Melanesia, Solomon Islands & Vanuatu

Melanesia, Solomon Islands & Vanuatu

From USD $14,480

Description

Introducing the extraordinary diversity of Melanesia and its fascinating people, our award-winning journey to these idyllic islands features incredible bird-watching opportunities, elaborate local traditions and ceremonies, snorkeling over pristine coral reefs, and much more.

Join an award-winning journey that reveals the extraordinary diversity of Melanesia and its people.

Receive warm welcomes from friendly locals and witness time-honored ceremonies that include hypnotic drumming, melodic bamboo panpipes, and elaborately-costumed dancers.

Snorkel or dive over pristine coral reefs populated by a variety of tropical fish.

Explore some of the numerous small islands of the Solomons. Snorkel or dive over pristine reefs of hard and soft corals, from delicate seafans to staghorn formations, where colorful sponges, flower-like anemones, and giant tridacna clams edged with iridescent blue mantles flourish. We plan to step ashore on traditional islands to visit with locals and learn about life in this tropical paradise, while nature enthusiasts search the lush vegetation for birds and other wildlife.

The largest uninhabited island in the South Pacific, Tetepare is covered with pristine lowland rainforest. Nature walks may reveal some of the island’s 230 recorded bird species, such as Sanford’s sea-eagles, crested cuckoo-doves, Kolombangara monarchs, and beautiful Nicobar pigeons. The surrounding reef is one of the most biodiverse in the world, and crocodiles, dolphins, and dugongs are often found cruising along the coast. The island’s sandy beaches are also an important nesting site for green, leatherback, and hawksbill turtles.

Search for striking endemic birds, including the Solomon Island sea eagle, buff-headed coucal, and Melanesian megapode.

Please note: no Airfare included in your voyage rates.

