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Review: Papua New Guinea - The Last Frontier

Specialist Holiday - Sightseeing

Papua New Guinea

Noble Caledonia flights nightmare

  • By SilverTraveller strathgeran

    5 reviews

  • 2014
  • Husband

30 people found this review helpful

We are travellers based in Australia and Noble Caledonia is based in London UK. We have done 4 trips in the last 12 months with Noble Caledonia- to Japan, The Islands of Britain, the Isles of the English Channel plus France and Papua New Guinea. Each time we have had to travel from Australia to meet up with the UK group in the appointed country. This has meant a significant increase in the cost of each trip due to the extra airfares. NC provides very little discount to their tours to make up for the unnecessary airfares or unusable airfares for customers not based in the UK. The PNG trip was the worst example of this. Instead of allowing us to travel straight to Port Moresby from Sydney to meet up with the group we had to fly to Singapore at our own expense, then to Port Moresby and at the end of the tour we had to fly from Port Moresby to Hong Kong and then pay our own way back to Sydney. While on tour we spoke to other passengers and they did not have to use the NC flights and were able to make their own flight arrangements. Accordingly I contacted NC on our return to express our displeasure and after many emails back and forward their offer was a 10% discount on a trip booked before 2105. We are already entitled to a 5% discount as members of their past traveller club! The NC trip to PNG was their first venture to that country and it would appear that they did not do their research with regards to PNG standards of accommodation and reliable information. The people of PNG were friendly and welcoming where ever we travelled and obviously were keen to encourage tourism. They were proud of their country and its progress. The Highlands section of the tour was based in Rondon Ridge above Mount Hagen. The resort was clean, the staff lovely, the food and rooms were very basic but the views were outstanding. Everyday there was something different to see and the locals gave us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in their ancient culture. The next section of the tour was based on the MS Caledonia Sky and involved daily visits to islands off the mainland of PNG. Despite the brochures claims native animals and birds were few and far between and in most instances non existent. Such is the nature of wild animals! The cruising was calm and the islands spectacular but the itinerary was not followed in some places due to local conditions and the whim of the local agents. PNG has an economy that is open to corruption and there are many areas that are not safe to travel around. The areas around the towns and cities were full of displaced people who do not have the will to better themselves or their country and loiter about menacingly. Alcohol and beetle nuts are a huge problem. Noble Caledonia provided an interesting itinerary, as always, but they need to lift their response to customer concerns and provide acceptable and affordable options for customers who are not base in the UK and Europe. Local conditions and standards should be researched more thoroughly and appropriate information provided so informed decisions can be made by their customers.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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