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Cruise Description

16 Night Cruise sailing from Cairns to Lautoka aboard Silver Explorer.

Both humongous and humbling, Melanesia has been topping wanderlust wish lists for years. Join our team of onboard experts aboard Silver Explorer and explore this lesser known region. Leaving Cairns, travel to hot springs and birds of paradise of Papua New Guinea, exploring the island’s remarkable breadth of culture as you go. Sail on to the untouched Solomon Islands for some world class snorkelling and startling scenery. Vanuatu, home of the famous water music and champagne beach is last.

Highlights of this cruise:

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.

Alotau is the provincial capital of the Milne Bay Province located in the southeast bay of Papua New Guinea. The town and surrounding area has been an important staging ground during World War II and we will see remains and memorials dating back or referring to the war. On a tour of the town, visitors will appreciate lovely vistas of the bay and experience the markets, which are frequented not only by locals, but also by islanders selling their products or looking for produce to take back into Milne Bay. Alotau is an important port facility for the islands and attracts many vendors of handicrafts from different islands.

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.

Santa Ana
Port Mary is the name of the bay adjacent to Ghupuna, the main village in Santa Ana. A bright white sand beach with huge shade-giving trees runs along the shoreline in front of the tidy village. The houses here are made with local materials and most are built on stilts. Islanders generally welcome visitors with traditional songs and dances performed by members of the three different villages on Santa Ana. Some local people will also set up stands offering souvenirs for purchase. The Solomons are best known for strings of traditional shell money and elegant carvings based on local stories and legends.

It doesn’t get much sweeter than arriving on the sun-soaked shores of the Sugar City. Fiji’s second-biggest settlement opens up a world of blissful beaches and turquoise seascapes, while its dense jungle lures the adventurous deep into its embrace. Step ashore where the first Fijians landed, and you'll understand instantly why they chose to make this island paradise their heavenly home. Experience rich Fijian life, and see dramatic displays like warrior dances, and remarkable local practices like firewalks, which kick up burning embers into the night's sky. Legend says the city took its name after two chiefs faced each other in a duel. A spear pierced one of the chiefs, leading to the shout of 'lau-toka!' or 'spear hit!' Sugar is Lautoka’s main trade, but its botanical gardens are a sweet insight into the tropical plant life that thrives here - from pearl white lilies to tall, fragrant orchids. Explore temples, charming cafes and mills - or barter for some of the juiciest mangoes you’ll ever taste at the city’s lively market. You'll only be able to resist the beaches for so long, and it doesn’t get much more stunning than the Blue Lagoon - a heavenly blend of woven together turquoise shades. Remote, wild and unspoiled, these are some of the best tropical beaches in the world. There's more rejuvenating relaxation at the mineral-rich mud pools and spas, fuelled by the volcanic activity below. Savala Island is a teardrop of sand offshore, and another beautiful place to wander with the soft powder between your toes - along sandy spits that peter out into the water. Or swim and snorkel among its envied reefs, thronging with fish life.

Cruise Itinerary
Date Activity Arrive Depart
24/09/22 Cairns, Qld, Australia 06:00 PM
25/09/22 At sea - -
26/09/22 Alotau, Papua New Guinea 01:00 PM 08:00 PM
27/09/22 Fergusson Islands, Papua New Guinea 05:00 AM 12:00 PM
27/09/22 Dobu Island, Papua New Guinea 01:30 PM 08:30 PM
28/09/22 Kuiawa Island, Papua New Guinea 07:30 AM 05:00 PM
29/09/22 Jacquinot Bay, PNG 08:30 AM 06:00 PM
30/09/22 Rabaul, Papua New Guinea 08:30 AM 11:30 PM
01/10/22 At sea - -
02/10/22 Njari Island, Solomon Islands 06:30 AM 12:00 PM
02/10/22 Kennedy Is, Solomons 01:30 PM 10:00 PM
03/10/22 At sea - -
04/10/22 Santa Ana Is, Solomons 05:30 AM 12:30 PM
05/10/22 Vanikoro, Solomon Islands 12:30 PM 06:00 PM
06/10/22 Champagne Bay, Vanuatu 12:00 PM 11:00 PM
07/10/22 Ambrym Island Vanuatu 07:30 AM 12:30 PM
08/10/22 At sea - -
09/10/22 Yasawa Islands, Fiji 12:00 PM 07:30 PM
10/10/22 Lautoka, Fiji 07:00 AM
Itinerary may vary by sailing date and itineraries may be changed at the cruise lines discretion. Please check itinerary details at time of booking and before booking other travel services such as airline tickets.

Available Sailing Dates