Join us for this fascinating island hopping exploration from the Solomon Islands through to Vanuatu and ending in Fiji. All the islands we will encounter are beautiful in their different ways and all have unique features and cultures. They are certainly not on the mass tourism circuit and their beauty and customs remain relatively unscathed by the modern world. The region is ideal for exploring by small ship and particularly one as suitable as the MS Caledonian Sky. Her fleet of Zodiac landing craft gives us access to islands and bays that the big ships simply cannot get close to and provides us the freedom of spontaneity to explore where relatively few travellers have been before us. We begin our journey in the Solomon Islands, a constitutional monarchy which gained its independence from the UK in 1978 and a melting pot of Pacific cultures. The islands have been inhabited for some 60,000 years but it was World War II that thrust them on to the centre stage of world history when the Allied forces took the offensive in the South Pacific and air, land and sea battles ensued for control of the Solomons. We will explore the war sites in Honiara before heading east to the outer islands of Santa Ana, Vanikoro and Tikopia. From these remote island paradises we will have the opportunity to visit tribal villages little changed for centuries, see astonishing ceremonial dances, enjoy nature walks inland or swim in the warm waters from isolated palm-fringed beaches. The second half of our expedition takes us to the Vanuatu archipelago, home to some of the most beautiful islands in the South Pacific, with rainforests bursting with a magnificent array of flora and fauna and a mesmerising underwater world of tropical fish and vibrant coral. This is also one of the most culturally complex and fascinating regions in the world with hundreds of languages spoken across the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and a vast spectrum of spiritual beliefs, traditions and artistic craftsmanship. This voyage has something for everyone, whether your interest lies in natural history, military history, bird watching, the undersea world or simply just being one of the privileged few who are able to set foot on islands of astonishing richness and beauty. Afloat and ashore, our adventure will be filled with unforgettable images, remote idyllic islets, kaleidoscopic reefs and soaring white-tailed tropic birds. We hope you can join us in this faraway haven, for an unparalleled opportunity to explore one of the most intriguing places on the map.
Fly by scheduled indirect flight.
Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the Royal on the Park Hotel for a two night stay. The remainder of the day and evening will be free to relax after our journey and acclimatise.
After breakfast in the hotel enjoy a leisurely morning to explore independently and perhaps visit the botanical gardens, the central mall or the riverfront. This afternoon we will enjoy a city drive on our way to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary which is home to 130 koalas as well as kangaroos. Continue to Mount Coot-tha for a fantastic lookout over Brisbane before returning to the hotel for dinner this evening.
After breakfast in the hotel transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Honiara. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay. Enjoy some free time to relax before we meet for dinner this evening.
During World War II the British founded Honiara as a military base. The town and Mataniko River, which runs through it, were the front for many months during the battle of Guadalcanal. Today, this is a bustling town with lovely hibiscus and palm-treelined avenues. After breakfast in the hotel we will join a city tour of Honiara including the bustling central market, parliament building and National Museum where we get an insight into the history of the Solomon Islands. We will enjoy lunch before continuing to the World War II sites including Henderson Field, the Japanese Peace Park and the US Memorial at Skyline Ridge. In the late afternoon we will transfer to the MS Caledonian Sky and sail this evening.
Over breakfast we anchor off Port Mary on Santa Ana Island. We are welcomed by a stunning dance by the villagers with spears and mud face masks. After the performance we have the opportunity to explore the town further with its plethora of local handicrafts, join a nature walk through the forests, meet the students at the village school or swim from the local beach. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at sea.
Enjoy a morning cruising before arriving at Vanikoro at lunchtime. Situated in the Temotu Province of the Solomon Islands, Vanikoro was where French explorer Jean- Francois de la Perouse became stranded after both his vessels, La Boussole and the Astrolabe, hit the then unknown reefs of the island in 1788. Learn more about the island’s history and the mystery of the lost La Perouse expedition that captured the imagination of the European public. We will be welcomed ashore by the local villagers before choosing to explore the village further, join a nature walk where we can look out for the endemic birds, the Vanikoro Monarch and Vanikoro White-eye, or enjoy a swim or snorkel from the beach.
