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Frontier Lands of Papua New Guinea | Cairns - Madang | 12 Nights

The Land That Time Forgot

12 Nights | Departing Cairns 17 December 2023 | Arriving Madang | Onboard Coral Adventurer

Departing from Cairns, including an optional return charter flight from Madang, this voyage is an opportunity to immerse into the wild and rugged scenery of Papua New Guinea that is rarely seen and mostly inaccessible by land.
Papua New Guinea is home to the largest area of intact rainforest outside of the Amazon. This voyage uncovers little-visited islands, volcanic mountains and pristine rainforest wilderness areas forged by mighty rivers. Sail past spectacular Kadovar Islands, known for its volcanic activity. Venture up the mighty Sepik River to see riverfront village life little changed in hundreds of years. Buy traditional crafts such as masks and carvings at the village market of Bien. Snorkel, swim or dive on vibrant reefs at the Fly Islands and visit the unique Bubbling Springs Reef at Dobu.


Expedition Highlights

  • Enjoy spectacular views while passing Kadovar whose volcano is known to erupt stunning pyroclastic clouds for our guests while we admire from the vista deck with sunset drinks in hand
  • Ride on hand-carved outrigger canoes paddled by locals guides adorned in ceremonial costumes to Maclaren Harbour
  • Enjoy the tropical warm waters with activities such as kayaking through the rainforest-clad fjords, and snorkelling or diving on vibrant reefs including at the Fly Islands, Tufi and the unique Bubbling Springs Reef at Dobu
  • Throughout the voyage, enjoy high-spirited cultural welcomes, dances and sing sings as we are invited into rarely visited villages to share stories with the locals
  • Visit WWII battle sites at Buna and Sanananda
  • Learn of the mythical and spiritual tales of Dei Dei Hot Springs, and witness the boiling geyser erupt
  • Cruise the mighty Sepik River to Bien village, home to some of Papua New Guinea’s most skilled woodcarvers and renowned artefact markets
  • Discover how the Trobriand Islands became known as the ‘Islands of Love’



Bridge Deck Balcony Suite 22,390 n/a
Bridge Deck Balcony Suite 17,390 n/a
Explorer Deck Balcony 15,940 23,910
Promenade Deck 11,940 17,910
Coral Deck 9,940 14,910

Prices are per person, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST. *Limited sole use occupancy available.

Optional Post-Cruise Charter flight: From Madang to Cairns, approx. $850 per person. Limited seats available, contact our reservations team.


Travel Update - Covid Page



Embark: Board at 7:30 am at Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal for a 9:00am departure.
Disembark: Arrive and disembark at 8:00 am at Madang, with a town tour until midday

Optional Charter Flight from Madang to Cairns: $850 per person. Limited seats available, contact our reservations team.

These are expedition itineraries covering remote regions. Your Captain and Expedition Team may make changes to the daily schedule when necessary to maximise guest experience. Visiting these remote communities is subject to approval of the local landowners. Below are the highlight destinations of your voyage.

Cairns > Sea > Samarai, Sewa Bay & Dei Dei > Dobu Island > Kuiawa > Tufi > Buna  & Sanananda > Morobe Harbour > Fly Islands & Lababia > Dregerhafen > Karkar Island > Sepik Mouth, Bien Village & Kadovar Volcano > Madang

Day 1: Depart Cairns

Make your own way to Cairns Cruise Liner terminal for boarding at 7:30 am for a 9:00 am departure. Cruise across the Coral Sea and spend the afternoon relaxing as you are welcomed onboard Coral Geographer. Join our expedition staff as they introduce you to the journey and the many experiences you will enjoy. This evening, join the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow guests as the sun sets.

Dobu Island & Dei Dei Hot Springs on Fergusson Island

Day 2 - Dei-Dei Hot Springs 06

Join our Expedition Team for a walk to Dei Dei hot springs. Hear the mythical and spiritual tales of the Dei Dei Hot Springs, learn about the history of the Kula Ring and the role of Dobu Island in the north and south Kula trade routes. Meet the local primary school children, who will welcome us with a traditional song, and spend some time snorkeling in the Bubbling Springs Reef.

At Sea

A couple enjoying time at sea from the Xplorer Deck

Spend today relaxing onboard, listen and learn from our Guest Lecturer presentations, or enjoy an engine room or bridge tour.

Trobriand Islands

Trobriand Islands

Historically known as the ‘Islands of Love’, the Trobriand Islands offer a glimpse of traditional cultures largely unspoiled by outside influence. Be greeted at the small island of Kuiawa with an enthusiastic Trobriand’s welcome.

Tufi Fjord

Tufi Harbour

Today enjoy a true highlight as we discover the scenic beauty of the Tufi Fjords. Featuring 25 individual canyons with sheer basalt cliffs, these are the only fjords in Papua New Guinea and offer a wealth of sightseeing opportunities.  Aboard Xplorer, travel to the entrance of one of Tufi’s most scenic fjords where you will be met by local villagers in traditional dress aboard outrigger canoes. Have the opportunity to board one of the outriggers as the locals paddle up the creek under the rainforest canopy. Here, spirits and sorcery remain integral to village life, and we will learn about bush medicines, fire making, mat weaving and traditional tattooing.  Deep in the rainforest, have the chance to witness the tribesmen perform a traditional sing song in their ceremonial dress. Later, discover white sand beaches, or snorkel or dive over spectacular fringing reefs.

