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Traditional hut in Papua New Guinea

Melanesian Discovery: Madang to Honiara

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Coral Geographer
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Your journey is an exploration into the cultural diversity and natural beauty of this mysterious region. As you approach the mouth of Papua New Guinea’s largest river, the mighty Sepik, cruise past the magnificent active Kadovar Volcano for spectacular views from the deck. Discover the unique marine life and birds of the isolated Manus islands, and go ashore at eastern Papua New Guinea’s best-kept secret – Lovongai. The raw paradise of this island is seen in the dense rainforest cloaking volcanic mountains, where rivers cascade into tumbling waterfalls. Spend two days in rarely visited Bougainville, visit Poroan Island and listen to the Tatok Bamboo band.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Madang | Embark
Days 2-12 : Melanesian Discovery
Day 13 : Honiara | Disembark

Highlights

  • Cruise the mighty Sepik River to Bien village, home to skilled woodcarvers
  • Explore Manus Province one of Papua New Guinea’s best snorkeling sites
  • Look for Hawksbill turtles at the Arnavon Community Marine Conservation Area
  • Learn of Rabaul’s turbulent history at the Volcano Observatory

Ship

Coral Geographer

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Traditional house of the Sepik people, Papua New Guinea Aerial photo of Sepik River Remote lagoon in Papua New Guinea Traditional hut in Papua New Guinea Beautiful sunset in Papua New Guinea

Day 1 Madang | Embark

Arrive in Madang on an optional pre-cruise charter flight and enjoy a tour of Bil Bil village to admire the local pottery industry.  There will also be time to visit the local markets before boarding Coral Geographer at 4:00pm for an 5:00pm departure. This evening, join the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow guests as the sun sets.

Day 2-12 Melanesian Discovery

  • Ship
  • 11 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 11 Dinners
em>These are expedition itineraries covering remote regions. The Captain and Expedition Team may make changes to the daily schedule when necessary to maximize the guest experience. Below are the highlight destinations of your voyage.

Sepik River
Cruise past the magnificent active Kadovar Volcano for spectacular views from the deck. We continue to cruise into Papua New Guinea’s largest river, the mighty Sepik. We head ashore to Bien village, home to some of Papua New Guinea’s most skilled woodcarvers whose works are found in curated collections globally.

Alim Islands, Manus Province
Seldom visited Manus Province is a jewel of Papua New Guinea. It is a birding highlight, home to many endemic species such as the superb pitta and red-footed booby. The snorkeling and diving is also spectacular – rarely explored waters provide a kaleidoscope of opportunities, from magnificent walls to encounters with sea turtles and tropical fish.

Tingwon Islands
Tingwon Island, completely surrounded by a coral reef and home to unique birdlife flourishing in virgin rainforest, is a charming and rarely visited stop.  Go ashore to meet the small population of this island and enjoy their company as they introduce you to their culture with traditional dances and local delicacies. The island’s surrounding reef provides a chance to snorkel and dive in the afternoon.

Lavongai
Lavongai might well be the best-kept secret of eastern Papua New Guinea. The raw paradise of this island is seen in the dense rainforest cloaking volcanic mountains, where rivers cascade into tumbling waterfalls. The intensely blue waters are crossed by outrigger canoes and the local villages are warm and welcoming. Get to know the local culture and enjoying snorkeling and nature walks.

Rabaul
Arrive into Rabaul, the waterside town on the edge of a magnificent harbor, overlooked by six cone-shaped volcanoes. Once a thriving base for military and naval activity, the town was smothered by ash in 1994, causing 80% of the buildings to collapse.  Here, learn of the World War II history of the area, visit the Volcano Observatory and the Kokopo Museum.

Bougainville – Buka, Kieta, & Arawa
Spend two days in the rarely visited Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Cruise the Buka Passage and visit lagoons and islands near Arawa and Kieta.

