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True North PNG luxury cruise

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Have you ever been in a plane where it is all one class – business class – and there are twice as many seats as there are passengers? Where champagne flows and delicious titbits arrive periodically? What if I tell you that this flight will take you to your luxury yacht where the staff to passenger ratio is almost one-to-one? Tempted?

true north 3

I am on a chartered flight from Cairns to Madang where the True North is berthed ready to take us on an exploratory cruise of the Bismarck Archipelago in Papua New Guinea.

The staff are flying with us and so is Craig Howson the owner, a congenial yachtie from Western Australia who goes about like any other passenger.

Sighting the True North, our home for the next 10 days is exciting. As we go up the gangway expectations rise.

We are asked to remove our shoes before we go inside the main common area, which is stunning but understated, more of an upmarket, designer living room than that of a luxury vessel.

This is an intimate, light-filled space, all white carpets and soft cushiony sofas.

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During the course of this trip I discover the amazingly laid back feel of this luxury yacht. Life onboard is so laid back it’s horizontal.

There is a no-shoes policy onboard; staterooms have no keys (you can lock them from inside for privacy); there are no safety boxes. The bridge is open at all times and you are encouraged to come and say g’day.

Where on earth can you find the same conditions? This is Paradise not yet lost.

There are a couple of professional photographers onboard and all other passengers have piles of electronic equipment lying on beds or outside decks ready to go.

There is total trust; a no-worries feel to the whole experience. Very Australian. The open cabin door policy allows light from the oversized windows to fill the main corridor with natural brilliance.

The back deck is full of diving equipment, bins for storing fins, masks and anything wet. Two hot showers provide a chance to get salt off your body suit and hair before going in.

There are disinfection areas to clean your reef shoes and avoid contaminating the ship.

true north 5

Dr Andy Lewis is the marine biologist onboard, a keen diver and photographer who summarises the day’s finds and clarifies the mysteries of this watery world. He is first in and last out of the ocean, his sleek body taking in the dynamic lines of his beloved dolphins and fish.

There are morning and afternoon sorties of several kinds including not only dives and snorkelling trips but fishing and cultural visits.

Life starts early and it is all go till lunch, which is an affair to look forward to, superbly executed and presented by Chef Andy Tonge. This is no continuous buffet affair or ‘eating till you die’ cruise.

The menu is restraint, healthy and modern. Dinner is a wondrous three-course affair and although many dress up a bit, the no-shoes policy makes for a quirky twist.

true north 1

Sepik River

The True North is so agile that it takes us 70Km up the Sepik River to visit a remote village where the rite of scarification still takes place.

This place is so inaccessible that we also need to board the ship’s helicopter for another 45 minutes and then a dugout canoe with an outboard motor for an extra half hour to get there.

The single-engine Eurocopter 130 B4 has a huge cabin with panoramic windows taking 6 passengers in air-conditioned comfort.

truenorth cruise

In the relative darkness of the Spirit House several young men sit on low stools around a straw crocodile swinging from the rafters.

Their backs are swollen and angry with scarifications in a crocodile’s skin pattern. Similar scars surround their nipples, arms and legs.

Clay slurry applied liberally acts as an antiseptic. Swirls of smoke keep insects away from their weeping wounds. This is a centuries old initiation ritual recently revived in the village of Yetchen.

true north 7

Australian born and PNG raised Simon Tewson is our link to this isolated regions. He speaks fluent pigin and personally knows the elders in charge. His invaluable contribution makes our visits to villages and school projects all the more enjoyable.

One such experience takes places at the Ponam Island School where records reveal student grades have climbed up by 40% since last year’s promise by True North to reward the eight best performing students with a helicopter ride. Big smiles with a hint of bragging illuminate the flyer’s faces on their return.

We are privileged to be the ones to deliver this promise. There are no roads on these islands and no cars. No TV either. Islanders live in a virtual cashless society getting by subsistence farming and bartering for most of their needs.

truenorth cruise

PNG attractions

When Kylie, a lanky teenager from Luf Island, shyly asks us “What attracts you to PNG?” we find it a hard question to answer without sounding patronising or banal.

The fine balance between voyeurism -even if of the cultural kind- and a genuine desire to experience other cultures is addressed by Captain Greg Dunn: “We come to learn about your culture” – he tells her.

“Why are you so interested in making fire with sticks when you have lighters?” puzzled locals often ask. Yes, it is hard. How could we possibly explain the concept of ‘holidays’?

Most people in the world don’t know what that means. Explaining we pay thousands of dollars to come and see a village sing sing will seem absurd to them.

truenorth cruise

We sail on the eerie waters of a volcano’s ancient caldera; buy giant prawns from local fishermen whose brand of Christianity forbids them their consumption and dive among WWII shipwrecks.

The onboard chopper flies us over live volcanos and over strings of small islands shining like pearls on a turquoise ocean.

This is a sophisticated, understated Australian enterprise with an efficient all-Australian crew of 20 who deliver service to the maximum capacity of 36 passengers with a contagious sense of humour.

true north png luxury cruise

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Explorer Class Stateroom

SIZE: 15m2 / 161sqft SLEEPS: 2

Located on the upper deck Explorer Class cabins feature a king size double (that can be converted to singles) and a twin basin en-suite. Cabin size is 15 sqm. Other features include large panoramic windows, amenities fridge, in-cabin entertainment and satellite telephone.

River Class Stateroom

Located on the middle deck River Class cabins feature a king size double (that can be converted to singles) and en-suite. Cabin size is similar to Explorer Class. Other features include large panoramic windows, in-cabin entertainment and satellite telephone.

River Class Stateroom

Ocean Class

SIZE: 12m2 / 129sqft SLEEPS: 2

Located on the lower deck Ocean Class cabins feature roomy singles and en-suite. Cabin size is approximately 12 sqm. Other features include 2 portholes, in-cabin entertainment and satellite telephone.

Ocean Class

The platform for dining onboard the True North is sustainable, organic and very Australian cuisine. The ship’s menus are also destination inspired and feature the very best of locally sourced ingredients. Modern technique is used to showcase alongside more traditional method.

The galley delivers continuously evolving dishes drawing from an array of different cuisines to ensure that each dining experience is unique to every cruise.

true north cruise papua new guinea

The True North allows discerning adventurers to experience wilderness in surroundings more akin to one of the world’s most exclusive hotels! Guests are able to take advantage of a number of lavish vantage points including a sundeck, a forward observation lounge, a ship’s lounge and an alfresco bar. The ship’s naturalist presents interpretative information on plasma screens and, an internet café enables convenient communication with the outside world.

A popular venue, the lower deck dining room offers the ultimate in comfort and uninterrupted vista - large panoramic windows ensure that guests never miss any of the action, even when they are enjoying the ‘finest in fine dining’.

Your expedition aboard the True North will normally feature a ship’s biologist. The biologist leads a team of six guides - one for each expedition boat. When joining a shore party, you will always benefit from informative commentary concerning the culture and natural history of the featured destination. The biologist also presents entertaining interpretive sessions in the ships lounge.

Multiple expedition boats provide guests with greater opportunity to do “what they want, when they want” and, to add yet another dimension to adventure, most cruise options feature an onboard helicopter! The purpose built True North is able to explore the upper reaches of shallow river systems - guests need only step out of their cabins to experience wilderness and, the latest in computer controlled motion stabilisers ensures a comfortable ride.

true north cruise papua new guinea

True North Expeditions

Kimberley ultimate.

From AUD $26995.00 Per Person

DURATION: 14 Days/ 13 Nights REGION: The Kimberley SHIP: True North

The Kimberley Ultimate is simply two weeks of lavish indulgence. Cruising aboard the world-renowned True North, all of the Kimberley coast's iconic attractions are included plus much, much, more.

Kimberley Snapshot

From AUD $18595.00 Per Person

DURATION: 8 Days/ 7 Nights REGION: The Kimberley SHIP: True North

For those with limited time, True North's flagship Kimberley Ultimate itinerary is condensed into this single week voyage showcasing the best of the Kimberley's wilderness.

Southern Australia Safari

From AUD $11595.00 Per Person

DURATION: 9 Days/ 8 Nights REGION: Australia, New Zealand & Pacific SHIP: True North

The South Australian coast from Kangaroo Island to Ceduna boasts an endless horizon of white sandy beaches, uninhabited islands and sheltered bays truly one of Australia's undiscovered gems.

Coral Atoll & Rowley Shoals

From AUD $8995.00 Per Person

DURATION: 6 Days/ 5 Nights REGION: The Kimberley SHIP: True North

Western Australia's Rowley Shoals feature exaggerated corals, mind-blowing fish life and stunning underwater clarity yet even today they are visited by only a fortunate few.

Sydney New Year Spectacular

From AUD $8595.00 Per Person

DURATION: 5 Days/ 4 Nights REGION: Australia, New Zealand & Pacific SHIP: True North

Aboard True North you will have the best seat in the house for one of the world's biggest events of the year; Sydney's spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks display.

Melanesia Discovery Expedition

From AUD $29995.00 Per Person

DURATION: 11 Days/ 10 Nights REGION: Australia, New Zealand & Pacific SHIP: True North

This 11-day discovery cruise aboard True North offers a rare opportunity to explore the acclaimed Louisiade Archipelago one of the great island arcs of the South Pacific and Coral Sea.

Kimberley Waterfalls aboard True North

From AUD $23995.00 Per Person

DURATION: 11 Days/ 10 Nights REGION: The Kimberley SHIP: True North

At the end of the Kimberley wet season experience thundering waterfalls and swollen billabongs, ancient aboriginal art, unique wildlife and the icons of the Kimberley Coast.

Cruise Passenger

Eight young men slink around charcoal fires in a thatched spirit house in Yentchan village, on the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea, wearing only a few modesty leaves around their waists and caked river mud on their heads.

Members of the Iatmul people, they have just been initiated into the puk-puk or crocodile culture – a ritual where the skins on their backs and shoulders are cut with razorblades to create a decorative stippled pattern resembling that of a crocodile, from which they believe they evolved. Their wounds are then pasted with ash and river mud and pummelled with bamboo bats while the heat from the fire almost tans their wounds like leather. This tradition has been passed down from generation to generation.

