Cruising the Mighty Sepik River, Papua New Guinea

PNG tribe on the Sepik River
from £3119 7 or 9 nights | Feb 2018 Exc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Feb 2018


Join this once in a lifetime landmark expedition, cruising up one of the world’s greatest river systems - the Sepik River. Running 1,100km through Papua New Guinea, this mighty river has nurtured the local tribes and cultures for millennia. To cruise up the Sepik River is truly a once in a lifetime experience as the tidal levels of the river can only accommodate expedition cruise ships for just one month every year.  This reconnaissance voyage is an opportunity not to be missed and an experience you will never forget.


  • Traversing wild and untouched lands inaccessible to most and discovered by few.
  • Meeting local tribes and communities along the Sepik River.
  • Learning about the diverse and unique flora and fauna found in Papua New Guinea.
  • Travelling with like-minded individuals fascinated by the lure of discovery.

Throughout this voyage of discovery, experienced expedition leaders and trusted local guides will provide you with a spectacular insight into the different tribes and cultures of this isolated region that depend almost entirely on the Sepik for survival. You will spend time with these fascinating communities, encounter flora and fauna rarely seen by most and of course will revel in the fact that you are navigating this wild, remote and untouched land on board Coral Expeditions’ Sepik River inaugural voyage.

You will have the opportunity to visit local tribes who have had little contact with modernity, traverse some of the oldest and densest rainforests in the world, and search for local species including the famed Bird of Paradise. At the end of every remarkable day, you will return to the comforts of Coral Expeditions 1 to enjoy delectable meals and drinks alongside fellow guests and the maritime crew.

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Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Cairns - Madang (optional pre- cruise package)
Today catch your flight from Cairns to Madang in Papua New Guinea. The rest of the day will be at leisure to explore the city of Madang or relax in your accommodation ahead of your cruise.
Day 2: Madang - Sepik Mouth
This morning you will set sail on your Sepik River cruise. On leaving Madang you will sail through the lagoon, past many coral-laced islands to Sek Harbour and then out onto the Bismarck Sea. On the way, cruise past the island of Manam where you may see the iconic volcano spewing hot ash and lava into the forest below.
Day 3: Murik Lakes - Mendam - Bien
This morning you will disembark the ship and travel by tender up the canal through the rainforest to the Murik Lakes, home to the village of Mendam. Here you will meet local Sepik people, engage with this remote community and enjoy a traditional welcome ceremony. After time exploring the local market you will visit the village of Bien, where the local school children will welcome you with a sing-sing.
Day 4: Kambaramba - Tambanum
After an overnight stay in Angoram, the main trading township along the Sepik River, you will visit Kambaramba, a village built entirely on stilts perched high above the river. After spending some time here exploring the village and meeting with the local people you will continue to Tambanum, the largest village on the banks of the Sepik River. It is here that you will have the chance to have your face painted in the traditional way – a truly unforgettable experience.
Day 5: Tambanum - Kaminimbit
This morning rise early as you travel upriver past the Catholic Mission Station towards Kaminimbit. Here you will witness traditional village ceremonies and have a chance to visit the local markets. Later in the afternoon, you may be fortunate enough to witness the playing of the sacred flutes on board Coral Expeditions 1 – a rare opportunity as the flutes cannot be played within ear-shot of the local women.
Day 6: Chambri Lakes
Today, travel via tender through a beautiful canal that winds its way to the scenic Chambri Lakes framed by the dramatic Hunstein Mountains. It is here that you may encounter some of Papua New Guinea’s iconic birdlife and pukpuks (crocodiles). This afternoon you will visit the famed village of Aibom, known for its hand-crafted pottery.
Day 7: Kanganaman
Today you will spend time in the village of Kanganaman, home to the largest Haus Tambaran (Spirit House) on the Sepik River. These spiritual buildings play an important role in the life of the local people as they are the locations for cultural initiations and cultural affairs. Today you will witness the village elders perform the garamut drums – a historical and cultural important performance, witnessed by few.
Day 8: Kaminimbit – Kopar - Boisa – Timbunke
Turning around this morning and cruising back down the Sepik River, you will have the chance to visit some smaller villages far removed from civilisation before cruising out towards Boisa Island in the crystal clear waters of the Bismarck Sea. Overnight you will hug the dramatic coastline as you cruise back towards Madang.
Day 9: Madang
On arriving in Madang this morning, disembark Coral Expeditions 1 and continue with your onward journey. Alternatively if you have chosen to include the post cruise package you will be taken to your accommodation where the rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 10: Madang - Cairns (optional post- cruise package)
This morning you will be collected from your accommodation and taken to the airport for your return flight to Cairns.

Please note that this itinerary is intended as a guideline only and is an indication of the destinations you will visit and activities you will undertake. Changes to the itinerary will only be made as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions or any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.

Accommodation Options

Coral Expeditions & Coral Discoverer

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Luxury Ship

These sister vessels offer between 46 and 72 passengers …

Prices & Dates

Cruising the Mighty Sepik River

2018 Departures
06, 13, 20 and 27 February

Cabin Type  Twin Share  Single Rate
 Cabin  £3,119 £4,678
 Stateroom  £3,306  £4,959
 Upper Deck Stateroom  £3,494  £5,241
 Deluxe Stateroom  £3,681  n/a

Price Includes

  • 7 nights’ accommodation in selected cabin/room grade
  • Expert expedition team
  • Guided excursions on the Zodiac tender vessel
  • Daily freshly prepared meals
  • Wines, beers and soft drinks with meals
  • 24 hour self-serve coffee and tea
  • Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities.

Price Excludes

  • International flights, transfers and hotels pre and post voyage
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as bar charges, phone charges and souvenir purchases
  • Optional tips and gratuities


Optional Pre and Post Cruise Package from £666 per person

Package Includes

  • Return flights from Cairns, Australia  to Madang, Papua New Guinea (Day 1 and 10)
  • Return shared transfers from Madang Airport -Madang Resort Hotel (Day 1 and 10)
  • Return shared transfers from Madang Resort Hotel - Cruise Wharf (Day 2 and 9)
  • One night pre-cruise accommodation at Madang Resort Hotel including breakfast (Day 1) 
  • One night post-cruise accommodation at Madang Resort Hotel including breakfast (Day 9)

2019 dates and rates will be available soon.

How to book

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So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.

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Speak to a specialist: 1-844-584-0668

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