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Lusancay Islands

Cultures and Nature in Papua New Guinea

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Le Laperouse
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Embark on a captivating 13-day expedition cruise with Le Lapérouse to uncover Papua New Guinea's wonders and ancient tribes. Starting in Cairns, Australia, explore WWII sites in Alotau, followed by visits to volcanically active islands, Tufi's scenic fiords, and the culturally rich city of Madang. Experience Dregherhafen on the Huon Peninsula, engage with local traditions, and immerse yourself in Kitava's cultural performances and 'Kula' trading system. Concluding in Cairns, this cruise offers a remarkable exploration of Papua New Guinea's treasures.
Sunrise in Papua New Guinea HighlandsSmoke and geysers of the Dei Dei hot springsParrots in Papua New GuineaLearn about the cultures of Papua New GuineaLusancay Islands
Highlights
  • Explore the Trobriand islands, made famous as the ‘Islands of love’
  • Discover the colonial history of Samarai Island
  • Witness the traditional ceremonies of the Asaro Mudmen of the Madang region
  • Visit the remote Tami Islands
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 north-east 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 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 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 your port of entry into Papua New Guinea. Missionaries, miners, pearlers, and 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 its 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: Fergusson Island | Dobu Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fergusson is the largest island in the D’Entrecasteaux archipelago. Situated to the east of Papua New Guinea, the latter was discovered in the late 18th century by the French navigator Antoine Bruny d’Entrecasteaux. Fergusson’s terrain is very mountainous, with the highest peak reaching some 2,000 meters in altitude. At the heart of this island, a tropical rainforest is home to a rich and varied flora as well as beautiful bird species, including parrots and birds of paradise. In the south, the smoke and geysers of the Dei Dei hot springs are a magical sight.

Dobu Island is one of the five islands in the D’Entrecasteaux archipelago to the east of Papua New Guinea. It is home to several bird species, including the white cockatoo and the curl-crested manucode. The local tribes are very attached to their ancestral traditions, and theirs is a matrilineal social system dominated by maternal lineage. The Dobu Islanders are also known for practicing magic rituals and witchcraft. Their language is spoken on most of the islands in the D’Entrecasteaux archipelago.

Day 5: 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 among 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 skillfully 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 6: Tami Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Tami Islands (Kalal, Wanam, and 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 7: 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 showplace 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 colorful displays of "sing sings" performed by numerous cultural groups from across the Madang Province. Today, you can also be treated to a number of cultural performances showcasing the local customs, costumes, and dance of the coastal, midland, and highland communities.

Day 8: Dregerhafen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nestled on the eastern edge of the Huon Peninsula, the scenic Finschhafen district was first charted by the British navigator Captain John Moresby in 1873–1874. It was the German scientist and explorer Otto Finsch who gave his name to the town in 1884. It became a colonial station with a Lutheran mission as part of the Colony of German New Guinea up until its abandonment in 1901. During the Second World War, Dragerhaffen (Dreger Harbor) was used by Allied forces after the capture of Finschhafen in October 1943, becoming the main U.S. Navy PT Boat base in New Guinea until June 15, 1944. Today, the villages of the Dregerhafen mainland are home to many resettled Tami Islanders, along with a mixture of local Yabim people and immigrants from the Siassi Islands and Markham Valley. Today, guests will be treated to a traditional welcome and cultural performance.

Day 9: 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 a real paradise of coral reefs and white-sand beaches, offering visitors magnificent panoramas. You can have the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the warm, tropical waters.

Day 10: Trobriand Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Trobriand Islands remain one of the most culturally intact places in the Pacific. Their unique social system is dominated by hereditary chiefs who wield tremendous power, although inheritances and lines of power are matrilineal. The Trobriands are often referred to as the ‘islands of love’. A reference to the customs and sexual practices of the islanders during the yam harvesting festival of Milamala. Dance and celebration continue to play an important role in society, with the rhythm of the dances retaining their sensuality despite the best efforts of missionaries. Today, be welcomed ashore to watch an energetic cultural performance, after which you can walk to the village or swim and snorkel in the clear, warm waters.

Day 11: Samarai Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Samarai Islands are located in the China Strait off the south-eastern 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 stone-walled 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 the Samarai and Kwato Islands. You can also enjoy swimming and snorkeling on nearby Deka Deka Island.

Day 12: At Sea

  • 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 13: Cairns | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Washed by the Coral Sea, the harbor town of Cairns is located on Australia's north-east 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.

Ship/Hotel

Le Laperouse

Le Laperouse Ship
Le Laperouse
Le Laperouse Ship

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$10,030
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Cabin
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Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² Private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Deluxe Suite
Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 6m² private balcony
Cabin
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
Cabin
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Privilege Suite
Area: 32 m² Capacity: up to 4 passengers per cabin 8m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Grand Deluxe Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Owner's Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds

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 subject to change without notice.
Included
  • 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners
  • 11 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 was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
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