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

The Land That Time Forgot

12 Nights | Departing Cairns 26 September 2021 | Arriving Madang 8 October 2021 | Onboard Coral Geographer

Immerse yourself in the wild and rugged scenery of Papua New Guinea, with its mysterious stories interwoven with cultural beliefs and ancient legends. Visit remote villages rich in culture and meet the people who have maintained their traditional way of life for generations. 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, pristine rainforest wilderness areas forged by mighty rivers. This is the land of the unexpected, a place of stark contrasts where fearsome frowns quickly become welcoming smiles and visitors are welcomed into villages to learn of people’s customs and cultures.

View Brochure       Snorkelling & Scuba Diving Information


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 ashore to Tufi Village on hand-carved outrigger canoes paddled by locals guides adorned in ceremonial costumes
  • 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
  • Cruise the mighty Sepik River to Bien village, home to some of Papua New Guinea’s most skilled woodcarvers and renowned artefact markets
  • Discover how the Trobriand Islands became the ‘Islands of Love’



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 Madang to Cairns. $850 per person. Limited seats available, contact our reservations team.


Small Islands of The World - Cairns to Madang Map


Embark: Board at 7:30 am at Cairns, Queensland, on 26 September 2021
Disembark: Arrive and disembark at 8:00 am at Madang, with a town tour until midday, on 8 October 2021

Optional Charter Flight from Madang to Cairns: $850 per person. Limited seats available, contact our reservations team.


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

Day 1: Depart Cairns

Make your own way to Cairns Cruise Liner terminal for boarding at 7:30 am for a 9:00 am departure. Cruise across the Coral Sea and spend the afternoon relaxing as you are welcomed onboard Coral Geographer. 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.

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.

Dobu Island & Dei Dei Hot Springs on Fergusson Island

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.

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.

Tufi Fjord

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 sing wearing their feather head-dresses. Enjoy snorkelling or diving on the reef, or kayak the waterway with steep edges of nearby fjords.

Buna & Sanananda

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.

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.

Lababia & Fly Islands

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.


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.

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 13: Madang

Arrive in Madang to disembark Coral Geographer at 8:00 am. Enjoy an included tour of Madang with a member of our expedition team until midday.

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.

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  
26 September 2021 26 Sep 2021 08 October 2021 08 Oct 2021 $9,480 to $18,480 $9,480 to $18,480 Coral Geographer Available Book

October 2021

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
26 September 2021 26 Sep 2021 08 October 2021 08 Oct 2021 $9,480 to $18,480 $9,480 to $18,480 Coral Geographer 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:


Recommended Hotels

Madang Resort

We recommend the Madang Resort, owned by Sir Peter Barter, for your pre and post cruise stay in Papua New Guinea. This resort is one of the most iconic in the Pacific Region and the winner of multiple Trip Advisor awards.