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Cairns to Apra

17 days with Silversea   Rating: Deluxe

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Itinerary
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DAY 1 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.
 
DAY 2 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 3 Alotau
Alotau is the provincial capital of the Milne Bay Province located in the southeast bay of Papua New Guinea. The town and surrounding area has been an important staging ground during World War II and we will see remains and memorials dating back or referring to the war. On a tour of the town, visitors will appreciate lovely vistas of the bay and experience the markets, which are frequented not only by locals, but also by islanders selling their products or looking for produce to take back into Milne Bay. Alotau is an important port facility for the islands and attracts many vendors of handicrafts from different islands.
 
DAY 4 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 5 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 6 Kuiawa Island
The Trobriand Islands are the northernmost islands in the Milne Bay Province. Kuiawa is to the southwest of the largest of these islands. A visit to one of the smaller Trobriand Islands will always be a cultural emersion. Trobriand Islanders are well known for their gardening skills and for employing magic to grow better produce. Yam gardens are a source of pride for the islanders and yam is not only used as food, but larger yams are publicly displayed to indicate the skill and importance of the owner. On some islands the yam storage huts are prominent features of the villages. Cultural presentations are usually held around harvest time and are not only meant to entertain, but are seen by the locals as a way to show off their wealth and to compete between clans and groups.
 
DAY 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 Tuam Island
Banana-shaped Tuam is an uplifted coral atoll covered in palm trees. The only village is located on the lower eastern side of the island. Highly exposed to the trade winds, the islanders have set up protective walls made out of palm-branches giving the village the look of a fortified castle from a distance. A trail marked by white sand leads from the landing site to the settlement area of neatly organized wooden huts and houses with pandanus-thatched roofs. The forest reveals different gardens set up in the higher regions of the island. The island also has a spectacular reef and snorkelling next to the drop-off can reveal many colorful reef fish.
 
DAY 11 Madang
The eastern half of the island of New Guinea - second largest in the world - was divided between Germany (north) and the United Kingdom (south) in 1885. The latter area was transferred to Australia in 1902, which occupied the northern portion during World War I and continued to administer the combined areas until independence in 1975. A nine-year secessionist revolt on the island of Bougainville ended in 1997 after claiming some 20,000 lives. On the north coast of the island, we find colourful Madang, called the “prettiest town in the South Pacific”. Its peninsula-setting is a showplace of parks, waterways, luxuriant shade trees and sparkling tropical islands. Although small, the town has modern urban facilities, including hotels, department stores, markets and art shops. The people of Madang can be broken into four distinct groups - islanders, coastal people, river people and mountain people. 
 
These groups are similar in appearance except for the smaller Simbai mountain tribesmen from the foothills. The traditional dress consists mainly of traditional dyed multi-coloured grass skirts made out of either pandanas leaves or sago palm. The women from the mountain areas wear skirts that are colourless, narrow and stringy. Unlike the women, men wear meshy net aprons in front and a clutter of target leaves astern.
 
DAY 12-13 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 14 Satawal (Yap)
Satawal is a remote coral island made up of just over 1 km2 of land that is thick with coconut and breadfruit trees. It is home to approximately 500 inhabitants. Archaeologists have not yet agreed about when or how the island Satawal was settled. The people of Satawal are culturally and linguistically related to those of Chuuk in the Caroline Islands. Satawal has a narrow fringing reef and is not frequently visited by outsiders. After World War II, the island was controlled by the United States and administered as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands from 1947. Satawal became an official part of the Federated States of Micronesia in 1979. Satawal is famous for its ocean-going canoes and navigators –Mau Piailug was the navigator on the Hokulea.
 
DAY 15 Lamotrek, Yap
Lamotrek is both a coral atoll in the Federated States of Micronesia, and one of the fourteen outlying atolls that partly makeup the island State of Yap, as well as the only inhabited island of the atoll. While the total land area is less than half a square mile, the atoll’s reef encloses a lagoon that is 12 square miles in size. The population of Lamotrek is approximately 373, and the residents are accustomed to visitors but still maintain their own culture proudly. Visitors to this small island will be greeted with generosity and friendliness that makes up the essence of the Yapese culture. The village is located on the lagoon side of Lamotrek Island and shows almost as many canoe houses as traditional homes. The lagoon offers snorkeling to see giant clams and, if not on a voyage, the Queen Veronica, the biggest outrigger canoe in the whole Federated States of Micronesia, can be seen.
 
DAY 16 Gaferut (Yap)
Gaferut is a rookery island full of nesting birds, and one of the uninhabited islands of the State of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia. Just 1,500 feet long and 500 feet wide, Gaferut is called Fayo by the Faraulep people of the neighboring atoll some 70 miles to the southwest; meaning stone or rock in the Woleaian language.
 
DAY 17 Apra
Guam is blessed with spectacular natural beauty and a rich cultural history. Apra Harbor is a deep-water port located on the western side of the island. The island is part of the Mariana Islands and near the Mariana Trench, which is the deepest part of the earth’s oceans, and the deepest location of the earth itself. The port serves both as a U.S. naval station and Guam’s main commercial port. The harbour, formed by the Orote Peninsula to the south and Cabras Island in the north, is considered to be one of the best natural ports in the Pacific. Guam’s unique culture, traditions and heritage have remained intact despite European imperialism, wars and changing foreign governments. Archaeological evidence suggests that the indigenous Chamorros of Indo-Malayan descent migrated from the Southeast Asian islands and settled throughout the Marianas archipelago. 
 
Being expert seamen and skilled craftsmen, they flourished and built unique houses and canoes suited to the region. As a matriarchal society and through the prestige of the women, much of the Chamorro culture and traditions were able to survive. Since the 16th century, a wave of foreigners have arrived on Guam’s shores, including Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 who remained on the island for three days to restock his small convoy. Americans, Asians, Europeans, Micronesians and other visitors have since left their imprint on the island’s pastimes and tastes.
Map
All This Included
Few places on earth are as undiscovered as Papua New Guinea. Join us and embark on a voyage that will lead you from active volcanoes to underwater wonders, from spectacular traditional dances to beautiful blue lagoons. Enjoy first class lectures from our team of erudite Expedition Leaders and imbibe in the sights, sounds and sensations of authentic island living.
  • 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
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* 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.