1800 672 988

WW2 History Cruise

Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours

10 Days aboard P&O’s Pacific Dawn
Visiting Australia & Papua New Guinea – Departing 26 August 2020

Travel Masters & The Travel Studio are excited to share this unique and enriching cruise experience – giving you the opportunity to explore history as you never have before.

Hosted aboard P&O Pacific Dawn, this 10-night holiday will provide guests an experience like no other as they explore the history of neighbouring Papua New Guinea.

A truly immersive experience, guests will enjoy a range of workshops, shore excursions and seminar discussions all hosted by renowned historians and led by Mat McLachlan. The holiday will take guests on a journey both on and off the ship. Sea days will be characterised by thought provoking and engaging sessions peppered around plenty of free time to check out Pacific Dawn amenities and services. Shore side, a series of exclusive tours will be on offer for guests to experience first-hand monumental sites such as Milne Bay and Rabaul. All official Mat McLachlan WW2 History Cruise events are included in the holiday package price.

Experience history like never before

Unique. Enriching. Unforgettable – A bespoke holiday designed to provide an immersive war history experience

What to Expect

This packages includes: 11-day cruise on board the 4-Star Pacific Dawn hosted by Mat McLachlan, with an exclusive 3-day WW2 conference with leading historians including Karl James (Australian War Memorial), Keiko Tamura (Australian National University), David Howell (Shrine of Remembrance), Gary McKay (Vietnam veteran) and more. Our conference MC is Chris Masters (Four Corners).

Exclusive shore tours accompanied by the conference historians at Milne Bay and Rabaul

Exotic cultural destinations including Kitava, Kiriwina and Conflict Islands
All meals including three private group dinners with historians and other guests as well as a welcome cocktail party

Enriching Itinerary

26 Aug Brisbane, Australia
Cocktail/Welcome Party
27 Aug At Sea
Conference Day 1
28 Aug At Sea
Conference Day 2
29 Aug Alotau, Papua New Guinea
Battle of Milne Bay Tour
30 Aug Kitava, Trobriand Islands
Group Dinner
31 Aug Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
War & Colonial History Tour

1 Sep Kiriwina Island, Trobriand
2 Sep Conflict Island, Papua New
Group Dinner
3 Sep At Sea
Conference Day 3
4 Sep At Sea
Group Dinner
5 Sep Brisbane, Australia


Meet Your Host

Mat McLachlan

Mat McLachlan is a leading battlefield historian, author and broadcaster, and the founder of Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours. He has spent more than two decades following in the footsteps of Australian troops around the world. He is an authority on the battlefields of the Western Front, Gallipoli, the Pacific battlefields of World War Two, the Vietnam War and the Normandy landing beaches.

His 2007 book, Walking with the Anzacs, is the definitive guide to Australian battlefields on the Western Front and has been reprinted seven times. Mat’s second book, Gallipoli: The Battlefield Guide, is the most comprehensive guide to the Australian battlefields of Gallipoli.
Mat regularly appears in historical documentaries (Tony Robinson’s World War 1, Australia: Life on the Edge, Lost in Flanders), as well as on television and radio programs to discuss Australia’s wartime history, commemorative days and key battle anniversaries.

Supporting Historians

Karl James

Dr Karl James has been a historian at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, since 2006, and has been Head of the Military History Section from May 2019.

A graduate of the University of Wollongong, his research focuses on Australia’s involvement in the Second World War. His publications include Kokoda: Beyond the Legend (editor), Double Diamonds: Australian Commandos in the Pacific War, 1941–45 and The Hard Slog: Australians in the Bougainville Campaign, 1944-45. He is a member of the editorial staff for the Memorial’s magazine Wartime.

He has worked on major exhibitions at the Memorial, including as lead curator for From the Shadows: Australia’s Special Forces (2017–18), the special anniversary exhibition Rats of Tobruk, 1941 (2011), and the refurbishment of the permanent Second World War Galleries (2010).

Dr James is currently working with Professor Peter Dean on the edited volume Australia in the Second World War. Dr James is also writing a new history of the 1941 siege of Tobruk and a popular history of the operations of HMAS Sydney’s (III) Carrier Air Group in 1951–52 during the Korean War.

Gary McKay

Gary McKay spent 30 years as an army officer after being conscripted for national service in 1968. He served in South Vietnam in 1971 as an infantry rifle platoon commander where he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry and severely wounded in the last major Australian battle of the Vietnam War.

In 1987 Gary’s best-selling autobiography In Good Company was released and he began what is now a full-time career as a non-fiction writer and freelance historian. He is Australia’s most prolific writer on the subject of the Vietnam War having released 12 books with Allen & Unwin. Two of his latest, Australia’s Battlefields in Vietnam and Going Back have been highly acclaimed by veterans who have returned to Vietnam and those wanting to see where Australia fought during the war. Gary has also travelled widely in the Pacific doing research and leading battlefield tours in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

David Howell

David Howell is a Melbourne-based historian, author and tour guide. Growing up with the stories of the war in New Guinea by his grandfather, David has made over 50 crossings of the famous Kokoda Track along with visiting most of the major battlefields in Papua New Guinea.

David spent the last five years working at the Shrine of Remembrance, the national war memorial of Victoria where he created their journal, Remembrance.He is a serving member of the Army Reserve and has deployed on peacekeeping operations. David is also the Hon. Secretary of the 39th Australian Infantry Battalion.

Want to know more?

Register your interest in this voyage by filling in the form below!

First Name *
Last Name *
Email Address *
Phone Number *
How did you find out about this voyage? *