Being privy to this extraordinary scenario is a highlight of the 10-day Bismarck Bonanza cruise on the 36-passenger luxury adventure vessel True North . Helicopter pilot Rob Colbert had flown us over flooded villages and sago plantations before landing next to the hut where the initiates greeted us with an energetic drumming dance.

It’s one of the great advantages of being a passenger on board a vessel that offers a three-dimensional opportunity to discover the local environment: from the comfort of the air-conditioned boat, from the air in the six-passenger Eurocopter and underwater – snorkelling and diving in the company of marine scientist Dr Andy Lewis. True North was purpose-built for exploring river systems and coastal waters and, because of her size and shallow 2.2-metre draft, she can venture where many other vessels cannot.

Having always been fascinated by this exotic country, I didn’t need too much convincing to join 30 other passengers on this inaugural sailing along PNG’s north-east coast. We were to travel 70 nautical miles down the art-rich Sepik River and call in to rarely-visited, remote island communities.

Following a two-hour charter flight from Cairns to Madang, we board True North , sip coconut water from flower-trimmed coconuts and settle in for our first night afloat under the care of the 18-strong, all-Australian crew. Chefs Nikholas Flack and Zac Johnson prepare tender kangaroo fillets with preserved hibiscus flowers as canapes. Dinner is pan-seared scallops on pureed celeriac followed by pistachio cake with apple sorbet, kiwi fruit and Italian meringue. With experience in the Melbourne kitchens of Shannon Bennett’s Vue de Monde, the talented pair produce outstanding meals and make fresh bread, yoghurt and ice-creams daily.

Accommodation is in 18 comfortable suites. There’s a spacious dining room, welcoming lounge bar with comfy sofas, a rear deck for casual dining and drinks and a well-equipped transom that becomes a hive of activity each morning and afternoon as fishing, snorkelling and scuba diving get under way aboard six aluminium-hulled expedition boats. Each day’s program begins with breakfast at 6.30am.

We visit villages with lively produce markets and displays of intricately carved artefacts including masks, story boards, coconut shells, grass skirts and bilongs – simple string bags that locals carry over their shoulders or across the tops of their head, and are so called because everything inside “bilong” them. Other villages stage lively sing-sings to welcome us, the whole population dressing up in elaborate beads, feathers and, in one village, as giant crocodile puppets.

Leaving the Sepik, we cruise overnight to the far-flung Ninigo Islands – a large open atoll containing smaller atolls and some 50 small islets. After lunching on plump Sepik cherubin prawns, we set off to snorkel the Pelleluhu Passage.

When we return to True North , the ship is surrounded by a flotilla of dug-outs roped together as each fisherman drops off his catch of spectacularly coloured “painted” crayfish. The chefs weigh and buy about 60kg (about 100 crays) for $7 a kilo – many of them relegated to the freezer for future trips. During the cruise, seafood includes elusive black bass caught by locals and scale fish caught by guests – Spanish mackerel that ends up crumbed as fish and chips, barracuda for a classic Nicoise salad and yellow-fin tuna for sashimi.

One day, we come across pods of pilot whales that breach and splash playfully; another day we are surrounded by hundreds of spinner dolphins that swim under the tenders. And while snorkelling and diving, we spy turtles, manta and eagle rays, white-tipped sharks, schools of black and red snapper, colourful parrotfish, angelfish, vibrant blue damsel fish and various tiny striped anemone “Nemo” clownfish, for which the area is noted.

In the wheelhouse, Greg Dunn is enjoying his second stint as master on True North , having skippered luxury maxi-yachts around the world for the past few years. With its helipad, sonar, radar, large freezers that can keep frozen goods for months, a walk-in fridge the size of a small bedroom and the capacity to produce 36,000 litres of fresh water a day, Greg declares the boat was built for adventure. “It’s an adventure ship in every way,” he says. “How many other boats can send their helicopter up to look for a new dive site?”

true north cruise papua new guinea

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The True North is a comfortable and stylish adventure cruise vessel designed with its passengers in mind. There are 18 spacious cabins, on 3 decks, each with an en-suite bathroom, in-cabin entertainment and a satellite telephone. The high crew to guest ratio (22:36) enables the True North to offer a very personal service and the ship enjoy a fine reputation for its dining. On board passengers can take advantage of the sundeck, a forward observation lounge, a ship’s lounge and an alfresco bar. The ship’s naturalist gives presentations on wall mounted screens in the ship’s lounge and an internet café enables convenient communication with the outside world. 

Due to the ships shallow draft (it only draws 2.5 metres) the True North can venture to places where bigger ships can’t. This means the ship can place an emphasis on exploration in its itineraries and this is carried out by the 6 adventure boats which take small groups to remote parts. The luxury of having so many small boats means that if someone wants to go fishing, not everybody has to go fishing, and different activities can be offered at the same time. And, the True North is also the only adventure-cruise ship in the southern hemisphere that carries a full-time helicopter – adding another dimension to your adventure!

  • Style: Deluxe
  • Location: Sepik River
  • No. of Cabins: 18
  • Key Features: Sun deck, Observation lounge, Ship’s lounge, Alfresco bar, Dining room, Sports deck and Helicopter

Our Opinion

A slick combination of adventure and luxury, taking you to the remotest places in style. 

Tropical island, True North

Tours featuring this cruise

True North

true north cruise papua new guinea

True North Adventures in Paradise

An adventure packed with diverse destinations and fascinating experiences. From the Bismarck Sea to the beautiful Louisiade Archipelago, this itinerary travels through a stunning tropical landscape of island and reef. Fly in the ship’s helicopter over the active volcano at Rabaul and visit the stirring Isurava memorial on the Kokoda Track. Swim with manta rays, snorkel endless coral walls in the Lusancay group and enjoy sunset drinks on your ‘very own’ sand cay! Oversize mackerel, dog-tooth tuna and coral trout will keep the anglers busy. Melanesian friends greet you with a warm hospitality that is normally reserved for returning family and the smiles and laughter of their children will leave lasting and cherished memories.

DAY ONE Your “welcome aboard” is in the vibrant city of Cairns. One of the crew members will escort you aboard True North Adventure Cruises’ very own charter aircraft! Now sit back and enjoy the comfortable flight to Kavieng. As soon as you step off the plane you will begin to reshape your impressions of the “land of the unexpected”. Perhaps the clean and fresh sea breezes will take you by surprise, or will it be the huge smiles of locals so eager to welcome you to their island paradise! After clearing customs, you will be transferred you to the onboard luxury of the TRUE NORTH and, the delights of our renowned galley! Enjoy a welcome aboard lunch as you cruise to nearby Lissenung Island Resort – join the first of our ‘shore parties’ and discover ‘post card’ beaches, palm trees, tranquil villages and a flotilla of canoes. The many islands in this area are a cruise highlight. You will certainly find endless irresistible beaches and amazing coral gardens that are just a ‘fin kick’ away! And, what a place for diving and snorkelling – Papua New Guinea’s reputation as a diving destination could very well be without peer! There will also be lots of hot action in the fishing tenders – do battle with hard fighting table fish such as mackerel, yellow fin tuna and mahi mahi. At day’s end, relax with a drink in the alfresco bar before returning to the dining saloon for more culinary delight!

DAY TWO The many islands around Kavieng and New Hanover are a cruise highlight. A morning sing sing will be a memorable event as every man, woman and child turns out in welcome. Off the beach you will find ships, planes and even submarines wrecked in shallow water and beyond the reef it’s time to encounter a marauder of another kind!

DAY THREE This morning you will arrive at the Duke of York Islands – 17th century trading ships collected water from here. A Methodist preacher by the name of Reverend George Brown settled here in 1875 and, the beautiful and very enterprising daughter of an American whaling captain started a trading empire here! The grim reminders of a world conflict are here too – the snorkelling expeditions will re- discover Japanese tanks in shallow island waters. The ship’s helicopter will provide stunning island views that have been the privilege of few before. Then visit Rabaul– once described as the most beautiful town in the South Pacific! Perched on the edge of a magnificent natural harbour and, surrounded by active volcanoes! In 1994, the town was smothered under a cloud of ash and now lies largely abandoned – courtesy of nearby Matupit! The volcano still belches smoke throughout the day and helicopter flights over the smoldering crater are very spectacular indeed.

DAY FOUR Wake to find the TRUE NORTH off the coast of New Britain and the beautiful Jacqinot Bay area. Dense jungle and mighty rivers will dominate proceedings today as the TRUE NORTH’s ‘shallow draft’ provides unique access! Join our comfortable adventure boats as you explore deeper into the jungle visiting isolated villages that have little contact with the outside world and visit the grotto where fresh water pounds out of a rock face onto a pristine beach. No matter what your desire, the coast of New Britain promises unrivalled adventure! Another star filled night in the silhouette of the jungle, and tonight is party night – things might just get a little ‘South Pacific’!

DAY FIVE As you gaze out your cabin window this morning you will notice that our overnight passage has delivered us to a very different place. This morning you will be anchored in the middle of the Solomon Sea amongst the corals of Star Reef and, the strikingly beautiful Lusancay Islands. What a place!! So today let’s have some fun at the beach. Take a stroll around your very own deserted island (the Lusancays are uninhabited), snorkel in the shallows or drop off the outer- reef for the dive of a lifetime! The fishing is second to none – battle with tuna, mackerel or even a sailfish. If the fisher- persons have held up their end of the bargain then coral trout could be tonight’s fare but regardless there are bound to be plenty of adventures to re-live in the ship’s bar!

DAY SIX Start the day with a refreshing snorkel; catch your breakfast or just stroll along a pristine beach fringed with coconut palms! Then fill your day with swimming, island walks and village life as you cruise the beautiful fiords of Tufi. The ship’s helicopter will spoil with exhilarating flights to the Isurava Memorial on the Kokoda Track. Tufi is renowned for SCUBA diving and our guides will be looking forward to a spot of mackerel fishing as the setting sun heralds the end of another day in paradise.

