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Islands & Atolls of Micronesia | Palau - Kavieng | 18 Nights

Marine biodiversity of remote islands & coral atolls

18 Nights | Departing Palau 25 August 2021 | Arriving Kavieng 12 September 2021 | Onboard Coral Geographer

Our expedition tracks eastwards from Palau through the remote and rarely explored islands of Micronesia. Share the spirit of local islanders and partake in cultural traditions such as dance, weaving and carving as it has been done for centuries. Enjoy rare wildlife encounters above and below the surface with diverse bird species and unique marine life on offer throughout the voyage. Search for island endemics and seabirds such as red-footed boobies, Pohnpei lorikeets, Chuuk monarchs, white terns, black noddies, and white-tailed tropicbirds. Snorkel and dive on the famed ‘ghost fleet’ of over 50 WWII coral-encrusted shipwrecks in Chuuk Lagoon, visit the Japanese war memorial and a former WWII command centre. Wander amongst the archaeological ruins of Nan Madol, a 12th – 15th century former royal residence and political seat of the Saudeleur Dynasty on Pohnpei. Across the archipelago, learn about Austronesian-speaking people and their maritime sailing culture and seaborne migrations into Micronesia.

View Brochure       Snorkelling & Scuba Diving Information

 

Expedition Highlights

  • Visit all 4 of the Federated States of Micronesia including the extremely remote Kosrae, known for its lush mountainous landscape, and a pristine underwater world featuring tall pink hard coral pillars the locals call castle coral
  • Learn about the giant limestone disks used as currency on Yap island
  • Survey rare species of birds across the island chains including masked, brown and red-footed Boobies, noddies and terns along with a chance to see the endemic Chuuk monarch at Chuuk Island
  • Snorkel and dive remote reef and lagoons at Ulithi Atoll, Chuuk and Pohnpei, sharing the waters with sea turtles, anemone, lionfish, octopus and moray eels hunting crabs in the shallows
  • Visit the sacred lagoon waters of Lamotrek where local menfolk show how to make ancient fish traps and take guests in traditional carved canoes
  • Discover the Japanese ghost fleet of Chuuk Lagoon, where thousands of wrecks, sunk in WWII, lie silently in the green waters and walk through Japanese memorials and ruins of command centres and hospitals that housed the offensive effort of the Pacific conflicts
  • Visit famed archaeological site Nan Madol, a 12th-century palace
  • Learn about the ancient navigational culture of the Micronesians which is still practised today

 

Fares

10% Early Bird: Available on bookings made before 31 August 2020.

CORAL GEOGRAPHER TWIN SHARE PER PERSON SOLE USE*
Bridge Deck Balcony Suite $26,820 n/a
Explorer Deck Balcony $21,420 $32,130
Promenade Deck $17,280 $25,920
Coral Deck $13,680 $20,520

Prices are per person, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST. *Limited sole use occupancy available.

Optional Charter flight: $850 per person. Limited seats available, contact our reservations team for more information.

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Small Islands of The World - Palau to Kavieng Map

Destinations

Embark: Board at 7:30 am at Palau, Koror, on 25 August 2021
Disembark: Arrive and disembark at 8:00 am at Kavieng, on 12 September 2021

Palau, Koror > Yap > Ulithi Atoll  > Sorol Islands > Ifalik Atoll > Lamotrek  > Puluwat > Chuuk > Ant Atoll > Pohnpei  > Kosrae  > Nukuoro Atoll > Kapingamarangi > Kavieng

Day 1: Depart Palau

Included in your cruise fare is one-night accommodation and welcome event to meet your crew and fellow guests before your departure the following morning. Board the Coral Geographer in Palau at 7:30am for a 9:00am departure. Settle into your cabin and relax as we set sail across the North Pacific. This evening, join the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow guests as the sun sets.

Day 2 – 12:

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.

Federated States of Micronesia: Yap

Yap state is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia. The main island of Yap is famous for its stone money – limestone discs, known as Rai,  that are used as currency and may be as large as 4m or as small as 4cm in diameter. These discs do not lose value and many still carry the wealth of their owners. Discs can be seen embedded in the earth or standing in rows near villages. The Yapese are skilled builders, which can be seen in elegant tribal buildings. They are also very skilled navigators, and we will learn about their canoe building culture and ability to navigate through the many islands of Micronesia. Be welcomed and entertained with traditional dancing, and we may be here in time for their Homecoming Summer Festival.

Ulithi Atoll

Ulithi’s Lagoon is the fourth largest in the world, and the ocean currents surrounding the island provide the perfect environment for diverse species to thrive. It is common to see manta rays, dolphins, turtles, sharks and barracuda around the atoll.

The Ulithi people practice long-held cultural traditions, which they will introduce through performances and village tours. We have to opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of the locals, before entering the warm waters of the lagoon on snorkelling or diving expeditions to enjoy the marvellous marine environment.

Sorol Atoll

Enjoy a rare opportunity to visit a tiny uninhabited island.  Some time ago, a large cyclone caused the inhabitants to relocate to a different island, and the atoll has since thrived.  Enjoy nature walks to spot flocks of seabirds and endemic birds of this region of Micronesia and beach-comb along the white sand beaches. Snorkelling or diving reveals a thriving population of fish – be surrounded by snapper, batfish, angelfish and trevally as well as many others. This is an expedition stop which provides a relaxing and peaceful day surrounded by nature in one of the most remote regions of the world.

Ifalik Atoll

One of the most traditional villages in Micronesia, Ifalik is determined to maintain a cultural integrity that we are privileged to experience.  Witness traditional dances and demonstrations of skills integral to the local lifestyle such as rope making, pandanus fibre making, basket weaving, and carving.  After a wonderful morning learning about the people who make this remote atoll their home, there are opportunities to enjoy another dive or snorkel.

