From Fiji to Micronesia – with Nat Geo

From Fiji to Micronesia – with Nat Geo

From AUD $9,990

Description

In partnership with National Geographic Expeditions.

Embark with PONANT for a 16-day expedition cruise to the heart of remote islands in the Pacific. Aboard Le Soléal, you will follow a brand-new itinerary that will take you from Fiji to Guam to discover very rich local cultures and exceptional underwater life.

From Lautoka you will sail West to reach the delightful Vanuatu islands. On Ambrym Island you will have the chance to visit a traditional village where the inhabitants will share their customs and through singing and traditional dances.

You will then set sail for the Solomon Islands where you will have the opportunity to have encounters with local inhabitants as well as enjoy stunning white-sand beaches with swimming and snorkelling.

After a port of call in Papua New Guinea, the mysteries of Micronesia will reveal themselves to you. A scattering of islands and atolls, lost in the heart of the northern Pacific between the line of the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer, this area is rich in Second World War history. This area is a diver’s paradise with stunning coral reefs to explore. The coconut tree-lined white-sand beaches and traditional villages with deep-rooted traditions will be sure to charm you.

Trip Name
From Fiji to Micronesia - with Nat Geo
Days
16
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship Length: 142 metres Passenger Capacity: 264 Built: 2013 Sailing under the French flag, this magnificent yacht of only 132 staterooms and suites, with balconies, joined in 2013. You will be enchanted by the contemporary decor inspired by the luxury yachting world, with fluid lines and a modern colour scheme combining natural wood with shades of grey and white. A refined ambience is enhanced by the quality of the workmanship and materials: white Corian counters in the lobby contrast with the warmth of leather to recall a boat's hull, while the central scuplture of enamelled pieces takes its inspiration from the sea.  In the loungebar, the carpet picks up a tennis stripe theme symbolising a certain idea of cruising, one synonomous with French elegance and a chic seaside spirit.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 LAUTOKA
Lautoka is the second largest city of Fiji. Located on the western side of the island of Viti Levu, 24 kilometres north of Nadi. Lying in the heart of Fiji's sugar cane growing region, it is known as the Sugar City. Lautoka is the gateway to Fiji’s “Sun coast” a land of abundant sunshine, azure skies and dramatic grass-covered peaks chequered with sugar-cane fields, rural villages and quaint market towns.
Day 2 - Day 2 AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 3 - Day 3 AMBRYM ISLAND
The island of Ambrym in Vanuatu is often referred to as the "black" island due to its volcanic ash and because of its 'black magic' steeped in mystery. In the villages, the ancient customs play a significant part in day to day living. The "Man blong Majik" are treated with the utmost respect and practice sorcery and magic beyond all imaginings. Ambrym prides itself on some unique characteristics, such as the magnificent tam-tams (or slit gongs) sculpted out of tree trunks, sand-drawing, black-fern masks and local dances. The most striking custom dance is the Rom (or masked) dance – where 9 foot covertly cloaked and masked 'spirits' stomp out ancient rhythms to the beat of the tam tam.
Day 4 - Day 4 PARADISE LAGOON, ESPIRITU SANTO ISLAND
At the end of the world, in the north of New Caledonia, lies Vanuatu, a little archipelago that subsists mainly from fishing and farming. It is composed of several islands, Espiritu Santo being the largest and one of the most beautiful. You can meet the people here who are very welcoming and who live in harmony with nature. Plus you’ll see unimaginable landscapes formed of volcanic rocks, as well as sandy beaches and lagoons beckoning you to dive into their of turquoise waters. You’ll be surprised to find, in the middle of dense vegetation, brackish water with an amazing ecosystem called “blue holes”. If paradise exists, it must be here.
Day 5 - Day 5 AT SEA
During your day on the Le Soleal, make the most of your surroundings and enjoy the onboard amenities and services. Relax in the spa, head to the fitness centre for a workout or take a dip in the swimmingpool. If you’re interested in wildlife, head to the upper deck where you’ll get the best view to observe marine species, should you be lucky enough to pass any.
Day 6 - Day 6 SANTA ANA ISLAND
Owaraha (formerly Santa Ana) is located at the eastern end of Makira (San Cristobal) and just north of the smaller Owariki (Santa Catalina). Our ship will navigate through the picturesque channel separating the Islands before dropping anchor just outside Port Mary. The islanders are well known for preserving ancient traditions and producing intricate wooden carvings. Their artefacts include magnificently carved fishing floats and ceremonial bowls intricately inlayed with shells. After a short zodiac ride ashore you will be guided through the village to an open area to witness a number of traditional performances. Afterwards experience life in a traditional Solomon Island village or take a swim in the warm tropical waters of Port Mary.
Day 7 - Day 7 HONIARA, GUADALCANAL ISLAND & RODERICK BAY, FLORIDA ISLANDS
Honiara is the capital city of The Solomon Islands, administered as a provincial town on the north western coast of Guadalcanal Island. Honiara comes from the local Ghari Language “naho-ni-ara” meaning 'facing the ara', the place where the southeast winds meet the land. During your stop, discover this city, its beautiful landscape, and the significant role it played in World War II. Particularly The Battle of Henderson Field, the last of the three major land offensives conducted by the Japanese in 1942. Alternatively, you can discover a traditional village, its culture and way of life.Part of the Florida Islands, Roderick bay is surrounded by beautiful white sand beaches and fringing coral reefs. These clear warm tropical waters give rise to a myriad of colourful corals only metres from the shore. To add to this stunning environment, nosed up onto a nearby beach, listing heavily to its starboard side is the wreck of the World Discoverer; an expedition cruise ship beached here in 2001 after striking a charted rock at the Northern entrance to Sandfly Passage. Venture ashore for a welcome ceremony, take a walk through the village or snorkel around the wreck to witness the marine environment attempting to reclaim this invader.
