Join us onboard Coral Adventurer, for our long-awaited return to the remarkable Melanesian Islands on this voyage through Papua New Guinea, the hidden Solomons and Vanuatu. Discover idyllic tropical island outposts such as the Laughlan Islands, Tetepare and Panasia Island. Visit sacred Skull Island in the spectacular Vonavona Lagoon and learn about slain warriors and headhunting traditions. Share ancient “kastom” such as the Rom Dancers of Ambrym and witness islanders living a traditional subsistence lifestyle, little changed for centuries. Focus on the fascinating anthropological history of the islands and how the Austronesian and Papuan people have inhabited the region through the centuries encountering early explorers and sea traders to the dramatic conflicts of World War II. Enjoy adventure-filled days surrounded by natural wonders as we explore the ‘blue holes’ of Espiritu Santo, view active volcanoes, snorkel and dive on vibrant reef systems and encounter unique wildlife.


Highlights


• Cruise, snorkel, and dive in the stunning and remote Louisiade Archipelago of Papua New Guinea, and swim in one of Espiritu Santo’s iconic ‘blue holes’.

• Visit Skull Island in Vonavona Lagoon, one of the most sacred sites in the Solomons which is the final resting place of many slain warrior chiefs.

• View diverse wildlife at Tetepare, the conservation jewel of the South Pacific while walking through the jungle.

• Learn about local ‘kastom’ and kula ring trading during village visits and witness the famous Rom

• Dance performed at volcanic Ambrym, the black magic centre of Vanuatu.

• Snorkel and dive in the world’s largest double barrier enclosed reef saltwater lagoon at Marovo Lagoon, over healthy reefs teeming with fish life.

 

Arrive at Trinity Wharf (berth to be advised) at 7:30am, where there is time to settle into your stateroom before our 9:00am departure. 

Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard Coral Adventurer. There will be morning tea available upon boarding before we cruise out to the Coral Sea towards Papua New Guinea. Your crew will gather you in the Bridge Deck lounge for a safety briefing, snorkelling briefings, and presentations by lecturers and expedition staff. As dusk falls, mingle with your fellow travellers, the Captain and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.  

 

Today we spend a relaxing day traversing the Coral Sea with presentations by our expert Guest Lecturers. Explore our extensive onboard library and spend the day with a selection of games or simply gaze over the seas. 

The Coral Sea has historical significance due to the Battle of the Coral Sea during World War II where Allied forces successfully halted the Japanese advance in the Pacific. It was a pivotal moment in naval warfare. 

 

Samarai Island is the former administrative capital of Milne Bay Province. Once a bustling trading port, Samarai boasts a storied past as the second-largest town in the Territory of Papua, thriving until the devastation of World War II. Guests will be welcomed with a Sing Sing, and there will be a chance to purchase handicrafts and pearls from locals or go for a snorkel at nearby Ebuma Island. As a National Historical Heritage Island, guests can stroll through remnants of its vibrant history, offering a poignant glimpse into a bygone era amidst its landscapes and shores.

 

Visit Panapompom Island and learn about the lifestyle on these far-flung islands, before venturing into Deboyne Lagoon to snorkel over the World War II wreck of a Japanese ‘Zero’ fighter plane. Learn about the local culture before snorkelling or diving at remote reefs.

Discover the rugged beauty of the Calvados Islands, a chain of atolls characterised by their limestone karsts. These “Jurassic-like” formations stand, guarding the secrets of the archipelago’s ancient past. In the evenings, relax with beachside drinks on idyllic islands, explore sea caves, and unwind at Panasia Island, home to one of Papua New Guinea’s most stunning beaches.

 

Laughlan Islanders specialise in canoe building and in this remote corner of the world we find seagoing canoes under construction. Interact with the friendly villagers of Budiduna who share their lifestyle of gardening, fishing, and Kula ring trading. Later, snorkel or dive on the outer reef, where we may see turtles, wrasse, and spinner dolphins in the warm, clear waters.

 

This morning our first Solomons landfall is the town of Gizo. Wander through Gizo’s open-air markets, which showcase a bounty of tropical fruits and fresh fish, as well as crafts by the region’s legendary wood and stone carvers. In the afternoon, we cruise past Kennedy Island before enjoying water activities at Njari Reef. Njari Reef is a merge point for oceanic currents and is said to have one of the highest fish counts in the world. Experience the remarkable snorkelling opportunities offering an unforgettable experience.

