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Islands & Atolls of Papua New Guinea | Kavieng - Cairns | 12 Nights

Discovering the Bismarck & Louisiade Archipelagos

12 Nights | Departing Kavieng 12 September 2021 | Arriving Cairns 24 September 2021 | Onboard Coral Geographer

Voyaging into the far western reaches of the South Pacific Ocean, Coral Geographer cruises to far-flung islands, where village life remains little-changed and untouched by the outside world. Where remnants of volcanoes rise from the ocean in the Bismark Archipelago and palm-swathed islands lassoed by dazzling beaches of the Louisiade Archipelago are strung across the Solomon Sea. At Ataliklikun Bay watch the mesmerising Fire Dance of the Baining people at an evening performance. Witness the traditional canoe building culture of remote Laughlan Atoll which has little connection with the outside world and enjoy the biological wonder of Woodlark Island, home to over 40 rare and endemic species. Where the tranquillity of Jacquinot Bay was once disturbed by WWII Allied operations but today’s tranquillity resounds of tumbling waterfalls and a birdsong cacophony that envelopes the Sivoli River as it flows from deep in the jungle. At Mioko Island with its unusual rock formations, beach-comb on pristine beaches, admire a well-tended church and learn about village life where yams are not only a food staple but identify a family’s status and prosperity.

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Expedition Highlights

  • See the famous Baining Fire Dance at Ataliklikun Bay, where men wearing enormous masks leap over the red-hot coals of a fire
  • Visit Jacquinot Bay in East New Britain and take an Xplorer cruise up the Tivoli River, known for its crystal clear waters
  • Visit remote Laughlan atoll, known for its canoe building culture
  • Spend two days in the rarely visited Louisiade Archipelago – a wonderland of volcanic and coral islands. Kayak in the crystal clear waters of the Calvados Islands
  • Visit the biological jewel that is Woodlark Island – home to at least 42 species that exist nowhere else on earth, including the Woodlark cuscus
  • Visit Kuiawa Island in the Trobriands – known as the ‘Islands of Love’
  • Hike to Dei Dei Hot springs and hear about its mythical legends from local guides



Bridge Deck Balcony Suite $18,480 n/a
Explorer Deck Balcony $14,760 $22,140
Promenade Deck $11,880 $17,820
Coral Deck $9,480 $14,220

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

Optional Charter flight: From Cairns to Kavieng. $850 per person. Limited seats available, contact our reservations team.


Small Islands of The World - Kavieng to Cairns Map


Embark: Board at 4:30 pm at Kavieng for a 6 pm departure, on 12 September 2021
Disembark: Arrive at 9:00 am at Cairns, on 24 September 2021

Optional Charter flight: From Cairns to Kavieng. $850 per person. Limited seats available, contact our reservations team.

Kavieng > Atiliklikun Bay > Duke of York Islands & Rabaul > Jacquinot Bay > Kuiawa, Trobriands > Woodlark Island > Laughlan Atoll > Louisiade Archipelago – East > Louisiade Archipelago – West > Twin Towers,  Dobu & Fergusson Islands > Samarai & Ebuma Island > Cairns

Day 1: Depart Kavieng

Guests taking the charter from Cairns to Kavieng will enjoy a guided tour of the small city of Kavieng with its picturesque natural harbour, culturally-rich outlying villages and WWII history. Board Coral Geographer at Kavieng at 4:00pm for a 6:00pm departure. Settle into your cabin and relax as we set sail westwards towards New Hanover Sea. Join the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow guests as the sun sets.

Day 2 – 12:

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. Below are the highlight destinations of your voyage.

Ataliklikun Bay

In true expedition style, Coral Geographer will be the first cruise ship the village here has ever hosted! Take a nature walk and a tour of a local plantation to see copra production. In the evening witness the famous Baining Fire Dance.

Duke of York Islands

Little-visited by humans with tranquil waterways reflecting mountainous landscapes, the Duke of York Islands have a robust bird population, with many species endemic to New Britain, making it popular with bird watchers.


Rabaul was the main stronghold of the Japanese during the war with 110,000 Japanese troops based there by 1943. The Japanese army dug many miles of tunnels as shelters from Allied air attacks and built army barracks and support structure. Rabaul is perched on the edge of a magnificent natural harbour ringed by six cone-shaped volcanoes. Rabaul used to be the provincial capital and most important town in the province before it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1994, after which time the capital was moved to Kokopo. We will have the opportunity for a tour of Rabaul ghost town and Kokopo – including the War Museum.

Jacquinot Bay

Explore the large bay on the eastern Coast of New Britain island. See the waterfalls and take a cruise of the Sivoli River, known for its crystal clear water.

Kuiawa (Manuwata) 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.

Woodlark (Muyua) Island

“Woodlark Island is a biological jewel—home to at least 42 species that occur nowhere else on Earth,” said William Laurance, a professor at James Cook University in Australia.  Woodlark, also known as Muyua, has never been linked to the mainland. Like on other islands necklacing New Guinea and isolated in the rough waters of the Pacific ring of fire, Woodlark’s flora and fauna have been left to explore the farthest branch tips of the tree of life. The forty-plus endemic species are found on an island just a little larger than New York City, and include the Woodlark cuscus (Phalanger lullulae), an extravagantly-coloured tree-dwelling marsupial that’s listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Rich in resources, including gold, the island is threatened by plans for commercial logging and mining. Over the past decade, Woodlark Islanders have defended their forests from resource exploitation from outsiders.

Laughlan Islands – Bodaluna (Budi Budi) Island

In this remote part of Papua New Guinea in the low-lying Laughlan Islands, men continue to build dugout canoes from timber much as their forefathers have done for generations.

Louisiade Archipelago East & West

The Louisiade Archipelago rainforests are home to a number of endemic species of frogs, lizards and birds. Deboyne Lagoon is a must-see for history buffs. Acting as a Japanese seaplane base for five days during WWII, one can find a nearly intact ‘Zero’ fighter plane in the shallow waters of Deboyne Lagoon. This is also an excellent place to snorkel, dive or kayak and the locals who greet you at the beach are friendly and welcoming. The Calvados Islands, a chain of atolls in the archipelago, is described as ‘Jurassic Like’ due to their steep limestone karsts. Panasia Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Papua New Guinea.

Twin Towers Reef & Dobu / Fergusson Islands

Join our Expedition Staff on a walk to Dei Dei Hot Springs on Fergusson Island, where the people share their mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and mud springs located at the base of an extinct volcano. Locals still use the hot springs to cook food in palm frond baskets. 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 and snorkel the bubbling Springs Reef.

Samarai / Ebuma Island

Located off the south-eastern tip of New Guinea in the China Strait, Ebuma Island is historically significant as the site of a trading port and stop-over between Australia and East Asia. Explore the colonial settlement of Samarai, with a chance to purchase pearls from a local pearl farmer. There is an opportunity for a final snorkel at nearby Ebuma Island.

Day 12: Arrive Cairns

Our voyage ends in Cairns where we disembark Coral Geographer at 9:00 am and bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew. Post cruise transfer to Cairns CBD hotels or the airport is included.

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.

September 2021

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
12 September 2021 12 Sep 2021 24 September 2021 24 Sep 2021 $9,480 to $18,480 $9,480 to $18,480 Coral Geographer Available Book

Your cruise price includes:

  •  The services of an expert Expedition Team and Guest Lecturers
  • An authentic, flexible expedition itinerary
  • All daily guided excursions
  • Lectures, workshops and demonstrations onboard
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Selected wines and beer 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

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.


Additional Information: