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A Passage to the Solomons (Honiara to Port Vila)

This voyage uncovers the pristine wildlife and remote coral atolls and beaches of the idyllic Melanesia region. The expedition will also commemorate the 75th Anniversary of WWII with time to explore the wrecks and remnants of the war in the Pacific theatre, and expert guides on hand to discuss the various battle sites, historical significance, and strategies. Travelling aboard the Coral Discoverer, depart from Honiara, Solomon Islands and journey to key stops in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

This voyage can be combined with the 11-night voyage from Cairns to Honiara for a fully immersive 22 night trip.

27 October, 2019 to 07 November, 2019 Make a booking request for A Passage to the Solomons (Honiara to Port Vila), departing on 27 October, 2019

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.

Main Deck B £ 5695 GBP pp
Located close to the Dining Room, our six spacious Main Deck (Category B) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature twin portholes for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
view cabin photo
Main Deck A £ 5925 GBP pp
Located close to the Dining Room, our six spacious Main Deck (Category A) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature large, twin porthole windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
view cabin photo
Promenade A £ 6775 GBP pp
Encircled by a full-ship promenade, our twenty spacious Promenade Deck (Category A) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
view cabin photo
Bridge Deck Balcony £ 7905 GBP pp
Located on the exclusive Bridge Deck close to the Lounge and Bridge, our five spacious Bridge Deck Balcony staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature private balconies opening out from french windows providing comfortable indoor outdoor living, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
view cabin photo
Promenade Deck B Sole £ 9315 GBP pp
Located in the bow of the ship and encircled by a full-ship promenade, our two Promenade Deck (Category B) staterooms are 15sqm (160 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, telephone and Junior King bedding.
view cabin photo

A Passage to the Solomons (Honiara to Port Vila) itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
DAY 1: HONIARA
Before embarking the Coral Discoverer, enjoy the optional extra of a Battlefields tour to key sites from the 1942 Guadalcanal campaign. Visit sites such as Edson’s Bloody Ridge, the US War Memorial at Skyline Ridge, or the Japanese Peace Park Memorial at Mt Austin. Board the Coral Discoverer at 4:00pm for a 5:00pm departure.
DAY 2: TULAGI ISLAND AND MBOLI PASSAGE
Tulagi Island is home to significant World War II history, with fighting occurring here as a prelude to the Battle of the Coral Sea. The original capital of the Solomon Islands, Tulagi was severely damaged in WWII. There is excellent scuba diving here, over wrecks of U.S. Navy ships. Sightings of large manta rays are also possible. We cruise through the scenic Mboli passage, where there is beautiful lush rainforest covering the hills and small villages under the palm trees. The passage itself contains much ship wreckage.
DAY 3: LANGA LANGA LAGOON
Today, we visit the saltwater people of Langa Langa Lagoon. Living on small artificial islands built from sand bars, the residents here are known for the shell money making, ‘shark worship’ beliefs, and ship-building skills. Be immersed into the islander’s way of life; witness a warrior welcome, traditional food preparation, fire-making, face tattooing, shell money making, dancing, and panpipe performances. The lagoon also provides opportunities for swimming and snorkelling.
DAY 4: TARAPAINA & MARAMASIKE PASSAGE
This beautiful passage between Big Malaita and Small Malaita Islands has its own unique environment. Legends surround the creation of this passage, and the reefs close by are home to the romo (shells) from which money is made. We may enjoy panpipe and kastom performances, and basket weaving demonstrations in the village, as well as snorkelling at Onemaruha and an Xplorer cruise through the Maramasike Passage.
DAY 5: MARAU SOUND
Located in the eastern tip of Gaudalcanal, this geographical crossroad seperates Gaudalcanal’s calm northern waters from the Tasi Mauri or ‘weather coast’. Five protected marine reserves have been established in Marau Sound, and we will have opportunities for snorkelling in the exquisite turquoise waters. Enjoy a visit to a village on Marapa Island or visit Conflict Bay.
DAY 6: STAR HARBOUR, SAN CRISTOBAL
The locals of Na Mugha, Star Harbour, welcome us ashore this morning. Enjoy a colourful cultural performance before exploring the village. Meet the children at the local school and learn about the harbour’s WWII history as a US Army base. Enjoy a scenic zodiac ride through the surrounding mangrove-lined creeks or hike around the edge of the scenic harbour.
DAY 7: NENDO ISLAND
Nendo Island Solomons Coral Expeditions Nendo is the largest of the Santa Cruz group of islands, where Alvaro de Mendana unsuccessfully tried to start a colony in 1595. Our last stop in the Solomon Islands, Nendo is known for its particularly fine artifacts and this is a good opportunity to purchase from the local makers. At Luowa Village, enjoy a cultural performance and snorkel from the white sandy beach.
DAY 8: UREPARAPARA, VANUATU
We enter Vanuatu at the remarkable Ureparapara, a extinct stratovolcano rising 764 metres from the ocean floor. Cruise into the cone of the extinct volcano, surrounded on three sides of 300 metre cliffs. This spectacular island can only be experienced by sea. Enjoy a warm welcome from the villages and the opportunity to witness the local women perform the ‘water music’ in the sea.
DAY 9: MILLION DOLLAR POINT
Today, we visit Million Dollar Point, where the US Navy’s millions of dollars worth of war equipment was scuttled. The wreckage has turned to reef, and nearby is the wreck of the troopship SS President Coolidge. Enjoy a day of swimming, snorkelling, and relaxing.
DAY 10: NGUNA ISLAND
Relax on the white sand beaches of Nguna Island, and explore the stunning coral gardens that are perfect for snorkelling or diving. The two volcanic craters on Nguna, Mount Tapuora and Mount Marow, which provide a wonderful opportunity for a volcano walk.
DAY 11: TANNA ISLAND
Tanna Island is home to the active volcano Mount Yasur, and the volcanic soil here is very fertile, supportung crops of kava, coffee, coconut, copra and other fruits and vegetables. Here we learn about the unique Tannese culture and the John Frum Cargo Cult. We visit the local villages at Sulphur Bay and then drive through the forest and up the slopes of Tanna. A short walk brings you to the smoking crater – a rare opportunity to gaze into a live volcano.
DAY 12: PORT VILA
This morning, we arrive in Port Vila, capital of Vanuatu.
Please Note:
This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.

