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Lautoka to Cairns 2021

15 days with Silversea   Rating: Deluxe

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Itinerary
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Day 1 Lautoka, Fiji
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 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 Pentecost Island - Ambrym Island, Vanuatu
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 4 Champagne Beach, Vanuatu
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 5 Nendo Island, Solomon Islands
Stretching about 25 miles wide and 14 miles from north to south, Nendo is the largest of the Santa Cruz group of islands located in the Temotu province of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Interestingly, Nendo is sometimes referred to as Santa Cruz and at other times as Ndeni, Nitendi or Ndene. The name Santa Cruz was given to in the late 16th century by a Spanish navigator who unsuccessfully started a colony there, although the island was first settled approximately 3,000 years ago. Nendo has a population of just over 5,000, most of whom speak the native language of Natugu. While the island has an inactive volcano, the region is prone to earthquakes (the most recent one a magnitude of 8.0 in 2013) which can disrupt active volcanoes, such as nearby Tinakula.
 
Day 6 Santa Ana, Solomon Islands
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 7 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 8 Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
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 Garove Island, Papua New Guinea
The volcanic island of Garove is part of the Witu Islands and once had a 5-kilometer-wide (3.1 miles) caldera. The island was historically used to produce copra and cocoa, and in fact, still is today. Most of the villages are located around the exterior of the volcano. Steep cliffs explain why there is only one area settled on the inside. A promontory at the entrance’s southwestern corner is taken up by the school and the catholic church of the village of Widu, the only village inside the caldera.
 
Day 10 Madang, Papua New Guinea
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 11 Tami Islands, Papua New Guinea
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 12 Dobu Island - Dei Dei Hot Springs (Fergusson Island), Papua New Guinea
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.
 
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.
 
Day 13 Samarai, Papua New Guinea
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 14 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 15 Cairns, Australia
Warmly welcoming you to the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a treasure trove of rich tropical beauty and incredible sea life. Swathes of rainforest spread out to the north, where you can soar over the canopy in a cable car, before looking down over narrow channels of water plummeting down gorges and crocodile-filled waterways. The diverse lands of the Atherton Tableland lie to the west, but it's the crystal-clear waters - and life-filled reefs - of Cairns' remarkable underwater world that draws universal adulation. Priding itself as the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, explore Cairns' constellation of colour, as you dive into the world's largest and most spectacular underwater universe. Head out on a glass-bottomed boat tour to explore the 3,000 coral reef systems, and let hours drift by appreciating the waving corals and life-imbued reefs during exceptional scuba diving and snorkelling sessions. Cairns is huddled in amongst abundant swathes of rainforests, which give way to glorious crescents of golden beach. Kuranda - with its scenic railway and heritage market stalls - waits to be discovered, cloaked within the depths of the rainforest. Learn of the indigenous people of North Queensland during cultural performances, and hear the throaty reverberations of digeridoos, as you hear eternal stories handed down through time, from generation to generation. Back in Cairns, there's always time for a coffee or a beer, or a feast on fresh oysters with glasses of Cairns' white wines – boldly flavoured with mango and banana notes.
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.
  • 1 night hotel
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Spacious suites
  • Butler service in every suite
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  • Choice of restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits
  • In-suite dining and room service
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Onboard gratuities
Accommodations
Cruising: Cabin onboard Silver Cloud
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.