Great Barrier Reef cruise ship tour from Cairns to Solomon Islands, a luxury 11 night cruise. Join our small ship expedition cruise in Cairns and meet other like minded guests on our boutique hosted cruises to far off places rarely visited by the large cruise ships crossing the Great Barrier Reef.
Our 11 night Cairns to the Solomon Islands cruise uncovers the pristine wildlife, fascinating cultures, and remote coral atolls and beaches of the idyllic Melanesia region just to the north of Australia.
Our small expedition cruises ensure our guests experience the Solomon Islands like no other cruise ship passengers as you are welcomed by the friendly islanders, snorkel and dive in sparkling azure water, and encounter WWII history and breathtaking beauty that will live in your memory forever.
Opportunities abound to discover this remarkable region both above and below the water, with village visits and snorkelling and diving opportunities almost every day.
Travelling aboard our luxury cruise ship we depart from Cairns, Australia at 08.00am in the morning to begin our Great Barrier Reef cruise to the Solomon Islands.
Cairns cruise ship departure:
Boarding at 8:00 am for a 9:00 am departure.
Spend the day at leisure as we cross the Coral Sea, and join our Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturers in the lounge for presentations and briefings on Papua New Guinea ahead of our clearance at Samarai.
Today we enter Papua New Guinea at the small island of Samarai, located at the southern tip of Milne Bay.
In beautiful Sewa Bay, we will spend the afternoon at Nuakata in the Daiwari Islands.
Here we can experience cultural demonstrations, or snorkel over the myriad of coral reefs kept incredibly healthy by active and irregular water currents.
There is also potential to take a long or short walk to visit skull caves that date back to the island’s headhunting past.
Join our Expedition Staff on a walk to Dei Dei Hot Springs on Fergusson Island, where the people share the mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and mud springs located at the base of an extinct volcano.
Locals still use the hot springs to cook food in palm frond baskets.
In the afternoon, we visit Dobu Island to learn the history of the Kula Ring trade and meet the local primary school children, who will welcome us with a traditional dance performance.
Later, enjoy a snorkel over the bubbling Springs Reef.
Prepare for an unforgettable experience as we discover remote Egum Atoll and enjoy opportunities for snorkelling, scuba diving and glass-bottom boat tours over colourful reef systems.
Visit a village on one of the atoll’s low islands, where the locals will share their creation legends, and stories of the Kula Ring trading, which creates lasting bonds between the clans throughout the islands.
Laughlan Islanders specialise in canoe building, and in this very remote corner of Papua New Guinea, we find seagoing canoes under construction.
The friendly village of Bodaluna welcomes us and shares their way of life. Also part of the Kula Ring, people from these villages may travel long distance by canoe to take part in the trade of precious shell necklaces and armbands.
Later, we may have opportunities for swimming or snorkelling.
This morning we enter the Solomon Islands at the town of Gizo. Wander through the open-air markets which showcase a bounty of tropical fruits and fresh fish, as well as crafts by the legendary wood and stone carvers of the region.
You may choose to scuba dive over Japanese ship wrecks as an optional extra instead of exploring the town of Gizo.
In the afternoon, we cruise past Kennedy Island before enjoying water activities at Njari Reef.
Njari Reef is a merge point for oceanic currents and is said to have one of the highest fish counts in the world.
Today, we visit the marine reserve of the Arnavon Islands, home to the largest rookery of endangered Hawksbill Turtles in the South Pacific Region and supporting some of the healthiest and most diverse coral reefs in the world.
In 1995 the US based Nature Conservancy helped three local communities come together to create the Arnavon Community Marine Conservation area – it was the first protected area to be established within the Solomons and covers over 40,000 acres of land and sea.
Go ashore at Kerihikapa Island with the chance to see turtle hatchlings emerging from their nests.
Later, cruise up picturesque Dart Sound to the remote village of Kia, and be welcomed with traditional dance and singing.
Many of the rangers that work in the Arnavons are from this area.
Marovo Lagoon has been described as one of the world’s natural wonders.
One of the world’s largest double barrier enclosed lagoons, this isolated spot in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands has been proposed for World Heritage listing.
Marovo’s is world-famous for its intensive coral reef ecosystems, the waters teem with tropical fish and boast exceptional dive and snorkelling sites.
Visitors to the local villages can sit down with locals and learn about village life.
Expert Marovo carvers are justifiably famous for the intricate pieces they create from king ebony with inlays of rosewood and mother-of-pearl.
This morning, we visit Mangalonga Island to snorkel and dive on the reef.
Mangalonga Reef has amazing fish life and it is common to see feather stars and colourful anthias.
We may also enjoy a birdwatching walk on the island – some of the often sighted birds include claret-breasted fruit doves.
This afternoon, enjoy a scenic cruise through the island passages to spot shipwrecks.
Located in the eastern tip of Guadalcanal, this an area of turquoise water and verdant tropical islands.
It is also a geographical crossroad, separating Guadalcanal’s calm northern waters from its Tasi Mauri or ‘weather coast’.
Most of the Marau people depend on their natural environment, practising subsistent farming and fishing.
Five marine protected reserves have been established in Marau Sound.
Here, we will hear the panpipes played and water the women perform water music.
Disembark in Honiara this morning at 8:00 am. Post-cruise transfers are available in Honiara at additional cost.
See more options for Great Barrier Reef cruise ship tours.
This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.
Depart 12th October 2020
Arrive 23rd October 2020
Scuba Diving Restrictions
All cancellations must be in writing. Please note that all cancellations will incur an administration fee. Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.