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Melanesia Discoverer

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard Spirit of Enderby
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Uncover the hidden gems of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. From the culturally rich arterial of the Sepik River, sail north across the Bismarck Sea to the remote shores of Manus and Mussau Islands. Manus has the lowest density of people in all New Guinea with its people still living a very traditional lifestyle. Delve into the history, culture, and wildlife of New Ireland and New Britain. Cross the Buka Channel and at Nissan Island view reminders of the brief but intensive World War II activities. Then enter a long isolated world as you are amongst the first travelers to return to Bougainville in over two decades. These waters offer some of the greatest marine diversity in the world and everybody has the opportunity to snorkel, kayak, and appreciate the beauty beneath the waves.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Madang, Papua New Guinea
Day 2 : Embark in Madang
Day 3 : Sepik River
Days 4-5 : Manus Province
Day 6 : Mussa Island
Day 7 : Kavieng, New Ireland
Day 8 : Rabaul, New Britain
Day 9 : Nissan Island
Day 10 : Bougainville Island
Day 11 : Choiseul Island
Day 12 : New Georgia Islands
Day 13 : Santa Isabel Island
Day 14 : Disembark in Honiara, Solomon Islands


  • Uncover the hidden gems of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
  • Snorkel waters with some of the greatest marine diversity in the world
  • Kayak along coral reefs, marine life, and locals in their dugout canoes
  • See once-in-a-lifetime bird species on remote islands where few have been
  • Delve into the history and culture of remote Melanesian communities


Spirit of Enderby

Places Visited

  • Papua New Guinea
  • South Pacific
  • Bougainville
  • Choiseul Island
  • East New Britain
  • Honiara
  • Kavieng
  • Madang
  • Manus
  • Mussa Island
  • New Georgia Islands
  • New Ireland
  • Nissan Island
  • Rabaul
  • Santa Isabel Island
  • Sepik River
  • Solomon Islands


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Locals of Papua New Guinea dressed in traditional headdress. Swimming in the crystal blue waters of Papua New Guinea. Local of Melanesia wears a traditional headdress. Wandering through the swampy forests of Melanesia. Travelers enjoying the ocean view from the beach.

Day 1 Madang, Papua New Guinea

  • 1 Dinner
Arrive 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.

Day 2 Embark in Madang

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Madang is a thriving community renowned for its traditional artists, world class diving opportunities, and the richness of its surrounding forests. This morning leave Madang for the highlands close to the township; here the tall forests contain a richly diverse wildlife. Arrive back in Madang with time to explore the colorful markets with your guides. Optional excursions are offered this morning for bird enthusiasts. This afternoon board the Spirit of Enderby, settle into your cabin, and join the captain and your expedition team on the bridge as you set sail.

Day 3 Sepik River

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sure 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.

Day 4-5 Manus Province

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Seldom 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.

Day 6 Mussa Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Mussa 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.

Day 7 Kavieng, New Ireland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Historic Kavieng has significant evidence from the large Japanese occupation. Birders leave early for the highlands while the rest of the group spends the morning exploring the town of Kavieng and its history. Later snorkel in the clear waters of the local reefs.

Day 8 Rabaul, New Britain

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Six beautifully cone-shaped volcanoes ring Rabaul’s dramatic flooded-caldera harbor. Visit the bubbling hot springs and take in magnificent views of the harbor and volcanoes from Observatory Ridge. 

Day 9 Nissan Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A 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.

Day 10 Bougainville Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Plan 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.

Day 11 Choiseul Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today 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.

Day 12 New Georgia Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The volcanic New Georgia Islands are found in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands. Birding enthusiasts 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.

Day 13 Santa Isabel Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Arnavon Islands are northwest 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.

Day 14 Disembark in Honiara, Solomon Islands

  • 1 Breakfast
Honiara 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 concludes your voyage or continue on with the Secrets of Melanesia voyage.

Spirit of Enderby

Per person starting at
Stateroom on the Spirit of Enderby
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Main Deck Triple
Main Deck, triple accommodations with shared bath facilities.
Main Deck Cabin
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Main deck
Main Deck, two lower berth accommodations with shared bath facilities.
Spirit of Enderby's Superior Cabin.
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Middle Deck, upper and lower berth accommodations, private bath facilities and window
Spirit of Enderby's Superor Plus Cabin.
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Superior Plus
Upper and Middle Decks, two lower berth accommodations with private bath facilities and window
Stateroom on the Spirit of Enderby
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Mini Suite
Upper deck, small bedroom with a 3/4 bed and a single bed in the lounge, private bath facilities and windows
Spirit of Enderby's Heritage Suite.
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Heritage Suite
Upper Deck, large lounge area, separate bedroom with matrimonial bed, private bath facilities and panoramic windows


- Travel Insurance is mandatory for all passengers aboard the Spirit of Enderby.
- Single clients are matched with a sharer of the same sex in a twin-share cabin. Payment of a single supplement guarantees a single cabin. The single supplement is 1.8 times the price of the voyage with the exception of the suites which are double the single rate.

During your voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.

Please note: On this voyage a unique kayaking experience is offered for an additional charge. 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 through a tropical paradise, interact with the locals, and discover at a different pace, sometimes beyond the reach of your Zodiac.

Cruise fare includes:
- Pre & Post cruise transfers
- One night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast)
- All on board ship accommodation with meals
- All shore excursions and activities, excluding optional specialized birding and kayaking programs
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists

Cruise fare does not include:
- Government landing fees
- All items of a personal nature: laundry, drinks, gratuities
- International/domestic flights
- Visas
- Extensions
- Travel insurance


  • 13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Erin Correia
Erin C

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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