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Beach villa on pristine water

Lautoka to Cairns

Example 17 Day Cruise aboard Silver Explorer
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Join Silver Explorer on its 17-day voyage and experience the highlights of Melanesia; the true gems of the region. Starting in Lautoka, Silver Explorer will sail through Melanesia via Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. This voyage will lead you from underwater wonders to blue lagoons and islands with active volcanoes where one can swim and snorkel, watch for dolphins and look for seabirds. Hike for panoramic views and study volcanoes at the Volcano Observatory. Meet local communities and prepare to be impressed by the friendliness of the Pacific Islanders. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Lautoka, Fiji | Embark
Day 2 : Yasawa, Fiji
Day 3 : At Sea
Day 4 : Pentecost Island | Ambrym Island
Days 5-6 : Champagne Beach | Vanikoro
Day 7 : Santa Ana, Solomon Islands
Day 8 : At Sea
Day 8 : Njari Island
Days 9-10 : Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
Day 11 : Jacquinot Bay
Day 12 : Tami Islands
Day 13 : Tufi, Papua New Guinea
Day 14 : Dei Dei Hot Springs (Fergusson Island) | Dobu Island
Day 15 : Samarai, Papua New Guinea
Day 16 : At Sea
Day 17 : Cairns, Australia | Disembark

Highlights

  • Enjoy swimming and snorkeling in Yasawa Island that also offers amazing panoramic views
  • Experience diving on a 30-meter tower in Pentecost Island
  • Partake in different activities or simply relax on picture-perfect Champagne beach
  • See the highest species counts of fish and coral species in Njari Island

Ship

Silver Explorer

Places Visited

  • Australia
  • Fiji
  • Papua New Guinea
  • South Pacific
  • Ambrym Island
  • Cairns
  • Champagne
  • Dobu Island
  • East New Britain
  • Fergusson Island
  • Jacquinot Bay
  • Lautoka
  • Njari Island
  • Pentecost Island
  • Rabaul
  • Samarai Island
  • Santa Ana Island
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tami Island
  • Tufi
  • Vanikoro Island
  • Vanuatu
  • Yasawa Islands

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Beach villa on pristine water A tribal man pushing two canoes Tropical Island and Underwater Paradise for Divers Traditional tribal dance at mask festival Sunrise in Papua New Guinea Highlands

Day 1 Lautoka, Fiji | Embark

Embark on Silver Explorer in Lautoka, Fiji. North of Nadi through sugarcane plantations and past the Sabeto Mountains is Lautoka, nicknamed the Sugar City for the local agriculture and its big processing mill. With a population of around 50,000, it's the only city besides Suva and, like the capital, has a pleasant waterfront. It's the sailing point for Blue Lagoon and Beachcomber Cruises but is otherwise unremarkable for tourists, itself having few hotels and fewer good restaurants. Locals recommend the city as a less-expensive place to shop for clothing but note that it can take as long as 45 minutes to drive here.

Day 2 Yasawa, Fiji

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The lovely Yasawa Island is reached via the turquoise waters of Buasali Bay. Hilltops of Yasawa Island offer panoramic views, while the swimming or snorkeling in the bay or in a cave on Sawa-i-Lau is a highlight as well. Residents offer a warm welcome in the village of Nabukeru, the largest village located within the grouping of the 20 volcanic islands that make up the Yasawa Islands in Fiji. Until 1987 these islands were closed to land-based tourism and could only be viewed from aboard a vessel. With their clear, aquamarine waters and ecologically diverse tropical, mountainous landscapes, these islands were the location for the filming of the romantic adventure film The Blue Lagoon (both the 1949 and 1980 versions). The islands are famous for the limestone Sawa-i-lau caves, which must be accessed by swimming at low tide through an underwater tunnel.

Day 3 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 off your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 4 Pentecost Island | Ambrym Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Pentecost Island is a lush mountainous, tropical island stretching over 37 miles from north to south. It was named after the day on which the first European, Louis Antoine de Bougainville, sighted it on 22 May 1768. There are no towns on Pentecost - most of the islanders live in small villages and grow their own food in small gardens. Local traditions are strong, including the age-old ritual of land diving. This unique ritual was first given international exposure by David Attenborough in the 1950’s. Later, in the 1980’s, New Zealander AJ Hackett used the idea to invent bungee jumping.

Unlike Espiritu Santo with its raised coral reefs and white sand, Ambrym is a volcanically active island with dark sand beaches. Ambrym is 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 5-6 Champagne Beach | Vanikoro

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Champagne Beach is found in Hog Harbor on Espiritu Santo Island in Vanuatu. The island got its European name in the early 17th century when Pedro de Quiroz believed he had reached the famous unknown southern land or the “Tierra Australis Incognita.” He called Vanuatu’s largest island, “La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo.” Huge fish poison trees and Alexandrian laurel give cooling shade to the picture-perfect beach and crystal-clear water. The name “Champagne Beach” comes from effervescent bubbles of volcanic origin that are occasionally found in the waters of this stunning spot.

Arrive in Vanikoro the next morning.

Day 7 Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Port Mary is the name of the bay adjacent to Ghupuna, the main village in Santa Ana. A bright white sand beach with huge shade-giving trees runs along the shoreline in front of the tiny village. The houses here are made with local materials and most are built on stilts. Islanders generally welcome visitors with traditional songs and dances performed by members of the three different villages on Santa Ana. Some local people will also set up stands offering souvenirs for purchase.

