silversea

Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii To Papeete, Tahiti

SOUTH PACIFIC ISLANDS expedition cruise Silver Explorer

From the black pearls of Manihiki and the secluded Line Islands, to the exceptional opportunity to spot the incredibly rare and beautiful Atiu Swiftlet and Rimatara Lorikeet, this is a voyage of impressiveness. From Aloha to au revoir, the gentle breezes and soft sounds of the South Pacific wait amid paradisiacal atolls, world-class snorkelling and legendary sacred sites..
Voyage 7820

Book by 15 July, 2018 and enjoy $1,000 onboard credit per suite and one-category suite upgrade*

Fares shown are per guest

Cruise itinerary

Our itineraries are second-to-none – below please find detailed information regarding ports of call, arrival and departure times, as well as supplemental information about the destinations you’ll visit
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Here is Hawaii's only true metropolis, its seat of government, center of commerce and shipping, entertainment and recreation mecca, a historic site, and an evolving urban area—conflicting roles that engender endless debate and controversy. For the visitor, Honolulu is an everyman's delight: hipsters and scholars, sightseers and foodies, nature lovers and culture vultures all can find their bliss.Once there was the broad bay of Mamala and the narrow inlet of Kou, fronting a dusty plain occupied by a few thatched houses and the great Pakaka heiau (shrine).

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Fanning Island is a coral atoll that is about 7 miles in diameter. With the exception of the main passage at English Harbor and two small passages only large enough for canoes, the interior lagoon is completely surrounded by the atoll. With only 2,000 residents and no electricity, or indoor plumbing, Fanning Island is about a close as one can get to the proverbial virgin tropical island in paradise. Fanning Island is only 185 miles north of the equator, so it can get very hot if the sun is shining and there is no cloud cover.

Pincer-shaped Christmas Island contains 48% of Kiribati's land area and is the world's largest coral atoll. Flying in over its multiple shimmering salt flats and lagoon shallows is a wonderful experience: the dry, windswept landscape of salt bush and coconut palms is glaringly bright and dusty, and impressively desolate. The island is one of the world's great seabird sanctuaries, home to millions of birds of 18 species, and the lagoon hosts a dazzling array of marine life. Captain Cook arrived for a brief visit on 24 December 1777, hence the island's name.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
When Malden was visited in 1825 it was found to be uninhabited, but Lt. Malden –after whom the island is named- discovered remains of former (Polynesian) settlements. One reason they could have survived on this island is that they found large seabird colonies of at least 11 species, including Masked, Red-footed and Brown Boobies, Lesser Frigatebirds, Sooty and Grey-backed terns, as well as Blue-grey Noddies across the island.
Seen by Captain Starbuck in 1823, it took more than 45 years before guano-digging took place on this small island. Guano harvesting stopped in the late 19th century, but when overpopulation in Tarawa forced the Kiribati government to look for resettlement areas in the late 20th century, this uninhabited island was considered for a while, even palm trees were planted –less than 30 were still growing in 2016.
Polynesians are believed to have lived on Manihiki since at least 900 or 1000 AD. Captain Patrickson, on board the ship “Good Hope” sighted the island in 1822 and named it Humphrey Island. Since then, various other explorers have named it different names, but today the island maintains its traditional Manihiki. One possible translation of the name is literally “canoe carried ashore”. Manihiki sits on top of an underwater mountain, which rises 13,000 feet from the ocean floor. The island itself is flat and only 13 feet above sea level at the highest point.
Rakahanga is one of the least visited of the Northern Group of the Cook Islands and is an almost rectangular atoll that has no real channel between ocean and lagoon –thus it is not suitable for pearl production. Some 80 islanders live in Nivano, on the southernmost of the atoll’s islands, and use the other islets to plant and harvest coconut, taro and bananas. One of the unusual features of the island is its cemetery where graves have been covered by tiny huts that contain some of the belongings of the deceased to help them in the life beyond.
Suwarrow Island is a low lying coral atoll. It is very isolated, being about 60 miles northwest of Rarotonga. When first visited by Europeans, it was uninhabited, but it is believed that Polynesians periodically visited the islands pre-European discovery. The Russian ship Suvorov reportedly followed clouds of birds to the atoll in 1814. The captain named the island for his ship, which, in turn, had been named after the Russian General Alexander Vasilievich Suvorov. Suwarrow was declared a National Heritage Park in 1978 to protect is diverse wildlife.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Even high praise like the 'world's most beautiful island' from Lonely Planet's co-founder, Tony Wheeler, won't prepare you for the intoxicating intensity of the coal blue ocean, the glow of the pure white sand, and the soothing ripple of the palm-tree forests at incredible Aitutaki. Breathless romance hangs thick in the air here, especially when a riot of purples, reds and oranges are spreading across the sky, accompanying the sun's descent each evening.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Known as the "Sacred Island," Raiatea is a fascinating haunt for archaeologists and historians as it's one of the islands in the Pacific where Polynesian culture can trace its roots. Visitors will find many of the older Polynesian structures still in place and are fascinating places to explore. In the 16th century, Raiatea developed a powerful cult dedicated to Oro the God of War and built a large meeting ground, the Taputaputea Marae, which is still intact. Human sacrifice was practiced until around the middle of the 18th century and visitors should look for the sacrificial stone.

