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Hidden Treasures of the South Pacific (Island Sky)

Hidden Treasures of the South Pacific (Island Sky)

From GBP £10,195

Description

“As we explore, our fleet of purpose built Zodiacs will provide us with the freedom of spontaneity to land on otherwise inaccessible beaches and encounter some truly remote and fascinating communities.”

If you were the owner of a large yacht based in the Pacific, this is exactly the type of itinerary you would plan. A fascinating island hopping adventure from Fiji to Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, through Melanesia and finally to Australia. All the islands we will encounter are beautiful in their different ways and all have unique features and cultures. They are certainly not on the mass tourism circuit and their beauty and customs are relatively unscathed by the modern world. The region is ideal for exploring by small ship and particularly one as suitable as the MS Island Sky. Her fleet of Zodiac landing craft provides us with the freedom of spontaneity to explore and land in places where relatively few travellers have been before us.

For our unique exploration we begin in Fiji from where we head to the Vanuatu archipelago, home to rainforests bursting with a magnificent array of flora and fauna and a mesmerising underwater world of tropical fish and vibrant coral. From here our island hopping adventure continues to the Solomon Islands which were thrust on to the centre stage of world history when the Allied forces took the offensive in the South Pacific. We will visit the outer islands of Vanikoro and Santa Ana before arriving in Honiara where we explore the war sites and head west to Tetepare and Marovo Lagoon. From these remote island paradises we will have the opportunity to visit tribal villages little changed for centuries, see astonishing ceremonial dances, enjoy nature walks inland or swim in the warm waters from isolated palmfringed beaches. The final part of our expedition takes us to Papua New Guinea which remains one of the most mysterious places on earth.

This voyage has something for everyone, whether your interest lies in natural history, military history, bird watching, photography, the undersea world or simply just being one of the privileged few who are able to set foot on islands of astonishing richness and beauty. We hope you can join us in this faraway haven, for an unparalleled opportunity to explore one of the most intriguing places on the map.

