Countless islands of color and contrast nestle in what is surely the earth’s most heavenly paradise. These are cultures so untouched and so remote that time has stood still for centuries.

EXPEDITION INFORMATION

WHERE South Pacific
DEPARTURE 28 May 2018
DURATION 10 days
SHIP Silver Discoverer Voyage 9812
FARES STARTING FROM US$ 7,560
A TASTE OF YOUR ITINERARY
  • Discover landscapes as varied as lagoons, coral reefs, forests, waterfalls, geysers and more
  • Engage with local tribes and learn about their crafts and customs
  • Find exquisite landscapes, lush vegetation, nesting beaches and natural aquariums at every turn
MEET YOUR WILDLIFE
  • Observe indigenous fauna and flora that includes marine life, flying foxes and the elusive Bird of Paradise
  • Spot the rare Melanesian Scrubfowl, Blyth’s Hornbill, Pied Goshawk on Atiu and Aitutaki
  • Admire sharks and rays in Bora Bora
  • Look for the Great Frigatebird, Lesser Frigatebird, Brown Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, noddies and terns.
  • See Juan Fernandez fur seals and Firecrowns
The daring jump of Pentecost men

The daring of the young men of Pentecost is impressive as they dive headfirst, connected by lengths of natural vine, from a specially constructed 30-meter tower onto the bare earth at its base. This ceremony can only take place from April to June when the vines have just the right moisture content to stretch and absorb the impact of their monumental dive.

Snorkel through the wonders of the Pacific

Snorkelling in Marovo lagoon will reveal coral reef walls that are colonized by gorgonian fan forests, black coral gardens, giant clams, sea turtles, manta rays, eels, barracuda, octopus, morays, grey reef sharks, lionfish and shoals of pelagic fish. Meanwhile, bird-watchers can look for osprey, Brahminy Kite and kingfisher in the trees on one of the many surrounding islands.

Only a small group of tourists are allowed to attend the land-diving ceremony on Pentecost Island. When the vines went taught, a collective gasp could be heard and the entire crown was silent. Literally breathtaking
Jack Stones
Imagine floating through Grand Central Terminal during a fire alarm at rush hour: You're still not really close to the amount of action, color and movement that awaits under the surface of the Marovo Lagoon
Shelly Rodriguez

CRUISE ITINERARY

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

Day 1
Honiara

Embark the Silver Discoverer for this stunning Silversea Expedition – Faces of Melanesia. This afternoon, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and attend a safety briefing. Tonight we invite you to familiarize 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
Lumalihe Island, Marovo Lagoon

Marovo Lagoon is one of the world’s largest saltwater lagoons. Described as “one of the seven natural wonders of the world,” Marovo is home to a double barrier reef system, and is one of two sites in the Solomon’s currently under consideration for UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Though residents of Marovo Lagoon normally do not dance due to religious beliefs, we hope to hear some of their songs. The people here are also quite famous for their woodcarvings, and we hope to see (and perhaps purchase) some of the intricately carved and adorned artefacts.

Snorkelling in the lagoon will reveal coral reef walls that are colonized by gorgonian fan forests, black coral gardens, giant clams, sea turtles, manta rays, eels, barracuda, octopus, morays, grey reef sharks, lionfish and shoals of pelagic fish. Meanwhile, bird-watchers can look for osprey, Brahminy Kite and kingfisher, in the trees on one of the many surrounding islands.

Day 3
Vona Vona Lagoon

Kohingo and Vona Vona Islands lie on the western side of New Georgia. In between them is Vona Vona Lagoon, a veritable maze of coral reefs and little islets. This is an area that was quite feared in the 19th century, as villages left on raids against other islands and settlements. A tidally dependent visit to Skull Island may disclose the shrine of local warrior chiefs from the head hunting past of this area. A trip by Zodiac through the stunning Vona Vona Lagoon, or a ride to one of the nearby tidal rivers that run through lowland rainforest may be on offer. Twisting passages through the lagoon hold mangrove lined shores that are home to rare freshwater fish, exotic tropical birds and saltwater crocodiles. Local knowledge is highly prized for finding places to snorkel in the crystal clear waters.

Day 4
Karamolun and Pavuvu Island

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, relax on the beach, or snorkel in calm waters teeming with all kinds of fish, as well as turtles and perhaps even dolphin.

