Have questions? We're here.
Remote lagoon in Papua New Guinea

Discover the Secrets of Melanesia: Papua New Guinea, The Solomon Islands & Vanuatu

Cairns - Port Vila - Example 17 Day Cruise aboard Heritage Adventurer
Talk with an expert
Build your ideal Papua New Guinea trip. Call 1.406.541.2677
Start Planning My Trip
Embark on this 17-day expedition cruise aboard Heritage Adventurer and discover the secrets of Melanesia. Explore the coral-fringed islands of the Louisiade Archipelago and the volcanic wonders of the D'Entrecasteaux Islands. Experience the biological wonderland and rare endemic species on remote Woodlark Island and spend a fascinating day exploring Bougainville Island. Join Malaita's Kwaio people in a sacred dance, observe the ancient Rom Dance on Ambrym Island, and visit villages on culturally-rich Malaita Island. Snorkel in Marovo Lagoon, the largest saltwater lagoon in the world, and discover one of the conservation jewels of the South Pacific on Tetepare Island. Sail into a world few will ever experience and discover the wonders of Melanesia with Heritage Adventurer.
Explore the inlets of VanuatuTropical Island and Underwater Paradise for DiversSwimming in the crystal blue waters of Papua New Guinea.Aerial photo of Sepik RiverTraditional hut in Papua New GuineaTravelers enjoying the ocean view from the beach.Wandering through the swampy forests of Melanesia.Tribe in JayapuraColourful children of Papua New GuineaRemote lagoon in Papua New Guinea
  • Discover one of the conservation jewels of South Pacific on Tetepare Island
  • Explore Vanuatu, where more than 100 indigenous languages are spoken
  • Experience the biological wonderland and rare species on Woodlark Island
  • Visit villages on culturally rich Malaita Island traditional shell money
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.

Full Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Cairns, Australia

Arrive in the urban tropical paradise of Cairns, gateway to natural wonders the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest, and transfer to your hotel where the group will spend the first night of the expedition. This evening meet your fellow voyagers and expedition guides over dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea | Embark

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before boarding your flight to Port Moresby, the bustling gateway and capital of Papua New Guinea where the village and urban life exist side-by-side. Enjoy a visit to the National Museum and Arts Center, exhibiting one of the finest collections of primitive art in the world before boarding Heritage Adventurer this afternoon. The captain and expedition team will be waiting to greet you on arrival and show you to your cabin. You will have time to settle in and familiarize yourself with the ship; also take the opportunity to introduce your expedition team and the voyage plans.

Day 3-4: Louisiade Archipelago, Deboyne | Tagula Islands

After a morning at sea, you arrive during the early afternoon in the Louisiade Archipelago which stretches some 400 kilometers along the northern rim of the Coral Sea and is one of the great island arcs of the South Pacific. Rarely visited by outsiders, this area is a wonderland of literally hundreds of islands, lagoons and extensive barrier reefs and home to the seafaring Dobu people. With two days set aside for exploration there will be opportunities to snorkel, perhaps encounter the Manta Rays that are known to frequent these waters at recognized feeding stations or find a Japanese A6M2 Zero, the main fighter plane of the Imperial Japanese Navy, sitting intact in the shallows. Tagula Island is the largest in the archipelago and where you focus the attention during the second day in the archipelago, a goldrush in 1889 brought the island to the world’s attention but today it is the rich tropical forest and endemic wildlife which you seek including the Tagula Honeyeater and Butcherbird plus endemic frogs and lizards.

Day 5: D’Entrecasteaux Islands

Awake this morning in the volcanic island chain of D’Entrecasteaux Islands. One highlight will be exploring the island’s geothermal area with hot springs and bubbling mud pools surrounded by lush vegetation. Nearby, snorkel among thousands of colorful coral and fish attracted by underwater hot springs flowing through small vents in the ocean floor which send bubbles toward the surface. Described as like “swimming in champagne” the water is incredibly clear and the marine life is renowned for its abundance and the spectacular sizes the coral grows to. Plan to visit Dobu Island, this small island is a critical link in the Kula Ring which was famously investigated and described by the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski.

Day 6: Trobriand Islands

Positioned in the Solomon Sea and historically known as the ‘Islands of Love’, the Trobriands offer a glimpse of traditional culture largely unspoiled by outside influence. During the visit, enjoy picture postcard white sand beaches, colorful villages, aquamarine water and enchanting marine life. Meet the Trobriand islanders and experience energetic, time-honored dances that celebrate fishing and the seasonal yam harvest. Learn about the history of the ‘Kula Ring’, a circular pattern of ceremonial trade relationships that bind the islands of Milne Bay and eastern Papua New Guinea together in a long-established network of friendship. These islanders are also renowned for the exquisite quality of their ebony wood carvings, often decorated with mother-of-pearl shell inlays. Take to the water and snorkel among kaleidoscopic coral reefs populated by Parrotfish, Neon Damsels and other brilliantly-hued species.

