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Melanesia, Solomon Islands & Vanuatu

Introducing the extraordinary diversity of Melanesia and its fascinating people, our award-winning journey to these idyllic islands features incredible bird-watching opportunities, elaborate local traditions and ceremonies, snorkeling over pristine coral reefs, and much more.

Please note: no Airfare included in your voyage rates.

12 September, 2020 to 27 September, 2020 Make a booking request for Melanesia, Solomon Islands & Vanuatu, departing on 12 September, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Category 1 £ 11149 GBP pp
Ocean-view suite, averaging 230 square feet, located on the Magellan Deck with sitting area, private bathroom, and two to four portholes. Bed can be configured as two twins or one queen.
view cabin photo
Category 2 £ 13074 GBP pp
Ocean-view suite, averaging 240 square feet, located on the Columbus Deck with sitting area, private bathroom, and large picture window. Bed can be configured as two twins or one queen.
view cabin photo
Category 2 Special Single Rate £ 13074 GBP pp
Limited
Category 3 Special Single Rate £ 15615 GBP pp
Limited
Category 3 £ 15615 GBP pp
Ocean-view suite, averaging 225 square feet, located on the Marco Polo Deck with sitting area, private bathroom, and large picture window. Bed can be configured as two twins or one queen.
view cabin photo
Category 4 £ 17848 GBP pp
Ocean-view suite, averaging 240 square feet, located on the Marco Polo Deck with sitting area, private bathroom, and large picture window. Bed can be configured as two twins or one queen.
view cabin photo
Category 5 £ 21467 GBP pp
Ocean-view suite, averaging 270 square feet, located on the Erikson Deck with sitting area, private bathroom, and patio doors leading to private balcony. Bed can be configured as two twins or one queen.
view cabin photo
Category 6 £ 25779 GBP pp
Ocean-view suite, averaging 325 square feet, located on the Explorer Deck with sitting area, private bathroom, and patio doors leading to private balcony. Bed can be configured as two twins or one queen.
view cabin photo

Melanesia, Solomon Islands & Vanuatu itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Upon arrival in Port Moresby transfer to the Airways Hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening for a welcome dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 2 Port Moresby / Embark Island Sky
Visit the National Museum and Art Gallery with its exceptional collections of primitive art, including Sepik River carvings, Malagan masks, and Trobriand Island fishing vessels. Board the Island Sky in the afternoon.
Day 3 Bonarua Island
Be on deck as the ship traces the coast of Papua New Guinea, to observe the peaks of the dramatic Stanley Owens Range that soar to 13,000 feet. This afternoon visit the island of Bonarua, where a local choir welcomes you ashore. Observe fishing and weaving demonstrations, and stroll through the enchanting village, sampling local delicacies made from sweet potatoes, taro, and yams. Birders venture into the thicket to search for island specialties, and the warm inviting waters of the Coral Sea offer a perfect introduction to the undersea wonders on your first snorkel or dive excursion of many to come.
Day 4 Dobu & Fergusson, D'entrecasteaux Islands
Today explore these distinctive, jewel-like islands capped by active volcanoes and snorkel or dive in the surrounding marine-rich waters. You will also visit a tranquil seaside fishing village and hike to a series of hot springs and bubbling mud pools surrounded by lush vegetation.
Day 5 Laughlan Islands
Traditional canoe building is a specialty of the Laughlan islanders. In this very remote corner of eastern Papua New Guinea, find hand-crafted seagoing canoes in various stages of construction, with finely tuned hulls of traditional planking lashed with natural sennit fiber cord and caulked with sap. The residents here welcome you with a stroll through the village of palm-thatched houses. Enjoy an afternoon snorkel off a pristine sand-bar or an adventurous dive off the outer reef.
Day 6 At Sea
Attend lectures recapping your experiences and join naturalists on deck to search for seabirds and marine mammals.
Day 7 Solomon Islands / Expedition Stop
Over the next three days, explore some of the numerous small islands of the Solomons. Snorkel or dive over pristine reefs of hard and soft corals, from delicate seafans to staghorn formations, where colorful sponges, flower-like anemones, and giant tridacna clams edged with iridescent blue mantles flourish. We plan to step ashore on traditional islands to visit with locals and learn about life in this tropical paradise, while nature enthusiasts search the lush vegetation for birds and other wildlife.
Day 8 Tetepare
The largest uninhabited island in the South Pacific, Tetepare is covered with pristine lowland rainforest. Nature walks may reveal some of the island’s 230 recorded bird species, such as Sanford’s sea-eagles, crested cuckoo-doves, Kolombangara monarchs, and beautiful Nicobar pigeons. The surrounding reef is one of the most biodiverse in the world, and crocodiles, dolphins, and dugongs are often found cruising along the coast. The island’s sandy beaches are also an important nesting site for green, leatherback, and hawksbill turtles.
Day 9 Malaita
The residents of Malaita are renowned for their panpipe ensembles and dances that depict traditional activities, like fishing and sailing. Birders will seek the endemic Malaita fantail.
Day 10 At Sea
Attend lectures from our experts during an educational day at sea.
Day 11 Utupua, Santa Cruz Islands
A lagoon and barrier reef surround the rarely visited island of Utupua where Zodiacs take you down a fjordlike channel. Among the marshy mangrove trees, learn about an ecosystem that is a beehive of biological activity. Enjoy free time to stroll through Nembo to see the villagers’ prolific gardens, or join a snorkel or dive excursion along the fringing reef where an abundance of small fish attract predators like gray reef sharks, mangrove jacks, Oriental sweetlips, and schools of trevally.
Day 12 Tikopia
Tikopia is legendary—a remote tropical paradise where traditional customs remain intact. School children clad in tapa cloth harmonize songs of welcome, followed by enthusiastic dances by the young men of the village. A hike to the crater lake at Tikopia’s center may reveal fairy terns, cardinal honeyeaters, and yellow-bibbed lories.
Day 13 Ureparapara, Vanuatu
On Ureparapara you are welcomed ashore with a performance of “water music.” Then join locals for a tour of the village.
Day 14 Ambrym
Today you are welcomed ashore by palm-leaf-clad dancers with elegantly carved headdresses before exploring traditional Linbul Village. Ambrym is known for its slit-gong drums, some carved from enormous breadfruit tree trunks.
Day 15 Port Vila / Disembark / Brisbane, Australia
Disembark this morning for a tour of Port Vila, ending at the airport for your independent flight to Brisbane. Dinner and overnight at our airport hotel.
Please Note:
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.

