Lying 160 kilometres north of Australia, just south of the Equator, the country’s vast expanses of thick tropical jungle and razor-sharp mountains remain daunting to all but the most intrepid of explorers. On this expedition voyage of discovery, our experienced Expedition Leaders and expert Guest Lecturers will share with you their wealth of knowledge as you retrace the paths of early explorers including De Quiros, Bougainville and Cook and discover areas seldom visited by westerners. Papua New Guinea is a place of rich cultural diversity, with more than 1,000 recognised cultures.
DAY 1: CAIRNS
Board Coral Adventurer at 7:30am for an 9:00am departure. Leave
Cairns behind as we begin our voyage towards Papua New Guinea. Take
the opportunity to explore your new home and meet your fellow
passengers. Enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks at sunset before
sitting down to the first of many delicious dinners.
DAY 2: AT SEA
The Coral Sea: spend the day at leisure as you get to know your
travelling companions or join our Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturer
in the Lounge for presentations and briefings on Papua New Guinea,
ahead of our arrival into Samarai.
DAY 3: SAMARAI
Rich in history, Samarai Island has been declared a National
Historical Heritage Island. A colonial capital and provincial
government headquarters until 1968, Samarai is now a historical
highlight of Milne Bay, with the ruins of the old town providing photo
DAY 4: DOBU AND FERGUSSON ISLANDS
Join our Expedition Staff on a walk to Dei Dei Hot Springs, where the
people share their mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and
mud springs. Learn of the history of the Kula Ring at Dobu Island and
meet the local primary school children, who will welcome us with a
traditional dance performance. Snorkel the bubbling Springs Reef.
DAY 5: TROBRIAND ISLANDS
Historically known as the ‘Islands of Love’, the Trobriands offer a
glimpse of traditional culture largely unspoiled by outside
influence. In the morning visit the island of Kuiawa to witness a
traditional Trobriand dance performed by the colourfully costumed
locals. Visit the local market and enjoy a swim off the adjacent
DAY 6: MACLAREN HARBOUR AND TUFI FJORDS
Local guides will paddles us on traditional canoes at Maclaren
Harbour to their village in the rainforest. Be welcomed with dances,
demonstrations and traditional crafts. Discover the scenic beauty of
the rarely visited Maclaren Harbour. Over lunch soak up spectacular
views as we cruise close to the towering cliffs before entering Tufi
Fjord. Enjoy a leisurely swim and snorkel over colourful fringing
reefs or visit the nearby resort for a relaxing time.
DAY 7: BUNA AND SANANANDA
The Battle of Buna saw some of the fiercest fighting between
American, Australian and Japanese forces during the final stages of
WW2. We walk through the jungle with the local villagers and discover
the fascinating history. After lunch we visit beautiful Sanananda to
visit the War Museum, which the villagers have built to honour both
sides. You have the opportunity to meet the local village people and
enjoy their lovely gardens.
DAY 8: FLY ISLANDS AND LABABIA
Awaken early and travel ashore for a morning of water activities at
Fly Island, which has very colourful coral reefs. Enjoy snorkelling,
diving or glass bottom boat tours. We visit the picturesque village
of Lababia, gateway to one of the most important conservation areas in
PNG, and enjoy welcome ceremonies and local dances. You may also
paddle on local outriggers and enjoy a village walk and market.
DAY 9: DREGERHAFEN
Today we visit Dregerhafen in the Finschhafen district of Morobe,
famous for Tami bowls and timber paddles. Visit the village of
Gingala for a high spirited PNG welcome. The markets will be open and
there will be a chance to walk through the village with the locals.
After lunch enjoy snorkelling, diving, glass bottom boat tours and
kayaking in the waters of the lagoon. Finish the day with drinks on
the sundeck and our famous BBQ.
DAY 10: TUAM
Enjoy a presentation from our guest lecturer as we steam towards the
remote island of Tuam in the Siassi group. Tuam features two well-
known and successful dance groups who will perform as we wander
through the village. Along the way peruse the market stalls. Enjoy a
guided walk with the locals and finish the day with water activities
in the crystal clear water.
DAY 11: HISTORIC MADANG
Explore Madang, which sits on the peninsula surrounded by a number of
picturesque islands and is famed for it’s waterfront setting and
colonial history. Discover the surrounding area on our Madang tour and
after lunch visit the markets where there is the opportunity to
purchase a large selection of artefacts from the region.
DAY 12: SEPIK RIVER- BIEN VILLAGE, VOLCANIC MANAM ISLAND
At first light the Coral Discoverer enters into the mighty Sepik
River. Our destination is the remote village of Bien where the locals
are famous for their arts and crafts. A true Sepik welcome awaits us
as we step ashore! Take the opportunity to purchase unique hand
carvings the Sepik region is known for. As we depart from the great
Sepik River, sail past the active volcano at Manam Island as we enjoy
the Captains Farewell drinks.
