Boarding commences at 9:00 am for a 10:00 am departure. Meet fellow travelers and enjoy lunch while cruising towards New Caledonia’s Casey Island. Travel ashore and relax on the spectacular beach, or venture into the shallows just meters from the beach for a first Melanesian snorkeling experience. Tonight, join the Captain and his crew for the Captain’s Welcome Aboard Cocktails.
Lifou Island’s impressive beaches are amongst the best in the world, backed by sparkling lagoons and pine tree covered landscapes. Join the Expedition Leader on a walk across the island, stopping to take in the views of beautiful bays and old churches. Lifou offers sensational snorkeling with a panorama of sealife unsullied by man.
Crossing into Vanuatu approach Tanna Island and see hot springs bubbling beneath the surface, the first signs of volcanic activity. After landing at Port Resolution, named by Captain Cook in 1774 in honor of his ship HMS Resolution, go ashore to a friendly welcome from the locals. Join the Expedition Leader and naturalists on a scenic drive through the rainforest and up the slopes of Mount Yasur. Admire the fantastic views of this active volcano which still regularly spews sparks, rocks and ash.
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. Anchor at the Maskelyne Islands and enjoy the opportunity for snorkeling and glass bottom boat tours.
Champagne Beach is located on the largest island in Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo. The jewel of Vanuatu, enjoy the splendor of magnificent Champagne Beach with a day full of fantastic swimming, snorkeling and glass bottom boat tours. Join a Dive Instructor for a dive over the corals and participate in a guided walk with local guides through the rainforest to the popular swimming spot ‘Blue Hole', or simply relax on the white sands of this magnificent beach.
Welcome to the tropical archipelago of Vanuatu, fondly known as the 'Happy Islands'. Ureparapara is one of the most spectacular islands in the South Pacific. Imagine cruising into the cone of a volcano surrounded on three sides by 300 meter cliffs. The only way to experience this island is by sea, and visits from cruise ships are rare. After traveling ashore to the village, be entertained by the local people with dancing, before joining a guided walk to the top of the caldera for fantastic views across the island and great photography opportunities.
Nendo Island is the final port of call in the Solomon Islands and an excellent location to view and purchase quality handmade Melanesian artifacts. Enjoy cultural performances and another opportunity to snorkel over the pristine coral reefs.
The locals of Santa Ana, a small island southeast of San Cristobal, welcome the ship ashore with village warriors bearing swords and blowing on conch shell horns. Santa Ana is known for its bone fishhooks and imaginative fishing floats. Enjoy a cultural performance and join the naturalist for a guided walk across the island, through shady forests where a myriad of colorful orchids grow. Alternatively, join the Dive Instructor to dive or snorkel the surrounding reef.
Anchor off picturesque Mangalonga Island and savor a full day of in-water activities. Join a snorkel, SCUBA diving or glass bottom boat tour before traveling ashore to Maravagi Resort where there is time to explore on a guided nature walk.
The Arnavon Islands are the only marine reserve in the Solomon Islands where, except for subsistence gathering, all marine life is protected and fishing is banned. The islands are home to endangered wildlife including the beautiful Hawksbill Turtle. Travel ashore to see how the conservation efforts are helping rejuvenate the island before enjoying snorkeling and glass bottom boat tours. This afternoon board Xplorer for a cruise up Dart Sound to the remote village of Kia.
Visit Gizo, the small provincial capital of Ghizo Island. Explore the open air markets, replete with artifacts and wood carvings or join a hike to the lookout for panoramic views across the lagoon and islands. Keen birdwatchers should keep an eye out for the white-bellied graybird, whiskered tree swift or colorful lorikeets native to the remote Solomon Islands. Later, board the Xplorer and head ashore to tiny Kennedy Island, named in honour of John F Kennedy, who swam ashore to the island with his crew after his boat PT-109 was sunk by a Japanese destroyer during WWII.
Laughlan Islanders specialize in canoe building and in this very remote corner of eastern Papua New Guinea find seagoing canoes under construction. Be welcomed by the friendly villagers of Bodaluna while the Guest Lecturers and naturalists explain the islander’s subsistence gardening, fishing and participation in the Kula Ring of trading. Enjoy an afternoon snorkel or an adventurous dive on the outer reef to view turtles, wrasses and spinner dolphins in the warm, clear waters.
Prepare for an unforgettable experience as the Xplorer, with Guest Lecturers and guides, travels ashore to Yanaba Island. There is ample time for snorkeling, diving and glass bottom boat tours over the stunning coral reef system.
Arrive in historic Alotau and say farewell to new-found friends before disembarking at approximately 9:00 am.