PNG - Rabaul to Cairns Dates & Rates
Our journey begins by exploring the tranquil isles of the Duke of York Islands, a group of dramatic volcanoes and coral atolls where ancient traditions flourish. We then take an in-depth look at east New Britain where you will experience expedition cruising at its best as we go in search of adventure. The leisurely pace of this voyage will enable us to explore hidden bays and striking coral reefs while also allowing time for visits to a number of culturally distinct communities such as the fabled Trobriand Islands and Milne Bay Province.
dates & prices
There are no trips scheduled for this expedition.
Day 1: Rabaul and Captain’s Welcome
Boarding commences at 2:00pm for a 3:00pm departure. Enjoy time to relax, settle in and explore Oceanic Discoverer as we cruise Simpson Harbour, set against a stunning backdrop of six towering volcanoes. Later, join the Captain and his crew at the Captain’s Welcome Drinks as the sun sets over the Coral Sea.
Day 2: Kimbe Bay
With the support of local guides, our Expedition Staff will lead us on an exploration of the region. Kimbe Bay has one of the world’s richest and most diverse coral reef systems, home to over 860 different species of tropical fish and in excess of 400 different varieties of coral. Experience genuine island friendliness and hospitality as we are welcomed by a flotilla of outrigger canoes. Join glass bottom boat tours, snorkel over the reef or perhaps join our Dive Instructor for an up close and personal view of the reef. This afternoon we cruise the New Britain coastline and enjoy informative presentations from our expert Guest Lecturers.
Day 3: Crown Island
Join our Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturers as we board Xplorer and head ashore. Known as a turtle nesting ground and home of the giant lizard we explore the beaches of seldom visited Crown Island. Spend time relaxing or snorkelling in the beautiful clear waters.
Day 4: The Mighty Sepik River and Manam Island Volcano
Sure to be a highlight, this morning we enter the mouth of the mighty Sepik River – one of the world’s great river systems. Only aboard Oceanic Discoverer will you cruise well up into the middle Sepik region, renowned for its unique artefacts. Visit the remote village of Bien where the locals are amongst the greatest primitive artists on Earth. Enjoy the opportunity to purchase unique hand carvings. On farewelling the great Sepik we pass the active volcano on Manam Island and enjoy the sunset.
Day 5: Historic Madang
The historic town of Madang sits on a peninsula surrounded by a number of picturesque islands and is famed for its diving. The waters surrounding Madang offer excellent visibility and many World War II wrecks to explore. Join a tour of the town, including a visit to the bustling markets before swimming, snorkelling, diving and a harbour exploration.
Day 6: The Idyllic Island of Tuam
Tuam, in the Siassi group of islands offers a mix of both mainland and Bismark Archipelago cultures. Their prized trinkets and decorations include dog’s teeth, spondyllus shells and wonderful balsa wood and sago bark headdresses. We enjoy the welcome dances and village hospitality.
Day 7: Lababia – Wildlife Management Area
We awaken early and travel ashore to the picturesque village of Lababia, gateway to one of the most important conservation areas in PNG – the Kamiali Wildlife Management Area. In the company of our Guest Lecturers and local guides, walk the David Suzuki trail through the prehistoric rainforest. With luck we may see some of the prolific native birdlife here including hornbills, parrots, palm cockatoos and the iconic Raggiana Bird of Paradise.
Day 8: Tufi Fjords
Today enjoy a true highlight as we discover the scenic beauty of the rarely visited Tufi Fjords. Similar to Nordic fjords and featuring 25 individual canyons with sheer basalt cliffs, these are the only fjords in Papua New Guinea and offer a wealth of sightseeing opportunities. Soak up the spectacular views as we cruise close to towering cliffs before boarding Xplorer to travel ashore to meet the friendly locals. Then, enjoy the opportunity to discover the region’s numerous white sand beaches, take a leisurely swim and snorkel over spectacular fringing reefs.
Day 9: Dobu and Fergusson Islands
We are greeted by a flotilla of outrigger canoes as we approach the Dobu anchorage. Our Guest Lecturers will share with you the history of the Kula Ring where Dobu was a pivotal link between the Kula trade routes. The local primary school children welcome us with a traditional dance. After lunch, join our Expedition Leader on an excursion to the Dei Dei Hot Springs where the landowner shares the mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and mud springs.
Day 10: Trobriand Islands
Historically known as the ‘Islands of Love’ the Trobriands offer a glimpse of traditional culture largely unspoilt by outside influence. Travel ashore to meet the colourfully costumed locals, witness traditional Trobriand dances and learn of the island’s interesting customs.
Day 11: Alotau
This morning we cruise Milne Bay before arrivin in historic Alotau. Travel ashore on a tour of the town with our Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturers, learning of the importance of the city in the defence of Australia during World War II. Returning to Oceanic Discoverer in the late afternoon we set sail towards Cairns.
Day 12: At Sea
Enjoy a leisurely day crossing the China Strait, enjoying the modern amenities and stylish comforts of Oceanic Discoverer. This afternoon our Guest Lecturers will recap the many enriching experiences from our expedition as we continue towards the Great Barrier Reef and Cairns.
Day 13: Arrive Cairns
After an incredible thirteen days discovering some of Papua New Guinea’s most fascinating regions we arrive into Cairns, Troical North Queensland at 12:00 noon. Farewell the Captain and his crew and new-found friends before disembarking.
How to Prepare
How to Prepare for a Papua New Guinea Expedition
To ensure you have an enjoyable and safe expedition we have developed some important pre-departure information to help you prepare for your voyage. We strongly recommend you download the documents below and read carefully. Our reservation staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Before you depart for your expedition we will send you a detailed pack including your itinerary, travel documents and any other essential information relevant to your voyage.
Is your passport valid?
Your passport will be required to have validity that will extend to six months after the date of your return.
Your visa arrangements are your responsibility. Please contact our reservations staff for assistance, or if you are unsure if you require a visa.
All passengers are required to provide travel insurance details including policy number and emergency contact number to Aurora Expeditions prior to departure. We strongly recommend insurance coverage that includes emergency medical evacuation from the vessel.
Emergency contact details
So that you can be contacted in the case of an emergency, remember to provide your family or friends with a copy of your travel documents as well as Aurora Expeditions’ and your Ship’s contact numbers.
Remember to pack any valuables or essential items such as medication in your hand luggage to avoid issues in the case of lost baggage.
How to Book
If you are interested in an Aurora Expeditions voyage, please contact our sales team to check availability.
Either email an expert here or call our experienced consultants direct on + 61 2 9252 1033 or 1800 637 688 (Freecall within Australia).
Complete a booking form
Once availability is confirmed, please download, print and complete the booking form. Please return it to us, along with your deposit to secure your berth. Please ensure you read the Terms and Conditions of contract before sending us your signed booking form.
Terms & Conditions
Click here to view the terms and conditions.
Preparation for your voyage
On receipt of the booking form, we will contact you to confirm your booking and our reservations staff will send you a comprehensive pre-departure kit. This kit will contain all necessary pre-departure information including visa information, insurance information, a medical and personal details form, comprehensive gear list and information tailored to your voyage.
Aurora Expeditions - Your Personal Travel Agent
Aurora Expeditions is a licensed travel agent. Our experienced reservations consultants all have specialised expertise on the destinations we travel to. Each voyage has a dedicated travel expert solely working on developing dynamic itineraries for our passengers. Contact our reservations team and allow us to create a personal itinerary to compliment your voyage, including airfares, accommodation, travel insurance and pre and post voyage travel options.
We look forward to assisting you with your journey of a lifetime.