Melanesia Discoverer:

Solomon Islands & Papua New Guinea

Melanesia Discoverer: Solomon Islands & Papua New Guinea

DAYS 14 / SHIP Spirit of Enderby

DEPARTURES 12 OCT 2019 / 10 OCT 2020

PLACES VISITED Papua New Guinea / Solomon Islands

PRICES FROM $6,995 USD (More Rates)

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.

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 with many highlights including the Manus Friarbird, Mussau Monarch and the Paradise Drango. 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 marine diversity in the world and everybody will have the opportunity to snorkel and appreciate the beauty beneath the waves - this ocean aquarium is waiting to be discovered.

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.

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 with many highlights including the Manus Friarbird, Mussau Monarch and the Paradise Drango. 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 marine diversity in the world and everybody will have the opportunity to snorkel and appreciate the beauty beneath the waves - this ocean aquarium is waiting to be discovered.

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2019 ITINERARY
Melanesia Discoverer: Solomon Islands & Papua New Guinea
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Day 1: Madang, Papua New Guinea
Arrive in the port town of Madang and transfer to the Madang Resort for the first night. This evening meet with your fellow travellers and the expedition team over dinner at the resort.

Day 2: Madang
Madang is a thriving community renowned for its traditional artists, world class diving opportunities and the richness of its surrounding forests. This morning we leave Madang for the highlands close to the township; here the tall forests contain a richly diverse wildlife. We arrive back in Madang with time to explore the colourful markets with your Guides. Optional excursions this morning for bird enthusiasts. Late morning board the Spirit of Enderby, settle into your cabin and join the captain and your expedition team on the bridge as we set sail.

Day 3: Sepik River
Sure to be one of the highlights of our expedition. The Sepik River is the longest river in Papua New Guinea, it is a rich arterial that has fostered great traditional artists. We plan to explore the river by Zodiac following tributaries and channels in search of local wildlife. We also meet with the villagers and marvel at their artistry.

Days 4 to 5: Manus Province
Seldom visited and little known, Manus Island is considered a jewel in the crown of Papua New Guinea. Biologically isolated, the islands are home to a high proportion of endemic species including the Superb Pitta which is likely to be one of the birding highlights of the expedition. The waters around Manus offer some of the most spectacular and rich reefs in the region, seldom explored waters promising a myriad of opportunities.

Day 6: Mussa Island
Mussa Island represents one of the western-most extensions of the Lapita culture. Spend time with the local people to learn about their special culture and life on this remote outpost in the Pacific.

Day 7: Kavieng, New Ireland
Historic Kavieng has significant evidence from the large Japanese occupation. Birders will leave early for the highlands while the rest of the group will spend the morning exploring the town of Kavieng and its history. Later snorkel in the clear waters of the local reefs.

Day 8: Rabaul, New Britain
Six beautifully cone-shaped volcanoes ring Rabaul’s dramatic flooded- caldera harbour. Visit the bubbling hot springs and take in magnificent views of the harbour and volcanoes from Observatory Ridge.

Day 9: Nissan Island
A tropical atoll bathed in rich tropical currents Nissan Island’s waters abound in marine life. Seldom has anybody had the opportunity to discover this world which promises abundant pelagic fish life and pristine coral reefs. Ashore there are still reminders of the brief but intensive World War II activities on this island, meet with the friendly locals and search the dense woods for some of the elusive birds that occur here.

Day 10: Bougainville Island
We plan to be amongst the first expeditioners to re-discover the treasures of Bougainville, long isolated and in a strange way protected by the conflict which swirled around its shores. A pristine island paradise it is home to some of the greatest biodiversity in the region both above and below the waters. We plan to explore the area around Arawa which offers great opportunities to access the island’s interior and reefs.

Day 11: Choiseul Island
Today we arrive in the Solomon Islands on the remote northern coast of Choiseul Island. This was once the home of the Choiseul Crested Pigeon and while it no longer walks the forest floor many other species still enliven the forest. We Zodiac cruise deep into the mangrove forest towards the Sui River Falls searching for Dugong and crocodiles.

Day 12: New Georgia Islands
The volcanic New Georgia Islands are found in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands. Birding enthusiasts will relish landing on Kolombangara Island, where we hope to see the rare Roviana Rail along with other endemic bird species.

Day 13: Santa Isabel Island
The Arnavon Islands are north-west of Santa Isabel, an area rich in marine biodiversity and one of the most important rookeries in the western Pacific for the endangered Hawksbill Turtle. The islands also support a high diversity of terrestrial fauna, with 41 species of birds, six species of bats, and at least seven species of terrestrial reptiles. Sensational snorkelling can be experienced around the islands.