 

After clearing into the Solomon Islands, we head to Vonavona Lagoon, a large lagoon located in the New Georgia Islands of the Western Province. Teeming with colourful fish and hundreds of islets, the lagoon offers opportunities for snorkelling and scenic cruising. Guests will have a chance to visit Skull Island – a small island that is home to a shrine of some 50 male “trophy” skulls. The skulls found on this island span from 300 to 1,000 years old. Later in the day, enjoy guided jungle walks on Lola Island.

 

We visit Tetepare, a rugged and mysterious island abandoned 150 years ago, now protected by a unique conservation project run by the Tetepare Descendants Association. Tetepare has received international recognition for its conservation and archaeological significance. A vast array of plants and animals make their home on the island – it supports nesting populations of three species of turtle, the world’s largest skink, hornbills, and tiny pygmy parrots. Stroll through the forest while you learn more about how the island’s traditional landowners rejected logging offers and came together to save this island’s biodiversity for themselves and their future generations.

Guided walks will be the highlight of your day, allowing you to witness the diversity of flora and fauna. You will also have an opportunity to see the turtle tagging process, and finish with snorkeling over the island’s flourishing reefs.

 

Marovo Lagoon is the world’s largest double barrier enclosed saltwater lagoon. Today, you will be welcomed to this natural wonder by the locals with traditional dancing. Learn about village life and observe the work of expert woodcarvers, who are justifiably famous for the intricate pieces they create from ebony with inlays of mother-of-pearl. Spend the afternoon exploring Marovo Lagoon’s coral reef ecosystems, where the waters teem with tropical fish and boast exceptional diving and snorkelling sites.

 

The Nggela Islands, also called the Florida Islands, are nestled in the Central Province of the Solomon Islands. On August 7, the US 1st Battalion landed on Florida Island to support the attack on nearby Tulagi, which was once the capital of the Solomons before it was moved to Honiara after WWII. The Florida Islands became a secondary base for the US, Australian, and New Zealand forces throughout World War II in the Pacific. Visit Tulagi town to understand more about the history of Florida islands. There will be plenty of opportunities for snorkelling and diving, with time to view the MS World Discoverer shipwreck at Roderick Bay.

 

Formerly known as San Cristobal Island, this designation was bestowed by the Spanish explorer Alvaro de Mendaña in 1568. Dive into the history of Star Harbour which is at the southern end of Makira and is a sub-provincial headquarters for the Makira-Ulawa Province. Beginning with a colourful welcome in the morning, you will enjoy a cultural performance before exploring the village. Our expert guides will share the harbour’s World War II history before we spend the afternoon snorkelling and birdwatching off Nafinua (frigate bird) Island.

 

Our last stop in the Solomon Islands, Nendö Island is the largest of the Santa Cruz Group. In 1595, Spanish explorer Alvaro de Mendaña became the first European to sight Nendö Island, naming it Santa Cruz. This island is the location of an unsuccessful colonisation attempt by the Spanish explorer. Here, you can view, and purchase quality artefacts created by the skilled craftsmen of the region. Later, head to Luowa village where you can enjoy a cultural performance by the locals and an opportunity to snorkel over the fringing reef.

 

This morning, we make our way to the Torres group, Vanuatu’s northernmost islands. Learn about the volcanic origin of these scenic islands, comprised of four islets: Hiu, Tegua, Loh and Toga. Immerse yourself in the culture of the lēh-temēt on Loh Island, where vibrant ritual headdresses called temēt are utilised during special singing and dancing ceremonies to honor primordial spirits. There will also be an opportunity to dive and snorkel from the white sandy beaches.

 

Espiritu Santo, or simply ‘Santo’ to the locals, is the largest island in Vanuatu. In the aftermath of World War II, the island’s southeastern point earned the name, ‘Million Dollar Point’ after American soldiers sunk the vehicles of their retired task force after being unable to sell them.

Santo and its surrounding islands are known for their world class beaches and ‘blue holes’ – natural swimming pools located deep within the jungle.

Here we will avoid the well-trodden locations, in favour of less touristed destinations with opportunities for snorkelling, diving and ‘blue hole’ swims.

 

Home to majestic Benbow and Marum volcanoes, Ambrym is the fifth largest island in Vanuatu and home to one of the most active volcanoes in the New Hebrides Arc. Despite the volcanic activity, Ambrym is home to around 7,000 inhabitants, most of which live in the ‘safe zone’ corners of the island that is known as the ‘black magic’ centre of Vanuatu. Today, witness the Rom Dance, one of the most iconic traditional dances of Vanuatu. Discover the island’s astonishing topography covered by jungle and hear the stories of villagers living in the shadow of a volcano.

 

Disembark at 8:00 am and enjoy complimentary transfers to Port Vila hotels and the airport.  

Itineraries are subject to change.

