Papua New Guinea: Adventure Cruise

17 days
from
£9,019
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Trip code: 
APC
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Cultural Wonders
Group size:
75–100
Min age:
17

We observe the spectacular fire dances of the Baining tribe, where men don huge symbolic masks and leap over flames to the hypnotic beat of a bamboo band. There are opportunities to snorkel or dive among dazzling tropical fish and colorful corals—these waters are some of the most biodiverse in the world.

We will step ashore on the legendary Trobriand Islands, dubbed “The Islands of Love,” and witness the islanders’ unique dances and uninhibited friendliness. Enjoy numerous nature walks and Zodiac cruises along the way which reveal stunning scenery, pristine beaches, and luxuriant tropical landscapes.

Visit Fergusson Island, the largest island of the archipelago, notable for its hot springs, bubbling mud pools, spouting geysers, and extinct volcanoes.

 

Highlights

  • Birders venture into the thicket to search for island endemics, and the warm inviting waters of the Coral Sea offer a perfect introduction to the undersea wonders on your first snorkel or dive excursion of many to come.
  • Enjoy exceptional snorkeling throughout this voyage
  • Search for rare species of birds and island endemics with our experienced ornithologist.
  • The traditional Trobriand islanders of Kuyawa and view energetic, time-honored dances that celebrate fishing and the seasonal yam harvest
  • Discover the dramatic beauty of the rarely-visited Tufi Fjords 

Key information

  • 17 Days
  • Small-Ship Cruise
  • 100 Guests
  • Countries visited: Papua New Guinea, Australia

What's included

  • Daily activity options including Zodiac cruises, snorkeling, nature walks, and cultural tours
  • All gratuities
  • All accommodations
  • World-class lecture and expedition team
  • All onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
  • Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
  • Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear
  • Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

What's not included

  • Airfare from your home city
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
  • Passport and/or visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcoholic beverages (except as listed above in the What's Included section), and other incidentals
  • Email/Internet/fax/telephone charges
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Itinerary

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
to
Cairns, Australia
  • Days 1-2

    Board your independent flight to Papua New Guinea.

    Board your independent flight to Papua New Guinea. Lose a day crossing the International Date Line.

  • Day 3

    Arrive in Port Moresby

    Arrive in Port Moresby and enjoy an afternoon at leisure, with dinner and overnight at Airways Hotel.

    Accommodation: Airways Hotel

     

     

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 4

    Join a tour of Port Moresby

    Today join a tour of Port Moresby, visiting the National Museum and Art Center. You may also view, and purchase, high-quality carvings and handicrafts at a local shop. This afternoon, embark the Caledonian Sky.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Be on deck as the ship traces the coast of Papua New Guinea

    Be on deck as the ship traces the coast of Papua New Guinea, to observe the peaks of the dramatic Stanley Owens Range that soar to 13,000 feet. This afternoon visit the island of Suau, where a local choir welcomes you ashore. Watch several traditional dances and a reenactment of the arrival of the first missionary. Then take a stroll through the enchanting village to observe demonstrations of canoe carving, fire making, basket weaving, traditional clay pot cooking, and sago production. Or, join naturalists for a walk through the dense vegetation to search for resident bird species. 

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Today visit Fergusson Island, the largest island of the group.

    Today visit Fergusson Island, the largest island of the group, notable for its hot springs, bubbling mud pools, spouting geysers, and extinct volcanoes. Spend the afternoon snorkeling or diving.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Visit with the traditional Trobriand islanders of Kuyawa

    This morning, visit with the traditional Trobriand islanders of Kuyawa and view energetic, time-honored dances that celebrate fishing and the seasonal yam harvest. Learn about the history of the Kula Ring, a circular pattern of ceremonial trade relationships that binds the islands of Milne Bay and eastern Papua New Guinea together in a long-established network of friendship. These islanders are also renowned for the exquisite quality of their ebony wood carvings, often decorated with mother-of-pearl shell inlays. Enjoy a walk among the villages of Kuyawa before returning to the ship for lunch.

    In the afternoon we anchor at a nearby island. Snorkel or dive amid kaleidoscopic coral reefs populated by parrotfish, neon damsels, and other brilliantly-hued species. Join naturalists on a walk around the island in search of flying foxes (fruit bats), sulphur-crested cockatoos, and helmeted friarbirds.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Discover the dramatic beauty of the rarely-visited Tufi Fjords.

