Cruising the Mighty Sepik River, Papua New Guinea

from £3119
excluding flights *
7, 9 nights Feb


Join this once in a lifetime landmark expedition, cruising up one of the world’s greatest river systems - the Sepik River. Running 1,100 km through Papua New Guinea, this mighty river has nurtured the local tribes and cultures for millennia.


  • Traverse wild and untouched lands discovered by few
  • Meet local tribes and communities along the Sepik River
  • Learn about the diverse and unique flora and fauna
  • Travel with like-minded individuals fascinated by the lure of discovery

What's Included

  • Accommodation in cabins with private bathroom
  • All meals, wines, beers and soft drinks with meals
  • Guided excursions as per itinerary on Zodiac tender vessel
  • Expert expedition team

Full description

To cruise up the Sepik River is truly a once in a lifetime experience as the tidal levels of the river can only accommodate expedition cruise ships for just one month every year.  This reconnaissance voyage is an opportunity not to be missed and an experience you will never forget.

Throughout this voyage of discovery, experienced expedition leaders and trusted local guides will provide you with a spectacular insight into the different tribes and cultures of this isolated region that depend almost entirely on the Sepik for survival. You will spend time with these fascinating communities, encounter flora and fauna rarely seen by most and of course will revel in the fact that you are navigating this wild, remote and untouched land on board Coral Expeditions’ Sepik River inaugural voyage.

You will have the opportunity to visit local tribes who have had little contact with modernity, traverse some of the oldest and densest rainforests in the world, and search for local species including the famed Bird of Paradise. At the end of every remarkable day, you will return to the comforts of Coral Expeditions 1 to enjoy delectable meals and drinks alongside fellow guests and the maritime crew.

Contact our Papua New Guinea specialists now
worldwide team jo cooper bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *

Airfares are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

What's Included

  • Accommodation in cabins with private bathroom
  • All meals, wines, beers and soft drinks with meals
  • 24 hour self-service coffee and tea
  • Guided excursions as per itinerary on Zodiac tender vessel
  • Expert expedition team
  • Port taxes and government charges
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Itinerary & Vessels

Itinerary & Vessels

Day 1: Cairns - Madang (optional pre- cruise package)

Today catch your flight from Cairns to Madang in Papua New Guinea. The rest of the day will be at leisure to explore the city of Madang or relax in your accommodation ahead of your cruise.

Day 2: Madang - Sepik Mouth

This morning you will set sail on your Sepik River cruise. On leaving Madang you will sail through the lagoon, past many coral-laced islands to Sek Harbour and then out onto the Bismarck Sea. On the way, cruise past the island of Manam where you may see the iconic volcano spewing hot ash and lava into the forest below.

Day 3: Murik Lakes - Mendam - Bien

This morning you will disembark the ship and travel by tender up the canal through the rainforest to the Murik Lakes, home to the village of Mendam. Here you will meet local Sepik people, engage with this remote community and enjoy a traditional welcome ceremony. After time exploring the local market you will visit the village of Bien, where the local school children will welcome you with a sing-sing.

Day 4: Kambaramba - Tambanum

After an overnight stay in Angoram, the main trading township along the Sepik River, you will visit Kambaramba, a village built entirely on stilts perched high above the river. After spending some time here exploring the village and meeting with the local people you will continue to Tambanum, the largest village on the banks of the Sepik River. It is here that you will have the chance to have your face painted in the traditional way – a truly unforgettable experience.

Day 5: Tambanum - Kaminimbit

This morning rise early as you travel upriver past the Catholic Mission Station towards Kaminimbit. Here you will witness traditional village ceremonies and have a chance to visit the local markets. Later in the afternoon, you may be fortunate enough to witness the playing of the sacred flutes on board Coral Expeditions 1 – a rare opportunity as the flutes cannot be played within ear-shot of the local women.

Day 6: Chambri Lakes

Today, travel via tender through a beautiful canal that winds its way to the scenic Chambri Lakes framed by the dramatic Hunstein Mountains. It is here that you may encounter some of Papua New Guinea’s iconic birdlife and pukpuks (crocodiles). This afternoon you will visit the famed village of Aibom, known for its hand-crafted pottery.

Day 7: Kanganaman

Today you will spend time in the village of Kanganaman, home to the largest Haus Tambaran (Spirit House) on the Sepik River. These spiritual buildings play an important role in the life of the local people as they are the locations for cultural initiations and cultural affairs. Today you will witness the village elders perform the garamut drums – a historical and cultural important performance, witnessed by few.

Day 8: Kaminimbit – Kopar - Boisa – Timbunke

Turning around this morning and cruising back down the Sepik River, you will have the chance to visit some smaller villages far removed from civilisation before cruising out towards Boisa Island in the crystal clear waters of the Bismarck Sea. Overnight you will hug the dramatic coastline as you cruise back towards Madang.

Day 9: Madang

On arriving in Madang this morning, disembark Coral Expeditions 1 and continue with your onward journey. Alternatively if you have chosen to include the post cruise package you will be taken to your accommodation where the rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 10: Madang - Cairns (optional post- cruise package)

This morning you will be collected from your accommodation and taken to the airport for your return flight to Cairns.


Please note that this itinerary is intended as a guideline only and is an indication of the destinations you will visit and activities you will undertake. Changes to the itinerary will only be made as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions or any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.

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