Simply saying the name Bora Bora is usually enough to induce gasps of jealousy, as images of milky blue water, sparkling white beaches and casually leaning palm trees immediately spring to mind. The imagination doesn't lie, either, and if you visit, you’ll soon realise this island is every bit as gorgeous as you ever imagined. Thatched wooden huts stand out over shallow, sparkling seawater, with vivid fish swirling just below. Soak up the sun, scuba dive, or simply revel in the opulent luxury of one of the island's many magnificent resorts.

Papeete will be your gateway to the tropical paradise of French Polynesia, where islands fringed with gorgeous beaches and turquoise ocean await to soothe the soul. This spirited city is the capital of French Polynesia, and serves as a superb base for onward exploration of Tahiti – an island of breathtaking landscapes and oceanic vistas. Wonderful lagoons of crisp, clear water beg to be snorkelled, stunning black beaches and blowholes pay tribute to the island's volcanic heritage, and lush green mountains beckon you inland on adventures, as you explore extraordinary Tahiti.

SELECT YOUR SUITE AND REQUEST A QUOTE

Owner's Suite

728 ft² / 67m² including private balcony

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Grand Suite

618 ft² / 57m² including a private balcony

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Silver Suite

422 ft² / 39m² including 2 French balconies

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Medallion Suite

400 ft² / 37m² including a private balcony

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Veranda Suite

206-216 ft² / 19-20m² including a French balcony

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Vista Suite

192 ft² / 18m² with large picture window

From US$ 14,500
View Suite

192 ft² / 18m² with view window

From US$ 12,800
Explorer Suite

175-190 ft² / 16-18m² with view window

From US$ 11,800
Adventurer Suite

157-167 ft²/14-15 m² with 2 portholes

From US$ 11,300
Fares shown are per guest

included in the cruise fare

  • Personalised service – the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising
  • Butler service in every suite and stateroom – all guests are pampered equally
  • Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
  • In-suite dining and room service – available 24 hours aboard Silver Explorer, and from 06:00 to 23:00 aboard Silver Galapagos and Silver Discoverer
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Gratuities always included in your fare
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • *If the one-category upgrade is not available, guests receive instead $500 onboard credit per suite for a total of $1,500 onboard credit per suite.
  • *If required by air connection. Free Transfers, Hotel are available only for guests utilizing Silversea air offer.

