Best of Micronesia: Rabaul to Palau
February 23 – March 12, 2018
March 3 – 20, 2019

Overview:

Snorkel or dive nearly every day—the western corner of Micronesia boasts more than 1,300 species of fish. Witness the amazing Chuuk (Truk) Lagoon, famous for its “ghost fleet” of over 50 coral-encrusted ships that were sunk during World War II. Meet with friendly locals, who will greet you with traditional dances.
Search for island endemics and a multitude of seabirds, such as Pohnpei lorikeets, Chuuk monarchs, white terns, black noddies, and white-tailed tropicbirds. Tour Pohnpei’s famed archaeological site, Nan Madol; a National Historic Landmark with 92 megalithic man-made islands, it was once the residence of royalty and priests from the 12th to 15th centuries. Aboard 100-guest Caledonian Sky

Brief Itinerary:
Day 1-2: Depart USA
Day 3: Cairns, Australia
Day 4: Cairns / Rabaul, Papua New Guinea / Embark Caledonian Sky
Day 5:Tingwon Islands
Day 6:At Sea
Day 7:Kapingamarangi, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)
Day 8:Nukuoro Atoll
Day 9:Pohnpei Island
Day 10:Oroluk Atoll
Day 11:Chuuk (Truk) Island
Day 12:Pulap Atoll
Day 13:Satawal Island
Day 14:Ifalik Atoll
Day 15:Sorol Island
Day 16:Ngulu Atoll
Day 17-18:Koror, Republic of Palau / Disembark / USA

Interested in more information? Please contact Expedition Easy by calling 1-800-617-2319 or click here to e-mail the Expedition Easy Team.

Best of Micronesia: Rabaul to Palau
February 23 – March 12, 2018
March 3 – 20, 2019

Day-by-day Itinerary:

Day 1-2 – Friday – Saturday, February 23 – 24, 2018 – Depart USA

Board your independent flight to Australia. Lose a day crossing the International Date Line

Day 3 – Sunday, February 25, 2018 – Cairns, Australia

Arrive in Cairns and transfer to the Shangri-la Hotel for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening for a welcome reception and dinner at our hotel.

Day 4 – Monday, February 26, 2018 – Cairns / Rabaul, Papua New Guinea / Embark Caledonian Sky

Transfer to the airport after breakfast for your flight to Rabaul. Six cone-shaped volcanoes, some of which are still active, ring Rabaul’s dramatic flooded-caldera harbor. Visit the bubbling hot springs and take in magnificent views from Observatory Ridge. And, learn about the island’s WWII history—Rabaul was a Japanese stronghold under Admiral Yamamoto. Embark the Caledonian Sky, settle in to your suite, and enjoy dinner on board. Tonight attend an astonishing performance of the Baining tribe’s fire dance. Tribe members in huge, magnificently crafted masks, leap and dance over crackling, red-hot coals in a centuries-old ritual to honor the local deity-spirits.

Day 5 – Tuesday, February 27, 2018 – Tingwon Islands

Completely encircled by an oblong reef, few passenger vessels are able to visit this small group of islands. Land on a sandy beach and meet the 350 inhabitants of charming Tingwon—a picture-perfect village—and enjoy their hospitality, local delicacies, and dances. After your visit, snorkel or dive along the islets’ surrounding reef.

Day 6 – Wednesday, February 28, 2018 – At Sea

During a day at sea, lecturers introduce the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), formerly the Caroline Islands, whose long colonial history includes administration by the US after WWII. Many islands are so remote that the traditional villages are nearly untouched by tourism. You may also join naturalists on deck to search for tropical seabirds and marine mammals.

Day 7 – Thursday, March 1, 2018 – Kapingamarangi, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

During a morning at sea, lecturers introduce the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), formerly the Caroline Islands, whose long colonial history includes administration by the US after WWII. Many islands are so remote that the traditional villages are nearly untouched by tourism.

In the afternoon, Zodiacs bring you ashore for a tour of the small community of remote Kapingamarangi, where fishing and cultivating taro are the main industries. In the afternoon, snorkel in the lagoon over stunning coral gardens full of colorful reef fish including lionfish, pipefish, and moray eels. Divers venture via Zodiac to the edges of the reef, keeping an eye out for black-tipped reef sharks and other pelagics.
Day 8 – Friday, March 2, 2018 – Nukuoro Atoll

A chain of tiny islets circling a sparkling, emerald lagoon, Nukuoro is one of the most stunning atolls in Micronesia. Meet with the friendly locals and wander through lush vegetation and gardens of taro, banana, and breadfruit. Swim or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters before returning to the ship for an afternoon at sea.

