Melanesia cruise, history and wildlife cruise
Description of Melanesia cruise, history and wildlife cruise
Join acclaimed author, scientist and explorer Professor Tim Flannery as we sail into a world few ever experience. The 2017 Australian of the Year will join as a special guide as we explore the rich history, cultures and wildlife of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu on this 17-day authentic expedition cruise.
Visit idyllic islands and isolated villages where unique time-honoured traditions and elaborately costumed dancers welcome us into their world. From the culturally rich arterial of the Sepik River we sail across the Bismarck Sea exploring remote shores and villages still living traditional lifestyles, and delve into the history, culture and wildlife of New Ireland and New Britain.
Crossing the Buka Channel at Nissan Island we see reminders of intensive World War II action, then enter a long-isolated world as we are among the first travelers to return to Bougainville in more than two decades. Sailing through the turquoise waters of the Solomon Islands, new vistas and unexpected encounters await.
Discover one of the conservation jewels of the South Pacific on Tetepare Island, while villagers on culturally-rich Malaita Island still make and use traditional Malaitan shell-money as a dowry and wear it as a status symbol. Experience a kaleidoscope of cultures as we explore Vanuatu, where more than 100 indigenous languages are spoken. With over 80 habitable islands, islanders have closely guarded their own cultures and languages. Our expedition embraces some of these cultures and languages, as we explore one of the happiest places on the planet.
For birders, this itinerary offers once-in-a-lifetime species on remote, hard to reach islands. The birding potential is exceptional; highlights may include the Superb Pitta and, endemic to the Solomon Islands the Roviana Rail, Solomon Sea Eagle and Vanuatu's Vanikoro White-eye.
As well as the many treats on land and in the air, passengers can explore what lies beneath the surface of the South Pacific by snorkelling at selected spots in these warm waters. Many battles were fought during WW2, and the wrecked ships have now become stunning reefs, attracting a wealth of rainbow-coloured coral and lively shoals of fish.
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PlanetDuring our long involvement in visiting remote islands (over 35 years) we have been instrumental in developing responsible visitor guidelines, and we are aware of the need to travel with minimal impact on the natural environment, and educate and support our passengers to follow our lead, and respect the needs of different ecosystems.
Many issues confront animals and their habitats, the world's oceans and isolated ethnic groups. We share unique, pristine, and wild place with you, as well as taking action. We aim to provide eco-education for our passengers whilst onboard through on-board lectures and information throughout voyages.
All waste generated on our expeditions is disposed of in a responsible manner. The vessel complies with MARPOL where possible and allowable we practice recycling, otherwise all non-recyclable waste is brought back for disposal at approved sites.
Our goal in managing our vessel is to minimise fuel consumption and emissions with regular servicing and a proactive maintenance programme. We annually clean and antifoul our vessel's hull to reduce the risk of biofouling. When selecting our specialist expedition equipment, we research this carefully to ensure that they are the most suitable and environmentally responsible. Group sizes are kept small to minimize impact and enhance visitor experience.
PeopleDuring our Pacific voyages we visit local Wildlife Management Areas, and use local guides, such as wildlife and dive guides, wherever possible to support the local knowledge-base and economy.
Allowing time for passengers to explore the local markets, waterfront stores and open-air markets ensures local shopkeepers and craftspeople are encouraged to sustain their craft and traditions, as well as create a money flow into the local communities of the islands. We provide opportunities for passengers to meet with villagers and learn about their unique culture and life in remote areas, and encourage respect of local customs and traditions. Where required and able we aim to use local resources and services.
In March 2016, we operated a conservation voyage in partnership with Forest & Bird to the Kermadec Islands where a portion of the voyage's profits go towards Forest & Bird's valuable conservation work. We have also operated a "Cruise for Conservation" to the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands and 5% of the fare is given to a specific conservation cause. The following agencies have benefited: Save the Albatross, Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and Marine Mammal Research Trust. We have also raised money for the Last Ocean Charitable Trust.
Money is raised from the sale of photographs, books and DVD’s onboard to support the reforestation of an area of native New Zealand forest purchased by the company. The company employs a part-time Conservation Officer.
We partner with Enderby Trust to provide Scholarships for young people, who could not otherwise afford to travel, to join expeditions. We also have active membership in a number of conservation and travel organizations.
We have taken a proactive role in research, funding and publishing books on isolated islands. To date the company has published two books, “Straight through from London” a history of the Bounty and Antipodes Islands; and the “Galapagos of the Antarctic – Wild Islands south of New Zealand”.
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