THE luxury cruise liner Rhapsody of the Seas sailed into Port Moresby harbour at 6am on Saturday carrying almost 2,000 tourists and berthed for 12 hours, giving its passengers a brief taste of the PNG experience.
The visit marked a milestone for PNG tourism as it was the largest number of tourists to visit our shores at a single time.
More than 1,000 tourists disembarked and boarded about 60 hired buses organised by Niugini Experience and Ecotourism PNG, which took them on a tour around the city and to places as far as Sogeri and Gaire’s “Black Beach”.
Other activities included a huge craft market staged within the wharf’s premises, organised by the Tourism Promotion Authority.
The PNG Ports officer on the ground, Aihi Oa, said PNG Ports, being the sole provider of port facilities in the country, allowed its stakeholders on to the waterfront to provide easy access to the tourists.
Some tourists even took a stroll around the downtown Port Moresby area and Ela Beach.
Some said they were annoyed that they were “misinformed” that PNG was a high-risk country.
They said that from their strolls, they found the people to be friendly and the risks to be similar to that of any other country.
Others said they would visit the country again as they were not satisfied because they found that PNG had a lot to offer.
The cruise ship sailed in from Cairns, Australia, carrying with it tourists from all around the world who flew in to Australia for a cruise around the South Pacific.