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Relax in the magnificent beaches of Fiji

South Pacific Expedition: Cairns to Lautoka

Example 17 Day Cruise aboard Silver Explorer
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Join the Silver Explorer on this expedition to Middleton Reef and deep dive into an underwater world of prismatic beauty. Swim over colorful reefs and snorkel with brilliant sea life. Get a taste of the distinctive cultures of the South Pacific with visits to small island communities, and enjoy the spectacular traditional dances of Vanuatu. Stroll by the water along volcanic black-sand beaches, or learn about the countless unique species that call this region home. With visits to national parks, world heritage sites, and remote wild islands, this cruise offers a piece of tropical paradise. 
Snorkel the vibrant waters of the South Pacific
Highlights
  • Visit small island communities to experience Melanesian welcomes
  • Experience one of the great natural wonders of the world listed by UNESCO
  • Witness Vanuatu’s spectacular traditional dances
  • Discover the lovely Yasawa Island and the turquoise waters of Buasali Bay
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Cairns, Australia | Embark

Warmly welcoming you to the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a treasure trove of rich tropical beauty and incredible sea life. Swaths of rainforest spread out to the north, where you can soar over the canopy in a cable car, before looking down over narrow channels of water plummeting down gorges and crocodile-filled waterways. The diverse lands of the Atherton Tableland lie to the west, but it's the crystal-clear waters - and life-filled reefs - of Cairns' remarkable underwater world that draws universal adulation. Priding itself as the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, explore Cairns' constellation of color, as you dive into the world's largest and most spectacular underwater universe. 

Day 2: Holbourne Island | Whitsundays (Hardy Reef)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Holbourne Island is some 40 kilometers north of Bowen (Queensland) and is the most northern and remote island of the greater Whitsunday region. This continental island actually is a 33 ha national park, and its surrounding waters are protected as a Marine Conservation Park, part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Holbourne Island National Park shows rocky escarpments, sandy beaches, and partially-sheltered coral reefs. The vegetation ranges from vine thickets on the shore to grasslands and stunted shrubs on the hillsides with a small forest of Pisonia trees. The beaches offer nesting ground for green turtles and flatback turtles. 

Hardy Reef is one of the many thousands of small reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef and lies just off the Whitsundays coast of Australia. The coral wall of Hardy is home to an ecosystem of magnificent corals and marine life. Hundreds of fish species here will surprise and delight. Visitors have specific protected areas where they can swim and snorkel and marvel at the many underwater wonders, amongst them the giant groupers. There are other reef options in the area for swimming and snorkeling in the best possible location based on sea conditions.

Day 3: Airlie Beach

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With the finest powder sand, knots of deep green rainforest and ankle-deep shelves of turquoise sea water - Airlie Beach is your gateway to some of the world’s most spectacular beaches. This lively town welcomes wide-eyed young adventurers and the yachting crowd alike to the Whitsunday Islands’ serenity, and the hiss of espresso machines, and excited chatter of adventure, spills out from its many cafes and bars. Relax at Airlie Beach Lagoon – the social hub of this town - where sun-warmed saltwater invites you to wade, before flaming fresh trout over a barbecue as the sun sets. Or, take a seat at one of the glorious restaurants offering uninterrupted views out over the waters of Pioneer Bay, towards the 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays. 

Day 4: Percy Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore the lush greenery, sparkling white sands, and crystal waters of the Percy Isles. 

Day 5: Capricornia Cays National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Capricorn Group and Bunker Group are two groups of islands and reefs extending parallel to Queensland’s coast some 80 kilometers northeast of Gladstone. These two groups are protected as the Capricornia Cays National Park. At the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, the beauty of the Capricorn-Bunker group of islands was one of the reasons the Great Barrier Reef was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Area in 1981. The natural integrity of the heavily vegetated cays contrasting with the blue reef waters and white coral sands is visually impressive, but these cays and islands are also important for seabirds and turtles. The park contains the most important offshore loggerhead turtle rookery on Australia’s east coast, and research stations on Heron Island and One Tree monitor the conditions on land and in the sea.

Day 6: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 7: Middleton Reef

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Middleton Reef is one of two reefs comprising the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Nature Reserve. This nature reserve was additionally declared a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. Middleton is one of the southernmost open-ocean coral reef platforms in the world and the peak of one of the volcanic seamounts which form the Lord Howe Island volcanic chain. Only a small sand cay exists, but the few Common Noddies that breed at the reserve do so on one of the wrecks. The reef is some 555 kilometers due west of the Australian coast and some 220 kilometers north of Lord Howe.

Day 8: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 9: Norfolk Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore Norfolk Island, a tiny territory of Australia located between New Caledonia and New Zealand. Here you'll find soaring cliffs topped with pine trees, hiking for stunning views from inland mountains, and the reef-protected waters of Emily Bay's sandy beaches. 

