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Papua New Guinea snorkeling

Islands and Cultures of Papua New Guinea

Roundtrip Cairns - Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Le Soleal
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Exploring Melanesia's natural and cultural wonders onboard Le Soléal is a thrilling tropical adventure. On this 11-day cruise, sail north to Alotau in Papua New Guinea's Milne Bay Province and learn about the WWII memorial, Japanese and American battlegrounds, pearlers, miners, and missionaries before visiting the volcanic islands of Ferguson and Dobu. In Kitava, Trobriand Islands, enjoy spectacular cultural performances and traditional festivities, snorkeling, and swimming in crystal clear waters. The Solomon Islands' Ghizo and Njari Islands provide world-class snorkeling, diving, and traditional markets. Before approaching Malatai Province, see Roderick Bay with its white-sand beaches and coral reefs. Disembark at Honiara, the Solomon Islands' capital, where Le Soléal will be moored alongside Point Cruise's port.
Traditional hut in Papua New GuineaSunrise in Papua New Guinea HighlandsTraditional tribal dance at mask festivalRemote lagoon in Papua New GuineaSwimming in the crystal blue waters of Papua New Guinea.Explore the wonder of coral reefsBe greeted by friendly locals in the Solomon IslandsPapua New Guinea snorkeling
Highlights
  • Discover the mysteries of Papua New Guinea, the land of a thousand cultures
  • Zodiac outings and shore visits with your expedition team
  • Swim and snorkel on beaches surrounded by dazzling coral reefs
  • Encounter local people & view cultural performances, dances, arts & crafts
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Cairns | Embark

Washed by the Coral Sea, the harbor town of Cairns is located on Australia's northeast coast. The seafront esplanade is a popular place for locals and visitors to walk, swim, and picnic under the shade of swaying palm trees. The hills surrounding Cairns form the gateway to the Queensland Rainforests, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site for their fauna and flora from the Gondwana era.

Day 2: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique, or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest, and entertainment.

Day 3: Alotau

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Alotau became the provincial capital of Milne Bay in 1969 and today has a population of approximately 16,000. It serves as our port of entry into Papua New Guinea. Missionaries, miners, pearlers, Japanese and American warships have all contributed to the History of Milne Bay. Perhaps the most significant history surrounds the Battle of Milne Bay. It was here that the invading Japanese army suffered their first land defeat in the Pacific War in 1942. A memorial park at the battle site commemorates the event. The local people are warm and welcoming resulting in one of the most relaxed, secure and easy-going towns in Papua New Guinea. Join your expedition team for a tour taking in the town markets and WWII memorials.

Day 4: Tufi

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Often described as the “Scandinavia of the tropics”. The spectacular Tufi “fiords” plunge over 90 meters deep and rise over 150 meters vertically above the water making for a spectacular backdrop. The traditional way of life plays an important role amongst the villagers with many living in isolated areas along the coast of Cape Nelson and on the slopes of Mount Trafalgar. The area is known for its production of tapa cloth, made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree and skilfully decorated. Guests will travel into the ancient mangrove forests of the Fiords to witness one of the most colorful traditional performances in all of Papua New Guinea. There is also the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the clear waters of Kamoa Beach.

Day 5: Tami Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Tami Islands (Kalal, Wanam & Idjan) are a small group of uplifted coral atolls, with two main villages on the two larger islands and many smaller reefs and cays. In the center is a beautiful, crystal-clear blue lagoon with abundant marine life and stunning coral formations. The islands, located in Morobe Province not far from the town of Finschaffen are seldom visited. Tami Islanders are renowned artisans and are most famous for their intricately decorated bowls.

Day 6: Madang

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Madang Township was once known as the "prettiest town in the South Pacific".  Its peninsula setting is a show-place of parks, waterways, luxuriant shade trees and sparkling tropical islands. The diverse geographical nature of Madang province is reflected in the 170 different languages that are spoken. This diversity is showcased in the Madang festival with its colourful displays of “sing sings” performed by numerous cultural groups from across the Madang Province. Today, you will also be treated to a number of cultural performances showcasing the local customs, costume and dance of the coastal, midland and highland communities.

Day 7: Morobe Harbour

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located at the Southern end of the picturesque Huon Gulf lies Morobe Harbour, named for the French explorer Jean-Michel Huon de Kermadec. Here, in one of the remotest parts of the Papua New Guinea mainland, culture and tradition remain strong. Several villages are spread along the foreshore amid lush forests where locals can be seen fishing or tending to their communal crops. Guests are welcomed ashore by the proud and friendly local people who relish the opportunity to showcase their cultural heritage. You will be welcomed ashore with a ceremony and cultural performances followed by the opportunity to witness traditional Morobe village life.

Day 8: Lusancay Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A Solomon Sea archipelago situated in the Milne Bay province in Papua New Guinea, the Lusancay Islands were named after the French navigator Pierre Carré de Lusançay, who participated in the D’Entrecasteaux expedition at the end of the 18th century. Protected from human impact, the Lusancay Islands are considered to be a real paradise of coral reefs and white-sand beaches, offering visitors magnificent panoramas. You will have the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the warm, tropical waters. 

Day 9: Samarai Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Samarai islands are located in the China Strait off the southeastern tip of New Guinea. In its colonial heyday, it was said to be one of the most beautiful places in the Pacific. The island was declared a National Historical Heritage Island by the government of Papua New Guinea in 2006. Just 3km west of Samarai, Kwato Island was once an educational center and home to a thriving boat-building industry. Following the old tree-lined road to the top of the island reveals a stonewalled church that was built in 1937 and remains a testimony to the missionaries of a bygone era. Join your expedition team for a guided walk on Samarai and Kwato Islands. You also will enjoy swimming and snorkeling on nearby Deka Deka island.

Day 10: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your journey at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This journey without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, depending on the activities offered, or to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest, and entertainment.

Day 11: Cairns | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Located on Australia's northeast coast, Cairns is a charming harbor town embraced by the Coral Sea. The picturesque seafront esplanade entices both locals and visitors, inviting them to enjoy leisurely walks, refreshing swims, and delightful picnics amidst the gentle rustle of palm trees. Cairns' surrounding hills serve as the entry point to the magnificent Queensland Rainforests, a UNESCO World Heritage site that preserves the extraordinary fauna and flora from the ancient Gondwana era.

Ship/Hotel

Le Soleal

Enjoy a show in the movie theater.
Bar and lounge with a view.
Restaurant aboard the Le Soleal.

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$7,280
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
The Superior Stateroom has a capacity of up to 3 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
The Deluxe Stateroom has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 4 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 5 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 6 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite
The Deluxe Suite has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
The Prestige Suite on Deck 5 has a capacity of up to 4 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and an 8m² private balcony.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
The Prestige Suite on Deck 6 has a capacity of up to 4 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and an 8m² private balcony.
Owner's Suite
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Owner Suite
The Owner's suite is situated on Deck 6 with a capacity up to 2 passengers per cabin. With a king-sized bed, it has been decorated by French interior designers and provides you with a breathtaking panoramic sea view.

Notes

Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and are subject to change without notice.

Discounts are available for children sharing a cabin with two adults and third adult passengers in select cabin categories. Please contact us for details.

Single travelers can opt for a solo cabin - supplements start at 50%.
Included
  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 10 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite. 
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Optional Excursions - Ponant allows you to pre-book your excursions approximately six to two months prior to the cruise* departure. Please note that this is subject to change. Please contact us for more details.
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • CDP recommends that every Traveler has full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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