With a population of 6,000, Neiafu is the capital of the Vava’u Group and the second largest municipality in the Polynesian nation of Tonga (a 169-island archipelago in the South Pacific). The city is situated next to a deep- water harbor (Port of Refuge) on the south coast of Vava’u, the main island of the Vava’u archipelago in northern Tonga. The waters of this region are known for their clarity and beauty, and the area attracts many humpback whales between June and November. View more
“Voyage of a lifetime” does not even begin to describe a Silversea Expedition experience. Imagine the comfort and intimacy of our ships, coupled with the most intriguing, far-flung destinations on earth. With over 590 destinations on all 7 continents, this is expedition cruising at its finest. Our uniquely curated itineraries with excursions adapted to individual ability and interest cater to all, while our knowledgeable and enthusiastic experts lead the way. Butler service, highest crew to guest ration in the industry and all-inclusivity make a Silversea Expedition cruise like nothing you have ever experienced.
Embrace the splendid beauty, culture and traditions of ancient Polynesia during this sightseeing excursion.
Vavau, Ene'Io Botanical Garden, Guided Walking Tour, Plant Collections, Cultural Demonstration
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 30-minute drive to the Ene'Io Botanical Garden, Tonga's only tropical botanical garden. Upon arrival, take a guided walking tour through the exquisite garden. Along the way, hear fascinating stories and folklore whilst passing by the rich and varied collections of plants and flowers. Learn about the medicinal uses of different plants and the local fauna, and observe cultural demonstrations that include mat-weaving, the pounding of tapa cloths, making nonu juice and vanilla essence, extracting of coconut milk, and a kava-tasting. Before you leave, stop by the gift shop to browse the items available for sale.
At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your bus and return to Halaevalu Wharf via Pouono Cemetery and the Catholic Cathedral Church for your last scenic view and photo opportunity.
Please note: This tour involves an moderate amount of walking and standing at times over uneven and natural surfaces and trails, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the bus. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear flat, closed-toe walking shoes, and bring sun protection and bottled water from the ship. Buses utilised on this tour are rustic, with no A/C nor microphones. tour sequence may vary. Operation of this tour is subject to weather conditions.
Experience the panoramic island beauty of Vavau from a unique perspective during this hiking excursion to the summit of Mount Talau.
Vavau, Mount Talau, Royal Palace at Fangatongo, Talau Village
Depart the pier for a brief drive to the base of Mount Talau. Mout Talau has a rich history; according to legend, the tip of the mount now rests in the sea to the north-western side of the mount, and is an island known as Lotuma. Upon arrival, begin your guided, approximately 15-minute slow hiking trek up to the summit. En route, pass by the Royal Palace at Fangatongo and village of Talau.
Mount Talau Summit, Eastern Deck, Vavau Islands, Port of Refuge, Neiafu Township, Islands
Upon arrival at the summit, there are two decks; one facing east and one facing north. From the eastern deck, take in spectacular panoramic views overlooking the islands of Vavau, Port of Refuge and township of Neiafu. Looking further out towards the east, take in spectacular views of the eastern islands and outlying villages, and islands to the south.
Northern Deck, Northern Vavau Island and Town, Bridge, Mount Talayu Bay, Cruise Ships
The northern deck offers a bird's-eye view of the northern end of the island, which features the only bridge in Tonga connecting the villages to the main business centre of Neiafu. There are also tracks leading around the summit, and to the very back of the mount. Here, marvel at the view of Mount Talayu Bay, where cruise ships berth whilst visiting Vavau. Following your stop at the summit of Mount Talau, begin the approximately 15-minute descent to the base on-foot. Upon arrival at the base, re-board your coach and return to the pier.
Explore the waterways and islands of Vava'u during this picturesque, half-day swimming, snorkelling and caving excursion via boat.
Neiafu, Boat-Ride, Swimming, Snorkelling, Japanese Garden, Coral Gardens, Tropical Fish
Depart the pier aboard a local boat for the scenic, approximately 30-minute ride to your first stop, the Japanese Garden. Stop here for guided snorkelling and swimming amidst the tropical fish and rich marine life, then drift along the reef at Coral Gardens. Marvel at the huge variety of coral formations and tropical fish species that live along this reef line, and take in the beauty and wonder of this underwater world whilst gliding along with the current. Each 'bombie' is its own little community, with each fish species sharing its home with another and busily going about their business. Watch 'Nemo' as he swims in and out of his home, the sea anemone.
Kapa Island, Swallow Cave, Natural Light Show, Schools of Bait Fish
Next, embark your boat and head to Swallow Cave. Located at the northern end of Kapa Island, this spectacular cave is home to numerous, white-rumped swiftlets and can only be reached by boat. In the afternoon light, experience an amazing light show as the light streams down from the holes in the roof of the cave. Swim through the schools of bait fish whilst looking down into the clear waters of the cave.
A fruit refreshment (seasonal fruit) is served on board during this excursion.
Euakafa, Sunbathing and Zodiac-boat Ride
Leaving Swallow Cave, embark your boat and head over to the uninhabited island of Euakafa. Upon arrival, some free time is made available to stroll around or to sunbathe and relax on the beach. At the conclusion of your visit, meet Silversea Expedition Team and board the Zodiac boats for the approximately 30-minute ride to re-join the Silver Whisper who will have in the meantime repositioned to Mounu Island.
Discover the rich cultural heritage and flavours of Tonga during this scenic sightseeing excursion.
Vanilla Plantation, Guided Tour, Vanilla Bean History, Production and Tasting
Depart the pier for the short drive to the Vanilla Plantation. Upon arrival, take a guided tour of the plantation, an important source of income for the island. Depending upon the time of your visit, you can see vanilla beans being harvested, beans being dried or flowers being pollinated. Following your tour, proceed for a vanilla tasting, and view a storyboard explaining the history of vanilla and heilala vanilla.
Talihau, Cultural Demonstration, Tapa-Making, Woodcarving, Floor Show, Dancing, Refreshments
Next, re-board your coach and head to Talihau. Upon arrival, proceed for a cultural demonstration in which you can experience tapa-making, woodcarving, a floor show and dancing. Afterward, enjoy a refreshment of fresh fruit and fruit juice. At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 30-minute drive back to the pier.