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Home Cruises Cairns to Lautoka Silver Explorer 2023-09-30

Cairns to Lautoka - E1230930016 Silver Explorer departing 30 Sep 2023

Call now 01246 819 819 to book

Silver Explorer
Ship
Cruise Line
Embark
30 Sep 2023
Duration
16 Nights
From / To
Cairns / Lautoka
Ports of call
Cairns - Alotau - Rabaul - Kennedy Island, Solomon Islands - Santa Ana

Suite from £11,875pp

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Itinerary

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Date Date
Location Location
 
In In
Out Out
Date 30/09/2023
Location Cairns
In
Out 18:00

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.

Date 01/10/2023
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 02/10/2023
Location Alotau
In 13:00
Out 20:00

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.

Date 03/10/2023
Location At Sea
In 05:00
Out 12:00

Fergusson is one of the three biggest and mountainous islands in the Milne Bay Province, and part of the D’Entrecasteaux Islands. On Fergusson’s south side are the famous Dei Dei geysers — natural hot springs that periodically erupt with vapour steam next to mud pools and a warm stream. The hot springs are still used by locals to cook food in palm frond and pandanus leaf baskets placed into the boiling hot water. Birds in the area include Eclectus Parrots, Yellow-bellied Sunbirds and the endemic Curl-crested Manucode – a bird-of-paradise.

Date 03/10/2023
Location At Sea
In 13:30
Out 20:30

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.

Date 04/10/2023
Location At Sea
In 07:30
Out 17:00

Kuiawa (Kuyau) is one of the Trobriand Islands, the northernmost islands in the Milne Bay Province. Kuiawa is found some 200 kilometers from the province’s capital and to the southwest of Kiriwina, the largest and best known of the islands. The Trobriand Islands are of uplifted limestone and gardening is not that easy –but Trobriand Islanders are known for their magic to improve the growth of yam, a highly desired plant for ceremonial reasons and as food.

Certain islands and villages have yam houses where the larger yams are stored and displayed. Houses are strung along the main road through the village and beach almond, casuarina and frangipani trees give shade. Trobriand Islanders are famous carvers and dancers and local groups and school classes love to compete dancing or playing their version of cricket, especially during harvest time.

Date 05/10/2023
Location At Sea
In 08:30
Out 18:00

Jacquinot Bay is a large open bay on the eastern coast of the island of New Britain. It is a tranquil place with white sandy beaches and tropical palm trees all around. There is also a well-known beautiful waterfall that flows out of the mountainside with freezing cold water right onto the beach. But during WWII, however, it was not a quiet place. It was, in fact, an important base for the Australian Army who liberated it in November 1944. View less

This base was used to support Australian operations near Rabaul which were conducted in early 1945 in conjunction with advances on the northern side of New Britain.

Date 06/10/2023
Location Rabaul
In 08:30
Out 23:30

If surreal and unique experiences are your thing, then the Papua New Guinean town of Rabaul should tick your travel boxes. Found on the north eastern tip of New Britain Island (the largest island off mainland PNG) Rabaul, the former provincial capital, has quite a remarkable location. The town is inside the flooded caldera of a giant volcano and several sub-vents are still quite active today! The lively city was almost entirely devastated by Mount Tavurvur in 1994, covering the city in ashfall, but thankfully costing no lives. View less

Since then, thanks to Rabaul’s deep-water port, commerce has been on the up, and a few shops and hotels have managed to find an audience. However, Rabaul’s remote location together with the volcano still being one of the most active and dangerous in Papua New Guinea means tourism in not rife. Rabaul has an impressive WWII history which includes a 300-mile network of tunnels dug by Japanese POW designed to conceal munitions and stores. After the Pearl Harbour bombings, the Japanese used Rabaul as their South Pacific base for the last four years of WWII, and by 1943 there were about 110,000 Japanese troops based in Rabaul. Post war, the island was returned to Australia, before it was granted independence in 1975. It should be noted that patience is a virtue here. However, that is not all bad. The slow pace of transportation allows travellers to marvels at the quite astonishing landscape. Divers will also be richly rewarded – the marine life of the island is extraordinary.