Day 7: Woodlark Island

Blessed with both biological and mineral treasure troves and thousands of years of human culture, Papua New Guinea’s remote outpost Woodlark Island and its people are caught up in the push and pull of conservation versus mining. Its local community remains one of the few self-sufficient, subsistence-based populations in the world while its flora and fauna, left to evolve in seclusion on this unique rainforest island, including more than 40 species found nowhere else on Earth, with scientists predicting many more still awaiting discovery. Recent discoveries include a new species of frog and lizard. At loggerheads with this Woodlark has also been deemed one of the largest and most profitable gold mine developments of recent years. During your time here, plan to enjoy village visits and look for some of the island’s unique wildlife including the IUCN Red List endangered Woodlark Cuscus, endemic lizards, plants, amphibians, and insects, and perhaps even discover new species.

Day 8: Bougainville Island

Today, discover the treasures of Bougainville, long isolated and in a strange way protected due to the conflict which swirled around its shores. High on many travelers’ wish lists, this autonomous region within Papua New Guinea magnificently marries rugged, jungled terrain with amazing coral reefs offshore and is home to some of the greatest biodiversity in the region both above and below the water. Lying to the east of the country’s mainland and north of the Solomon Islands, it comprises two main islands and several outlying islands and atolls making it both remote and hard to reach, but perfect for exploration by expedition ship. Discover Bougainville’s strong ties and connections with the Solomon Islands, which is reflected in their music, culture and language.

Day 9: New Georgia Islands, Solomon Islands

The volcanic New Georgia Islands are found in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands and are characterized by extensive reefs and lagoons, rugged terrain and an abundance of rivers. Nature enthusiasts will relish landing on Kolombangara Island, visit the Imbu Rano Eco Lodge and Conservation Area which protects the island's central peak and search for the rare Roviana Rail along with other endemic bird species. Snorkel the wreck of a US NAVY Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat (carrier version) WWII plane off a nearby tiny island where the surrounding reefs are home to some of the highest fish counts in the world. Stock up on the local currency to purchase the wood or stone carvings the people of the Western Province are so famous for.

Day 10: Nissan Island

Uninhabited for hundreds of years, this rugged island cloaked in the rainforest and fringed with coral reefs is home to one of the Solomon Islands’ leading community-driven conservation projects Tetepare Descendants’ Association. Receiving international recognition for their conservation and archaeological significance, three species of turtle, including the endangered leatherback, nest on its beaches while other species inhabiting the island and surrounding waters include dugong, the world’s largest skink, endemic Tetepare White-eye, and many more. A highlight of the voyage, this afternoon, explore and snorkel Marovo Lagoon – the largest saltwater lagoon in the world. Breath-catching both above and below the water, Marovo features a unique, double-barrier reef surrounding the extinct volcanoes of the main central islands and light-filled cave systems teeming with marine life. Globally outstanding marine biodiversity, coral reefs, estuarine and island complexes, mangrove forests, and seagrass beds await exploration.

Day 11: Malaita

Mountainous Malaita is home to one-third of the Solomon’s total population and features pristine rivers and unexploited tropical forests. This morning, plan to explore the clear and calm waters that surround the island. In the afternoon you have been invited by the world-renowned Kwaio People, led by Chief Esau, to discover their traditional way of life which the community have fiercely guarded alongside their ancestral lands. This invitation represents a rare privilege and is made possible by the ongoing connection with the community and the assistance with the development of innovative community conservation programs. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend time in the company of some of the most authentic, yet innovative, communities in the region.

Day 12: Makira

Makira is the most easterly of the main islands in the Solomon’s archipelago. This morning, anchor in the calm waters of Star Harbour. Join the naturalists for a Zodiac exploration of the abundant mangrove forests that line the shores, and take a short walk to Makira’s south coast where the villagers live much as they have for millennia. Spend time with the locals, who share with the travelers their traditional songs and dance. If you are lucky, the local boys might be surfing on their hand-carved palm wood boards.

Day 13: Nendö, Temotu Province

Nendö is the largest of the Santa Cruz Islands, which lie to the south-east of the Solomon Islands. The Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira unsuccessfully attempted to establish a colony in 1595. Biologically these islands share more in common with Vanuatu. It is also the home of red feather money, sourced from the Scarlet Honeyeater. Watch the manufacture of red feather money, and join the locals in dances which reverberate through the ages.