Trip Name
Hidden Treasures of the South Pacific (Island Sky)
Days
20
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 London to Hong Kong.
Fly by scheduled flight.
Day 2 - Day 2 Hong Kong.
Arrive this afternoon and transfer to our hotel, Harbour Grand Kowloon (or similar), for an overnight stay. The remainder of the day and evening are free for independent arrangements.
Day 3 - Day 3 Hong Kong to Fiji.
After breakfast we will take an orientation tour of Hong Kong including a tram ride up Victoria Peak for views over the city skyline and Victoria Harbour. Also visit Stanley Market and the fishing village of Aberdeen. After lunch transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Fiji.
Day 4 - Day 4 Lautoka, Fiji.
Arrive in Fiji this morning and transfer to our hotel where day rooms have been reserved. After lunch join our excursion which will include the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. Wander the canopy covered boardwalks, landscaped lawns and lily ponds before viewing the large collection of orchids. Transfer to the MS Island Sky this afternoon and sail this evening.
Day 5 - Day 5 At Sea.
Spend a relaxing day at sea as we make our way across the South Pacific to Vanuatu. Maybe join a lecture, find a spot on deck or read a book in the library.
Day 6 - Day 6 Tanna, Vanuatu.
Over breakfast we arrive on the island of Tanna, which means earth in the local Kwamera language. Captain Cook was the first European to visit the island in 1774, landing at Port Resolution and having been attracted by the glowing light of Mount Yasur. This 361 metre active volcano is situated in the south east of the island and dominates the landscape. The adventurous may wish to join a journey to the crater. We will use local trucks to drive through the rainforest that covers the mountain before walking to the rim. Alternatively, we may have the chance to visit a local village where traditional lifestyles are maintained and the local culture has been largely unaffected by western influences. Here we will learn of customs and also of traditional medicines, crafts and cooking styles.
Day 7 - Day 7 Port Havannah.
Awake this morning as we anchor off Port Havannah, situated on the north coast of Efate Island and our base for today’s activities. There are a number of outer islands that we may be able to explore depending on weather and sea conditions. Lelepa Island is 160 acres of unspoilt tropical rainforest and palm fringed beaches. On a nature walk we will see the herbs used in local medicines before exploring Feles cave, thought to be the resting place of the legendary Polynesian Chief, Roi Mata. Meanwhile on Moso Island we meet the volunteers at the Tasiriki Turtle Sanctuary who will teach us about the rehabilitation of the Hawksbill turtles and the attempts to increase their numbers. If time and weather permit, we will also set up a snorkelling platform or have the chance for a swim.
Day 8 - Day 8 Pentecost Island.
Named after the day on which it was first sighted by Europeans, Pentecost is a mountainous, tropical island. There are no towns on Pentecost and many areas remain relatively untouched by western influences with strong local traditions. The island is also the home of nanggol (land diving) – the original bungee jump – which is known throughout the world. The nanggol ceremony takes place between April and June to celebrate the first yam crop emerging and we hope to coincide our call with one of these events. From tall towers constructed of saplings and branches held together with forest vines, the men leap forward and down to touch the earth below. A good jump helps ensure a bountiful yam harvest.
Day 9 - Day 9 Ureparapara.
Our final call in Vanuatu will be the island of Ureparapara in the Banks Island group. This tiny island community is still off the main tourist routes but the locals are happy to share their culture, stories and ways of life with the visitors that make the journey to their island. From our anchorage point we will Zodiac ashore and see a traditional snake dance, where the men paint themselves black and white as sea snakes, before being welcomed into the village.
Day 10 - Day 10 Vanikoro, Solomon Islands.
Spend the morning on the island of Vanikoro. Situated in the Temotu Province, Vanikoro was where French explorer Jean- Francois de la Perouse became stranded after both his vessels, La Boussole and the Astrolabe, hit the then unknown reefs of the island in 1788. Learn more about the island’s history and the mystery of the lost La Perouse expedition that captured the imagination of the European public. As we land with our Zodiacs, we will be welcomed ashore by the local villagers before choosing to explore the village further or join a nature walk where we can look out for the endemic birds, the Vanikoro monarch and Vanikoro white-eye. Alternatively we also hope to have the chance to swim or snorkel in the clear waters. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon at sea.
Day 11 - Day 11 Santa Ana.
After a morning cruising, over lunch we anchor off Port Mary on Santa Ana Island. We will be welcomed with a stunning dance by the villagers with spears and mud face masks. After the performance we have the opportunity to explore the town further with its plethora of local handicrafts, join a nature walk through the forests or swim from the local beach.
Day 12 - Day 12 Honiara.
Prior to World War II Honiara did not exist, it developed around the site of the US military headquarters. Today, this is a bustling town with lovely hibiscus and palm tree lined avenues. After breakfast we will join a city tour of Honiara including the central market, parliament building and National Museum where we get an insight into the history of the Solomon Islands. Enjoy lunch before continuing to the World War II sites including Henderson Field, the Japanese Peace Park and the US Memorial at Skyline Ridge. This evening we will cruise through Iron Bottom Sound, the site of intense naval battles during World War II and so named for the large numbers of Japanese and American ships and aircraft that sank beneath the sea.
Day 13 - Day 13 Marovo Lagoon.
Marovo Lagoon is the largest double barrier lagoon in the world. Thousands of islands scatter the lagoon, from tiny coral islets on the fringing reef to massive 1600 metre volcanic islands. Inside the lagoon, the islands are surrounded by spectacular coral formations and white sand beach, the lagoon waters shimmering in every shade of blue, turquoise and jade green. We have a full day here to explore and will visit one of the outlying villages which produce some of the finest wood carvings in the region. We will also find a suitable spot to snorkel and swim as well as Zodiac cruises to look for local wildlife.
Day 14 - Day 14 At Sea.
Spend a day at sea as we continue our journey towards Papua New Guinea.
Day 15 - Day 15 Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.
Arrive this morning at Rabaul’s dramatic harbour which is ringed by six cone-shaped volcanoes. Our morning tour will include a visit to the Volcanic Observatory, which monitors 14 active and 23 dormant volcanoes in Papua New Guinea, and from where we will enjoy magnificent views over the bay and the volcanoes. Our next stop will be Mount Tavurvur, which violently erupted in 1937 and 1994, and where we will witness the Hot Springs. This afternoon will be at leisure to explore independently before we meet tonight to attend an astonishing performance of the Baining tribe’s fire dance. Tribe members in huge, magnificently crafted masks leap and dance over crackling, red-hot coals in a centuries-old ritual to honour the local deity-spirits.
Day 16 - Day 16 Rabaul to Cairns, Australia.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our specially chartered flight to Cairns. On arrival transfer to our hotel, the Hilton Cairns, and the rest of the day and evening is free for independent exploration.
Day 17 - Day 17 Cairns to Singapore.
After breakfast in the hotel transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Singapore. On arrival transfer to our hotel, the Mandarin oriental, for a two night stay and the remainder of the day is free to explore at your own pace.
Day 18 - Day 18 Singapore.
This morning we will enjoy an orientation tour including the National Orchid Garden which houses the largest collection of orchids in the world. Also see the bustling district of little India, the markets of Kampong Glam and the Sri Mariamman temple in Chinatown. Return to the hotel and enjoy a free afternoon and evening to explore at your own pace. You may wish to take a boat ride on the Singapore River, see the lightshow at the Gardens by the Bay, visit the iconic Raffles Hotel or relax at the hotel.
Day 19 - Day 19 Singapore to London.
Enjoy a free morning in Singapore before we meet this afternoon for our transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Day 20 - Day 20 London.
Arrive this morning.
Day 21 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
04-05-202123-05-2021GBP £10,195Magellan Deck Standard Suite
04-05-202123-05-2021GBP £10,495Columbus Deck Superior Suite
04-05-202123-05-2021GBP £10,695Marco Polo Deck Premium Suite
04-05-202123-05-2021GBP £10,995Marco Polo Deck Corner Suite
04-05-202123-05-2021GBP £11,995Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony Suite
04-05-202123-05-2021GBP £12,195Explorer Deck Owner's Balcony Suite
04-05-202123-05-2021GBP £12,995Explorer Deck Island Suite
04-05-202123-05-2021GBP £13,895Magellan Deck Standard Single
04-05-202123-05-2021GBP £14,195Columbus Deck Superior Single

Inclusions

    • Discover Fiji & Vanuatu.
    • Explore Solomon Islands.
    • Visit Papua New Guinea.

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