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Lautoka to Cairns

18 days with Silversea   Rating: Deluxe

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Itinerary
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DAY 1 Lautoka
North of Nadi through sugarcane plantations and past the Sabeto Mountains is Lautoka, nicknamed the Sugar City for the local agriculture and its big processing mill. With a population of around 50,000, it is Fiji’s only city besides Suva and, like the capital, has a pleasant waterfront. It's the sailing point for Blue Lagoon and the main harbor for woodchips, which can clearly be seen next to the harbor, and sugar. Legend has it that Lautoka acquired its name when two chiefs engaged in combat and one hit the other with a spear. He proclaimed "lau toka" (spear hit) and thus the future town was named.
 
DAY 2 Yasawa
Nabukeru is the largest village on Yasawa, located within the grouping of the roughly 20 volcanic islands that make up the Yasawa Islands in Fiji. Until 1987 these islands were closed to land-based tourism and could only be viewed from aboard a vessel. With their clear, aquamarine waters and ecologically diverse tropical, mountainous landscapes, these islands were the location for the filming of the romantic adventure film The Blue Lagoon (both the 1949 and 1980 versions). Opposite Nabukeru is Sawa-i-Lau, an island famous for the limestone caves of the same name. The Sawa-i-Lau caves can only be accessed by climbing stairs from the beach, passing a small door and then jumping into the larger cave’s pool. The second cave and pool can only be reached by swimming at low tide through an underwater tunnel. Nabukeru villagers assert that the cave is the heart of the Yasawas.
 
DAY 3 Day At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
 
DAY 4 Pentecost Island / Ambrym Island
Pentecost Island is a lush mountainous, tropical island stretching over 37 miles from north to south. It was named after the day on which the first European, Louis Antoine de Bougainville, sighted it on 22 May 1768. There are no towns on Pentecost - most of the islanders live in small villages and grow their own food in small gardens. Local traditions are strong, including the age-old ritual of land diving. This unique ritual was first given international exposure by David Attenborough in 1960. Later, in the 1980s, New Zealander AJ Hackett used the idea to invent bungee jumping. Every harvest season from April to June, the people of southern Pentecost construct the towers around a lopped tree, using saplings and branches held together with forest vines. It can take up to five weeks to complete. Each young man who jumps must carefully select his own liana vine. 
 
Men and boys as young as seven jump from platforms at different heights (between30 and 90 feet) with only those vines attached to their ankles. The intention is to touch the ground with their heads or shoulders. This ceremony is believed to ensure a good yam harvest. It is also a fertility rite for men.
 
Unlike Espiritu Santo with its raised coral reefs and white sand, Ambrym is a volcanically active island with dark sand beaches. Ambrym is known as the island of magic and is the source of five local languages that all evolved on Ambrym. This handful of languages contributes to the well over 100 languages of Vanuatu. Some of Ambrym’s magic takes place in the lush greenery of the local community of Ranon. Here the people perform a very special and traditional ‘Rom’ dance. Participants prepare their masks and costumes in secrecy and the dance is reserved for special occasions.
 
DAY 5 Champagne Beach
Champagne Beach is found near the village of Hog Harbor on Espiritu Santo Island in Vanuatu. The island got its European name in the early 17th century when Pedro de Quirós believed he had reached the famous unknown southern land or the “Tierra Australis Incognita.” He called Vanuatu’s largest island, “La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo.” Huge fish poison trees and Alexandrian laurel give cooling shade to the picture-perfect beach and crystal-clear water. The name “Champagne Beach” comes from effervescent bubbles of volcanic origin that are occasionally found in the waters of this stunning spot.
 
DAY 6 Vanikoro
Vanikoro is part of the Solomon Islands’ Temotu Province. Although Vanikoro is usually considered as one entity, there are two major inhabited and several smaller uninhabited islands almost entirely surrounded by a reef. Vanikoro’s population has two distinct origins: the majority is Melanesian and lives mainly on Teanu and Banie’s northern shore, the Polynesian inhabitants live along Banie’s south coast. One of the most famous French expeditions in the Pacific saw its two ships wrecked on the southwestern reef of Vanikoro in 1788 and a cenotaph has been erected in Manevai Bay to honour La Perouse and his team of officers, sailors and scientists.
 
DAY 7 Santa Ana
Port Mary is the name of the bay adjacent to Ghupuna, the main village in Santa Ana. A bright white sand beach with huge shade-giving trees runs along the shoreline in front of the tidy village. The houses here are made with local materials and most are built on stilts. Islanders generally welcome visitors with traditional songs and dances performed by members of the three different villages on Santa Ana. Some local people will also set up stands offering souvenirs for purchase. The Solomons are best known for strings of traditional shell money and elegant carvings based on local stories and legends.
 
DAY 8 Day At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
 
DAY 9 Njari Island
Njari is a small island almost entirely covered in trees with just a small sand spit at its eastern end. A labyrinth of reefs and coral heads make an approach quite difficult. Recently a small wooden jetty has been built on the southern side. The small beaches invite one to relax, but swimming from the beach is almost impossible as the corals are too close. To enjoy the underwater world one has to enter the water from Zodiac snorkel platforms, a short distance from the shore, where an amazing array of fish and coral will be visible. Two hundred and seventy nine different fish species have been seen during a single dive; the fourth-highest fish count ever recorded. An indication of why this island is considered a top spot for snorkeling in the Solomon Islands.
 