DAY SEVEN Today you will visit Ferguson Island. On the morning walk discover jungle that shelters countless varieties of birds including colourful parrots, hornbills, wild fowl and the famed bird of paradise. Many rare species of butterfly are present and Papua New Guinea is also home to over two thirds of the world’s orchid species. You may even be lucky enough to see a reclusive tree kangaroo! An excursion to the Hot Springs will top off an amazing day.

DAY EIGHT Deboyne Island was a Japanese seaplane base during World War II – but only for 5 days! The Japanese found that their new base was just a little too close to the allied planes based at Port Moresby and the base was quickly abandoned. The Japanese never returned to the island however several ‘Zero’ fighter planes were ditched in the area during the Battle of the Coral Sea. One remains virtually intact in the shallow waters of Deboyne Lagoon and this morning our expedition boats will convey snorkelling teams to examine the wreck. Fishing, diving and sightseeing boats will also explore the lagoon and outer reef. A visit to Panepompom Island provides opportunity to experience idyllic archipelago life. The ‘locals’ will welcome you on the beach, treat with some impromptu singing (and laughing) and then invite all to stroll amongst their huts. Our crew will also take the opportunity to deliver appreciated resources to the local school before the expedition boats are away again.

In the afternoon the ship’s helicopter will deliver a breathtaking orientation to the Calvados Chain especially distinctive Panasia and Duchateau Island. Here the islands are steep sided and ‘Jurassic Like’. Fishing, diving and snorkelling will again be on the agenda or perhaps you would prefer a hike on exotic Panasia!

DAY NINE This morning you will wake off Nimoa Island – here the island mission will impress. The five-sided church features murals of island life and all mission buildings are surrounded by well maintained paths and gardens filled with flowering plants. Edged by jungle covered mountains, postcard beaches and crystal clear waters – an island paradise indeed! Then it’s time for another cruise highlight – the aptly named “Fish City” is home to large numbers of parrot fish, batfish, trevally, coral trout, tuna, snapper and mackerel! Nearby Rossel Island is a much larger island – nearly 300 square kilometres! It is also very mountainous with Mt Rossel reaching 800 metres – the helicopter will be handy! From an unassailable vantage scenic flyers will encounter lush jungle and, fringing reefs 12 kilometres to the east and 40 kilometres to the west!

DAY TEN Today you will visit the Renard Islands. Kimuta is a very special opportunity to purchase artefacts and here you will also enjoy some of the best snorkelling that Papua New Guinea has to offer! Then we’ve saved the best till last – wait till you see Ebora! The master will reverse the TRUE NORTH stern to beach in an amazing turquoise lagoon built to size. You will be impressed by the steep sided jungle that surrounds. The nearby dive site is big as well – a vertical wall with the best vis yet!

DAY ELEVEN This morning you are alongside in Alotau. Transfer to your charter plane and the return flight to Cairns.

true north cruise papua new guinea

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What others say

The TRUE NORTH conducts adventure-cruises around the magnificent Australian coastline and in the stunning waters of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. All cruises are activity based - extended periods at sea are specifically excluded and carefully curated itineraries provide for ultimate opportunity to experience the destination. Daily activities can include walks, fishing, snorkelling, diving, picnics, natural history, cultural events and more.

The TRUE NORTH is an A ustralian registered ship and is not required to exit territorial waters during Australian voyages- every day on-board the TRUE NORTH is an activity day!

The TRUE NORTH is also purpose built to access wilderness - bigger ships cannot go where we go! Multiple expedition vessels take guests away in small groups and, to add another dimension to adventure, most cruise options feature a ship's helicopter. Guest numbers are limited to 36 and an Australian crew of 22 uniquely chaperones every experience in comfort and style. Guests consistently respond with " that's the best holiday I have ever had! " Destinations include the Kimberley - a panorama of spectacular gorges and majestic waterfalls ; the bucket-list Rowley Shoals , the intriguing islands of Raja Ampat ; the mighty Sepik River and the un-spoilt islands of Papua New Guinea and, mysterious Bougainville !

E-mail us at  [email protected] for information about 2024/2025 cruise dates!  

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  • New Guinea Odyssey Darwin - Cairns

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New Guinea Odyssey

Darwin - cairns, dates: 1/10/2024 to  17/10/2024.

Guest of Honour

  • In partnership with The Explorers Club and with featured guest Graham Reynolds, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Programme of Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (USA).
  • An interpreter will be on board to provide simultaneous translation into French of all the moments of exchange and sharing with the English-speaking guest.

PONANT invites you to embark on board Le Lapérouse for an 17-day tropical expedition cruise to discover the sublime natural landscapes of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea .

From Darwin , you will be sailing to the  Kei Islands , in the heart of the Malukus, to discover a peaceful paradise of stunning white-sand beaches.

Then, you will sail to the heart of Triton Bay . Located within a protected marine environment in the middle of the Coral Triangle, you will enjoy an unforgettable zodiac cruise through the spectacular rainforest capped karst islands.

Le Lapérouse will continue to sail in the Indonesian province of West Papua to allow you to admire the superb  natural site of Kitikiti Waterfall where you could enjoy a swim or snorkel surrounded by lush nature, both on land and under water.

As you voyage across Western New Guinea you will experience the spectacular Cenderawasih Bay , with an unforgettable opportunity to swim with whale sharks.

Your ship will then set sail for  Papua New Guinea , a fascinating land that is home to no fewer than 700 ethnic groups within a highly diverse yet mainly unexplored, ecosystem.

In the village of Kopar , situated at the mouth of the Sepik River, you will be welcomed with cultural performances and will witness life in a traditional village.

You will then head south along the coast to  Madang , nicknamed "the most beautiful city in the South Pacific”. Within this attractive province with great geographical diversity, 170 different languages are spoken.

Your call at  Tufi , will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your voyage. You will fall under the charm of this picturesque region, dubbed the “Scandinavia of the Tropics”, with its deep fiords or locally known  ‘rias’ formed through volcanic activity .  In this unique setting the local  Papuan tribes  will share their customs, beliefs and artwork with you.

Finally, you will sail up to  Alotau  in Papua New Guinea's Milne Bay Province where you will discover how a combination of pearl farming, mineral resources and the presence of missionaries over the centuries shaped the history of this bay, which was also marked by the Second World War.

Your expedition will finish in in  Cairns , known as the capital of ‘Far North Queensland, this vibrant and welcoming city is the ideal place from which to explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and the Tropical Rainforests.

The encounters with the wildlife described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.

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Your itinerary

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Your itinerary - New Guinea Odyssey

In partnership with The Explorers Club and with featured guest Graham Reynolds, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Programme of Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Asheville...

Your trip in detail

Your ship le lapérouse.

PONANT activities

Important trip details

All destinations

1300 737 178 (or contact your travel agent)

Partner - Graham Reynolds

Our guest of honour

Graham Reynolds

"New Guinea is one of the most biodiverse and ethnographically diverse islands in the world. I am thrilled to introduce and explore these biodiversity treasures with you, to learn from locals in small-group conversations, and to collectively consider the history and future of the region and its role in global affairs."

Partner - The Explorers Club

Our partner

Graham Reynolds

Choose your stateroom

Deluxe Stateroom  

Fully booked 15% Ponant Bonus

Prestige Stateroom Deck 4  

Prestige Stateroom Deck 5  

From AU$19,110 per person 15% Ponant Bonus

Prestige Stateroom Deck 6  

From AU$20,200 per person 15% Ponant Bonus

Deluxe Suite Deck 4  

Deluxe Suite Deck 6  

Deluxe Suite Deck 3  

From AU$28,170 per person 15% Ponant Bonus

Deluxe Suite Deck 5  

Prestige Suite Deck 5  

Prestige Suite Deck 6  

Privilege Suite Deck 5  

From AU$42,110 per person 15% Ponant Bonus

Privilege Suite Deck 6  

Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 6  

Complete your trip

Shore Excursions, Overlands & Pre/Post Programmes To complete your voyage, PONANT can organise a range of shore excursions, pre & post cruise activities and packages, plus transfers.

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*Price is per person, based on double occupancy, based on availability, and subject to change at any time. The category of stateroom to which this price applies may no longer be available.

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Oceania & Pacific Islands

Africa, Middle East & Indian Ocean

Services provided

  • 24-hour room service
  • Inclusive Wifi internet access (availability dependent on navigation and latitude)
  • Individually-controlled air conditioning
  • Dressing room with shelves and closet
  • Dressing table and hairdryer
  • Diptyque Paris top-of-the-line bath products
  • Nespresso coffee maker and boiler
  • Electronic safe
  • Direct line telephone
  • Bose Bluetooth speaker
  • Flat screen TV, international channels (availability dependent on navigation) and videos on demand
  • 110V American (two flat pins)/220V European (round sockets with two round pins)
  • Two ADA staterooms

Select your stateroom category

Stateroom size

  • - than 25 m²
  • + than 25 m²

Deluxe Stateroom

15% Ponant Bonus

Fully booked

Prestige Stateroom Deck 4

Prestige Stateroom Deck 5

Prestige Stateroom Deck 6

Deluxe Suite Deck 4

Deluxe Suite Deck 6

Deluxe Suite Deck 3

Deluxe Suite Deck 5

Prestige Suite Deck 5

Prestige Suite Deck 6

Privilege Suite Deck 5

Privilege Suite Deck 6

Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 6

R. Graham Reynolds PhD is an Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the University Honors Program at the University of North Carolina Asheville (USA). He holds an appointment at Harvard University as an Associate of Herpetology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, is a National Geographic Explorer, and is a Fellow of the Explorers Club. Dr. Reynolds earned a BA in Biology from Duke University, a Ph.D. from The University of Tennessee, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University.

Dr. Reynolds is a tropical biologist whose research focuses on endangered species biodiversity and new species discovery on remote islands. In his lab he uses information from DNA to understand the impact of small population size on genetic diversity, as well as relationships among species. His research is highly collaborative, and he regularly works with institutions such as the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, the North Carolina Zoo, Ft. Worth Zoo, the St. Louis Zoo, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and others. He has traveled extensively around the world, photographing wildlife to use in his teaching lectures.

He has published more than 60 scientific papers and three books, and his research has been featured in the New York Times, Harvard Gazette, Discover Magazine, CNN, Newsweek, National Geographic, El Mundo, the BBC, Scientific American, and Smithsonian Magazine, among others.