This small remote island is a 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. Settled for over 3000 years the local inhabitants have had to develop their way of life, cultivating sustainable crops and slaughtering all the pigs, that were staples of the Polynesian diet, to survive. We have a day on the island where you may wish to hike to the crater lake to search for local birdlife, swim or snorkel on the fringing reefs or meet the locals in the traditional village and learn about their lifestyles.
Our first call in Vanuatu will be the island of Mota Lava and Ra Island in the Banks Island group. These tiny island communities are still off the main tourist routes but the locals are happy to share their culture, stories and ways of life with the visitors that make the journey to their islands. From our anchorage point we will Zodiac ashore, see a traditional snake dance where the men paint themselves black and white as sea snakes before being welcomed into the village. We also hope to have the chance to snorkel on the reef and enjoy nature walks on the island.
Espiritu Santo is the largest of Vanuatu’s islands with some of the most beautiful white sand beaches, amazing blue holes, caves and renowned snorkelling. It was also a huge military base during World War II. This morning join an island tour including the Nekar Custom Village where we will learn about local traditions and customs, including their unique water music and cava making, before enjoying time to swim in the nearby Riri Blue Hole. Return to the ship for lunch and in the afternoon snorkel amongst the corals and fish of the region at Million Dollar Point, named after the value of the military equipment dumped into the sea.
The second largest of the island group Malekula is also the most culturally diverse with a small population which speaks over 30 distinct languages. Here we will learn about the ancient tribes the Big Nambas who lived in the north and Smol Nambas from the central and southern provinces. Tribal warfare was once very common but today the island is peaceful. We plan to visit one of the tribal groups to learn about their culture including a history of cannibalism, with many ancient sites hidden in the forests, and see some of their important traditions of dance and song. In the afternoon we will relocate and find a suitable spot to enjoy some of the excellent snorkelling found on the coral reefs off the island.
Awake this morning off Port Havannah, situated on the north coast of Efate Island and our base for today’s activities. There are a number of outer islands that we may be able to explore depending on weather and sea conditions. Lelepa Island is a 160 acres of unspoilt tropical rainforest and palm fringed beaches. On a nature walk we will see the herbs used in local medicines before exploring Feles cave thought to be the resting place of the legendary Polynesian Chief, Roi Mata. Meanwhile on Moso Island we can meet the volunteers at the Tasiriki Turtle Sanctuary who will teach us about the rehabilitation of the Hawksbill turtles and the attempts to increase their numbers. If time and weather permit, we will also set up a snorkelling platform or offer a chance to swim from the beach.
Our final call in Vanuatu is the island of Tanna, meaning earth in the local Kwamera language. Captain Cook was the first European to visit the island in 1774, landing at Port Resolution, having been attracted by the glowing light of Mount Yasur. This 361 metre active volcano is situated in the south east of the island and dominates the landscape. The more adventurous amongst us may wish to join a journey to the crater taking local trucks through the rainforest that covers the mountain before walking to the rim. Alternatively, we hope to have the chance to visit local villages where traditional lifestyles are maintained and the local culture has been largely unaffected by western influences. We will learn of the customs, traditional medicines, crafts and cooking styles. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon cruising as we start our journey to Fiji.
Enjoy a day at sea. Our onboard lecture programme will continue during the day or, alternatively, find a spot on board to relax with a book.
After a morning at sea we will drop anchor amongst the twenty islands of the Yassawa group during lunch. In 1789 when Captain Bligh was set adrift from the HMS Bounty he passed by the Yassawa Islands from where two war canoes were sent to pursue them. They escaped and the waters are still known as Bligh Water. Today we can expect a friendlier welcome as we find a spot on a secluded beach to relax or enjoy a last opportunity to snorkel and swim.
Disembark this morning in Lautoka and transfer to the airport for your scheduled indirect flight.
Arrive this morning.

