Spend the day at leisure as you cross the Coral Sea, and join your expedition leader and guest lecturers in the lounge for presentations and briefings on Papua New Guinea ahead of your clearance at Alotau.
Prepare for an unforgettable experience as you discover remote Egum Atoll and enjoy your first opportunity for snorkeling, scuba diving and glass bottom boat tours over colorful reef systems. Visit a village on one of the atoll’s low islands, where the locals will share their creation legends and stories of the Kula Ring trading, which creates lasting bonds between the clans throughout the islands.
Day 6: Laughlan (Budibudi) Islands - Bodaluna Island
Laughlan Islanders specialize in canoe building, and in this very remote corner of Papua New Guinea, we find seagoing canoes under construction. The friendly villages of Bodaluna welcome you and share their way of life. You may have opportunities for swimming or snorkeling.
This morning you will enter the Solomon Islands at the town of Gizo. Wander through the open air markets, which showcase a bounty of tropical fruits and fresh fish, as well as crafts by the legendary wood and stone carvers of the region.
You may choose to scuba dive over Japanese ship wrecks as an optional extra instead of exploring the town of Gizo.
In the afternoon, enjoy water activities at Njari Reef. Njari Reef is a merge point for oceanic currents and is said to have one of the highest fish counts in the world.
Visit the marine reserve of the Arnavon Islands, home to the largest rookery of endangered hawksbill turtles in the South Pacific. The Arnavon Community Marine Conservation Area, the first protected area within the Solomons, was established in 1995 and covers over 40,000 acres of land and sea. You may have the opportunity to see turtle hatchlings emerging from their nests at Kerehikapa Island. The coral reefs of the Arnavon Islands are some of the healthiest and most diverse in the world.
Later, cruise up the picturesque Dart Sound to the remote village of Kia, where you are welcomed with traditional dance and singing.
Marovo Lagoon is one of the wonders of nature. Enclosed by a double barrier reef and bound by the Vangunu and New Georgia Islands, the lagoon covers 700 square kilometers. Its coral reef systems are world famous for exceptional diving and snorkeling sites. Some of the many islands in the lagoon are inhabited – the Marovo carvings of ebony inlaid with shell are exquisite. You may visit the villages here and snorkel and dive in the lagoon.
This morning, you will visit Mangalonga Island to snorkel and dive on the reef. Mangalonga Reef has amazing fish life, and it is common to see feather stars and colorful anthias. You may also enjoy a birdwatching walk on the island – some of the often sighted birds include claret-breasted fruit doves.
This afternoon, explore Savo Island. This was an important location during WWII, and the Battle of Savo Island was the first of five large scale land and sea actions fought to support the ground battles on Guadalcanal
Here you may visit an active volcano, ringed by hot springs, geysers and mudlakes. Enjoy a short walk through the volcanic area. There is also an extensive megapode field, where female birds incubate their eggs in the hot sand.
This area of verdant tropical islands is a geographical crossroads. You may hear the panpipes played and watch the women perform water music. There are five protected marine reserves established here, and you will snorkel in the turquoise waters.
Day 12: Honiara | Disembark
This morning you will disembark in Honiara at 8:00am. As an optional extra, enjoy a tour of the key sites of the Guadalcanal campaign, including Edson’s Bloody Ridge, the U.S. war memorial at Skyline Ridge, and the Japanese Peace Park Memorial at Mount Austin.
Apologies for the inconvenience. Prices for not yet published. Below per person rate based on previous season. Contact us to confirm upcoming season pricing.
Prices for are estimated based on inflation. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure date.
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Main Deck B
Averaging 195 sq. ft. Three cabins located on the Main Deck, equipped with twin portholes, desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
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Main Deck A
Averaging 195 sq. ft. Six cabins located on the Main Deck, equipped with twin porthole windows, desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
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Promenade Deck B
Averaging 160 sq. ft. Four cabins located on the Promenade Deck, equipped with picture windows, desk, telephone and Junior King bedding.
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Promenade Deck A
Averaging 195 sq. ft. Eighteen cabins located on the Promenade Deck, equipped with picture windows, sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
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Averaging 195 sq. ft. Five cabins located on the Bridge Deck, equipped with picture windows, sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Accommodation in selected room grade for the number of nights as listed in each itinerary
All meals featuring locally sourced produce
Selected beers and showcase wines during lunch and dinner service
24-hour tea, barista-style coffee, and selected soft drinks
Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks
Access to islands, marine, and national parks
Guided tours on Xplorer expedition vessel, Zodiacs, glass-bottom boat and kayaks
Touring as described in each itinerary
Services of an expert expedition team and lecturers including briefings and knowledge-sharing sessions
Port taxes and government charges imposed by authorities
Post-cruise transfer to hotel or airport
Pre and post flights, transfers and hotels
Entry visas/travel permits
Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of the included drinks package as highlighted), laundry charges, and souvenir purchases
Costs associated with SCUBA diving - please inquire for details
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!