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Explore the inlets of Vanuatu

Exploring the Coral Sea: Papua New Guinea to Fiji

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Orion
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Experience the clear waters of the South Pacific on this 14-day Papua New Guinea and Fiji cruise. Visit the local villages and interact with their young children in port. Dive underneath the waves for a colorful and enriching snorkeling experience.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Cairns, Australia
Day 2 : At Sea
Days 3-5 : Papua New Guinea
Days 6-8 : At Sea / Solomon Islands
Day 9 : At Sea
Days 10-11 : Vanuatu
Day 12 : At Sea
Day 13 : Beqa, Fiji
Day 14 : Lautoka, Fiji / Disembark


National Geographic Orion

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Explore the inlets of Vanuatu Snorkel off stunning sand beaches Children of the Solomon Islands greet your zodiac View unique underwater wildlife Snorkel with the exceptional sealife of the South Pacific

Day 1 Cairns, Australia

Arrive in Cairns and board the National Geographic Orion.

Day 2 At Sea

Your first day at sea will be spent crossing the Coral Sea, with features reefs and islands rich in birds and aquatic life. Join the naturalists with your binoculars, attend lectures by the expedition team, and settle in to life on board.

Day 3-5 Papua New Guinea

Sail for the Milne Bay Province and explore the colorful markets of the mainland and the reef-fringed volcanic islands off the coast. Explore a turbulent history of colonialists, missionaries, and headhunters. Examine World War II artifacts on land and underwater, and snorkel, dive and kayak the reefs and lagoons of the idyllic Louisiade Archipelago.

Day 6-8 At Sea / Solomon Islands

Spend a day at sea, sailing for the jungle-clad peaks and vibrant reefs of the Solomon Islands. The islands are historical due to the fierce battles fought during World War II, but thet are also some of the least visited and most dive-worthy islands in the South Pacific. Explore the haunting war relics at a U.S. supply depot on Guadalcanal Island, and discover the bird life of Kennedy Island. On the island of Owaraha (formerly known as Santa Ana), attend a traditional dance performed by villagers in elaborate costumes and masks.

Day 9 At Sea

Continue your crossing of the Coral Sea.

Day 10-11 Vanuatu

Sail for Vanuatu's main island, Espiritu Santo. Snorkel, swim, and kayak in Paradise Lagoon and before setting out for the Blue Hole Grotto, a jewel-blue freshwater source surrounded by jungle. Take a zodiac to Lelepa and explore Fels Cave, which features walls decorated with ancient petroglyphs, and visit Vanuatu’s first and only UNESCO World Heritage Site, the final residence and burial site of 17th-century Chief Roi Mata.

In the afternoon, snorkel Million Dollar Point, a historical site where many tons of military equipment were dumped after the war, or experience one of the best wreck dives in the world: the S.S. President Coolidge.

Day 12 At Sea

Attend lectures on board and learn about the fascinating history of the region as you sail for Fiji.

Day 13 Beqa, Fiji

Arrive in Fiji, an nation of over 300 islands which are known for their pristine coral reefs, sun-drenched villages, and tranquil, tropical atmosphere. Take a zodiac to the island of Beqa, located off the southern coast of Viti Levu. Dive or snorkel the surrounding coral reefs, go on walks in the jungle, and paddle sea kayaks along mangrove-lined channels.

Day 14 Lautoka, Fiji / Disembark

In the morning, disembark in Lautoka, Fiji, and transfer to the airport for your connecting flights.

National Geographic Orion

Per person starting at
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1 Single
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 2 Cabin.
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Category 2
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3 Single
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 4 Cabin.
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Category 4
Upper and veranda decks with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 5 Cabin.
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Category 5
Upper deck with balcony
National Geographic Orion's Category 6 Cabin.
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Category 6
Veranda deck - suite


This Add-on is available only for our travelers extending or customizing their itinerary.

Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available, but is subject to availability.

Aboard ship:
- All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
- Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
- 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand
- Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
- Fitness center or exercise equipment
- Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
- The guidance and company of expedition staff

- Hotels ashore as indicated in itinerary
- Meals on land, as indicated in itinerary
- Sightseeing & entrance fees
- Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
- Transfers to and from group flights
- The expertise of expedition staff

- All excursions
- Zodiac & kayak explorations
- Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge

- International and internal airfare

Pre- and post-expedition:
- Additional hotel nights
- Private transfers
- Travel Protection Plan
- Passport, visa, and immigration fees
- Expedition extensions
- Gratuities

Aboard ship
- Alcoholic beverages
- Spa treatments
- Gratuities
- Scuba diving
- Laundry
- Internet and phone
- Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Change & customize to make it yours.
Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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