Ancient Cultures of Papua New Guinea

12 days / 11 nights
    Outbound domestic flight included
    Ancient Cultures of Papua New Guinea
    Flight Brisbane / Honiara + Transfer

    Cruise Pacific and Oceania

    from 1 May 2019 to 12 May 2019
    12 days / 11 nights

    Departure Port : Honiara, Guadalcanal Island
    Arrival Port : Cairns


    • Ref : HC064 - R010519

    The PONANT Expedition Team has created a 12-day expedition cruise aboard Le Lapérouse, discovering the natural marvels of Papua New Guinea.  

    Departing from Honiara, set sail for an exceptional trip into the heart of remote regions of wild beauty.  

    Your cruise will begin with a visit to the Solomon Islands. This archipelago of over 900 mostly volcanic islands remains a secret destination in the South Pacific.

    Its mountainous and often rugged landscapes are covered in lush, tropical vegetation. In addition to encounters with the locals, you will enjoy stunning white-sand beaches and will be able to swim and snorkel in its crystal-clear waters. 

    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 very rich ecosystem.

    Your call at Tufi, to the south of the island, will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your trip. Fall under the charm of this picturesque region, dubbed the “Scandinavia of the Tropics” due to its fjords, produced from volcanic activities. A unique and preserved setting, inhabited by Papuan tribes who will be proud to share their culture and art with you.

    Next, you will arrive in Australia and disembark in Cairns, a vibrant city handily located near both Australia’s own Great Barrier Reef and tropical rainforests.

    • Naturalists Naturalists
    See the map


    • Discover the mysteries of Papua-New Guinea, the land of a thousand cultures.
    • Zodiac® outings & shore visits with your expedition team.
    • Tufi, a spectacular tropical fiord, where the inhabitants produce traditional tapa cloth.
    • Calls at the Lusançay Islands and the D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago, named after the French explorers who set off in search of La Pérouse.
    • Swimming and snorkelling on deserted beaches surrounded by coral reefs, home to very rich underwater life.
    • Encounters with local people: cultural performances, dances, arts & crafts.

    Flight Brisbane / Honiara + Transfer

    Outbound domestic flight included

    • program-6364954
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    • program-6364958
    • program-6364959

    Staterooms & Suites


      There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.




      Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.

      As the first ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Lapérouse will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.

      Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.

      Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.

      Port of call & excursions

      1 May 2019 – Roderick Bay, Florida Islands

      Honiara, Guadalcanal Island

      Embarkation 01/05/2019 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 01/05/2019 at 19H00 .

      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. 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. 

      2 May 2019 – Roderick Bay, Florida Islands

      2 May 2019 – Roderick Bay, Florida Islands

      Arrival 02/05/2019. Departure 02/05/2019.

      Part of the Florida Islands, Roderick bay is surrounded by beautiful white sand beaches and fringing coral reefs. These clear warm tropical waters give rise to a myriad of colourful corals only metres from the shore. To add to this stunning environment, nosed up onto a nearby beach, listing heavily to its starboard side is the wreck of the World Discoverer; an expedition cruise ship beached here in 2001 after striking a charted rock at the Northern entrance to Sandfly Passage. Venture ashore for a welcome ceremony, take a walk through the village or snorkel around the wreck to witness the marine environment attempting to reclaim this invader.

      3 May 2019 – Njari Island

      3 May 2019 – Njari Island

      Arrival 03/05/2019. Departure 03/05/2019.

      There are plenty of opportunities for world class snorkelling, diving and underwater photography throughout the Solomon Islands with sites in the Western and Central Provinces considered among the most popular. The underwater realm is home to more than 1000 species of reef fish, along with dolphins, rays, sharks, and six of the world's seven species of marine turtles. Almost 500 species of corals have been identified amongst the 5,750km2 of reefs found in the Solomon Islands. Njari Island is an uninhabited picture postcard island located 15nm from the town of Gizo. Enjoy swimming and snorkelling from its idyllic shores.

