Coral Princess Cruises
Papua New Guinea
(Cairns -) Alotau to Rabaul Expedition Cruise
(Cairns -) Alotau to Rabaul
11 Days / 10 Nights from AUD 8,450*.
Optional 2 night extension cruise from Cairns - see below
Day 1: Alotau and Captain's Welcome
05 Nov 2011
Boarding commences at 2:00pm for a 3:00pm departure from Alotau. Time to relax, settle in and explore Oceanic Discoverer before joining the Captain and his crew at the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail party.
Day 2: Dobu and Fergusson Islands
We are greeted by a flotilla of canoes as we approach the Dobu anchorage. Our Guest Lecturer will share with you the history of the Kula Ring where Dobu Island was a pivotal link between the north and south Kula trade routes. Meet the local primary school children who will welcome us with a traditional dance performance. After lunch we 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 3: Trobriands - Kaibola
Historically known as the 'Islands of Love' the Trobriands offer a glimpse of traditional culture largely unspoilt by outside influence. Witness traditional Trobriand dances performed by the vibrant locals.
Day 4: The Idyllic Island of Tuam
Tuam, in the Sassi 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 5: Historic Madang
The historic town of Madang sits on a peninsula surrounded by a number of picturesque islands. Famed for its diving, the waters surrounding Madang offer excellent visibility and many WWII wrecks to explore. Discover the town and enjoy the opportunity to purchase a large selection of artefacts. Enjoy swimming, snorkelling, diving and a harbour exploration.
Day 6: The Mighty Sepik River
Sure to be a highlight, this morning we enter the mouth of the mighty Sepik River - one of the world's great river systems. Oceanic Discoverer will cruise upriver to the middle Sepik region renowned for its unique artefacts. We visit the remote villages of Angoram and Bien where the local Sepik people are amongst the greatest primitive artists on earth and each village has its own distinct style. Enjoy the opportunity to purchase unique hand carvings. We anchor this evening in this mighty river whilst overhead hundreds of flying foxes stream through the sky.
Day 7: Sepik River and Volcanic Manam Island
An early morning start offers a great opportunity for bird watching. Join the Guest Lecturers to identify Spotted Blue-eyed Cockatoos, Wagtails, Great Egret, Little Egret, Great Billed Heron, the enormous Blyth's Hornbill and others as we cruise back up river. On farewelling the Sepik we pass the active volcano on Manam Island and enjoy the sunset.
Day 8: Crown Island
Join our Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturers as we board the Xplorer and head ashore to Crown Island. Known as a turtle nesting ground and home of the giant lizard we explore the beaches of this seldom visited island. Spend time relaxing or snorkelling in the beautiful clear waters.
Day 9: Spectacular Witu Islands
Enjoy a full day to discover the stunning Witu Islands - the day offers fantastic swimming, snorkelling and diving opportunities. Join the Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturers on a guided glass bottom boat tour.
Day 10: Kimbe Bay
With the support of local guides, our Expedition Leader 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 real island friendliness and hospitality as we are welcomed by a flotilla of outrigger canoes.
Day 11: Rabaul
We enter magnificent Simpson Harbour early in the morning, passing the striking islands known as the Beehives. Our arrival in Rabaul at 8:00am marks the end of our voyage of exploration and adventure. If time permits, you may wish to take the opportunity to explore the 'ghost town' of Rabaul that lies under volcanic ash deposited when Mt Tavurvur exploded in 1994.
Optional 2 Night Cairns to Alotau Extension
Join Oceanic Discoverer in Cairns two days earlier and cruise the Coral Sea, China Strait and Milne Bay before arriving in Alotau.
Day 1: Depart Cairns - 03 Nov 2011
After boarding at 12:00 noon for a departure at 1:30pm, we leave Cairns on the start of our great adventure. Take the opportunity to explore your new 'home' for the next thirteen days. Enjoy an evening sunset drink before sitting down to the first of many delicious meals prepared by the chef.
Day 2: At Sea
Having passed through the Great Barrier Reef, we cruise northeast towards the China Strait, the southern entrance into Milne Bay. Take the opportunity to relax, enjoy the facilities and get to know your travelling companions. This evening, join our Guest Lecturer for an informative presentation on Papua New Guinea, its rich culture and fascinating history.
Day 3: Alotau
Enjoy waking up to the spectacular scenery of the China Strait as we approach our first Papua New Guinea landfall - Alotau. Our experienced Guest Lecturers will interpret the traditional welcome dances prior to leading us on a tour of this historic town. We welcome those embarking today and this evening we meet the Captain and his crew at the Captain's Welcome Cocktails.
Please Note: This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Whilst every effort will be made to follow the itinerary we do reserve the right to vary this itinerary to make allowances for weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may effect the operation of the vessel.
* Main Deck B Stateroom fare in AUD, based on double occupancy.