“From the tumultuous 400 year history of the Spice Islands to the traditional 40,000 year old cultures of Melanesia, this voyage of discovery will inspire even the most discerning of travellers” comments PONANT Expedition Team leader Mick Fogg.
Departing Manado (Indonesia) late November 2015 onboard the modern luxury expedition ship Le Soleal, this inaugural 14 night itinerary features destinations and cultural experiences specially selected to reveal the uniqueness of this fascinating and varied region.
Explore the Moluccas and Raja Ampat in the centre of the marine bio-epicentre known as the Coral Triangle. Here Le Soleal’s fleet of Zodiacs will transport you to swim and snorkel in pristine waters that 550 coral reef species and 3000 species of fish call home. Farther on, the northern coast of Papua and PNG, with a rare glimpse into a Sepik River village where life continues unchanged much as it has for decades, if not centuries. Unhurried, undeveloped and unspoilt.
Tufi, with its deep water passages, soaring volcanic cliffs and rich jungle, provides another rare cultural opportunity to mix with villagers, where you may ask yourself “what century is this?”. Be prepared for the sight of colourful costumes featuring feathers and shells and rhythmic traditional dancing as you are escorted to meet the local tribes.
And then on to Kennedy Island, one of more than 900 Solomon Islands, and the story of PT109 (as in Lieutenant J F Kennedy), followed by the islands of Nggela, located in a setting akin to a film set, where vast trees overhang an idyllic sandy beach and beautiful village. Locals wear white face paint, grass skirts and big smiles. Here the music will stop you in your tracks. Vibrant, energetic. The mood is upbeat. A surprise awaits on the beach ….
This voyage is designated a ‘Green Expedition’, highly recommended by the Expedition Team for its range of remote and rarely visited destinations, where guests gain an insight into their history, culture and biology making for a greater understanding and appreciation of their unique nature.
Voyage overview: 14 night voyage departing Manado, Indonesia, 25 November 2015 onboard the 240 guest luxury expedition cruise ship Le Soleal – one of PONANT’s ships comprising the youngest fleet of expedition ships in the world. Explore remote island locations across Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Itinerary includes Ternate, Raja Ampat, Mapia and Jayapura in Indonesia/Papua; the Sepik River, Tufi and Samarai Island in Papua New Guinea; Kennedy and Nggela islands in the Solomons. Disembark in Guadalcanal.
Source = PONANT