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New Marco Polo Journeys

Papua New Guinea & the Goroka Festival 2019


13 days from $10,995

Limited to 16 guests

Witness cultural traditions rarely seen by Western eyes as you cruise the Karawari River in search of remote tribal villages, spot a dazzling array of exotic birdlife and marvel at the brilliant spectacle of the Goroka Festival.

A&K Advantages

Immerse yourself in vibrant tribal cultures that have remained unchanged for centuries, while cruising rivers and exploring some of the most remote corners of the globe

Join a gathering of more than 100 local tribes for the Goroka Festival, a dazzling, two-day spectacle of song, dance, pageantry and tradition celebrating Papua New Guinea’s independence

Enjoy the convenience of flying in and out of the Goroka Festival via private charter on each of the two days of the festival

Take a three-night cruise on the Karawari River, winding past unspoiled villages and pristine rainforests of the Sepik Region

Relish intimate interactions with distinctive cultures spanning the remote river villages along the Sepik, the Huli Highlands and the Mount Hagen region

Itinerary at a Glance

DAY 1
Arrive Cairns, Australia
DAY 2
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea | Island Gateway
DAY 3
Mount Hagen, Lake Murray | Lush Canopy of the Western Provice
DAY 4
Lake Murray | The Pari Tribe
DAY 5
Lake Murray | The Kuni Tribe
DAY 6
Sepik Region | Secluded Riverine Wilderness
DAY 7
Sepik Region | Villages of Black Water Lake
DAY 8
Sepik Region | Tribes of the Mumeri & Mindimbit
DAY 9
Mount Hagen | Birder's Paradise of Rondon Ridge
DAY 10
Mount Hagen | Goroka Festival
DAY 11
Mount Hagen, Port Moresby | Goroka Festival
DAY 12
Cairns, Australia | A Parting Glimpse
DAY 13
Depart Cairns
DAY 1
Arrive Cairns, Australia

Upon arrival in Cairns, you are met and transferred to your hotel. Refresh from your travels and prepare for the exciting journey to come. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner served at the hotel.

Shangri-La Cairns
Meals: Dinner
DAY 2
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea | Island Gateway

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Papua New Guinea, an island chain of undisturbed indigenous tribes and sweeping natural beauty. Arrive in Port Moresby and connect to Mount Hagen. Upon arrival, travel overland through the upper Wahgi Valley, a rich, fertile farmland that witnessed some of the world’s earliest agriculture. Continue on to Rondon Ridge for spectacular panoramas of the verdant valley.

Rondon Ridge
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 3
Mount Hagen, Lake Murray | Lush Canopy of the Western Provice

This morning, board your charter flight to Lake Murray in the Western Province. The countryside here is unlike anywhere else in Papua New Guinea and offers an ideal destination for photographers and lovers of flora and fauna. This afternoon, set out on a guided nature walk. Lake Murray is one of the best bird watching areas in the Province. Visit a local village and market before returning to your lodge.

Lake Murray Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 4
Lake Murray | The Pari Tribe

This morning you embark on the first of two days of cultural touring among the tribes that inhabit the Lake Murray region. You begin with a full day visit to the Pari tribe. After breakfast, board a river boat for a scenic cruise to the village. On arrival, you are greeted by members of the Pari tribe and have an opportunity to witness and interact in a number of traditional activities including traditional sing sing, arts and crafts, face and body painting, tribal warrior demonstrations and a chance to share stories with the villagers.

Lake Murray Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 5
Lake Murray | The Kuni Tribe

Today you enjoy another full day cultural excursion to visit a local tribe – the Kuni tribe. Begin by once again boarding a river boat for a scenic journey to the Kuni village. During your visit you have a chance to witness and partake in the demonstrations of the bow and arrow, traditional weaving (baskets, mats, and string bags), tribal warrior displays, face painting, traditional fishing and a ride in a dugout canoe.

Lake Murray Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 6
Sepik Region | Secluded Riverine Wilderness

This morning, travel by charter flight to Karawari, where you board ‘Sepik Spirit,’ your floating home for the next three nights. After lunch on board, embark on your voyage of discovery along the Karawari River. Settle in to life aboard this three-level, 98-foot river cruiser featuring a lounge, dining room, bar, screened-in observation deck, air conditioning and nine comfortable cabins with en suite bathrooms. Your riverboat home is an oasis in this remote jungle.

