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This exciting tropical expedition on board Le Jacques-Cartier takes you through some of the most fascinating natural beauty and cultures of Melanesia.
Set sail from Cairns and head northward to reach Samarai Island. This small, verdant dot of land lying off the south-eastern tip of New Guinea, in the heart of the strait linking the Solomon and Coral seas, invites you for an unexpected interlude featuring idyllic landscapes and exceptional heritage.
Sail up to Alotau in Papua New Guinea's Milne Bay Province, and learn about the historical significance of the area with the WWII memorial as well as Japanese and American battlegrounds, and stories of pearlers, miners and missionaries.
The two volcanically active islands of Ferguson and Dobu are next on your itinerary. Join your expedition team on a walk to the DeiDei geothermal hot springs through spectacular forests and learn about the Methodist Church of Australia that established a mission station on Dobu Island.
Your call at Tufi will be one of the highlights of your voyage. Dubbed the Scandinavia of the Tropics, you will undoubtedly fall under the charm of this picturesque region, with its deep 'fjords' known locally as 'rias', which were formed through volcanic activity. In this unique setting, local Papuan tribes will share their customs, beliefs and artwork with you.
In the heart of the Solomon Sea, you will discover the splendid turquoise waters and white-sand beaches of the uninhabited islands of the Lusancay archipelago. These spectacular, picture-postcard islands provide the opportunity to swim and snorkel over coral reefs teeming with life. Learn about the traditional 'Kula' trading system on the island of Kiriwina, as well as local village life through their spectacular cultural performances.
In the Solomon Islands, Ghizo and Njari islands are where you will meet some of the most skilled carvers in the world, enjoy world-class snorkelling and diving, and visit the local traditional markets.
In Roderick Bay, experience the extraordinary environment featuring white-sand beaches and fringing coral reefs before reaching the Malaita Province. As well as learning about its unique local traditions and social aspects of life such as 'bride price', you will experience their traditional music and sacred dances accompanied by traditional panpipers.
Your expedition will finish in the capital of the Solomon Islands, Honiara, where Le Jacques-Cartier will be positioned alongside the wharf of Point Cruise.