Melanesia, Solomon Islands & Vanuatu reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.
Disembark this morning for a tour of Port Vila, ending at the airport for your independent flight to Brisbane. Dinner and overnight at our airport hotel.
Today you are welcomed ashore by palm-leaf-clad dancers with elegantly carved headdresses before exploring traditional Linbul Village. Ambrym is known for its slit-gong drums, some carved from enormous breadfruit tree trunks.
On Ureparapara you are welcomed ashore with a performance of “water music.” Then join locals for a tour of the village.
Tikopia is legendary—a remote tropical paradise where traditional customs remain intact. School children clad in tapa cloth harmonize songs of welcome, followed by enthusiastic dances by the young men of the village. A hike to the crater lake at Tikopia’s center may reveal fairy terns, cardinal honeyeaters, and yellow-bibbed lories.
A lagoon and barrier reef surround the rarely visited island of Utupua where Zodiacs take you down a fjordlike channel. Among the marshy mangrove trees, learn about an ecosystem that is a beehive of biological activity. Enjoy free time to stroll through Nembo to see the villagers’ prolific gardens, or join a snorkel or dive excursion along the fringing reef where an abundance of small fish attract predators like gray reef sharks, mangrove jacks, Oriental sweetlips, and schools of trevally.
Attend lectures from our experts during an educational day at sea.
The residents of Malaita are renowned for their panpipe ensembles and dances that depict traditional activities, like fishing and sailing. Birders will seek the endemic Malaita fantail.
The largest uninhabited island in the South Pacific, Tetepare is covered with pristine lowland rainforest. Nature walks may reveal some of the island’s 230 recorded bird species, such as Sanford’s sea-eagles, crested cuckoo-doves, Kolombangara monarchs, and beautiful Nicobar pigeons. The surrounding reef is one of the most biodiverse in the world, and crocodiles, dolphins, and dugongs are often found cruising along the coast. The island’s sandy beaches are also an important nesting site for green, leatherback, and hawksbill turtles.
Over the next three days, explore some of the numerous small islands of the Solomons. Snorkel or dive over pristine reefs of hard and soft corals, from delicate seafans to staghorn formations, where colorful sponges, flower-like anemones, and giant tridacna clams edged with iridescent blue mantles flourish. We plan to step ashore on traditional islands to visit with locals and learn about life in this tropical paradise, while nature enthusiasts search the lush vegetation for birds and other wildlife.
Attend lectures recapping your experiences and join naturalists on deck to search for seabirds and marine mammals.
Traditional canoe building is a specialty of the Laughlan islanders. In this very remote corner of eastern Papua New Guinea, find hand-crafted seagoing canoes in various stages of construction, with finely tuned hulls of traditional planking lashed with natural sennit fiber cord and caulked with sap. The residents here welcome you with a stroll through the village of palm-thatched houses. Enjoy an afternoon snorkel off a pristine sand-bar or an adventurous dive off the outer reef.
Today explore these distinctive, jewel-like islands capped by active volcanoes and snorkel or dive in the surrounding marine-rich waters. You will also visit a tranquil seaside fishing village and hike to a series of hot springs and bubbling mud pools surrounded by lush vegetation.
Be on deck as the ship traces the coast of Papua New Guinea, to observe the peaks of the dramatic Stanley Owens Range that soar to 13,000 feet. This afternoon visit the island of Bonarua, where a local choir welcomes you ashore. Observe fishing and weaving demonstrations, and stroll through the enchanting village, sampling local delicacies made from sweet potatoes, taro, and yams. Birders venture into the thicket to search for island specialties, and the warm inviting waters of the Coral Sea offer a perfect introduction to the undersea wonders on your first snorkel or dive excursion of many to come.
Visit the National Museum and Art Gallery with its exceptional collections of primitive art, including Sepik River carvings, Malagan masks, and Trobriand Island fishing vessels. Board the Island Sky in the afternoon.
Upon arrival in Port Moresby transfer to the Airways Hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening for a welcome dinner and overnight at our hotel.
* = Indicative
Map for Melanesia, Solomon Islands & Vanuatu
Island Sky, the ship servicing Melanesia, Solomon Islands & Vanuatu

