After boarding Coral Discoverer at 10:00 am for a departure at 11:00 am, leave Cairns on the start of your great adventure. Take the opportunity to explore your new 'home' for the next thirteen days. Enjoy an evening sunset drink before sitting down to the first of many delicious meals.
Having passed through the Great Barrier Reef, cruise northeast towards the China Strait. Enjoy the facilities and get to know traveling companions. This evening, join Guest Lecturers for a presentation on Papua New Guinea.
Enjoy waking up to the scenery of the China Strait as the ship approaches the first Papua New Guinea landfall - Alotau. Experienced Guest Lecturers interpret the traditional welcome dances prior to leading a tour of historical Alotau. Reboarding Coral Discoverer, cruise Milne Bay and see the World War II military history of this region before the Captain’s Welcome Aboard Drinks.
A flotilla of canoes greets the ship while approaching the Dobu anchorage. A Guest Lecturer shares the history of the Kula Ring where Dobu Island was a pivotal link between the north and south Kula trade routes. Local primary school children perform a traditional dance. After lunch, join the Expedition Leader on an excursion to the Dei Dei Hot Springs where the landowner shares the mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and mud springs.
Historically known as the 'Islands of Love' the Trobriands offer a glimpse of traditional culture largely unspoiled by outside influence. On the island of Kuiawa witness traditional Trobriand dance performed by the colorfully costumed locals.
Discover the scenic beauty of the rarely visited Tufi Fjords. Similar to Nordic fjords and featuring 25 individual canyons with sheer basalt cliffs, these are the only fjords in Papua New Guinea and offer a wealth of sightseeing opportunities. Soak up the spectacular views as you cruise close to the towering cliffs before boarding Xplorer to travel ashore to meet the friendly locals. Then, enjoy a leisurely swim and snorkel over spectacular fringing reefs.
Awaken early and travel ashore to the picturesque village of Lababia, gateway to one of the most important conservation areas in PNG - the Kamiali Wildlife Management Area. In the company of Guest Lecturers and local guides, walk the David Suzuki trail through the prehistoric rainforest. With luck, see some of the prolific birdlife here including hornbills, parrots, palm cockatoos and the iconic Raggiana bird of paradise. Enjoy an afternoon of in-water activities at Fly Island, which has some of the best coral reefs in all of Papua New Guinea to discover through snorkeling, SCUBA diving, glass bottom boat tours and kayaking.
Tuam and Tami, in the Siassi group of islands, offer a mix of both mainland and Bismarck Archipelago cultures. Their prized trinkets and decorations include dog's teeth, spondyllus shells and wonderful balsa wood and sago bark headdresses. Enjoy the welcome dances and village hospitality.
Madang sits on a peninsula surrounded by a number of picturesque islands and is famed for its diving, with excellent visibility and many WWII wrecks to explore. Discover the town and enjoy the opportunity to purchase a large selection of artifacts from the Sepik region. Enjoy diving, snorkeling, swimming and a harbor exploration.
Sure to be a highlight, enter the mouth of the mighty Sepik River - one of the world's great river systems. Only with Coral Discoverer cruise well into the Sepik region, renowned for its unique artifacts. Visit the remote village of Bien where the locals are amongst the greatest primitive artists on earth. Enjoy the opportunity to purchase unique hand carvings. On departing the Sepik, pass the active volcano on Manam Island and enjoy the sunset.
Join Expedition Leaders and Guest Lecturers aboard Xplorer and head ashore on this uninhabited island. Known as a turtle nesting ground and home of the giant lizard, explore the beaches of this seldom visited island. Spend time relaxing or snorkeling in the beautiful clear waters.
With the support of local guides, your Expedition Leader leads you on an exploration of the region. Kimbe Bay has one of the world's richest and most diverse coral reef systems, home to over 860 different species of tropical fish and in excess of 400 different varieties of coral. Here experience genuine island friendliness and hospitality. This evening, join new-found friends and staff at the Captain’s Farewell Cocktails.
Enter magnificent Simpson Harbor early in the morning, passing the striking islands known as the Beehives. Arrive in Rabaul at 8:00am, marking the end of the voyage of exploration and adventure. If time permits, explore the 'ghost town' of Rabaul that lies under volcanic ash deposited when Mt Tuvurvur erupted in 1994.