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PNG Rabaul to Alotau (Oceanic Discoverer)

Mysterious Papua New Guinea is, in the truest sense, one of the last great wilderness areas on Earth and there is simply no better way to experience these magical and rarely visited lands than aboard our state-of-the-art small ship Oceanic Discoverer. Join us in Rabaul for an outstanding 10-night expedition to Alotau and discover for yourself the outstanding cultures and scenic beauty of rarely discovered Papua New Guinea.

Lying 160 kilometres north of Australia, just south of the Equator, the country’s vast expanses of thick tropical jungle and razor-sharp mountains remain daunting to all but the most intrepid of explorers. But join us aboard Oceanic Discoverer and reach into the heart and soul of Papua New Guinea and see your expectations of this remarkable country and its people soar.

Throughout your voyage of discovery, our experienced Expedition Leaders and expert Guest Lecturers will share with you their wealth of knowledge as you retrace the paths of early explorers including De Quiros, Bougainville and Cook and discover areas seldom visited by modern ‘white man’. You will soon discover that Papua New Guinea is a place of rich cultural diversity. There is no such thing as a typical Papua New Guinean, as more than 1,000 cultures, each with different traditions, are now recognised. The ancient tribal culture lives on vibrantly in the minds of the villagers and townsfolk.

Papua New Guinea is home to the largest area of intact rainforest outside of the Amazon and guests will discover magnificent scenery ranging from colourful coral atolls to volcanic mountains, pristine wilderness areas and mighty rivers. The country’s secret forests nurture over 3,000 varieties of strikingly coloured orchids and many rare species of birds and insects, including the world’s largest butterfly, the Queen Alexandria Birdwing – whose wingspan reaches up to 30 centimetres! There are 700 species of birds, including parrots, hornbills, cassowaries, cockatoos and kingfishers, but the country is best known for its brilliantly coloured birds of paradise.

Aboard Oceanic Discoverer you will be one of the select few to cruise one of the world’s great rivers; the mighty Sepik. Flowing for 1,126 kilometres from the Central Highlands to the sea, the river is one of the least developed regions of PNG and is the lifeblood of the 430,000 people who depend almost entirely on products from the river and surrounding rainforests for their livelihoods. Enjoy exploring this rarely-visited river system, cruising upriver to the remote village of Bien, which is renowned for its unique artefacts and intact cultures. Sepik people are amongst the greatest primitive artists on earth and each village has its own distinctive style. The opportunity to spend time with these fascinating people in their traditional communities is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Papua New Guinea is the land of the unexpected, a place of stark contrasts where fearsome frowns magically become welcoming smiles and village children your lifelong friends. Join the select few who have experienced unforgettable Papua New Guinea.

