Silver Explorer, South Pacific Islands Cruise ex Darwin to Cairns
- Tuesday, 6th September 2022
- Silver Explorer
18 Night Cruise sailing from Darwin to Cairns aboard Silver Explorer.
Few travel experiences come close to the wonder that is Australasia. From shoreside expeditions to immersion in local culture, to Zodiac cruises that will take you far off the beaten path, discover a seldom visited part of the world. Enjoy the depths of Papua New Guinea, known for its impenetrable secrets, authentic culture and superlative snorkelling. Wildlife buffs will not be forgotten either – as this region is one of the world’s best for pelagic bird watching.
Highlights of this cruise:
Australia's capital of the north is a uniquely tropical city, and a historically isolated outpost of this vast, diverse country. Reaching up towards the equator, a full 2,000 miles from Sydney and Melbourne, the city was named in honour of Charles Darwin by the British settlers who established a frontier outpost here. With a unique history, beautiful islands nearby, and a palette of sizzling Pacific flavours, colourful Darwin is an enchanting and exotic Australian destination. Crocodiles patrol the jungled waterways and tropical rainforests around Australia's gateway to the Top End. Explore via airboat to look down on the veiny waterways of the mist-laced Kakadu National Park. The sounds of chattering birdlife and the gentle splash of fountains and waterfalls will fill your ears in George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens. Soak it all in, before kicking back and relaxing with a picnic and a crackling barbecue. The sunshine and famous tropical pink sunsets mean many visitors naturally gravitate to the city's soft sands to relax at spots like pretty Mindil Beach, as evening approaches. The adjoining market is filled with souvenirs and crafts stands and is the perfect great place to enjoy some fiery Asian flavours. Stroll the stalls, grab some food, and crack open an ice-frosted beer as the sunset show begins. It may be remote, but Darwin found itself on the front line during the Pacific War, as the Japanese air force unloaded their bombs onto the city in 1942. This relaxed unassuming city has a deeply resilient backbone, however, and you can explore the museums to learn more of the war's impact on Darwin, as well as the devastating effects of one of Australia's worst natural disasters, Cyclone Tracy in 1973.
In 2008, the Kaimana Regency declared a 6000 square kilometer (over 2,300 square mile) Marine Protected Area around the waters of Triton Bay. Conservation International maintains an office in Kaimana and a field station out in Triton Bay where visiting scientists can do their work studying the staggering marine biodiversity of the reserve. It is truly second to none, and the area offers everything from the tiniest pygmy seahorses, to large and graceful whale sharks. Triton Bay is known for its beautiful soft coral gardens as well as nesting green turtles, and a population of coastal Bryde’s whales.
Auri Islands (Cenderawasih Bay)
The Auri Islands lie within the Cenderawasih Bay (Indonesian for Bird of Paradise Bay), is a large bay on the northern coast of West Papua, New Guinea, Indonesia. When this area was part of the Dutch East Indies the bay was called Geelvink Bay, after a Dutch ship. Cenderawasih Bay is dotted with hundreds of small islands and atoll’s that are home to some of the most pristine hard coral reefs in Indonesia with one of the highest concentrations of endemic fishes in the Pacific Ocean. The western part of the bay was declared a marine national park in 2002. It encompasses 30 square miles, making it the largest in Southeast Asia. There are many different styles of reefs found here, including fringing reefs, barrier reefs, atolls, patch reefs, and shallow water reef mounds. The fringing reefs are the most abundant and are the last of the few remaining pristine reefs in the world. Extensive surveys documented 995 species of fish and over 500 types of coral, about 10 times greater than in the entire Caribbean. The bay is also well known for aggregations of the world’s largest fish – the whale shark.
Dobu is a small island in the D’Entrecasteaux Group next to Fergusson Island and Normanby Island. The island was formerly feared because of black magic and the local “witch” doctors cursing the healthy or treating the sick. An anthropological study was done by Reo Fortune in the 1930s which resulted in the book “The Island of Sorcerers”. The island is also part of the famous Kula ring. Participants in the exchange system pride themselves with mwali and soulava (armbands and necklaces) that are given and received still today and it is interesting to see how the traditional objects have been adorned with modern paraphernalia. A stroll through the main village on the northwestern tip will show the school and church and trails leading along the shore passing traditionally thatched houses and gardens.
Warmly welcoming you to the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a treasure trove of rich tropical beauty and incredible sea life. Swathes of rainforest spread out to the north, where you can soar over the canopy in a cable car, before looking down over narrow channels of water plummeting down gorges and crocodile-filled waterways. The diverse lands of the Atherton Tableland lie to the west, but it's the crystal-clear waters - and life-filled reefs - of Cairns' remarkable underwater world that draws universal adulation. Priding itself as the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, explore Cairns' constellation of colour, as you dive into the world's largest and most spectacular underwater universe. Head out on a glass-bottomed boat tour to explore the 3,000 coral reef systems, and let hours drift by appreciating the waving corals and life-imbued reefs during exceptional scuba diving and snorkelling sessions. Cairns is huddled in amongst abundant swathes of rainforests, which give way to glorious crescents of golden beach. Kuranda - with its scenic railway and heritage market stalls - waits to be discovered, cloaked within the depths of the rainforest. Learn of the indigenous people of North Queensland during cultural performances, and hear the throaty reverberations of digeridoos, as you hear eternal stories handed down through time, from generation to generation. Back in Cairns, there's always time for a coffee or a beer, or a feast on fresh oysters with glasses of Cairns' white wines – boldly flavoured with mango and banana notes.
|06/09/22||Darwin, NT, Australia||5:00 PM|
|08/09/22||Pulau Nai, Indonesia||1:30 PM||6:00 PM|
|09/09/22||Aiduma Island, Indonesia||6:00 AM||12:00 PM|
|09/09/22||Triton Bay, Indonesia||1:30 PM||5:00 PM|
|10/09/22||Teluk Berau, Indonesia||1:00 PM||11:00 PM|
|12/09/22||Pulau Miossu, Indonesia||5:30 AM||12:30 PM|
|13/09/22||Auri Islands, Indonesia||6:30 AM||9:00 PM|
|14/09/22||Kwatisore, Papua New Guinea||5:30 AM||5:00 PM|
|16/09/22||Vanimo Island, PNG||1:30 PM||7:30 PM|
|17/09/22||Ali Island, Papua New Guinea||6:00 AM||5:00 PM|
|18/09/22||Sepik River, PNG||7:00 AM||11:30 AM|
|19/09/22||Tuam Island, Papua New Guinea||7:30 AM||1:00 PM|
|20/09/22||Wagifa Island, PNG||1:00 PM||11:00 PM|
|21/09/22||Fergusson Islands, Papua New Guinea||5:30 AM||12:00 PM|
|21/09/22||Dobu Island, Papua New Guinea||1:00 PM||8:00 PM|
|22/09/22||Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea||6:30 AM||1:00 PM|
|24/09/22||Cairns, Qld, Australia||7:00 AM|