Passage to Papua New Guinea

Passage to Papua New Guinea

From GBP £9,695

Description

Join us aboard the MS Island Sky in the South Pacific for exactly the type of itinerary which suits her many talents best as we sail from Fiji and discover Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands on the way to Papua New Guinea. The islands we call at along the way are certainly not on the mass tourism circuit and their beauty and customs are relatively unscathed by the modern world. 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. Obviously, such beauty and serenity is best enjoyed with a small number of travelling companions and the MS Island Sky with a maximum of only 118 passengers is the ideal vessel, offering all the comforts of a larger vessel, but with the added luxury of a small number of passengers.

Our expedition begins in Fiji from where we head to the Vanuatu archipelago, home to volcanos, rainforests bursting with a magnificent array of flora and fauna, beautiful beaches and a mesmerising underwater world of tropical fish and 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 and air, land and sea battles ensued for their control. 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 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 palm-fringed beaches.

The final two days of our voyage will be spent exploring the islands of Papua New Guinea, a land of striking natural beauty and a hybrid of diverse and unique cultures, with more than 1000 tribal groups, each with different traditions. The region possesses exotic wildlife, turquoise seas, tropical rainforest and steep sided volcanoes. In this land of contrasts we will witness cultural ceremonies, enjoy fascinating underwater experiences and we hope to explore the beautiful D’Entrecasteaux Islands.

Trip Name
Passage to Papua New Guinea
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 - Fiji.
Arrive this morning and transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 2 - Day 2 - Fiji.
Enjoy a relaxing morning at the hotel. After lunch we will transfer to the MS Island Sky moored in Lautoka and sail this evening.
Day 3 - Day 3 - Yasawa Islands.
This morning we will drop anchor amongst the twenty islands of the Yasawa group. In 1789 when Captain Bligh was set adrift from the HMS Bounty he passed by the Yasawa Islands from where two war canoes were sent to pursue them. They escaped, and the waters are still known as Bligh Water. Today we can expect a friendlier welcome as we find a spot on a secluded beach to relax or enjoy a first opportunity to snorkel and swim. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon at sea.
Day 4 - Day 4 - At Sea.
Join a lecture or find a spot on deck as we cruise towards Vanuatu.
Day 5 - Day 5 - Tanna, Vanuatu.
Our first call in Vanuatu is the island of Tanna, meaning earth in the local Kwamera language. Captain Cook was the first European to visit the island in 1774, landing at Port Resolution, 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. We will use our Zodiacs to land ashore and the more adventurous amongst us may wish to join a journey to the crater taking local trucks through the rainforest that covers the mountain before walking to the rim. Alternatively, we hope to have the chance to visit local villages where traditional lifestyles are maintained, and the local culture has been largely unaffected by western influences. We will learn of the customs, traditional medicines, crafts and cooking styles.
Day 6 - Day 6 - 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 offer a chance to swim from the beach.
Day 7 - Day 7 - 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 8 - Day 8 - Espiritu Santo Island.
Espiritu Santo is the largest of Vanuatu’s islands with some of the most beautiful white sand beaches, amazing blue holes, caves and renowned snorkelling. It was also a huge military base during World War II. We plan to berth in Luganville and join an island tour including the Nekar Custom Village where we will learn about local traditions and customs, including their unique water music and cava making, before enjoying time to swim in the nearby Riri Blue Hole. Return to the ship for lunch and in the afternoon snorkel amongst the corals and fish of the region at Million Dollar Point, named after the value of the military equipment dumped into the sea.
Day 9 - Day 9 - Mota Lava & Rah Island.
Our final call in Vanuatu will be the island of Mota Lava and Rah Island in the Banks Island group. These tiny island communities are 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 islands. 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. We also hope to have the chance to snorkel on the reef and enjoy nature walks on the island.
Day 10 - Day 10 - Vanikoro, Solomon Islands.
This morning we arrive in the Solomon Islands and 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, join a nature walk where we can look out for the endemic birds, the Vanikoro monarch and Vanikoro white-eye, or enjoy a swim or snorkel from the beach. 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, meet the students at the village school or swim from the local beach.
Day 12 - Day 12 - Honiara.
During World War II the British founded Honiara as a military base. The town and Mataniko River, which runs through it, were the front for many months during the battle of Guadalcanal. 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
Enjoy a day at sea as we cruise towards Papua New Guinea.
Day 15 - Days 15 & 16 - Papua New Guinea.
We have a day and a half exploring the islands of this fascinating country. Our itinerary will be in the hands of our Expedition Leader and Captain and the local weather conditions but during our time here we hope to visit the D’Entrecasteaux islands. We will use our Zodiacs to land on Fergusson Island, the largest of the chain, in a small fishing village. From here we will walk to the local hot springs and bubbling mud pools surrounded by lush vegetation and birders can keep a lookout for parrots and cockatoos. A welcome dance will be accompanied by local foods cooked in the hot pools. We may cruise through the spectacular Dobu passage and use our Zodiacs to explore and snorkel or alternatively we will land to meet the villagers and visit the local church. On the island of Bonarua, in Milne Bay, we may go ashore to view fishing and weaving demonstrations and to wander through the enchanting village, sampling local delicacies. Birders will have the chance to trek into the thicket. We enjoy a final afternoon at sea.
Day 16 - Day 17 - Port Moresby.
Disembark this morning and group transfer to the airport for your onward travel.
Day 17 - Day 19 - Port Moresby.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London.
Day 18 - Day 20 - London.
Arrive this morning.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
30-04-202016-05-2020GBP £9,695Magellan Suite
30-04-202016-05-2020GBP £9,995Columbus Deck Superior
30-04-202016-05-2020GBP £10,295Marco Polo Deck Premium
30-04-202016-05-2020GBP £10,595Marco Polo Deck Corner Suite
30-04-202016-05-2020GBP £11,395Magellan Suite Sole
30-04-202016-05-2020GBP £11,595Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony
30-04-202016-05-2020GBP £11,795Explorer Owners Balcony
30-04-202016-05-2020GBP £11,995Columbus Deck Superior Sole

Inclusions

    • Enjoy the island of Tanna, meaning earth in the local Kwamera language
    • Anchor off Port Havannah, situated on the north coast of Efate Island
    • Explore Pentecost
    • 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
    • Enjoy Espiritu Santo
    • the largest of Vanuatu’s islands with some of the most beautiful white sand beaches, amazing blue holes, caves and renowned snorkelling.
    • Have a day and a half exploring the islands of Papua New Guinea

Map