Marvels of Melanesia – KOROR TO HONIARA / GUADALCANAL

As world-wide destinations go, nothing can top the remote islands of Papua New Guinea. A colourful patchwork of tropical landscapes, rich with culture and character, these magical islands are an emotional explosion for any traveller. From village-wide welcomes and fire dances, to sandy lagoons and Catholic missions, this adventure laced with new destinations will change your life forever.

 

DATES: May 13, 2018
DURATION: 16 DAYS/15 NIGHTS
EMBARK: Koror, Palau  –  DISEMBARK: Honiara, Guadalcanal
SHIP: Silver Discoverer

SAVE 10% Early Payment by DEC 28, 2017.
BOOK BY JANURAY 31 – $2,999 BUSINESS CLASS AIR, FREE ECONOMY CLASS AIR ROUNDTRIP, OR $1,000 CREDIT, PLUS PRE/POST HOTEL STAY* AND TRANSFERS

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Your expedition will lead to one discovery after another. A complimentary program of unique, small-group shore experiences, led by a team of expert guides and lecturers, allows you to fully experience the lands you’ll visit.

ITINERARY

Day 1 — Koror, Palau
Embark Silver Discoverer for this stunning Silversea Expedition entitled, “Marvels of Melanesia.” This afternoon you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and attend a safety briefing.

Day 2 — Koror, Palau
This morning you can go into town for some self-exploration and visit the National Museum of Palau or the private Etpison Museum with its outstanding exhibition on “traditional money,” or have a look at Palau’s underwater creatures in the Aquarium.

Silversea Expeditions offers guests the opportunity to join an excursion to see the famous “Rock Islands.” This UNESCO World heritage Site is a must-see if you have not been to Palau before. We will go in local speed boats to see the labyrinth of channels and islands and to snorkel in Palauan waters.

In the afternoon, Silver Discoverer will cruise out of Koror’s inner harbor. Be on deck to see Babeldaob Island with its mangrove coast and terraced hills offset by countless hues of lagoon blues and greens.


Days 3-4— At Sea
A leisurely day at sea invites you to take advantage of the luxurious amenities aboard Silver Discoverer.

Day 5 — Vanimo, Papua New Guinea
This morning we arrive in Papua New Guinea. We will set out to explore one of its most remote regions. The Sandaun Province is relatively undeveloped, with lovely beaches, crystal clear lagoons and picturesque villages.

After a short welcome ceremony, we will set off in local minivans to explore further afield. Since Vanimo does not receive many visitors, the main attraction in many places will actually be our visit. Don’t forget your bathing suit as we will have the opportunity to cool down at one of the beautiful beach locations outside of town.

Day 6 — Ali Island, Papua New Guinea
Ali Island is one of the four islands located close to Aitape, off the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. The eastern shore of Ali Island has a beautiful white sandy beach and offers swimming and snorkeling. The five villages on the island are all set up in string and well-maintained trails lead to the school and Catholic church closer to the northern end of the island. Guest will be welcomed with songs and dances and a village walk will take you past the clean local homes, their gardens and wells to the Catholic church with its interesting paintings regarding the via crucis. Chat with the islanders, relax on the beach, or take one of the local canoes to exercise your paddling skills.

Day 7 — Kopar Village, Sepik River, Papua New
Guinea
The lower East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea has lagoons, mangrove swamps and sandbanks between the Sepik to the south and the Bismarck Sea to the north. This morning we will be in front of the Sepik River where, depending on the tides, we will either navigate upriver for a scenic Zodiac tour that will include a stop at Kopar or will be able to anchor in the Sepik, close to this small village inhabited by no more than 200 people. Our arrival here will also be heralded with a welcoming performance of song and dance.

At Kopar locals from different villages will have gathered to show and sell their artifacts. The masks, baskets, bone carvings, drums, paddles will all be different from the artifacts and souvenirs you will see at other stops and islands of our voyage.

For the keen birders, a Zodiac cruise will offer sights of flood plain birds, parrots and the odd kite.

During the night, Silver Discoverer will pass by active volcanoes and we will be on the lookout for the hot lava of volcanic activity set against the night sky.

Day 8 — Alim Island, Papua New Guinea
Alim Island is one of a small group of uninhabited islands south of Manus. This triangular-shaped island with long sandy beaches, coconut palm trees and coral reef offers a relaxing day in the Bismarck Archipelago. We will make use of the beaches and snorkel either from the beach or from anchored zodiacs to see the multi-colored fish and coral. Sea turtles lay their eggs on the islands and with luck we might even see some of these ancient mariners.