PNG Rabaul to Alotau (Oceanic Discoverer) itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1: Rabaul and Captain’s Welcome
Boarding commences at 2:00pm for a 3:00pm departure. Enjoy time to settle in, meet your fellow travellers and explore Oceanic Discoverer as we cruise Simpson Harbour, set against a backdrop of six towering volcanoes. Later, join the Captain and his crew at the Captain’s Welcome Drinks as the sun sets over the Coral Sea.
Day 2: Kimbe Bay
With the support of local guides, our Expedition Leaders will lead us on an exploration of the region. Kimbe Bay has one of the world’s richest and most diverse coral reef systems, home to over 860 different species of tropical fish and in excess of 400 different varieties of coral. Experience genuine island hospitality as we are welcomed by a flotilla of outrigger canoes. This afternoon we cruise the New Britain coastline and enjoy informative presentations from our Guest Lecturers.
Day 3: Crown Island
Join our Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturers as we board Xplorer and head ashore. Known as a turtle nesting ground and home to the giant lizard we explore the beaches of seldom visited Crown Island. Spend time relaxing or snorkelling in the clear tropical waters.
Day 4: The Mighty Sepik River
Sure to be a highlight, this morning we enter the mouth of the mighty Sepik River – one of the world’s great river systems. Only aboard Oceanic Discoverer will you cruise well up into the middle Sepik region, renowned for its unique artefacts. Visit the remote village of Bien where the locals are amongst the greatest primitive artists on Earth. Enjoy the opportunity to purchase unique hand carvings from the artists. On farewelling the great Sepik we pass the active volcano on Manam Island and enjoy the sunset.
Day 5: Historic Madang
The historic town of Madang sits on a peninsula surrounded by a number of picturesque islands and is famed for its diving. The waters surrounding Madang offer excellent visibility and many World War II wrecks to explore. Today we travel ashore for a tour of the town, including the bustling markets, before enjoying the opportunity for swimming, snorkelling, optional SCUBA diving and a harbour exploration.
Day 6: The Idyllic Island of Tuam
Tuam, in the Siassi group of islands,offers a mix of both mainland and Bismark Archipelago cultures. Their prized trinkets and decorations include dog’s teeth, spondyllus shells and wonderful balsa wood and sago bark headdresses. We enjoy the welcome dances and village hospitality.
Day 7: Lababia – Wildlife Management Area
We awaken early and travel ashore to the picturesque village of Lababia, gateway to one of the most important conservation areas in PNG – the Kamiali Wildlife Management Area. In the company of our Guest Lecturers and local guides we walk the David Suzuki trail through the prehistoric rainforest. With luck we may see some of the prolific native birdlife here including hornbills, parrots, palm cockatoos and the iconic Raggiana Bird of Paradise.
Day 8: Tufi Fjords
Today enjoy a true highlight as we discover the scenic beauty of the rarely visited Tufi Fjords. Similar to Nordic fjords and featuring 25 individual canyons with sheer basalt cliffs, these are the only fjords in Papua New Guinea and offer a wealth of sightseeing opportunities. Soak up the spectacular views as we cruise close to the towering cliffs before boarding Xplorer to travel ashore to meet the friendly locals. Then, enjoy the opportunity to discover the region’s numerous white sand beaches, take a leisurely swim or snorkel over the fringing reef.
Day 9: Dobu and Fergusson Islands
We are greeted by a flotilla of outrigger canoes as we approach the Dobu anchorage. Our Guest Lecturers will share with you the history of the Kula Ring where Dobu was a pivotal link between the north and south Kula trade routes. Meet the local primary school children who will welcome us with a traditional dance performance. Join our Expedition Leader on an expedition to the Dei Dei Hot Springs, where the landowner shares the mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and mud springs.
Day 10: Trobriand Islands
Historically known as the ‘Islands of Love’ the Trobriands offer a glimpse of traditional culture largely unspoilt by outside influence. Meet the colourfully costumed locals, witness their traditional welcome dance and learn about their intriguing customs.
Day 11: Arrive Alotau
Arrive this morning in Alotau and farewell the Captain and his crew, along with new-found friends, before disembarking at 9:00am.

PNG Rabaul to Alotau (Oceanic Discoverer) reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Arrive this morning in Alotau and farewell the Captain and his crew, along with new-found friends, before disembarking at 9:00am.
Historically known as the ‘Islands of Love’ the Trobriands offer a glimpse of traditional culture largely unspoilt by outside influence. Meet the colourfully costumed locals, witness their traditional welcome dance and learn about their intriguing customs.
We are greeted by a flotilla of outrigger canoes as we approach the Dobu anchorage. Our Guest Lecturers will share with you the history of the Kula Ring where Dobu was a pivotal link between the north and south Kula trade routes. Meet the local primary school children who will welcome us with a traditional dance performance. Join our Expedition Leader on an expedition to the Dei Dei Hot Springs, where the landowner shares the mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and mud springs.
Today enjoy a true highlight as we discover the scenic beauty of the rarely visited Tufi Fjords. Similar to Nordic fjords and featuring 25 individual canyons with sheer basalt cliffs, these are the only fjords in Papua New Guinea and offer a wealth of sightseeing opportunities. Soak up the spectacular views as we cruise close to the towering cliffs before boarding Xplorer to travel ashore to meet the friendly locals. Then, enjoy the opportunity to discover the region’s numerous white sand beaches, take a leisurely swim or snorkel over the fringing reef.
We awaken early and travel ashore to the picturesque village of Lababia, gateway to one of the most important conservation areas in PNG – the Kamiali Wildlife Management Area. In the company of our Guest Lecturers and local guides we walk the David Suzuki trail through the prehistoric rainforest. With luck we may see some of the prolific native birdlife here including hornbills, parrots, palm cockatoos and the iconic Raggiana Bird of Paradise.
Tuam, in the Siassi group of islands,offers a mix of both mainland and Bismark Archipelago cultures. Their prized trinkets and decorations include dog’s teeth, spondyllus shells and wonderful balsa wood and sago bark headdresses. We enjoy the welcome dances and village hospitality.
The historic town of Madang sits on a peninsula surrounded by a number of picturesque islands and is famed for its diving. The waters surrounding Madang offer excellent visibility and many World War II wrecks to explore. Today we travel ashore for a tour of the town, including the bustling markets, before enjoying the opportunity for swimming, snorkelling, optional SCUBA diving and a harbour exploration.
Sure to be a highlight, this morning we enter the mouth of the mighty Sepik River – one of the world’s great river systems. Only aboard Oceanic Discoverer will you cruise well up into the middle Sepik region, renowned for its unique artefacts. Visit the remote village of Bien where the locals are amongst the greatest primitive artists on Earth. Enjoy the opportunity to purchase unique hand carvings from the artists. On farewelling the great Sepik we pass the active volcano on Manam Island and enjoy the sunset.
Join our Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturers as we board Xplorer and head ashore. Known as a turtle nesting ground and home to the giant lizard we explore the beaches of seldom visited Crown Island. Spend time relaxing or snorkelling in the clear tropical waters.
With the support of local guides, our Expedition Leaders will lead us on an exploration of the region. Kimbe Bay has one of the world’s richest and most diverse coral reef systems, home to over 860 different species of tropical fish and in excess of 400 different varieties of coral. Experience genuine island hospitality as we are welcomed by a flotilla of outrigger canoes. This afternoon we cruise the New Britain coastline and enjoy informative presentations from our Guest Lecturers.
Boarding commences at 2:00pm for a 3:00pm departure. Enjoy time to settle in, meet your fellow travellers and explore Oceanic Discoverer as we cruise Simpson Harbour, set against a backdrop of six towering volcanoes. Later, join the Captain and his crew at the Captain’s Welcome Drinks as the sun sets over the Coral Sea.
* = Indicative
Map for PNG Rabaul to Alotau (Oceanic Discoverer)
Coral Discoverer, the ship servicing PNG Rabaul to Alotau (Oceanic Discoverer)