Day 5
Roderick Bay

Your Expedition Leader will likely encourage you to be out on deck in the early morning as we approach the Sandfly Passage to reach Roderick Bay, on the western side of Nggela Sule in the Florida Islands.
In the bay you will see that huge trees give shade to picture-perfect little beaches. Going ashore we will witness a folkloric presentation and in one shallow bay you will find the resting place of a ‘famous’ shipwreck. It’s fascinating to see how nature is slowly covering the ship’s surface with plants from shore and corals below the water line.
The bay invites swimming and snorkelling around the ship’s hull where corals are teeming with tropical fish. The snorkelling might also reveal feather stars, colorful nudibranches, vase sponges, gorgonian fans, lionfish and octopus – all part of this truly remarkable marine environment.

Day 6
Santa Ana

Today Silver Discoverer will enter Port Mary, the bay in front of Ghupuna, Santa Ana’s main village. A short Zodiac ride will take you onto a beautiful white sand beach with huge shade-giving trees. Once ashore, you can’t help but notice the tidy village with its stilt houses built from local materials. After a welcome on the beach we will head to the sport grounds where we will be entertained by traditional songs and dances performed by members of the three different villages on Santa Ana. No doubt islanders will set up stands with souvenirs on offer ranging from traditional shell money to fishing floats, and carvings based on local stories and legends.
In the afternoon Silver Discoverer will continue eastward. Let our lecturers enhance your understanding of the region or introduce you to our next destination.

Day 7
Utupua Island

This morning Silver Discoverer will enter the deep bay on Utupua’s western side. Nembao, one of the main villages on the island, will be our host this day. After a short Zodiac ride we will land on the sandy beach next to the village’s centre. Here expect a welcome and attend a presentation of traditional dances and songs.

You may choose to observe how these Solomon Islanders live by walking along the beach to have a look at the houses, fishing canoes and small plantations. If tides and time permit, it may be an option to take the Zodiacs out to explore the mangrove-lined shores deeper in the bay on the lookout for birdlife, schools of fish, young sharks and mudskippers.

Day 8
Espiritu Santo

During the morning, Silver Discoverer will approach Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu’s largest island. The European name goes back to the early 17th century when Pedro de Quiroz believed he had reached the famous “Tierra Australis Incognita,” the unknown southern land, which he called “La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo.”
Once we officially clear into Vanuatu, you will have a chance to enjoy one of the finest beaches of her many islands. You can relax under stately Barringtonia trees draped in Alexandrian laurel that offer cool shade, or swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear water. Perhaps you will opt to visit the remnants of the WWII American Base field hospital and meet the locals who can introduce you to some of their customs and culture, while at the same time invoking their amazing understanding of the local environment and history. It may also be possible to take a Zodiac cruise from the beach, up the river through dense jungle, to swim in one of the famed blue holes of Espiritu Santo.
In the afternoon, enjoy an exceptional performance by the Banks Island women, who create ‘water music’ with their hands in the sea. This is surely one of the most unusual musical groups of Vanuatu. Later, find yourself a comfy spot to watch the sunset from an idyllic setting on the beach.

Day 9
Pentecost and Ambrym

Morning will find the Silver Discoverer in front of Pentecost Island. Zodiacs will shuttle the ship’s company ashore to witness one of the most unusual socio-religious events in Vanuatu and in indeed in all of the South Pacific. The daring of the young men of Pentecost is impressive as they dive headfirst, connected by lengths of natural vine, from a specially constructed 30-meter tower onto the bare earth at its base. This ceremony can only take place from April to June when the vines have just the right moisture content to stretch and absorb the impact of their monumental dive.
Traditionally, the ceremony welcomes the yam harvest. It is a celebration for the whole village and many people turn out in traditional costume to dance and chant, whipping the atmosphere into an excited frenzy of dance, activity and noise. After the event, we will be invited to tour the local village and meet the children who may sing for us and show us around their school and village.
During lunch, Silver Discoverer sails south to Ambrym, another very special and highly active volcanic island. Its dark sand beaches speak of ancient lava flows.
Ambrym is known as the island of magic, and we will go ashore near Ranon to visit the local community and see the famed ‘Rom’ dance. We are fortunate to experience this ceremony as the Rom dance is normally only undertaken during significant occasions when the participants prepare their masks and costumes in secrecy. In addition to the mesmerizing Rom dance, we will be entertained by a local string band and hope to see some of Vanuatu’s sand drawings. The drawings may appear simply as aesthetically pleasing drawings, but UNESCO recognizes them as a local system of writing, and consequently inscribed them on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Day 10
Port Resolution, Tanna

During the morning, Silver Discoverer will continue to sail south, to reach Port Resolution which was named after Captain Cook’s famous ship. Tanna is largely an agricultural economy, but was decimated in 2015 by Cyclone Pam. The local community welcomes visitors but is still very much connected to their tradition and custom.
Going ashore onto the volcanically created black sand beach, we will be welcomed by the inhabitants of a nearby village. Singers from the ‘John Frum Cargo Cult’ will entertain us as local men and women present traditional dances. Following the performance, the people may offer to take you on a tour of their village and demonstrate daily living skills in a subsistence economy.
As evening approaches, we will climb into 4WD vehicles to reach an area close to the summit of Mount Yasur. This is the most accessible explosive volcano in the world. Locals believe their spirit god dwells in the mountain, and so it is a sacred place to the local tribes. Be amazed by the power beneath your feet and stand in awe of the fireworks display at sunset. Local guides will instruct you on safe viewing areas depending on the wind and levels of activity.

