* Current p/p indicative rate.
Here is a fascinating expedition from the northernmost reaches of New Zealand to Melanesia, taking in remote, but splendidly sophisticated Norfolk Island and Ile des Pins in the French Collectivity of New Caledonia. From here we follow the chain of Melanesian islands through Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and finally to the northern islands of Papua New Guinea. The region is ideal for exploring by small ship and particularly one as suitable as our MS Caledonian Sky. Her fleet of Zodiac craft will allow us to explore some magnificent places, especially tiny coral islets and lagoons such as the majestic Marovo Lagoon in the Solomon Islands, the world’s largest double barrier lagoon and a truly awe-inspiring place.
All the islands we will visit are beautiful in their different ways and all have unique features and cultures. They in fact form one of the most culturally complex regions of the entire world, with 1293 languages spoken across the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the islands of New Guinea. It is also a region of great antiquity; New Guinea has been settled for around 45,000 years, the Solomon Islands for 35,000 years, and Vanuatu and New Caledonia for about 4000. The maritime history of the region is also a constant wonder from the early explorers and native migrations to the explorations of Captain James Cook and more recently, the fierce battles of the Second World War.
Afloat and ashore, our exploration will be filled with unforgettable images, remote idyllic islets, tribal villages unchanged for centuries, astonishing ceremonial dances, kaleidoscopic reefs and soaring whitetailed tropic birds. This voyage has something for everyone, whether your interest lies in natural history, military history, bird watching, photography, the undersea world or simply just being one of the privileged few who are able to set foot on islands of astonishing richness and beauty. We hope you can join us in this faraway haven, for an unparalleled opportunity to explore one of the most intriguing places on the map.
• Travelling with you - Rear Admiral Roy Clare. Rear Admiral Roy Clare has almost three decades’ experience as a professional museum director and as a non-executive in social businesses. Previously in the Royal Navy, Roy served worldwide from junior seaman to rear admiral. His commands included destroyers, the aircraft carrier Invincible and Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. He retired voluntarily to develop opportunities in museums. Rear Admiral Roy Clare will be on the following tour dates: 7 to 29 February 2020 • Travel 3000 nautical miles from the northern tip of New Zealand to Papua New Guinea • Have the rare opportunity to follow in the footsteps of explorers like Captain Cook, who traversed these waters in 1774, and experience the beauty of these islands and the natural wonders they hold • Learn the history of the region, snorkel in clear waters, climb the volcanoes that entranced the explorers and visit small islands which have kept western influences at bay
There are no future departures for this trip at this stage.
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 90 metres
Passenger Capacity: 114 (in 57 suites)
Built: 1991 / refurbished 2012
The MS Caledonian Sky accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some feature tub baths. There will be seven categories of suites and sixteen suites will have private balconies. For those familiar with the MS Island Sky she will feel like a second home, although there are some differences. The dining room, lounge, Lido Deck and bar are all similar. However, the ‘Club’ on the MS Caledonian Sky has been transported to the very top deck. Here, there is a library and bar which leads out on to a lovely forward deck. The ‘Club’ has wonderful views with ceiling to floor windows.
If you like the MS Island Sky, we are sure you will also approve of her sister. And, of course it is important that we offer the very best of facilities. However, equally as important are the staff on board whether they are the vessel’s crew or our own expedition staff. Noble Caledonia’s reputation has been built on providing the very best in all areas. Their crew of 74 not only offer an excellent service they are also noted for their kindness and attention to detail. A well run ship with a warm atmosphere is what we are known for, and it is because most of our crew have been with us for many years that we are able to engender such an atmosphere.
Your Suite Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. The passenger accommodation is arranged over four decks and all suites have outside views. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, hot towel rack and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or bath tub.
Facilities in the suites also include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, flat screen television, telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.
Your space The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. In addition there is the Club Lounge on the Panoramic Deck which features a bar. The onboard travel library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. Outside there is a rear Lido deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. On the top deck there is a further observation and sun deck with bar service and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. There is also a small gymnasium onboard and hairdressers with appointments made on request.
Your dining With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the quality of cuisine will be of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, our accomplished chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is à la carte. When weather permits, breakfast, a buffet-style lunch and dinner are also served on deck. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and tea and coffee are available 24 hours. With sufficient notice, most diets can be catered for on board.
For your comfort, safety and security The vessel is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilisers to minimise the ship’s motion. The Captain and officers operate an open-bridge policy that allows passengers onto the bridge at most times with the exception of arrival and departure from port and during times of complicated navigation. Here you can check the ship’s progress by charts and learn more from the officers about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to outside decks only.
Gratuities Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included them in your holiday price. In addition we tip all their guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you.