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New Guinea Circumnavigation | Cairns - Darwin | 35 Nights

New Guinea Circumnavigation

35 Nights | Departing Cairns 11 January 2024  |  Arrives Darwin 15 February 2024

Be one of a special few to join us on our full circumnavigation voyage around New Guinea. This one-off voyage is packed with highlights. Sailing in comfort aboard Coral Adventurer, you will experience many diverse cultures from the Spice Islands to the Sepik River, marvel at untouched landscapes, explore the wonders of Raja Ampat, and be immersed in one of the world’s last frontiers.

Papua New Guinea is home to the largest area of intact rainforest outside of the Amazon and this voyage uncovers little-visited islands and volcanic mountains and pristine rainforest wilderness areas forged by mighty rivers. Kayak through the rainforest-clad fjords, and snorkel, swim or dive on vibrant reefs at the Fly Islands, Tufi and the unique Bubbling Springs Reef at Dobu.

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Expedition Highlights

  • Sunset drinks on the ramparts of historic Fort Belgica, Banda Neira
  • Climb Mt Pindito for a stunning view of the gumdrop Wayag Islands
  • Slip into Raja Ampat’s lagoons at Misool and Wayag and experience the remarkable beauty and vibrant underwater world.
  • Swim with the majestic whale sharks of Cenderawasih Bay
  • Visit two of New Guinea’s great rivers – the Sepik and Mamberamo
  • Learn the mythical tales of Dei Dei Hot Springs on Fergusson Island
  • Snorkel and dive at incredible pristine locations – Raja Ampat, Triton Bay, the Fly Islands and Tufi Fjords
  • Encounter the Asmat warriors at Agats, and purchase the carvings for which they are famous
  • Witness the immense diversity of cultures throughout your voyage
  • Enjoy an intimate and up-close experience as you are welcomed to local villages and explore isolated places

FARES

35 Nights – Full Circumnavigation

CORAL ADVENTURER TWIN SHARE PER PERSON SOLE USE*
Bridge Deck Balcony Suite 57,890 n/a
Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom 45,040 n/a
Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom 41,190 61,785
Promenade Deck Stateroom 30,890 46,335
Coral Deck Stateroom 25,740 38,610

 

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

 
New-Guinea-Circumnavigation-Cruise-Map

Travel Update - Covid Page

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Itinerary

Embark: Board at Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal at 7:00 am for a 8:30 am departure
Disembark: Arrive in Darwin at 8:00 am for disembarkation by 10:00 pm

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.

Day 1: Depart Cairns

Guests are welcomed to board Coral Adventurer at 7:30 am and we will then depart Cairns at 9:00 am. Get to know the ship and your fellow travellers as we sail across the Coral Sea.

At Sea

Coral Adventurer At Sea

Our guest lecturers will hold several presentations today, on the itinerary, safety procedures and introduce you to Papua New Guinean culture and protocols.  This evening, mingle with the Captain, crew and fellow guests at the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.

Sewa Bay / Samarai

coral-expeditions-alotau-wewak-darwin

This morning, clear into Papua New Guinea at Samarai, then cruise into beautiful Sewa Bay and be welcomed ashore to the local Pwanapwana Primary school. The locals will show us their traditional war dances and share a morning tea of pineapple, coconut milk, and sugar bananas.

Dobu and Fergusson Islands

Day 10 PM Dei Dei (1)8

We are greeted by a flotilla of canoes as we approach the Dobu anchorage. 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. There will also be an opportunity to snorkel the incredible Bubbling Springs Reef.

Kuiawa

Cairns-to-Madang-Trobrians

Historically known as the ‘Islands of Love’, the Trobriand Islands offer a glimpse of traditional cultures largely unspoiled by outside influence. In the morning, go ashore at the small island of Kuiawa to be greeted by enthusiastic traditional dances performed by colourfully costumed locals. Make some purchases at the market and relax on the pristine island beach in the afternoon.

Tufi Fjord

Tufi Harbour

Today enjoy a true highlight as we discover the scenic beauty of the rarely visited 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 sing in their ceremonial dress. Later, discover white sand beaches, or snorkel or dive over spectacular fringing reefs.

Buna & Sanananda

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 by them 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.

Fly Islands & Morobe

Diving South Pacific Reef Coral Expeditions

Go ashore for a morning of water activities at Fly Island.  Biangatu Reef is teeming with fish life and coral, and provides a vibrant backdrop for snorkelling, diving or kayaking. Later, visit Morobe Harbour and cruise in the Xplorer to view the stunning forest from the Mou River. Receive an Oro Province welcome and explore the village with local guides. At high tide you may be able to travel into a stunning hidden bay to another village.

