By wind, wave and star the ancient people of Polynesia ventured to the farthest reaches of the South Pacific. Isolated by miles of ocean over thousands of years, these, the world’s first island cultures, developed a pantheon of gods, myths and legends. This voyage tells the story of Polynesia and uncovers its history and legends as we sail through the South Seas and visit the captivating islands.
The real age of European exploration did not take place until the 18th century and many of the islands we will visit have changed little since that time. Their sheer isolation has been their saving grace and apart from an influx of missionaries in the late 19th century, western culture has made few inroads. The natural beauty of these islands is mesmerising. Join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky to explore the Pacific in all its vastness, diversity and warmth and experience the description defying beauty of its islands, its culture and its ambience which have attracted generations of adventurers, explorers and travellers to its magical shores.
With our fleet of Zodiac landing craft we can explore inlets, bird sanctuaries and land in otherwise inaccessible places and although we set sail with a set itinerary, it is often the unscheduled events that become the highlight. We will be joined by a hand-picked expedition team, consisting of naturalists, marine biologists and ecologists who will share their knowledge and enthusiasm during forays ashore and whilst on board.
• Join a walking tour around Nasova village and visit the museum and Cession Monument, the site where Chief Cakobau signed the deed ceding Fiji to Great Britain.
• Enjoy swimming, snorkelling or beachcombing.
• Spend an afternoon in Niue. Niue is one of the smallest independent nations on earth at just 260 square kilometres with a population of just 1200 people.
• Visit one of the most stunning islands on the planet - Bora Bora.
Arrive in to Nadi, make your way to the MS Caledonian Sky moored in Lautoka and sail this evening.
We have a choice of excursions this morning. The nature lovers can take a four-wheel drive to Dos Voeux Peak. At the summit we will be treated to fantastic views of Taveuni and across to Lake Tagimoucia. Here we will see the tropical plants, palms and rainforest and hope to spot spectacular birdlife such as orange-breasted doves, silktails, ferntails and parrots. Alternatively, join a walking trip to the Bouma Heritage Park to see some of the waterfalls and enjoy a swim. The view from the highest waterfall is spectacular. Our cultural tour will give the opportunity to witness lifestyles in a traditional Fijian village and see cooking demonstrations. In the afternoon we will head to one of the neighbouring islands for some snorkelling opportunities.
The island of Levuka and the town of Ovalau has a special place in Fijian history as it was here in 1874 that the Fiji islands were ceded to the British and also where in 1970 Fiji was declared independent again. The town in unlike any other Fijian town having retained the colonial buildings which made it the first Fijian site to be granted UNESCO status. Join a walking tour around Nasova village on the shores of the bay and visit the museum and Cession Monument, the site where Chief Cakobau signed the deed ceding Fiji to Great Britain. This afternoon we will relocate to Leleuvia where we can relax on the beach or join an organised snorkelling trip.
After a morning at sea we land on Fulaga, our last Fijian island and famous for its woodcarving and the making of large outrigger canoes. Over 100 tiny islands in the Fulaga Lagoon have been undercut into extraordinary mushroom shapes and the surrounding waters are tinged with striking colours by the dissolved limestone. On arrival we hope to meet with the village elder to welcome us to the island. We will use our Zodiacs to explore the rocks or finding a suitable beach to land for swimming, snorkelling or beachcombing.
After a morning at sea we arrive into Nuku’alofa the capital of Tonga during lunch. After clearing immigration formalities we will have a chance to explore this laidback town and the island of Tongatapu. Having never been colonised by Europeans we will experience traditional Polynesian culture alongside beautiful beaches and spectacular natural wonders. We will see the historical Captain Cook landing site from his 1777 voyage, explore the Royal Palace (Tonga retains the last monarchy in the Polynesia), and the famous Tongan blowholes, considered the most spectacular in the South Pacific.
