guaranteed departure, places available


Outline itinerary

Day 1Honiara
Day 2Honiara
Day 3Solomon Islands
Day 4 San Jorge Island and Santa Isabel
Day 5 Malaita
Day 6 Makira and Santa Ana (San Cristobal)
Day 7 Nendö – Temotu Province
Day 8 Duff Islands
Day 9 Vanikolo
Day 10 Vanua Lava
Day 11 Espiritu Santo
Day 12 Ambryn
Day 13 Port Vila, Vanuatu

Included

All meals and 24 hour tea and coffee station aboard the ship. Use of snorkel equipment where available. All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac excluding optional specialised birding (450 USD), diving and kayaking (915 USD) programmes. Programme of lectures by noted naturalists. All onshore tips, service taxes and port charges. Comprehensive pre-departure material. Airport transfers at the beginning and end of your voyage.

Not included

Extensions, passport, visa, immigration fees, baggage/accident/travel protection plan, items of a personal nature such as bar, email, and laundry. Gratuities to ship's crew at your discretion. Airfares are an additional cost. Landing fees (USD 600,-),

Extra

Please note: USD prices are based on the exchange rate of 1 EURO = 1,18 USD. There are different types of cabins available on this cruise. Please contact us for more information.

Price

Main deck triple shared
EUR 4670,-

Main deck double shared
EUR 5520,-

Superior
EUR 6360,-

Superior Plus
EUR 6870,-

Mini Suite
EUR 7430,-

Heritage Suite
EUR 8060,-

Tour leader

Engelstalige expeditieleider

Number of participants

geen opgave

Accommodation

Ranging from a cabin with shared facilities to a superior suite.

Difficulty level of the tour

An average fitness will suffice. Light hikes ashore.

Climate

Tropische weersomstandigheden met hoge luchtvochtigheid en kans op regen. Temperatuur c 30 graden Celsius

The Secrets of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu

vanuatu
Duration:12 days
Departure:18-10-2018
Price: from EUR 4670,-
Tour leader:Engelstalige expeditieleider
Code: C1851

Sail into a world that few have ever experienced; idyllic islands and isolated villages where unique time-honoured traditions and elaborately costumed dancers welcome us into their world. Sail from Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, to discover the beauty of the outer Solomon Islands. Relax as our ship glides into secluded bays, and takes us to remote oceanic islands where the art of traditional navigation lives today. On Santa Isabel the rhythms of life continue little changed, with daily life centered around the village and family. Malaita is culturally rich, the traditional currency, Malaitan shell-money, is still made on the island and is used as a dowry, and worn as a status symbol.
Vanuatu has produced a kaleidoscope of cultures and more than 100 indigenous languages. With over 80 habitable islands that were isolated from each other by sea or impassable mountains, islanders have closely guarded their own cultures and languages. Our expedition embraces some of these cultures and languages and offers a window into the happiest country in the world.
Our journey offers some of the greatest diving in the world and while everybody will have the opportunity to snorkel and appreciate the beauty beneath the waves, we also offer an optional scuba-diving programme for those wishing to maximise their underwater experiences. This experience includes the SS President Coolidge located sleeping in the waters around Espiritu Santo, listed among the top wreck dives in the world it is a diving jewel due to its accessibility. Formally a luxury liner and then commissioned by the U.S. Navy as a military transport vessel, glass chandeliers from when she was a liner mix with cannons, jeeps and trucks from her military days. Snorkel at Million Dollar Point, where there are a multitude of bulldozers, cranes, fork lifts, and trucks piled upon one another in this unique dive site, justifiably giving this location its worth name. And then there is the abundance of marine life and coral gardens that draw you into a magical underwater world that truly is waiting to be explored else where on our expedition.
For birders this itinerary offers once in a lifetime species on remote islands where few have been before, endemic birdlife such as the Solomon Sea Eagle may be spotted. The birding potential is exceptional and to allow birders to maximise the opportunities on the expedition there will be an optional specialised birding programme with customised excursions. A picture postcard paradise awaits us as we uncover the Secrets of Melanesia.
On this voyage we can offer a unique kayaking experience. There is no better way to fit in with the locals, often paddling in their own dugouts, and to experience the stunning coral reefs. These self propelled craft allow you to enjoy short excursions up small rivers or creeks into tropical jungle, rainforest or mangroves, sometimes beyond the reach of our Zodiacs.
Day 1: Honiara, Solomon Islands