Dr. Reynolds volunteers with global wildlife conservation organizations, including as a Red List Authority and taxonomy expert for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. 

Language spoke: English

Photo credit: The Explorers Club

Boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities

We invite you to read our boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities by clicking here . 

Any new reservation implies the acceptance of these conditions.

The evolving COVID-19 health formalities are available in real time by  clicking here .

Please note

Given the particularly changing international sanitary context, this itinerary as well as the land programmes and shore excursions may have to evolve according to port authorisations and governmental regulations in force at the time of your trip.

Therefore, for even greater peace of mind, we strongly recommend that you book your land programmes before and after your cruise with PONANT.

Health formalities related to COVID-19 will be confirmed to you before your departure.

In this exceptional context, your safety remains our first priority. The effectiveness of our procedures, our cutting-edge medical equipment and the smaller scale of our ships means we can offer maximum safety so that you can relax and enjoy your cruise. The revised passenger circuit and our enhanced hygiene measures can be found on this page: https://au.ponant.com/sail-with-confidence .

To guarantee your entry into one or several countries, you must ensure that you comply with the formalities and health requirements specific to each destination. In just a few clicks on our online search engine, find all the formalities you must complete prior to your departure (visas, entry authorisations for each country, vaccinations, etc.).

The international situation can change rapidly, so be sure to check this information regularly prior to your departure. However, please note that we always recommend our guests contact the relevant national immigration and customs and border control authorities directly to find out what rules apply to their specific situation. PONANT is not responsible for any decisions made by guests based on the information provided by the online search engine.

The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.

Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.

Indonesia: on this particular cruise, the entry and/or exit port in Indonesia do not allow for visa-exemption. Your visa will be delivered and charged onboard (45 USD subject to change) and valid for 30 days.

Australia : an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) must be obtained before your arrival in Australia. For more information, please visit https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder/visit . Carriers should be aware that there will not be any physical evidence in your passport. A copy of your ETA must be sent to PONANT at the latest 45 days prior to your cruise date. We also ask you to keep a copy of your ETA and keep it with your passport throughout the duration of your trip.

Australian customs regulations are very strict, especially for the import of food items such as fresh food (even sealed), fruits, eggs, meat, plants, vegetables, seeds, grains. Fur and feathers are also forbidden. We highly recommend you consult this website for further details : https://www.abf.gov.au/entering-and-leaving-australia/can-you-bring-it-in.

It is recommended that you contact your health professional for any specific medical advise relating to travel through these regions, including advice on Malaria prevention and dengue fever.

Papua New Guinea : Visa delivered onboard free of charge.

Diving - This sanitary formality is likely to evolve in accordance with the sanitary measures related to Covid-19.

Passengers may take part in scuba diving activities, providing certain conditions are respected, in line with the applicable health, scientific and medical conditions in force on the day of the dive.

In order to participate in diving sessions, guests must have with them a medical certificate less than 1 year old and their up to date dive book.

It is recommended that you contact your health professional for any specific medical advise relating to travel through these regions (including compulsory inoculations).

List of items prohibited on board

To guarantee the safety and well-being of our guests, certain items are strictly prohibited on board. Should you have one of these products or objects in your possession, they will be confiscated immediately and will not be transported on the ship. When an item transported aboard is considered illegal, the relevant authorities will be notified systematically.

Click here  for the full list of items prohibited on board. 

Warning about the use of drones : the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.

Expedition programmes include activities such as zodiac outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landings"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.

Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.

Travelling to isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. In remote areas, please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.

Clothing tips:

  • Cotton comfortable and light-weight shorts/bermuda shorts
  • Light weight long trousers
  • Long-sleeved breathable SPF50+ shirts
  • Cotton short sleeved T-shirt
  • Aquatic UV long-sleeved T-shirt for sun protection during snorkeling or swimming 
  • Aquatic non-slip sandals 
  • Windproof, waterproof and breathable outer layer
  • Broad brimmed anti-UV hat with strap and veil to protect the neck
  • Comfortable walking shoes

Accessories:

  • Highly protective sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen and after-sun with high SPF index & insect repellent
  • Binoculars (strongly recommended for wildlife viewing).
  • Small waterproof backpack (to protect your camera from water).
  • Camelbak (backpack with water pockets)
  • Walking poles (highly recommended).

Please note:

During your visits to some local communities, all guests will be required to dress respectfully. Ladies must have their shoulders and thighs covered. Gentlemen should have their shoulders covered also.

Ideal clothes for life on board:

During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.

Informal evening:

In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.

  • Simple dress
  • Skirt or trousers
  • Pleated trousers or chinos
  • Sports jacket

Officer’s evening:

For all cruises longer than 8 nights, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).

Gala evening:

During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.

  • Cocktail attire
  • Evening dress (if you wish to)
  • Tie recommended, possibly bow tie (if you wish to)

A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.

A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.

TECHNICAL OUTFITS:

  • Shorts / bermudas
  • Wind and waterproof light “breathable” outer layer
  • Sweater/pullover for the evening
  • Short and long sleeved cotton shirts
  • Waterproof UV long sleeved T-shirt
  • Long sleeved cotton shirt for sun protection during zodiac excursions and excursions ashore
  • Ankle canvas shoes (which dry quickly and protect ankles)
  • Aquatic shoes for wet landings on shore

ACCESSORIES:

  • Polarized sunglasses with high UV filter
  • Walking poles
  • Small waterproof backpack
  • Swimsuit (for the Spa on board)
  • Gym wear (fitness)
  • Battery charger and memory cards for your camera
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Sun portective hat/cap with strap and veil to protect the neck

HEALTH CARE:

  • Sunscreen and after-sun lotion
  • Mosquito and insect repellent
  • Medications and prescriptions

OUTFITS ON BOARD:

  • Casual outfits for the day
  • Smarter outfits for dinners
  • Elegant outfits for Gala evenings
  • White or black and white outfit

PRECAUTIONS:

In your hand luggage, remember to bring any medicines that you need, and possibly a small spare bag of toiletries (in case of delay in the delivery of your baggage by the airline). Remember to always have your travel documents with you in case you need them: hotel vouchers, cruise vouchers, return flight tickets... Never leave them in your hold luggage.

All our cabins have a safe. We recommend not to go ashore with valuable jewellery.

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Diving - Expedition Cruise

Supervision of the dives

Your dives will be led by your PONANT instructor. He will take care of your safety and that all goes smoothly. On some diving sites, as in natural reserves or if the local regulations require it, a local guide will escort the diving.

Level required for scuba diving on this cruise

The minimum level required for scuba diving on this cruise is 2 star CMAS or the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or equivalent). The certification card, the diving log book and a recent medical certificate (less than 12 months) must be presented at the beginning of the cruise to our main diving instructor.

Process of the dives (certified divers)

The instructor reserves the right to check divers’ ability for maximum safety. As we will dive in remote places, the dives will be done without decompression stop. A safety stop of 3 minutes at 5 metres will be mandatory. The depth that can be reached will depend on the certification of the divers:

  • For those with PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certificate (or equivalent), the maximum depth can be up to 25 metres.
  • If two PADI Advanced Open Water Divers (or equivalent) wish to dive together independently, they must have a briefing first. They must have dive computers and are allowed to go to a maximum depth of 20 metres.

Duration of the dives

The diving activity lasts from 2 to 3 hours, which includes the journey to the diving site and the diving. This duration may vary according to the site, the level of divers, weather conditions and the number of participants. For experienced divers, the duration of dives varies between 35 and 60 minutes depending on the site, the diver’s experience and consumption.

Supplied equipment

  • Diving wetsuit
  • Stabilising jacket
  • Regulator with octopus and pressure gauge
  • Diving computer (for divers mastering their use)

Mask and snorkel: for health reasons due to Covid-19, we strongly recommend that you come on board with your own mask and snorkel .As an exception, you will be able to borrow them in accordance with sanitary conditions.

The passenger may participate in scuba diving activities, subject to compliance with certain conditions established in accordance with the health, scientific and medical measures applicable on the day of the dive.

* within the limit of available stock.

Fauna and flora of the Pacific ocean

The fauna of the Pacific ocean is very varied. During the various dives, divers can observe various species of benthic fauna such as napoleon fish, racoonbutterfly fish, and pelagic fauna such as manta rays, gray reef sharks, dolphin fish, as well as endemic wildlife such as different soft corals.

Scuba diving activities on this cruise

These sites are indicative. The proposed diving excursions may be changed depending on weather and safety conditions and the number of divers.

Excellence and Passion packages must be pre-booked with your travel consultant before departure. Beyond that, all reservations will be confirmed once on board and subject to availability.

Exploration dives must be organised on board directly with your diving instructor.

Price per person

  • Certified divers :
  • Exploration (1 dive) : €80
  • Excellence Package (3 dives) : €225
  • Passion Package (6 dives) : €420

The Explorers Club

The Explorers Club was founded in New York City in 1904 by a group of the world's leading explorers of the time. It is a multidisciplinary, not-for-profit organization dedicated to scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space. It supports science research and education and has over 3,500 members around the world. Explorers linked to the greatest discoveries, such as Neil Armstrong, Jane Goodall, Edmund Hillary or Roald Amundsen, are among its eminent members.

During this exploration, a member of The Explorers Club will share their knowledge with you during conferences and will invite you to participate in their actions via activities on board, at sea or during shore visits. You will have the opportunity to experience varied interactions while rubbing shoulders with these agents of change throughout your journey.

Subject to withdrawal in case of force majeure

  • Zodiac outings and shore visits with your team of naturalists.
  • Discover the mysteries of Papua-New Guinea, the land of a thousand cultures.
  • From Tufi, journey on an outrigger canoe into the ancient Fiords of Cape Nelson.
  • Visit the remote Tami islands.
  • Discover traditional ceremonies of the Asaro Mudmen of Madang region.
  • Discover the Malukus, the paradisiacal Spice Islands.
  • Explore the spectacular karst islands of the Coral Triangle.
  • Gain an insight into the History, culture and the diversity of flora and fauna from your expert expedition team.
  • Possibility of diving (PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent) with an experienced instructor on board and of snorkelling with your expedition team.

