Day 1 — Koror, Palau
Embark Silver Discoverer for this stunning Silversea Expedition entitled, “Marvels of Melanesia.” This afternoon you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and attend a safety briefing. Tonight we invite you to familiarise yourself with your new home away from home, meet some of your fellow travellers and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.
Day 2 — Koror, Palau
This morning you can go into town for some self-exploration and visit the National Museum of Palau or the private Etpison Museum with its outstanding exhibition on “traditional money,” or have a look at Palau’s underwater creatures in the Aquarium.
Conversely, Silversea Expeditions offers guests the opportunity to join an excursion to see the famous “Rock Islands.” This UNESCO World heritage Site is a must-see if you have not been to Palau before. We will go in local speed boats to see the labyrinth of channels and islands and to snorkel in Palauan waters.
In the afternoon, Silver Discoverer will steam out of Koror’s inner harbor. Be out on deck to see Babeldaob Island with its mangrove coast and terraced hills offset by countless hues of lagoon blues and greens. The ship will cruise through these shallows to exit the lagoon and head into open waters.
Day 3 — At Sea
Relax aboard Silver Discoverer after your time ashore in Palau. A Zodiac briefing will likely start our program, followed by a snorkel briefing and snorkel equipment, should you need some, will be distributed. Let our team of lecturers and naturalists prepare you for the different aspects of Papua New Guinea. Join them in the Explorer Lounge for presentations on local and European history of the area, and find out what makes New Guinea so special.
Day 4 — At Sea
A leisurely day at sea invites you to take advantage of the luxurious amenities aboard Silver Discoverer. Help our bird-watchers spot some of the seabirds found far away from their nesting grounds, or enjoy a lecture about the natural history of northern Papua New Guinea. An interesting book can be good company, too. Alternatively, just relax in the comfort of your suite and watch a movie on the in-suite interactive television.
Day 5 — Vanimo, Papua New Guinea
This morning we arrive in Papua New Guinea. After completing the immigration formalities we will set out to explore one of Papua New Guinea’s most remote regions. The Sandaun Province is relatively undeveloped, with lovely beaches, crystal clear lagoons and picturesque villages.
After a short welcome ceremony, we will set off in local minivans to explore further afield. Since Vanimo does not receive many visitors, the main attraction in many places will actually be our visit. Don’t forget your bathing suit as we will have the opportunity to cool down at one of the beautiful beach locations outside of town.
Day 6 — Ali Island, Papua New Guinea
Ali Island is one of the four islands located close to Aitape, off the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. The eastern shore of Ali Island has a beautiful white sandy beach and offers swimming and snorkelling. The five villages on the island are all set up in string and well-maintained trails lead to the school and Catholic church closer to the northern end of the island. Guest will be welcomed with songs and dances and a village walk will take you past the clean local homes, their gardens and wells to the Catholic church with its interesting paintings regarding the via crucis. Chat with the islanders, relax on the beach, or take one of the local canoes to exercise your paddling skills.
Day 7 — Kopar Village, Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
The lower East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea has lagoons, mangrove swamps and sandbanks between the Sepik to the south and the Bismarck Sea to the north. This morning we will be in front of the Sepik River where, depending on the tides, we will either navigate upriver for a scenic Zodiac tour that will include a stop at Kopar or will be able to anchor in the Sepik, close to this small village inhabited by no more than 200 people. Our arrival here will also be heralded with a welcoming performance of song and dance.
At Kopar locals from different villages will have gathered to show and sell their artefacts. The masks, baskets, bone carvings, drums, paddles will all be different from the artefacts and souvenirs you will see at other stops and islands of our voyage.
For the keen birders, a Zodiac cruise will offer sights of flood plain birds, parrots and the odd kite.
During the night, Silver Discoverer will pass by active volcanoes and we will be on the lookout for the hot lava of volcanic activity set against the night sky.
Day 8 — Alim Island, Papua New Guinea
Alim Island is one of a small group of uninhabited islands south of Manus. This triangular-shaped island with long sandy beaches, coconut palm trees and coral reef offers a relaxing day in the Bismarck Archipelago. We will make use of the beaches and snorkel either from the beach or from anchored Zodiacs to see the multi-coloured fish and coral. Sea turtles lay their eggs on the islands and with luck we might even see some of these ancient mariners.
In the afternoon Silver Discoverer will head south for our next set of adventures on the ‘mainland.’
Day 9 — Madang, Papua New Guinea
Madang has one of the South Pacific’s most beautiful harbors, with a backdrop of steep mountains
and lush tropical vegetation. The town of Madang was the center of heavy fighting during World War II
and there are 34 sunken ships at Hansa Bay. The small town began its “modern life” as a result of the lucrative copra (coconut) trade. The wide avenues go back to the German administration of the late 19th century, and there is even a small European cemetery next to the local market.
During today’s tour, we will see the Coastwatcher’s Memorial Lighthouse, which was dedicated in 1959 to the Allied Forces and local civilians who served against the Japanese in WWII. We will also visit Bilbil Village, famous for its pottery. Keep an eye out for the flying foxes that hang from trees during the day as there are many of them in town.