Day 9 — Madang, Papua New Guinea
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 at Hansa Bay. The small town began its modern life as a result of the lucrative copra coconut trade. The wide avenues go back to the German administration of the late 19th century, and there is even a small European cemetery next to the local market. During today’s tour, we will see the Coastwatcher’s Memorial Lighthouse, which was dedicated in 1959 to the Allied forces and local civilians who served against the Japanese in WWII. We will also visit Bilbil Village, famous for its pottery. keep an eye out for the flying foxes that hang from trees during the day as there are many of them in town.

The many islands and channels north of Madang’s centre invite to be explored by Zodiac. Conditions permitting, we will set out in the afternoon for a Zodiac cruise passing local homes and mangroves, weaving our way through the channels and islands, for a taste of local life along the shoreline.

Steep cliffs explain why there is only one settled area on the inside. Going ashore near a little promontory we will be greeted by singing and will be lead to the open ground in front of the school and church for some traditional dances. Hikers might want to reach the higher levels of the village.

If you choose to swim at the small beach close to the landing site, you may well find yourself outnumbered by local kids enjoying the water.

Day 11 – Tsoi Island
Tsoi Island is a pristine and beautiful small island west of New Hannover and east of New Ireland.

White sandy beaches, a turquoise lagoon, palm trees and lush vegetation make this a small South Pacific paradise. Raised grass shacks inhabited by the local population speak to the ocean dwelling life here. The island boasts beaches and idyllic spots for snorkeling and swimming.

 

Day 12 – Rabaul
Rabaul, the former provincial capital, has quite a remarkable location. The town is inside the flooded caldera of a giant volcano and several sub-vents are still quite active today! The fumes of the volcano Tavurvur can be seen continually and the town suffered greatly during the last major eruption of 1994 when some 80% of the houses collapsed due to the ash raining down onto their roofs. Rabaul has a Volcano Observatory sitting atop the town’s center, monitoring the 14 active and 23 dormant volcanoes in Papua New Guinea. A small museum opposite the bunker used by Yamamoto during World War II.

Day 13 — Cruising the Solomon Sea


Day 14 — Njari Island, Solomon Islands
Today, we visit one of the smallest of the islands of the Solomons. As soon as the local authorities have cleared us into the country, we will offer water sport activities in front of uninhabited Njari. The island’s reef teems with brilliantly coral species and in terms of fish the waters hold one of the highest species counts ever recorded in one dive. This is an absolute highlight for snorkeling!

Day 15 — Pavuvu Island, Solomon Islands
The Russel Islands, of which Pavuvu is largest, produce dried coconut meat, also known as copra. Coconut palm plantations carpet the island and small-scale operations are favored by the locals.


Close to Guadalcanal, the Russel Islands were chosen by American Marines during World War II to prepare for battles further east, but little remains of their time here. In addition to workers in the copra plantations who come from different Solomon Islands, Pavuvu permits relocated settlers from Tikopia to find a new home on the island. Therefore local artistic expressions are both Melanesian and Polynesian. Enjoy cultural presentations and use the day to leisurely stroll through the area, or relax on the beach.

Day 16 — Honiara, Solomon Islands
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer.

 

KOROR TO HONIARA / GUADALCANAL - MAY 13, 2018

Suite CategoryRegular Rate Early Booking Rate
Save 10%*
EXPLORER SUITE$13,600$12,240
VIEW SUITE$15,200$13,680
VISTA SUITE$18,900$17,010
VERANDA SUITE$19,900$ 17,910
MEDALLION SUITE

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Rates are per person, double occupancy. Single rates 125%.
*After 10% Early Payment by DEC 28, 2017
BOOK BY JANURAY 31 - $2,999 BUSINESS CLASS AIR, FREE ECONOMY CLASS AIR ROUNDTRIP, OR $1,000 CREDIT, PLUS PRE/POST HOTEL STAY AND TRANSFERS.
Rates include:
Personalized service – the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising
Butler service in every suite and stateroom – all guests are pampered equally
Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
In-suite dining and room service – available 24 hours aboard Silver Explorer, and from 06:00 to 23:00 aboard Silver Galapagos and Silver Discoverer
Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
Gratuities always included in your fare
One hour free Wifi per day for all guests. Unlimited free Wifi for guests sailing on select suite categories
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