CORAL DECK STATEROOM

$16,390 AUD pp
CORAL DECK STATEROOM
Coral Deck Staterooms are located below the Promenade Deck and furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. The compact ensuite has a toilet, shower and ample storage. A porthole window gives you views of the world outside. Coral Deck Staterooms are 17 square metres

PROMENADE DECK STATEROOM

$19,590 AUD pp
PROMENADE DECK STATEROOM
Promenade Deck Staterooms are located below the Explorer Deck and are furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. The compact ensuite has a toilet, shower and ample storage. A large picture window gives you wide views of the world outside. Promenade Deck Staterooms are 17 square metres

EXPLORER DECK BALCONY STATEROOM

$25,990 AUD pp
EXPLORER DECK BALCONY STATEROOM
Our Explorer Deck staterooms are located below the Bridge Deck and are comfortably furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. The compact ensuite has a toilet, shower and ample storage. Your private balcony has seating for two from which to view the passing coastal vistas. Explorer Deck Balcony Staterooms are 21.4 square metres

BRIDGE DECK BALCONY STATEROOM

$28,590 AUD pp
BRIDGE DECK BALCONY STATEROOM
Our two Bridge Deck staterooms are comfortably furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. The compact ensuite has a toilet, shower and ample storage. French windows opening to a balcony with seating for two gives you a private perch to watch the panorama unfold outside. These staterooms are located on the bridge deck with superb views and adjacent to the Cairns and Darwin suites. Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms are 21.4 square metres

BRIDGE DECK BALCONY SUITE

$36,790 AUD pp
BRIDGE DECK BALCONY SUITE
Our two Cairns and Darwin suites are spacious and elegant retreats after a busy day ashore. Suites are equipped with a lounge area, minibar and personal coffee machine. They have a spacious super King-sized bed. The 8 square metre private balcony has an outdoor daybed and lounge chair for two. A unique outside-facing bathroom with picture windows, bath and separate shower complete the suite experience. The complimentary minibar is replenished daily. Bridge Deck Balcony Suites are 55.8 square metres.

Vessel Type: Expedition Ship

Length: 93.4 meters

Passenger Capacity: 120 (60 staterooms)

Built: 2019

Designed and built to be the most modern tropical expedition ship afloat, Coral Adventurer debuted in April 2019. She features comfortable Australian interiors, Xplorer tender mechanism, intimate guest experience, and personalized service.

EXPEDITION CAPABILITIES

> Two trademark Xplorer tenders seat all passengers for shore excursions

> Six zodiacs for more intrepid exploration

> Lecture lounge with multimedia for daily expedition briefings and presentations

> Small on-board Library

> Shallow draft and advanced navigation and propulsion systems

MARINE IMMERSION

> Navigator lounge in the bridge giving a vantage point of ship operations

> Over 1000 sq m of open deck space including a wrap-around promenade deck with panoramic views

> Engine room tours and high level of crew interaction with guests

> Barralong Room for hosting scientific research or exhibitions

FOOD AND WINE FEATURES

> Communal ‘wine table’

> Galley viewing window

> Multiple indoor and outdoor bars, including our Explorer bar on the Vista Deck

> Curated wine cellar featuring boutique wines and exceptional vintage Australian reds.

GUEST COMFORT

> All outside-facing guest cabins with en-suite bathrooms; majority have private balcony

> Active stabilisers

> Gym

> Passenger elevator

> Wi-Fi available in all guest areas

Cabin layout for Coral Adventurer

Inclusions


• All excursions with our Expedition Team
• Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and Kayaks
• Snorkelling & SCUBA equipment (SCUBA diving at an additional cost)
• Daily lectures and briefings with Guest Lecturers
• All meals, chef-prepared on board
• Captain’s welcome and farewell events, and open bridge access
• Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
• 24-hour barista-style coffee and tea station
• All entrance fees to National Parks, ports, traditional owner fees and charges imposed by governing authorities
• Tips and gratuities
• Use of all onboard facilities, incl. a reference library
• Your expedition photos captured during the voyage
• Post-cruise transfers
• Wifi Access – Standard speed connectivity enabling email, social image sharing, web browsing and messaging

Exclusions


• Pre-cruise transfers
• Pre and post cruise flights/charter flights
• Pre and post cruise accommodation
• Travel Insurance
• SCUBA Diving (view Scuba diving rates)
• Entry visas & travel permits for the country you are travelling to/from
• Alcoholic drinks (including beer and wine) outside of lunch and dinner service
• Laundry service (available at a cost)
• Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
• Optional Extras (in some destinations)
Coral Adventurer
Melanesia ExpeditionExpedition
17 Days from
$965 AUD per day

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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