Frontier Lands of Papua New Guinea

from £7240
excluding flights *
12 nights Nov


Embark in Cairns for this outstanding 12-night expedition cruise and discover for yourself the fascinating cultures and scenic beauty of rarely explored Papua New Guinea.


  • Cruise one of the world’s greatest river systems, the Sepik
  • Watch PNG's unique birdlife on Tolokiwa
  • Experience the unspoilt wonders of the Trobriand Islands
  • Be welcomed by local tribal villagers and enjoy colourful “sing-sings”
  • Be enthralled by the majestic fjords at Tufi
  • Visit local markets and meet remote island tribes

What's Included

  • Accommodation in cabins with private bathroom
  • All meals, house beer and wine, soft drinks, tea and coffee
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktails
  • Guided tours on Xplorer expedition vessel & zodiacs

Full description

Throughout your voyage of discovery, experienced Expedition Leaders and expert Guest Lecturers will share with you their wealth of knowledge as you retrace the paths of early explorers including De Quiros, Bougainville and Cook, and discover areas seldom visited by modern 'white man'. Papua New Guinea is a place of rich cultural diversity and more than 1,000 cultures, each with different traditions, are now recognised. The ancient tribal culture lives on vibrantly in the hearts and minds of the villagers.

Aboard Coral Discoverer you will be one of the select few to cruise one of the world’s great rivers; the mighty Sepik. Flowing for 1,126 kilometres from the Central Highlands to the sea, the river is one of the least developed regions of PNG and is the lifeblood of the 430,000 people who depend almost entirely on products from the river and surrounding rainforests for their livelihoods. Sepik people are amongst the greatest primitive artists on earth and each village has its own distinctive style. The opportunity to spend time with these fascinating people in their traditional communities is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This is the land of the unexpected, a place of stark contrasts where fearsome frowns quickly become welcoming smiles and village children your life-long friends. Join the select few who have experienced unforgettable Papua New Guinea.

This itinerary takes place on expedition ship Coral Discoverer, carrying just 72 passengers, perfectly designed for exploring the remote regions and island villages of this rarely visited island. This vessel features plenty of open deck space and air-conditioned lounge areas for guest comfort.

Contact our Papua New Guinea specialists now
worldwide team lauren shorney 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.

From prices per person based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom

Departure Duration Vessel Twin Cabin Price (pp)
05 Nov 2018 12 nights Coral Discoverer £7,240
12 Nov 2019 12 nights Coral Adventurer Coming soon

What's Included

  • Accommodation in cabins with private bathroom
  • All meals, house beer and wine during lunch and dinner
  • Soft drinks, tea and barista-style coffee 24 hours a day
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktails
  • Guided tours on Xplorer expedition vessel & zodiacs
  • Access to islands, marine & national parks
  • Services of expedition staff including lectures & briefings
  • Use of on board facilities
  • One-way charter flight from Cairns to Madang
  • Port taxes & government charges
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Itinerary & Vessels

Itinerary & Vessels

Day 1: depart Cairns for Madang

Depart on your early morning private charter flight to Madang. Travel through this historic town before embarkation and settle in as your incredible expedition voyage begins. Spend the afternoon at leisure as you are welcomed on board, join the Expedition Staff in the ship’s lounge for an interesting introduction to your journey, and the many experiences you will share over the coming days.

Day 2: Sepik River & Sepik Village

Awake early this morning. The ship will arrive at the Sepik River at first light and an early morning rise will reward you with stunning views. Your first stop will be at the village of Bien where the locals will greet you with canoes and dancing performances. The famous Sepik market will be open and you will have time to enjoy the many tribal masks and carvings on offer, which the Sepik region is famous for.

Day 3: Manam Volcano & Bagabag Island

The Manam volcano, known locally as Manam Motu, is one of Papua New Guinea’s most active volcanoes. It has one of the longest records of historic eruptions in the South East Pacific region. As the ship sits close to the leeward side of the island, enjoy a drink while the sun sets. You may see smoke rising from the volcano. A visit to Bagabag Island offers the chance to snorkel, dive, or visit Bagabag Island.

