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With almost 10,000 different dialects spoken on its territory, Papua New Guinea possesses the world's greatest ethnic diversity and one of the most preserved. PONANT invites you to enjoy a slow temporal and geographic immersion, following the rhythm of the islands and their inhabitants, on a 12-day expedition cruise aboard Le Lapérouse, discovering the natural marvels and fascinating cultures of Melanesia.
You will depart from Honiara, the capital of Guadalcanal and renown for being the site of the battle between the USA and Japan during WWII.
Then you will reach the Malaita Province. As well as learning about its unique local traditions and social aspects of life such as 'bride price', you will experience their traditional music and sacred dances accompanied by traditional panpipers.
In the Solomon Islands, you will be able to enjoy pleasant moments swimming and snorkelling on Njari Island before you discover the picturesque and colourful atmosphere in the traditional markets on Ghizo Island.
You are sure to be surprised by "Kula", the ingenious traditional exchange system used, in particular, on the island of Kiriwina, and enjoy the unexpected aspects of life in the villages via their spectacular traditions. In the heart of the Solomon Sea, you will discover the splendid turquoise waters and white-sand beaches of the uninhabited islands of the Lusancay archipelago. These spectacular, picture-postcard islands provide the opportunity to swim and snorkel over coral reefs teeming with life.
Your call at Tufi will be one of the highlights of your voyage. Dubbed the Scandinavia of the Tropics, you will undoubtedly fall under the charm of this picturesque region, with its deep 'fjords' known locally as 'rias', which were formed through volcanic activity. In this unique and unspoilt setting, the Papuan tribes will proudly share their culture, during a traditional ceremony.
You will then visit the volcanically active D'Entrecasteaux Islands. On Dobu Island, the diversity of the fauna and flora will be conducive to pure moments of wonder while there will also be encounters with the Dobu people, who are known for their magic rituals. Accompanied by your expedition team, you will explore Fergusson Island on a walk through extraordinary virgin forests, towards the DeiDei Hot Springs.
Finally, you will sail up to Alotau in Papua New Guinea's Milne Bay Province where you will discover how a combination of pearl farming, mineral resources and the presence of missionaries over the centuries shaped the history of this bay, which was also marked by the Second World War.
Your expedition will finish in in Cairns, known as the capital of 'Far North Queensland, this vibrant and welcoming city is the ideal place from which to explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and the Tropical Rainforests.