New Guinea Odyssey-PONANT©OlivierBlaud (93).jpg

Ports of Call & Excursions

Darwin

1 October 2024 - Darwin

Embarkation 1/10/2024 From 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm Departure 1/10/2024 at 6:00 pm

Darwin is located in Australia’s Northern Territory which is also known as the “Top End”. It is the capital city and the most populated town of the Northern Territory. Darwin is a beautiful tropical city, a melting pot of people and cultures , over 50 different cultures live and work side by side that prides itself in its unique and friendly laid-back lifestyle. Come discover the town’s still recent history through its emblematic buildings such as the new Parliamant House opened in 1994, a magnificent example of tropical architecture or Admiralty House declared heritage place, a tropical-style home elevated on stilts that has survived two cyclones and numerous air raids.

At sea

2 October 2024 - At sea

Arrival 2/10/2024 Departure 2/10/2024

During your journey at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This journey without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, depending on the activities offered, or to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Kei Islands, Maluku Islands

3 October 2024 - Kei Islands, Maluku Islands

Arrival 3/10/2024 Departure 3/10/2024

The Kei Islands are blessed with kilometres of stunning, yet almost entirely empty, white-sand beaches and a deeply hospitable population. Beneath the mostly Christian facade, Kei culture is fascinatingly distinctive. Local history holds that ancestors of contemporary Kei islanders came from Bali, part of the expanding Hindu Majapahit kingdom from the western archipelago. Enjoy a day of swimming and snorkelling on an idyllic uninhabited picture postcard tropical island .

Triton Bay, West Papua

4 October 2024 - Triton Bay, West Papua

Arrival 4/10/2024 Departure 4/10/2024

Triton Bay is one of three regions in Indonesia’s West Papua province that comprise the Bird’s Head Seascape (the other two are Raja Ampat and Cenderawasih Bay), which is now considered by marine biologists to be the epicentre of the Coral Triangle . It contains more fish and coral species than anywhere else on the planet. Its unparalleled marine biodiversity and endemism, habitat richness, and relatively intact nature of its ecosystems are unique. Join your expedition team for a zodiac voyage through the spectacular rainforest capped karst islands. Later in the day enjoy the opportunity to explore the richness of the underwater realm.

Kitikiti Waterfall, Mommon

5 October 2024 - Kitikiti Waterfall, Mommon

Arrival 5/10/2024 Departure 5/10/2024

North of Triton Bay , in the Indonesian province of West Papua, lie the Bomberai Peninsula and Sebakor Bay. A real paradise for divers, this protected, authentic and very wild area boasts an exceptional biodiversity. Here, you will be able to admire the superb Kitikiti Waterfall where you could enjoy a swim or snorkel surrounded by lush nature, both on land and under water.

6 October 2024 - At sea

Arrival 6/10/2024 Departure 6/10/2024

Cenderawasih Bay

7 October 2024   8 October 2024 - Cenderawasih Bay

Arrival 7/10/2024 Departure 8/10/2024

Cenderawasih Bay is located at the western end of New Guinea Island, south-east of the Bird's Head Peninsula. Covering more than 1.4 million hectares the bay is home to an abundant array of uninhabited islands, pristine coral reefs and the world’s largest fish, the Whale Shark . Over the years the whale sharks have learnt the habits of local fishermen who catch baitfish at night in nets lowered from fishing vessels known as "Bagans”. The Whale Sharks are now regular visitors feeding on the baitfish that spill from the nets at the surface. Cenderawasih Bay is part of the Bird’s Head seascape, the centre of marine biodiversity at the heart of the coral triangle . Do not miss the chance to discover these multicoloured reefs and extraordinary marine fauna . Depending on the conditions, you may also have the opportunity to snorkel and swim with Whale Sharks.

9 October 2024 - At sea

Arrival 9/10/2024 Departure 9/10/2024

Jayapura, Papua

10 October 2024 - Jayapura, Papua

Arrival 10/10/2024 Departure 10/10/2024

Jayapura City is the provincial capital of Papua province, Indonesia. It is a modern industrial city contrasting markedly with the surrounding hinterland where Papuan tribes live a subsistence lifestyle. The vast majority of Jayapurans are transmigrants from western Indonesia who control most of the industry and economics of the region. Leaving the city behind, guest will travel to the traditional village of Asai on Lake Sentani. Here you can enjoy a cultural performance and witness life in a traditional Papuan village. Asai is famous for its production of Tapa cloth .

Kopar

11 October 2024 - Kopar

Arrival 11/10/2024 Departure 11/10/2024

The people of the Sepik region speak more than 250 languages and are knitted together in systems of trade and cultural interaction . Kopar village’s location at the mouth of the Sepik river makes it an important trading point for surrounding villages. Here the crocodile is worshiped as the water spirit. As is custom in all Sepik societies, the men's house is the place where important decisions regarding the village are made, where boys are initiated and become men and ceremonies to please the spirits are performed. Guests will be welcomed ashore with a ceremony and cultural performance, including the famous “dragon dance.” There will be an opportunity to walk around the village of Kopar to experience traditional life in the lower Sepik.

Madang

12 October 2024 - Madang

Arrival 12/10/2024 Departure 12/10/2024

Madang Township was once known as the "prettiest town in the South Pacific".  Its peninsula setting is a show-place of parks, waterways, luxuriant shade trees and sparkling tropical islands. The diverse geographical nature of Madang province is reflected in the 170 different languages that are spoken. This diversity is showcased in the Madang festival with its colourful displays of “sing sings” performed by numerous cultural groups from across the Madang Province. Today, you will also be treated to a number of cultural performances showcasing the local customs, costume and dance of the coastal, midland and highland communities.

Tami Islands

13 October 2024 - Tami Islands

Arrival 13/10/2024 Departure 13/10/2024

The Tami Islands (Kalal, Wanam & Idjan) are a small group of uplifted coral atolls , with two main villages on the two larger islands and many smaller reefs and cays. In the centre is a beautiful, crystal clear blue lagoon with abundant marine life and stunning coral formations . The islands, located in Morobe Province not far from the town of Finschaffen are seldom-visited. Tami Islanders are renowned artisans and are most famous for their intricately decorated bowls.

Tufi

14 October 2024 - Tufi

Arrival 14/10/2024 Departure 14/10/2024

Often described as the “Scandinavia of the tropics”. The spectacular Tufi “fiords” plunge over 90 metres deep and rise over 150 metres vertically above the water making for a spectacular backdrop. The traditional way of life plays an important role amongst the villagers with many living in isolated areas along the coast of Cape Nelson and on the slopes of Mount Trafalgar . The area is known for its production of tapa cloth , made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree and skilfully decorated. Guests will travel into the ancient mangrove forests of the Fiords to witness one of the most colourful traditional performances in all of Papua New Guinea.  There is also the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the clear waters of Kamoa Beach .

Alotau

15 October 2024 - Alotau

Arrival 15/10/2024 Departure 15/10/2024

Alotau became the provincial capital of Milne Bay in 1969 and today has a population of approximately 16,000. It serves as our port of entry into Papua New Guinea. Missionaries, miners, pearlers, Japanese and American warships have all contributed to the History of Milne Bay. Perhaps the most significant history surrounds the Battle of Milne Bay . It was here that the invading Japanese army suffered their first land defeat in the Pacific War in 1942. A memorial park at the battle site commemorates the event. The local people are warm and welcoming resulting in one of the most relaxed, secure and easy-going towns in Papua New Guinea. Join your expedition team for a tour taking in the town markets and WWII memorials .

16 October 2024 - At sea

Arrival 16/10/2024 Departure 16/10/2024

Cairns

17 October 2024 - Cairns

Arrival 17/10/2024 early morning Disembarkation 17/10/2024 at 8:00 am

Washed by the Coral Sea, the harbour town of Cairns is located on Australia's north-east coast. The seafront esplanade is a popular place for locals and visitors to walk, swim and picnic under the shade of swaying palm trees . The hills surrounding Cairns form the gateway to the Queensland Rainforests, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site for their fauna and flora from the Gondwana era.

Le Lapérouse

Environmentally friendly, fitted with innovative equipment and complete with lounges designed to be largely open to the exterior, this new and intimately sized yacht offers a unique type of cruise experience. Onboard this ship sailing under the French flag, you'll experience the incomparable pleasure of a cosily intimate cruise offering the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic chic ambiance.

The Blue Eye , an underwater lounge offering a unique experience unlike anything else in the world. 

Ponant ship LE LAPÉROUSE - Deck 3

Find out more about Le Lapérouse

Explore the planet’s most remote tropical regions during a PONANT expedition cruise. In the heart of Oceania’s archipelagos or the Indian Ocean atolls, along the wild coastlines of Central America or Australia, our luxury amenities and services will make your expedition cruise an unforgettable experience. Our expedition leaders and their teams of naturalist guides devise exceptional itineraries and organise daily outings, shore visits in Zodiac dinghies, or snorkelling when the cruises are conducive to it, to take you as close as possible to nature. Aboard the ship, they share their knowledge during lectures on a variety of topics such as the fauna and flora, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology. On land, using the local transport options or during hikes, discover the must-see natural sites and, for a few hours, partake in the life and ancestral customs of the local populations.

During an introduction to scuba diving or a more advanced dive for holders of the necessary certifications (level 1 on yachting cruises and 2 on expedition cruises), explore the planet’s most beautiful underwater environments in the company of a PONANT diving instructor, as well as a local instructor when required by local legislation. They will ensure that your dives are conducted smoothly and safely: supervision of four certified divers at a time, evaluation of diving skills and experience, adherence to safety stops, zones and the maximum depth authorised.

A recent medical certificate (less than 12 months) must be presented at the beginning of the cruise to the main diving instructor.

PONANT and The Explorers Club are coming together in the name of driving deeper discovery and promoting scientific enrichment among the next generation of explorers. The weeks-long expeditions will whisk travelers to the world’s most remote parts, these journeys are enriched by the participation of expert members of The Explorers Club. They will share their experiences with you during on-board conferences and will invite you to participate in their research by offering activities on board, at sea or out of the ship. These new explorers will fascinate you with their tales.