      3 May 2019 – Gizo

      3 May 2019 – Gizo

      Arrival 03/05/2019. Departure 03/05/2019.

      Gizo is situated on Ghizo Island and is the second largest town in the Solomon Islands, after the capital, Honiara. The people of the Western Province are regarded as amongst the most skilled carvers in the world. They produce carvings from various woods including ebony and rosewood. These amazingly intricate carvings can take months to make and accordingly command a high price. There are plenty of opportunities for world class snorkelling, diving and underwater photography throughout the Western province and the Islands around Ghizo are considered among the most popular. Guests will have the opportunity to visit the traditional markets of Gizo.

      4 May 2019 – At sea

      4 May 2019 – At sea

      Arrival 04/05/2019. Departure 04/05/2019.

      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 observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

      5 May 2019 – Alotau

      5 May 2019 – Alotau

      Arrival 05/05/2019. Departure 05/05/2019.

      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.

      6 May 2019 – Tufi

      6 May 2019 – Tufi

      Arrival 06/05/2019. Departure 06/05/2019.

      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.

      7 May 2019 – Lusancay Islands

      7 May 2019 – Lusancay Islands

      Arrival 07/05/2019. Departure 07/05/2019.

      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.

      8 May 2019 – Trobriand Islands

      8 May 2019 – Trobriand Islands

      Arrival 08/05/2019. Departure 08/05/2019.

      The Trobriand Islands remain one of the most culturally intact places in the Pacific. Their unique social system is dominated by hereditary chiefs who wield tremendous power, although inheritances and lines of power are matrilineal. The Trobriands are often referred to as the ‘islands of love’. A reference to the customs and sexual practices of the islanders during the Yam harvesting festival of Milamala. Dance and celebration continue to play an important role in society with the rhythm of the dances retaining their sensuality, despite the best efforts of missionaries. Today you will be welcomed ashore to watch an energetic cultural performance, after which you can walk to the village or swim and snorkel in the clear warm waters.

      9 May 2019 – Fergusson Island

      9 May 2019 – Fergusson Island

      Arrival 09/05/2019. Departure 09/05/2019.

      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.

      9 May 2019 – Dobu Island

      9 May 2019 – Dobu Island

      Arrival 09/05/2019. Departure 09/05/2019.

      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.

      10 May 2019 – Samarai Island

      10 May 2019 – Samarai Island

      Arrival 10/05/2019. Departure 10/05/2019.

      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.

      11 May 2019 – At sea

      11 May 2019 – At sea

      Arrival 11/05/2019. Departure 11/05/2019.

      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 observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

      12 May 2019▸11 May 2019 – Cairns


      Disembarkation 12/05/2019 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.


      • 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.

      • 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.

      • Solomon Islands: Visa delivred free of charge on arrival. Please send a copy of your passport (photo page) to PONANT at least 30 days prior to cruise date.

      • Vanuatu: No visa required.

      • Papua New Guinea: Visa delivered onboard free of charge.

      • Australia: an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) must be obtained before your arrival in Australia. For more information, please 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 :

        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.


      Tropical Expedition

      Tropical Expedition

      Discover the unique concept of PONANT tropical expedition cruises: explore the world’s extreme regions while enjoying luxurious comfort and service.

      A luxury expedition voyage

      Choosing a PONANT expedition cruise means choosing a state of mind: the alliance of elegance and authenticity, of exploration and comfort, of adventure and refinement… The comfort of your ship and your stateroom, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy: a very special atmosphere that we take great care to maintain. In the heart of the archipelagos of Oceania or the atolls of the Indian Ocean, along the wild coastlines of Central America or Australia, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.

      PONANT, expedition cruise specialists

      With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is also a real specialist in the planet’s most remote tropical regions. Our latest-generation fleet has the most modern technology to guarantee both your safety and respect for the regions visited. The size of our ships means we can get as close as possible to areas that are difficult to reach, offering a privileged access to preserved sites. Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the surprises inherent to these expedition itineraries.

