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New Guinea Circle Adventure Cruise: Cairns to Darwin

26 Days
Prices From:
US$ 15,063

This remarkable expedition will take you where other travellers have seldom visited, into the most remote corners of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. Explore one of the world's least understood countries and get to know its people, in between top notch snorkelling and swimming opportunities.

This 26-day cruise from Cairns to Darwin takes you to explore Australia’s little visited northern neighbour in detail. Visit the various islands and communities of Papua New Guinea, from the famous tribes of the Sepik River region to little known corners of the South Pacific’s last frontier destination.

Board the Coral Adventurer in Cairns and spend a day at sea en route to Samarai Island. Presentations and briefings are held onboard to put some of your upcoming discoveries into context. Samarai itself was the colonial capital of PNG until 1968, and shares its own historic perspective as you explore. Go on to Dobu and Fergusson Islands, visiting Dei Dei Hot Springs with a local guide, and Kula Ring, where local children welcome you with a traditional dance.

The unspoiled Trobriand Islands are known as the ‘Islands of Love.’ You’ll witness a traditional dance and have the chance to visit local markets before going on to Maclaren Harbour. Paddle in traditional canoes with local guides to their village, enjoying incredible views of Tufi Fjord, with a chance to swim and snorkel. Your next destination is Buna, home to one of WW2’s most infamous battles. A visit to the War Museum at Sanananda completes the experience, as it uniquely honours soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Next, enjoy the snorkeling the colourful reefs of Fly Island, dive if you’re qualified (an introductory SCUBA lesson is included onboard), or stay dry in a glass bottomed boat. Visit the village of Lababia, with the option to paddle on local outriggers.

Enjoy more village visits with local welcomes in Dregerhafen. Take a walk through the village with locals, enjoy more aquatic activities along the local reefs, and round out the day with a barbecue on deck. Your next destination, Tuam, is one of the more remote islands you’ll visit, though it boasts two of PNG’s most well regarded dance groups, who’ll treat you to a performance before your guided walk. Your next port is Madang, a favourite of many visitors to PNG thanks to its waterfront setting and history.

The Sepik River region is one of PNG’s crown jewels, with one of the most colourful local welcomes you’ll receive anywhere in the world. Westerners have only been in contact with this part of the world since 1885. Go on to Wewak for a quick passenger exchange before setting out for Jayapura, home to Lake Sentani and its villagers. Then sail to the remote island of Mioswundi, one of the most peaceful in PNG.

A day at sea takes you to Wayug for a brief stop in the Northern Hemisphere, visiting the Wayug lagoon and the impressive limestone karsts of the gumdrop islands. See the monument marking the Equator at Kawe Island, then explore Aljui and Hidden Bays, where zodiacs take you in for a closer look. Board the vessel Xplorer and visit Yensawai village for a tour with the locals, and embark on a zodiac cruise through the mangroves. At Mesempta, you have the option of a steep early hike departing at 5.30am. Your reward? A chance to see the elusive red bird of paradise in the trees! Then explore the coral gardens on the Xplorer with guest lecturers to aid your explorations.

Let Banda and the Spice Islands charge your senses as you explore the old Dutch colonial towns, before snorkelling or diving over a submerged lava flow. Sample local delicacies before bidding farewell to PNG’s islands and crossing the Timor Sea to Darwin, where you’ll disembark.


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26 Days
Prices From:
US$ 15,063

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Depart Cairns

Board Coral Adventurer at 7:30am for an 9:00am departure. Leave Cairns behind as we begin our voyage towards Papua New Guinea. Take the opportunity to explore your new home and meet your fellow passengers. Enjoy the Captain's welcome drinks at sunset before sitting down to the first of many delicious dinners.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration25 Nights

Coral Adventurer

More Info

Location View map
  • Coral Adventurer

    Built to take you closer to unspoiled vistas in comfort, style and safety. A culmination of two years of design and three decades of passion for expedition cruising.

    Built to take you closer to unspoiled vistas in comfort, style and safety. A culmination of two years of design and three decades of passion for expedition cruising.