A Passage to the Solomons (Honiara to Port Vila) reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.
This morning, we arrive in Port Vila, capital of Vanuatu.
Tanna Island is home to the active volcano Mount Yasur, and the volcanic soil here is very fertile, supportung crops of kava, coffee, coconut, copra and other fruits and vegetables. Here we learn about the unique Tannese culture and the John Frum Cargo Cult. We visit the local villages at Sulphur Bay and then drive through the forest and up the slopes of Tanna. A short walk brings you to the smoking crater – a rare opportunity to gaze into a live volcano.
Relax on the white sand beaches of Nguna Island, and explore the stunning coral gardens that are perfect for snorkelling or diving. The two volcanic craters on Nguna, Mount Tapuora and Mount Marow, which provide a wonderful opportunity for a volcano walk.
Today, we visit Million Dollar Point, where the US Navy’s millions of dollars worth of war equipment was scuttled. The wreckage has turned to reef, and nearby is the wreck of the troopship SS President Coolidge. Enjoy a day of swimming, snorkelling, and relaxing.
We enter Vanuatu at the remarkable Ureparapara, a extinct stratovolcano rising 764 metres from the ocean floor. Cruise into the cone of the extinct volcano, surrounded on three sides of 300 metre cliffs. This spectacular island can only be experienced by sea. Enjoy a warm welcome from the villages and the opportunity to witness the local women perform the ‘water music’ in the sea.
Nendo Island Solomons Coral Expeditions Nendo is the largest of the Santa Cruz group of islands, where Alvaro de Mendana unsuccessfully tried to start a colony in 1595. Our last stop in the Solomon Islands, Nendo is known for its particularly fine artifacts and this is a good opportunity to purchase from the local makers. At Luowa Village, enjoy a cultural performance and snorkel from the white sandy beach.
The locals of Na Mugha, Star Harbour, welcome us ashore this morning. Enjoy a colourful cultural performance before exploring the village. Meet the children at the local school and learn about the harbour’s WWII history as a US Army base. Enjoy a scenic zodiac ride through the surrounding mangrove-lined creeks or hike around the edge of the scenic harbour.
Located in the eastern tip of Gaudalcanal, this geographical crossroad seperates Gaudalcanal’s calm northern waters from the Tasi Mauri or ‘weather coast’. Five protected marine reserves have been established in Marau Sound, and we will have opportunities for snorkelling in the exquisite turquoise waters. Enjoy a visit to a village on Marapa Island or visit Conflict Bay.
This beautiful passage between Big Malaita and Small Malaita Islands has its own unique environment. Legends surround the creation of this passage, and the reefs close by are home to the romo (shells) from which money is made. We may enjoy panpipe and kastom performances, and basket weaving demonstrations in the village, as well as snorkelling at Onemaruha and an Xplorer cruise through the Maramasike Passage.
Today, we visit the saltwater people of Langa Langa Lagoon. Living on small artificial islands built from sand bars, the residents here are known for the shell money making, ‘shark worship’ beliefs, and ship-building skills. Be immersed into the islander’s way of life; witness a warrior welcome, traditional food preparation, fire-making, face tattooing, shell money making, dancing, and panpipe performances. The lagoon also provides opportunities for swimming and snorkelling.
Tulagi Island is home to significant World War II history, with fighting occurring here as a prelude to the Battle of the Coral Sea. The original capital of the Solomon Islands, Tulagi was severely damaged in WWII. There is excellent scuba diving here, over wrecks of U.S. Navy ships. Sightings of large manta rays are also possible. We cruise through the scenic Mboli passage, where there is beautiful lush rainforest covering the hills and small villages under the palm trees. The passage itself contains much ship wreckage.
Before embarking the Coral Discoverer, enjoy the optional extra of a Battlefields tour to key sites from the 1942 Guadalcanal campaign. Visit sites such as Edson’s Bloody Ridge, the US War Memorial at Skyline Ridge, or the Japanese Peace Park Memorial at Mt Austin. Board the Coral Discoverer at 4:00pm for a 5:00pm departure.
* = Indicative
Map for A Passage to the Solomons (Honiara to Port Vila)
Coral Discoverer, the ship servicing A Passage to the Solomons (Honiara to Port Vila)