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 off your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 8 Njari Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Njari is a small island almost entirely covered in trees with just a small sand spit at its eastern end. A labyrinth of reefs and coral heads make an approach only feasible from the north. The small beach invites one to relax, but swimming from the beach is almost impossible as the corals are too close. To enjoy the underwater world one has to enter the water from a small boat, a little distance from the shore, where an amazing array of fish and coral will be visible.

Day 9-10 Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Rabaul, the former provincial capital, has quite a remarkable location. The town is inside the flooded caldera of a giant volcano and several sub-vents are still quite active today! The fumes of the volcano Tavurvur can be seen continually and the town suffered greatly during the last major eruption of 1994 when some 80% of the houses collapsed due to the ash raining down onto their roofs. Rabaul has a Volcano Observatory sitting atop the town’s center, monitoring the 14 active and 23 dormant volcanoes in Papua New Guinea.

Day 11 Jacquinot Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Jacquinot Bay is a large open bay on the eastern coast of the island of New Britain. It is a tranquil place with white sandy beaches and tropical palm trees all around. There is also a well-known beautiful waterfall that flows out of the mountainside with freezing cold water right onto the beach. But during WWII, however, it was not a quiet place. It was, in fact, an important base for the Australian Army who liberated it in November 1944.

Day 12 Tami Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Tami Islands are a small archipelago of just four islands located south of Finschhafen in the Huon Gulf. Collectively, they are part of Morobe Province. Tami Island is the main island and is one of just two islands in the enclave to be inhabited. The people here are known for their elaborately carved, oblong-shaped “Tami bowls”. The small community of islanders live simply. Tami has just a single primary school and a small medical aid post. Coconut and areca palm trees, Alexandrian laurel and frangipani make for a lush and colorful appearance of the island.

Day 13 Tufi, Papua New Guinea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Tufi is located on the south-eastern peninsula of Cape Nelson in the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea. It is situated on a tropical fjord, which is the work of ancient volcanic activities and was not shaped by ice as the descriptive name might lead you to believe. Surrounded by uncharted coral reefs, the underwater world has attracted many divers wanting to see for themselves how the area earned the description of having more fish than water.

Day 14 Dei Dei Hot Springs (Fergusson Island) | Dobu Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fergusson is one of the three biggest and mountainous islands in the Milne Bay Province, and part of the D’Entrecasteaux Islands. On Fergusson’s south side are the famous Dei Dei geysers — natural hot springs that periodically erupt with vapor steam next to mud pools and a warm stream. The hot springs are still used by locals to cook food in palm frond and pandanus leaf baskets placed into the boiling hot water. Birds in the area include Eclectus Parrots, Yellow-bellied Sunbirds and the endemic Curl-crested Manucode – a bird-of-paradise.

Day 15 Samarai, Papua New Guinea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Samarai is a tiny island south of Papua New Guinea’s southeastern peninsula dwarfed by neighboring islands. Once a famous trading port and the second-largest settlement in the Territory of Papua (the Australian-administered southern part of what today is Papua New Guinea), Samarai used to be Milne Bay Province’s capital until 1968 when administrators were moved to mainland and the town of Alotau. The relocation was necessary as the 29-hectare (72-acre) island was simply overcrowded.

Day 16 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 off your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 17 Cairns, Australia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark this morning after breakfast. Tourism is the lifeblood of Cairns (pronounced Caans). The city makes a good base for exploring the wild top half of Queensland, and tens of thousands of international travelers use it as a jumping-off point for activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling trips to the Barrier Reef, as well as boating, fishing, parasailing, scenic flights, and rain-forest treks. It's a tough environment, with intense heat and fierce wildlife.

Silver Explorer

Per person starting at
$11,340
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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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View Suite
12 suites on Deck 3, 230 sq. feet with view window, Twin or Queen beds.
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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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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

Please note: Fares are capacity controlled, and subject to change at any time without notice. All prices are in US dollars, cruise-only per person based on double occupancy.

- The supplement for single occupancy in a Vista, Veranda or Midship Veranda Suite ranges from 25% – 100% above the double occupancy fare, depending upon the sailing and suite selected. Single supplement for a Silver or Medallion Suite (Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper), Owner’s, Grand or Royal Suites are 100% above of the double occupancy fare. Suites for single and third guests are capacity controlled.

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 your cruise fare:
  • Personalized service – the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising
  • Butler service in every suite and stateroom – all guests are pampered equally
  • Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
  • In-suite dining and room service
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Gratuities always included in your fare
  • One hour free Wifi per day for all guests. Unlimited free Wifi for guests sailing on select suite categories
  • Complimentary Parka
Not included in your cruise fare:
  • Airfare
  • Optional hotel accommodation,
  • Transfers and luggage handling,
  • Fuel surcharges
  • Optional shore excursions 
  • Meals ashore
  • Accommodation while ashore
  • Security surcharges 
  • Any item or service of a personal nature such as casino gaming, laundry or valet services, purchases from the ship boutiques, childcare services aboard ship, massages, spa treatments, private fitness instruction, hair styling and manicures.
  • Some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes and cigars are not included in your fare.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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