Remote South Pacific Voyage | Papua New Guinea, Solomons & Vanuatu

Melansia covers some of the most beautiful and exotic areas of the Pacific Ocean - scattered with absolute gems of remote islands, rainforests, birds of paradise & spectacular coral reefs. A small ship expedition cruise is the ideal way to explore: an all-providing Mother Ship from which to make remote beach landings by RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat); navigate through virgin rainforest leaning across a coastal river mouth; drop in to turquoise waters for a snorkel; or visit a welcoming fishing community.

This voyage will transport you to remote Pacific Islands of Papua New Guinea, the Solomons and Vanuatu. By virtue of isolation, people living here retain a strong connection to their ancient cultures; so don't be surprised when you are met with elaborately costumed islanders inviting you to share in their time-honoured traditions. You will also experience some dramatic and remote tropical coastlines, with volcanoes draped in luxuriant rainforest. Along its fringes, we find some of the world's best preserved coral reefs; and deep within, wildlife and endemic birds whose home ranges are limited to isolated sections of sea this 17-day voyage will cover.

Here are some of the many places this expedition cruise aims to reach:

Louisiade Archipelago - spans 400 kilometres along the northern edge of the Coral Sea. It would be impossible to explore this huge area of remote and scattered islands on anything other than an expedition ship or yacht. Here you will be able to snorkel on barrier reefs which very few people ever visit; sometimes in the company of manta rays and in one location the wreck of a World War 2 Japanese Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero fighter plane.

The tropical rainforest on these islands is sufficiently large and remote to be home to several endemic species. This includes five species of bird, five endemic frogs and types of Pandanus, Diospyros and Hopea trees only found here.

D'Entrecasteaux Islands - this area of actively volcanic islands is situated closer to the shores of Papua New Guinea far southeastern 'mainland'. The highest peak is Mount Vineuo (also known as Mount Oiautukekea 2,536m / 8,320 ft) on Goodenough Island. Geothermal activity creates hot springs of mud pools on land; and in the sea provides the opportunity to "swim in champagne" where hot springs from the sea bed send bubbles towards the surface. There is lots of marine life and coral reef to tour here too.

Trobriand Islands - is a 450 km2 archipelago of coral atolls in the Solomon Sea, north from d'Entrecasteaux. These much flatter islands provide a great opportunity to immerse in the traditions and culture of islanders through their celebratory dances. There are yet more fine coral reefs here and stunning tropical white sand beaches.

Woodlark Island - lies further out into the Solomon Sea. The island holds a diverse ecosystem with over 40 of PNG's endemic species found, including the endangered Woodlark Cuscus. It is also home to one of the largest and most profitable gold mines in the world.

Bougainville Island - lies east of the country's mainland, consisting of two main islands and several remote outlying islands that offer a blend of rugged jungle terrain as well as vibrant coral reefs. Total land area is 3,600 square miles (9,300 km2) with Mount Babi marking its high point at 2,715 m (8,907 ft). The island has deep ties with the Solomon Islands.

New Georgian Islands - are known for their volcanic origin, extensive reefs, lush terrain and numerous rivers. They are also home to the rare Roviana Rail and other unique species of birds. In terms of marine life, you will have the opportunity to enjoy its prolific fish life and snorkel around the sunken US Navy Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat.

Nissan Island - has been uninhabited for around 150 years. It is a ring of land clad in rainforest, housing a huge saltwater lagoon within; and surrounded by coral fringed shores. Home to various conservation projects, this can be a good place to see turtles, including the endangered leatherback which nest on its beaches. Dugongs are also found here, as well as skinks and unique Tetepare White-eye birds.

Malaita - is in the Solomon Islands where around a third of its population resides. Rainforest covers areas of mountains which reach 1,300 metres (4,275 ft), with rivers running through its many valleys. The island has a long history of European colonisation, but retains a rich culture and provides the opportunity to experience the Kwaio people's way of life.

Makira - in the Solomon Islands also goes by the name of San Cristobal. It is home to several endemic and rare bird species including the Makira Boobook, San Cristobal Dwarf Kingfisher, Makira Honeyeater, Makira Starling and Makira Flycatcher. There are also two species of endmic fig here; and a potentially new species of giant rat. Villagers in parts of Makira have maintained their way of life for generations. 

Nendo - is another Solomon Island situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire. Earthquakes are frequent. The island holds historical significance as the site of a failed Spanish colonisation attempt in 1595 made by Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira. Biologically, these islands have more in common with Vanuatu, with an endemic species called the Santa Cruz (or Nendo) Shrikebill. Notably, Nendö is home to red feather money, crafted from feathers of the Scarlet Honeyeater. 

Torres Islands - of Vanuartu consist of seven islands surrounded by white sandy beaches, crystal-clear coral coated waters, volcanic rocks, and jungle-coated cliffs.

Espiritu Santo - is the largest of Vanuatu islands. Rich in history and culture as well as crystal clear waters and beautiful white sand beaches, including Champagne Beach in the north of the island. 

Ambrym - island in Vanuatu is shaped like a witch's hat, which befits its reputation as the island of volcanoes and magic. Its summit is dominated by a desert-like caldera, but there is lots of forest on this island, offering excellent walks to discover an array of wildlife including the Vanuatu megapode, Red-bellied doves and Vanuatu white-eye.


Enquire / Book 30 Oct - 15 Nov 2024 - from £ 8,990

Prices per person sharing:
Main deck triple £8,990
Superior triple £9,590
Deck 4 Superior twin / double £10,550
Deck 5 Superior twin / double £11,290
Main deck single £14,290
Superior single £14,590
W Suite £14,590|
H Suite £19,790

Voyage starts Cairns, Australia
Voyage ends   Port Vila, Vanuatu

Price includes
Discovery fund
One night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast)
Pre-voyage flight Cairns to Port Moresby
Post cruise transfers
All on board ship accommodation with meals, house beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner and all shore excursions and activities.
Programme of lectures by noted naturalists

Not included
International flights
Kayaking, birding
Items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities.
Visas, extensions and travel insurance.

  • sepik-river-png-rib-cruise.jpg
  • Rudland Cardinal Lory - Solomon Islands
  • Tribal Masks in Papua New Guinea
  • Exploring Upriver
  • Forested Mountain in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

  • Blyth's Hornbill
  • Palm-Lorikeet-Solomon-Islands.jpg
  • Stepping ashore for a rainforest hike
  • Snorkelling in Melanesia
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