Coral Discoverer

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 63 metres

Passenger Capacity: 72 (in 36 rooms)

Built: 2005

Onboard Accommodation

Onboard accommodation comprises 36 spacious modern staterooms. You can select from Bridge, Promenade or Main Deck staterooms offering a choice of twin through to junior king-size doubles. All staterooms have an ocean view, en-suite facilities, settee, large wardrobe, desk, luggage storage, individual air-conditioning control, and are serviced daily.

Onboard Facilities

What you would expect of a much larger cruise ship:

  • Large sundeck
  • Spa Pool
  • Guest computer
  • Comprehensive reference library
  • Phone and fax facilities
  • Lecture lounge with large plasma screen
  • Limited laundry facilities
  • Two fully stocked cocktail bars
  • Boutique and dive shop
  • Air-conditioned public areas

 Coral Discoverer is equipped with the latest technology active stabilizers and is fitted with state-of-the-art safety and navigational equipment and is the only Australian passenger ship registered with full SOLAS compliance allowing opportunities to explore a multitude of international voyages.

Dining

All meals during the cruise are included. Breakfast and lunch are served in the Dining Room located on the Main Deck and are buffet-style while dinner is table d’hote. Coffee and tea is available 24 hours. Standard hours are breakfast from 7:00-8:30am, lunch at 12:30pm and dinner at 7:30pm however meal times may vary according to the day's activities. Meal times will be advised in the onboard daily bulletins.

Excursion Boats And Zodiacs

The "Xplorer" is a specially designed aluminium excursion vessel used for the majority of our excursions. This vessel has high horsepower engines and will accommodate all passengers at one time. The "Xplorer" will be used for landings and for extensive exploration of rivers and tributaries. For your added convenience and comfort, the "Xplorer" is equipped with an awning and toilet.

We also carry two inflatable landing craft (Zodiacs). Designed for expedition work, these large and heavy-duty inflatables are extremely safe. Separate air compartments retain a large reserve of buoyancy even if the boats damaged. The flat bottom design permits these crafts to land directly onto the beaches. Expect nonetheless to wade through shallow water to reach the shore. See photo below (right)

 

Oceanic Discoverer loungeXplorer on beach

Cabin layout for Coral Discoverer
• Snorkel and dive in vivid coral gardens and relax on sandy tropical beaches at Nendo, Nguna, and Onemaruha

• Snorkel, dive, or simply visit historic WW2 wrecks and significant sites such as the sunken SS President Coolidge at Million Dollar Point

• Snorkel and kayak the marine reserves of spectacular Marau Sound and the Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area

• Hear traditional pan-pipe performances at Malaita, along with basket weaving demonstrations and kastom performances.

• Get up close to active volcanoes at Nguna Island and Tanna Island
Enquire now about A Passage to the Solomons (Honiara to Port Vila)

Travel on the Coral Discoverer

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