Gizo & Njari Reef
This morning we enter the Solomon Islands at the town of Gizo. Wander through the open-air markets which showcase a bounty of tropical fruits and fresh fish, as well as crafts by the legendary wood and stone carvers of the region. You may choose to scuba dive over Japanese shipwrecks as an optional extra instead of exploring the town of Gizo.
In the afternoon, we cruise past Kennedy Island before enjoying water activities at Njari Reef. Njari Reef is a merge point for oceanic currents and is said to have one of the highest fish counts in the world.

Arnavon Islands & Dart Sound
Today, we visit the marine reserve of the Arnavon Islands, home to the largest rookery of endangered Hawksbill Turtles in the South Pacific Region and supporting some of the healthiest and most diverse coral reefs in the world. In 1995 the US-based Nature Conservancy helped three local communities come together to create the Arnavon Community Marine Conservation area – it was the first protected area to be established within the Solomons and covers over 40,000 acres of land and sea. Go ashore at Kerihikapa Island with the chance to see turtle hatchlings emerging from their nests.
Later, cruise up picturesque Dart Sound to the remote village of Kia, and be welcomed with traditional dance and singing. Many of the rangers that work in the Arnavons are from this area.

Marovo Lagoon
Marovo Lagoon has been described as one of the world’s natural wonders. One of the world’s largest double barrier enclosed lagoons, this isolated spot in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands has been proposed for World Heritage listing.
Marovo’s is world-famous for its intensive coral reef ecosystems, the waters teem with tropical fish and boast exceptional dive and snorkelling sites. You may sit down with the locals and learn about village life. Expert Marovo carvers are justifiably famous for the intricate pieces they create from king ebony with inlays of rosewood and mother-of-pearl.

Mangalonga & Tulagi
This morning, we visit Mangalonga Island to snorkel and dive on the reef. Mangalonga Reef has amazing fish life and it is common to see feather stars and colourful anthias. We may also enjoy a birdwatching walk on the island – some of the often-sighted birds include claret-breasted fruit doves.
This afternoon, we visit the old capital of the Solomon Islands, Tulagi. Tulagi was extensively damaged during WWII and has much war history. We go ashore at Vanita Jetty where we are welcomed with a traditional Solomon Islander warrior welcome followed by music and dance performances. We take a guided walking tour around Tulagi township and visit the cut through the hill, the cricket pitch, former Commissioners Residence and the Tulagi Market. We explore the harbour by Xplorer tender vessels visiting Tanambogho and Ghavutu. There may be an opportunity to dive or snorkel the waters around Tulagi which are well-known for magnificent wreck diving.

Day 13 Honiara | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark the Coral Geographer at 8:00 am and enjoy transfers to the airport.

Coral Geographer

Per person starting at
$6,765
Coral Deck Stateroom
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Coral Deck Stateroom
Located on the Coral Deck, these 17 Sq m staterooms are furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. Twin porthole windows give you views of the world outside.
Promenade Deck Stateroom
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Promenade Deck Stateroom
Located on the Promenade Deck, these 17 Sq m staterooms are furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. A large picture window gives you wide views of the world outside.
Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom
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Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom
These 21.4 Sq m staterooms are comfortably furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. Your private balcony has seating for two from which to view the passing coastal vistas. These staterooms are located on the Explorer deck.
Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
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Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
Bridge Deck Balcony Suites are equipped with a lounge area, minibar and personal coffee machine. Along with special King sized beds which can be separated into two singles. An 3.5 sq m private balcony has an outdoor daybed and lounge chair for two.

Notes

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

This fare includes: 

• All excursions and sightseeing
• Use of Xplorer and  Zodiac tender vessels
• Daily lectures and briefings
• All meals, chef-prepared on board
• Showcase wines, selected beers, juices, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner service 
• 24 hour coffee and selection of teas
• All entrance fees to National Parks and  Ports

This fare does not include:

• Pre and post flights, accommodation & travel insurance
• Alcoholic beverages outside of lunch and dinner service
• Telephone and internet services  
• Laundry 

Please Note:
These are expedition itineraries covering remote regions. Your Captain and Expedition Team will make changes to the daily
schedule when necessary to maximize guest experience given the weather, local environment and safety considerations.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf

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