Today we arrive at the Ha’apai group which consists of 62 islands comprising of lagoons, barrier reefs and active volcanoes. The islands have a rich maritime history with Abel Tasman being the first European to visit in 1643 whilst Captain James Cook visited twice in the 1770s. However, the most famous event was Mutiny of the HMS Bounty which occurred between the islands of Lifuka and Tofua. It was on the island of Tofua that Captain William Bligh landed after being cast off from the Bounty with limited provisions and nautical equipment. A hostile reception from the islanders meant they quickly fled to sea again. Tropical forests grow along gentle slopes here and at the centre of the island is the volcanic crater, with a clear blue lake at its base. During the day, depending on conditions, we hope to offer a hike on the slopes of the volcano through a spectacular forest full of birds, unique tree ferns and ironwood and the opportunity for a Zodiac cruise and snorkel.
Arrive over breakfast in the pretty port of Neiafu. Spend the morning independently exploring the town, maybe visit the local market or enjoy a drink in a harbour-side café. Over lunch we will reposition to one of the nearby islands and use our Zodiacs to find a suitable location to land and set up snorkelling activities. There are many different species of colourful tropical fish here and we hope to see the graceful black-and-yellow angelfish and curious clown fish on the surrounding reefs.
Having crossed the international date line we use our “gained” day to spend an afternoon in Niue. Niue is one of the smallest independent nations on earth at just 260 square kilometres with a population of just 1200 people. Populated since the 10th century the first European to sight Niue was Captain Cook in 1774 but his attempts to land were refused by the inhabitants. Today we will visit the capital, Alofi Village, and stop at the Philatelic Bureau, where some of the world’s most sought after stamps may be purchased. We will continue to Matapa Chasm, a secluded cleft in the sea cliffs, where we discover the perfect swimming hole.
Enjoy a day at sea, maybe join a lecture in the lounge or simply find a spot on deck and watch the world go by.
The engaging history of the William Masters family comes alive as we meet the descendants of this eccentric 19th century Englishman who took three native brides. We will be welcomed by the local officials before enjoying a walking tour with our local guides. Extremely fine handicrafts are made on this island and here the birdwatchers should catch sight of the redtailed tropic birds. There will also be a chance to snorkel from the beach where large coral blocks team with goatfish, boxfish, groupers, stingray and turtles.
This lovely lagoon is famous for its fascinating coral formations and bountiful brightly hued tropical fish. Choose this morning from an island drive which will explore the sleepy village of Arutanga including a visit to the oldest church in the Cook Islands. We will see the lush forest of Nikaupara and from the top of Mount Piraki will see the bunkers built during World War II. From the top of Maunga Pu we are treated to breathtaking views of the island and lagoon. Alternatively, you may wish to join our naturalists for a cruise and snorkel in the lagoon.
A relaxing day at sea as we continue our journey to our next island group of French Polynesia.
One of the most stunning islands on the planet, Bora Bora’s interior is crowned by majestic eroded volcanic formations and a distinctive black basaltic peak. A tour of the island will take you past colourful villages, archaeological sites and World War II relics. This afternoon explore independently or take the opportunity to snorkel in the clear waters.
Raiatea is recognised throughout Tahiti as its “Sacred Island” the cultural heart of all Tahiti Polynesia. Local Polynesian legends say Raiatea, formerly known as “Havai” was the island of origin of great voyaging canoes that took the people as far as Hawaii. This, the second largest Tahitian isle, was the centre of religion and culture over 1000 years ago and still lends enchantment to ancient legends told to this day. This morning’s island tour will include a visit to the Taputapuatea marae which dates back over 1000 years. This afternoon we sail over to the neighbouring island of Taha’a. With the rich aroma of vanilla lingering heavily in the air, Taha’a offers a glimpse of the traditional, tranquil life of the Tahitians.
Disembark this morning and enjoy an island tour and lunch. Continue with your onwards plans.
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.
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 Suite
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.
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 Suite
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.