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Papua New Guinea 2

Frontier Lands of Papua New Guinea

Departs Cairns & Madang12 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $13,280.00* PP

Departing from either Cairns or Madang, this voyage is an opportunity to immerse into the wild and rugged scenery of Papua New Guinea that is rarely seen and mostly inaccessible by land. Papua New Guinea is home to the largest area of intact rainforest outside of the Amazon. This voyage uncovers little-visited islands, volcanic mountains and pristine rainforest wilderness areas forged by mighty rivers. Sail past spectacular Kadovar Islands, known for its volcanic activity. Venture up the mighty Sepik River to see riverfront village life little changed in hundreds of years. Buy traditional crafts such as masks and carvings at the village market of Bien. Snorkel, swim or dive on vibrant reefs at the Fly Islands and visit the unique Bubbling Springs Reef at Dobu.

  • 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 on hand-carved outrigger canoes paddled by locals guides adorned in ceremonial costumes to Maclaren Harbour
  • 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 known as the ‘Islands of Love’


The following itinerary shows departing Cairns and arriving Madang. For the opposite direction, the itinerary is in reverse. 


Cairns wharf departure port

Embark Cairns: Arrive at Trinity Wharf (berth to be advised) for boarding at 7:30am for a 9:00am departure. Cruise across the Coral Sea and spend the afternoon relaxing as you are welcomed onboard Coral Adventurer. 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.

Embark Madang: Make your own way to the Cairns International Airport for check-in and charter briefing at 7:30am before joining the charter flight departing 10:30am. After the charter flight guests will be transferred from Madang Airport to Madang Resort. Light finger food and refreshments provided. There will be time to visit markets along the waterfront outside the resort before a transfer to join the ship at 4:00pm before a 5:00pm departure. This evening, join the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow guests as the sun sets.

A couple enjoying time at sea from the Xplorer Deck

Spend today relaxing onboard, listen and learn from our Guest Lecturer presentations, or enjoy an engine room or bridge tour.

Samarai Island & Ebuma Island

Located off the south-eastern tip of New Guinea in the China Strait, choose to explore the colonial settlement of Samarai, with a chance to purchase pearls from a local pearl farmer, or go for a snorkel at nearby Ebuma Island.

Day 2 - Dei-Dei Hot Springs 06

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 song, and spend some time snorkeling in 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 Harbour

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

Sanananda Welcome

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 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.

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.

Day 7 AM Kamiala (Lababia) (80)10

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. After lunch, enjoy snorkelling, diving, and kayaking in the blue waters of the lagoon.


Visit Busen or Maringis Villages at Karkar Island and enjoy welcome sing sings before touring the copra and cocoa processing areas. In the afternoon there is opportunity to snorkel off the fringing reef and bommies close to shore.


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.


Disembark Madang: Arrive in Madang to disembark Coral Adventurer at 8:00am. Enjoy an included tour of Madang with a member of our expedition team until midday. For those joining our post-cruise charter flight back to Cairns, this will be a direct flight to Cairns, with  Coral Expeditions staff member to accompany you.

Disembark Cairns: Disembark Coral Adventurer at 6:30pm in Cairns and bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew. A post cruise transfers 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. 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.

Fares & Availability


Bridge Deck Balcony Suite

Private Balcony - 55.8m2


Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2


Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2


Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2


Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

Book this Departure

Bridge Deck Balcony Suite

Private Balcony - 55.8m2


Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

Last Stateroom

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2


Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2


Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

Book this Departure

Prices are per person twin share, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD).  Booking Terms & Conditions >
For solo traveller rates see our Solo Traveller Program >

Additional Information


  • All excursions with our Expedition Team
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and Kayaks
  • Snorkelling & SCUBA equipment (SCUBA diving at an additional cost)
  • Daily lectures and briefings with Guest Lecturers
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell events, and open bridge access
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • 24-hour barista-style coffee and tea station
  • All entrance fees to National Parks, ports, traditional owner fees and charges imposed by governing authorities
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Use of all onboard facilities, incl. a reference library
  • Expedition diary, along with a photo and video gallery documenting the highlights of your voyage
  • Post-cruise transfers (in most destinations)
  • Wifi Access – Standard speed connectivity enabling email, social image sharing, web browsing and messaging

Not Included:

  • Pre and post cruise flights/charter flights
  • Pre-cruise transfers
  • Pre and post cruise accommodation
  • Travel Insurance
  • SCUBA Diving (view Scuba diving rates)
  • Entry visas & travel permits for the country you are travelling to/from
  • Alcoholic drinks (including beer and wine) outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Laundry service (available at a cost)
  • Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras (in some destinations)



Coral Adventurer carries a maximum of 120 guests, inspired by the company’s Australian ethos and the wide-open spaces the ship visits, is purpose-built to take you closer to unspoiled vistas in comfort, style, and safety


More About Coral Adventurer >

Travel Insurance is not included in your cruise fare. We highly recommend all guests to obtain comprehensive travel insurance with remote area evacuation coverage. Please refer to our Pre-Cruise Checklist page for facts that should be considered and shared when speaking with Travel Insurance suppliers regarding travel insurance.