    • Air Conditioning
    • Bar
    • Gym
    • Library
    • Lounge
    • WiFi

    More Details

Day 2

At Sea

The Coral Sea: spend the day at leisure as you get to know your travelling companions or join our Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturer in the Lounge for presentations and briefings on Papua New Guinea, ahead of our arrival into Alotau.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3


Rich in history, Samarai Island has been declared a National Historical Heritage Island. A colonial capital and provincial government headquarters until 1968, Samarai is now a historical highlight of Milne Bay, with the ruins of the old town providing photo opportunities.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Dobu and Fergusson Islands

Join our Expedition Staff on a walk to Dei Dei Hot Springs, where the people share their mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and mud springs. 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 dance performance. Snorkel the bubbling Springs Reef.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Trobriand Islands

Historically known as the 'Islands of Love', the Trobriands offer a glimpse of traditional culture largely unspoiled by outside influence. In the morning visit the island of Kuiawa to witness a traditional Trobriand dance performed by the colourfully costumed locals. Visit the local market and enjoy a swim off the adjacent island beach.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Maclaren Harbour and Tufi Fjords

Local guides will paddles us on traditional canoes at Maclaren Harbour to their village in the rainforest. Be welcomed with dances, demonstrations and traditional crafts. Discover the scenic beauty of the rarely visited Maclaren Harbour. Over lunch soak up spectacular views as we cruise close to the towering cliffs before entering Tufi Fjord. Enjoy a leisurely swim and snorkel over colourful fringing reefs or visit the nearby resort for a relaxing time.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Buna and Sanananda

The Battle of Buna saw some of the fiercest fighting between American, Australian and Japanese forces during the final stages of WW2. We walk through the jungle with the local villagers and discover the fascinating history. After lunch we visit beautiful Sanananda to visit the War Museum, which the villagers have built to honour both sides. You have the opportunity to meet the local village people and enjoy their lovely gardens.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Fly Islands and Lababia

Awaken early and travel ashore for a morning of water activities at Fly Island, which has very colourful coral reefs. Enjoy snorkelling, diving or glass bottom boat tours. We visit the picturesque village of Lababia, gateway to one of the most important conservation areas in PNG, and enjoy welcome ceremonies and local dances. You may also paddle on local outriggers and enjoy a village walk and market.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9


Today we visit Dregerhafen in the Finschhafen district of Morobe, famous for Tami bowls and timber paddles. Visit the village of Gingala for a high spirited PNG welcome. The markets will be open and there will be a chance to walk through the village with the locals. After lunch enjoy snorkelling, diving, glass bottom boat tours and kayaking in the waters of the lagoon. Finish the day with drinks on the sundeck and our famous BBQ.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10


Enjoy a presentation from our guest lecturer as we steam towards the remote island of Tuam in the Siassi group. Tuam features two well- known and successful dance groups who will perform as we wander through the village. Along the way peruse the market stalls. Enjoy a guided walk with the locals and finish the day with water activities in the crystal clear water.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 11

Historic Madang

Explore Madang, which sits on the peninsula surrounded by a number of picturesque islands and is famed for it’s waterfront setting and colonial history. Discover the surrounding area on our Madang tour and after lunch visit the markets where there is the opportunity to purchase a large selection of artefacts from the region.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 12

Sepik River to Bien Village, Volcanic Manam Island

At first light the Coral Discoverer enters into the mighty Sepik River. Our destination is the remote village of Bien where the locals are famous for their arts and crafts. A true Sepik welcome awaits us as we step ashore! Take the opportunity to purchase unique hand carvings the Sepik region is known for. As we depart from the great Sepik River, sail past the active volcano at Manam Island as we enjoy the Captains Farewell drinks.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 13


Early this morning we arrive into the port town of Wewak. Farewell guests departing this morning and welcome new friends who will be joining us for the remainder of the expedition.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 14


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. Visit Lake Sentani, home to villagers famed for their distinctive art, and cruise on a longboat to see the stilt towns built over the tranquil lake, Be welcomed at Asei Village by the local dancers and their accompanying traditional instruments.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 15


Awake this morning to the peaceful Island of Mioswundi. Meet the local families in their traditional village to learn about their remote lifestyle and enjoy a refreshing swim in the tropical waters.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 16

