As we follow in the footsteps of the great explorers though regions seldom visited, join us as we reconnoitre remote atolls, walk distant shores and snorkel coral reefs which have never been fully explored in Papua New Guinea. Small local communities are keen to share their rich culture, fascinating history and the rich biodiversity which supports their traditional way of life, be it plants, birdlife or beneath the sea. Papua New Guinea is a revelation of exquisite wild beauty and exotic cultural wealth. The incomparable biodiversity in both sea and land makes this one of the most mysterious places on earth, as rugged mountains give way to picture perfect white sand beaches. In this region which is home to more than 800 distinct languages and cultures, we will be warmly welcomed and invited to share in local culture and traditions.
This is a land of new discoveries, each year new species are revealed in these remote and fragile environments. The incredible statistics speak for themselves: 69% of the 284 known mammal species in Papua New Guinea are endemic, as are half of the 578 species of breeding birds.
From the volcanic region of Rabaul we head southwards through the nutrient rich waters of the New Britain Trench, which offers wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities. Our expedition begins with a visit to Jacquinot Bay which features a spectacular waterfall and small villages hugging the coastline. Next we delve into the culturally rich Trobriand Islands, sometimes called the ‘Islands of Love’. The inhabitants have worked hard to keep the indigenous culture alive and today still live in the way they have for countless generations. We will then explore the coral fringed islands of the Louisiade Archipelago.
The D’Entrecasteaux Islands were named after the French Explorer Antoine d’Entrecasteaux who discovered them whilst looking for La Perouse. Sheer mist-covered peaks, wild untamed rivers and rainforest, bubbling mud pools and spouting geysers are all features of these islands.
As we head north-west along the main island of Papua New Guinea, we explore fiords, sandy beaches, jungles, remote islands and untamed coral reefs, before arriving in the port town of Madang.
This expedition offers a range of experiences to stimulate the senses. We explore remote regions of Papua New Guinea, snorkel some of the world’s best coral reefs systems, walk through untouched rainforest and gain cultural insights through interactions with the local people. An optional programme for those wishing to kayak in the excellent conditions of this unique part of the Pacific is also available.
Pre/Post cruise transfers, one night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (inc. dinner/breakfast) all on board ship accommodation with meals and all shore excursions and activities excluding optional specialised and kayaking programmes. Programme of lectures by noted naturalists.
All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas, extensions and travel insurance.
Kayaking Supplement: $975 pp
(All prices are per person in USD)
Our ship - The Spirit of Enderby:
The Spirit of Enderby is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and is perfect for Expedition Travel.
She carries just 50 passengers and was refurbished in March 2013 to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows or portholes and ample storage space.
On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room. The cuisine is excellent and is prepared by top NZ and Australian chefs.
The real focus and emphasis of every expedition is getting you ashore as often as possible for as long as possible with maximum safety and comfort. Our Expeditions are accompanied by some of the most experienced naturalists and guides, who have devoted a lifetime to field research in the areas that we visit. The ship is crewed by a very enthusiastic and most experienced Russian Captain and crew.
The name Spirit of Enderby honours the work and the vision of the Enderby Brothers of London. The Enderby Captains were at the forefront of Antarctic exploration for almost 40 years in the early 1800s. It also celebrates Enderby Island, arguably the greatest Subantarctic Island in the world.
Please contact us for further Trip Reports
" As we boarded the Zodiacs from shore at the Rapopo Plantation in Kokopo, I looked out at the anchored ship and knew at that moment the next couple of weeks would be life changing.
From onboard the Spirit of Enderby, our daily excursions to the islands of New Guinea provided a window into a culture experienced by few. Memories I hold dear are the spirit boy dancers on the white stone beach of Jacquinot Bay, the exploration of the geothermal hot springs on Fergusson Island and snorkeling the coral waters off Narutu.
At Panapompom, seeing the remains of a WWII Japanese plane in the shallow waters was a reminder of the terrible losses in this region.
We delighted in the children's choral performance at Sewa Bay, the extensive traditional sing sing at Lablab on Umboi and the joy in the faces of village children as they played with a new soccer ball - a gift from our expedition leader.