At Coral Expeditions dining is a celebration of great food and good company enjoyed in extraordinary destinations. People and place are key to enjoyable dining experiences, where food becomes the vehicle for conversation and creating memorable occasions.

We now offer two wine selections that guests may purchase in addition to our new house selection of wines. These packages showcase contemporary choices of Australian wines and French Champagne. More About Cuisine & Wine >

  • A Taste of Australia Selection | 6 Bottles | $280.00
  • Connoisseur Selection | 6 Bottles | $400.00

Our Cruise Collection Merchandise including expedition gear is also available for purchase in our onboard gift shop. View our Cruise Collection here >

When it comes time for the exciting time of packing for your cruise, our packing lists are available to assist you. More specific information regarding weather conditions in your destination will be included in your Cruise Documentation which you will receive prior to your cruise.

Find your New Guinea & Micronesia expedition packing list here.

There are several walking options available on this departure, mostly through villages and at a leisurely pace, although there will be some longer walk options on offer.

An alternative excursion will always be offered in place of higher impact walks. The Expedition Team will advise walking conditions and requirements prior to each excursion. Should you have any physical limitations or mobility issues, please notify our reservations team in advance prior to your departure.

There will be multiple swimming/snorkelling opportunities on this itinerary at Ebuma Island, Dobu Island, Tufi, Fly Islands and Dregerhafen (subject to weather conditions). These opportunities are a guide and not all are guaranteed.

Scuba diving is offered on this itinerary - For more information view our Snorkel & Dive Information page.

Please ensure your passport has at least 6 months validity from the time the expedition commences, and two blank pages. Please email a scanned colour copy of your passport identification page to our team at [email protected] no later than 45 days prior to your departure.

Important: Please bring your physical passport with you on all international departures.

The travel advice information below is for Australian guests only. If you are a non-Australian passport holder travelling on these departures, please contact your relevant government department, embassy or your travel agent for applicable information.

Travelling guests are fully responsible for arranging their own health and visa requirements to travel abroad.

Papua New Guinea:

Australia: Yes, most citizens from countries other than Australia require a visa to enter Australia. There are a few exceptions, such as citizens of New Zealand, who can enter Australia without a visa for up to 3 months. You can find a list of countries that require a visa to enter Australia on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.  International guests can apply online or at an Australian embassy or consulate. The application process can take several weeks, so it is important to apply well in advance of your travel date.

Please see your doctor or travel clinic to plan any vaccinations you may need at least 8 weeks before you leave.

Papua New Guinea
The Papua New Guinea Customs and Excise Service (C&ES) is responsible for enforcing the customs and quarantine laws and regulations of Papua New Guinea. The C&ES works to protect the health and safety of the people of Papua New Guinea from harmful pests and diseases, and to ensure the fair and efficient trade of goods. 

When arriving in Papua New Guinea, all passengers are required to complete a customs declaration form and submit to a customs inspection. The customs declaration form asks for information about the items that you are bringing into Papua New Guinea, including their value and quantity. The customs inspector may ask you to open your bags and suitcases for inspection. 

For guests returning to Australia, all items go through customs  on arriving in Australia. Items containing seeds or unsealed wood may not be allowed in or may go through a period of quarantine. 

We do not have currency exchange onboard. Guests are advised to exchange money into local currency prior to departure from their home port. Currency exchange and eftpos style point of sale is increasingly available in the regions we visit. We recommend carrying small denominations.

Papua New Guinea: Kina

  • Throwim Way Leg – Tim Flannery
  • Birds of New Guinea – Bruce M Beehler and Thane K Pratt
  • Australia’s Neighbours Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea – Jane Hinchey
  • Plumes and Pearlshells – Art of the New Guinea Highlands – Natalie Wilson and Florence Kamel
  • Sailing for Survival – Mary R Mennis
  • Dobu: Ethics of Exchange on a Massim Island, Papua New Guinea – Susanne Kueling
  • Modern Papua New Guinea – Laura Zimmer-Tamakoshi
  • D-Day New Guinea – Phillip Bradley
  • The Last Paradise – Di Morrissey

Optional Charter Flights: We offer an optional 2 hours and 15 minutes direct charter flight connecting guests with ease between Madang to Cairns / Cairns to Madang at a cost. Limited seats are available, contact our reservations team to book.

Articles You Might Be Interested In

Papua New Guinea Banner

Voyage Log: Cairns to Madang Oct 2019

Best Day On Expedition: Sepik River

Why Explore New Guinea with Coral Expeditions

Jamie Anderson

A Chat with Expedition Leader Jamie Anderson

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