Coral Discoverer

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 63 metres

Passenger Capacity: 72 (in 36 rooms)

Built: 2005

Onboard Accommodation

Onboard accommodation comprises 36 spacious modern staterooms. You can select from Bridge, Promenade or Main Deck staterooms offering a choice of twin through to junior king-size doubles. All staterooms have an ocean view, en-suite facilities, settee, large wardrobe, desk, luggage storage, individual air-conditioning control, and are serviced daily.

Onboard Facilities

What you would expect of a much larger cruise ship:

  • Large sundeck
  • Spa Pool
  • Guest computer
  • Comprehensive reference library
  • Phone and fax facilities
  • Lecture lounge with large plasma screen
  • Limited laundry facilities
  • Two fully stocked cocktail bars
  • Boutique and dive shop
  • Air-conditioned public areas

 Coral Discoverer is equipped with the latest technology active stabilizers and is fitted with state-of-the-art safety and navigational equipment and is the only Australian passenger ship registered with full SOLAS compliance allowing opportunities to explore a multitude of international voyages.

Dining

All meals during the cruise are included. Breakfast and lunch are served in the Dining Room located on the Main Deck and are buffet-style while dinner is table d’hote. Coffee and tea is available 24 hours. Standard hours are breakfast from 7:00-8:30am, lunch at 12:30pm and dinner at 7:30pm however meal times may vary according to the day's activities. Meal times will be advised in the onboard daily bulletins.

Excursion Boats And Zodiacs

The "Xplorer" is a specially designed aluminium excursion vessel used for the majority of our excursions. This vessel has high horsepower engines and will accommodate all passengers at one time. The "Xplorer" will be used for landings and for extensive exploration of rivers and tributaries. For your added convenience and comfort, the "Xplorer" is equipped with an awning and toilet.

We also carry two inflatable landing craft (Zodiacs). Designed for expedition work, these large and heavy-duty inflatables are extremely safe. Separate air compartments retain a large reserve of buoyancy even if the boats damaged. The flat bottom design permits these crafts to land directly onto the beaches. Expect nonetheless to wade through shallow water to reach the shore. See photo below (right)

 

Oceanic Discoverer loungeXplorer on beach

Cabin layout for Coral Discoverer
• Discover for yourself the outstanding cultures and magnificent scenery ranging from colourful coral atolls to volcanic mountains, pristine wilderness areas and mighty rivers

• Cruise one of the world’s great rivers - the mighty Sepik

• Cruise 100 kilometres upriver to the remote villages of Bien and Angoram, which is renowned for its unique artefacts and intact cultures
Enquire now about PNG Rabaul to Alotau (Oceanic Discoverer)

Travel on the Coral Discoverer

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