Island Sky

Vessel Type:  Luxury Small Ship

Length:  90 metres

Passenger Capacity:  116 

Built:  1992 / refurbished 2010

With a maximum passenger capacity of only 116, a vessel of her size is capable of carrying many more but instead the MS Island Sky has the benefit of unusually large suites, luxuriously appointed public areas and spacious outside decks.

On board there is a high ratio of crew to passengers. Our friendly crew of 75 are mainly Filipino and Eastern European and our Scandinavian captains are experienced mariners, having been in service aboard large 2000 plus passenger vessels and who now prefer a less frantic life aboard a small ship.   If, like them and us, you prefer a more peaceful life at sea, you will find the MS Island Sky the perfect ship. When choosing the vessel for your next voyage of discovery, you can select a ship with endless entertainment and impersonal service or come with us where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. The atmosphere on board is more akin to a private yacht or country hotel. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, guest speakers, informative port briefings from our cruise director and of course good food which may be enjoyed leisurely in the attractive dining room. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of a well run and exceedingly comfortable ship.

Your Suite
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass, which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD player which can also play CDs and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. The suites on each deck have their own colour theme. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.

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. The onboard 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. There is also WI-FI access throughout the vessel. Outside there is a rear sun deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade, a bar and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. On the top deck there is a Jacuzzi and further observation and sun deck. There is also a small hairdressers on board with appointments made on request.

Your Dining
Another benefit of a small ship is the quality of the cuisine. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the galley is able to provide delicious meals. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, the 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.

Standard cabin                                                       Balcony suite, Erikson Deck

 

Cabin layout for Island Sky
• Join us on an award-winning journey that reveals the extraordinary diversity of Melanesia and its people.

• Receive warm welcomes from friendly locals and witness time-honored ceremonies that include hypnotic drumming, melodic bamboo panpipes, and elaborately-costumed dancers.

• Snorkel or dive over pristine coral reefs populated by a variety of tropical fish.

• Search for striking endemic birds, including the Solomon Island sea eagle, buff-headed coucal, and Melanesian megapode.

• Stroll through tiny villages and isolated island communities for a glimpse of traditional life on these idyllic islands.
Enquire now about Melanesia, Solomon Islands & Vanuatu

Travel on the Island Sky

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