South Pacific Splendor

South Pacific Cruise

  • Orion
  • Luxury Expedition Ship
  • 106 Capacity
  • 11 Days
  • View Departure>
  • Price from
  • $999,999,999

Summary : This adventurous South Pacific voyage sails from Auckland to Port Vila, exploring the world famous Bay of Islands before sailing to the historic penal settlement of Norfolk Island and then on to the picturesque Isle of Pines. Experience the amazing Melanesian 'Ring of Fire' with visits to the volcanic islands of Anatom and Tanna, highlighted by an exciting evening excursion to the rim of the crater of the spectacularly active volcano, Mt Yasur. Then soak up the French flavor of Port Vila, Vanuatu, with convenient air access and accommodation for those leaving or joining the ship.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Snorkeling

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Itinerary
Day 1
Auckland, New Zealand

In the Maori language, Auckland is known as Tamaki Makau Rau, the city of 100 lovers, having earned the name because it was a place desired by all and conquered by many. The setting is spectacular, the city being nestled upon three harbours - the Waitemata, the Manukau and the Kaipara. Don't miss the chance to dine out in Auckland as the city has perfected the style of cuisine called "Pacific Rim", blending Asian and Pacific flavors. Seafood features prominently on restaurant menus so be sure to try New Zealand green lipped mussels and succulent Clevedon Coast oysters - all matched with an excellent New Zealand wine.

Day 2
Great Barrier Island

Great Barrier Island is just 90km off the coast, with flourishing plant life and an impressive variety of bird life. Weather permitting, your Zodiac will land on a remote and pristine beach in Medland Bay.

Day 3
Russell, Bay of Islands

On the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, enjoy your first taste of Aotearoa. Here a coastline of bays and white sandy beaches embraces a sea dotted with 150 islands. The Maoris believe that the Bay of Islands was originally discovered by their legendary navigator Kupe. This is where the Maoris first arrived, and not so long ago was a base for whalers, sealers and sailors, preparing the way for a fusing of Maori and European culture. It is famously known as being the home of the Treaty of Waitangi, the first official agreement between Maori and the British.

Day 4
Day 5
Norfolk Island

A shuttle bus will take you to explore Norfolk Island. This island is rich in history and culture from Captain Cook's discovery in 1774 to modern times. When the First Fleet arrived at Port Jackson in January 1788, Phillip ordered Lieutenant Philip Gidley King to lead a party of fifteen convicts and seven free men to take control of the island and prepare for its commercial development. They arrived on March 6, 1788.

Although much of the land has been cleared for cropping and pasture, the once-dominant Norfolk Island pines remain a notable feature of the landscape. The island has a wide variety of fauna, including geckos, bats, turtles, plentiful fish, and numerous seabirds.

Before European colonization, most of Norfolk Island was covered with subtropical rain forest, the canopy of which was made of Norfolk Island Pine. Historic attractions include museums, the penal settlement and the culture arising from the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives, who settled on Norfolk after the mutiny of the HMS Bounty.

Day 6
Day 7
Isle of Pines

Known as Kunie to its Melanesian inhabitants, the island is part of the French-Pacific territory of New Caledonia. Today there are roughly 2,000 inhabitants, 95% of whom are Melanesians or Kanaks. The indigenous Kunie people are comprised of eight tribes, characterized by independent traditions, cultures and social ideals, each with their own 'little chief' and governed as a whole by a High Chief.

Anchor in Kuto Bay, famous for its beautiful white sand beach.
Wander the island, meet the French speaking local, or swim in the azure waters of the bay. Explore the ruins of the convict settlement that housed 2,000 deported prisoners in the 1870's.

Enjoy swimming, snorkeling and sea kayaking from a brilliant white sand beach, or perhaps explore the small and picturesque township of Kuto. A local culture group will perform during your visit.

Day 8
Day 9
Anatom

Anatom Island, also called Aneityum, is the southernmost island of Vanuatu. Volcanic in origin, it rises from the fertile coastal plain and valleys to a height of 2,795 feet (852 m). Anatom has a current estimated population of 550 but is believed to have had a population as large as 12,000 prior to the arrival of the Europeans in 1793. Anatom was a center of sandal wooders, whalers, and missionaries in the 19th century, where its valuable stands of kauri pine were once exploited. The introduction of European diseases and black-birding are believed to have been the primary factors of the island’s depopulation. Stone ruins on Anatom Island once housed the largest missionary church in the southern hemisphere.

The island is surrounded by coral reefs and beaches. Swim and snorkel to view the beautiful coral reefs or just relax on the white sand beaches.

Day 10
Tanna Island

As your ship approaches Port Resolution, you will catch sight of the island's active volcano, Mount Yasur. The optional expedition to this remarkable erupting landmark will be truly memorable. Other activities include guided village tours, cultural performances, soaking in hot pools and swimming from the beach. Tanna is also known for the Jon Frum religious movement, and is the origin of the region's Cargo Cults. Since World War II, the local believers expect Jon 'Frum' America to bring wealth from over the sea.

Day 11
Port Vila, Vanuatu

Disembark at Port Vila, the capital and largest town of the republic of Vanuatu. Located on Mele Bay on the southwest coast of Efate, Vila is a port and the commercial center of the island group.

In the 19th century, French settlers established the municipality of Franceville, which declared independence in 1889 and became the first self-governing nation to practice universal suffrage without distinction of sex or race. The town is French in appearance, but the population is multinational, including British, French, Vanuatuans, and Vietnamese.

Notes

Included:
Accommodations as booked, cruise transportation, all meals onboard, 24-hour room service, entertainment and educational programs, use of ship's sporting equipment and facilities, port & handling charges, Zodiac excursions and tender transfers, access to the ship's library, Government Fees & Taxes. Fares also include the services of 70 experienced crew.

Not Included:
Airfare; items of a personal nature, including but not limited to: travel and medical insurance; laundry charges; shopping onboard; bar expenses; hair dressing and massage treatments; optional shore experiences; medical treatment; telephone and Internet charges; gratuities for individual staff members (optional).