Silver Explorer

Silversea’s purpose-built luxury Silver Explorer expedition cruise ship has been designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions.  A strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables the Silver Explorer Expedition Cruise Ship to safely push through ice floes with ease. A fleet of 12 Zodiac boats allows Silversea Expedition guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations and an expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Silver Explorer luxury cruise adventure. 

Suites

Silversea's oceanview suites are some of the most spacious in cruising, and all include the services of a butler. Select your suite and Request a Quote - guests who book early are rewarded with the best fares and ability to select their desired suite.

Restaurants

Discover our collection of onboard venues where you'll enjoy spending time with like-minded travellers and of course, our personalized all-inclusive service.

Public Areas

Renowned for culinary excellence and innovative spirit, Silversea's luxury cruises offer a choice of open-seating dining options throughout the fleet, as well as several specialty venues aboard all non-expedition ships.

3 Hotels

Our land programmes (multi-day mid-, pre- or post-cruise) provide additional opportunities to discover more of the highlights and hidden treasures of the lands you visit.

Your expedition will lead to one discovery after another. A complimentary programme of unique, small-group shore experiences, led by team of expert guides and lectures, allows you to fully experience the lands you'll visit.

voyage highlights

Day 1 — Honolulu, Hawai’i, USA
Embark the Silver Explorer and depart on your exciting Silversea Expedition — “Polynesian Stepping Stones”.

Once you have settled in and before Silver Explorer leaves the pier, you will attend a mandatory safety drill. During a special sail away party say good-bye to downtown Honolulu and watch the Aloha Tower disappear in the distance.

Later you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and this evening you can enjoy the delights of a specially prepared menu in The Restaurant.

Days 2-4 — At sea, crossing the North Pacific
During our voyage south, unwind after your long flight to Honolulu and the first day of activities on Hawai’i. Our lecturers will introduce you to the Polynesian and Western exploration of this part of the Pacific, the wildlife to be encountered and the different cultures present today.
Attend workshops and seminars and let our chefs prepare delicious culinary specialties on the Sun Deck or in The Explorer Lounge.

We will be crossing the Dateline (for the first time) and will miss September 28 this way…

Day 5 — Weston, Fanning, Kiribati
The Line Islands have been of importance to whaling and guano harvesting in the 19th century, while telecommunication and military installations have been important in the 20th century on Christmas and Malden. Because of population pressure on the main island of the Republic of Kiribati, voluntary resettlement has taken place and we will find that Fanning is now settled by some 2,000 Micronesians.
Silver Explorer will drift in front of English Passage and we take our Zodiacs to go ashore near Weston Point. This is where the administration seat is and we can walk to see the local homes and their seaweed plantations. We will have the opportunity to see a folkloric presentation, acquire local souvenirs and go swimming in the protected bay just southeast of Weston Point.  

Day 6 — London, Christmas Island, Kiribati
Christmas Island was named by Captain Cook –and there even is a Cook Island. Used to produce copra –dried coconut meat- and as a military base in the 1940s-60s, this Christmas Island has been declared a Wildlife Refuge in 1975 and has large seabird colonies. Birders will also be interested to see the endemic Christmas Island Reed Warbler known as the Bokikokiko. Some of the 18 seabird species we hope to see include Christmas and Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Phoenix Petrels, Black Noddies and Little White Terns. Pending permission we might visit Cook Island for birding and swimming and Motu Tabu for birding –both are important breeding grounds and especially at Motu Tabu one has to be very careful where to step as Wedge-tailed Shearwater like to breed in burrows.
One of the attractions to anglers is bonefishing in the lagoon.

Day 7 — At sea
Having visited two of the inhabited Line Islands, our lecturers will use the sea day to talk about the uninhabited islands and their importance to wildlife or the early Polynesian seafarers that not only stopped on the islands for a short while, but actually settled them during centuries.

When not attending a lecture or relaxing on the Sun Deck, get help from the onboard Photographer during a workshop or look for whales and dolphins.

