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Explore the wonder of coral reefs

Islands & Atolls of Papua New Guinea: Kavieng to Cairns

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Coral Geographer
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Voyaging into the far western reaches of the South Pacific Ocean, Coral Geographer cruises to far-flung islands, where village life remains little-changed and untouched by the outside world. Where remnants of volcanoes rise from the ocean in the Bismark Archipelago and palm-swathed islands lassoed by dazzling beaches of the Louisiade Archipelago are strung across the Solomon Sea. At Ataliklikun Bay watch the mesmerizing Fire Dance of the Baining people at an evening performance. Witness the traditional canoe building culture of remote Laughlan Atoll which has little connection with the outside world and enjoy the biological wonder of Woodlark Island, home to over 40 rare and endemic species.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Kavieng | Embark
Days 2-11 : Exploring
Day 12 : Cairns | Disembark


  • See the famous Baining Fire Dance at Ataliklikun Bay
  • Visit remote Laughlan atoll, known for its canoe building culture
  • Kayak in the crystal clear waters of the Calvados Islands
  • Explore Kuiawa Island in the Trobriands – known as the ‘Islands of Love’


Coral Geographer

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Explore the wonder of coral reefs Explore the wonder of coral reefs Colourful children of Papua New Guinea Remote lagoon in Papua New Guinea Sunrise in Papua New Guinea Highlands

Day 1 Kavieng | Embark

Guests taking the charter from Cairns to Kavieng will enjoy a guided tour of the small city of Kavieng with its picturesque natural harbor, culturally-rich outlying villages, and WWII history. Board Coral Geographer at Kavieng at 4:00 pm for a 6:00 pm departure. Settle into your cabin and relax as we set sail westwards towards New Hanover Sea. Join the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow guests as the sunsets.

Day 2-11 Exploring

  • Ship
  • 10 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 10 Dinners
em>Your 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.

Ataliklikun Bay
In true expedition style, Coral Geographer will be the first cruise ship the village here has ever hosted! Take a nature walk and a tour of a local plantation to see copra production. In the evening witness the famous Baining Fire Dance.

Duke of York Islands
Little-visited by humans with tranquil waterways reflecting mountainous landscapes, the Duke of York Islands has a robust bird population, with many species endemic to New Britain, making it popular with bird watchers.

Rabaul was the main stronghold of the Japanese during the war with 110,000 Japanese troops based there by 1943. The Japanese army dug many miles of tunnels as shelters from Allied air attacks and built army barracks and support structures. Rabaul is perched on the edge of a magnificent natural harbor ringed by six cone-shaped volcanoes. Rabaul used to be the provincial capital and most important town in the province before it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1994, after which time the capital was moved to Kokopo. We will have the opportunity for a tour of Rabaul ghost town and Kokopo – including the War Museum.

Jacquinot Bay
Explore the large bay on the eastern coast of New Britain island. See the waterfalls and take a cruise of the Sivoli River, known for its crystal clear water.

Kuiawa (Manuwata) Islands – Trobriand Islands
Historically known as the ‘Islands of Love’, the Trobriand Islands offer a glimpse of traditional cultures largely unspoiled by outside influence. Be greeted at the small island of Kuiawa with an enthusiastic Trobriand’s welcome.

Woodlark (Muyua) Island
“Woodlark Island is a biological jewel—home to at least 42 species that occur nowhere else on Earth,” said William Laurance, a professor at James Cook University in Australia.  Woodlark, also known as Muyua, has never been linked to the mainland. Like on other islands necklacing New Guinea and isolated in the rough waters of the Pacific ring of fire, Woodlark’s flora and fauna have been left to explore the farthest branch tips of the tree of life. The forty-plus endemic species are found on an island just a little larger than New York City and include the Woodlark cuscus (Phalanger lullulae), an extravagantly-colored tree-dwelling marsupial that’s listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Rich in resources, including gold, the island is threatened by plans for commercial logging and mining. Over the past decade, Woodlark Islanders have defended their forests from resource exploitation from outsiders.

Laughlan Islands – Bodaluna (Budi Budi) Island
In this remote part of Papua New Guinea in the low-lying Laughlan Islands, men continue to build dugout canoes from timber much as their forefathers have done for generations.

Louisiade Archipelago East & West
The Louisiade Archipelago rainforests are home to a number of endemic species of frogs, lizards and birds. Deboyne Lagoon is a must-see for history buffs. Acting as a Japanese seaplane base for five days during WWII, one can find a nearly intact ‘Zero’ fighter plane in the shallow waters of Deboyne Lagoon. This is also an excellent place to snorkel, dive or kayak and the locals who greet you at the beach are friendly and welcoming. The Calvados Islands, a chain of atolls in the archipelago, is described as ‘Jurassic Like’ due to their steep limestone karsts. Panasia Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Papua New Guinea.

Twin Towers Reef & Dobu / Fergusson Islands
Join our Expedition Staff on a walk to Dei Dei Hot Springs on Fergusson Island, where the people share their mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and mud springs located at the base of an extinct volcano. Locals still use the hot springs to cook food in palm frond baskets. Learn of the history of the Kula Ring at Dobu Island and meet the local primary school children, who will welcome us with a traditional dance performance and snorkel the bubbling Springs Reef.

Samarai / Ebuma Island
Located off the south-eastern tip of New Guinea in the China Strait, Ebuma Island is historically significant as the site of a trading port and stop-over between Australia and East Asia. Explore the colonial settlement of Samarai, with a chance to purchase pearls from a local pearl farmer. There is an opportunity for a final snorkel at nearby Ebuma Island.

Day 12 Cairns | Disembark

Our voyage ends in Cairns where we disembark Coral Geographer at 9:00 am and bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master, and crew. Post cruise transfer to Cairns CBD hotels or the airport is included.

Coral Geographer



Flexible New Booking Policy
For all new bookings made until September 30, 2020, in the event that you are unable to travel on the cruise originally booked due to Covid-19 related restrictions, you will be able to transfer your deposit to another future cruise at no additional fee. Some restrictions may apply. Contact us for more details.
Applies to 2020 departures

Flexible Deposit Policy
New bookings are assured, with 30 days to finalize deposit payment. Some restrictions may apply. Policy does not apply to Kimberley routes Darwin - Broome or reverse. Contact us for more details.
Applies to all departures up to Dec 31, 2020

Per person starting at
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.


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
• Entry visas to Australia
• 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
Travel Agents
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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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