    Discover the dramatic beauty of the rarely-visited Tufi Fjords. Though similar in appearance to Nordic fjords, these fjords were formed by ancient volcanic eruptions. Soak up spectacular views of the sheer basalt cliffs draped with lush vegetation on a Zodiac cruise, then step ashore to meet with friendly locals. Learn about their way of life, and watch the village elders perform a traditional sing-sing wearing elaborate feather head-dresses. This afternoon, snorkel or dive along the fringing reef where you will find technicolor coral fans, plump barrel sponges, and stacked hard corals, populated by schools of barracudas, parrotfish, and triggerfish.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Today, visit the picturesque village of Lababia.

    Today, visit the picturesque village of Lababia, gateway to one of the most important conservation areas in Papua New Guinea, the Kamiali Wildlife Management Area. Meet with locals, who welcome you with traditional songs, and learn about projects to develop a self-sustaining cycle of environmental conservation. In the afternoon, explore some of the region’s most pristine marine areas, where you may spy giant tridacna clams, vibrant anemones, and shoals of fish darting between coral branches.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Papua New Guinea Tribal Masks

    The people of Tami Island are renowned for their elaborated carved bowls, religious figures, and ceremonial masks. Meet with villagers and perhaps take a ride in a hand-carved outrigger canoe. The large, protected lagoon is perfect for underwater exploration where you may find such specialties as the flamboyant Spanish dancer nudibranch and curious clownfish.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Madang is famed for its beautiful waterfront setting.

    Madang is famed for its beautiful waterfront setting, perched on a fertile peninsula, backdropped by steep mountains and surrounded by a number of picturesque islands. Visit the colorful market where you will have opportunity to peruse a large selection of artifacts from the Sepik region. This area is also famed for exceptional water clarity and numerous World War II wrecks that sit in relatively shallow offshore waters.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Kopar is situated on the mouth of the Sepik River

    Kopar is situated on the mouth of the Sepik River, a 700-mile-long river whose tribes are famous for their traditional carvings linked to spiritual beliefs. Depending on tides, you may have the opportunity to visit the village, where a women’s chorus welcomes you ashore. The 300 residents of this typical Lower Sepik village subsist on fish and sago, cultivated in nearby swamp.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Alim Island is a small, uninhabited island that is home to a large colony of red-footed boobies.

    Alim Island is a small, uninhabited island that is home to a large colony of red-footed boobies. Observe the birds nesting in the mangrove trees, and search for black and brown noddies, white and black-naped terns, and other tropical seabirds. Sea turtles have also been known to lay their eggs on the sandy beach.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Completely encircled by an oblong reef, few passenger vessels are able to visit this small group of islands.

    Completely encircled by an oblong reef, few passenger vessels are able to visit this small group of islands. Land on a sandy beach and meet the 350 inhabitants of charming Tingwon, and enjoy their hospitality, local delicacies, and dances. After your visit, snorkel or dive along the islets’ surrounding reef.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Rabaul Island, East New Britain Islands

    Six cone-shaped volcanoes, some of which are still active, ring Rabaul’s dramatic flooded-caldera harbor. Visit the bubbling hot springs and take in magnificent views from Observatory Ridge. And, learn about the island’s WWII history—Rabaul was a Japanese stronghold under Admiral Yamamoto. Tonight attend an astonishing performance of the Baining tribe’s fire dance. Tribe members in huge, magnificently crafted masks, leap and dance over crackling, red-hot coals in a centuries-old ritual to honor the local deity-spirits.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 16-17

    Disembark this morning and board your flight to Cairns, Australia.

    Disembark this morning and board your flight to Cairns. Check in to the Shangri-La Cairns for dinner and overnight. Board your independent flight on Sunday, if you are flying to the USA, you arrive the same day.

    Accommodation: The Shangri-La Cairns

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

A tourist visa is required of U.S. citizens for entry into Papua New Guinea. Visas to enter Papua New Guinea may be obtained upon arrival in Port Moresby and are valid up to 60 days. Upon arrival, please have printed copies of you air tickets (including onward tickets) and your passport information available to assist in obtaining your visa.

For entry into Australia, an electronic travel authority (ETA) is required. An ETA is an electronically verified visa not evident in a passport and is available to nationals of the U.S. For more information and to apply, visit www.eta.immi.gov.au/ETA/etas.jsp(link sends e-mail)

Passengers will be denied entry into Australia if they do not acquire the ETA in advance. Please note that an ETA is valid for 12 months from the date the ETA is granted or until the expiry of your passport, whichever is earlier. While you can visit multiple times during this period, the maximum length of stay at any given time is three months.

