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This voyage uncovers the pristine wildlife, fascinating cultures, and remote coral atolls and beaches of the idyllic Melanesia region. You’ll experience the Solomon Islands like never before as you are welcomed by the friendly islanders, snorkel or dive in sparkling azure water, and encounter WWII history and breathtaking beauty that will live in your memory forever. Opportunities abound to discover this remarkable region both above and below the water, with village visits and snorkelling and diving opportunities almost every day. Travelling aboard the Coral Discoverer, depart from Cairns, Australia.
Highlights of the expeditions include:
• Visit remote and pristine atolls, including Egum Atoll and the world heritage listed Marovo Lagoon
• See the rich tradition of canoe-building at Budibudi
• Visit the natural wonder of Dei Dei Hot Springs with its bubbling geysers and mud pools
• Explore the natural wonder of the Marovo Lagoon, and see the famous ebony carvings produced here
• See the water music and listen to the panpipes at Marau Sound
• Enjoy enriching cultural visits to remote island communities and learn about ‘kastom’ and the Kula Ring
• See turtle hatchlings and learn about local conservation efforts at the Arnavon Islands
• Excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities almost every day
12 October 2020
|CORAL DISCOVERER||TWIN SHARE PER PERSON||SOLE USE*|
|Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom||$14,190||n/a|
|Promenade Deck A||$12,170||n/a|
|Promenade Deck B||$11,150||$16,725|
|Main Deck A||$10,650||n/a|
|Main Deck B||$10,140||n/a|
*Limited sole use occupancy available.
Embarkation: Board at Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal at 8:00am for 9:00am departure.
Disembarkation: Arrive and disembark in Honiara at 08:00am.
Board the Coral Discoverer at 8:00 am for a 9:00 am departure.
Spend the day at leisure as we cross the Coral Sea, and join our Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturers in the lounge for presentations and briefings on Papua New Guinea ahead of our clearance at Samarai.
Today we enter Papua New Guinea at the small island of Samarai, located at the southern tip of Milne Bay. In beautiful Sewa Bay, we will spend the afternoon at Nuakata in the Daiwari Islands. Here we can experience cultural demonstrations, or snorkel over the myriad of coral reefs kept incredibly healthy by active and irregular water currents.
There is also potential to take a long or short walk to visit skull caves that date back to the island’s headhunting past.
Join our Expedition Staff on a walk to Dei Dei Hot Springs on Fergusson Island, where the people share the mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and mud springs located at the base of an extinct volcano. Locals still use the hot springs to cook food in palm frond baskets.
In the afternoon, we visit Dobu Island to learn the history of the Kula Ring trade and meet the local primary school children, who will welcome us with a traditional dance performance. Later, enjoy a snorkel over the bubbling Springs Reef.
Prepare for an unforgettable experience as we discover remote Egum Atoll and enjoy opportunities for snorkelling, scuba diving and glass-bottom boat tours over colourful reef systems. Visit a village on one of the atoll’s low islands, where the locals will share their creation legends, and stories of the Kula Ring trading, which creates lasting bonds between the clans throughout the islands.
Laughlan Islanders specialise in canoe building, and in this very remote corner of Papua New Guinea, we find seagoing canoes under construction. The friendly village of Bodaluna welcomes us and shares their way of life. Also part of the Kula Ring, people from these villages may travel long distance by canoe to take part in the trade of precious shell necklaces and armbands.
Later, we may have opportunities for swimming or snorkelling.
This morning we enter the Solomon Islands at the town of Gizo. Wander through the open-air markets which showcase a bounty of tropical fruits and fresh fish, as well as crafts by the legendary wood and stone carvers of the region. You may choose to scuba dive over Japanese ship wrecks as an optional extra instead of exploring the town of Gizo.
In the afternoon, we cruise past Kennedy Island before enjoying water activities at Njari Reef. Njari Reef is a merge point for oceanic currents and is said to have one of the highest fish counts in the world.
Today, we visit the marine reserve of the Arnavon Islands, home to the largest rookery of endangered Hawksbill Turtles in the South Pacific Region and supporting some of the healthiest and most diverse coral reefs in the world. In 1995 the US based Nature Conservancy helped three local communities come together to create the Arnavon Community Marine Conservation area – it was the first protected area to be established within the Solomons and covers over 40,000 acres of land and sea. Go ashore at Kerihikapa Island with the chance to see turtle hatchlings emerging from their nests.
Later, cruise up picturesque Dart Sound to the remote village of Kia, and be welcomed with traditional dance and singing. Many of the rangers that work in the Arnavons are from this area.
Marovo Lagoon has been described as one of the world’s natural wonders. One of the world’s largest double barrier enclosed lagoons, this isolated spot in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands has been proposed for World Heritage listing.
Marovo’s is world-famous for its intensive coral reef ecosystems, the waters teem with tropical fish and boast exceptional dive and snorkelling sites. Visitors to the local villages can sit down with locals and learn about village life. Expert Marovo carvers are justifiably famous for the intricate pieces they create from king ebony with inlays of rosewood and mother-of-pearl.
This morning, we visit Mangalonga Island to snorkel and dive on the reef. Mangalonga Reef has amazing fish life and it is common to see feather stars and colourful anthias. We may also enjoy a birdwatching walk on the island – some of the often sighted birds include claret-breasted fruit doves. This afternoon, enjoy a scenic cruise through the island passages to spot shipwrecks.
Located in the eastern tip of Guadalcanal, this 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 water the women perform water music.
Disembark in Honiara this morning at 8:00 am. Post-cruise transfers are available in Honiara at additional cost.
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.
|Departure||Departure||Arrival||Arrival||Cost Per Person||Cost PP||Ship||Availability|
|12 October 2020||12 Oct 2020||23 October 2020||23 Oct 2020||$10,140 to $14,190||$10,140 to $14,190||Coral Discoverer||Available||Book|
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Don’t forget, we strongly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance with any cruise purchase. See below for further details.
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. It should also include emergency evacuation and repatriation cover.
We recommend Travel Insurance by SureSave.
SureSave is an Australian company who specialise in travel insurance designed for travellers. SureSave provides world assistance through a customer support team, a claims team and an in-house 24/7 Emergency Assistance division. Underwritten by Lloyds of London, you get peace of mind knowing your security is guaranteed.
Please note: SureSave Travel Insurance policies may only be purchased by Australian residents. For international travellers, please discuss your policy requirements with your local insurance provider.