New Guinea is one of the least explored places on Earth. We’ll explore all the parts of the eastern half of this island nation—Papua New Guinea and beyond to the Solomon Islands. You’ll be seeing portions few outsiders have been privileged to visit. You may well have dreamed of coming to this special corner of the Earth, and this is an exceptional and unusual chance to discover in depth.
• Cruise the seldom traveled Sepik River and discover the hidden communities and vibrant wildlife
• Witness an impressive diversity of cultures, see traditional communities & some of the best places in the world to collect “tribal” or “primitive” art
• Experience the vitality of the undersea life and the wide array of marine animals that call this region home
• Discover remote islands such as Kennedy Island, site of JFK’s PT-109 rescue
• Step back in time as we learn about some of the fiercest battles of the Pacific Theater during World War II
Arrive in Bali. Check in to the Fairmont Hotel (or
similar). Meet your fellow travelers this evening at
our welcome reception. (D)
This morning we check out of the hotel and head
off to explore this paradise, where life and art are
interwoven. Following lunch depart on our charter
flight to Sorong, West Papua and embark the
National Geographic Orion. (B,L,D)
Settle into the comforts on board as we sail
towards Cendrawasih Bay, one of the largest
marine parks in Indonesia. Far off the beaten path,
this region remains unspoiled and rarely visited.
We’ll explore the atolls and small islands, winding
through mangroves and snorkeling in healthy coral
reefs. We’ll be on the lookout for the several
species of sharks who inhabit these waters,
including the endemic epaulet shark. With luck on
our side, we may encounter the elusive dugong or
a whale shark cruising thought the deep trenches.
Located on the northern coast of New Guinea,
Jaypura is the capital of Papua. We’ll head to Lake
Sentani were we’ll visit the houses on stilts in the
small fishing villages that dot the shoreline. The
locals will share stories and traditions of life on the
water. Admire the breathtaking views on as we go
in search of the myriad of birds found in the hills
above that circle the city. (B,L,D)
The communities along the Sepik River are
renowned for their traditional dress and body
decoration, for maintaining many of their traditional
ways, and for the art which they produce. Sail up
the serpentine course of the river and visit
communities where we will meet local residents,
learn about their daily lives and culture. This river
is also home to a wide array of wildlife – over 100
fish species, saltwater crocodile, birds of paradise
and dwarf cassowary to name just a few. We’ll be
on the lookout as we cruise the winding channels.
The picturesque town of Madang lies on a
peninsula backed by mountain ranges. We’ll visit
lovely Haya Village, set in the hills, and take in a
“singsing.” Afterward, those who wish can walk the
steep trails of the surrounding rain forest in search
of wildlife. This afternoon, explore the markets and
shops of Madang on your own, and be sure to look
for flying foxes in the trees! (B,L,D)
Tiny, volcanic Crown Island offers a fine walk up a
trail, where we can look for giant lizards, birdlife
and butterflies. The island’s beaches are important
turtle nesting grounds. We spend the afternoon
exploring the pristine nearby reefs, where the
snorkeling and viewing from the glass-bottom
Zodiac are excellent. (B,L,D)
The fringing reef surrounding Garove Island offers
fine swimming, snorkeling and views from our
glass-bottom boat, and we will spend the morning
there. As we approach Garove in the afternoon,
we may be greeted by colorfully dressed local
residents in outrigger canoes. The headdresses
are particularly elaborate. After we land we will be
treated to a “singsing” by our enthusiastic hosts
and will have a chance to tour the church and
recently built community house. (B,L,D)
Arrive this morning in Rabaul, the capital of the
island of New Britain, where the town was buried
in ash by the massive eruption of Mt. Tavurvur in
1994—a landmark event. We’ll have a guided
exploration of Rabaul, with views of the ashcovered town and see the remains of a Japanese
ship hidden in a cave during World War II. After
sunset we’ll witness the traditional fire dance of
the Baining people—performed by young men as
an initiation into adulthood. Later, sail past
Tavurvur for a close-up look at the ash clouds and
Settled as early as 25,000 BC by skullworshipping tribes, today the friendly Solomons
remain some of the least visited, most dive-worthy
South Pacific islands. This region was a strategic
WWII battleground and we visit Kennedy Island,
named after President John F. Kennedy who
swam ashore here after the Japanese sank his
PT-109 patrol boat. We meet the wood carvers of
Marovo, reported to be the best in the Pacific, and
explore isolated Marovo Lagoon, a proposed
UNESCO site and an exceptional spot for
swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and diving.
Our expedition concludes in Honiara, a former
U.S. supply depot and a strategic WWII
battleground. Tour around the outskirts of the city
to see sites well known from the Battle of
Guadalcanal in 1942-43. See the shores of Red
Beach and the vital airbase at Henderson Field.
Visit the hills above Honiara where some of the
fiercest battles took place. Then transfer to the
airport for our flight to Brisbane, where we will
overnight at a local hotel. (B,L)
Depart this morning for your flight home. (B)
Itineraries are subject to change.
11 October, 2023 to 28 October, 2023
National Geographic Orion
These cabins feature an oval window and two single beds, two beds that can be converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed (call for details). You'll find an armchair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
These roomy cabins feature an oval window and two single beds, two beds that can be converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed (call for details). You'll find an armchair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
Cat 3 Suite with Window #401-412, 414-419 These suites have a comfortable sofa in the sitting area with a large window and plenty of storage. They have a variety of bed configurations (call for details) plus a writing desk and chair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Modern bathrooms are generously sized with roomy glass-walled shower stall.
