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

The Land That Time Forgot

12 Nights | Departing Madang 29 December 2023 | Arriving Cairns  | Onboard Coral Adventurer

Depart from Cairns on an optional charter flight to Madang where this cruise begins. 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


Bridge Deck Balcony Suite 22,390 n/a
Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom 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 Charter flight: From Madang to Cairns. $850 per person. Limited seats available, contact our reservations team.


Travel Update - Covid Page



Embark:Board at 8:00 am at Madang
Disembark: Arrive and disembark at 8:00 am at Madang, with a town tour until midday

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. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling.

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

Day 1: Depart Madang

Papua New Guinea Expeditions Cairns to Madang October 2019

Enjoy a town tour of Madang before boarding at 4:30 pm for a 5:00 pm departure. 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.

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 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.

Lababia & 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.

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.

Buna & Sanananda

Sanananda Welcome

We land at Buna beach, home to some of the toughest fighting in the WWII Pacific campaign. We will visit the areas where Allied forces clashed with Japanese forces and, in Sanananda, will see the local monuments and war museum. This museum is located at the far end of the Kokoda Track.

Tufi Fjord

Tufi Harbour

Enter the Tufi Fjord where local outriggers will be waiting to paddle you up the creek under the rainforest canopy. Watch and learn about the local way of life, while the village elders perform a traditional sing song wearing their feather head-dresses. Enjoy snorkelling or diving on the reef, or kayak the waterway with steep edges of nearby fjords.

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.

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 and snorkel the Bubbling Springs Reef.

Day 13: Cairns

Cairns wharf departure port

Arrive in Cairns to disembark Coral Geographer at 8:00 am.

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  
29 December 2023 29 Dec 2023 10 January 2024 10 Jan 2024 $9,940 to $17,390 $9,940 to $17,390 Coral Adventurer Available Book

January 2024

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
29 December 2023 29 Dec 2023 10 January 2024 10 Jan 2024 $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


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.


Frequently Asked Questions:

In addition to our generic Pre-Departure information that you should read, the following is some itinerary specific information.


Who will this cruise appeal to:

  • People with an interest in culture – Papua New Guinea is one of the most diverse populations on earth with over 700 different languages spoken in a country with a population of around 5 million people. This cruise visits key locations on the New Guinea mainland, as well as some islands off the east coast, displays a good cross-section of the variety of cultures
  • People who want to be immersed in remote places that are difficult to access and rarely visited by tourists
  • People that are interested in WWII history – Buna and Sanananda are sites of a very bloody battle between Australian and Japanese forces


What countries are visited?

This cruise begins in Australia and ends in Papua New Guinea


What are the Visa Requirements:

For Australians, Americans, Western Europeans and Americans visa can be issued electronically on board the ship. Otherwise if arriving by commercial flight visas are obtainable on arrival at Port Moresby Airport. Please note visa requirements are subject to change.


How often can I snorkel/dive?

Approximately 4-6 times, when and where conditions allow at:
1. Fergusson/Dobu Islands
2. Kuiawa
3. Tufi
4. Fly Islands
5. Dregerhafen
6. Kar-Kar Island


Will there be hiking/walk options?

Most walks on this itinerary are through villages and at a leisurely pace, although there will be some longer walk options on offer. The Dei Dei Hot Springs at Fergusson islandwalk 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.


Will there be fishing?

No fishing on this itinerary


Language Spoken

Papua New Guinea’s 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.


Dress code/etiquette in the local culture

Women should cover their shoulders and wear knee-length shorts/skirts in the villages.



Generally hot and humid, with tropical rain patterns – average daily temperature around low 30s celsius.


Currency accepted

Currency accepted is the Kina


Suggested Readings

Argonauts of the Western Pacific – An Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea – by Bronislaw Malinowski


Post Cruise

A post-cruise charter flight from Madang to Cairns is available at an additional cost. The charter flight is direct between Madang and Cairns. Cost of the charter flight also includes a post-cruise tour and transfer to the airport. *If guests have not paid for the charter flight but want to join the post-cruise tour, they will need to pay an additional amount for this.


Additional Information:


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