The locals may provide the opportunity to sail the lagoon in an outrigger canoe which incurs a small fee to the canoe owner (at your own expense).

Lamotrek Atoll

Visit the villages of Lamotrek Atoll (subject to permission), where the local people are known for their navigation skills and construction of elegant long canoes constructed from breadfruit wood. Here, we may see demonstrations of weaving and the creation of traditional foods, as well as exploring the beaches and snorkelling over the fringing reef. Enjoy conversations with the residents to learn about life in this remote atoll and relax on the beach together. Making these connections provides such a wonderful experience of shared culture that it is difficult for us to depart.

Federated States of Micronesia: Chuuk

At Pulap Atoll, enjoy traditional dancing in a unique style, and later enjoy a drift snorkel through the aquarium-like lagoon. At Puluwat Atoll, we may visit an abandoned lighthouse or see WWII wreckage at Alei Island.

Continuing on to Chuuk, the main atoll of Chuuk State, we explore the spectacular coral-fringed lagoon, which shelters the mountainous volcanic islands.  The sweeping views of lush rainforest and cascading waterfalls contrast with deserted beaches, small thatched villages and tiny islets swarming with bird life.

Once a major military site for the Japanese, many of the Imperial Navy vessels sheltered here until 1944, when American bombers sunk 60 vessels and aircraft in the lagoon.  Known as the ‘ghost fleet’, the lagoon contains a vast museum-like collection of unparalleled mystery – ship after ship leaning into the ocean floor, and aircraft with wings tilted are revealed on an otherworldly dive.

Snorkellers may explore more shallow dives, while nature walks reveal endemic bird life such as the Caroline ground-dove and Micronesian myzomela. There is also the opportunity to explore a multitude of WWII sites, particularly the Japanese command centres and the ruins of the colonial hospital built in 1930.

Federated States of Micronesia: Pohnpei

We may have the opportunity to go ashore at Ant Atoll, a stunning coral reef atoll that is recognised as a World Biosphere Reserve. Home to some of the largest colonies of terns, boobies, black noddies and frigatebirds in the Pacific, the lagoon also has a thriving population of grey reef sharks. There is only one small settlement on this island, so we may snorkel, dive, or spend the afternoon strolling in search of endemic bird species.

On Pohnpei, the largest and tallest island in Micronesia, we visit the archaeological site of Nan Madol, a stone city with many ocean-filled canals and channels. Known as the Venice of the Pacific, the ancient city was a thriving civilisation in the 12th century. Tour the ancient site and have the opportunity with longer walks to visit Kepirohi Waterfall and learn about the endemic flora and fauna.

Federated States of Micronesia: Kosrae

The mountainous island of Kosrae is known as the ‘island of the sleeping lady’ and is the easternmost state in the Federated States of Micronesia.  Verdant forests and tumbling waterfalls give way to mysterious archaeological sites from a civilisation that peaked around the 14th century.

We explore the enigmatic Lelu Ruins site, once an impressive city covering 20 hectares with an extensive canal system, social structure and pyramidal tombs. Corals were used extensively in the building of Lelu, and local myth implies that the city was constructed using magic. An investigative visit here will satisfy your desire to understand more of the ancient civilisations of Micronesia.

In the afternoon, enjoy snorkelling and diving at the Blue Hole, enjoy bushwalking and hiking, or spend time conversing with the local people.

After time at sea, we will go ashore at Nukuoro, one of the most stunning atolls in Micronesia. This atoll provides a fantastic opportunity to snorkel or swim over the wreck of a Japanese zero in shallow, crystal-clear water. We will also spend time in the village, meeting the locals and strolling through gardens of taro, and orchards of banana and breadfruit trees.

We celebrate our journey through the fascinating small islands and atolls of Micronesia with a final cultural performance at Kapingamarangi, where the locals farewell us. Say goodbye to an idyllic journey, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the warmth and welcome of the Micronesian people.

 

Day 19: Arrive Kavieng

Arrive in Kavieng at 7:30 am to disembark Coral Geographer at 8:00 am. Enjoy a post-cruise tour of the city before being transferred to the Kavieng Airport for your charter flight to Cairns.

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.

August 2021

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
25 August 2021 25 Aug 2021 12 September 2021 12 Sep 2021 $13,680 to $26,820 $13,680 to $26,820 Coral Geographer Available Book

September 2021

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
25 August 2021 25 Aug 2021 12 September 2021 12 Sep 2021 $13,680 to $26,820 $13,680 to $26,820 Coral Geographer Available Book

Your cruise price includes:

  • The services of an expert Expedition Team and Guest Lecturers
  • An authentic, flexible expedition itinerary
  • All daily guided excursions
  • Lectures, workshops and demonstrations onboard
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Selected wines and beer with lunch and dinner service
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events, and Open Bridge Access
  • 24-hour coffee and teas
  • Use of all onboard facilities, including a reference library

Your cruise price does not include:

  • Pre and post flights, transfers and hotels
  • Entry visas/travel permits
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of the included drinks package as highlighted), laundry charges and souvenir purchases

Tipping not required

Our friendly reservations specialists are on hand to assist with your booking arrangements to ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible. Contact our team on 1800 079 545 during business hours in Australia or email explore@coralexpeditions.com

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Comprehensive Travel Insurance is strongly recommended for all travellers as protection against any unforeseen events that may necessitate the cancellation or interruption of your holiday and should be purchased at the same time as you purchase your cruise. Please refer to our Pre-Departure page for facts that should be considered and shared when speaking with Travel Insurance suppliers.

 

Additional Information: