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Snorkel off of Cairns, the gateway to Australia's Great Barrier Reef

New Guinea Circle - Total Solar Eclipse

Example 24 Day Cruise aboard Coral Discoverer
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This 24-day extraordinary adventure on board the Coral Discoverer takes you to some of the most remote and hardly visited areas in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, with the highlights being the rare chance to experience a total solar eclipse in northern Indonesia on 9 March 2016. Adventurers and nature lovers certainly enjoy getting close to some of the most incredible wilderness on the planet: observe the colorful Bird of Paradise, snorkel in the Raja Ampat region and see some of the world’s most pristine and wildlife-rich coral reefs, discover traditional markets on Indonesia’s Spice Islands, and visit villages that have only become exposed to the modern world recently. An amazing, genuine and moving experience!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Alotau, Papua New Guinea
Day 2 : Dobu and Fergusson Islands
Day 3 : Trobriands and Kuiawa
Day 4 : Tufi Fjords
Day 5 : Buna's WWII History
Day 6 : Lababia - Wildlife Management Area
Day 7 : The Idyllic Islands of Tami and Tuam
Day 8 : Historic Madang
Day 9 : The Mighty Sepik River
Day 10 : Sepik River and Volcanic Manam Island
Day 11 : Wewak
Day 12 : Jayapura, West Papua, Indonesia
Day 13 : Padaido Islands
Day 14 : Mansinan Island
Day 15 : Groot Fam and Paradise Island
Day 16 : Solar Eclipse near Pulau Jiew
Day 17 : Wayag Island and Raja Ampat
Day 18 : Pulau Gam and Kaibui Bay
Day 19 : Hidden Bay
Day 20 : Misool Islands and Sunset Barbeque
Day 21 : Mesemta and Pelee
Day 22 : Banda and Spice Islands
Day 23 : Spice Islands
Day 24 : Crossing the Timor Sea
Day 25 : Disembark in Darwin

Highlights

  • Visit some of the most remote areas in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia
  • Experience a total solar eclipse in Northern Indonesia
  • Commemorate the most important battles of WWII
  • Discover rich culture and amazing wildlife diversity

Ship

Coral Discoverer

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Snorkel off of Cairns, the gateway to Australia's Great Barrier Reef Access the shore aboard the specially designed expedition vessel Xplorer Snorkel the vibrant waters of the South Pacific Locals greeting the zodiac An intricate headdress of Melanesia

Day 1 Embark in Alotau, Papua New Guinea

You are invited to join a short flight from Cairns to Alotau on board a private jet (additional cost - see below). Board the Coral Discoverer early in the afternoon followed by the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.

Day 2 Dobu and Fergusson Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today approach the Dobu anchorage where your guest lecturers share the history of Dobu Island, a strategic connection between the north and south parts of the Kula trade routes. Be greeted by children at the local school and enjoy traditional dance performances. Continue on to the Dei Dei Hot Springs and learn the myths and legends of the area.

Day 3 Trobriands and Kuiawa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit the Trobriands, also known as the Islands of Love, and take time to witness traditional dance performances by the friendly local community.

Day 4 Tufi Fjords

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
One of the highlights of your expedition, today spend time exploring the rarely visited Tufi Fjord, the only fjord system in Papua New Guinea featuring 25 cliff-surrounded canyons and offering some amazing photography opportunities. Board the Explorer for a shore excursion and enjoy some time at leisure: meet the local community, relax on one of the white-sand beaches, or snorkel in the nearby breathtaking coral reefs.

Day 5 Buna's WWII History

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Day 5 is organized around the commemoration of the most important battles of WWII in the Pacific Ocean. Visit the history-rich village of Buna, located on the coast: it is in Buna that the Japanese forces established their main base during the Kokoda Track during the war. Visit Buna’s old Government Station and the American and Australian war memorial.

