Madang, Papua New GuineaArrive in the port town of Madang and transfer to the Madang Resort for the first night. This evening meet with your fellow travellers and the expedition team over dinner at the resort.
MadangMadang is a thriving community renowned for its traditional artists, world class diving opportunities and the richness of its surrounding forests. This morning visit the Lababia Wildlife Management Area with its tall forest and rich diversity of wildlife, before returning to Madang to explore the markets with your Guides. Optional excursions this morning for bird and diving enthusiasts. This afternoon board the Spirit of Enderby, settle into your cabin and join the Captain and your expedition team on the Bridge as your expedition ship sets sail.
Sepik RiverSure to be one of the highlights of your expedition. The Sepik River is the longest river in Papua New Guinea, it is a rich arterial that has fostered great traditional artists. Plan to explore the river by Zodiac following tributaries and channels in search of local wildlife. Also meet with the villagers and marvel at their artistry.
ManusSeldom visited and little known, Manus Island is considered a jewel in the crown of Papua New Guinea. Biologically isolated, the islands are home to a high proportion of endemic species including the Superb Pitta which is likely to be one of the birding highlights of the expedition. The waters around Manus offer some of the most spectacular and rich diving in the region, seldom explored waters promising a myriad of ‘first’ diving opportunities.
Mussa IslandMussa Island represents one of the western-most extensions of the Lapita culture. Spend time with the local people to learn about their special culture and life on this remote outpost in the Pacific.
Kavieng, New IrelandHistoric Kavieng has significant evidence from the large Japanese occupation. Birders will leave early for the highlands while the rest of the group will spend the morning exploring the town of Kavieng and its history. Later snorkel in the clear waters of the local reefs. Divers will spend the day in the company of local dive experts.
Rabaul, New BritainSix beautifully cone-shaped volcanoes ring Rabaul’s dramatic flooded-caldera harbour. Visit the bubbling hot springs and take in magnificent views of the harbor and volcanoes from Observatory Ridge. Plan on attending a very special performance tonight of the Baining tribe’s fire dance. Rabaul is world renowned for the excellent diving opportunities.
Nissan IslandA tropical atoll bathed in rich tropical currents Nissan Island’s waters abound in marine life. Seldom has anybody had the opportunity to discover this world which promises abundant pelagic fish life and pristine coral reefs. Ashore there are still reminders of the brief but intensive World War II activities on this island, meet with the friendly locals and search the dense woods for some of the elusive birds that occur here.
Bougainville IslandPlan to be amongst the first expeditioners to re-discover the treasures of Bougainville, long isolated and in a strange way protected by the conflict which swirled around its shores. A pristine island paradise it is home to some of the greatest biodiversity in the region both above and below the waters. With some of the most spectacular diving in the world; these reefs await rediscovery. Plan to explore the area around Arawa which offers great opportunities to access the island’s interior and reefs.
Choiseul IslandToday arrive in the Solomon Islands on the remote northern coast of Choiseul Island. This was once the home of the Choiseul Crested Pigeon and while it no longer walks the forest floor many other species still enliven the forest. Zodiac cruise deep into the mangrove forest towards the Sui River Falls searching for Dugong and crocodiles.
New Georgia IslandsThe volcanic New Georgia Islands are found in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands. Birding enthusiasts will relish landing on Kolombangara Island, where you can hope to see the rare Roviana Rail along with other endemic bird species. Nearby Ghizo Island has some of the best and most exciting diving in the world with World War II wrecks.
Santa Isabel IslandThe Arnavon Islands are north-west of Santa Isabel, an area rich in marine biodiversity and one of the most important rookeries in the Western Pacific for the endangered Hawksbill Turtle. The islands also support a high diversity of terrestrial fauna, with 41 species of birds, six species of bats, and at least seven species of terrestrial reptiles. Sensational diving and snorkeling can be experienced around the islands. In the afternoon Zodiac cruise a chain of largely unpopulated islands off the north-western tip of Santa Isabel Island before visiting the unique village of Kia.
Honiara, Solomon IslandsHoniara was founded by the British as a military base during World War II and was witness to the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Tour Honiara, visiting historical sites including Henderson Airfield, war memorials and the open-air war museum or alternatively head to the rain-forested slopes of Mount Austen in search of some of the Solomon Islands’ most spectacular birds including the Solomon Sea Eagle. For those disembarking a transfer to your hotel or the airport will conclude your voyage.