This exciting tropical expedition on board Le Soléal takes you through some of the most fascinating natural beauty and cultures of Melanesia.

Starting in Cairns, sail up to Alotau in Papua New Guinea's Milne Bay Province, and learn about the historical significance of the area with the WWII memorial as well as Japanese and American battlegrounds, and stories of pearlers, miners and missionaries.

The two volcanically active islands of Ferguson and Dobu are next on your itinerary. Join your expedition team on a walk to the DeiDei geothermal hot springs through spectacular forests and learn about the Methodist Church of Australia that established a mission station on Dobu Island.

Your call at Tufi will be one of the highlights of your voyage. Dubbed the Scandinavia of the Tropics, you will undoubtedly fall under the charm of this picturesque region, with its deep ‘fjords’ known locally as ‘rias’, which were formed through volcanic activity. In this unique setting, local Papuan tribes will share their customs, beliefs and artwork with you.

In the heart of the Solomon Sea, you will discover the splendid turquoise waters and white-sand beaches of the uninhabited islands of the Lusancay archipelago. These spectacular, picture-postcard islands provide the opportunity to swim and snorkel over coral reefs teeming with life. Learn about the traditional ‘Kula’ trading system on the island of Kiriwina, as well as local village life through their spectacular cultural performances.

In the Solomon Islands, Ghizo and Njari islands are where you will meet some of the most skilled carvers in the world, enjoy world-class snorkelling and diving, and visit the local traditional markets.

In Roderick Bay, experience the extraordinary environment featuring white-sand beaches and fringing coral reefs before reaching the Malaita Province. As well as learning about its unique local traditions and social aspects of life such as ‘bride price’, you will experience their traditional music and sacred dances accompanied by traditional panpipers.