DAY 13: WEWAK
Early this morning we arrive into the port town of Wewak. Farewell
guests departing this morning and welcome new friends who will be
joining us for the remainder of the expedition.
DAY 14: JAYAPURA
Overnight we cross into West Papua waters ahead of our arrival in
Jayapura, formerly known as ‘Hollandia’ during World War II and now a
melting pot of sights and smells. Visit Lake Sentani, home to
villagers famed for their distinctive art, and cruise on a longboat to
see the stilt towns built over the tranquil lake, Be welcomed at Asei
Village by the local dancers and their accompanying traditional
DAY 15: MIOSWUNDI
Awake this morning to the peaceful Island of Mioswundi. Meet the
local families in their traditional village to learn about their
remote lifestyle and enjoy a refreshing swim in the tropical waters.
DAY 16: AT SEA
Spend a day at sea and join the Expedition Team in the Lounge for an
introduction to Raja Ampat. Learn about the many wonderful experiences
we will undertake over the coming days exploring the archipelago of
the ‘Four Kings’.
DAY 17: WAYAG
Cross the equator today into the northern hemisphere as we make our
way towards stunning Wayag Island. Experience the breathtaking views
as we enter Wayag lagoon, then explore the magical maze of limestone
karst ‘gumdrop’ islands aboard the Xplorer and zodiacs. After lunch
enjoy water activities on the nearby beach or for the very fit climb
to the top of Mt. Pindito for the panoramic view.
DAY 18: KAWE ISLAND, ALJUI BAY & PENEMU
Enjoy an early morning visit the monument to the equator at Kawe
Island, if tides allow we will step ashore. We make our way into
beautiful Aljui Bay on Waigeo Island for a morning of snorkelling or
diving on one of the finest reef sites in the archipelago. Enjoy a
cruise in this spectacular channel in the Zodiacs, and in the
afternoon we visit Penemu in the Fam Island group. Climb the 320 steps
to the lagoon lookout for great views and afterwards snorkel in the
DAY 19: HIDDEN BAY
Awake in remote Hidden Bay. Cruise through the scenic Wallace passage
aboard the Xplorer and zodiacs. There is ample time to kayak, enjoy
glass bottom boat tours, snorkel and SCUBA dive.
DAY 20: YENSAWAI VILLAGE AND YENWAOUPNOR VILLAGE
Board Xplorer and cruise into the village of Yensawai on the Island
of Batanta. Be greeted by the local people who will guide you through
their village and visit the primary school to see the children in full
song. Visit the local market on the water front and board zodiacs for
a cruise through the mangroves, before enjoying a short walk to the
waterfall. Visit Gam Island and the village of Yenwaoupnor to be
welcomed with cultural entertainment and sample food cooked
traditionally in the underground oven.
DAY 21: YENWAOUPNOR VILLAGE AND MESEMPTA
For the fit and able there is an early 0530 start on a steep hike in
search of the elusive Red Bird of Paradise hidden in the trees. Enter
through the stunning channel leading to our late afternoon anchorage
and finish the day with our famous BBQ on the sundeck overlooking
DAY 22: MESEMPTA AND WAGMAB
Awaken at Mesempta to enjoy a visually spectacular cruise on
Xplorer. Enjoy snorkelling and glass bottom boat tours in the
sheltered lagoon. Enter the Misool archipelago to visit Wagmab and
snorkel or dive the magnificent coral gardens and steep reef walls.
Enjoy interpretation by our guest lecturers.
DAY 23: BANDA AND SPICE ISLANDS
Today we explore the centre of the Spice Islands, where the world’s
supply of nutmeg and mace has been traded for over 2000 years. See
Gunung Api volcano and Banda’s famous Kora Kora canoes in action. At
Banda town our guides will introduce us to the sights and smells of
this historic area. We wander past the remnants of mansions
constructed during Dutch colonialism on a town tour and visit historic
buildings before visiting the markets. Refresh onboard before joining
the locals for a traditional dance and music performance while
enjoying a glass of champagne on top of Fort Belgica.
DAY 24: THE SPICE ISLANDS
An early morning option to snorkel or dive over the unique submerged
lava flow. For those wishing a leisurely morning, return to Banda and
enjoy the traditions of a bygone era with cinnamon tea and local
delicacies at the waterfront hotel before we farewell the Spice
Islands and set sail towards Darwin.
DAY 25: CROSSING THE TIMOR SEA
Spend the day at leisure enjoying the on board facilities as we cross
the Timor Sea and join our Expedition Team in the ship’s lounge for a
recap of the expedition. Reminisce with your new found friends at the
Captain’s Farewell Drinks.
DAY 26: ARRIVE DARWIN
This morning at 8:30am we arrive at Darwin’s Fort Hill wharf, marking
the end of our great adventure discovering New Guinea.
This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and
activities on offer. Throughout the expedition, we may make changes
to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary
experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather,
tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation
of the vessel. The itinerary includes the possibility of interaction
with wild animals and this interaction is subject to the presence of
this wildlife on the day.