This unique voyage to PNG gave me the opportunity to interact with a warm people who have so little but gave so much. How very fortunate I was to be part of this excursion. "
" International travel is as important to me as the food I eat. Without it, I'm simply not fuelled. I feel most alive when I'm exploring and discovering new places and ways of being in the world. I think I've counted nearly 40 countries visited so far, but none of these previous travel experiences compare to my adventure through the remote isles of Papua New Guinea aboard your little ship, the Spirit of Enderby.
Where to begin??
Papua New Guinea had been high on my wish list for some fifteen years, ever since watching a documentary film about an American Anthropologist revisiting the native cultures he studied in his youth. The photographs I admired online and in tour brochures patiently called to me like some kind of bewitching reoccurring dream. Who are these exquisite-looking people with more than 800 native tongues, isolated from modern convenience, and so beautifully enmeshed in nature?
Any prior impressions or expectations I had for this expedition were completely blown out of the water. I'm familiar with expedition travel, and know how daily activities and places visited can vary depending on weather and wildlife. But, you've taken expedition cruising to a whole new level.
I've only ever daydreamed of spending an afternoon on a tiny, uninhabited tropical island to swim, snorkel through vibrant coral reefs, and sink my feet into the warm, golden sand. So delighting in this, not once but at least three times, was a heavenly surprise. And far better than a picture-perfect postcard, these beaches were so far off the tourist track that only local fishermen likely stop there!
We were all astounded to visit three villages that had never before hosted foreign travellers and whose children had never met a "white" person. The deeply genuine welcome we received, and imagining the amount of effort it must have taken to prepare, nearly moved many of us to tears. The many sing-sings we enjoyed were AMAZING--costumes of palm leaves, shells and flowers...colourful headdresses, body paint, and handmade drums....Phenomenal. And they were just as curious about us as we were interested in them. Together, we jumped and swam in fresh-water streams, took goofy photographs, toured classrooms and churches, enjoyed pick-up soccer matches, searched for rare birds, paddled outrigger canoes, feasted on fresh papaya, curry nuts and stews, and sang songs that I still find myself humming in my kitchen--from the other side of the world!
One of my favourite memories: "Where are you from? How did you get here?" the girls asked, spinning the classroom globe. Moments later, they dressed me in a palm skirt from their earlier sing-sing performance and bestowed a chicken-feather adorned crown atop my head. They showed me how they warm up for net ball practice, took me to the rice field they planted, and explained how they get to school each day--some by outrigger canoe, others on foot through the jungle (up to 1.5 hours one way).
What was most inspiring about this trip was the spirit of the people and the heartfelt connections we all made. There were so many moments of genuine cultural exchange. To experience this level of respect, honour and appreciation between two very different cultures is a treasure unto itself. The people we met were present, generous, kind, intelligent, curious... making the most of life despite the hardships and challenges they face. And, never have I seen more sincere smiles!
Expedition Leader Nathan Russ and the entire staff and crew did a beyond outstanding job. With Chris Collins, we all spotted the famous Birds of Paradise - YES! Cruise Director Helen made us feel right at home and looked after, and we're all a little smarter after Andrew and Martin's science lectures! I was proud to be traveling under the leadership of such a kind-spirited, respectful, and pioneering Expedition Leader. Nathan introduced to us a little known and highly misunderstood region of our planet and revealed the immensely beautiful, profound, precious and sadly threatened essence of Papua New Guinean island life.
I applaud Heritage for your vision and imagination to explore PNG in such an mindful manner. That was not tour I just returned from, that was a heart-warming adventure. As Helen Keller said, "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart."
I think I may have left a piece of my heart in Papua New Guinea. But I'm okay with that, as it just means that I'll have to return one day.
" An amazing journey through an ocean of islands, as diverse as any in the world "
" What an amazing trip! We visited remote communities that had rarely and in some cases never had visitors before. The welcomes were amazing and it was real privilege being able to be part of such an experience. This was our 2nd trip with Heritage and it exceeded expectations. They are a true expedition company with great leaders and guides - we have no hesitation in recommending them. "
" Thank you all for your individual and collective contributions to our memorable adventure. We felt extremely well cared for, educated and fed. "
" “I can’t find enough words of praise to express the high opinion I have for your staff and organization”. "
" Thanks so much - a truly memorable voyage that we will never forget you have all worked so hard on our behalf - much appreciated "