      Professional expedition teams, varied activities

      After scouting missions in the field, our Expedition Leaders and their teams of naturalist guides design exceptional itineraries in the tropical regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies so as to get as close to nature as possible. They can reserve local means of transport (dugout canoes, bush taxis, local buses, etc.) in order to reach essential sites for hiking (volcanoes, nature reserves, etc.) or for visiting isolated villages. Indeed, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to share the life and ancestral customs of these peoples for a few hours. The naturalist guides also supervise snorkelling tours to discover the coral reef fauna. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…

      Flight Brisbane / Honiara + Transfer

      Embarking day, Brisbane / Honiara


      Flight Brisbane / Honiara selected by PONANT.

      We highly recommend to arrive in Brisbane the day before this flight.

      We suggest to be at the check-in counter 2 hours before departure.

      Approximate flight duration: 3h00


      Meet and greet at the airport.

      Transfer to the pier for embarkation.


      - Cruise aboard your cruise ship -


      The programme includes:

      • Flight Brisbane / Honiara selected by PONANT, depending on your booking class.
      • Transfer airport / pier


      The programme does not include:

      • Personal expenses
      • Any other service not mentioned in the programme



      • Flight is included depending on your booking class.
      • Detailed programme including flight schedule will be provided with your “travel document”.
      • For passengers in transit in Brisbane, we recommend to stay one night in Brisbane before this flight to ensure your connecting flights.
      • Package is subject to availability.
      • This program is subject to change.

      Important information

      Expeditions programs include activities such as Zodiac® outings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Certain zodiac® outings will not allow for landings just cruising. Landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice and winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time.

      Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. The raw beauty and untouched wilderness offer an unusual chance to experience a place where there is little evidence of human presence. Inevitably, there are some consequences that come with such remoteness: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is highly expensive. Without the necessary medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid from with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe a full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully and be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive.

      Taking into consideration the unusual and exceptional character of expedition itineraries, the calls shown are an indication only. The final route will be confirmed by the Captain and Expedition Leader, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. Their decision will be subject to that of local authorities and/or the expert pilots present on board during the navigation in polar and /or isolated zones.

      Dressing tips :

      • Cotton comfrortable and light weight shorts/bermudas
      • Light weight long trousers
      • Long-sleeved breathable UPF50+ shirts
      • Cotton short sleeves T-shirt
      • Aquatic UV long-sleeve T-shirt for sun protection during snorkeling or swimming (except for the Amazon cruises where bathing is not allowed)
      • Aquatic non-slip sandals (except for the Amazon cruises where bathing is not allowed)
      • Windproof, waterproof and breathable outer layer
      • Broad brimmed anti-UV hat with strap
      • Comfortable walking shoes
      • Waterproof backpack for camera
      • Sunscreen and after-sun high index & insect repellent
      • Binoculars
      • 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.

      Feel free to visit the PONANT online shop which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations at the following address:

      Benefits of the PONANT shop:

      • expert advice to gear up
      • a selection of technical equipment and accessories approved by our naturalists
      • Duty Free prices
      • delivery directly on board

      Pre/Post & Overlands

      1. Before your cruise

        30/04/2019 – Overnight and transfers in Brisbane (1 night)

        195.00 € **

        More information

      2. After your cruise

        12/05/2019 – Cairns and Koalas

        95.00 € **

        More information

        12/05/2019 – Cairns, Kurunda and Koalas

        170.00 € **

        More information

      Attention: the prices listed at the time of your reservation can be different from those listed in the brochure. These prices can evolve based on availability and the real time rates of the airline companies selected.
      Travellers are advised to check all the information with the authorities concerned prior to the departure date. Ponant advises Travellers to consult the country factsheets relating to the chosen destinations. Ponant specifically draws Travellers' attention to the fact that the information provided may change up until the departure date, and they are advised to consult that information up until the time of departure. CDP invites Travellers to adjust their behavior to the visited country, to exercise vigilance and to avoid carrying valuable objects during their travel.
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