Dregerhafen

Day 6 - Dregerhafen 07

At the beautiful anchorage of Dregerhafen, you will enjoy a high-spirited traditional welcome in Gingala village, and explore the market which is famous for Tami bowls and timber paddles before the chance to mingle with the locals and stroll through the village. After lunch enjoy snorkelling, diving, glass bottom boat tours and kayaking in the blue waters of the lagoon.

Madang

Explore Madang and its surrounds, which sits on a peninsula surrounded by a number of picturesque islands and is famed for its waterfront setting and colonial history. Discover the surrounding area on our Madang tour – which includes a visit to the Madang Haus Museum, the Coastwatchers Lighthouse, and Bil Bil Village where pottery is made. Certified divers have the opportunity to check out some great dive sites in the area with experienced local operators.

Madang is the disembarking point for guests travelling on the first half of this voyage from Darwin to Madang, and the embarking point for guests travelling on the second half of this voyage from Madang to Darwin.

Sepik River

At first light, the Coral Adventurer enters the mighty Sepik River. Our destination is the remote village of Bien or Kopar, where the locals are known for their arts and crafts. A true Sepik welcome awaits us as we step ashore! Take the opportunity to purchase the unique hand carvings of this region. As we depart from the Sepik River, we will sail past the active volcano at Kadovar Island as we enjoy sunset drinks.

Wewak

Early this morning we arrive into the port town of Wewak. There is much WWII history here, and we will go on a tour with local guides including Wewak Hill Lookout, ANZAC Memorial, Mission Hill, and also see the local craft markets.

Jayapura

Batavia Markets

Visit Asei Village at Sentani Lake and be greeted by enthusiastic costumed dancers. View and perhaps purchase art painted on bark for which Lake Sentani is famous. This is our clearance stop as we leave Indonesia and depart for Papua New Guinea.

Nirumoar

Today, enjoy an expedition stop at Nirumoar. An unusual location that we have not visited before, we will discover a shipwreck on the beach and enjoy snorkelling and beachcombing, before relaxing on the white sand beach.

Mamberamo River

The Mamberamo River is the largest river in Papua and is regarded as the Amazon of the East.  It is considered as the largest rivers in Indonesia by volume.  Along the huge river valley live many tribes who have little connection to the outside world. There is an amazing biodiversity here in flora and fauna.  Today go ashore at Teba Village, at the mouth of the river. This village is built on the muddy riverbank and presents a unique insight into the way of life of this remote region. Stroll through the village with local guides and make new friends with the enthusiastic locals. Later, explore the river on an Xplorer cruise. This is an Expedition destination.

Kwatisore

This afternoon we visit the Papuan village of Kwatisore, where the locals will perform a ‘bird of paradise’ dance and other traditional performances.  You may also participate and dance with the local people. Market stalls will be set up with interesting items to purchase, such as carved paddles. They are skilled musicians here and will entertain us with their string band.

Cenderwasih Bay & Kwatisore

Today, experience one of the highlights of this cruise – swimming with the whale sharks.  The gentle giants will be swimming around the fishing bagans and guests may enter the water in small groups for a chance to swim with these amazing animals. Visit Kwatisore to shop for local arts and crafts, be entertained by the trsing band and the ‘bird-of-paradise’ dance.

Roon Island

Just below the surface resides a Japanese plane wreck with big black corals, gorgonians, big lionfish, glassfish, shrimps and many more. Snorkellers on the surface can still clearly see the wreck when the weather cooperates and the water is still, or they may dive down for a closer look.

Afterwards, we hope to explore a nearby village to meet the locals.

At Sea

Coral Adventurer At Sea

Enjoy a relaxing day at sea as we journey towards a new expedition stop. Tomorrow we will go ashore at the spectacular Ayau Atoll.

Pulau Ayau & Pulau Kanobe

Today, discover the beautiful and incredibly remote Ayau Atoll. We will go ashore at Pulau Ayau to visit Miosbekwan Village with the possibility of a swim with friendly dolphins in the clear turquoise waters of the lagoon. This pristine location offers an extraordinary experience of culture and nature in one of the most isolated parts of the world.

