Throughout Melanesia there are spectacular reefs that offer some of the greatest marine diversity and snorkelling in the world and everybody will have the opportunity to appreciate the beauty beneath the waves. There is also an option to join a sea kayaking excursion with an expert guide.
For birders, the itinerary offers the chance to see once-in-a-lifetime species on remote islands, and endemic birdlife such as the Solomon Sea Eagle, or the Vanikoro White-eye. The birding potential is exceptional, and there is an optional specialised birding programme with customised excursions.
Starting in Cairns, the expedition cruise delves into the culturally rich Trobriand Islands, sometimes called the ‘Islands of Love’, where indigenous culture has continued largely unchanged for generations, and explores the coral-fringed islands of the Louisiade Archipelago and the volcanic wonders of the D’Entrecasteaux Islands.
The rare endemic species on remote Woodlark Island are a sight to behold and a fascinating day can be spent exploring Bougainville Island. On Loh Island, guests can join Malaita’s Kwaio people in a sacred dance and observe the ancient Rom Dance on Ambrym Island.
One of the conservation jewels of the South Pacific can be found on Tetepare Island and there is also an opportunity to snorkel Marovo Lagoon, the largest saltwater lagoon in the world.
In Vanuatu, sometimes called ‘the happiest place in the world’, there are over 80 habitable islands and this expedition gives guests access to some of these cultures and languages.
The special guest on this New Zealand Geographic/Heritage Expeditions voyage is Professor Tim Flannery, the 2007 Australian of the Year. He is an experienced mammologist and palaeontologist and is renowned for communicating scientific theory and environmental issues in an accessible way. He has a contagious enthusiasm for the natural world and a fascination with the diverse flora of the region and his exciting night excursions searching for wildlife and his entertaining nightly recaps following an action packed day adds a whole new dimension to any voyage.
DATES: 30 OCTOBER – 15 NOVEMBER 2024
SHIP: Heritage Adventurer
For more information about the expedition and to book your trip, click here.