The Coral Sea – Solomon Islands to Micronesia

South Pacific Cruise

  • Silver Discoverer
  • Expedition Ship
  • 120 Capacity
  • 18 Days
  • 2015 View Departure>
    • 2015
    • Feb 21 Sat Offer
  • Price from
  • $12,150

Summary : Discover landscapes as varied as lagoons, coral reefs, forests, waterfalls, geysers and more. Experience first-class diving and snorkeling witnessing spectacular marine life, as well as a number of WWII wrecks. Enjoy engaging with local tribes and learning about their local crafts and customs. Observe indigenous flora and fauna that includes extraordinary marine life, flying foxes and the elusive bird of paradise. Capture it all in vivid photos to share when you return home from this trip of a lifetime.

**Price includes diving. Conditions apply.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Diving, Hiking, Snorkeling

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Prices from
$12,150 to $29,750

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Itinerary
Day 1
Honiara, Solomon Islands

Embark the ship in the afternoon and meet your Expedition Team and attend a safety briefing. Enjoy time to familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, and meet fellow travelers.

Day 2
Lumalihe Island / Marovo Lagoon

Marovo Lagoon is the world’s largest saltwater lagoon. Described by American author, James A. Michener, as “one of the seven natural wonders of the world,” Marovo is home to a double barrier reef system, and is one of two sites in the Solomons currently under consideration for UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Enjoy diving or snorkeling at the site to view incredible reef drop-offs that are characterized by coral fan forests, black coral gardens, giant clams, sea turtles, manta rays, eels, barracuda, octopus, morays, gray whaler sharks, and shoals of lion- and pelagic fish. Meanwhile, bird watchers can look for osprey, Brahmany kite and kingfishers, while hikers can venture into the forests on one of the many surrounding islands.

Day 3
Kennedy Island, Solomon Islands

Kasolo Island is more popularly known as Kennedy Island because it is the historically famous landmark where JFK was marooned during World War II. Amid great publicity, the remains of the sunken PT-109 warship on which he was stationed, were discovered in nearby Blackett Strait. Today, Kennedy Island is a popular dive site for wreck seekers.

Day 4 – 5
Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

Arrive in Papua New Guinea’s capital, Rabaul, in the evening, just in time to witness Melanesia magic at its best with a welcome by a traditional Baining fire performance—a nocturnal dance performed around a huge fire in traditional Tuk Tuk masks. The following day, board local buses for a half-day tour of Rabaul and Kokopo. Travel along a road built by the Singaporean and Burmese POWs under the direction of the Japanese, and tour sites including a Japanese submarine base and barge tunnels. You’ll also visit what was once Queen Emma’s estate, of which just the steps remain.

Day 6
Tatau Island, Papua New Guinea

Tatau, in the Tarbar Islands, is our next port of call. Meet the friendly islanders who practice Malagan, a traditional rite where sacred masks are made and honored. The production of these masks is kept a secret until they’re displayed to the whole community with a celebration of singing and dancing. Divers and snorkelers are sure to enjoy exploring the reef cover around the island, while land-lovers can shop for carved souvenirs and appreciate the islanders’ presentations of dance and song.

Day 7
Kapingamarangi, Pohnpei

You’re in for a treat with your visit to Kapingamarangi, the most southerly atoll of the country and of the Caroline Islands. Using our Zodiacs we will cross the five-nautical-mile lagoon to visit the small community of islanders. Kapingamaringi consists of over 33 wooded islets on the east and mostly submerged islets on the west side of the lagoon. Visit local homes, try fresh coconut milk and munch on orange pandanus fruit. The islanders are renowned for their woodcarving skills and an opportunity is given to appreciate their talents. The crystal-clear waters are yours to enjoy, so swim and snorkel away as you watch the handmade sailing canoes carrying dried pandanus leaves used for mat-weaving.

Day 8
Nukuoro Atoll, Pohnpei

Nukuoro is one of the most stunning islets in the South Pacific with a population of less than 500. The island is completely remote with no airstrip, just occasional boats sailing by every few months. Embark on a magnificent tour through greenery and past taro patches. Discover where and how copra is prepared and find out where taro, bananas and breadfruit are grown. Explore Nukuoro on your own and interact with the friendly locals. Divers and snorkelers alike may see a hawksbill turtle, schools of barracuda, moray eels and many cowrie shells.

Day 9
Kolonia, Pohnpei

Pohnpei is a volcanic island whose quarries produced prismatic columns used to construct the ancient kingdoms at Nan Madol. Explore the ruins of Nan Madol and its crisscross canals leading to some of the 100 man-made islets. Learn the history of the kingdom and its rise and fall from the onboard anthropologist.

