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Our Islands of the South Pacific itinerary departing this coming December 3rd, 2018 pays homage to some of the trailblazing pioneers that explored these lands with the promise of being the first to discover new territories. This 16-night expeditionary voyage takes in New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, where guests will discover the diverse traditional cultures and striking natural scenery of Melanesia. Throughout the expedition aboard Coral Discoverer, slip into hidden lagoons, visit colourful coral reefs and walk volcanic calderas with our expedition team.
> Discover spectacular underwater worlds at remote snorkelling and diving locations at Egum Atoll and Mangalonga
> Visit the open-air markets at Gizo and see the legendary wood and stone carvings
> Learn about historical 14th century voyages that charted the Solomon Islands
> Be welcomed by the ‘saltwater people’ of Langa Langa Lagoon
> Experience magnificent cultural performances throughout the Solomons and Vanuatu
> Swim in the sparkling waters of Champagne Beach and walk through the surrounding rainforest
|CORAL DISCOVERER||TWIN SHARE PER PERSON||SOLE USE*|
|Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom||$16,490||n/a|
|Promenade Deck (Category A)||$14,890||n/a|
|Promenade Deck (Category B)||$14,390||$21,585|
|Main Deck (Category A)||$13,690||n/a|
|Main Deck (Category B)||$13,190||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 Noumea at 03:00pm.
Board Coral Discoverer at 8:00am for a 9:00am departure. As we leave Cairns behind take the opportunity to explore your new home for the next 16 nights. Meet the crew and your fellow passengers at evening drinks before sitting down to the first of many delicious dinners.
Spend the day at leisure as we cross the Coral Sea and join our Expedition Leader and knowledgeable Guest Lecturers in the lounge for presentations and briefings on Papua New Guinea ahead of our arrival at Samarai Island
After clearing into Papua New Guinea, we will steam to Normanby Island to spend the afternoon at beautiful Sewa Bay. Visit a traditional village and be welcomed with song and dance at the local school.
Prepare for an unforgettable experience as we discover spectacular Egum Atoll and Islet, and enjoy our first opportunities for snorkelling over the reef, SCUBA diving and glass bottom boat tours in the clear tropical waters.
Laughlin Islanders specialise in canoe building, and in this very remote corner of Papua New Guinea we find seagoing canoes under construction. The friendly villagers of Bodaluna welcome us as our Guest Lecturer and naturalists explain the islander’s subsistence gardening, fishing, and participation in the Kula Ring of trading.
This morning, after being cleared into the Solomon Islands, we will go ashore in the provincial town of Ghizo. We will wander through the open-air markets, showcasing crafts by the legendary wood & stone carvers of the region. A wander through the food markets is also a must. Ghizo Town is a wonderful example of a shanty town.
As we sit down for lunch, we make our way past tiny Kennedy Island, named in honour of former US president John F Kennedy. Kennedy swam ashore with his crew after his boat PT-109 was sunk by a Japanese destroyer during World War II. In the afternoon, enjoy in-water activities on Njari Island.
Today we explore the coastline of remote Santa Isabel Island, which Mendana’s expedition first sighted in February, 1568. Mendana landed at Estrella Bay and built a small brigantine for exploring the rest of the Solomons.
This morning we anchor off picturesque Mangalonga and savour a full day of in-water activities. Join a snorkel tour, SCUBA dive or glass bottom boat tour before travelling ashore to Maravagi Resort where there is time to explore on a nature walk. Mendana’s expedition first sited the Florida Group Islands from the brigantine Santiago in April 1568.
Malaita is another island of primordial beauty, with a mountainous interior leading down to coastal plains. We will visit the Langa Langa Lagoon: the ‘saltwater people’ here live on small sandbar islands, where they were forced to flee from the head-hunters of mainland Malaita. The locals here are known for their ship-building and shell-money making.
As we cruise to Guadalcanal Island learn about the fierce fighting that took place here during World War II. Follow in Mendana’s footsteps as we enter the picturesque Marau Sound, an area of unspoiled beauty and turquoise waters teeming with colourful fish and coral. Snorkel, SCUBA and kayak in this remote marine haven.
The 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. Later meet the locals on the nearby island of Santa Ana, which is known for its bone fish hooks and imaginative fishing floats.
Our last stop in the Solomon Islands, Nendo Island is an excellent location to view and purchase quality artefacts. We enjoy a cultural performance and an opportunity to snorkel from the beach.
Imagine cruising into the cone of a volcano surrounded on three sides by 300 meter cliffs, Ureparapara is one of the most spectacular islands in the South Pacific. The only way to experience this island is by sea, and visits from cruise ships are rare. After travelling ashore to the village we will be entertained by the local people with dancing and music, before joining a guided walk around the volcano.
The jewel of Vanuatu, we enjoy the splendour of magnificent Champagne Beach with a day full of fantastic swimming, snorkelling and glass bottom boat tours. The adventurous may wish to join our Dive Instructor for a dive over the corals. You may also wish to participate in a guided walk with local guides through the rainforest to the popular swimming spot ‘Blue Hole’.
We land at South West Bay on Malekula Island, the second largest island in Vanuatu. Malekula art and ritual objects are among the finest in the country and the island is famous for the complex ceremonies and rituals preserved by two of its remarkable tribes, the Big Nambas and the Small Nambas. We anchor at the Maskelyne Islands and enjoy the opportunity for snorkelling and glass bottom boat tours.
This morning we approach Tanna Island and see our first signs of volcanic activity, hot springs bubbling beneath the surface. Today we are in for a real once-in-a-lifetime experience as we board Xplorer and travel ashore to land on Tanna Island’s black volcanic beach. After our landing at Port Resolution, we are met by the villagers, who drive us, local style in the back of their trucks, up through the forest of the lower reaches of Mt Yasur’s active volcano. Continuing on foot, our Expedition Leader guides us to the rim of the caldera, where we peer into the heart of the volcano and its lava pools, which regularly spew ash and rocks. Upon returning to the village we spend time with the locals and learn about their interesting customs, including their worship of Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who they believe is a divine spirit.
Disembark at 3pm in the Noumea, capital of New Caledonia.
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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.
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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. When you need help, you’ll get it in a familiar accent from someone who understands and is there to help.