Faces of Melanesia
November 17, 2016

Overview:

Join an award-winning journey that reveals the extraordinary diversity of Melanesia and its people. On this Faces of Melanesia expedition, visit idyllic islands and isolated villages to witness time-honored traditions and ceremonies including hypnotic drumming, melodic bamboo panpipes, and elaborately-costumed dancers. Snorkel or dive over pristine coral reefs populated by a variety of tropical fish—neon damsels, clownfish, Moorish idols, butterflyfish, delicate seahorses, and brilliantly hued wrasses. Search for striking endemic birds, including the Solomon Island sea eagle, buff-headed coucal, and Melanesian megapode, amidst the lush, tropical vegetation. Aboard the 100-guest Caledonian Sky.

Brief Itinerary:
Optional Pre-Voyage Extension: Papua New Guinea
Day 1-2: Depart USA
Day 3: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Day 4: Port Moresby / Embark Caledonian Sky
Day 5: Expedition Stop
Day 6: Dobu & Fergusson, D’Entrecasteaux Islands
Day 7: Kuyawa & Nakwaba, Trobriand Islands
Day 8: Laughlan Islands
Day 9-11: Solomon Islands
Day 12: Utupua, Santa Cruz Islands
Day 13: Tikopia
Day 14: Ureparapara, Vanuatu
Day 15: Ambrym
Day 16: Port Vila / Disembark / Brisbane, Australia
Day 17: Brisbane / USA

Interested in more information? Please contact Expedition Easy by telephone at 1-800-617-2319 or e-mail info@expeditioneasy.com.

Faces of Melanesia
November 17, 2016

Day-By-Day Itinerary:

Optional Pre-Voyage Extension: Papua New Guinea

Day 1-2: Depart USA
Board your independent overnight flight to Port Moresby. Lose a day crossing the International Date Line.

Day 3: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Upon arrival in Port Moresby transfer to the Airways Hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening for a welcome dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 4: Port Moresby / Embark Caledonian Sky
Visit the National Museum and Art Gallery with its exceptional collections of primitive art, including Sepik River carvings, Malagan masks, and Trobriand Island fishing vessels. We board the Caledonian Sky in the afternoon.

Day 5: Expedition Stop
Numerous small islands dot the southern coast of Papua New Guinea and we make an expedition stop this afternoon for an introductory snorkel or dive over colorful reefs.

Day 6: Dobu & Fergusson, D’Entrecasteaux Islands
Today explore these distinctive, jewel-like islands capped by active volcanoes and snorkel or dive in the surrounding marine-rich waters. You will also visit a tranquil seaside fishing village and hike to a series of hot springs and bubbling mud pools surrounded by lush vegetation.

Day 7: Kuyawa & Nakwaba, Trobriand Islands
This morning we visit with the traditional Trobriand islanders of Kuyawa and view energetic, time-honored dances that celebrate fishing and the seasonal yam harvest. Learn about the history of the Kula Ring, a circular pattern of ceremonial trade relationships that binds the islands of Milne Bay and eastern Papua New Guinea together in a long-established network of friendship. These islanders are also renowned for the exquisite quality of their ebony wood carvings, often decorated with mother-of-pearl shell inlays. Enjoy a walk among the villages of Kuyawa before returning to the ship for lunch.

In the afternoon we anchor at nearby Nakwaba Island. Snorkel or dive amid kaleidoscopic coral reefs populated by parrotfish, neon damsels, and other brilliantly-hued species. Join naturalists on a walk around the island in search of flying foxes (fruit bats), sulphur-crested cockatoos, and helmeted friarbirds.

Day 8: Laughlan Islands
Traditional canoe building is a specialty of the Laughlan islanders. In this very remote corner of eastern Papua New Guinea, find hand-crafted seagoing canoes in various stages of construction, with finely tuned hulls of traditional planking lashed with natural sennit fiber cord and caulked with sap. The residents here welcome you with a stroll through the village of palm-thatched houses. Enjoy an afternoon snorkel off a pristine sand-bar or an adventurous dive off the outer reef.

Day 9-11: Solomon Islands
Over the next three days, explore some of the numerous small islands of the Solomons. We’ll snorkel and dive over pristine reefs of hard and soft corals, from delicate seafans to staghorn formations, where colorful sponges, flower-like anemones, and giant tridacna clams edged with iridescent blue mantles flourish. We plan to step ashore on traditional islands to visit with locals and learn about life in this tropical paradise, while nature enthusiasts search the lush vegetation for birds and other wildlife.

Day 12: Utupua, Santa Cruz Islands
A lagoon and barrier reef surround the rarely visited island of Utupua where Zodiacs take you down a fjordlike channel. Among the marshy mangrove trees, learn about an ecosystem that is a beehive of biological activity. Enjoy free time to stroll through Nembo to see the villagers’ prolific gardens, or join a snorkel or dive excursion.

Day 13: Tikopia
Tikopia is legendary—a remote tropical paradise where traditional customs remain intact. This Polynesian-settled island lies in Melanesia, yet its people are descendants of Tongan and Wallis Island settlers. School children clad in tapa cloth harmonize songs of welcome, followed by enthusiastic dances by the young men of the village. A hike to the crater lake at Tikopia’s center may reveal fairy terns, cardinal honeyeaters, and yellow-bibbed lories. In the afternoon choose to stroll the lovely beach or snorkel or dive along the fringing reef where you may spot up to 60 species of fish.

Day 14: Ureparapara, Vanuatu,
On Ureparapara you are welcomed ashore with a performance of “water music.” Then join locals for a tour of the village.

Day 15: Ambrym
Today we are welcomed by palm-leaf-clad dancers with elegantly carved headdresses before exploring traditional Linbul Village. Ambrym is known for its slit-gong drums, some carved from enormous breadfruit tree trunks.

Day 16: Port Vila / Disembark / Brisbane, Australia
Disembark this morning for a tour of Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, ending at the airport for your independent flight to Brisbane. Dinner and overnight at our airport hotel.

Day 17: Brisbane / USA
Transfer to the airport this morning for your independent flight to the USA.

*Please note: This itinerary is subject to change. In the spirit of expedition travel, plans may change slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.

ZOE-SD2016

Faces of Melanesia
November 17, 2016

Rates:

November 17, 2016
Category 1: $13,980 per person
Category 2: $14,980 per person
Category 3: $15,880 per person
Category 4: $16,580 per person
Category 5: $17,680 per person
Category 6: $19,980 per person

*Above rates are per person, based on double occupancy.
*Single Supplement: There is no single supplement on this expedition.

Rates are approximate until the time of booking. Please note rates are subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances beyond our control; i.e. fuel increases, currency fluctuations, etc.

Included:

– All gratuities; accommodations in hotels and on board the Caledonian Sky as outlined in the itinerary; all onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner; arrival and departure transfers on group dates; services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows; all group activities and excursions; landing and port fees; and medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance.

Not Included:

– All air transportation; excess baggage charges; airport arrival and departure taxes; transfers for independent arrivals and departures; passport and/or visa fees; travel insurance; items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, alcoholic beverages (other than listed above); e-mail/Internet/fax/telephone charges.

Deposit & Payments

This itinerary is subject to the availability of all services at the time of making a reservation. No space is being held at this time. Please contact Expedition Easy for the full terms and conditions that apply. We are happy to answer questions and discuss your trip.

Reservations

To reserve space on a trip on the Expedition Easy website, please contact Expedition Easy by telephone at 1-800-617-2319 or e-mail info@expeditioneasy.com.

November 17, 2016