatros, albeit a brief one.

PMVs and potted plants but where were the passengers?

The Albatros was built in 1973 (so about 38 years!) in Helsinki, Finland for the Royal Viking Line. It has sailed under a few names, so if you don’t recognise Albatros you may recognise her other names, among others perhaps: Royal Viking Sea, Royal Odyssey, Norwegian Star, Crown and Crown Mare Nostrum. It is operated by Phoenix Reisen based in Germany. I read somewhere that Phoenix Reisen doesn’t own cruise liners, it engages them on long term charters. Well, the Albatros has come a long way to PNG. Danke…

You can see more pictures of the Albatros here.

Looking down towards the jetty and across the cricket pitch. The cricket pitch is barely visible. It is one of the oldest cricket pitches in PNG and one of the first in the country - must be over 100 years old!

The sight of the Albatros reminded me of the Bulolo and Malaita in the 1960s – two cruise liners that regularly berthed at Samarai Island – then District Headquarters of the Milne Bay District (now Milne Bay Province). I remember from Grades 2-4, I was one of the children on Kwato Island who would act as ‘tour guides’ for the tourists and in turn would earn lots of money (shillings and pence in those days) and tips from tourists of all ages – from carrying handbags to selling seashells (cowries, spider shells, etc). We also took down addresses and met a lot of penfriends in Australia that way. I met my first penfriend whose name I can’t readily recall now but she lived on Bowen Street (I think), Victoria, Australia. I got her address from her grandmother who was a tourist on one of the cruise liners that called in at Samarai Island. This was in the early ’60s. That was a long, long time ago.

Well, for the future, I hope we see more of these ships and more passengers visiting our capital city’s attractions such as the National Museum, the Modern History Museum and a whole host of historical landmarks and sites of cultural significance.

I wish the Albatros a safe and pleasant onward journey to other destinations.

Author: IslandMeri

I am based in Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea. The purpose of this blog is to share my magic moments in Papua New Guinea, elsewhere in the Pacific and the world. I have many creative pursuits - singing, songwriting, amateur photography and blogging.

9 thoughts on “The Albatros In Port Moresby”

  1. There are many reasons why this is so but recent developments and good engineering will help in building cruise ships that are much more eco-friendly… More efficient engines for cruise liners Engines that use the revolutionary wave technology which is still in experimental stage should be adapted to and building ships with such revolutionary technologies should be encouraged even though they might not be as efficient as expected.

  2. Hi Norida,

    Thank you for visiting my blog. I love to share my stories and hope I make a connection with like-minded people.

    Thank you for your compliments. You are also promoting our culture there during your Indep. celebrations and keeping the PNG flame alive there in NZ.

    Yes, it was a great disappointment that the MS Rhapsody did not call in as scheduled. I hope that this does not happen again.

    The Bulolo and Malaita and their impact on our young lives is quite significant. We started ‘networking’ via penfriends at such an early age and I will always be grateful for the experience.

    Agutoi,
    Mari

  3. Somehow your comment on my blog escaped me and I have only just found it after 2 years. Sorry about that, I should have replied earlier. I have enjoyed browsing through your blogs, and I would like to hear more about your life story. My brother and I both worked in P/NG in the 60’s. Actually my brother was there in the 50’s until independence. His name was David Speakman. He started out as a patrol officer and became a district officer and then he worked in the House of Assembly as the deputy clerk of the house.
    I met my husband and was married in Pt Moresby. We enjoyed living and working there when we were young. My husband travelled a lot around the country with his job as an air conditioning engineer. I was a teacher at Korobosea.
    P/NG is one of the most beautiful countries that I have visited. The tropical coastline and the towering mountains covered in jungle are magnificent. P/NG should be a tourist mecca but unfortunately the there are so many reports of corruption in the government and the lack of law and order in the streets that it scares tourists away.
    I often wonder if the effort the Australians put into developing the country in the 60’s was wasted.
    It is great to see that you have made a good life for yourself. I hope your beautiful country will prosper in the future.

    1. Hi Diane,

      Thank you for visiting my blog and lovely hear from you. Yes, I read about your brother on your blog a couple of years ago. Love your photos of cloud formations. Fantastic pictures. So much of Port Moresby has changed and some places are unrecognizable now.

      I agree that PNG should be a tourist mecca but yes, there are still some things that should change to make it so. I think the majority of the residents are happy to see POM progress but a few are making this near impossible.

      Australian help is well not wasted but probably more PNG content and management of the current aid programme will make a huge difference. Just an opinion.

      I can see a bright future for PNG but leadership must be upstanding and have the interest of the country at heart.

      Regards,
      Mari

  4. Thank you. The cricket pitch reminds me of my Father playing cricket there in the early 50s; the Dogura’s verses the Samarai’s, etc.

    1. Hi WS,

      Thank you for visiting my blog and for sharing your memories. My house was on the fringe of the cricket pitch and many a Saturday afternoon was spent watching the match and afterwards some leftover cakes and cookies.

      Regards,
      Mari

  5. Hi Mari,

    Thanx for the wonderful photos of the ship and the cricket pitch….

    Having read your comments my mind went back to my discussions with Lahui Ako regarding the sight or rather the eye sore of Hanuabada. I intimated to him that perhaps the people of HB should look at cleaning up the place and make it one of the tourist attractions for visitors to see how the local people of Port Moresby go about their daily lives and to show off the culture, customs and traditions of the Motuan people.

    I am sure they see these ships visit POM but to date there seem to be a lack of foresight in understanding the economic benefits that these ships can bring to the people of not only HB but also the other villages nearby..

    1. Hi BbK,

      Thank you for visiting my blog. I am glad you enjoyed the photos.

      It would be great to make contact with Lahui Ako. I think there might already be plans for developments along the coast from Port Moresby city given the impact the LNG project will have on some of the Motuan villages close by the project and Port Moresby no doubt with the relentless construction programme in the seafront near the naval base.

      Yes, I agree there is very little planning nowadays by the looks of things with the view of Fairfax Harbour slowly obliterated with apartment buildings etc on reclaimed land opposite the Hubert Murray Stadium.

      Have a great weekend.

      Agutoi,
      Mari

  6. Mari, thanks for sharing your blogs and have enjoyed reading them. Great to read about the Albatros’ recent visit to Port Moresby after the publicity surrounding the MS Rhapsody’s recent trip there. Congratulations on those of you who are working in promoting PNG culture as well as tourism to the country I look forward to reading more blogs as wel as seeing the photos.

    Regards
    Norida

    ps: I remember hearing stories of those cruise ships that use to visit Samarai in its heyday.

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