Arrive in the port town of Honiara and transfer to the Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel for the first night. This evening meet with your fellow travellers over dinner at the resort.
Day 2: Honiara, Solomon Islands
This morning enjoy a tour of Honiara, visiting historical sites including the iconic Japanese and American war memorials. Birdwatchers will head to Mt Austen in search of some of the Solomon Islands’ most spectacular birds including the Solomon Sea Eagle. Board the Spirit of Enderby this afternoon.
Day 3: San Jorge Island and Santa Isabel
One of the largest in the Solomon Islands, most of Isabel remains unexplored and undiscovered. We explore the remote southern shores around Thousand Ships Harbour. Beautiful uninhabited islands dot the waters and verdant forest covers slopes which surround the harbour as we are treated to a warm welcome and have the opportunity to explore the forest and coral reefs.
Day 4: Malaita Mountains
Malaita has pristine rivers and unexploited tropical forests, we enter the seldom visited Kwai Harbour, here the local people choose to live on small artificial islands off the coastline, we are treated to a rapturous welcome on tiny Ngongosila Island where the houses stand shoulder to shoulder. In this one small area several tribal groups overlap and these differences are readily apparent in dance and language. This afternoon the beautiful uninhabited Leli Island is the ideal snorkel site.
Day 5: Makira
Makira is the most easterly of the main islands in the Solomon’s archipelago. This morning we anchor in the calm waters of Star Harbour. Join the naturalists for a Zodiac exploration of the abundant mangrove forests that line the shores and take a short walk to Makira’s south coast where the villagers live much as they have for millennia. We spend time with the locals, who share with us their traditional song and dance. If we are lucky the local boys might be surfing on their hand carved palm wood boards.
Day 6: Nendö – Temotu Province
Nendö is the largest of the Santa Cruz Islands. The Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira unsuccessfully tried to establish a colony there in 1595. This is the home of red feather money, sourced from the Scarlet Honeyeater. Venturing inland we visit a village where the ancient traditions are still very much alive. Watch the manufacture of red feather money and join the locals in dances which reverberate through the ages.
Day 7: Duff Islands
The Duff Islands are a cluster of 11 small islands on the edge of the vast Pacific Ocean. We navigate the Zodiacs through the shallow passages in the reef to visit the only inhabited island, Taumako. Here we are welcomed by the Polynesian speaking local people, who live on hand crafted artificial islands of coral stone within the lagoon. These islands are exceptionally remote and the people largely cut off from the outside world; learn about their continued use of traditional sailing canoes.
Day 8: Vanikolo
Today we explore the archipelago of Vanikolo, with its five islands encapsulated by a dramatic barrier reef which offers superb snorkelling. French explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse was wrecked here after both his vessels, La Boussole and Astrolabe, struck the reef in 1788. On the shore we visit a monument to Le Perouse, erected by fellow explorer Dumont Durville in 1827. Join the naturalists on a forest walk in search of the endemic White-eye and Monarch or marvel at the delicate Vanikoro Orchid. We also have a good chance to see the recently rediscovered Vanikoro Flying Fox.
Day 9: Vanua Lava
This morning we arrive in Vanuatu at the northern outpost of Vanua Lava, the largest island in the Banks Islands which is crowned by the volcanically active Mt Séré’ama. Visit the administrative centre of Sola or for a more active option, climb through the waterfalls behind the town for some excellent views over the bay. This afternoon we explore the nearby offshore islands for snorkelling and beach combing. The surrounding waters are home to the recently discovered Vanuatu Petrel.
Day 10: Espiritu Santo
Enjoy a full day on Vanuatu’s largest Island, Santo; location of James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific. Early morning sees the birders ashore in search of many of Vanuatu’s endemic birds. Take the opportunity to swim in the beautiful waters of Champagne Beach. This afternoon we use the Zodiacs to visit the iconic blue holes of Santo. For those with an interest in the history of this island there is a visit to Lugainville and Million Dollar Point.
Day 11: Ambryn
The Spirit of Enderby will make an inaugural visit to Ambryn, renowned as the island of volcanoes and magic throughout Vanuatu. We plan to head ashore at Ranon on the northern coast where the traditional Rom dance is still practised and custom carving is alive and well. A short walk through the forest brings us to the ‘arena’ where masked dancers emerge from the forest. The forests of Ambryn offer some excellent walks to go in search of the local birds and plants, accompanied by our naturalists. This afternoon enjoy a final snorkel excursion.
Day 12: Port Vila, Vanuatu
Arrive into Port Vila early morning and disembark. Upon disembarking a transfer to your central hotel or the airport will conclude your voyage. 

 

No tripreports available
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