Whilst on board Oceania, guests will be diving on some of the most beautiful reefs and sea mounts in the Bismarck sea, with abundant fish life amongst picturesque and dramatic volcanically formed reefscapes. Papua New Guinea is located in the coral triangle, the centre of marine biodiversity which has the highest diversity of tropical fish and coral in the world.
Pristine and colourful corals are home to a variety of fish, crustacean and invertebrate life and many of the reefs have resident schools of barracuda, tuna and jacks. A range of shark species are regularly sighted, including hammerheads and silvertips, particularly on the offshore reefs. A resident pod of dolphins frequently entertains divers.
The occasional sightings of orca, pilot whales, whale sharks and other marine life passing through Kimbe Bay and West New Britain waters always delight both guests and staff.
MV Oceania will offer a variety of itineraries throughout the year, each tailored to suit changing weather patterns and designed to dive the best of what is on offer. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly reservations team who will be able to assist with find an itinerary to suit you.
A taste of some of the areas we dive:
Kimbe Bay is home to stunning reefs with those brilliant coral formations you see in all the classic Walindi pictures. Beautiful and dramatic sea mounts, coral laden walls and lush coral gardens are all a feature of Kimbe Bay diving, along with myriad fish and invertebrate life the reefs sustain.
Witu Islands are situated to the North West of Kimbe Bay and this area is visited by MV Oceania at selected times during the year. A cross section of diving includes sea mounts and black sand bays around the islands, so this area provides a perfect mix of both pelagic activity and critters.
Fathers are series of off shore reefs, volcanic in origin. The underwater topography is startlingly different with dramatic reefscapes, arches and swim throughs. Being offshore, these reefs also attract pelagic activity such as sharks, rays, turtles, schools of barracuda, jacks etc.
Rabaul is known topside for WWII history – but what really makes Rabaul shine is the areas jetty dives. Macro lovers will delight at the sandy bottom dives featuring a myriad of different species of frogfish, harlequin ghost pipefish, bumblebee shrimp, harlequin shrimp, mandarin fish, coconut octopus, boxer crabs, leaf scorpion fish and nudibranchs - just to name a few.
ITINERARIES & WEATHER PATTERNS
MV Oceania will run a few different kinds of itineraries during the year to suit the weather patterns of each season.
Our "Signature Itinerary" covers our three most popular diving areas of Kimbe Bay, Witu Islands and Fathers Reefs. MV Oceania will operate 10 and 9 night Signature itineraries in our ‘peak' weather months, from mid September, October and November along with April, May and June. Water temperatures are slightly lower in September, October and November and that means there are usually more of the smaller and unusual critters about.
Water temperatures are usually 29/30 degrees celsius in the later months, and up to 31 degrees in April and May. There is usually very little rain in October & November (there is a possibility of a couple of evening showers here and there), light breezes and plenty of sunshine.
Our "Mid Year" itineraries usually operate through June, July and August and are shorter in duration with each trip being around 8 days. This itinerary visits 2 dive areas including Kimbe Bay Reefs and either Fathers Reefs or Witu Islands.
During late November and early December we offer a Witu Islands Itinerary, visiting Kimbe Bay Reefs and the pretty coral reefs and black sand bays of the Witu Islands.
Throughout the year MV Oceania will offer occasional specialist itineraries within the Bismarck sea and further afield. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly reservations staff to find an itinerary that suits you.