Uncover the hidden gems of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. From the culturally rich arterial of the Sepik River we sail north across the Bismarck Sea to the remote shores of Manus and Mussau Islands. Manus has the lowest density of people in all New Guinea with its people still living a very traditional lifestyle. Next delve into the history, culture and wildlife of New Ireland and New Britain, in Rabaul we witness a local tribe's fire dance where intricately crafted masks dance over red-hot coals in a centuries old ritual to honour the local deity-spirits.
We cross the Buka Channel and at Nissan Island can view reminders of the brief but intensive World War II activities during which the islands were recaptured by Kiwi and British forces from the Japanese occupiers. Then enter a long isolated world as we are amongst the first travellers to return to Bougainville in over two decades. Sailing through the turquoise waters of the Solomon Islands, new vistas and unexpected encounters await.
For birders this itinerary offers once in a lifetime species on remote islands where few have been before. The birding potential is exceptional and highlights may include the Superb Pitta, identifiable by its black plumage with turquoise blue wings and scarlet belly. Endemic to the Solomon Islands we will be on the lookout for the Roviana Rail and Solomon Sea Eagle. Allowing birders to maximise the opportunities available to them there will be an optional specialised birding programme with customised excursions.
These waters also offer some of the greatest diving in the world and while everybody will have the opportunity to snorkel and appreciate the beauty beneath the waves, we also offer an optional scuba diving programme for those wishing to maximise their underwater experiences. Close to the Solomon Islands wrecks are scattered across the ocean floor, an indication of the fierce naval battles that took place in this area during World War II. Today these wrecks provide divers with plenty to explore as they now form spectacular reefs which attract masses of fish and coral gardens of all colours. Whether you are snorkelling or diving this ocean aquarium is waiting to
For dates and rates, and the full itinerary please click the tabs under the heading above.
All meals and 24 hour tea and coffee station aboard the ship. Use of snorkel equipment where available. All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac excluding optional specialised birding and diving programmes. Programme of lectures by noted naturalists. All onshore tips, service taxes and port charges. Comprehensive pre-departure material. Airport transfers at the beginning and end of your voyage.
Extensions, passport, visa, immigration fees, baggage/accident/travel protection plan, items of a personal nature such as bar, e-mail, and laundry. Gratuities to ship's crew at your discretion. Airfares are an additional cost.
Diving Supplement $800 per person
Birding Supplement $500 per person
Kayaking Supplement $995 per person
Our ship - The Spirit of Enderby:
The Spirit of Enderby is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and is perfect for Expedition Travel.
She carries just 50 passengers and was refurbished in March 2013 to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows or portholes and ample storage space.
On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room. The cuisine is excellent and is prepared by top NZ and Australian chefs.
The real focus and emphasis of every expedition is getting you ashore as often as possible for as long as possible with maximum safety and comfort. Our Expeditions are accompanied by some of the most experienced naturalists and guides, who have devoted a lifetime to field research in the areas that we visit. The ship is crewed by a very enthusiastic and most experienced Russian Captain and crew.
The name Spirit of Enderby honours the work and the vision of the Enderby Brothers of London. The Enderby Captains were at the forefront of Antarctic exploration for almost 40 years in the early 1800s. It also celebrates Enderby Island, arguably the greatest Subantarctic Island in the world.