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Coral Expeditions to set sail on remote ‘Islands of the South Pacific’ Natural and World War II history exploration

April 3, 2018 Cruise No Comments Email Email

Coral Expeditions, Australia’s pioneering small ship expedition cruise line, is setting sail for ‘Islands of the South Pacific’, a new 16-night voyage aboard Coral Discoverer on December 3, 2018. The itinerary will celebrate the intrepid explorers who first reconnoitered the region, while visiting some of the most significant sites of the Pacific theatre of World War II.

Scheduled for departure from Cairns, the Islands of the South Pacific adventure will take travellers to New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, revealing the diverse traditional cultures and striking scenery of Melanesia. Along the way, Coral Discoverer will slip into hidden lagoons, offering opportunity to explore vibrant coral reefs and walk along volcanic calderas with the ship’s highly skilled expedition team.

Guest lecturer, Captain Peter Martin, will be accompanying this expedition. As a practicing mariner, historian, and navigation expert, Peter is one of Australia’s few true titled ‘Master and Commanders’ with 30 years of extensive maritime experience and an internationally renowned lecturer-at-sea.

“I have visited the Islands of the South Pacific on many occasions during my seafaring career and relish the opportunity to return again and share more stories about this wonderful island paradise,” says Captain Peter Martin. “We sail in waters contested in time by explorers, warriors, savants, the interests of empires, and locals plying their trade. The small communities delight our visitors with their local customs and willingly share their village culture, much as they have done across the years. I am looking forward to showing our guests spectacular tropical sunrise and sunsets over glassy seas framed by rugged mountainous terrain characteristic of rock formations along the Pacific Ring of Fire.”

While on board, guests can expect an array of activities including:

  • Opportunities to explore spectacular undersea worlds via snorkeling, diving and through the glass-bottom boat rides at remote destinations such as Egum Atoll at Papua New Guinea and picturesque Mangalonga in the Solomon Islands.
  • Visit open-air markets showcasing the legendary wood and stone carvers of Gizo in the Solomon Islands, then pass Kennedy Island, named for John F. Kennedy, who swam ashore there with his crew after a Japanese destroyer sunk his PT boat during World War II.
  • Enjoy a warm welcome from the ‘saltwater people’ of Langa Langa Lagoon on Malaita in the Solomon Islands, who are known for their talents at shipbuilding and shell-money making.
  • Swim and snorkel in the sparkling waters of Champagne Beach on the island of Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu and explore the surrounding rainforest on foot.
  • Learn about 14th-century voyages and experience many cultural performances throughout the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Coral Discoverer will also cruise to Guadalcanal Island, a backdrop for some of the most historical battles of World War II. The 16-day journey will come to an end at Tanna Island with a visit to the lower reaches of Mt. Yasur’s active volcano, where lava pools are visible from the rim of the caldera.

Your Stateroom is Ready

Launched in 2005 and refurbished in 2016, 1,800-ton Coral Discoverer is the flagship vessel of Coral Expeditions. The ship offers comfortable accommodation for a maximum of 72 passengers through five categories of staterooms. Its shallow draught enables exploration of waters inaccessible to larger vessels, while its tender vessel, the Xplorer, is available for excursions to beaches and rivers. Coral Discoverer is staffed entirely by Australian and New Zealand crew and includes an array of onboard amenities including three fully stocked cocktail bars; a spacious, modern dining room; a Sun Deck with ample seating; and an outdoor fitness area with exercise equipment.

The 16-night Islands of the South Pacific voyage is scheduled December 3-19, 2018. Rates start at AU$13,190.

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