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Papua New Guinea

Customs & Craftsmen - Darwin to Vanimo, 12 Nights

Join the Coral Adventurer in 2019 for the first section of the inaugural ‘Customs and Craftsmen’ art themed expedition of Papua New Guinea, West Papua and the Maluku Islands. This part of the exciting itinerary will spend a fully immersive 12 nights exploring remote villages and historic towns from Darwin to Vanimo, focusing on art and culture and interacting with the local communities along the way, with the option to complete the entire journey or join us for simply the first or second section.

We will be joined by collector and expert on New Guinea tribal art, Richard Aldridge, who will be offering his expertise as a guest lecturer throughout the voyage.





Expedition Highlights:

> Be a part of the inaugural Customs and Craftsmen expedition
> Interact with local craftsmen and artists at remote villages and markets
> Visit the Sultans Palace and enjoy high tea in Ternate with views over the islands
> Enjoy high-spirited  cultural performances from villages throughout the voyage
> Snorkel and dive pristine coral reefs, rich with tropical marine life
> Encounter Whale Sharks at Cenderawasih Bay
> Experience a Bandanese dinner under the stars at Fort Belgica

More about Richard Aldridge


Half Circle > 12 Nights

Bridge Deck Balcony Suite $15,940 n/a
Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom $13,740 n/a
Explorer Deck $13,340  $20,010
Promenade Deck $12,240  $18,360
Coral Deck $11,290  $16,935

*Limited sole use occupancy available.



Embark: Board at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 7:00am for 8:30am departure on 8 October 2019.
Disembark: Arrive and disembark at Vanimo at 08:00am on 20 October 2019.

Day 1: Darwin

Board Coral Adventurer at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 7:00am for 8:30am departure on 8 October 2019., ready to begin our voyage toward Banda Neira Island.

Day 2: At Sea

As we cross the Timor Sea you will have time to relax and explore the Coral Adventurer, enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks, and join presentations with our Expedition Team.

Day 3: Banda Neira

Coral Expeditions Spice Islands

An armada of Kora Kora Canoes flanking the Coral Adventurer welcome us to Banda Neira. Once ashore we explore the old colonial town, and tour the nutmeg plantations, museums and markets. There is a great opportunity to snorkel over the lava flow of Gunung Api volcano.

Dinner tonight will be hosted under the stars at the 17th-century Fort Belgica, where we will be joined by local artists displaying their arts and crafts and dancing. We will dine on Bandanese cuisine as the sun sets over the fort.

Day 4: Saparua & Molana Island

Saparua has a relaxed and traditional environment, with very few tourists. The Dutch East Indies Company established Fort Duurstedt in 1691, and the island is full of history. The locals greet us with flowers and a “welcome dance” before we join our guides and guest lecturer for a tour of the fort and village.
In the afternoon, we visit the beautiful white sands of Molana Island.

Day 5: South Halmahera

We spend today cruising South Halmahera, stopping at the lush mountainous islands and snorkelling the colourful fringing reefs with their abundant marine life.

Day 6: Ternate

Boarding the Xplorer, we cruise to Ternate and journey to the Sultan’s Palace. Built in 1834 and restored in a semi-colonial style, the Sultan’s Place still houses the Sultan’s family. On a guided walk throughout the palace grounds, we view numerous artefacts from the Dutch & Portuguese eras and learn about the ‘magic of the crown’.
During our afternoon exploration of Ternate, we enjoy a high tea with a view over the islands, and learn of the clove plantation history. A visit to the unique Fort Tolukko which presides over the foreshore gives impressive views of volcanic Mt Gamalama.

Day 7: Tobelo

Awake in Tobelo Bay surrounded by lush green islands. Today we visit the elementary school and the communal House or Hibualamo, where we are entertained with cultural performances.  We will have the opportunity to visit the Tobelo markets today.

Day 8: At Sea

We spend the morning crossing the Halmahera Sea.

Day 9: Roon Island

Spend the afternoon at 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.

Day 10: Kwatisore

We enter Cenderawasih Marine Park and go in search of the biggest fish in the sea, the extraordinary whale shark. It is possible to swim with these majestic animals and we may have a chance to snorkel among them. Visit Kwatisore Village to learn about the local culture through traditional dances and games and listen to their talented string band. Local handicraft will also be available for viewing or purchase at the market.

Day 11: Mamberamo River

Today, the Coral Adventurer enters the Mamberamo River. This vast river is the Amazon of New Guinea, an almost completely unexplored region that is home to villages and tribes whose culture is still relatively undisturbed. Our visit to this raw and primeval area will be exploratory, with the potential to visit local warrior tribes and enjoy the wilderness surroundings.

Day 12: Jayapura

Overnight we cross into West Papua waters ahead of our arrival in Jayapura, formerly known as ‘Hollandia’ during World War II and now a melting pot of sights and smells. Guests will be joining a guided bus tour around the city which includes Hamadi Traditional Market and Pepera Monument which is the landmark in the heart of Jayapura City.

Day 13: Vanimo

This morning we enter Papua New Guinea at Vanimo at disembark at 8:00am.

October 2019

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
08 October 2019 08 Oct 2019 20 October 2019 20 Oct 2019 $11,290 to $13,740 $11,290 to $13,740 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
  • House beer and wine during lunch and dinner service
  • 24 hour tea and coffee
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks
  • Access to islands, marine and national parks
  • Guided tours in tender vessels
  • 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

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 gratuities to your account and service charges to your bar invoices. On Coral Adventurer, our crew has no other agenda than your delight.

Now that you’ve chosen your cruise, our reservations specialists are on hand to assist with your booking arrangements.

To speak to our reservations specialists contact us during business hours on freecall 1800 079 545 (within Australia), or by email

Don’t forget, we strongly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance with any cruise purchase. See below for further details.


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. It should also include emergency evacuation and repatriation cover.

We recommend Travel Insurance by SureSave.

SureSave, is an Australian company who specialise in travel insurance designed for travellers. SureSave provides world assistance through a customer support team, a claims team and an in-house 24/7 Emergency Assistance division. Underwritten by Lloyds of London, you get peace of mind knowing your security is guaranteed.

Please note: SureSave Travel Insurance policies may only be purchased by Australian residents. For international travellers, please discuss your policy requirements with your local insurance provider.