PLEASE NOTE: Citizens of countries other than the U.S. should check with the nearest consulates for specific visa and entry requirements for their entire itinerary, including both the group arrangements and any travel prior to or after the program.

Beginning October 2019: U.S and Canadian citizens, as well as most European citizens, will be required to apply for a New Zealand ETA.  This includes any persons transiting through New Zealand without stopping over and for any guests flying via Auckland, New Zealand. Please apply for the New Zealand ETA online after July 2019, when the applications become available.

Vaccinations

Papua New Guinea

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements for this trip. Recommended vaccinations for this trip are: Tetanus,
Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.
Malaria prophylaxis is essential on this trip, and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Australia

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Should you have any particular dietary needs, or life-threatening allergies, please let us know on your Personal Information Form, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately, kosher meals cannot be accommodated.

Weather

Temperatures will range in the 80sºF, with the possibility of some days reaching the low 90sºF, though high humidity can make it feel warmer. We recommend having a light jacket for cooler evenings and nights while aboard the Caledonian Sky.

The following are average high/low temperatures in September and October for selected locations on our itinerary:

Location High Low
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea 82ºF (28ºC) 70ºF (21ºC)
Rabaul, Papua New Guinea 85ºF (29ºC) 78ºF (25ºC)
Cairns, Australia 83ºF (28ºC) 66ºF (19ºC)

Is this trip for you?

This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company Zegrahm Expeditions. As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, Zegrahm Expeditions, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you would expect. Zagrahm Expeditions operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of group travel.

For most activities, a moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for snorkel and dive activities and excursions ashore. You must be able to walk moderate distances along beaches and sometimes on rough or slippery terrain. Some stairs may be uneven and without handrails. Temperatures will range in the 80sºF, with the possibility of some days reaching the low 90sºF, though high humidity can make it feel warmer.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

The Caledonian Sky

The all-suite, 100-guest Caledonian Sky is a spacious, yet intimate, expedition vessel. Refurbished in 2018, her beautifully designed public spaces include a single-seating dining room, a large lounge with piano, elegant bar, enclosed panoramic viewing deck, sun deck, library, and small gym. All suites have an ocean view and feature a sitting room, en suite bathroom, flat-screen television, spacious wardrobes, and dressing table. The Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs, available for accessing remote shorelines and islands and is equipped to offer scuba diving.

GENERAL 

  • Five decks of guest facilities.  

- Castle Deck – guest suites, dining room, doctor’s office.   - Caledonian Deck – guest suites, bar, lounge, reception.   - Promenade Deck – guest suites with direct deck access, gym, hair salon.   - Bridge Deck – guest suites with private balconies, bridge, outdoor dining.   - Panorama Deck – sun deck, library, Panorama Lounge, and bar.   

  • Stairs and an elevator service all decks.
  • The bridge is available to visit most times throughout the day, contingent upon weather, security, and navigation conditions.   
  • Smoking is permitted only on outside decks.

 SUITES

  • All suites feature ocean views and have two twin beds that can be reconfigured into one queen, a sitting area, a well-appointed en suite bathroom, large closets, vanity table, small refrigerator, television, personal safe, hair dryer, assorted toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs)at 110 volts.   
  • Castle Deck has Category 1 suites that are 244 square feet and have three portholes.   
  • Caledonian Deck has Category 2 suites that are 232 square feet with large picture windows.   
  • Promenade Deck has Category 3 suites that are 217 square feet with a picture window; Category 4 suites that are 217 square feet with direct deck access via a sliding glass door; and Category 5 suites that are 243 square feet and feature two forward-facing portholes and direct deck access via a sliding glass door.
  • Bridge Deck has Category 6 suites that are 217 square feet and have patio doors leading to private balconies that are 60 square feet.

 DINING   

  • The main restaurant can accommodate all guests at one seating.   
  • Most diets can be catered for on board, but special dietary requests must be made in advance.    
  • Breakfast is served buffet-style and a la carte.
  • Dinner is served in the main restaurant. When weather permits, meals can also be served on deck.   
  • Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and coffee and tea are available 24 hours a day.

 SERVICES

  • Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs and is equipped to offer scuba diving.
  • Public spaces include a large lounge for lectures, Panorama lounge and bar, gym, and library with reference books, novels, DVDs, and computers with Internet access.
  • Free onboard Wi-Fi is available for all guests.
  • Laundry services (no dry cleaning), a hair salon, and a small doctor’s office are available on board. Rates are posted.
  • The U.K. pound is the currency used on board. Traveler’s checks, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted for payment of shipboard accounts.
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 020 8772 3936