Coral Princess Cruises
Papua New Guinea
Rabaul to Alotau (- Cairns) Expedition Cruise
Rabaul to Alotau (- Cairns)
11 Days / 10 Nights from AUD 8,450*.
Optional 2 night extension cruise to Cairns - see below
Day 1: Rabaul and Captain's Welcome
15 Nov 2011
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 Cocktails as the sun spectacularly sets over the Coral Sea.
Day 2: 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 genuine island friendliness and hospitality as we are welcomed by a flotilla of outrigger canoes.
Day 3: 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 4: Crown Island
Join our Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturers as we board the Xplorer and head ashore. 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 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: Trobriands and Kitava
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 10: 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 expedition to the Dei Dei Hot Springs where the landowner shares the mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and mud springs.
Day 11: Alotau
Arrive Alotau Arrive this morning in Alotau and farewell new-found friends before disembarking at approximately 9:00am.
2 Night Alotau to Cairns Extension
Rabaul departures to Cairns:
15 Nov 2011 only
Return to Cairns aboard Oceanic Discoverer, cruising Milne Bay, the China Strait and Coral Sea before disembarking in Cairns at 1:00pm.
Day 11: Alotau Tour
After farewelling friends departing in Alotau we join our Guest Lecturers on a tour of the historic town before returning to the ship for a 1:00pm departure.
Day 12: China Strait
Enjoy a leisurely day at sea to relax in the comfort of your floating home-away-from-home, Oceanic Discoverer. Along with our onboard Guest Lecturer we will recap many enriching experiences as we cruise towards Cairns.
Day 13: Arrive Cairns
After an incredible 13 days discovering some of Papua New Guinea's most fascinating regions we arrive into Cairns, Tropical North Queensland at 12:00 noon.
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.