Date 07/10/2023
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 08/10/2023
Location At Sea
In 06:30
Out 12:00
Date 08/10/2023
Location Kennedy Island, Solomon Islands
In 13:30
Out 19:00

Kennedy Island is a small uninhabited island in the Solomon Islands that was named after John F. Kennedy, following an incident involving Kennedy during his World War II naval career. Kennedy Island lies 15 minutes by boat from Gizo, the provincial capital of the Solomon Islands’ Western Province.

Date 09/10/2023
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 10/10/2023
Location Santa Ana
In 05:30
Out 12:30

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. View less

The Solomons are best known for strings of traditional shell money and elegant carvings based on local stories and legends.

Date 11/10/2023
Location Vanikoro
In 12:30
Out 18:00

Vanikoro is part of the Solomon Islands’ Temotu Province. Although Vanikoro is usually considered as one entity, there are two major inhabited and several smaller uninhabited islands almost entirely surrounded by a reef. Vanikoro’s population has two distinct origins: the majority is Melanesian and lives mainly on Teanu and Banie’s northern shore, the Polynesian inhabitants live along Banie’s south coast.

Date 12/10/2023
Location Vanuatu
In 12:00
Out 23:00

As world famous beaches go, Champagne Beach is one of the big hitters. In 2003, CNN ranked it number nine in its list of top 100 beaches and independent travel specialists permanently include it on their list of 50 best beaches worldwide. It’s one of the world’s greatest natural beauties: picture-perfect beach white sand, turquoise water and nothing – save for the occasional cow or curious turtle – around.

With only coconut plantations and a few friendly locals to keep you company, this might just be the island of your dreams. The glorious name “Champagne Beach” was given to the island in the 17th century, when Pedro de Quirós believed he had reached the famous unknown southern land or the “Tierra Australis Incognita” (or Australia as we now know it). He believed the effervescent bubbles of volcanic origin that bubble up from the crystal clear waters were reminiscent of the bubbles of Champagne. Additionally, the coastline is shaped like an art deco Champagne saucer, so the name stuck! The beach is located on the largest yet least populated island in the 40-island Vanuatu archipelago, near the village of Hog Harbor on Espiritu Santo Island. If you want to venture beyond the beach, then Espiritu Santu is also famed for its blue holes. The island is home to some of the clearest waters on Earth, benefiting from natural filtering from underground limestone caves. Ride or paddle your way through emerald green rainforest amid the sound of birdsong for an experience that will make your soul sing.

Date 13/10/2023
Location Vanuatu
In 07:30
Out 12:30

Unlike Espiritu Santo with its raised coral reefs and white sand, Ambrym is a volcanically active island with dark sand beaches. Ambrym is known as the island of magic and is the source of five local languages that all evolved on Ambrym. This handful of languages contributes to the well over 100 languages of Vanuatu. Some of Ambrym’s magic takes place in the lush greenery of the local community of Ranon. Here the people perform a very special and traditional ‘Rom’ dance.

Participants prepare their masks and costumes in secrecy and the dance is reserved for special occasions.

Date 14/10/2023
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 15/10/2023
Location Yasawa Islands
In 12:00
Out 19:30

Nabukeru is the largest village on Yasawa, located within the grouping of the roughly 20 volcanic islands that make up the Yasawa Islands in Fiji. Until 1987 these islands were closed to land-based tourism and could only be viewed from aboard a vessel. With their clear, aquamarine waters and ecologically diverse tropical, mountainous landscapes, these islands were the location for the filming of the romantic adventure film The Blue Lagoon (both the 1949 and 1980 versions).

Date 16/10/2023
Location Lautoka
In 07:00
Out

Lautoka is often described as the sugar city. Sugar cane is the major industry of Fiji and Lautoka is its main base. Here are the industries’ headquarters, the largest sugar mill, modern loading facilities and a large wharf. It features 70 miles of roads, almost all paved, a wonderful botanical garden and royal palm trees decorating the city’s main street, Vitogo Parade. The municipal market is another attraction from both outside and inside.
Fiji typifies the image of paradise. The people here live as they have done for centuries, retaining their ancient traditions and simple and carefree lifestyle supported by the harvest of a generous land and bountiful sea.

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