'Sepik Spirit'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 7
Sepik Region | Villages of Black Water Lake

After breakfast aboard, disembark for a full-day excursion to the remote villages of Black Water Lake. Bask in your warm island welcome as you observe a way of life that has remained largely unchanged for centuries. Learn about the local rituals, warfare, ceremonies and ancestral beliefs, visiting the various houses of the village. Browse tribal handicrafts such as masks, flutes and spirit figures in the villages’ low-pressure markets. Relax with a picnic by the densely forested banks of the Karawari River, watching as local men gather on their clan’s bench, children paddle canoes to school and women fish with hand lines.

'Sepik Spirit'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 8
Sepik Region | Tribes of the Mumeri & Mindimbit

Disembark onto the banks of Mumeri, a remote village whose people have preserved their ancestral traditions for centuries. Take in the same warm village welcome enjoyed here by pioneering anthropologist Margaret Meade over 80 years ago. Next, cruise to the confluence of the Krosmeri and Karawari rivers, where you rendezvous with ‘Sepik Spirit’ for lunch. Continue on to visit the villages of Mindimbit, taking in the spectacular carvings and elaborate coming-of-age rituals of the locals. Rejoin ‘Sepik Spirit’ for your final night on board, cruising back toward Karawari.

'Sepik Spirit'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 9
Mount Hagen | Birder's Paradise of Rondon Ridge

This morning, fly by private charter to Mount Hagen. Upon arrival, travel overland through the upper Wahgi Valley, a rich, fertile farmland that witnessed some of the world’s earliest agriculture. Continue on to Rondon Ridge for spectacular panoramas of the verdant valley. After lunch at your lodge, set out on a guided nature walk and birding tour of the grounds. Over 180 species of birds have been recorded in the rainforests surrounding Rondon Ridge, including 10 species of birds of paradise. The pristine rainforest also boasts numerous vibrantly colored orchid species. Roam the vast trails, racking up exotic sightings with help from your expert guide.

Rondon Ridge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 10
Mount Hagen | Goroka Festival

After breakfast at the lodge each day, transfer to the airport for your convenient, privately chartered flight to the Goroka Festival, a two-day celebration of Papua New Guinea’s independence. Following each day’s festivities, return by privately chartered air to Mount Hagen and your lodge in time for dinner.

Rondon Ridge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 11
Mount Hagen, Port Moresby | Goroka Festival

Enjoy another opportunity to immerse yourself in the dazzling spectacle of the Goroka Festival. This vibrant kaleidoscope of song and dance draws over 100 local tribes every year, affording an authentic glimpse into a rarely witnessed tradition dating back to 1957. This afternoon, fly to Port Moresby, a capital of sprawling suburbs scattered throughout the hills, and transfer to your accommodations nestled in a lush botanical garden.

Airways Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 12
Cairns, Australia | A Parting Glimpse

Today, fly to Cairns. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner and recap your amazing experience with your fellow travellers.

Shangri-La Cairns
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 13
Depart Cairns

After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your departure.

Meals: Breakfast
Program Note: Travel in this remote region entails lodging in basic accommodations and active elements such as walking over steep, uneven jungle terrain.


Prices are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy.

  • 2019
  • Sep 05 - Sep 17
    Waitlist - Call A&K
    Price
    Single Supplement
    Internal air from
    Availability
    Price
    $10,995
    Single Supplement
    $4,295
    Internal air from
    $4,350
    Availability
    Waitlist - Call A&K
    'Sepik Spirit' Deck Plan
  • 2020
  • Sep 10 - Sep 22
    Price
    Single Supplement
    Availability
    Price
    TBA
    Single Supplement
    TBA
    Availability

    Reserve your 2020 preferred date now with a fully refundable deposit. You will have seven days after the final 2020 itinerary and pricing is published to confirm your reservation.

Journey Details

Internal Air: Economy class from $4,350
Cairns/Port Moresby/Tari/Karawari/Mount Hagen/Port Moresby/Cairns

Minimum age is 10 years.

First group event: welcome dinner at 6:00 p.m. on Day 1.

Last group event: farewell dinner at 6:00 p.m. on Day 12.

Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 8 guests.

Program Note: Travel in this remote region entails lodging in basic accommodations and active elements such as walking over steep, uneven jungle terrain.


Preparing for Your Journey

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Essential Information

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