Ancient Cultures of Papua New Guinea
12 days with Ponant Rating:
Day 1 – HONIARA, GUADALCANAL ISLAND
Embarkation from 16H00 to 17H00. Departure at 18H00.
Honiara is the capital city of The Solomon Islands, administered as a provincial town on the north western coast of Guadalcanal Island. Honiara comes from the local Ghari Language “naho-ni-ara” meaning 'facing the ara', the place where the southeast winds meet the land. During your stop, discover this city, its beautiful landscape, and the significant role it played in World War II. Particularly The Battle of Henderson Field, the last of the three major land offensives conducted by the Japanese in 1942. Alternatively, you can discover a traditional village, its culture and way of life.
Day 2 – AT SEA
During your day 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 day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, 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 observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 3 – KIETA
Day 4 – BUKA
Day 5 – RABAUL, BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO
Set at the eastern end of the island of New Britain, the tropical port town of Rabaul has always been famous for its spectacular setting. Nestled beside Simpson Harbour, the township is surrounded by six volcanoes, one of which, Mt Tavurvur, is still active today. The most recent major volcanic eruption was in September 1994 when Tavurvur and Vulcan covered much of Rabaul and surrounding villages with volcanic ash. This eruption saw the growth of the nearby coastal town of Kokopo which has now become the administrative and tourism centre for Rabaul.
Join your expedition team for a tour by local transport to see Mt Tavurvur, the Volcano Observatory and various significant sites from World War II.
Day 6 – AT SEA
Day 7 – LUSANCAY ISLANDS
A Solomon Sea archipelago situated in the Milne Bay province in Papua New Guinea, the Lusancay Islands were named after the French navigator Pierre Carré de Lusançay, who participated in the D’Entrecasteaux expedition at the end of the 18th century. Protected from human impact, the Lusancay Islands are considered to be a real paradise of coral reefs and white-sand beaches, offering visitors magnificent panoramas.
Day 8 – TUFI
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.
Day 9 – FERGUSSON ISLAND AND DOBU ISLAND
Fergusson is the largest island in the D’Entrecasteaux archipelago. Situated to the east of Papua New Guinea, the latter was discovered in the late 18th century by the French navigator Antoine Bruny d’Entrecasteaux. Fergusson’s terrain is very mountainous, with the highest peak reaching some 2,000 metres in altitude. At the heart of this island, a tropical rainforest is home to a rich and varied flora as well as beautiful bird species, including parrots and birds of paradise. In the south, the smoke and geysers of the Dei Dei hot springs are a magical sight.
Dobu Island is one of the 5 islands in the D’Entrecasteaux archipelago to the east of Papua New Guinea. It is home to several bird species, including the white cockatoo and the curl-crested manucode. The local tribes are very attached to their ancestral traditions and theirs is a matrilineal social system, dominated by maternal lineage. The Dobu Islanders are also known for practising magic rituals and witchcraft. Their language is spoken on most of the islands in the D’Entrecasteaux archipelago.
Day 10 – SAMARAI ISLAND
The Samarai islands are located in the China Strait off the south-eastern tip of New Guinea. In its colonial heyday it was said to be one of the most beautiful places in the Pacific. The island was declared a National Historical Heritage Island by the government of Papua New Guinea in 2006. Just 3km west of Samarai, Kwato Island was once an educational centre and home to a thriving boat building industry. Following the old tree-lined road to the top of the island reveals a stonewalled church that was built in 1937 and remains a testimony to the missionaries of a bygone era. Join your expedition team for a guided walk on Samarai and Kwato Islands. You also will enjoy swimming and snorkelling on nearby Deka Deka island.
Day 11 – AT SEA
Day 12 – CAIRNS
Disembarkation at 07H00.
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.
All This Included
This PONANT 12-day Expedition cruise aboard Le Lapérouse will take you to discover the wonders of Papua New Guinea.
Departing from Honiara, the capital of Guadalcanal and renown for being the site of the battle between the USA and Japan during WWII.
Your cruise will begin with our inaugural visit to the Autonomous region of Bougainville, a unique group of islands that are ecologically and geographically part of the Solomon Islands archipelago but not politically part of the nation of Solomon Islands.
Take the opportunity to explore this region with rugged, mountainous landscapes, lush tropical vegetation bordering warm and crystal-clear waters which simply beckon to be explored. You will be welcomed with traditional dances and learn local customs.
Le Lapérouse 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.
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 arrive in Australia and disembark 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.
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard Le Laperouse
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.