At Sea

Spend a day at sea and join the Expedition Team in the Lounge for an introduction to Raja Ampat. Learn about the many wonderful experiences we will undertake over the coming days exploring the archipelago of the 'Four Kings'.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 17


Cross the equator today into the northern hemisphere as we make our way towards stunning Wayag Island. Experience the breathtaking views as we enter Wayag lagoon, then explore the magical maze of limestone karst 'gumdrop' islands aboard the Xplorer and zodiacs. After lunch enjoy water activities on the nearby beach or for the very fit climb to the top of Mt. Pindito for the panoramic view.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 18

Kawe Island, Aljui Bay and Penemu

Enjoy an early morning visit the monument to the equator at Kawe Island, if tides allow we will step ashore. We make our way into beautiful Aljui Bay on Waigeo Island for a morning of snorkelling or diving on one of the finest reef sites in the archipelago. Enjoy a cruise in this spectacular channel in the Zodiacs, and in the afternoon we visit Penemu in the Fam Island group. Climb the 320 steps to the lagoon lookout for great views and afterwards snorkel in the lagoon.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 19

Hidden Bay

Awake in remote Hidden Bay. Cruise through the scenic Wallace passage aboard the Xplorer and zodiacs. There is ample time to kayak, enjoy glass bottom boat tours, snorkel and SCUBA dive.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 20

Yensawai Village and Yenwaoupnor Village

Board Xplorer and cruise into the village of Yensawai on the Island of Batanta. Be greeted by the local people who will guide you through their village and visit the primary school to see the children in full song. Visit the local market on the water front and board zodiacs for a cruise through the mangroves, before enjoying a short walk to the waterfall. Visit Gam Island and the village of Yenwaoupnor to be welcomed with cultural entertainment and sample food cooked traditionally in the underground oven.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 21

Yenwaoupnor Village and Mesempta

For the fit and able there is an early 0530 start on a steep hike in search of the elusive Red Bird of Paradise hidden in the trees. Enter through the stunning channel leading to our late afternoon anchorage and finish the day with our famous BBQ on the sundeck overlooking beautiful Mesempta.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 22

Mesempta and Wagmab

Awaken at Mesempta to enjoy a visually spectacular cruise on Xplorer. Enjoy snorkelling and glass bottom boat tours in the sheltered lagoon. Enter the Misool archipelago to visit Wagmab and snorkel or dive the magnificent coral gardens and steep reef walls. Enjoy interpretation by our guest lecturers.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 23

Banda and Spice Islands

Today we explore the centre of the Spice Islands, where the world’s supply of nutmeg and mace has been traded for over 2000 years. See Gunung Api volcano and Banda’s famous Kora Kora canoes in action. At Banda town our guides will introduce us to the sights and smells of this historic area. We wander past the remnants of mansions constructed during Dutch colonialism on a town tour and visit historic buildings before visiting the markets. Refresh onboard before joining the locals for a traditional dance and music performance while enjoying a glass of champagne on top of Fort Belgica.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 24

The Spice Islands

An early morning option to snorkel or dive over the unique submerged lava flow. For those wishing a leisurely morning, return to Banda and enjoy the traditions of a bygone era with cinnamon tea and local delicacies at the waterfront hotel before we farewell the Spice Islands and set sail towards Darwin.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 25

Crossing the Timor Sea

Spend the day at leisure enjoying the on board facilities as we cross the Timor Sea and join our Expedition Team in the ship’s lounge for a recap of the expedition. Reminisce with your new found friends at the Captain’s Farewell Drinks.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 26

Arrive Darwin

This morning at 8:00am we arrive at Darwin's Fort Hill wharf, marking the end of our great adventure discovering New Guinea.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Other Information


Coral Adventurer

2022: To be advised


  • Accommodation as indicated
  • Services of expedition staff including lectures, briefings, slide/film presentations and other group activities
  • Captain's welcome and farewell cocktail functions
  • An introductory SCUBA skills session for first time divers
  • Group transfers during the cruise
  • Meals as indicated
  • 24 hour tea/coffee station
  • Landing fees
  • Australian Government Goods & Services Tax


  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not specifcally indicated
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Arrival and departure transfers


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

2 Oct 2020
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