Wayag Islands

The jewel in the crown of Raja Ampat, picturesque gumdrop karsts are the backdrop for this paradise on earth.  Here, the underwater world is rightly famous – we spend time to discover with snorkelling, SCUBA diving, and kayaking opportunities.  For the hikers, a climb up to Mt Pindito is available.  This steep up-hill track rewards with remarkable views over the islands.

Aljui Bay

Kofiau Islands are covered by lush trees and wild plants, they offer a fantastic wealth of nature and beautiful scenery. The tropical rain forest is home to the endemic rare Kofiau Paradise Kingfisher, Kofiau Monarch and Kofiau Green-tree Python.

Here, you will enjoy white and soft sandy beaches, and crystal clear water with stunning corals.  We will enjoy a welcome to the local villages, where you can met the people in their daily lives. Witness traditional foods being prepared, and attend the celebration of Buka Sasi.

In the afternoon, enjoy snorkelling, diving, or birdwatching.

Misool

At Misool you will explore “the stone gardens of Misool” with its misty beauty.
As a hidden and deserted paradise, Misool is unspoiled with waters of aquamarine lined by towering karst cliffs of various shapes and forms.
Misool waters have approximately 200 saltwater lagoons stretching like a green carpet and bustling with unique and beautiful corals.

Here, we will swim, snorkel and explore around the islands by kayak.

Arguni

Arguni is a small island off the west coast of West Papua province of Indonesia.  The island covers less than 5 sq.km. The local language Arguni is spoken by about 150 people. On the south side of the island are pearl farm buoys and cages floating in the warm clear water.  Mangrove swamps, many interesting limestone islets and formations, Papuan rock art (notably hand and foot stencils), burial caves, and villages (some on stilts) line the shore line.  While Arguni is in the Fakfak Regency, it still has a traditional king (a functionless title), Raja Hanaf Pauspaus of Arguni, one of many Kings of Indonesia.

On our arrival, we are greeted by villagers displaying many cultural attractions, including traditional dances, local music, and traditional handcrafts. Enjoy fresh coconut and browse around the village to observe daily life and interact with the local people.  Following this, journey by Xplorer to visit the famous ancient blood paintings at Roefroefoea.  The paintings feature many hands of humans and also animal depictions, with the red colour of the paintings resembling the colour of blood.

Banda Islands

As Coral Adventurer arrives at the entrance (Zonegat channel) to Banda Neira, traditional long canoes known as Kora Kora emerge, rowed thunderously by men in traditional costume. These traditional war canoes provide an impressive escort into the caldera where you will enjoy the first look at Banda Neira. Our visit to the island includes Rumah Budaya, Old Dutch Church Hatta House, Perigi Rante, a Nutmeg plantation and the highlight visit of the beautiful Fort Belgica, where we watch traditional dancing and sample local treats during sunset drinks at the fort.

Banda Islands

As Coral Adventurer arrives at the entrance (Zonegat channel) to Banda Neira, traditional long canoes known as Kora Kora emerge, rowed thunderously by men in traditional costume. These traditional war canoes provide an impressive escort into the caldera where you will enjoy the first look at Banda Neira. Our visit to the island includes Rumah Budaya, Old Dutch Church Hatta House, Perigi Rante, a Nutmeg plantation and the highlight visit of the beautiful Fort Belgica, where we watch traditional dancing and sample local treats during sunset drinks at the fort.

History has coined these islands as the fabled Spice Islands and is not without sound reason. Today these islands may be almost unheard of, but they’ve played an important role in the European history from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Combining raw natural beauty, a warm local heart, and a palpable and fascinating history, this remote cluster of ten islands were home to some of the most prized and fought-over commodities in the past – nutmeg, cloves, and mace. Underwater, impressive undersea drop-offs are vibrantly plastered with multicoloured coral gardens. The central islands – Pulau Neira and Pulau Banda Besar – curl in picturesque crescents around the pocket-sized volcano Gunung Api.

Today we snorkel over the coral reef that has emerged on the lava flow from Gunung Api’s historic eruption. Others may go ashore in Banda for a ‘tea party’ in the charming local surrounds.

Sebakor Bay

This morning, we discover the beautiful remote coast of Sebakor Bay. The aquarium-like waters are home to exceptional marine life and coral reefs, and snorkellers and divers will have the opportunity to explore. There will be time to kayak, or simply relax and look for Papuan birdlife along the shoreline. Later, enjoy the chance to swim under the Mommon Waterfall, where cool freshwater flows out of the lush jungle and falls into the ocean.