These solo cabins feature a window or two portholes, a queen-size bed, writing desk and chair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV.
Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall
Cat 4 Deluxe suite with Window #511, 515 - These two suites feature separate sleeping and sitting areas, with a two-seater sofa that looks out a large rectangular window. Beds are configurable. You'll find storage, climate controls, reading lamps, a TV. Modern bathrooms are generously sized with roomy glass-walled shower stall.
Cat 5 Suite with Balcony #501, 503-506, 508 - These spacious suites feature open living areas and sliding glass doors that open to a private French balcony. Beds are configurable, and you'll find sitting chairs or a couch, a writing desk, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. The bathroom is spacious and has a glass-walled shower.
Cat 3S Suite with Window #512 - This solo suite features two beds and a large window, plus a bucket chair and small table, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. The bathroom is spacious and has a glass-walled shower.
Cat 6 Owner’s suite with Balcony #502, 507, 509*, 510 - These large, owner's suites feature a balcony (Cabin 509 does not have a balcony), a spacious bathroom with a large shower and separate soaking tub with a window, and a large separate living area with a couch and two bucket chairs, plus climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV.
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 103 metres
Passenger Capacity: 102 (in 53 cabins)
Built: 2003 / Refurbished 2014
Engineered for maximum comfort and safety, Orion is equipped with the latest technology including large retractable stabilizers, sonar, radar, and an ice-strengthened hull. A shallow draft plus bow and stern thrusters provide the convenience of being able to maneuver close to shore. 14 Zodiacs ensure quick disembarkation and offer the ideal transport for up-close exploration.
National Geographic Orion meets strict specifications for environmental protection and the on board waste management systems meet the stringent Antarctic operational standards enabling us to travel to the most pristine environments. A host of advanced design features and technology ensures sustainable marine environmental practices.
National Geographic Orion accommodates 102 guests in 53 cabins, including several with balconies. She is spacious and modern, with a variety of public rooms that offer panoramic views of the passing landscape. Friendly and informal, Orion fosters a welcoming atmosphere where like-minded guests share in exceptional experiences and enrichment.
Her public rooms include a dramatic window-lined main lounge, as well as an observation lounge and library perched at the very top of the ship, with plentiful observation decks. The spacious lounge is the heart of our expedition community, and is suited for spirited cocktail hours, informative presentations and our nightly tradition of Recap. In addition, a dedicated theater provides a unique setting for specialist presentations or films and slideshows. Both the main dining room and outside buffet easily accommodate all guests at once for open seating dining. On selected nights, weather permitting, our dining room menu is also available on the outside deck.
While Orion interiors are elegant, life aboard is always casual, with no need for formal clothing. And you’ll find shipboard services like laundry, in-room cabled internet, and public-area wifi.
• Excursions, hotels, and airport transfers, as indicated in the itinerary
• Selection of exploration tools curated to your destination, such as Zodiacs and glass-bottom boats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, snorkeling equipment (including wetsuits, masks, and fins), and other state-of-the-art gear
• Guidance and company of our leading expedition staff
• All meals as indicated in the itinerary, both aboard and onshore. Meals are inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible.
• Hors d’oeuvres inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible
• 24-hour access to snacks, premium coffees and teas, non-alcoholic beverages, and filtered water
• Beer, wine, cocktails, and spirits aboard the NG Endurance, NG Resolution, NG Explorer, NG Orion, NG Endeavour II, NG Islander II, Sea Cloud, Sea Cloud II, Lord of the Glens, and The Jahan. We are also pleased to offer a selection of super premium wines and liquors, available for purchase.
• Beer and wine on all 2023 departures aboard NG Venture, NG Quest, NG Sea Bird, and NG Sea Lion, and specialty cocktails with meals aboard Delfin ll. Starting in 2024, spirits and cocktails are also included aboard these ships, with super premium wines and liquors available for purchase.
• Crew gratuities aboard NG Endurance, NG Resolution, NG Explorer, NG Orion, Sea Cloud, Sea Cloud II, Lord of the Glens, Oberoi Philae, and The Jahan
• Free Wi-Fi aboard Lord of the Glens and The Jahan.
• Free Wi-Fi, up to one hour a day per person, aboard NG Islander II and NG Endeavour II
• Lindblad Expeditions is currently activating Starlink-enabled internet on each of our ships, enabling us to offer free Wi-Fi—in addition to paid tiers for faster internet speeds—to all of our guests fleetwide by the end of 2023.
• Presentations on your destination by expedition staff and expert guest speakers
• Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
• The services of a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or paramedic
• Morning stretch classes and 24-hour access to exercise equipment where available
• 24-hour access to lounges, observation decks, library stocked with regionally relevant literature, and other shared spaces
• Complimentary Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic parka or jacket on select Arctic and Antarctic voyages
• Assistance by the onboard NG Photography Expert (NG Endurance, NG Explorer, NG Orion, NG Resolution) and Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor (all ships)
• Access to the OM System Photo Gear Locker with the latest gear to try out on loan (all Lindblad-National Geographic ships except in Galapagos)
• Park and site entrance fees, special access permits, and port taxes
• Airfare (except flights when indicated as included), pre- and post-expedition extensions, additional hotel nights, and private transfers
• Travel protection plans and passport, visa, and immigration fees
• Laundry, spa treatments, scuba diving, Wi-Fi, and phone services (except when indicated as included)
• Crew gratuities aboard NG Endeavour II, NG Islander II, NG Venture, NG Quest, NG Sea Bird, NG Sea Lion, and Delfin II