Day 10
At Sea

Enjoy a day at your leisure exchanging notes with fellow travelers and taking advantage of the luxurious amenities aboard the ship. Spot seabirds flying miles from their nesting grounds. Hear a lecture, relax into an interesting book, or find tranquility in the comfort of your suite and watch a movie.

Day 11
Truk Lagoon, Chuuk

Truk Lagoon, also known as Chuuk Lagoon, is a little over 1,100 miles north-east of New Guinea. This coral atoll is still in its coral formation stages; so many basalt islands remain above the lagoon’s surface. Outside the protective reef, there are over 30 coral sand islands. Truk is considered one of the top 10 diving sites in the world, so the scenery is ideal for diving. You can also explore the 50-feet deep wreckage of a sunken Japanese battleship, which is believed to house the remains of fighter aircraft, bulldozers and motorcycles.

Day 12
Pulap Island, Chuuk

Visit the island’s three main villages including Pollap Attol, Tamatam and Fanadik for a unique cultural experience. Besides the beautiful and peaceful setting, it’s a chance to absorb the local culture as you meet village chiefs and enjoy a traditional welcome performance. Learn more about navigation techniques and what it takes to live and survive on an isolated and remote atoll. Explore the lagoon’s underwater world in a handmade canoe. Finish the day by learning the "Love Dance" from the locals.

Day 13
Satawal, Yap

Satawal, "The Island of Navigators," is known for its early canoes and traditional navigational techniques. In fact, the best-known Satawal master navigator, Mau Piailug, served as a teacher to the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s founding members. Delight in greetings by the island’s children and learn of ancient banana and hibiscus fiber preparations for weaving. Immerse yourself in the island’s art from abstract designs to all sorts of animal wood carvings on an enjoyable walking tour. Sing, dance, snorkel and perhaps take the opportunity to visit a friendly local’s hut.

Day 14
Ifalik, Yap

Ifalik is one of the more traditional islands of Yap; be welcomed by local chiefs and a performance of traditional songs and dances before setting off to explore the lush island with a local guide. Visit the school, which is one of the very few buildings built with modern material, in contrast to the houses built with leaves and trees found on the island. The women tend the gardens of taro and other staple foods while the men are involved in boat building or fishing. The canoes along the beach and in the picturesque lagoon make for fantastic photographs.

Day 15
At Sea

A leisurely day at sea is yours to enjoy. Begin perhaps with a late breakfast and another cup of coffee or tea during the first of the day’s lectures. Hear fascinating tales of adventure and learn more about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields.

Day 16
Yap Island, Yap

Mangrove swamps line much of Yap’s shore. Indigenous cultures and traditions are strong compared to other states in Micronesia. Yap is known for its stone money, known as Rai: large doughnut-shaped, carved disks ranging in size from 3.5 cm (1.4 in) to 4 m (12 ft.) in diameter. The stones' value was kept high due to the difficulty and hazards involved in obtaining them. To quarry the stones, Yapese adventurers had to sail to distant islands and deal with local inhabitants who were sometimes hostile. As no more disks are being produced or imported, this money supply is fixed. The islanders know who owns which piece but do not necessarily move them when ownership changes. Their size and weight (the largest ones require 20 adult men to carry) make them very difficult to move around. Explore Yap Island and learn more about their cultures and traditions.

Day 17
Ngulu Atoll, Yap

The beautiful coral reef of Ngulu Atoll welcomes you as the Chief of the island greets you and local dancers put on an unforgettable performance. Snorkel or dive into the natural lagoon filled with indigenous tropical fish like the iridescent blue-green Reef Chromis. Don’t forget to look out for the Black-napped Tern and Red-footed Boobies.

Day 18
Koror, Palau

Following breakfast, disembark the vessel.

Notes

This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Diving Program: 
The program is complimentary; however, space is limited and thus booking early is recommended. Dives are dependent upon the conditions. Divers must be advanced with full certification which will need to be provided before embarking the vessel. Certification must be active and logbooks must show evidence that each guest has been diving within 12 months prior to the voyage. Dive medical travel insurance is required. Divers must bring their own gear such as BCD and regulator. Weight belts, masks, fins and tanks will be provided free of charge. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for further details.

Included:
Suite accommodations; onboard meals and entertainment; butler service; snorkeling gear; diving; gratuities aboard ship (except spa); complimentary beverages aboard ship (including select wines, champagnes, spirits, soda, water and coffee).

Not Included:
Airfare; transfers and luggage handling; optional shore excursions; park entrance fees; government fees and taxes; passport expenses; some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes and cigars; laundry or valet services; items of a personal nature such as boutique purchases, medical care, and spa services; fuel surcharge may apply.