West Pacific Passage (Coral Geographer)

West Pacific Passage (Coral Geographer)

From AUD $11,250

Description

On this voyage, we traverse the archipelago of the Solomon Islands and step ashore at rarely-visited island nations, where ancient Melanesian and Polynesian history combine with natural beauty to create an expedition experience you’ll never forget. Journey across the western Pacific Ocean to some of the world’s most remote islands including Tuvalu, the least visited country in the world, and the remote outpost of Tikopia with its Polynesian influence, only accessible by sea. Step ashore at Vanikoro, where the French explorer Jean-Francois de La Perouse was shipwrecked in 1788. Visit the volcanic islands of Wallis & Futuna and notice the distinct Tongan and Samoan ancestral connections that differentiate these islands from each other.

Trip Name
West Pacific Passage (Coral Geographer)
Days
16
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Passenger Capacity: 120 Built: 2020 Expedition capabilities > Two trademark Xplorer tenders seat all passengers and facilitate comfortable shore excursions > Six zodiacs for more intrepid exploration > Lecture lounge for daily expedition briefings and expert presentations > Small onboard library featuring books on destinations and wildlife > Shallow draft and advanced navigation and propulsion systems allowing access to locations closed to large cruise ships Marine immersion > Navigator lounge in the bridge > Over 1000 square metres of open deck space including a wrap-around promenade deck with panoramic views > Engine room tours and a high level of crew interaction with guests Food and wine features > Single seating dining with communal table serves buffet breakfast and lunch, and multi-course table d’hote dinners > Showcase galley with viewing window creating fresh small-batch cuisine featuring Australian and local produce > Multiple indoor and outdoor bars, including our Explorer bar on the sundeck for sunset drinks > Curated wine cellar featuring boutique wines and exceptional vintage Australian reds Guest comfort > All outside-facing guest cabins with en-suite bathrooms; the majority have a private balcony > Active stabilisers to dampen sea motion > Well-equipped gym > Passenger elevator > Wi-Fi available in all guest areas

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1: Depart Honiara
Board Coral Geographer at 4:00pm. This evening, join the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow guests as the sun sets.
Day 2 - Days 2 - 15: Expedition Cruising
These are expedition itineraries covering remote regions. Your Captain and Expedition Team may make changes to the daily schedule when necessary to maximise guest experience. Below are the highlight destinations of your voyage.Marau SoundLocated in the eastern tip of Guadalcanal, this is an area of turquoise water and verdant tropical islands. It is also a geographical crossroad, separating Guadalcanal’s calm northern waters from its Tasi Mauri or ‘weather coast’. Most of the Marau people depend on their natural environment, practising subsistent farming and fishing.Five marine protected reserves have been established in Marau Sound. Here, we will hear the panpipes played and watch the women perform water music.Star Harbour, San CristobalThe locals of Star Harbour, a small village in the southeast of San Cristobal, welcome us ashore this morning. We enjoy a colourful cultural performance before exploring the village. Meet the children at the local school and learn about the harbour’s WWII history as a US base. Then, enjoy a scenic zodiac ride through surrounding mangrove-lined creeks, whilst the more energetic may wish to join a longer hike around the harbour to birdwatch and admire the view. Later in the afternoon, enjoy snorkelling and birdwatching at the nearby Frigate Island.NendoNendo Island is an excellent location to view and purchase quality artefacts such as authentic hand-crafted tapa cloth paintings, shell necklaces and wood carvings. At Luowa Village, enjoy a cultural performance, and in particular, look out for head-dresses of red feather money and the nasal piercings of carved shell and mother of pearl. Later, enjoy an opportunity to snorkel from the beach.VanikoroThe impressive island of Vanikoro rises to a towering peak, which dominates the landscape. Surrounding by a barrier reef, the island was the site of the double shipwreck of French explorer Jean-Francois de La Perouse in 1788. Both his ships, La Boussole and Astrolabe, struck the reef and stranded the explorer and his men on the island. Sadly, the men either died on the island or were never seen again after escaping in a smaller vessel.The island is a beautiful stop – there is the opportunity for birdwatchers to search for endemic species such as the White-eye and the monarch flycatchers. The local villagers will welcome us and share their knowledge of the arts of traditional fire lighting, bow and arrow making, and breadfruit recipes, as well as the traditional mask dance of Vanikoro.TikopiaThe volcanic island of Tikopia, existing for the most part independently of the outside world, is one of the outlying islands of the Solomon Islands. Its civilisation has evolved almost without any external influences. The island is very small, and the people have a special relationship with the land, which is considered alive.There is a crater lake at Tikopia’s centre and a walk there may reveal beautiful rainforest and endemic bird species. Later, snorkel over the grottos of the surrounding coral reefs.TuvaluSpend two days exploring the archipelago of Tuvalu. A group of nine tiny islands, Tuvalu gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1978. The low-lying group of islands, five of which are coral atolls, are considered to be at risk to rising sea levels. Life on the islands is simple and often difficult – with no freshwater rivers, residents must collect rainwater. Coconut palms cover the island and copra is the only export. The least-visited country in the world, Tuvalu is a quiet and peaceful paradise of palm-fringed beaches, strong local culture, and vibrant marine life. Here we will discover the local culture and explore the Funafuti Conservation Area, where some of the best reefs and gorgeous lagoon are located.Wallis & FutunaWallis and Futuna, officially the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands, is a French overseas collectivity made up of three volcanic islands and a number of tiny islets. Throughout history, the islands have served as a stopping point between Fiji and Samoa. During Tongan invasions of the 15th century, Wallis experienced fundamental changes in society, language and culture, while Futuna traces its roots to Samoa. Snorkel in the lagoon at Wallis, considered one of the most pristine in the world. Ashore we see the unique architecture of their many churches.
Day 3 - Day 16: Arrive Apia
Disembark Coral Geographer at 8:00 am.
Day 4 - Please Note:
This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition, we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. The itinerary includes the possibility of interaction with wild animals and this interaction is subject to the presence of this wildlife on the day.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
04-06-2020AUD $0-
21-10-202105-11-2021AUD $11,250Coral Deck
21-10-202105-11-2021AUD $14,100Promenade Deck Stateroom
21-10-202105-11-2021AUD $16,875Coral Deck
21-10-202105-11-2021AUD $17,700Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom
21-10-202105-11-2021AUD $21,150Promenade Deck Stateroom Solo
21-10-202105-11-2021AUD $22,350Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
21-10-202105-11-2021AUD $26,550Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom Solo
04-06-2020AUD $0-

Inclusions

    • Witness the legendary water music and drumming performed by women at Marau Sound
    • Experience authentic Solomon Islands culture and a striking warrior performance at Luowa Village on Nendo Island
    • At numerous remote islands, admire hand carved and woven artefacts and meet the artisans who follow traditional methods
    • Visit the isolated Solomon Islands of Tikopia and Vanikoro – learn about Tikopia’s unique Polynesian culture and the wrecks of French explorer La Perouse at Vanikoro
    • Be immersed in Tuvalu, the world’s least-visited country, and participate in conservation projects and explore the stunning archipelago of atolls
    • At the remote volcanic French overseas collectivity of Wallis and Futuna witness the Samoan & Tongan influences that distinguish the islands

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