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Islands of the South Pacific

A Passage to the Solomons (Cairns to Honiara), 11 Nights

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

Fares

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.

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Itinerary

Embarkation: Board at Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal at 8:00am for 9:00am departure.
Disembarkation: Arrive and disembark in Honiara at 08:00am.

Day 1: Depart Cairns

Board the Coral Discoverer at 8:00 am for a 9:00 am departure.

Day 2: At Sea

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.

Day 3: 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.

Day 4: Fergusson Island & Dobu Island

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.

Day 5: Egum Atoll

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.

Day 6: Laughlan 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.

Day 7: Ghizo & Njari Reef

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.

Day 8: Arnavon Islands

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.

Day 9: Marovo Lagoon

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.

Day 10: Mangalonga & Sandfly Passage

Diving South Pacific Reef Coral Expeditions

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.

Day 11: Marau Sound

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.

Day 12: Arrive Honiara

Honiara South Pacific Cruise Coral Expeditions

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.

October 2020

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

Your cruise price includes:

  • Accommodation in selected room grade for the number of nights as listed in each itinerary
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Selection of wine and beer during lunch and dinner service
  • 24-hour tea and coffee
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks
  • Entrance and access to National and Marine Parks, and islands
  • Excursions as described in each itinerary
  • Snorkelling and introductory scuba session with equipment
  • Lectures, briefings, and interpretation
  • Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities

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:
Other cruise lines automatically add gratuities to your account and service charges to your bar invoices. On Coral Discoverer, our crew has no other agenda than your delight.

Now that you’ve chosen your cruise, our reservations specialists are on hand to assist with your booking arrangements to ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible.

To speak to our reservations specialists contact us during business hours on 1800 079 545 (within Australia), or by email cruise@coralexpeditions.com.

Don’t forget, we strongly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance with any cruise purchase. See below for further details.

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. 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.