Melanesia – Lautoka to Darwin

  • 20 May ‘25
  • 23 nights
  • Departing from Lautoka
  • Silver Cloud
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YOUR ITINERARY

Lautoka - Ambrym Island, Vanuatu - Pentecost Island - Champagne Beach, Vanuatu - Nendo Island - Santa Ana, Solomon Islands - Njari Island - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Jacqinot Bay - Kuiawa Island, Papua New Guinea - Tufi, Papua New Guinea - Dei Dei Hot Springs, Fergusson Island - Dobu Island - Deka Deka Island, Papua New Guinea - Thursday Island, Australia - Cape York, Australia - Yirrkala - Victoria Settlement, Australia - Bathurst Island, Australia - Darwin, Australia

Date
Port
Info
Arrive
Depart
Day 1
20th May 2025
Lautoka

Lautoka is often described as the sugar city. Suga...

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.

Arrive
Depart
19:00
Day 3
22nd May 2025
Ambrym Island, Vanuatu

Unlike Espiritu Santo with its raised coral reefs and whi...

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.

Arrive
13:00
Depart
23:30
Day 4
23rd May 2025
Pentecost Island

Pentecost Island is a lush mountainous, tropical island stre...

Pentecost Island is a lush mountainous, tropical island stretching over 37 miles from north to south. It was named after the day on which the first European, Louis Antoine de Bougainville, sighted it on 22 May 1768. There are no towns on Pentecost – most of the islanders live in small villages and grow their own food in small gardens. Local traditions are strong, including the age-old ritual of land diving. This unique ritual was first given international exposure by David Attenborough in 1960. View less

Later, in the 1980s, New Zealander AJ Hackett used the idea to invent bungee jumping. Every harvest season from April to June, the people of southern Pentecost construct the towers around a lopped tree, using saplings and branches held together with forest vines. It can take up to five weeks to complete. Each young man who jumps must carefully select his own liana vine. Men and boys as young as seven jump from platforms at different heights (between30 and 90 feet) with only those vines attached to their ankles. The intention is to touch the ground with their heads or shoulders. This ceremony is believed to ensure a good yam harvest. It is also a fertility rite for men.

Arrive
06:30
Depart
18:00
Day 5
24th May 2025
Champagne Beach, Vanuatu

As world famous beaches go, Champagne Beach is one of the...

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.

Arrive
06:30
Depart
12:30
Day 6
25th May 2025
Nendo Island

Stretching about 25 miles wide and 14 miles from north t...

Stretching about 25 miles wide and 14 miles from north to south, Nendo is the largest of the Santa Cruz group of islands located in the Temotu province of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Interestingly, Nendo is sometimes referred to as Santa Cruz and at other times as Ndeni, Nitendi or Ndene. The name Santa Cruz was given to in the late 16th century by a Spanish navigator who unsuccessfully started a colony there, although the island was first settled approximately 3,000 years ago. View less Nendo has a population of just over 5,000, most of whom speak the native language of Natugu. While the island has an inactive volcano, the region is prone to earthquakes (the most recent one a magnitude of 8.0 in 2013) which can disrupt active volcanoes, such as nearby Tinakula.

Arrive
11:30
Depart
17:30
Day 7
26th May 2025
Santa Ana, Solomon Islands

Port Mary is the name of the bay adjacent to Ghupu...

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.

Arrive
08:30
Depart
18:00
Day 9
28th May 2025
Njari Island
Arrive
07:00
Depart
13:00
Day 10
29th May 2025
Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

If surreal and unique experiences are your thing, then...

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.

Arrive
17:30
Depart
Day 11
30th May 2025
Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

If surreal and unique experiences are your thing, then the P...

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.

Arrive
Depart
17:00
Day 12
31st May 2025
Jacqinot Bay

Jacquinot Bay is a large open bay on the eastern coast of...

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.

Arrive
12:00
Depart
18:00
Day 13
1st Jun 2025
Kuiawa Island, Papua New Guinea

Kuiawa (Kuyau) is one of the Trobriand Islands, th...

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.

Arrive
09:30
Depart
17:30
Day 14
2nd Jun 2025
Tufi, Papua New Guinea

Tufi is located on the south-eastern peninsula of Cape Nelson ...

Tufi is located on the south-eastern peninsula of Cape Nelson in the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea. It is situated on a tropical fjord, which is the work of ancient volcanic activities and was not shaped by ice as the descriptive name might lead you to believe. Surrounded by uncharted coral reefs, the underwater world has attracted many divers wanting to see for themselves how the area earned the description of having more fish than water. View less

Although Tufi has been the administrative centre of the region, traditional ceremonies are still very important with natives wearing tapa cloth made from the bark of mulberry trees found in the local forest. Dance is predominant in the culture and performers sport fanciful headdresses decked with bird-of-paradise plumes and a rainbow of iridescent feathers. Tufi’s wide range of colourful birds and butterflies is well-known throughout Papua New Guinea, boasting several ‘largest’, ‘biggest’ and ‘smallest’ records.

