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  • Writer's pictureDEAN NELSON (he/him) CRDE, LLD

New Guinea Odyssey - November 2025

Embark on a Mesmerizing Journey with PONANT: A 17-Day Expedition through Indonesia and Papua New Guinea

papua new guinea tribe member calling on a conch

Imagine setting sail on the elegant Le Jacques-Cartier for a 17-day tropical expedition, exploring the breathtaking natural landscapes of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Join Dean Nelson November 22 - December 8th, 2025 as we embark from Darwin and uncover the hidden gems and pristine beauty of this remarkable region.

Map itinerary of the 17-Day Expedition through Indonesia and Papua New Guinea starting in Darwin, Australia and ending in Cairns, Australia

Discover the Spice Islands and Pristine Beaches

indonesian archipelago

Your adventure begins in Darwin, Australia's vibrant northern capital. Known for its multicultural atmosphere and laid-back lifestyle, Darwin sets the perfect stage for the incredible journey ahead. As Le Jacques-Cartier sails towards the Maluku Islands, you'll be introduced to the "Spice Islands," famed for their rich history and stunning landscapes. The Kai Islands, with their dazzling white sandy beaches and azure waters, will leave you enchanted.

Explore Triton Bay and West Papua

Next, venture into the heart of Triton Bay, nestled within the Coral Triangle's protected marine environment. Here, an unforgettable Zodiac cruise will take you through spectacular karst islands blanketed in tropical forests. In West Papua, marvel at the Kiti-Kiti Waterfall, where you can swim at the base of this natural wonder, surrounded by lush vegetation.

Swim with Whale Sharks and Experience Papua New Guinea’s Diversity

Crossing into Western New Guinea, you'll arrive at Cenderawasih Bay. This region offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with gentle whale sharks in their natural habitat. Le Jacques-Cartier then charts a course for Papua New Guinea, a land of stunning diversity with over 700 ethnic groups. In the village of Kopar, at the mouth of the Sepik River, you'll be welcomed with vibrant folk performances and experience the traditional village lifestyle.

The Scenic Beauty of Madang and the Tami Islands

Continuing along the coast, you'll reach Madang, often hailed as the "prettiest town in the South Pacific." This picturesque province is home to a remarkable cultural tapestry with 170 different languages spoken. A visit to the Tami Islands will immerse you in a serene environment of coral atolls, crystal-clear lagoons, and vibrant marine life.

The Fiords of Tufi and Historical Alotau

One of the trip's highlights is Tufi, known as the "Scandinavia of the Tropics" for its striking fiords created by volcanic activity. Engage with local Papuan tribes and witness their unique culture and artistry. Your journey culminates in Alotau, a town rich in history and the site of the pivotal Battle of Milne Bay during World War II. Explore the town's markets and WWII memorials before setting sail for the final leg of your journey.

The Splendour of Cairns

As Le Jacques-Cartier sails towards Cairns, the gateway to the Queensland Rainforests, you'll reflect on the incredible experiences and memories made during this unforgettable expedition. From the fascinating cultures and pristine beaches to the unparalleled marine biodiversity, this journey through Indonesia and Papua New Guinea with PONANT promises to be a voyage of a lifetime.

The Ship: Le Jacques-Cartier

Le Jacques-Cartier embodies PONANT’s philosophy of modernity and elegance. With environmentally friendly technologies and tasteful decor, the ship offers an open-to-the-sea design, ensuring soft light and luminosity at all times. The Blue Eye, an underwater lounge, provides a unique experience to enjoy undersea views while sipping a glass of wine. Hosting up to 184 guests in 92 staterooms and suites, with two restaurants and a spa, Le Jacques-Cartier promises comfort and luxury throughout your journey.

Highlights of Your Expedition

  • Papua New Guinea’s Cultural Richness: Discover the land of a thousand cultures and engage with diverse ethnic groups.

  • Zodiac Outings and Shore Visits: Explore remote locations with your expert expedition team.

  • Tami Islands: Visit these remote coral atolls and marvel at their stunning marine life.

  • Traditional Ceremonies: Experience the unique traditions of the Asaro Mudmen in Madang.

  • Kei Islands and Malukus: Explore beautiful white-sand beaches and learn about the region’s history.

  • Coral Triangle: Discover the marine biodiversity and karst islands.

  • Diving and Snorkeling: Dive with an experienced instructor and snorkel with your expedition team.

Prepare for a journey filled with exploration, culture, and natural wonders. With PONANT, every moment is an opportunity for discovery and adventure.

Are you ready to go beyond? Book your New Guinea Odyssey today. Click here to set up a consultation or to book today.

Graphic image of Departures by Dean with various passport stamps. Go Beyond the Ordinary

departuresXdean - an independent agent with Personal Travel Mgmt BC Tour registration #2806, TICO #50025786 proud members of the IGLTA and the Ensemble Travel Group.

Where do you want to go? Click here to contact me.


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