Trip Name
Melanesia, Solomon Islands & Vanuatu
Days
16
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship Length: 90 metres Passenger Capacity: 116  Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2010 / 2017 Sister ship to Hebridean Sky. Island Sky and Hebridean Sky are truly sisters. Built in the same Italian Shipyard, both boast spacious, well-appointed suites, stylish common areas, and redundant core technology that allows them to operate smoothly, even under the most challenging of conditions. Both ships are all-suite, all-inclusive small expedition vessels with touches of elegance throughout. The Island Sky is scheduled for additional upgrades in 2017, including the addition of tinted sliding glass doors to all cabins on the Promenade Deck. Services: World-Class Cuisine Complimentary Wine or Beer with Dinner Live Entertainment Complimentary Coffee/Tea station Voyage Photographer On-board MD and Facilities Dedicated Passenger Service Manager Pre-voyage hotel night Complimentary Expedition Jacket Facilities: Elevator serving all passenger decks Upgraded WIFI Internet Library with computers Panoramic Top Deck Observation Platform Bar/Lounge with Live Entertainment Lounge with Audiovisual Facilities DVD Movie Library Tinted sliding glass doors in all cabins on the Promenade Deck World-Class Cuisine: Great expeditions require great food! Our team of world-class chefs offer breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that change daily. They have boat-loads of creativity, so you are sure to experience a variety of remarkable cuisine throughout your voyage. Accommodations: All Suites Feature: Exterior views Your choice of queen-sized or two twin-sized beds Sitting area with sofa and side chair Flat Screen TV with DVD/CD player Telephone Independent temperature controls Mini-Bar Marble-appointed bathroom with fine toiletries Hair dryer 220 square feet or more Sofa can be converted to bed for third person PLEASE NOTE - DECK PLANS CAN VARY.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Upon arrival in Port Moresby transfer to the Airways Hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening for a welcome dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 2 - Day 2 Port Moresby / Embark Island Sky
Visit the National Museum and Art Gallery with its exceptional collections of primitive art, including Sepik River carvings, Malagan masks, and Trobriand Island fishing vessels. Board the Island Sky in the afternoon.
Day 3 - Day 3 Bonarua Island
Be on deck as the ship traces the coast of Papua New Guinea, to observe the peaks of the dramatic Stanley Owens Range that soar to 13,000 feet. This afternoon visit the island of Bonarua, where a local choir welcomes you ashore. Observe fishing and weaving demonstrations, and stroll through the enchanting village, sampling local delicacies made from sweet potatoes, taro, and yams. Birders venture into the thicket to search for island specialties, and the warm inviting waters of the Coral Sea offer a perfect introduction to the undersea wonders on your first snorkel or dive excursion of many to come.
Day 4 - Day 4 Dobu & Fergusson, D'entrecasteaux Islands
Today explore these distinctive, jewel-like islands capped by active volcanoes and snorkel or dive in the surrounding marine-rich waters. You will also visit a tranquil seaside fishing village and hike to a series of hot springs and bubbling mud pools surrounded by lush vegetation.
Day 5 - Day 5 Laughlan Islands
Traditional canoe building is a specialty of the Laughlan islanders. In this very remote corner of eastern Papua New Guinea, find hand-crafted seagoing canoes in various stages of construction, with finely tuned hulls of traditional planking lashed with natural sennit fiber cord and caulked with sap. The residents here welcome you with a stroll through the village of palm-thatched houses. Enjoy an afternoon snorkel off a pristine sand-bar or an adventurous dive off the outer reef.
Day 6 - Day 6 At Sea
Attend lectures recapping your experiences and join naturalists on deck to search for seabirds and marine mammals.
Day 7 - Day 7 Solomon Islands / Expedition Stop
Over the next three days, explore some of the numerous small islands of the Solomons. Snorkel or dive over pristine reefs of hard and soft corals, from delicate seafans to staghorn formations, where colorful sponges, flower-like anemones, and giant tridacna clams edged with iridescent blue mantles flourish. We plan to step ashore on traditional islands to visit with locals and learn about life in this tropical paradise, while nature enthusiasts search the lush vegetation for birds and other wildlife.
Day 8 - Day 8 Tetepare
The largest uninhabited island in the South Pacific, Tetepare is covered with pristine lowland rainforest. Nature walks may reveal some of the island’s 230 recorded bird species, such as Sanford’s sea-eagles, crested cuckoo-doves, Kolombangara monarchs, and beautiful Nicobar pigeons. The surrounding reef is one of the most biodiverse in the world, and crocodiles, dolphins, and dugongs are often found cruising along the coast. The island’s sandy beaches are also an important nesting site for green, leatherback, and hawksbill turtles.
Day 9 - Day 9 Malaita
The residents of Malaita are renowned for their panpipe ensembles and dances that depict traditional activities, like fishing and sailing. Birders will seek the endemic Malaita fantail.
Day 10 - Day 10 At Sea
Attend lectures from our experts during an educational day at sea.
Day 11 - Day 11 Utupua, Santa Cruz Islands
A lagoon and barrier reef surround the rarely visited island of Utupua where Zodiacs take you down a fjordlike channel. Among the marshy mangrove trees, learn about an ecosystem that is a beehive of biological activity. Enjoy free time to stroll through Nembo to see the villagers’ prolific gardens, or join a snorkel or dive excursion along the fringing reef where an abundance of small fish attract predators like gray reef sharks, mangrove jacks, Oriental sweetlips, and schools of trevally.
Day 12 - Day 12 Tikopia
Tikopia is legendary—a remote tropical paradise where traditional customs remain intact. School children clad in tapa cloth harmonize songs of welcome, followed by enthusiastic dances by the young men of the village. A hike to the crater lake at Tikopia’s center may reveal fairy terns, cardinal honeyeaters, and yellow-bibbed lories.
Day 13 - Day 13 Ureparapara, Vanuatu
On Ureparapara you are welcomed ashore with a performance of “water music.” Then join locals for a tour of the village.
Day 14 - Day 14 Ambrym
Today you are welcomed ashore by palm-leaf-clad dancers with elegantly carved headdresses before exploring traditional Linbul Village. Ambrym is known for its slit-gong drums, some carved from enormous breadfruit tree trunks.
Day 15 - Day 15 Port Vila / Disembark / Brisbane, Australia
Disembark this morning for a tour of Port Vila, ending at the airport for your independent flight to Brisbane. Dinner and overnight at our airport hotel.
Day 16 - Please Note:
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
12-09-202027-09-2020USD $14,480Category 1
12-09-202027-09-2020USD $16,980Category 2
12-09-202027-09-2020USD $16,980Category 2 Special Single Rate
12-09-202027-09-2020USD $20,280Category 3 Special Single Rate
12-09-202027-09-2020USD $20,280Category 3
12-09-202027-09-2020USD $23,180Category 4
12-09-202027-09-2020USD $27,880Category 5
12-09-202027-09-2020USD $33,480Category 6

Inclusions

    • Join us on an award-winning journey that reveals the extraordinary diversity of Melanesia and its people.
    • Receive warm welcomes from friendly locals and witness time-honored ceremonies that include hypnotic drumming, melodic bamboo panpipes, and elaborately-costumed dancers.
    • Snorkel or dive over pristine coral reefs populated by a variety of tropical fish.
    • Search for striking endemic birds, including the Solomon Island sea eagle, buff-headed coucal, and Melanesian megapode.
    • Stroll through tiny villages and isolated island communities for a glimpse of traditional life on these idyllic islands.

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