Day 14: Torres Islands, Vanuatu

Sail to the rarely-visited pacific paradise and culturally rich Torres Islands, Vanuatu’s northernmost islands. A collection of four main islets fringed with white sand beaches, clear azure waters, volcanic rock and cliffs topped with lush tangled jungles the destination is Loh Island. After a warrior escort and welcome from the Chief, experience the thrilling and rarely witnessed cultural wonder of the lēh-temēt – vibrant ritual headdresses known as temēt (primordial spirits) used during special singing and dancing ceremonial rituals. The colorful headdresses are regarded by the villagers as having the highest of supernatural powers and are destroyed immediately at the end of the dance ceremony. Have time to enjoy tours of the village, and surrounding island or snorkel Loh’s incredible underwater world.

Day 15: Honiara, Solomon Islands

Explore Vanuatu’s largest Island, Santo; location of James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific. Indulge in a swim in the crystalline waters of Champagne Beach with its famed powdery white sand. This afternoon, enjoy Zodiac cruises to the iconic blue holes of Santo. For those with an interest in the history of the island, there is a visit to Luganville and Million Dollar Point.

Day 16: Ambrym

Visit Ambrym, renowned as the island of volcanoes and magic throughout Vanuatu. Head ashore at Ranon on the northern coast where the traditional Rom dance is still practiced and custom carving is alive and well. A walk through the forest brings travelers to the ‘arena’ where masked dancers emerge from the forest. The forests of Ambrym offer some excellent walks to go in search of the local birds and plants, accompanied by the naturalists. This afternoon, enjoy a final snorkel excursion.

Day 17: Port Vila, Vanuatu | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in Port Vila this morning and disembark. Upon disembarking a transfer to your central city hotel or the airport will conclude your voyage. To allow time for disembarkation procedures it is not recommended to book flights from Port Vila before midday.


Heritage Adventurer

Dining area
Heritage Adventurer Restaurant

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date


Save 20%: Second Wave 2025-26 Season Launch 24461
Book by July 31, 2024, and SAVE 20% Early Bird on select departures for the Second Wave 2025-26 season. This offer is subject to availability for new bookings, cannot be combined with other discounts, and does not apply to landing fees. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Applies to Oct 15, 2025 departure

Per person starting at
$11,995 2-3 travelers
Included landing fees are not eligible for promotions or agency commission.
Superior Triple
Select a Date
Superior Triple
Superior Triple Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, two single beds, and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Main deck
Select a Date
Main Deck Triple
Main Deck Triple Cabins on Deck 3 is a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, two single beds, and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Deck 4 Superior
Select a Date
Deck 4 Superior
Superior Cabins on Deck 4 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Deck 5 Superior
Select a Date
Deck 5 Superior
Superior Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Main deck
Select a Date
Main Deck Single
Main Deck Single Cabins on Deck 3 is a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Adventurer - Superior Single
Select a Date
Superior Single
Superior Single Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Worseley Suite
Select a Date
Worsley Suite
Located on Deck 6, Worsley Suites are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable chaise-style lounge suite, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Suite
Select a Date
Heritage Suite
Located on Deck 6, Heritage Suites are an expansive 44m2 and feature large double panoramic windows, king bed, large living area with a sofa, coffee table, and chairs, and grand marble bathroom with a double basin, bathtub, and shower, large writing desk, floor to ceiling cabinetry for storage and a flat-screen entertainment system.


- Included landing fees are not eligible for promotions or agency commission.
- Single clients are matched with a sharer of the same sex in a twin-share cabin. Payment of a single supplement guarantees a single cabin. The single supplement is 1.8 times the price of the voyage with the exception of the suites which are double the single rate.
-Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a minimum of US$100,000 per person required. Contact us for details on arranging travel insurance.

Year Built: 1991
Shipyard: Rauma, Finland
Classification: Lloyds 1AS, GL E4
Accommodation: 140 guests
Length: 124 metres
Beam: 18 metres
Draft: 4.97 metres
Gross Tonnage : 8,378gt
Engines: 3,940 horsepower (x2)
Maximum Speed: 15 knots
Cruising Speed: 12 knots
Range: 8,600 nautical miles
Zodiacs: 14
  • 16 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 15 Dinners
  • 16 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • House beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Landing fees
  • All expedition shore excursions
  • Programme of lectures by noted naturalists
  • Flight Cairns to Port Moresby
  • One night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast)
  • Post cruise transfers
  • Discovery Fund
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Required Visas if applicable
  • Laundry 
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Kayaking
  • Optional Birding



* By providing your phone number, you consent to receive direct phone calls or SMS messages from our Trip Planners to get the process started. We do not share your information with third-parties.
Travel Agents

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
Chat Now
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

Papua New Guinea Travel Guide

Favorite Papua New Guinea Cruises

More Reasons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

All News

Recognized By