Your expedition will finish in the capital of the Solomon Islands, Honiara, where Le Soléal will be positioned alongside the wharf of Point Cruise.
Washed by the Coral Sea, the harbour town of Cairns is located on Australia's north-east coast. The seafront esplanade is a popular place for locals and visitors to walk, swim and picnic under the shade of swaying palm trees. The hills surrounding Cairns form the gateway to the Queensland Rainforests, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site for their fauna and flora from the Gondwana era.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Alotau became the provincial capital of Milne Bay in 1969 and today has a population of approximately 16,000. It serves as our port of entry into Papua New Guinea. Missionaries, miners, pearlers, Japanese and American warships have all contributed to the History of Milne Bay. Perhaps the most significant history surrounds the Battle of Milne Bay. It was here that the invading Japanese army suffered their first land defeat in the Pacific War in 1942. A memorial park at the battle site commemorates the event. The local people are warm and welcoming resulting in one of the most relaxed, secure and easy-going towns in Papua New Guinea. Join your expedition team for a tour taking in the town markets and WWII memorials.
Fergusson is the largest island in the D’Entrecasteaux archipelago. Situated to the east of Papua New Guinea, the latter was discovered in the late 18th century by the French navigator Antoine Bruny d’Entrecasteaux. Fergusson’s terrain is very mountainous, with the highest peak reaching some 2,000 metres in altitude. At the heart of this island, a tropical rainforest is home to a rich and varied flora as well as beautiful bird species, including parrots and birds of paradise. In the south, the smoke and geysers of the Dei Dei hot springs are a magical sight. Dobu Island is one of the 5 islands in the D’Entrecasteaux archipelago to the east of Papua New Guinea. It is home to several bird species, including the white cockatoo and the curl-crested manucode. The local tribes are very attached to their ancestral traditions and theirs is a matrilineal social system, dominated by maternal lineage. The Dobu Islanders are also known for practising magic rituals and witchcraft. Their language is spoken on most of the islands in the D’Entrecasteaux archipelago.
Often described as the “Scandinavia of the tropics”. The spectacular Tufi “fiords” plunge over 90 metres deep and rise over 150 metres vertically above the water making for a spectacular backdrop. The traditional way of life plays an important role amongst the villagers with many living in isolated areas along the coast of Cape Nelson and on the slopes of Mount Trafalgar. The area is known for its production of tapa cloth, made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree and skilfully decorated. Guests will travel into the ancient mangrove forests of the Fiords to witness one of the most colourful traditional performances in all of Papua New Guinea. There is also the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the clear waters of Kamoa Beach.
A Solomon Sea archipelago situated in the Milne Bay province in Papua New Guinea, the Lusancay Islands were named after the French navigator Pierre Carré de Lusançay, who participated in the D’Entrecasteaux expedition at the end of the 18th century. Protected from human impact, the Lusancay Islands are considered to be a real paradise of coral reefs and white-sand beaches, offering visitors magnificent panoramas. You will have the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the warm, tropical waters.
Kiriwina is the largest of the Trobriand Islands and is home to the district capital Losuia. It is a picture postcard island surrounded by turquoise warm tropical waters home to coral reefs teeming with life. Like the rest of the Trobriand Islands, culture and tradition remain strong. Central to Trobriand culture is Kula, a traditional exchange system that spans more than 18 island communities. All Kula valuables are non-use items traded purely for purposes of enhancing one's social status and prestige. The exchanges establish strong, lifelong relationships between the exchange parties. You will bewelcomed ashore with a ceremony and cultural performances followed by the opportunity to witness traditional village life.
During your journey at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This journey without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, depending on the activities offered, or to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Gizo is situated on Ghizo Island and is the second largest town in the Solomon Islands, after the capital, Honiara. The people of the Western Province are regarded as amongst the most skilled carvers in the world. They produce carvings from various woods including ebony and rosewood. These amazingly intricate carvings can take months to make and accordingly command a high price. You will have the opportunity to visit the traditional markets of Gizo. There are plenty of opportunities for world class snorkelling, diving and underwater photography throughout the Western province and the Islands around Ghizo are considered among the most popular. There are plenty of opportunities for world class snorkelling, diving and underwater photography throughout the Solomon Islands with sites in the Western and Central Provinces considered among the most popular. The underwater realm is home to more than 1000 species of reef fish, along with dolphins, rays, sharks, and six of the world's seven species of marine turtles. Almost 500 species of corals have been identified amongst the 5,750km2 of reefs found in the Solomon Islands. Njari Island is an uninhabited picture postcard island located 15nm from the town of Gizo. Enjoy swimming and snorkelling from its idyllic shores.
Part of the Florida Islands, Roderick bay is surrounded by beautiful white sand beaches and fringing coral reefs. These clear warm tropical waters give rise to a myriad of colourful corals only metres from the shore. To add to this stunning environment, nosed up onto a nearby beach, listing heavily to its starboard side is the wreck of the World Discoverer; an expedition cruise ship beached here in 2001 after striking a charted rock at the Northern entrance to Sandfly Passage. Venture ashore for a welcome ceremony, take a walk through the village or snorkel around the wreck to witness the marine environment attempting to reclaim this invader.
Malaita is the largest and most populous island of the Solomon Islands, with an estimated population of 140,000, more than a third of the entire national population. Bride price is a tradition unique to Malaitans within the Solomon Islands. The groom's parents present customary shell-money and food to the bride's parents. Previously the money was also manufactured on Makira and Guadalcanal. It is still produced on Malaita, but much is inherited, from father to son, and the old traditional strings are now rare. Malaitans are also famous for their music and sacred dances often associated with rituals. Guests will be welcomed ashore with a ceremony and cultural performances followed by the opportunity to witness traditional village life.
Honiara is the capital city of The Solomon Islands, administered as a provincial town on the north-western coast of Guadalcanal Island. Honiara comes from the local Ghari Language “naho-ni-ara” meaning 'facing the ara', the place where the southeast winds meet the land. Discover this city, its beautiful landscape, and the significant role it played in World War II. Particularly The Battle of Henderson Field, the last of the three major land offensives conducted by the Japanese in 1942.
Itineraries are subject to change.

