from$ 9990 AUD
Note: Current p/p indicative rate. Final price may change due to currency fluctuations.
Honiara to Port Vila
This voyage uncovers the pristine wildlife 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 theatre, and expert guides on hand to discuss the various battle sites, historical significance, and strategies. Travelling aboard the Coral Discoverer, depart from Honiara, Solomon Islands and journey to key stops in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. This voyage can be combined with the 11-night voyage from Cairns to Honiara for a fully immersive 22 night trip.
Before embarking the Coral Discoverer, enjoy the optional extra of a Battlefields tour to key sites from the 1942 Guadalcanal campaign. Visit sites such as Edson’s Bloody Ridge, the US War Memorial at Skyline Ridge, or the Japanese Peace Park Memorial at Mt Austin. Board the Coral Discoverer at 4:00pm for a 5:00pm departure.
Tulagi Island is home to significant World War II history, with fighting occurring here as a prelude to the Battle of the Coral Sea. The original capital of the Solomon Islands, Tulagi was severely damaged in WWII. There is excellent scuba diving here, over wrecks of U.S. Navy ships. Sightings of large manta rays are also possible. We cruise through the scenic Mboli passage, where there is beautiful lush rainforest covering the hills and small villages under the palm trees. The passage itself contains much ship wreckage.
Today, we visit the saltwater people of Langa Langa Lagoon. Living on small artificial islands built from sand bars, the residents here are known for the shell money making, ‘shark worship’ beliefs, and ship-building skills. Be immersed into the islander’s way of life; witness a warrior welcome, traditional food preparation, fire-making, face tattooing, shell money making, dancing, and panpipe performances. The lagoon also provides opportunities for swimming and snorkelling.
This beautiful passage between Big Malaita and Small Malaita Islands has its own unique environment. Legends surround the creation of this passage, and the reefs close by are home to the romo (shells) from which money is made. We may enjoy panpipe and kastom performances, and basket weaving demonstrations in the village, as well as snorkelling at Onemaruha and an Xplorer cruise through the Maramasike Passage.
Located in the eastern tip of Gaudalcanal, this geographical crossroad seperates Gaudalcanal’s calm northern waters from the Tasi Mauri or ‘weather coast’. Five protected marine reserves have been established in Marau Sound, and we will have opportunities for snorkelling in the exquisite turquoise waters. Enjoy a visit to a village on Marapa Island or visit Conflict Bay.
The locals of Na Mugha, Star Harbour, welcome us ashore this morning. Enjoy a colourful cultural performance before exploring the village. Meet the children at the local school and learn about the harbour’s WWII history as a US Army base. Enjoy a scenic zodiac ride through the surrounding mangrove-lined creeks or hike around the edge of the scenic harbour.
Nendo Island Solomons Coral Expeditions Nendo is the largest of the Santa Cruz group of islands, where Alvaro de Mendana unsuccessfully tried to start a colony in 1595. Our last stop in the Solomon Islands, Nendo is known for its particularly fine artifacts and this is a good opportunity to purchase from the local makers. At Luowa Village, enjoy a cultural performance and snorkel from the white sandy beach.
We enter Vanuatu at the remarkable Ureparapara, a extinct stratovolcano rising 764 metres from the ocean floor. Cruise into the cone of the extinct volcano, surrounded on three sides of 300 metre cliffs. This spectacular island can only be experienced by sea. Enjoy a warm welcome from the villages and the opportunity to witness the local women perform the ‘water music’ in the sea.
Today, we visit Million Dollar Point, where the US Navy’s millions of dollars worth of war equipment was scuttled. The wreckage has turned to reef, and nearby is the wreck of the troopship SS President Coolidge. Enjoy a day of swimming, snorkelling, and relaxing.
Relax on the white sand beaches of Nguna Island, and explore the stunning coral gardens that are perfect for snorkelling or diving. The two volcanic craters on Nguna, Mount Tapuora and Mount Marow, which provide a wonderful opportunity for a volcano walk.
Tanna Island is home to the active volcano Mount Yasur, and the volcanic soil here is very fertile, supportung crops of kava, coffee, coconut, copra and other fruits and vegetables. Here we learn about the unique Tannese culture and the John Frum Cargo Cult. We visit the local villages at Sulphur Bay and then drive through the forest and up the slopes of Tanna. A short walk brings you to the smoking crater – a rare opportunity to gaze into a live volcano.
This morning, we arrive in Port Vila, capital of Vanuatu.
This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Length: 63 metres Passenger Capacity: 72 (in 36 rooms) Built: 2005 / Refurbished: 2016 Launched in 2005, Coral Discoverer set a new benchmark standard for small ship cruising in Australia. Refurbished in November 2016, she continues to raise the bar to new levels of sophistication in expedition cruising in the Southern Hemisphere. The 1800-tonne Coral Discoverer is the grand vision of Coral Expeditions, pioneers in expedition and adventure cruises around Australia, Papua New Guinea and South East Asia. Her shallow draught and manoeuvrability allow her to go where larger vessels cannot. Her tender vessel, Xplorer, can seat all 72 passengers for excursions to beaches and rivers. Coral Discoverer is equipped with latest technology active stabilisers to ensure comfortable cruising in open waters and is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment and wireless internet facilities. Coral Discoverer was built to the exacting international SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards and specifications in Cairns, Australia, with one aim in mind; to create the ultimate small ship cruising experience. Australian flagged, and staffed entirely by an Australian and New Zealand crew, your experience aboard Coral Discoverer will be unique. After the refurbishment, the Sun Deck has evolved to become a new social space and the hub of on board community living. This area has been converted into an undercover deck area complete with round ‘Explorer Bar’ with bar stools and sun deck with lounges and an area for outdoor exercise equipment. Guest accommodation has also received a substantial upgrade with the addition of six Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms providing coveted inside/outside living quarters. Each of our other Stateroom grades has also received a full upgrade with updated bathroom fixtures, soft furnishings and artwork making for an even more comfortable stay on board Coral Discoverer. The Coral Discoverer offers five different grades of staterooms, ranging from Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms to Main Deck Staterooms. Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms are on the top deck and have private balconies opening out from french windows. All rooms are furnished with contemporary flair and feature original artwork, a small private en-suite, individually-controlled air-conditioning, an iPod dock, ample storage and Australian toiletries. All staterooms are serviced daily. Each stateroom is spacious, sized between 15sqm (161 square feet) to 20 sqm (215 square feet) and has either a balcony, feature picture windows or porthole windows. Most staterooms can be configured to either junior king or twin bedding. FACILITIES ON BOARD > Sun Deck with undercover area, sun lounges and ample seating > Three fully stocked cocktail bars, including brand new round Explorer Bar on Sun Deck > Spacious, modern dining room, recently refurbished > Forward lounge > Reference library > Gift shop > Open bridge > Workout Area > Wireless internet available for laptops, mobile devices or via onboard guest computer > Limited laundry facilities available > SCUBA diving department (selected itineraries)
• Snorkel and dive in vivid coral gardens and relax on sandy tropical beaches at Nendo, Nguna, and Onemaruha • Snorkel, dive, or simply visit historic WW2 wrecks and significant sites such as the sunken SS President Coolidge at Million Dollar Point • Snorkel and kayak the marine reserves of spectacular Marau Sound and the Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area • Hear traditional pan-pipe performances at Malaita, along with basket weaving demonstrations and kastom performances. • Get up close to active volcanoes at Nguna Island and Tanna Island