Shore excursions, Pre/Post & Overlands

UNIQUE GETAWAY IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY (4 NIGHTS)

27/9/2024 - UNIQUE GETAWAY IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY (4 NIGHTS)

OVERNIGHT IN DARWIN (1 NIGHT)

30/9/2024 - OVERNIGHT IN DARWIN (1 NIGHT)

THE GREAT BARRIER REEF AND THE CAIRNS RAINFOREST (3 NIGHTS)

17/10/2024 - THE GREAT BARRIER REEF AND THE CAIRNS RAINFOREST (3 NIGHTS)

CAIRNS, AT THE EDGE OF AUSTRALIA' S TROPICAL RAINFOREST (1 NIGHT)

17/10/2024 - CAIRNS, AT THE EDGE OF AUSTRALIA' S TROPICAL RAINFOREST (1 NIGHT)

UNIQUE GETAWAY IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY (4 NIGHTS)

UNIQUE GETAWAY IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY (4 NIGHTS)

Set off to discover a region that is as little-known as it is extraordinary during four unforgettable days in the very heart of the bush and the colourful landscapes of Australia’s Northern Territory. In a refined haven, a lodge right in the heart of nature, you will be amazed by the history of this Aboriginal land and the mysteries of preserved nature during a hike, a river cruise or an airboat safari.

Day 1 - Darwin

Meet at Darwin Airport in the Arrival hall. Look for PONANT sign. You will be greeted by our local representative off the flight selected by PONANT or any other flight (provided that you have previously communicated your flight schedule to your travel agent).

You will be transferred to the hotel Hilton Darwin 5*.

Official check-in in your room at 15:00.

Afternoon and dinner at leisure.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2 - Darwin/Bamurru Plains

After breakfast and check-out, you may enjoy free time until midday. You will have lunch at the hotel.

Your guide will be waiting for you in the lobby for your transfer to Darwin Airport and check-in to your flight to Bamurru Plains.

We advise you to bring only one piece of hand luggage (15 kg maximum luggage allowance). Your other luggage will be stored safely at the Hilton Darwin throughout your stay at Bamurru Plains.

During a 30-minute panoramic flight, contemplate the region’s luxuriant scenery and the meandering Adelaide River before landing at the Bamurru Plains private airstrip. From the sky, attempt to identify the black spots that pepper the decor. Buffalos hide behind these moving forms, or crocodiles, if you are lucky…

A guide will welcome you on arrival and accompany you to the Bamurru Plains lodge, a 20-minute journey. Enjoy a Wild Bush Luxury presentation, as well as an aperitif out in the wilderness, before your afternoon activity.

Dinner will provide you with an opportunity to share your first impressions outside the lodge’s open kitchen, which will prepare delicious Australian dishes.

Enjoy an exceptional night in a safari bungalow.

Day 3 - Bamurru Plains

Your day will begin with breakfast in the main lodge, early in the morning.

After a 20-minute journey to the airstrip, you will board your plane for an awe-inspiring 30-minute flight to the small town of Jabiru.

You will journey into the sumptuous Kakadu National Park between flood plains and rocky formations to Ubirr Rock, a 45-minute drive. This is where some of the region’s finest Aboriginal rock art galleries are to be found. The gigantic rocky escarpments that are characteristic of this territory explain the presence of numerous arts of work. Their cavities effectively provided the communities living in Kakadu with perfect shelter for accommodation. No fewer than four settlement periods are illustrated at Ubirr and could date back as far as 50,000 years! Following a path around 1.5 km (0.9 miles) long, you will walk between two cavities decorated with these magnificent paintings before climbing up towards the summit of the rock. Your efforts will be rewarded by an exceptional panorama, a 360° view over the Nadab flood plains. The relatively easy-going climb will be punctuated with photo stops and explanations of the history of the Aboriginal people.

You will be served a bucolic picnic, in the shade, in the bush, with delicious dishes provided by the hotel.

At the start of the afternoon, you will head for the East Alligator River for a cruise along its waters. An Aboriginal guide will share their culture, the local mythology, and their knowledge of the river’s thriving ecosystem. The plants and animals are used traditionally by this community and are integral to various survival techniques. Count the crocodiles lying peacefully on the banks, admire the myriad birds that inhabit the site… It is already time to stop in Arnhem Land, where you will learn more about traditional hunting and gathering tools.

The Bowali Visitor Centre will mark the end of your afternoon. Here you will be given information about this unique environment and will be able to buy local art work, books and gifts.

You will be driven back to Bamurru Plains in time to admire the sunset and have dinner in the main lodge.

This magnificent day will end with a night in a safari bungalow.

Day 4 - Bamurru Plains

A safari in the wilderness of Bamurru Plains is planned for your morning. The airboat ride will give you a unique viewpoint over the surrounding wetlands and enchanting paperbark forests. A guided quad bike adventure also guarantees an original way of exploring the Bamurru territory.

If you wish, your breakfast may be served in an idyllic setting, by the infinity pool that overlooks the flood plains, where agile wallabies roam.

Dive into the pool, discover the region’s history thanks to the lodge’s library or relax in your bungalow during your free time.

A little later, you will be able to go on a safari aboard an open-topped 4-wheel drive vehicle to spot buffalo, wallabies and the many birds of the tropical savannah or on a river cruise on the Sampan Creek, which is part of the Mary River System that forms the western boundary of Bamurru Plains.

The sun will set as you contemplate the local fauna while enjoying your aperitif on the observation platform.

Dinner in the main lodge.

Day 5 – Bamurru Plains/Darwin

The day will begin with a morning safari exploring the private property’s 300 km² (115.8 square miles). Aboard an airboat, marvel at the abundance of wild birds and animals as you move further away from your lodge.

You will be able to freshen up and then it will be time to leave Bamurru Plains: the journey to the airstrip will take 20 minutes.

Board your flight back to Darwin.

Upon arrival at Darwin Airport, you will be transferred to the hotel Hilton Darwin to collect your stored luggage.

After enjoying lunch at the hotel, you will be transferred to the port to board your ship.

Your hotels:

The Hilton Darwin is a five-star hotel with a great location just 15 minutes’ drive from the airport, near the city centre, and overlooking the harbour. All rooms are modern and fully-appointed. Relax on the rooftop or discover Australian cuisine at the restaurant.

Bamurru Plains is a unique spot to enjoy a wilderness experience in style and taste the true luxury of an exclusive stay in a rustic yet chic environment in perfect harmony with the surrounding country. The lodge has been built with a minimal impact on the environment, using native materials. The hot water is solar-generated. Providing exclusive access to nature, Bamurru Plains’ appeal lies in the birdlife and wilderness. All ten Safari Bungalows boast a supremely comfortable bed and high-quality 100% organic cotton linen, a spacious bathroom, an authentic decor. They are also equipped with overhead fans and mesh screen walls allowing the coastal breeze to naturally cool the interior. Bamurru Plains is a ‘camp’. As such, it exposes guests to the sights and sounds of the surrounding bush. To keep this experience authentic, the Safari Bungalows are not equipped with televisions, CD players, minibars, telephones, or internet access. Hairdryers are available on request. You will also connect with the bush through gourmet food and wine. Discover Bamurru’s wild secrets with excellent guiding and let nature come to you around the infinity pool.

Your programme includes:

  • 1-night accommodation in Standard Room at Hilton Darwin 5* (local standard) or similar, breakfast included.
  • 3-night accommodation in Safari Bungalow at Bamurru Plains Lodge , full-board included.
  • Meals as mentioned in the programme.
  • Beverage package during meals (bottled water + 1 soft drink or 1 glass of wine or 1 local beer and 1 coffee or tea).
  • Transfers, visits, and entrance fees as mentioned in the programme.
  • The services of a local English-speaking guide.
  • Flights Darwin/Bamurru Plains round-trip with a luggage allowance of one 15kg piece.

Your programme does not include:

  • Dinner on day 1.
  • Early check-in and late check-out.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Visa if necessary.
  • Tips for the driver and local guide.
  • Optional activities.
  • Other services not mentioned in the programme.
  • It is imperative that the details of your departure flight are provided to your travel agent, no later than 30 days before the start date of your cruise, to secure the proper private transfer.
  • This programme has limited participation.
  • The programme requires the ability to walk on uneven surfaces and up some inclines. It is thus open to reasonably healthy guests with moderate fitness. Guests in wheelchairs can join, but they must be able to stand up to step into vehicles and navigate some small steps in the bungalows. This programme would be unsuitable for anyone who is permanently wheelchair-bound.
  • The luggage allowance on domestic flights between Darwin and Bamurru Plains is restricted to one small bag weighing no more than 15 kg (duffel or cabin bags are preferred, as they are easier to load in the luggage hold).
  • Your main luggage will remain at the hotel Hilton Darwin until day 5 and will be collected on the way to the pier upon your return from Bamurru Plains.
  • We advise you to bring sturdy shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and bush-appropriate clothing (nights can get very warm or cold depending on the season).
  • At Bamurru Plains, a number of activities will be organised as part of the Wildlife Experience, such as airboat safaris, bird watching, bush walking, and river cruises, depending on the weather and local conditions. The programme described above was prepared to give you a good idea of what your Wild Bush Luxury experience at Bamurru Plains will look like, it can be adapted. The times, safari style and location across the 300-km2 private property are subject to local conditions, recommendations for wildlife viewing, and opportunities for maximising enjoyment on the day.

Contact of your hotels:

Hilton Darwin 32 Mitchell Street, Darwin City NT 0800, Australia Telephone number: +61 8 8982 0000

Bamurru Plains Mary River Floodplai, Kakadu NT 0836, Australia Telephone number: +61 2 9571 6399

Duration and order of the visits may vary. To know your PONANT flight schedule, please contact your travel agent; it is also indicated on your electronic ticket included in your travel documents.

Total : AU$7,360

OVERNIGHT IN DARWIN (1 NIGHT)

OVERNIGHT IN DARWIN (1 NIGHT)

Enhance your cruise and extend your trip with a carefully designed programme.

Meet at Darwin Airport in the Arrival hall. Look for PONANT sign. You will be greeted by our local representative off your own flight (provided that you have previously communicated your flight schedule to your travel agent).