Arrive
07:30
Depart
18:00
Day 15
3rd Jun 2025
Dei Dei Hot Springs, Fergusson Island

Fergusson is one of the three biggest and mountainous is...

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.

Arrive
05:30
Depart
11:30
Day 15
3rd Jun 2025
Dobu Island

Dobu is a small island in the D’Entrecasteaux Group ne...

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.

Arrive
13:00
Depart
20:00
Day 16
4th Jun 2025
Deka Deka Island, Papua New Guinea
Arrive
07:00
Depart
11:00
Day 18
6th Jun 2025
Thursday Island, Australia

Thursday Island is Queensland’s most northerly administrat...

Thursday Island is Queensland’s most northerly administration center, off the tip of Cape York Peninsula in the Torres Strait. It is 1,320 miles by air north of Brisbane. A colorful outpost, Thursday Island retains its majority of native islanders with a mix of Malays, Polynesians, Chinese and Japanese.
The township of Thursday Island nestles in the protective embrace of the Prince of Wales group of islands in the Torres Strait. T.I., as the island is affectionately known, was settled in 1877 and was chosen for its close proximity to the main shipping channel and its well-sheltered port. With a population today of some 3,500, the island has an interesting history and was once the base for a fleet of 150 pearling luggers as well as a busy trading port.

Arrive
07:00
Depart
11:30
Day 18
6th Jun 2025
Cape York, Australia
Arrive
14:30
Depart
17:30
Day 20
8th Jun 2025
Yirrkala

Yirrkala is an aboriginal community in northeastern A...

Yirrkala is an aboriginal community in northeastern Arnhem Land and has a population of roughly 800 residents. The Yolngu have been in the area for more than 40,000 years, but they only congregated here in larger numbers when the township was founded after a Methodist mission was started in 1935. This small coastal settlement became famous in the 1960s as the Yolngu opposed the opening of a bauxite mine on their land, writing (and sending) the Yirrkala Bark Petition to the Australian House of Representatives. View less

Yirrkala is also one of the best-known locations of Aboriginal art -not only in the Northern Territories- and has the community controlled Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre and Museum. Just 10 kilometers south of Yirrkala is Wurrwurrwuy, an interesting arrangement of stones listed on the Australian National Heritage List. The stones have been set up in the mid-19th century and depict praus, canoes, sea cucumber boiling spots and houses. The arrangement of praus even indicate the division onboard the vessels, showing an excellent knowledge of non-aboriginal items connected with the Macassan sea cucumber trade.

Arrive
06:30
Depart
18:30
Day 22
10th Jun 2025
Victoria Settlement, Australia
Arrive
07:00
Depart
16:30
Day 23
11th Jun 2025
Bathurst Island, Australia

Bathurst Island is one of the Tiwi Islands in the Nor...

Bathurst Island is one of the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory off the northern coast of Australia along with Melville Island

Arrive
07:30
Depart
18:00
Day 24
12th Jun 2025
Darwin, Australia

“Australia’s capital of the north is a uniquely t...

“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.”

Arrive
07:00
Depart

YOUR SHIP - The Silver Cloud

After extensive refurbishment, Silver Cloud is the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising. Her large suites, her destination itineraries and her unparalleled service make her truly special. Her four dining options will tantalise your taste buds and as 80% of her suites include a veranda, watching a breaching whale or a few cavorting penguins has never been so personal. A limited number of guests in polar waters, mean that Silver Cloud has the highest space to guest and crew to guest ratios in expedition cruising. With her 18 zodiacs, 10 kayaks, possibilities are almost limitless with ship-wide simultaneous explorations.

Description

After extensive refurbishment, Silver Cloud is the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising. Her large suites, her destination itineraries and her unparalleled service make her truly special. Her four dining options will tantalise your taste buds and as 80% of her suites include a veranda, watching a breaching whale or a few cavorting penguins has never been so personal. A limited number of guests in polar waters, mean that Silver Cloud has the highest space to guest and crew to guest ratios in expedition cruising. With her 18 zodiacs, 10 kayaks, possibilities are almost limitless with ship-wide simultaneous explorations.

STATEROOMS

    suite

    Available as a one-bedroom configuration oras two bedrooms (as illustrated) by adjoiningwith a Vista Suite. Large veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors; bedroom two has additional large picture window. Living room with sitting area; bedroom two has additional sitting area. Separate dining area. Twin beds or queen-sized bed; bedroom two has additional twin beds or queen-sized bed. Marble bathroom with full-sized bath and separate shower; bedroom two has additional marble bathroom with shower (no bath as indicated in diagram). Walk-in wardrobe(s) with personal safe. Vanity table(s) with hair dryer. Writing desk(s). Bose Sound system with Bluetooth Connectivity. Unlimited Premium Wifi. Illy Espresso machine.
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