Day 9 – Saturday, March 3, 2018 – Pohnpei Island

Pohnpei is a high volcanic island, with dense rainforests filled with towering trees, elegant ferns, tumbling waterfalls, and luxuriant moss. Choose to visit the extensive WWII ruins on Lenger Island with our historian, with time to snorkel along rich reefs or to spot the Pacific golden-plover and Pacific reef heron. Or, hike along an upland nature trail to search for the Pohnpei lory, Micronesian pigeon, and Pohnpei flycatcher. Another option is a full-day tour to Pohnpei’s famed archaeological site, Nan Madol, a National Historic Landmark. Explore the 92 megalithic man-made islands, once the residence of royalty and priests of the Saudeleurs from about the 12th to 15th centuries.

Day 10 – Sunday, March 4, 2018 – Oroluk Atoll

This classic atoll’s ring of coral has only a few islets around its perimeter, and is inhabited by a family of eight who will show you their gardens of hibiscus, banana, and sweet potato. A short forest walk takes you past taro to a copra processing area. Beachcomb along the lovely shoreline, keeping an eye out for hawksbill and Pacific green sea turtle nests, while birders look for ruddy turnstones, black noddies, white-tailed tropicbirds, and Micronesian starlings. Snorkeling and diving are superb, with the chance to spot black-tipped reef sharks and coral trout.

Day 11 – Monday, March 5, 2018 – Chuuk (Truk) Island

This spectacular and enormous coral-fringed lagoon shelters 15 high islands of volcanic origin. The dramatic scenery ranges from lush rainforests and waterfalls, to deserted beaches and small villages. Chuuk’s lagoon is a world-renowned paradise for wreck divers. In 1944, American bombers sunk 60 Japanese Imperial Navy vessels and aircraft which sheltered here; the armada is visible today in an intriguing and vast museum-like underwater environment of unparalleled mystery. Nature has transformed these wrecks into a wonderland, colonized by a mosaic of corals, sponges, anemones, and sea fans, which are the playground of fish by the thousands and can be explored by both divers and snorkelers. In this lagoon of astonishing variety and extravagant natural beauty, Zodiacs take you to idyllic white-sand shores and dazzling coral reefs teeming with life, while birders search the islets for seabirds.

Day 12 – Tuesday, March 6, 2018 – Pulap Atoll

The villages of Pulap and Tamatam are known for their skilled navigators, whose expertise also shines in the construction of long canoes made of breadfruit wood. Older canoes are hand-sewn with traditional sennit, and may feature the silhouette of a black frigatebird on the bow. With the chief’s permission, wander at leisure through this traditional village. Snorkel, dive, beachcomb, or sit under a palm tree to enjoy the afternoon on a perfect islet with a shallow aquamarine lagoon to your right and the deep indigo Pacific to your left.

Day 13 – Wednesday, March 7, 2018 – Satawal Island

Step ashore as the women of the village—adorned in lava-lava skirts, their skin tinted by turmeric—present welcoming dances. Meet the exuberant young boys of the island, whose skills in tropical waters are so fine-tuned that they seem “half-fish.” The men of Satawal, famed for their mastery of ocean navigation without the use of instruments, still voyage between the islands of Micronesia in outrigger canoes, steering by the sun, stars, and swells.

Day 14 – Thursday, March 8, 2018 – Ifalik Atoll

Keep a lookout for common bottlenose dolphins playing in the ship’s wake as you approach Ifalik. This classic tiny circular atoll, with only three islets, represents the most authentic aspects of Micronesia’s traditional state, Yap. The chiefs are intent upon maintaining cultural integrity—motor-powered boats are banned within the lagoon, as are televisions in the village. Ashore, the islanders present their thatched-roofed houses set under shady trees. After lyrical dances by grass-skirted women, you are free to wander and admire the island handicrafts, including unique fish hooks fashioned from golden-lipped pearl shells. In the afternoon choose to snorkel, dive, sail in one of the handsome outrigger canoes, or go birding with our ornithologist.