Day 8 — Malden, Kiribati
When Malden was visited in 1825 it was found to be uninhabited, but Lt. Malden –after whom the island is named- discovered remains of former (Polynesian) settlements. One reason they could have survived on this island is that they found large seabird colonies of at least 11 species, including Masked, Red-footed and Brown Boobies, Lesser Frigatebirds, Sooty and Grey-backed Terns, as well as Blue-grey Noddies across the island. The Polynesians could have lived off the birds, but the resulting guano was harvested from the mid-19th century until 1927. A railroad system (using sails and the prevailing winds for propulsion) was used to transport the guano to the western point of the island to be loaded onto barges. We intend to land near this point and walk or hike across the island –using in part the old railroad embankments- and to see some of the remains of the Polynesian structures. 21 archaeological sites with more than 70 structures can be found mostly occurring along the north coast. Remains of the British nuclear testing observation unit dating back to the 1950s are close to the landing site.  

Despite an extensive white beach on Malden’s western side, swimming and snorkelling will be offered from anchored Zodiacs.
                                                           
Day 9 — Starbuck Island, Kiribati
Seen by Captain Starbuck in 1823, it took more than 45 years before guano-digging took place on this small island. Guano harvesting stopped in the late 19th century, but when overpopulation in Tarawa forced the Kiribati government to look for resettlement areas in the late 20th century, this uninhabited island was considered for a while, even palm trees were planted –less than 30 were still growing in 2016.
We hope to go ashore and explore the ruins of the former guano camp, look for the remains of various shipwrecks dating from the 19th century, as well as some of the seabird colonies that created the guano deposits. The WWF estimated in 2001 that –depending on the season- up to six million Sooty Terns call Starbuck their home. Starbuck has been declared a Wildlife Sanctuary, to protect the turtles that come to nest, the marine life and the 16 species of seabirds that use the island. Snorkelling off the islands shore very much depends on the sea conditions, but would be offered from our Zodiacs.

Day 10 — At sea and crossing the dateline
Heading in a south-westerly direction Silver Explorer will once again have to pass the dateline! This time we gain a day and have the fourth of October twice.
On our first fourth of October you can attend lectures about the Cook Island and perhaps the pearl industry, taste some of the culinary specialties prepared by our chefs, or simply relax on the outer decks. Enjoy the wide open space of the South Pacific.  

Day 11 — Manihiki, Cook Islands
According to many, Manihiki is the most beautiful of the Cook Islands.  Known as “The Island of Pearls”, it is a triangular atoll in the Northern Group composed of 40 tiny islets encircling a lagoon four kilometres wide. This completely enclosed body of water is the source of the island’s greatest asset —black pearls.

At the pier you will be welcomed by representatives of the villages with speeches, prayers and dances. During an excursion across the lagoon you can learn first-hand how the pearls are made by taking an informative pearl farm tour, or use the occasion to swim and/or snorkel over and around the pearl lines. The villagers will have prepared a local lunch and will be available to show and sell you some of their finest pearls. 

Day 12 — Rakahanga, Cook Islands
Although Rakahanga is quite close to Manihiki, the almost rectangular atoll has no real channel between ocean and lagoon -and thus is not suitable for pearl production. The 77 islanders live in Nivano, on the southernmost of the atoll's islands, and use the other 8 motu (islands or islets) to plant and harvest coconut, taro and bananas. Fishing is a favourite pastime and there even is a tuna fishing competition in January.

One of the unusual features of the island is its cemetery where graves have been covered by tiny huts that contain some of the belongings of the deceased to help them in the life beyond.

We intend to go ashore in Nivano's small harbor to explore the island's settlement and meet the islanders. 

Day 13— Suwarrow, Cook Islands
Suwarrow is a coral atoll in the centre of the Cook Islands, roughly 1300km south of the equator. Although its name goes back to a Russian visit in the early 19th century the island is considered Crown Land and as such Queen Elizabeth II is the official owner. The island has a rich history and has had a number of solitary ‘caretakers’. One of them, New Zealander Tom Neale, lived here for a total of 16 years. His experience during his first two periods was written up by him and became a bestseller as “An Island to Oneself”.