Day 6 Lababia - Wildlife Management Area

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Get up early to head ashore to visit the picturesque village of Lababia. From there embark on the walk along the David Suzuki trail through the prehistoric rainforest leading to the Kamiali Wildlife Management Area. Bird watchers delight themselves in observing the many bird species of the area, including the Raggiana Bird of Paradise. In the afternoon, enjoy some of Papua New Guinea’s best coral reefs as you head to Fly Island: a variety of water-based activities including scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and glass-bottom boat tours are available for you to discover this breathtaking area.

Day 7 The Idyllic Islands of Tami and Tuam

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today spend time on Tuam and Tami, two islands that are part of the Siassi group and home to mainland and Bismark Archipelago cultural heritage. The local communities welcome you with traditional dances and typical village hospitality.

Day 8 Historic Madang

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit Madang, a historic town located on the peninsula near several picturesque islands. The area is famous for its extraordinary diving spots offering excellent visibility and various WWII shipwrecks to explore. Explore the area through swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, or scuba diving.

Day 9 The Mighty Sepik River

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Reach the entrance of the powerful Sepik River on which you travel for the next two days. On board the Coral Discoverer cruise a distance of about 100 kilometers and visit the remote, typical villages of Angoram and Bien, home to the greatest primitive artist on the planet.

Day 10 Sepik River and Volcanic Manam Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early this morning, birding enthusiasts join the expedition team to spot and talk about blue-eyed cockatoos, wagtails, great egret, Blyth’s hornbills, and many other bird species as you cruise down the Sepik River. As you leave the Sepik region at sunset, also sail pass the active volcano on Manam Island.

Day 11 Wewak

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wewak is your destination this morning. Say farewell to some passengers and welcome new ones who are joining you for the second leg of your adventure. Capital of the West Sepik province, Wewak is a picturesque port city that used to be Japan’s major airbase during WWII. Have a chance to take a guided tour of the area, including Japanese bunkers and a war hospital, and enjoy some free time to explore the town at your own pace.

Day 12 Jayapura, West Papua, Indonesia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your ship crosses into West Papua waters overnight to reach the busy town of Jayapura. Visit Lake Sentani, the location of General Douglas MacArthur’s main base during WWII and home to villagers renowned for their unique artifacts and bark paintings.

Day 13 Padaido Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today explore the Padaido Islands located in the south-east of Biak and famous for their gorgeous white-sand beaches and colorful coral reefs. This afternoon enjoy some water-based activities including scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking and explore the islands’ wildlife-rich rainforests.

Day 14 Mansinan Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Board the Explorer and head to the island of Mansinan for more opportunities to snorkel and scuba dive near spectacular WWII wrecks just off the island’s shores. Enjoy an informative afternoon talk about Raja Ampat on board the vessel, one of your destinations in the next few days.

Day 15 Groot Fam and Paradise Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your destination today is the island of Fam and its traditional fishing village. Later in the day, reach the archipelago of Raja Ampat, also known as the Paradise Islands: the abundance of plankton in the area makes it feeding grounds for the giant manta rays. Have the opportunity to swim with these magnificent marine creatures.

Day 16 Solar Eclipse near Pulau Jiew

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, wake up near Pulau Jiew which is the eclipse center line. Be prepared for an unforgettable experience as you join an expert Guest astronomer on the sun deck and watch this magical natural phenomenon. Later in the day continue on to Wayag Island, part of the Raja Ampat archipelago.

Day 17 Wayag Island and Raja Ampat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore Wayag Island, known as one of the Raja Ampat region’s ‘Four Kings’. Head for the white sand beach and breathtaking maze of limestone karst islands for some water-based activities. The most adventurous have the option to climb Pindito Peak for some amazing vistas of the island’s lagoon.

Day 18 Pulau Gam and Kaibui Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today cruise the Dampier Straits, named after the famous explorer William Dampier. Join a local Papuan guide before embarking on a walk through rainforest to reach the Sawingrai village. In the afternoon, take a guided tour of the South Seas Pearl Farm.

Day 19 Hidden Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Onboard the Explorer, travel along the narrow channel that leads to Hidden Bay on Gam Island. Enjoy some free time to kayak, take a glass-bottom boat tour of the coral reefs, or follow your expedition team on a nature guided walk. Later in the afternoon sail towards your viewing spot for tomorrow morning's total eclipse and join the guest astronomer for an informative talk.