DAY 10-11 Rabaul
Rabaul, the former provincial capital, has quite a remarkable location. The town is inside the flooded caldera of a giant volcano and several sub-vents are still quite active today! The fumes of the volcano Tavurvur can be seen continually and the town suffered greatly during the last major eruption of 1994 when some 80% of the houses collapsed due to the ash raining down onto their roofs. Rabaul has a Volcano Observatory sitting atop the town’s center, monitoring the 14 active and 23 dormant volcanoes in Papua New Guinea. A small museum opposite the bunker used by Yamamoto during World War II shows exhibits relating to Rabaul’s local, German, Australian and Japanese past from the 19th century to Papua New Guinea’s independence in the 1970s.
 
DAY 12 Jacquinot Bay
Jacquinot Bay is a large open bay on the eastern coast of the island of New Britain. It is a tranquil place with white sandy beaches and tropical palm trees all around. There is also a well-known beautiful waterfall that flows out of the mountainside with freezing cold water right onto the beach. But during WWII, however, it was not a quiet place. It was, in fact, an important base for the Australian Army who liberated it in November 1944. This base was used to support Australian operations near Rabaul which were conducted in early 1945 in conjunction with advances on the northern side of New Britain.
 
DAY 13 Tami Islands
The Tami Islands are a small archipelago of just four islands located south of Finschhafen in the Huon Gulf. Collectively, they are part of Morobe Province. Tami Island is the main island and is one of just two islands in the enclave to be inhabited. The people here are known for their elaborately carved, oblong-shaped “Tami bowls”. The small community of islanders live simply. Tami has just a single primary school and a small medical aid post. Coconut and areca palm trees, Alexandrian laurel and frangipani make for a lush and colourful appearance of the island. South of Kalal Village is a small sandbar that permits snorkelling.
 
DAY 14 Tufi
Tufi is located on the south-eastern peninsula of Cape Nelson in the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea. It is situated on a tropical fjord, which is the work of ancient volcanic activities and was not shaped by ice as the descriptive name might lead you to believe. Surrounded by uncharted coral reefs, the underwater world has attracted many divers wanting to see for themselves how the area earned the description of having more fish than water. Although Tufi has been the administrative centre of the region, traditional ceremonies are still very important with natives wearing tapa cloth made from the bark of mulberry trees found in the local forest. Dance is predominant in the culture and performers sport fanciful headdresses decked with bird-of-paradise plumes and a rainbow of iridescent feathers. 
 
Tufi’s wide range of colourful birds and butterflies is well-known throughout Papua New Guinea, boasting several ‘largest’, ‘biggest’ and ‘smallest’ records.
 
DAY 15 Dei Dei Hot Springs (Fergusson Island) / Dobu Island
Fergusson is one of the three biggest and mountainous islands in the Milne Bay Province, and part of the D’Entrecasteaux Islands. On Fergusson’s south side are the famous Dei Dei geysers — natural hot springs that periodically erupt with vapour steam next to mud pools and a warm stream. The hot springs are still used by locals to cook food in palm frond and pandanus leaf baskets placed into the boiling hot water. Birds in the area include Eclectus Parrots, Yellow-bellied Sunbirds and the endemic Curl-crested Manucode – a bird-of-paradise.
 
Dobu is a small island in the D’Entrecasteaux Group next to Fergusson Island and Normanby Island. The island was formerly feared because of black magic and the local “witch” doctors cursing the healthy or treating the sick. An anthropological study was done by Reo Fortune in the 1930s which resulted in the book “The Island of Sorcerers”. The island is also part of the famous Kula ring. Participants in the exchange system pride themselves with mwali and soulava (armbands and necklaces) that are given and received still today and it is interesting to see how the traditional objects have been adorned with modern paraphernalia. A stroll through the main village on the northwestern tip will show the school and church and trails leading along the shore passing traditionally thatched houses and gardens.
 
DAY 16 Samarai
Samarai is a tiny island south of Papua New Guinea’s southeastern peninsula dwarfed by neighbouring islands. Once a famous trading port and the second-largest settlement in the Territory of Papua (the Australian-administered southern part of what today is Papua New Guinea), Samarai used to be Milne Bay Province’s capital until 1968 when administrators were moved to mainland and the town of Alotau. The relocation was necessary as the 29-hectare (72-acre) island was simply overcrowded. With only about 450 residents remaining today, it still is one of the most densely settled islands in Papua New Guinea.
 
DAY 17 Day At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
 
DAY 18 Cairns
Tourism is the lifeblood of Cairns (pronounced Caans). The city makes a good base for exploring the wild top half of Queensland, and tens of thousands of international travelers use it as a jumping-off point for activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling trips to the Barrier Reef, as well as boating, fishing, parasailing, scenic flights, and rain-forest treks.It's a tough environment, with intense heat and fierce wildlife. Along with wallabies and grey kangaroos in the savannah and tree kangaroos in the rain forest, you'll find stealthy saltwater crocodiles, venomous snakes, and jellyfish so deadly they put the region’s stunning beaches off- limits to swimmers for nearly half the year. Yet despite this formidable setting, Cairns and tropical North Queensland are far from intimidating places. The people are warm and friendly, the sights spectacular, and—at the right time of year—the beachside lounging is world-class.
Map
All This Included
Explore beautiful Melanesia, where the history and culture are as exotic as the landscape. Sailing north of the Tropic of Capricorn, revel in Silversea luxury while marvelling at the dare devil land divers of Vanuatu and the markets of Papua New Guinea. Dive under the surface of the limpid waters to explore a variegated marine universe, all the while being kept informed by our team of Expedition Leaders.
  • Spacious suites – over 85% with private verandas
  • Butler service in every suite
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  • Multiple restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits
  • 24-hour dining service
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Complimentary transportation into town in most ports
  • Onboard gratuities
Accommodations
Cruising: Cabin onboard Silver Explorer
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available. 
  • 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.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Silversea terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.