Official check-in time at the hotel Hilton is 3.00 pm.

Your luggage can be stored at the hotel before check-in.

The afternoon and dinner are at leisure.

Day 2 - Darwin

Day is at leisure.

Check-out is at 12.00 am.

You will depart the hotel by coach for a panoramic tour of Darwin. Located in Australia's Northern Territory, also known as the "Top End", Darwin is a beautiful tropical city, where over 50 different cultures live and work side by side.

Discover Darwin's rich history and culture and learn about Darwin's role during World War II as you see its many historic wartime landmarks. You will drive past St Marys Cathedral, travel up to and along the Esplanade, the Parliament House, the Old Court House, the Anglican Cathedral. Pass Bicentennial Park, and the Old Town hall ruins.

You will then be transferred to the port of Darwin, to embark on board your ship.

Your hotel:

The Hilton Darwin offers an ideal location in the heart of the city within walking distance of shopping and entertainment. The elegant rooms are light and equipped with contemporary furniture for a warm and comfortable ambience. The hotel features a 10th-floor outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, and a stylish bar and restaurant.

Upgraded rooms are also available depending on availability and on a supplement basis. Contact your travel professional for further detail.

  • 1-night accommodation in Standard room at Hilton Darwin 5*, local standards (or similar) including breakfast.
  • Transfers as mentioned in the programme.
  • The services of a local guide on the group transfer.
  • Dinner on Day 1.
  • Lunch on Day 2.
  • Personal expenses and other services not mentioned in the programme.
  • Early check-in is available depending on availability and at a supplement. Contact your travel agent for further detail.

Contact of your hotel:

Hilton Darwin B 32 Mitchell St Darwin City NT 0800 Australia Telephone: (+61) 8 8982 0000

Total : AU$440

THE GREAT BARRIER REEF AND THE CAIRNS RAINFOREST (3 NIGHTS)

THE GREAT BARRIER REEF AND THE CAIRNS RAINFOREST (3 NIGHTS)

Enjoy a 3-day tour in Cairns and marvel at the natural beauty of its surroundings. Explore the Great Barrier Reef, the largest living ecosystem on earth, and dive into one of the world’s oldest rainforests for an unforgettable indigenous experience.

Day 1 - Cairns

After disembarkation procedures are completed, you will be greeted at the port by our local representative.

You will be transferred to your hotel the Shangri La The Marina 5* and enjoy its facilities. 

Early check in included.

Day and meals at leisure.

Day 2 – The Great Barrier Reef

After breakfast, you will enjoy a day discovering the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is a site of remarkable variety and beauty and contains the world's largest collection of coral reefs; it has 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of molluscs, which make it one of the most complex natural ecosystems in the world. It is unique, as it extends over 14 degrees of latitude, from shallow estuarine areas to deep oceanic waters.

After about an hour of transfer, you will discover the newest and most technologically advanced pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef: you will explore the magnificent coral reefs as you enjoy a glass bottom boat trip and a snorkeling guided tour.

Optional Activity: If you want to observe the seabed closely, you can book a 30 to 45 minutes guided scuba diving as an option at additional cost from your travel adviser. Let yourself be amazed by the colors and the impressive marine wildlife ! Any request made on site will depend on availability.

Lunch will be served on the boat. 

On your return to the hotel, you will have some free time to enjoy the facilities.

Dinner at leisure.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 3 – Daintree National Park

Breakfast at the hotel.

After a 90-minute drive, you will arrive in the Daintree National Park, located in the tropical wilderness of North Queensland. The Daintree Rainforest boasts an incredibly biodiverse landscape with a large concentration of animal and plant species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It is also one of the oldest rainforests on the planet.

You will discover Mossman Gorge, the traditional home of the Kuku Yalanji aboriginal people. You will join an indigenous guide for a Ngaduku dreamtime walk into the rainforest, learning about age-old traditions as well as flora and fauna along the way. Participate in a smoking ceremony, said to ward off bad spirits, and learn about the uses of different plants during the trek.

You will then enjoy some free time at Mossman Gorge and a lunch in a local café.

After lunch, you will enjoy a guided tour of Wildlife Habitat, an advanced eco-certified wildlife sanctuary where you will have the opportunity to interact with native Australian animals in their recreated natural environments. You will explore unique habitats, hand-feed iconic animals such as kangoroos or koalas, and learn about conservation efforts in this award-winning nature park.

You will then go back to your hotel to enjoy some free time.

Overnight at the hotel.  

Day 4 – Cairns

After breakfast and check-out, time at leisure depending on your flight schedule.

You will then be transferred to the airport in time for check-in for the PONANT selected flight or any other flight (provided that you have previously communicated your flight schedule to your travel agent).

The five-stars Shangri-La The Marina hotel is located on the waterfront at Marlin Marina, connected to the Pier shopping complex and adjacent to the Trinity Bay Esplanade. You will also find close by, Cairns Convention Centre and Cairns Esplanade. The hotel features a restaurant and two bars, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, a sauna and a solarium. It offers a free Wi-Fi access.

  • 3-night accommodation in Deluxe Seaview room at the Shangri-La The Marina Hotel 5*, local standards (or similar), breakfast included.
  • Early check-in on day 1.
  • Beverage package during meals (mineral water + 1 soft drink and 1 coffee or tea).
  • The services of a local English-speaking guide. 
  • The scuba diving optional activity.
  • The official check-out time at the hotel Shangri-La The Marina is at 11am.
  • All diving is subject to successful completion of an on-board medical questionnaire. Certain medical conditions (i.e: asthma) and some medications may exclude individuals from diving. The minimum legal age for diving is 12 years. All divers under 18 years of age must have parent/guardian consent. All equipment is provided by the cruise operator, however it is recommended to bring sunscreen, a hat, a swim wear, a towel and sunglasses.
  • As respecting the environment is important to us, we highly recommend you take your filled Ponant water bottle with you after your cruise, so you can use it on shore and avoid the use of plastic bottles whenever it is not strictly necessary.
  • This programme is not suitable for people with reduced mobility.

Shangri-La The Marina Pierpoint Road Cairns Queensland 4870, Australia Telephone: +61 7 4031 1411

Total : AU$2,200

CAIRNS, AT THE EDGE OF AUSTRALIA' S TROPICAL RAINFOREST (1 NIGHT)

CAIRNS, AT THE EDGE OF AUSTRALIA' S TROPICAL RAINFOREST (1 NIGHT)

Depart for an Australian experience into the rainforest. After a 30-minute drive, you will arrive at the Skyrail Rainforest Cable Car Station. Upon arrival, you will board one of the gondolas for an amazing experience over Australia's World Heritage listed tropical rainforest canopy, and into the rainforest itself. Spanning approximately four-and-a-half miles over pristine rainforest, Skyrail allows you to explore the wonders of this ancient tropical rainforest and learn about one of the most botanically fascinating and diverse areas on earth, and includes time at two mid-stations. The easy access walkways at Barron Falls Station take you on three separate lookouts where you will be treated to breath-taking views of Barron Gorge and Barron Falls. This station is where you will find the state-of-the-art Rainforest Interpretation Centre.

At the completion of your Skyrail journey, you will proceed to the centre of Kuranda, a delightful village nestled in the heart of the rainforest. Established as a railway station in the mid-1800s, when logging and mining were large industries on the Atherton Tablelands, Kuranda became known as a place to stock up on goods and also where one could enjoy some culture and sophistication at one of the local hotels. Today, this colourful township is a haven for markets, cafés, and restaurants. After a brief overview of the town, you will have some free time to further explore on your own. No doubt you will want to take the opportunity to browse the shops for local artwork, crafts, opals or aboriginal souvenirs while you are here.

Following your visit to Kuranda, you will board your coach and will return to Cairns for lunch.

After lunch you will take a short panoramic drive of Cairns passing the Cairns Casino and view the Central Mall and the shops in the bustling downtown area. An informative commentary will provide details about the Navy Patrol Base, shipyards and the Sugar Terminal, beyond which lies the Fishing Base, a lucrative source of revenue for this prosperous region. Continuing on, you will venture through the town of Portsmith and the suburbs of Bungalow and Manunda, both of which feature lovely old Queenslander-style houses. A brief stop at the Botanical Gardens affords a chance to stretch your legs and wander among the interesting fauna and flora, before arriving at the hotel.

You will check-in to the hotel Shangri-La the Marina 5*.

Dinner at the hotel.

Day 2 - Cairns

  • 1-night accommodation in Deluxe Seaview room at the five-star Shangri-La The Marina Hotel 5*, local standards (or similar), breakfast included.
  • Beverage package during meals (bottled water + 1 soft drink or 1 local beer or 1 glass of wine and 1 coffee or tea).

Total : AU$820

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Experience Papua New Guinea up close

Front row society – georg berg , the expedition ship true north is the ideal starting point for encounters with islanders who rarely receive foreign visitors. georg berg had a varied program in eleven days..

Early in the morning, Simon Tewson contacted the residents of several huts on Panasia Beach. Simon is on board the True North as a tourist guide. He grew up in Papua New Guinea with his Australian parents and helps with communication. I am introduced to Pidgin and given permission to take photos. The True North is in sight at anchor and John, who speaks to us for the families living here, is full of praise for our captain. Never before has such a large ship come so close to the settlement in the labyrinth of corals.

Simon inquires about the wellbeing of the islanders. If water or food is missing, the True North would help with on-board means. But everyone is healthy here and since it had rained enough in the days before, the tanks are full of water. The next time we went ashore we would have helped out with some canisters. Finally, the True North produces 1,500 liters of drinking water per hour through reverse osmosis.

PNG Tribes  and True North Guide at Panasia Beach

On the beach it is discussed what awaits True North guests on the island. John says goodbye to his family and accompanies our little vanguard back to the ship, from which he will accompany our expeditions for the day.

With waterproof footwear, which is also suitable for a hike with a climb after the wet landing, we reach the small entrance of a cave, which opens inside to a huge natural cathedral. The sky is not visible, but daylight falls from above and rainwater is collected on a kind of platform under a natural funnel.