Triton Bay

Triton Bay TH

Triton Bay lies on the south coast of the West Papua province of Indonesia, surrounded by tropical rain forests and rising on one side to a 1060m peak. The waters of the bay nurture abundant marine life –  471 types of coral and 959 types of coral fish. In these waters, Bryde’s whales and whale sharks also find their home. Nearby this region is where Alfred Russel Wallace, contemporary and equal of Charles Darwin, wrote of his explorations in The Malay Archipelago around 1858. With visitors rare to this region, it is indescribably special.

Triton Bay is known for displaying a similarly impressive level of soft coral coverage as places like Misool Island. Epaulette sharks can be seen walking over the reefs as giant groupers lurk in sheltered spots, while schools of jacks and fusiliers dart en masse. Squadrons of bump head parrotfish charge around chomping the coral into fine sand, watched by ever-present turtles. Triton Bay’s black coral forests are awesome in scale and never fail to impress. In one area the high limestone cliffs display extensive pre-historic drawings and carvings, coloured orange, white and black, which are truly breath-taking.

Today we will explore the underwater world and look for whale sharks, which gather here.

Aru Islands

Melanesia Beach high res

The Aru Islands consist of some 95 low lying islands covered with forest and with swampy coastal surrounds located in the Maluku province of eastern Indonesia in the Arafura Sea. Flora of the area ranges from dense green forests of tree ferns to grassy plains while the fauna has Australian affinities with marsupials being the dominant animals in the area. Here we will cruise along the mangroves to catch sight of the illusive and beautiful Birds of Paradise that call nearby Lorang Village home.

Agats

Agats Syuru Village Papua Warriors Coral Expeditions

Experience a memorable welcome by an armada of about 40 or more war-canoes, rowed powerfully towards the ship by the Asmat warriors in traditional costume.
Disembarking by Xplorer we are accompanied by the Asmat tribe’s warrior war-canoes to Syuru village where we are greeted by a welcome dance set and performance by the Asmat women.  After the ceremony we are invited deep into the “Men’s House” to experience wonderful items of traditional wooden arts and sculpture, which are offered for sale.  This afternoon, we will visit Agats Township and the Museums there, with time for guests to purchase artifacts and souvenirs.

At Sea

A couple enjoying time at sea from the Xplorer Deck

Relax and spend time reflecting on your epic voyage around New Guinea. You will have encountered many remote tribes and seen a wide array of cultural and natural wonders. As you prepare to return to the modern world, enjoy the hospitality onboard with Captain’s Farewell Drinks.

Day 36: Arrive Darwin

Coral Adventurer will arrive in Darwin at 8:00 am to clear customs and disembark at 10:00 pm.

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.

January 2024

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
11 January 2024 11 Jan 2024 15 February 2024 15 Feb 2024 $25,740 to $45,040 $25,740 to $45,040 Coral Adventurer Available Book

February 2024

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
11 January 2024 11 Jan 2024 15 February 2024 15 Feb 2024 $25,740 to $45,040 $25,740 to $45,040 Coral Adventurer Available Book

Your cruise price includes:

  • Accommodation in selected room grade for the number of nights as listed in each itinerary
  • All meals
  • Drinks package of selected wines, beers and spirits during lunch and dinner service
  • Tea and coffee available 24 hours
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks
  • Access to islands, marine and national parks
  • Guided tours on Xplorer expedition vessel, zodiacs, glass-bottom boat and kayaks
  • Touring as described in each itinerary
  • Services of expedition staff and lecturers including briefings and knowledge-sharing sessions
  • Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities
  • Snorkelling and introductory scuba session

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
  • Scuba diving

Tipping not required:

Other cruise lines automatically add gratuities to your account and service charges to your bar invoices. On Coral Adventurer, our crew has 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 explore@coralexpeditions.com

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Comprehensive Travel Insurance is strongly recommended for all travellers. Please refer to our Pre-Departure page for facts that should be considered and shared when speaking with Travel Insurance suppliers.

SailSAFE

As always, it is our priority to keep our guests and crew safe while travelling with us. We want our guests and crew to have the greatest confidence that their safety and wellbeing have been thoroughly considered. Please read our SailSAFE plan for the requirements of each passenger prior to joining us.

Photos From Your Expedition

Following your expedition, you will receive a link by email to free download the images taken throughout your voyage by our Expedition Team. Please make sure that you have provided our reservations team with your relevant email address.

Additional Information

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