Buna & Sanananda

Sanananda Welcome

We land at Buna beach, home to some of the toughest fighting in the WWII Pacific campaign. Enjoy a welcome from the local residents, and then be guided through the jungle to visit the areas where Allied forces clashed with Japanese forces. In Sanananda, see the local monuments and pay tribute to fallen Australian soldiers at the war museum, located at the far end of the Kokoda Track. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the lush gardens surrounding the village.

Morobe Harbour

Morobe Harbour

We arrive at Morobe Harbour early in the morning and cruise in the Xplorer to view the stunning forest from the Mou River. We receive a warm Oro Province welcome and enjoy exploring the village with local guides. At high tide, we may be able to cruise further into a picturesque hidden bay.

Kamiali (Lababia Village) & Fly Islands

Day 7 AM Kamiala (Lababia) (80)10

In the morning, during a relaxing visit to the village, we are entertained with singing and dancing performances and join a local guide around the village. Board an outrigger canoe to explore further up the river with a guide and experience snorkelling and diving at the Biangatu Island reef in the Fly Islands.


Day 6 - Dregerhafen 07

At the beautiful anchorage of Dregerhafen, you will enjoy a high-spirited Papua New Guinea welcome and explore the market which is famous for Tami bowls and timber paddles. There are many WWII artefacts in this area. After lunch, enjoy snorkelling, diving, and kayaking in the blue waters of the lagoon.

Sepik Mouth, Bien Village & Kadovar Volcano


As we arrive at the mouth of the famed Sepik River we are greeted with stunning views of the landscape and this mammoth river which cuts a swathe through lush forest. Our first stop on the Sepik River is at the village of Bien, where local villagers greet us on their canoes and follow with dance performances. There is an opportunity to purchase highly sought-after hand-crafted artefacts, masks and carvings at the Sepik market.

Day 13: Madang


Arrive in Madang to disembark Coral Geographer at 8:00am. Enjoy an included tour of Madang with a member of our expedition team until midday.

Optional Charter flight: Madang to Cairns $850 per person. This will be a direct flight to Cairns, with no stopover in Port Moresby, with a Coral Expeditions staff member to accompany guests. Limited seats available, call our reservations team for more information.

December 2023

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
17 December 2023 17 Dec 2023 29 December 2023 29 Dec 2023 $9,940 to $17,390 $9,940 to $17,390 Coral Adventurer Available Book

Your cruise price includes:

  • Expert Expedition Team and Guest Lecturers
  • An authentic, flexible expedition itinerary
  • Comprehensive and fully guided sightseeing in each destination
  • Lectures, workshops and demonstrations onboard
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Showcase wines, selected beers and soft drink with lunch and dinner service
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events, and Open Bridge Access
  • 24-hour coffee and teas
  • Use of all onboard facilities, including a reference library

Your cruise price does not include:

  • Pre and post flights, transfers and hotels
  • Entry visas/travel permits
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of the included drinks package as highlighted), laundry charges and souvenir purchases

Tipping not required

Other cruise lines automatically add gratitudes to your account and service charges to your bar invoices. At Coral Expeditions our crew have no other agenda than your delight.

Our friendly reservations specialists are on hand to assist with your booking arrangements to ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible. Contact our team on 1800 079 545 during business hours in Australia or email

Travel Insurance:

Comprehensive Travel Insurance is strongly recommended for all travellers as protection against any unforeseen events that may necessitate the cancellation or interruption of your holiday and should be purchased at the same time as you purchase your cruise. Please refer to our Pre-Departure page for facts that should be considered and shared when speaking with Travel Insurance suppliers.

Additional Information:

Countries Visited/ Currency Accepted:

This voyage begins in Australia and ends in Papua New Guinea. Currency accepted in Papua New Guinea is the Kina

Languages Spoken/ Dress Codes & Etiquette:

Its official languages are Tok Pisin, English, Hiri Motu, and Papua New Guinean Sign Language. Tok Pisin, an English-based creole, is the most widely spoken, serving as the country’s lingua franca. Women should cover their shoulders and wear knee-length shorts/skirts in the villages.

Visa Information:

Stay up to date with current requirements via link:

Snorkel Opportunities:

These opportunities are a guide and not all are guaranteed.*
There will be approximately 4-6 opportunities, at:

  1. Ebuma Island
  2. Fergusson/Dobu Islands
  3. Kuiawa
  4. Tufi
  5. Fly Islands
  6. Dregerhafen
  7. Kar-Kar Island

Hike/Walk Opportunities:

Most walks are through villages and at a leisurely pace, although there will be some longer walk options on offer such as Dei Dei Hot Springs at Fergusson island. This walk is about 4.5km return on a flat well-worn track that could be muddy and slippery just after rain. Near & at the springs the dirt track makes way for a rocky track with many holes at the side of the track. Walk takes approximately 40 minutes each way.

Medical/Vaccination Requirements:

Please refer to CDC website for up to date vaccination requirements (these requirements are subject to change). It is highly likely that Papua New Guinea will have a requirement that all visitors be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Suggested Readings:

  • Argonauts of the Western Pacific – An Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea – by Bronislaw Malinowski
  • Bloody Buna – by Lida Mayo
  • The Last Men: Journey Among the Tribes of New Guinea – by Iago Carazzo & Greta Roba
  • Four Corners: One Woman’s Solo Journey Into the Heart of Papua New Guinea – by Kira Salak
  • A Bastard of a Place: The Australians in Papua – by Peter Brune
  • Throwim Way Leg – by Tim Flannery

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