Superior Stateroom

$12,310 AUD pp
Superior Stateroom
(226 sq.ft.) 8 superior staterooms of 226 sq.ft.located on Deck 3. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line, telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

DeLuxe Stateroom

$13,260 AUD pp
DeLuxe Stateroom
(200 sq.ft. + 43 sq.ft. private balcony), 28 Deluxe Staterooms of 200 sq.ft.with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4

$14,620 AUD pp
Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
(18,5 m² + 4 m² private balcony), 92 Prestige Staterooms with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5

$15,310 AUD pp
Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
(18,5 m² + 4 m² private balcony), 92 Prestige Staterooms with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6

$16,120 AUD pp
Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
(18,5 m² + 4 m² private balcony), 92 Prestige Staterooms with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi

Deluxe Suite

$22,090 AUD pp
Deluxe Suite
(290 sq.ft. + 54 sq.ft. private balcony), On Deck 6 you will find 3 Deluxe Suites with private balcony. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Sofa, Armchair & Pedestal table

Prestige Suite - Deck 5

$29,550 AUD pp
Prestige Suite - Deck 5
(398 sq.ft. + 86 sq.ft. private balcony), 20 Prestige Suites with private balcony will provide you a sea with in total discretion. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, communicating cabins available (Children welcome), Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Another Flat screen satellite TV, Sofa, Armchair & Pedestal table

Prestige Suite - Deck 6

$31,050 AUD pp
Prestige Suite - Deck 6
(398 sq.ft. + 86 sq.ft. private balcony), 20 Prestige Suites with private balcony will provide you a sea with in total discretion. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, communicating cabins available (Children welcome), Shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Another Flat screen satellite TV, Sofa, Armchair & Pedestal table

Owner’s Suite

$35,530 AUD pp
Owner’s Suite
(484 sq.ft + 97 sq.ft. private balcony). The Owner's suite is situated on Deck 6. It has been decorated by Franch interior designers and will provide you a breathtakting panoramic sea view. AMENTIES: Individually-controlled air-conditioning, Cabin layout : king-size bed, or twin beds, communicating cabins available (Children welcome), Bathtub or shower, Minibar, Flat screen satellite TV, Desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, Video on demand, Safe, Hairdryer, Bath robes, Satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, Internet acces wifi, Another Flat screen satellite TV, Large bathtub, Sofa, Table with 4 chairs, Armchair & Pedestal table

Additional charges:

Port Charges. From: 810 AUD pp

Le Soleal

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship

Length: 142 metres

Passenger Capacity: 264

Built: 2013

Sailing under the French flag, this magnificent yacht of only 132 staterooms and suites, with balconies, joined in 2013. You will be enchanted by the contemporary decor inspired by the luxury yachting world, with fluid lines and a modern colour scheme combining natural wood with shades of grey and white.

A refined ambience is enhanced by the quality of the workmanship and materials: white Corian counters in the lobby contrast with the warmth of leather to recall a boat's hull, while the central scuplture of enamelled pieces takes its inspiration from the sea.  In the loungebar, the carpet picks up a tennis stripe theme symbolising a certain idea of cruising, one synonomous with French elegance and a chic seaside spirit.

Cabin layout for Le Soleal

Up to 30% Off - Ponant Bonus

Up to 30% Off - Ponant Bonus. Prices online do not show the discounted rates. Terms and Conditions apply, special offer is subject to availability, please contact us for more details.

Inclusions


• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• All meals while on board
• Non-alcoholic and Alcoholic beverages included (Excluding Premium Brands)
• Free wifi (Subject to coverage)
• Transfer from the pier to the airport of Honiara

Exclusions


• Flights other than those mentioned in the itinerary
• Travel insurance
• Passport and visa costs if applicable
• Premium beverages package (Can be purchased on board)
• Optional Excursions where applicable
• Spa treatments on board
• Pre and post cruise accommodation unless otherwise stated
• Transfers unless specified
• Gratuities
Le Soleal
Melanesia Luxury ExpeditionLuxury Expedition
12 Days from
$12,310 AUD pp

Highlights

• Zodiac outings and shore visits with your team of naturalists.

• Swim and snorkel in the warm, clear tropical waters of the Solomon Sea.

• Enjoy a guided walk through the diverse landscapes of Ferguson Island and view the DeiDei Hot Springs.

• Snorkel on the wreck of the World Discoverer in Roderick Bay.

• Learn about Papua New Guinea’s role during World War II.

• Gain an insight into the history, culture and incredible diversity of life from your expert expedition team.

• Opportunity of diving (PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent) with an experienced instructor on board and of snorkelling with your expedition team.

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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