Castle Standard Forward Suite

£ 8095 GBP pp
Castle Standard Forward Suite
The two Standard Forward Suites on the Castle Deck measure 22.7 metres and feature two portholes, en-suite bathroom with shower and spacious wardrobes.

Castle Standard

£ 8295 GBP pp
Castle Standard
Suites on the Castle Deck measure 22.7 square metres and feature four port holes, en-suite bathroom with shower and spacious wardrobes.

Caledonian Superior

£ 8495 GBP pp
Caledonian Superior
Suites on the Caledonian Deck measure 21.6 square metres and feature en-suite bathrooms with bath tub and shower (except for suites 329, 330 and 331 which feature only a shower), spacious wardrobe and large window.

Promenade Premium

£ 8695 GBP pp
Promenade Premium
The Premium Suites on the Promenade Deck measure 20.2 square metres and feature a spacious wardrobe, en-suite bathroom with shower (cabins 431 and 432 feature a bathtub) and a large window.

Bridge Deluxe Balcony

£ 8995 GBP pp
Bridge Deluxe Balcony
Balcony Suites The Premium Balcony Suites on the Promenade Deck measure 20.2 square metres and feature a walk-in wardrobe, en-suite bathroom with shower and a private balcony measuring 5.6

Promenade Premium Balcony

£ 9395 GBP pp
Promenade Premium Balcony
The Premium Balcony Suites on the Promenade Deck measure 20.2 square metres and feature a walk-in wardrobe, en-suite bathroom with shower and a private balcony measuring 5.6

Promenade Owner's Corner Suite

£ 9595 GBP pp
Promenade Owner's Corner Suite
The two corner suites on the Promenade Deck measure 22.6 square metres and feature one window facing to the side and two forward facing portholes, a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite bathroom with shower.

Castle Standard Sole

£ 9695 GBP pp
Castle Standard Sole
Sole Occupancy - Feature four port holes, en-suite bathroom with shower and spacious wardrobes.

Caledonian Superior Sole

£ 9895 GBP pp
Caledonian Superior Sole
Suites on the Caledonian Deck measure 21.6 square metres and feature en-suite bathrooms with bath tub and shower (except for suites 329, 330 and 331 which feature only a shower), spacious wardrobe and large window.

Caledonian Sky

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 90 metres

Passenger Capacity: 114 (in 57 suites)

Built: 1991 / refurbished 2012

The MS Caledonian Sky accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some feature tub baths. There will be seven categories of suites and sixteen suites will have private balconies. For those familiar with the MS Island Sky she will feel like a second home, although there are some differences. The dining room, lounge, Lido Deck and bar are all similar. However, the ‘Club’ on the MS Caledonian Sky has been transported to the very top deck. Here, there is a library and bar which leads out on to a lovely forward deck. The ‘Club’ has wonderful views with ceiling to floor windows.

If you like the MS Island Sky, we are sure you will also approve of her sister. And, of course it is important that we offer the very best of facilities. However, equally as important are the staff on board whether they are the vessel’s crew or our own expedition staff. Noble Caledonia’s reputation has been built on providing the very best in all areas. Their crew of 74 not only offer an excellent service they are also noted for their kindness and attention to detail. A well run ship with a warm atmosphere is what we are known for, and it is because most of our crew have been with us for many years that we are able to engender such an atmosphere.

Your Suite
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. The passenger accommodation is arranged over four decks and all suites have outside views. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, hot towel rack and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or bath tub.

Facilities in the suites also include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, flat screen television, telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.

Your space
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. In addition there is the Club Lounge on the Panoramic Deck which features a bar. The onboard travel library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. Outside there is a rear Lido deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. On the top deck there is a further observation and sun deck with bar service and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. There is also a small gymnasium onboard and hairdressers with appointments made on request.

Your dining
With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the quality of cuisine will be of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, our accomplished chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is à la carte. When weather permits, breakfast, a buffet-style lunch and dinner are also served on deck. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and tea and coffee are available 24 hours. With sufficient notice, most diets can be catered for on board.

For your comfort, safety and security
The vessel is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilisers to minimise the ship’s motion. The Captain and officers operate an open-bridge policy that allows passengers onto the bridge at most times with the exception of arrival and departure from port and during times of complicated navigation. Here you can check the ship’s progress by charts and learn more from the officers about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to outside decks only.

Gratuities
Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included them in your holiday price. In addition we tip all their guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you.

  

  

Cabin layout for Caledonian Sky
Caledonian Sky

Caledonian SkyCaledonian Sky

Luxury Expedition Luxury Expedition

17 Days from
£ 8095 GBP pp

Highlights

• Join a city tour of Honiara including the bustling central market, parliament building and National Museum where you get an insight into the history of the Solomon Islands.

• Learn about Vanikoro island’s history and the mystery of the lost La Perouse expedition that captured the imagination of the European public.

• See a traditional snake dance where the men paint themselves black and white as sea snakes.

• Visit Espiritu Santo - the largest of Vanuatu’s islands with some of the most beautiful white sand beaches, amazing blue holes, caves and renowned snorkelling.

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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