Day 8 - Day 8 AT SEA
During your day on the Le Soleal, make the most of your surroundings and enjoy the onboard amenities and services. Relax in the spa, head to the fitness centre for a workout or take a dip in the swimming pool. If you’re interested in wildlife, head to the upper deck where you’ll get the best view to observe marine species, should you be lucky enough to pass any.
Day 9 - Day 9 RABAUL, BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO
Set at the eastern end of the island of New Britain, the tropical port town of Rabaul has always been famous for its spectacular setting. Nestled beside Simpson Harbour, the township is surrounded by six volcanoes, one of which, Mt Tavurvur, is still active today. The most recent major volcanic eruption was in September 1994 when Tavurvur and Vulcan covered much of Rabaul and surrounding villages with volcanic ash. This eruption saw the growth of the nearby coastal town of Kokopo which has now become the administrative and tourism centre for Rabaul. Join your expedition team for a tour by local transport to see Mt Tavurvur, the Volcano Observatory and various significant sites from World War II.
Day 10 - Days 10 - 11 AT SEA
During your day on the Le Soleal, make the most of your surroundings and enjoy the onboard amenities and services. Relax in the spa, head to the fitness centre for a workout or take a dip in the swimming pool. If you’re interested in wildlife, head to the upper deck where you’ll get the best view to observe marine species, should you be lucky enough to pass any.
Day 11 - Day 12 CHUUK (EX TRUK)
Chuuk Lagoon, also previously known as Truk Lagoon is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia. The cluster of 16 much-eroded volcanic islands have mangrove swamps along their coasts with rich rainforests in the central mountainous areas. The islands are hugely popular with scuba divers thanks to the incredibly interesting shipwrecks which have become foundations for new reef growth.
Day 12 - Day 13 PULAP ISLAND
Pulap is an atoll consisting of three islands located in the Pattiw group in the Caroline Islands. The three islands are, Pollap in the north, Tamatam in the south, and Fanadik at the western fringe of the reef.The island is surrounded by a number of ghostly shipwrecks that are virtually intact, submerged underwater. This makes for great diving expeditions where you can explore the reef and its incredible marine life as well as the shipwrecks.
Day 13 - Day 14 SATAWAL ISLAND
Satawal is a solitary coral atoll consisting of just one island. Like Pulap, Satawal is located in the Caroline Islands where it is home to just 500 people. Famous for its preservation of traditional navigational techniques without the use of modern instruments, based on indigenous astronomical and maritime concepts. The island is still very traditional which means visitors rarely step ashore but those who do are warmly welcomed by the villagers.
Day 14 - Day 15 GAFERUT ATOLL
Gaferut Atoll is an outlying atoll in the State of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia. The tiny island is mostly defined by densely covered rolling hills which are lusciously covered with vegetation. Mangrove swamps line the vast majority of the shore with an outer barrier reef, rich in marine wildlife surrounding the island. there is an enclosed lagoon which too is brimming with a diverse selection of marine wildlife.
Day 15 - Day 16 GUAM
Situated in the western Pacific Ocean lies Guam, the largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago. There is a wealth of history in Guam, it was ceded to the US by Spain in 1898 after the Spanish-American War. Captured by Japan in 1941, it was retaken by the US 3 years later. Come to the end of your expedition in Guam where you can enjoy local culture and visit the historic landmarks.
Day 16 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
01-04-202016-04-2020AUD $9,990Superior Stateroom
01-04-202016-04-2020AUD $10,880DeLuxe Stateroom
01-04-202016-04-2020AUD $11,600Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
01-04-202016-04-2020AUD $11,980Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
01-04-202016-04-2020AUD $12,390Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
01-04-202016-04-2020AUD $17,130Deluxe Suite
01-04-202016-04-2020AUD $18,570Prestige Suite - Deck 5
01-04-202016-04-2020AUD $19,150Prestige Suite - Deck 6
01-04-202016-04-2020AUD $20,170Owner’s Suite

Inclusions

    • A cruise in partnership with National Geographic Expeditions offering enrichment with a National Geographic Photographer and an Expert specialised in the destination onboard.
    • Shore visits in Zodiac®inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • Vanuatu: traditional villages, tropical beaches, coral reefs, active volcanoes.
    • The Solomon Islands, secret destination in the South Pacific and a real tropical Eden.
    • Micronesia, a scattering of islands and atolls with breathtaking underwater scenery.
    • Encounters with local people: cultural performances, dances, arts & crafts.
    • From Paradise Lagoon, don’t miss the unique performance from the “water music women” on Maewa Island.
    • Regions rich Second World War history, particularly Chuuk (Micronesia), where a number of wrecks from the Japanese fleet can be found under water.
    • Possibility of diving (PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent) with an experienced instructor on board and of snorkelling with your expedition team.

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