Day 20 Misool Islands and Sunset Barbeque

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today reach the Misool Islands, another one of the ‘Four Kings’ of the Raja Ampat region. The islands feature breathtaking scenery, stunning diving and snorkeling sites, and palm-fringed white sand beaches. Take a nature-guided walk on Wagmab Island and also take a tour of the surrounding waters, home to the pygmy seahorse and the most gorgeous and colorful coral gardens. In the evening join the Captain on the sun deck for a sunset barbecue.

Day 21 Mesemta and Pelee

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Board the Explorer and travel to the island of Mesemta for more exploration and exciting bird-watching. Continue on to the island of Pelee for great snorkeling and scuba diving excursions.

Day 22 Banda and Spice Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Reach the Banda Sea, ready to explore the Spice Islands. These small islands were at the center of the Spice Island trade network, attracting traders from almost 2,000 years ago. As the ship sails closer to the shores of Banda Island, spot the Gunung Api Volcano in the distance and witness oarsmen in the famous Kora Kora canoes gliding through the waters. In the afternoon explore Fort Belgica, built in 1611 during Dutch colonization. At sunset, you are joined by the locals and their traditional dance and music performances as you enjoy a glass of champagne at the fort.

Day 23 Spice Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today have a chance to take in the colors and aromas of the islands. Spend some free time to explore the towns, rich with Dutch colonialism heritage. Visit the museum, the Governor’s Mansion, and stroll through the spice markets. In the afternoon, depart the Spice Islands and start sailing toward Darwin.

Day 24 Crossing the Timor Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As your ship crosses the Timor Sea, enjoy your day at leisure on board. In the evening you are invited to join the Captain and his crew for farewell drinks and dinner.

Day 25 Disembark in Darwin

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in Darwin in the morning and dock at Darwin’s Fort Hill wharf for the end of your adventure.

Coral Discoverer

Per person starting at
Coral Discoverer Main Category B Stateroom
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Main Deck B
Main Deck, 17.5-18.5 sqm, with either junior king or twin bedding.
Oceanic Discoverer's Main Deck Category A.
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Main Deck A
Main Deck, 18 sqm, with either junior king or twin bedding.
Oceanic Discoverer's Promenade Deck Category B.
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Promenade Deck B
Promenade Deck, 14-16 sqm, junior king bedding.
Oceanic Discoverer's Promenade Deck Category A.
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Promenade Deck A
Promenade Deck, 16-17.5 sqm, junior king bedding.
Coral Discoverer Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom
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Bridge Deck
Bridge Deck, 17-18 sqm, junior king or twin bedding.

Notes

Solo Travelers:
A 50% single supplement is charged or select the “twin share” program. Book a cabin at the posted fare and the Coral Discoverer will attempt to match you with another solo traveler of the same gender. If not possible, enjoy the sole use of the cabin at the twin share price.

Important Fare Information:
Rates are posted based off of the current exchange rates from Australian or New Zealand Dollars. Please contact us for current exchange rates.

Please note:
This itinerary requires a deposit of $2,700 with final payment due 100 days prior to departure by bank transfer or check.

Optional charter flight:
An optional charter flight is available from Cairns (Australia) to Alotau for guests joining in Alotau on 23 February. The additional price is AU$700 per person and includes flight, taxes, on board catering, and transfer from airport to ship in Alotau.

Cruise fare includes:
- Accommodation charges on board
- Services of expedition staff including lectures, briefings, slide/film presentations, and other group activities
- Group transfers during the cruise, all meals, 24 hour tea/coffee station
- Landing fees

Cruise fare excludes:
- Pre and Post flights and transfers
- Personal items such as telephone, facsimile charges, laundry, bar charges, travel insurance

Included

  • 24 Breakfasts, 23 Lunches, 24 Dinners

Excluded

  • Internal Flights
    • $515 Optional charter flight from Cairns, Australia to Alotau
    • Flight cost is subject to change
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Kassandra Miller
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