On the trail of cannibalism

A second excursion in the afternoon will take us to a mysterious place of worship on the neighboring island. Hardly a trail is visible on the sharp-edged rock. Nevertheless, we are on the trail of cannibalism that has been practiced until recently.

We enter an inconspicuous cave. This place was still a place of worship in the previous century. After armed conflicts, the enemies killed were eaten here. With this magical act one believed to acquire their powers. Simon later tells us that a few years ago he spoke to someone who attended such a cannibal meal.

 PNG -  Mysterious place of worship on the neighboring island

Warm rain and a wet sailing regatta

Although the True North has access to land on every coast, water is not neglected as an element. With six adventure boats you can go fishing, snorkeling, diving or simply sightseeing.

The Polynesians have always had the reputation of being the most perfect sailors. Even today, they are admired for their talent by modern seafarers. The trip in a classic outrigger sailboat becomes an unforgettable experience.

Until recently, the traditional Prau boats were able to compete with the fastest high-tech boats at the Americas Cup. The reason is believed to be the special aerodynamics of the triangular delta sail, also known as the cancer scissor sail. It’s hard to believe that this technology was invented here in Polynesia 10,000 years ago.

True north png gebeine eyeturner georg berg

Cultural diversity and political separation

On the 11-day tour with the True North, we get a fairly representative impression of the country with the world’s greatest cultural diversity in the numerous shore excursions. There are 830 different languages ​​spoken in Papua New Guinea and it is good to have someone on board with Simon Tewson who, in addition to the smooth communication, is always on the lookout himself. During his stay in Bougainville, he was able to persuade the vice president of the autonomous region to visit on board.

Bougainville was a German colony until the First World War and was then under English, Japanese, New Zealand and Australian influence. Even when it was added to Papua New Guinea, which had been granted independence in 1974, the very nature-loving residents could not accept the foreign determination. Especially since the lucrative open-cast copper mining in the Panguna mine poisoned large areas of Bougainville and made it uninhabitable for decades.

After the civil war against the government army of Papua New Guinea and a long transition period as an autonomous region, when we arrived in Bougainville it was clear that the referendum was 98 percent in favor of independence.

After years of isolation and political uncertainty, confidence is spreading. Anyone who learns that I come from Germany expresses the hope that Bougainville will also be noticed by us and will soon be accepted as a new member of the international community.

PNG raymond masono eyeturner georg berg

Wet landing on the beach

Whenever Simone, our cruise director announces a wet landing , the adventure begins for the guests on the beach.

Even if there is a lot of motion on the ocean , as Captain Gav knows how to curb big waves rhetorically, his crew brings all guests safely ashore.

The encounter with the locals is very respectful everywhere. With useful souvenirs, individual True North passengers return the hospitality they have experienced on previous trips.

In addition to fishing supplies and money, it is primarily balls and stationery for schoolchildren that True North supports the population with. Especially in exchange with the local teachers, you can learn what is urgently needed on the extremely remote islands. Hard to imagine: people only see a doctor once a year – sometimes .

PNG black bamboo eye turner georg berg

Cricket instead of fighting

We were challenged to a sporting competition on the Trobriand Islands , which are also known as the Islands of Love because of the permissive sexual ideas.

The game of cricket was introduced in the Trobriand Islands to redirect men’s argumentative dispute into peaceful channels. Colorful and colorful, the two teams roar roaring into the arena. Their battle cries go through the bone as you play and you don’t want to know what the translation is. First, the two local teams play against each other. Gradually, foreign visitors also take on their own roles as throwers or clubs.

Everywhere in Papua New Guinea people like to celebrate and sing. These festivals are called Sing-Sing in the common Pidgin language, even if they are very different from each other.

Papua New Guinea people like to celebrate and sing

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COMMENTS

  1. Papua New Guinea Cruises 2024

    The TRUE NORTH Adventure Cruise first visited untamed Papua New Guinea in 2005. Since then we have continued to refine our itineraries to ensure that they are filled with only the highest quality experiences. The highlight being countless encounters with the overwhelming hospitality of those who are fortunate to call this untouched paradise home.

  2. Sepik River Cruise 2024 & 2025

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  3. PNG Adventures Paradise Cruise 2024 & 2025

    An adventure packed with diverse destinations and fascinating experiences. From the Bismarck Sea to the beautiful Louisiade Archipelago, this itinerary travels through a stunning tropical landscape of island and reef. Fly in the helicopter over the active volcano at Rabaul and visit the stirring Isurava memorial on the Kokoda Track.

  4. True North PNG luxury cruise

    True North PNG luxury cruise experience through Papua New Guinea. Here's a review of the cruise, ship, service and facilities. 16.1 C. Sydney. Friday, June 7, 2024 ... to Madang where the True North is berthed ready to take us on an exploratory cruise of the Bismarck Archipelago in Papua New Guinea.

  5. True North Cruise through remote Papua New Guinea

    True North Adventure Cruise: This morning, wake in Manus Province, a remote part of Papua New Guinea that very few travellers visit. The province consists of several island groups including the Horno Islands, the Admiralty Islands (including Manus Island), the Hermit Islands, Ninigo Islands and Wuvulu Island.

  6. True North

    True North Adventure Cruises conducts adventure­ cruises all around the Australian coastline and, in the stunning waters of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Sea. Cruises are activity based and specifically designed for the most discerning adventurer. Guests consistently remark "that's the best holiday I have ever had".

  7. True North Boat

    Papua New Guinea - Sepik River Adventure Cruise. 12 Days. This 11-day expedition cruise around PNG offers the chance to access secluded islands for world-class snorkelling and diving, as well as experiencing ancient tribal cultures and spectacular scenery. All from the comfort of the exceptional True North Boat. View cruise itinerary.

  8. True North Review

    Being privy to this extraordinary scenario is a highlight of the 10-day Bismarck Bonanza cruise on the 36-passenger luxury adventure vessel True North. ... on the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea, wearing only a few modesty leaves around their waists and caked river mud on their heads. ...

  9. True North

    Bamboo Travel offers award-winning holidays to Papua New Guinea. Our tailor-made tours of PNG cover the best of this exciting land. ... and different activities can be offered at the same time. And, the True North is also the only adventure-cruise ship in the southern hemisphere that carries a full-time helicopter - adding another dimension ...

  10. TRUE NORTH

    STYLE: LUXURY. SIZE: 36 GUESTS. BUILT: 2005. The True North caters for a maximum of just 36 guests and allows discerning adventurers to experience wilderness in surroundings more akin to one of the world's most exclusive hotels. This purpose built (2005) ship offers a number of excellent vantage points including a sundeck, a forward ...

  11. True North Cruise: Expert Review (2023)

    Overseas, the ship explores parts of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia where tourists are rarely seen. ... True North Adventure Cruises Fleet. True North. 23 reviews. Get special cruise deals, expert ...

  12. Luxury Cruises in Australia

    We aren't just another expedition cruise. True North and True North II are purpose-built to access remote wilderness areas. Bigger ships cannot go where we go. ... The TRUE NORTH Adventure Cruise first visited untamed Papua New Guinea in 2005. Since then we have continued to refine our itineraries to ensure that they are filled with only the ...

  13. Papua New Guinea

    12 Days. Prices Start from. £13,600 (ex. flights) This 11-day expedition cruise around PNG offers the chance to access secluded islands for world-class snorkelling and diving, as well as experiencing ancient tribal cultures and spectacular scenery. All from the comfort of the exceptional True North Boat.

  14. Adventures in Paradise

    One of the crew members will escort you aboard True North Adventure Cruises' very own charter aircraft! Now sit back and enjoy the comfortable flight to Kavieng. ... Papua New Guinea's reputation as a diving destination could very well be without peer! There will also be lots of hot action in the fishing tenders - do battle with hard ...

  15. True North Adventure Cruises

    True North has been offering luxury cruises since 2005. For 2020, we are offering 5 new itineraries in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in 2020.

  16. Mystery of Melanesia Cruise 2024 & 2025

    Mystery of Melanesia Cruise 2024 & 2025 - True North. View all Papua New Guinea Adventures. 10 Nights.

  17. South Pacific Cruise: PNG Aboard the True North

    A South Pacific Cruise aboard the True North is True Luxury. Special tours around Papua New Guinea allow intimate encounters in remote lands with rarely visited people.

  18. Cruise The Kimberley

    The TRUE NORTH conducts adventure-cruises around the magnificent Australian coastline and in the stunning waters of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. All cruises are activity based - extended periods at sea are specifically excluded and carefully curated itineraries provide for ultimate opportunity to experience the destination.

  19. True North cruises remote PNG islands and sails the Sepik

    True North cruises remote PNG islands and sails the Sepik. Sally Patten. Feb 6, 2015 - 12.15am. The first person I meet as we embark on our 2100-kilometre journey around the northern islands of ...

  20. TRUE NORTH TV: Luxury Adventure-Cruises

    True North Adventure Cruises conducts adventure-cruises all around the Australian coastline and in the stunning waters of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. An ...

  21. Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu & Solomon Islands Cruises

    Cairns - CairnsLE JACQUES-CARTIER. 10 nights on board. Dates: 27/10/2025 to the 6/11/2025. Starting from AU$9,580 per person. 25% Ponant Bonus. 1. 2. Price is per person, based on double occupancy, based on availability, and subject to change at any time.

  22. Papua New Guinea Cruises

    Find and plan your next cruise to Papua New Guinea with cabin price comparison, variety of departure ports and dates to choose from. Effective July 1st. Due to new regulations, prices now include ...

  23. Cruise New Guinea Odyssey from Darwin to Cairns

    PONANT invites you to embark on board Le Lapérouse for an 17-day tropical expedition cruise to discover the sublime natural landscapes of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. From Darwin, you will be sailing to the Kei Islands, in the heart of the Malukus, to discover a peaceful paradise of stunning white-sand beaches.

  24. Experience Papua New Guinea Up Close

    Experience Papua New Guinea up close. The expedition ship True North is the ideal starting point for encounters with islanders who rarely receive foreign visitors. Georg Berg had a varied program in eleven days. Early in the morning, Simon Tewson contacted the residents of several huts on Panasia Beach. Simon is on board the True North as a ...