Day 10: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 11: Mystery Island | Anelghowhat (Aneityum Island)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Inyeug Island, better known as Mystery Island, is part of the Tafea Province of Vanuatu, the southernmost collection of islands. The island is, with the exception of an airstrip used twice weekly, made up entirely of beaches and reefs. This place is ideal for relaxing, swimming and snorkeling in the tranquil waters, where many diverse tropical fish hide between the corals.

Vanuatu's southernmost inhabited island, Aneityum, is a little tropical island paradise. The interior of the island is mountainous and covered with forest and exists at a slightly cooler climate than the rest of the island. Aneityum rests upon two coalescing volcanoes, although volcanic activity ceased long ago, during the late-Pleistocene to Holocene era. Along the coast, pine plantations contrast with coconut palms, white sand beaches and coral reefs. Aneghowhat is the main settlement on the southwestern side of Aneityum, though it is a small and simple town, as the entire island only has a population of approximately 900 people.

Day 12: Aniwa Island | Waisisi (Tanna)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Aniwa is a small uplifted coral platform in the southernmost province of Vanuatu. A vivid coral reef has formed here in recent times and grows now where tongues of lava once overran the volcanic slopes and flowed into the ocean. As the corals, sponges, and anemones overgrow the dark lava rock, schools of vivid reef fish cruise above.

Waisisi is a bay and a village located on Tanna’s eastern shore. The black sandy beach – an indication of the volcanic activity of the island – and the lush forest belie the fact that this has been an important site in the White Sands region. A famous war was fought here and a tree planted to mark the end of it can still be seen. Waisisi will be the gateway to see Mount Yasur -the most accessible explosive volcano in the world. Locals believe their spirit god dwells in the volcano, so it is a sacred place to the local tribes. The volcanic firework display at sunset is awe-inspiring.

 

Day 13: Makura Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Conjuring up a tropical island might well bring to mind the island of Makura in the Shepherds Islands of Vanuatu. Makura is small, but it is actually the peak of a primeval volcano. The other existing ramparts of the volcanic rim are believed to be the neighboring islands of Emae and Mataso. Roughly 3,000 people call the Shepherds Islands home and Makura Island is one of these populated islands. The easy-going islanders live in a small village on the northwestern part of the island amidst a rugged volcanic backdrop.

Day 14: Ambrym Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ambrym is a volcanically active island with dark sand beaches. It's known as the island of magic and is the source of five local languages that all evolved on Ambrym. This handful of languages contributes to the well over 100 languages of Vanuatu. Some of Ambrym’s magic takes place in the lush greenery of the local community of Ranon. Here the people perform a very special and traditional ‘Rom’ dance. Participants prepare their masks and costumes in secrecy and the dance is reserved for special occasions.

Day 15: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 16: Sawa-I-Lau, Fiji

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This island in Fiji is known for its striking ancient limestone caves. Explore these sculptural stone formations at Fiji's spectacular blue lagoon. 

Day 17: Lautoka, Fiji | Disembark

Arrive in Lautoka this morning, then disembark after breakfast

Photo Gallery

Snorkel the vibrant waters of the South Pacific Tropical Island and Underwater Paradise for Divers Traditional tribal dance at mask festival Parrots in Papua New Guinea Relax in the magnificent beaches of Fiji

Map

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Silver Explorer

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Per person starting at
$11,600
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Expedition Suite
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Adventurer Class
6 cabins on Deck 3, 180 sq. feet, Twin or Queen beds, 2 portholes.
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Explorer Class
4 cabins on Deck 4, Twin or Queen beds, 180 sq. feet with view window.
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Vista Suite
16 suites on Deck 4, 194 - 230 sq. feet with large window, Twin or Queen beds.
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View Suite
12 suites on Deck 3, 230 sq. feet with view window, Twin or Queen beds.
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Veranda Suite
8 suites on Deck 5, 215 sq. feet with French balcony, Twin or Queen beds.
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Medallion Suite
2 suites on Deck 7, 358 sq. feet with private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.
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Silver Suite
6 suites on Deck 5, 430 sq. feet with 2 French balconies, Twin or Queen beds.
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Grand Suite
2 suites on Deck 7, 650 sq. feet with large private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.
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Owner
2 suites on Deck 7, 540 sq. feet with large private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.

Notes

Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and sea conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Included in the cruise fare:
 
  •  Transfers (between airport, hotel, and ship)
  •  1-night pre-cruise hotel
  •  Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  •  Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  •  Spacious suites
  •  Butler service in every suite
  •  Unlimited Free Wifi
  •  Personalized service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  •  Choice of restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
  •  Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines, and spirits
  •  In-suite dining and room service
  •  Onboard entertainment
  •  Onboard gratuities

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