The many islands and channels north of Madang’s centre invite to be explored by Zodiac. Conditions permitting, we will set out in the afternoon for a Zodiac cruise passing local homes and mangroves, weaving our way through the channels and islands, for a taste of local life along the shoreline.
Day 10 — Garove, Papua New Guinea
Garove is part of the Witu Islands and once had a 5-kilometer-wide caldera. The island was, and in fact still is, used to produce copra and most of the villages are located around the exterior of the volcano. Around lunchtime we hope to enter the now flooded caldera through its narrow entrance.
Steep cliffs explain why there is only one settled area on the inside. Going ashore near a little promontory we will be greeted by singing and will be lead to the open ground in front of the school and church for some traditional dances. Hikers might want to reach the higher levels of the village.
If you choose to swim at the small beach close to the landing site, you may well find yourself outnumbered by local kids enjoying the water.
Day 11 — Tsoi Island, Papua New Guinea
Tsoi Island is a small island west of New Hannover and east of New Ireland. White sandy beaches, a turquoise lagoon, palm trees and lush vegetation make this a small South Pacific paradise. We will go ashore to see the local life and will look for the perfect spot for snorkelling and swimming. Relax under the swaying palm trees and enjoy a refreshing coconut.
Day 12 — Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
Silver Discoverer has journeyed along the coast of New Ireland to reach the northern tip of New Britain – Papua New Guinea’s largest island – to eventually come to Rabaul from the south.
If the conditions are right, you will be able to see rising fumes of the volcano Tavurvur while we enter Blanche Bay and head into Simpson Harbour. Rabaul, the former provincial capital, has quite a remarkable location as the town is located inside the flooded caldera of a giant volcano. Several sub-vents are still quite active today! Certainly, this is an approach, island, bay and harbor not to be missed. Join the expedition team on the outer decks as Silver Discoverer approaches Rabaul and take in the scenery, with volcanoes left and right.
The town has suffered greatly from the last major eruption of 1994 when some 80% of the houses collapsed due to the ash raining down onto their roofs. On our tour we will have a look at Rabaul and the Volcano Observatory, which monitors 14 active and 23 dormant volcanoes in Papua New Guinea. We will also see some of the Japanese tunnels and barges used during WWII and will visit Kokopo with its market and museum. Panoramic views are on hand of Blanche Bay and the Duke of York Islands across Kokopo’s golf course, the former estate of Emma Forsyth, better known as “Queen Emma.”
In the evening, we will witness a nocturnal dance performance by the Baining, one of Melanesia’s exceptional traditional groups and their elaborate “costumes.” When the men with their giant tapa masks jump through the fire, they seem to come from another world all together.
Day 13 — Cruising the Solomon Sea
While Silver Discoverer crosses the Solomon Sea, members of our Expedition Team will prepare you for the Gizo Area and the Solomon Islands. Talks may well focus on the special underwater riches that Njari holds for us.
Day 14 — Njari Island, Solomon Islands
Today, we visit one of the smallest of the islands of the Solomons. As soon as the local authorities have cleared us into the country, we will offer water sport activities in front of uninhabited Njari. The island’s reef teems with brilliantly coral species and in terms of fish the waters hold one of the highest species counts ever recorded in one dive. This is an absolute highlight for snorkelling!
Day 15 — Pavuvu Island, Solomon Islands
The Russel Islands, of which Pavuvu is largest, produce dried coconut meat, also known as copra. Coconut palm plantations carpet the island and small-scale operations are favored by the locals.
Close to Guadalcanal, the Russel Islands were chosen by American Marines during World War II to prepare for battles further east, but little remains of their time here. In addition to workers in the copra plantations who come from different Solomon Islands, Pavuvu permits relocated settlers from Tikopia to find a new home on the island. Therefore local artistic expressions are both Melanesian and Polynesian. Enjoy cultural presentations and use the day to leisurely stroll through the area, or relax on the beach.
Day 16 — Honiara, Solomon Islands
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer.
Please Note: 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.
360 DEGREES OF GIVING
They say it’s better to give than to receive, luckily we have the opportunity to do both. The friendly villagers we visit throughout our expedition welcome us with such warm hearts, and we receive so much from them, that we want to make sure we’re giving right back.
In the spirit of goodwill, we greatly encourage you to help us support the local communities we will be visiting. Gifts may consist of second-hand children’s clothing, school supplies (pencils, pens, and writing tablets), and medical supplies (Band-Aids, antiseptic wipes, and first aid items). Supplies received will be collected on board by the Expedition Team and evenly distributed throughout the villages as we visit.
Not sure what to wear while onboard? Visit our shop and gear up. We've got layers to keep you dry and warm, breezy wear to keep you covered and cool, and accessories to keep everything packed up and ready to go. So, no matter the weather, you'll be better prepared for your expedition.
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Make sure you get all your essentials today. We offer packages or individual items, for your convenience, and recommend you place orders at least 30 days before your embarkation date.