Summary : Discover fascinating indigenous cultures and witness traditional performances of song and dance. Experience exceptional snorkeling and dive sites in Indo-Pacific lagoons – a mesmerizing underwater world of indigenous tropical fish, feather stars, vase sponges, octopus, morays and pygmy manta rays. Marvel at Marovo Lagoon, famous for its extensive coral reef ecosystems. Dive into Hansa Bay, where 34 sunken ships can be explored. Discover Kennedy Island where the Japanese destroyer Amagiri, in World War II, struck JFK’s boat. Take exciting zodiac tours through bays and mangroves and be on the lookout for birds such as osprey, Brahmany kite and kingfishers.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Diving, Hiking, Snorkeling
$999,999,999 to $0
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.
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.
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.
Savor nature at its best. Swim, snorkel, dive, bird-watch and bask in the Caroline Islands as you wish. Explore the relics of a Japanese fishing boat that made it there due to a 70's typhoon. Delight in the island’s soaring Fairy Terns, dazzling Sweetlips and swimming Humphead Wrass.
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.
Ali Island was first visited by outsiders (Catholic Church Missionaries) in the mid-1800’s. As a result of this the Ali islanders were the first people in the Sepik region to receive education like reading and writing. Their traditional culture remains strong. This is one part of the country where men and women dress similarly for some dances. Enjoy white sandy beaches with dive sites close to the village community.
The Murik Lakes are a cluster of salt and fresh-water lakes in the lower Sepik province of Papua New Guinea. Discover lagoons, mangrove swamps and sandbanks between fresh water and the sea. The islanders chisel carvings and weave Sepik baskets. Experience the Sepik River on an excursion that will include a stop at Kopar, a small village at the mouth of the Sepik River, that’s inhabited by no more than 200 people. Your arrival will be heralded with a welcoming performance of song and dance. For the keen birders, a trip by Zodiac into the small canals will offer sights of flood plain birds, parrots and the odd kite.
Madang has one of the South Pacific’s most beautiful harbors, with a backdrop of steep mountains and lush tropical vegetation. The town of Madang was the center of heavy fighting during World War II, and there are 34 sunken ships to explore at Hansa Bay for divers to explore. The small town began its “modern life” as a result of the lucrative copra (coconut) trade. However most people will know Madang for its deep relevance in Japanese history — the town was occupied by the Japanese in January 1943, and was a hub of activity during World War II. Visit the Coastwatcher’s Memorial Lighthouse, which was dedicated in 1959 to the Allied Forces and local civilians who served against the Japanese in WWII. Explore Bilbil Village, famous for its pottery, and enjoy a welcome by traditionally clad villagers performing local dances accompanied by drums. As dusk approaches keep an eye out for the plentiful flying foxes that hang from the trees.
The Tami Islands are a small archipelago (just four islands) located South of Finschhafen in the Huon Gulf. Collectively, they are part of today's Morobe Province. The main island 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 communities of islanders live basically—Tami has just a single primary school and a small medical aid post. The “sing-sing” here is loud and punctuated by the beating of ‘kundus’ (hand-held hollowed wooden drums with monitor lizard skin at one end).
Enjoy a leisurely day at sea. Begin perhaps with a late breakfast and another cup of coffee or tea during the first of the day’s lectures. Find out what differentiates Micronesian from Melanesian cultures and how they’re affected by modern-day influences. Listen as the onboard marine biologist presents a preview of what the Solomon’s underwater world has in store.
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.
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 Solomon's 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.
Anchor between San Cristobal and Owa Raha and take the Zodiacs into Port Mary, the small bay in front of the main village of Ghupuna. Discover a beautiful white sand beach, large trees, and traditional houses built of leaves and local timber. Santa Ana’s leaf houses were built flush to the ground until the 70’s, and are now mostly built on stilts. Enjoy greetings by curious children and possibly a local reception with dances by the students. If you’re in the market for a truly unique memento, Santa Ana is renowned for its small, ornately crafted ceremonial food bowls, dance sticks and fishing floats.
Nembao, one of the main villages of Utupua Island, is your host for the day. Utupua is a high island surrounded by a coral reef. Enjoy a day of pure island tradition as you are welcomed by young local warriors and treated to a dance performance. Take the opportunity to walk around the village and explore to discover how the people of Utupua live. Board the zodiacs for a tour through the mangroves and keep an eye out for mudskippers and birdlife.
As you sail, Expedition Team lecturers will reflect on the many cultural experiences enjoyed together throughout your journey and will introduce you to the wonders of Fiji. Be sure to join the resident photographer and videographer for a visual presentation highlighting the sights and sounds of the entire voyage to this far flung corner of the Pacific.
Following breakfast, disembark the vessel.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
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.
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). Subject to change without notice.
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.