Day 14: Honiara, Solomon Islands
Honiara was founded as a military base during World War II and was witness to the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Tour Honiara, visiting historical sites including Henderson Airfield, war memorials and the open-air war museum while the birders head to the rain-forested slopes of Mount Austen in search of some of the Solomon Islands’ most spectacular birds including the Solomon Sea Eagle. For those disembarking a transfer to either a central city hotel or to the airport will conclude your voyage OR join us to discover the Secrets of Melanesia. Enquire for a full itinerary.

Our ship: Spirit of Enderby

The Spirit of Enderby (Professor Khromov) 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 May 2019 to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows o...

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Pricing

Melanesia Discoverer - 12 Oct 2019 - Spirit of Enderby

Cabin Category Price USD Description Availablity
Main Deck Triple $6,995 Has one bunk (one upper and one lower) and one lower berth, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and wash basin. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main Deck cabins. Limited
Main Deck $7,995 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private washbasin. Shared shower and toilet facilities nearby with other Main Deck cabins. These cabins have a porthole. Limited
Superior $8,995 One bunk (one upper and one lower berth), writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Available
Superior Plus $9,700 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Available
Mini Suite $10,700 Separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or sofa in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Mini Suites have windows. Waitlisted
Heritage Suite $11,500 Large lounge area, separate bedroom with double bed, single bed in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe, drawers, and fridge. There is a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Large forward and side facing windows with great views. Available
Additional fees

Discovery Fund (Payable on board) : $600.00pp

Includes:

Pre/Post cruise transfers, one night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast), all on board ship accommodation with meals and all shore excursions and activities excluding optional specialised birding programme. Programme of lectures by noted naturalists.

Excludes:

All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance.

Birding Supplement $500pp

Melanesia Discoverer - 10 Oct 2020 - Spirit of Enderby

Cabin Category Price USD Description Availablity
Main Deck Triple $6,995 Has one bunk (one upper and one lower) and one lower berth, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and wash basin. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main Deck cabins. Available
Main Deck $7,995 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private washbasin. Shared shower and toilet facilities nearby with other Main Deck cabins. These cabins have a porthole. Available
Superior $8,995 One bunk (one upper and one lower berth), writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Available
Superior Plus $9,700 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Available
Mini Suite $10,700 Separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or sofa in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Mini Suites have windows. Available
Heritage Suite $11,500 Large lounge area, separate bedroom with double bed, single bed in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe, drawers, and fridge. There is a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Large forward and side facing windows with great views. Available
Additional fees

Discovery Fund (Payable on board) : $600.00pp

Includes:

Pre/Post cruise transfers, one night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast), all on board ship accommodation with meals and all shore excursions and activities excluding optional specialised birding programme. Programme of lectures by noted naturalists.

Excludes:

All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance.

Birding Supplement US$500pp

Trip Reports

Looking for a taste of what you can expect on our expeditions or want to relive your voyage? Our Trip Reports offer a detailed, day-by-day account of all of our previous expeditions tracking the voyage route and highlighting the numerous wildlife and cultural encounters experienced along the way.

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What out travelers are saying:

I found the whole experience most exhilarating. I learnt a lot - met very interesting people - had great food and was well taken care of by everyone. Thank you ever so much. READ MORE
KEN
Thank you so much! This trip opened up a different world for me. I was so impressed with your staff and your entire organization. I am recommending your tours to all my friends. My friend has been in touch with you regarding the Jewel of the Russian Far East trip. Love the unique and off the beaten path. READ MORE
MARY
The Melanesia voyage this year was a delight. Much better, and I don't mean that in a bad way at all, than I expected. I'd been on a couple of the sister ships and couldn't picture them in the tropics, but the SOE did great. The truly expert expedition team made a huge difference to the voyage; Suzanne, Adam, Conor, Nathan, and Aaron, plus Megan. The itinerary was well crafted and time maxi... READ MORE
MARK
05 Nov 2018
The recent 'Melanesia Discoverer' #1856 expedition aboard 'Spirit of Enderby' has concluded. The Species List for this voyage is now available thro...READ MORE
16 Nov 2017
The recent 'Melanesia Discoverer' #1757 expedition aboard 'Spirit of Enderby' has concluded. The Species List for this voyage is now available thro...READ MORE
11 May 2017
Karen Bass recently embarked on a voyage with us to Papua New Guinea. Learn more about her encounters with some of the most extraordinary cultures ...READ MORE
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