Day 15 – Friday, March 9, 2018 – Sorol Island

This afternoon, watch for green turtles as Zodiacs zigzag through coral reefs and shallow sandbars to land on a white-sand beach. On this tiny uninhabited island, groves of coconut palms adorn the lagoon shore as sooty terns and white-tailed tropicbirds soar overhead. Snorkel over a coral drop-off or enjoy a dive in deeper waters populated by large pelagic fish. We spend the afternoon cruising the Pacific Ocean and enjoying the many amenities the Caledonian Sky has to offer.

Day 16 – Saturday, March 10, 2018 – Ngulu Atoll

Ngulu is a large, stunning atoll, its ring-shaped lagoon bordered by tiny islets with swaying palm trees and beaches that offer a nesting ground to sea turtles. Go ashore to meet with the chief and the small number of villagers living on Ngulu Atoll. Afterwards visit the nearby palm-clad sandy islets for nature walks, birding, snorkeling, and diving.

Day 17-18 – Sunday – Monday, March 11 – 12, 2018 – Koror, Republic of Palau / Disembark / USA

Disembark this morning. A highlight today is the opportunity to snorkel in Jellyfish Lake; named one of the Seven Biological Wonders of the World, this unique lake system is a prime example of biological isolation. Enjoy an otherworldly experience as you snorkel among hundreds of amazing melon-sized jellyfish that have lost their ability to sting. Check in to the Palau Royal Resort for dinner and a chance to relax before your late evening flight. Arrive in the USA the next day.

*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-SD2018

Best of Micronesia: Rabaul to Palau
February 23 – March 12, 2018
March 3 – 20, 2019

Rates:

February 23 – March 12, 2018
Category 1: $12,980 approx. per person sharing
Category 2: $13, 980 approx. per person sharing
Category 3: $15,580 approx. per person sharing
Category 4: $16, 580 approx. per person sharing
Category 5: $17,980 approx. per person sharing
Category 6: $20,480 approx. per person sharing

March 3 – 20, 2019
Category 1: $13,980 approx. per person sharing
Category 2: $15,180 approx. per person sharing
Category 3: $16,780 approx. per person sharing
Category 4: $17,980 approx. per person sharing
Category 5: $19,680 approx. per person sharing
Category 6: $22,380 approx. per person sharing

Rates are based on per person sharing and are approximate until the time of booking. Rates are quoted in USD and subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances beyond our control; i.e. fuel increases, currency fluctuations, etc.

Flights:

International Airfare:
International air is not included. Expedition Easy does not book international flights, however we can put you in touch with our airline partner at if you would like assistance booking your international air.

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. Airfare prices are subject to change until booked and ticketed

Included:

Daily activity options including cultural tours, nature walks, and Zodiac cruises; all accommodations; world-class lecture and expedition team; all onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner; all entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges; arrival and departure transfers on group dates; gift certificates for recommended expedition gear and reading materials; and medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance.

Not Included:

Airfare from your home city/Cairns/Rabaul and Koror/home city; 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, alcoholic beverages (other than listed above), and other incidentals; and email/Internet/fax/telephone charges.

Deposit & Payments

A completed & signed Expedition Easy Reservation Form, along with your 25% trip deposit and full regional and/or domestic air payment (if applicable) is required at the time of booking.

Reservations

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.

To reserve space on a trip on the Expedition Easy website, please contact Expedition Easy by calling 1-800-617-2319 or click here to e-mail the Expedition Easy Team.

Best of Micronesia: Rabaul to Palau
February 23 – March 12, 2018
March 3 – 20, 2019

Caledonian Sky

The all-suite, 100-guest Caledonian Sky is a spacious, yet intimate, expedition vessel. Refurbished in 2012, her beautifully designed public spaces include a single-seating dining room, a large lounge with piano, elegant bar, enclosed panoramic viewing deck, sun deck, library, and small gym. All suites have an ocean view and feature a sitting room, en suite bathroom, flat screen television, spacious wardrobes, and dressing table. The Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs, available for accessing remote shorelines and islands and is equipped to offer scuba diving.

Ship Details & Deck Plan
Tonnage:
4,200
Year Built:
1992
Year Refurbished:
2012
Number of Guests:
100
Number of Crew:
70
Registry:
Bahamas


February 23 – March 12, 2018
March 3 - 20, 2019