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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 12) - Luxury liner World Discoverer is today expected to arrive to a rousing welcome on Tuam Island, one of the smaller islands of Siassi in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province.

The tourists, mostly Americans and Australians, will get to see more of the country’s diverse cultures and natural beauty after spending two days on several island stops in Milne Bay province.

The cruise, promoted by Sydney-based Adventure Associates under the package named "Mysteries of Papua New Guinea," is for a 12-day visit to several of the country’s naturally beautiful and culturally rich destinations.

They include the Calvados Chain of islands in the Louisiade Archapelago of Milne Bay, Kitava in the Trobriand Islands, Tuam Island in Morobe, Madang, the Murik Lakes in East Sepik and the Ali and Wuvulu Islands.

In their last two stops in the Calvados Chain and Kitava, the tourist were treated to the rich marine and bird life as well as the famous tapioka dance. They also got to get see some of the traditional canoes used in the intriguing Kula trade ring, which traversed the length and breadth of Milne Bay province.

Today, the visitors get another treat on Tuam island, where the villagers have been preparing to meet the tourists.

This will be the World Discoverer’s second visit to the island, after last year’s visit, when 70 tourists went ashore.

Community leader Royden Aigal said tour operators Melanesian Tourist Services (MTS) has assisted them with preparations for the visit.

Activities planned for the tourists on the island include traditional and contemporary cultural performances, arts and crafts display and sight-seeing.

Nearby Siassi islanders have been invited to participate in the events.

The tourists hit Madang tomorrow, then on to East Sepik, where a tour will be made of the Murik Lakes.

The tour continues to Ali Island and finally on Wuvulu island on Saturday before leaving PNG shores for Guam.

The liner, which boasts of the latest and most sophisticated navigational equipment, allowing her to approach some of the most isolated and pristine island habitats while providing unparalleled comfort and state-of-the-art amenities, had visited Fiji and Vanuatu before arriving in PNG.

May 12, 2004

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