Day 11
Port Vila

Following breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer.

A flexible itinerary allows us to take advantage of favourable sea and weather conditions . In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine our best course depending on weather conditions and wildlife we encounter.


The Ship

Silver Discoverer

A culturally-rich itinerary, an enthusiastic and dedicated expedition team and all the amenities of superlative Silversea style, Silver Discoverer is truly the savvy traveller’s choice.

  • 120
  • 96
  • 338 Feet / 102.9 Meters

Suites

Medallion Suite

Dimension:
408 ft² / 38m² including a private balcony Up to 2 guests

A mark of distinction. Sumptuous. Spacious. Rich textures and panoramic views surround you with distinguished luxury. The perfect summary of The Medallion Suite offered by the world’s best cruise line.

Veranda Suite

Dimension:
280 ft² / 26m² including a private balcony Up to 3 guests

A Silversea signature, complete with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto a private balcony with patio furniture. Veranda Suites lavishly accommodate three guests.

Vista Suite

Dimension:
Overall size of 269 ft² / 25m² Up to 3 guests

A quiet sanctuary. The suite’s sitting area has plenty of room to relax while on your cruise. Large picture windows frame panoramic ocean views. The perfect backdrop for breakfast in bed.

View Suite

Dimension:
Overall size of 181 ft² / 16.8m² Up to 2 guests

Welcoming and comfortable, the View Suite provides a relaxing haven for even the utmost adventure-seeking guests. Complete a day spent exploring onshore with an evening unwinding in the comfort of your sitting area. Capture passing ocean scenes through your view window. Freshen up in your beautiful marbled bathroom before enjoying an elegant onboard dinner. Or cozy up under fine bed linens to watch an on-demand movie on the flat-screen television. Fall asleep easily, dreaming of the incredible experiences that await you the following day.

Explorer Suite

Dimension:
Overall size of 186 ft² / 17.3 m² Up to 2 guests

As spacious as a Explorer Suite, enjoy the passing scenery through two porthole windows. An enchanting retreat, Explorer Suites exude cosy opulence and a cushy seating area perfect for unwinding after a day of exploring ashore.

Restaurants and Public Areas

The Restaurant

The Restaurant serves contemporary, international cuisine in a warm and elegant ambiance. Whilst breakfast and lunch are served buffet style, dinner is served à la carte. The Restaurant offers open-seating, meaning you are free to dine where and with whom you please during your cruise.

The Grill

Poolside convenience for lunch and dinner. When the stars come out, this popular eatery is transformed into an interactive Hot Rock dining venue where fresh seafood and prime cuts are grilled table side on a heated volcanic plate.

Explorer Lounge

The Explorer Lounge is where all Lectures, Briefings and social gatherings take place. During Cocktail hours and after dinner, a piano player will perform for your entertainment.

Pool Deck

On warm climate expeditions, outdoor life on board revolves around the Pool Deck located aft of the ship. People socialize and lounge at the Pool Bar and around the small but very refreshing swimming pool, perfect for cooling off in the tropics.

Beauty Salon

Onboard services in the Beauty and Massage Room include manicures, pedicures, massages and other spa treatments. Appointments for these Beauty Salon services may be made onboard the ship. Customary charges will apply.

Fitness Centre

Silver Discoverer is equipped with a Fitness room that is open daily. The Fitness Centre offers three stationary bikes, one treadmill, one top machine, two leg extension machines and free weights.

Day Lounge

The Day Lounge serves as the main Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Snacks area on board this Silversea luxury cruise ship. This comfortable seating area with plenty of natural light, also comprises a 24-hour self-service coffee, tea and juice bar, which makes it an ideal place onboard to relax and reflect on the day’s activities and future expeditions to come.


Exclusive

FREE EXPEDITION GUIDE

Download our free South Pacific Islands travel guide for the very latest information on this idyllic archipelago.
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• What to pack
• What to expect
• Trip Highlights
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• Meet the Team Experts
• What wildlife to lookout for