New Guinea Circle: Cairns to Darwin

Papua New Guinea

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

  • Learn how the Trobriand Islands became the ‘Islands of Love’
  • Explore Tufi’s spectacular fjords
  • Cruise the mighty Sepik River
  • Discover the pristine Raja Ampat region; a nature lover’s paradise
  • Take in the aromas, colours and characters of the Spice Islands
  • This remarkable expedition will take you where other travellers have seldom visited, into the most remote corners of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. Throughout the expedition you will also discover the very best that nature has to offer, from the brilliantly coloured Bird of Paradise to the world’s most colourful and diverse coral reefs, and come face to face with villagers who until recently have been shielded from the outside world. Rest assured this is the most comprehensive experience ever undertaken in this fascinating region.

    Stewart's Take

    This remarkable expedition will take you where other travellers have seldom visited, into the most remote corners of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.


    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 opportunities. 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 island beach. 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 instruments. 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 lagoon. 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 beautiful Mesempta. 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. Note 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.

    Luxury Expedition Ship Coral Adventurer

    Luxury Expedition Ship Coral Adventurer

    The brand new 120 passenger ship Coral Adventurer is built to take you closer to unspoilt vistas in comfort, style and safety. A culmination of two years of design and three decades of passion for expedition cruising. The Coral Adventurer is a ship that will last for decades, prodict of a search for build quality and technology from Norway. The result is a happy marriage of modern shipbuilding technology and cruising Australian style.

    For full information about this vessel click here...

    • Ship accommodation in selected room grade
    • All meals, morning and afternoon teas
    • 24 hour tea/coffee and soft drinks
    • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell cocktails
    • Use of onboard facilities
    • Access to islands, marine and national parks
    • Guided tours on Xplorer expedition vessel and Zodiacs
    • Touring as described in the itinerary
    • Services of Expedition staff and lecturers including briefings
    • Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities
    • Pre and post flights, transfers and hotels
    • Travel Insurance
    • Personal items such as communications and bar charges
    Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 10% per person at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 60 days of departure require full payment. Voyage rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and are based on passengers sharing a cabin. Share Policy Accommodation on the Ship is based on twin share occupancy. If you are travelling alone and wish to share accommodation, a room mate will be assigned to your cabin whenever possible. When pairing room mates we always pair participants of the same sex. Sole Use cabins If you wish to have a cabin to yourself a sole use supplement of 1.5 times the twin rate applies for Coral, Promenade and Explorer cabins. Final Payments Balances are due 90 days prior to departure. Balance payments may be paid by bank transfer, or on request by credit card (subject to a 2% surcharge). Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations schedule is as follows: Up to 90 days prior to departure – forfeit your deposit of 20% of the fare. 60 to 89 days prior to departure – forfeit 50% of the fare. No-show to 59 days prior to departure – forfeit 100% of the fare. 1 to 29 days prior to departure – forfeit 100% of the fare. We strongly recommend that all passengers purchase cruise cancellation and interruption insurance as protection against any circumstance which may force you to cancel or leave an expedition whilst it is in progress. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Coral Princess Cruises and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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