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Beautiful sunset in Papua New Guinea

A Passage to the Solomons (Cairns to Honiara)

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Coral Discoverer
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This voyage uncovers the pristine wildlife, fascinating cultures, and remote coral atolls and beaches of the idyllic Melanesia region. The expedition will also commemorate the 75th Anniversary of WWII, with time to explore the wrecks and remnants of the war in the Pacific theater, and expert guides on hand to discuss the various battle sites, historical significance and strategies. Traveling aboard the Coral Discoverer, depart from Cairns, Australia, and journey to key stops in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Cairns | Embark
Day 2 : At Sea
Day 3 : Samarai & Nuakata Islands
Day 4 : Fergusson Island & Dobu Reef
Day 5 : Egum Atoll
Day 6 : Laughlan (Budibudi) Islands - Bodaluna Island
Day 7 : Ghizo Island & Njari Reef
Day 8 : Arnavon Islands and Dart Sound
Day 9 : Marovo Lagoon
Day 10 : Mangalonga and Savo Island
Day 11 : Marau Sound
Day 12 : Honiara | Disembark

Highlights

  • Snorkel and dive over vivid coral gardens at Egum Atoll and Njari Reef
  • See the rich tradition of canoe-building at Budibudi
  • Visit historic WWII wrecks and significant battlefields
  • Enjoy cultural visits to remote island communities

Ship

Coral Discoverer

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Beautiful sunset in Papua New Guinea Remote lagoon in Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea snorkeling Papua New Guinea Children of the Solomon Islands greet your zodiac
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Day 1 Cairns | Embark

  • 1 Dinner
Board the Coral Discoverer at 8am for a 9am departure.

Day 2 At Sea

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

Day 3 Samarai & Nuakata Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enter Papua New Guinea at Samarai, before you spend the afternoon at Nuakata in the Daiwari Islands to experience cultural demonstrations, hike to skull caves, or snorkel over coral reefs. 

Day 4 Fergusson Island & Dobu Reef

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit Dei Dei Hot Springs and hear the mythical tales of this fascinating place. Later, learn the history of the Kula Ring at Dobu Island and snorkel over the Bubbling Springs Reef.

Day 5 Egum Atoll

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

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

Day 7 Ghizo Island & Njari Reef

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

Day 8 Arnavon Islands and Dart Sound

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

Day 9 Marovo Lagoon

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

Day 10 Mangalonga and Savo Island

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

Day 11 Marau Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • 1 Breakfast
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.
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Coral Discoverer

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Per person starting at
$7,250
Select a Date
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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Bridge Deck
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.

Notes

Solo Travelers:
Solo cabin occupancy is limited and based on availability in Promenade Deck B cabins only. Single supplement is an additional 50%.

Important Fare Information:
Rates are posted based off of the current exchange rates from Australian or New Zealand Dollars. Please contact us for current exchange rates.

Rates Include:
  • 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
Rates Exclude: 
  • Pre and post flights, transfers and hotels
  • Entry visas/travel permits
  • Travel insurance
  • 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
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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