Day 4: Dregerhafen & Tuam Island

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 artifacts in this area. Enjoy more traditional dancing at Tuam Island, as well as snorkeling off the beach.

Day 5: Lababia & Fly Islands

This morning enjoy a relaxing visit to the local village where, after a traditional welcome, you will be entertained with singing and dancing before the local markets are ready to open. Those who wish to do so can join local guides around the village. Board an outrigger to explore up the local river, and experience snorkelling or diving at the Biangatu Island reef in the Fly Islands.

Day 6: Morobe Harbour

Enter Morobe Harbour early in the morning and cruise in the Xplorer and by zodiac to view the stunning forest from the Mou River. The American forces used this as a staging post and supply base during WWII. After you will visit the friendly locals at the village where you will receive a true Oro province welcome. After the ceremonies you will be able to enjoy the local markets and meander with your guides around the village and surrounding areas. There is the opportunity on the high tide to travel through a small water way into a stunning bay where another village awaits.

Day 7: Buna & Sanananda

This morning you will land at Buna beach, home to some of the toughest fighting in the Pacific campaign. The locals will be ready with a welcome and refreshments. From here you will be accompanied by local guides and visit the areas where the Allied forces clashed with the Japanese. You will see both Japanese and American monuments along the way. After lunch the ship will have moved to anchor off Sanananda Village. Enjoy a visit to the war museum which the locals have constructed, as well as the local gardens and surrounding areas. The museum is divided into two halves with a Japanese hut and an Allied hut. This was the biggest battleground in the Oro Province and is located at the far end of the Kokoda track.

Day 8: Maclaren Harbour & Tufi Fjord

Arrive into Maclaren Harbour early this morning. You will then head off on Xplorer to the end of the Fjord where the local outriggers will be waiting to transport you into the mangroves where you will be paddled up the creek under the rainforest canopy. The locals will greet you on shore and after a welcome you can enjoy watching and learning about their day to day way of life. The village elders will perform a traditional song - sing with their magnificent feather headdresses. A local market will have sprung up and you can spend some time here meeting the villagers and seeing many of their handicrafts, including Tapa cloths which are a speciality of the region. During lunch the ship will move to Tufi Fjord. At Tufi enjoy snorkelling or diving on the reef, or kayak the steep edges of nearby fjords or relax with a drink whilst taking in the panoramic views on offer.

Day 9: Trobriands

Historically known as the ‘islands of love’, the Trobiands offer a glimpse of traditional cultures largely unspoiled by outside influence. Be greeted at the small island Kuiawa with a Trobiand welcome. The island of Kitava is famous for its yam houses. You will have the opportunity to wander through the village and peruse the local markets along the walkway or enjoy water activities.

Day 10: Dei Dei Springs – Dobu Island

Hear the mythical and spiritual tales of the Dei Dei hot water and mud springs. You will head ashore in the zodiacs and be welcomed by the locals who will then guide you in small groups to the famous hot springs which are around 40 minutes in each direction over flat terrain. The villagers are famous for making flax hand bags. Learn about the history of the Kula Ring and the role of Dobu Island in the north and south Kula trade routes. After your visit choose either to visit the nearby bubbling springs coral reef system on board Xplorer, where there is excellent snorkelling on offer, or you may choose to enjoy a swim off the beach in the clear waters.

Day 11: Alotau

Today wake up to the scenery of the China Strait as you approach your last Papua New Guinea landfall – Alotau. The experienced guest lecturers will interpret the traditional welcome dances prior to leading you on a tour of historic Alotau. Cruise Milne Bay and learn of the WWII military history of this region.

Day 12: At sea

Cruise across the Coral Sea, enjoy presentations by the guest lecturers including an expedition recap. This evening join your fellow travellers for the Captain’s farewell drinks.

Day 13: disembark in Cairns

Today you will say farewell to the islands of Papua New Guinea and return to Cairns. Disembark and transfer to your Cairns accommodation or the airport for your international flight departure.


This itinerary is an indication of the destinations visited and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition changes may be made to the itinerary as necessary to maximise the 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 & Coral Discoverer


Grade: Superior

Type: Luxury Ship

Coral Expeditions have a fleet of three expedition style cruise ships which have been specially designed and purpose-built.

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