In 1978, the island was declared a National Park of the Cook Islands due to the plentiful marine and bird life it supports. Today the island’s population consists of 2 caretakers (from April to October) and millions of birds. Sooty Terns, Masked Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, Brown Boobies, Great Frigatebirds, and noddies nest on most islets, and the atoll is also an important wintering site for Bristle-thighed Curlews, making this a paradise for our bird-watchers. Humpback whales frequent the waters surrounding Suwarrow and green turtles come into the lagoon using the beaches to deposit their eggs ashore. The atoll’s islets are home to large populations of coconut crabs.

Silver Explorer has received a special permit to visit this outstanding atoll and we intend to make the most of our time ashore and in the water.
                                                             
Day 14 — At sea
Today will be a day to scan the seas for humpback whales, especially since the area northwest of Aitutaki is known as an area where they congregate. Our lecture staff will have time to prepare you for our visit to Aitutaki and talk about the natural history, seabirds, and underwater creatures, as well as the early settlers of the Cook Islands and their interesting stories.

Day 15 — Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Aitutaki is rightly known as one of the most spectacular destinations in the Cook Islands. Its reef completely encompasses a large turquoise lagoon.

We go ashore using our fleet of Zodiacs -but before stepping on land, a local warrior appears and challenges all visitors. Once we have stepped across a special stone at the landing site, we are free to do as we please on the island. Our excursion continues aboard local boats, crossing the lagoon to the small islet of Tapuaetai for a delicious barbecue luncheon in a lush South Pacific setting. Look for Red-tailed Tropicbirds, grab some snorkelling gear to see what is underwater at Honeymoon Islet or let your stroll along the beach continue out onto a sand cay.

Birders will be looking for the Blue Lorikeets among the coconut palm trees in Arutanga.

Day 16 —At Sea
Silver Explorer will sail in a northwesterly direction to reach French Polynesia and the Society Islands. Our lecturers might talk about the different explorations and approaches of the British and French and their overseas colonies of the 19th century, or perhaps about some of the famous writers or painters that made the Pacific their home.

Day 17 — Raiatea, French Polynesia
Raiatea, meaning "faraway heaven", is not only famous for its stunningly beautiful bays and landscapes, but also its rich culture and history. Raiatea launched migratory journeys to faraway islands now called Hawaii and New Zealand.

We will head for the dramatic and well maintained Marae Taputapuatea -a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As Raiatea was considered to be the religious centre of Polynesia, this is a highly significant marae site with many associated legends involving both the sacred and magical.

Day 18 — Bora Bora, French Polynesia
One cannot adequately describe the spectacular beauty of Bora Bora’s emerald-green hills and tranquil sapphire-blue lagoons. Be on deck while we enter through the only navigable pass into the lagoon and drop anchor in front of Vaitape, Bora Bora’s main village.

Select from a variety of excursions and activities today. Enjoy a leisurely, open-air ‘le truck’ tour of Bora Bora’s highlights: ancient marae stone temples, the Faanui Protestant Church, scenic lookout points with spectacular vistas of the lagoon and distant islands, old WWII remnants and popular Matira Beach. Sample local fruits, watch a pareo demonstration, and stop at Bloody Mary’s before returning to the ship.

Alternatively, use specially designed, open-air, off-road vehicles, to visit some of its most dramatic sites that are only accessible by four-wheel drive. Veer inland following a trail that leads up the mountain to an amazing panorama. From this height, you can view Bora Bora’s breathtaking multi-coloured lagoon. See canons remaining from the American presence during WWII.  

Of course, you may choose instead to simply spend the day swimming and snorkelling in this idyllic tropical paradise.
                                         
Day 19 —Papeete, French Polynesia
After breakfast, disembark Silver Explorer.

 

Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

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