Micronesia: Journey to Paradise

Koror, Palau, to Honiara, Solomon Islands aboard the Silver Discoverer

Micronesia: Journey to Paradise route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $12,150  
Length: 15 days
Arrive: Koror, Palau
Depart: Honiara, Solomon Islands
Lodging: 14 nights aboard 120-passenger expedition vessel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore, including house wine, beer or soft drinks with lunch and dinner onboard
Activity: Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level: 15-day expedition cruise, cultural explorations, walking tours, snorkeling, diving
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Highlights

  • Snorkel and dive in Indo-Pacific lagoons—including Truk, one of the top 10 diving sites in the world—for a mesmerizing underwater show
  • Immerse yourself in a vibrant culture endured by story-telling and the “Love Dance"
  • Explore the seldom-visited island of Satawal, best-known for its master navigators and old-time canoes
  • Enjoy a history lesson while strolling through National Historical Landmark and ruined city of Nan Madol and its 100-islets view

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

The islands at the western end of the Pacific are some of the most idyllic on Earth—lush, tropical Edens with a dazzling diversity of cultural and natural landscapes. In Micronesia, each of its four states offers its own distinctive culture and rich traditions, yet share common cultural bonds including the importance of the clan system and a traditional lifestyle centered on gardens, reefs, and ocean ancestors. On our fascinating voyage, an arc across the Pacific from Koror to the Solomon Islands, we have plenty of opportunities to discover these astonishing cultures, while we experience Oceania’s astonishing biodiversity both above and beneath the warm tropical seas.

Itinerary

Days 1-2
Koror, Palau / Ngulu Atoll, Yap, Federated States of Micronesia

Arrive in Kotor, embark on the Silver Discoverer, and cruise toward Yap, arriving at the beautiful coral reef of Ngulu Atoll on Day 2. We are welcomed with open arms as the chief of the island greets us and local dancers put on an unforgettable performance. We snorkel or dive in the natural lagoon filled with indigenous tropical fish like the iridescent blue-green reef chromis. Don’t forget to look for black-napped tern and red-footed booby seabirds.

Day 3
Sorol Island, Yap, Federated States of Micronesia

We savor nature at its best as we swim, snorkel, dive, and birdwatch in the Caroline Islands. Explore the relics of a Japanese fishing boat that sunk here in a 1970s typhoon, make friends with the fairy terns of the island, and snorkel with dazzling sweetlips and hump head wrass.

Day 4
At Sea

Help our birders spot some of the seabirds found far away from their nesting grounds, enjoy a lecture or an interesting book, or just relax in comfort.

Day 5
Satawal, Yap, Federated States of Micronesia

Satawal, "The Island of Navigators," is known for its early canoes and traditional navigational techniques. In fact, the best-known Satawal master navigator, Mau Piailug, served as a teacher to the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s founding members. We are greeted by the children of this magnificent breadfruit tree island and enjoy an introduction to banana and hibiscus fiber preparations for weaving. Our walking tour immerses us in the island’s art, from abstract designs to animal wood carvings. Sing, dance, snorkel and don’t be surprised if you’re invited to a friendly local’s hut!

Day 6
Pulap Island, Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia

We visit the three main villages of the island including Pollap Atoll, Tamatam, and Fanadik for a unique cultural experience. Besides the beautiful and peaceful setting, it’s our chance to immerse ourselves in local culture as we meet the village chiefs and enjoy a traditional welcome performance. We will learn more about navigation techniques and what it takes to live and survive on such an isolated and remote atoll. Explore the lagoon’s underwater world with a handmade canoe. To finish the day off right, join the cheerful locals in the "Love Dance."

Day 7
Truk Lagoon, Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia

Truk Lagoon, also known as Chuuk Lagoon, is a little over 1,100 miles northeast of New Guinea. This coral atoll is still in its formation stages, so many basalt islands remain above the lagoon’s surface. Outside the protective reef, there are more than 30 coral sand islands. Truk is considered one of the top 10 diving sites in the world; we can also explore the 50-foot-deep wreckage of a sunken Japanese battleship, believed to house the remains of fighter aircraft, bulldozers, and motorcycles.

Day 8
Oroluk Lagoon, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Keep an eye out for spinner dolphins as we approach Oroluk Island, the only one to have survived the cyclones through the years (more than 25 sandy islets have been wiped out over time). We’ll wade ashore knee-deep to meet the whole population of the island—about a dozen or so! Take a stroll along the beach to look for nesting seabirds, including black noddies, Micronesian starlings, and white-tailed tropicbirds. Swim, snorkel, and dive for your very own underwater show where marine life takes center stage.

Day 9
Kolonia, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Ponape (or Pohnpei) is a volcanic island whose quarries produced natural prismatic columns used to construct the ancient kingdoms at Nan Madol. Explore the ruins of Nan Madol and its crisscross canals leading to some of the 100 man-made islets. With the help of our friendly anthropologist, we’ll learn the history of the kingdom and its rise and fall.

Day 10
Nukuoro Atoll, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Nukuoro is one of the most stunning islets in the South Pacific, with a population of less than 500. The island is completely remote with no airstrip, just occasional boats sailing by every few months. On our tour through the greenery and past taro patches, we discover where and how copra is prepared and where taro, bananas, and breadfruit are grown. You can also explore Nukuoro on your own and interact with the friendly locals. Divers and snorkelers alike may see a hawksbill turtle, schools of barracuda, moray eels, and many cowrie shells.

Day 11
Kapingamarangi, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

You’re in for a treat when you visit Kapingamarangi, the most southerly atoll of the country and of the Caroline Islands. Kapingamaringi consists of over 33 wooded islets on the east and mostly submerged underwater on the west side of the lagoon. Using our Zodiacs we will cross the five-nautical-mile lagoon to visit the small community of islanders. We’ll have the chance to visit locals’ homes, try fresh coconut milk, and munch on the orange pandanus fruit. The islanders are renowned for their woodcarving skills and you have the opportunity to pick up a rare souvenir that will remind you of our explorations of this very remote part of the world. The crystal-clear waters are all yours to enjoy, so swim and snorkel to your heart's content as you watch the handmade sailing canoes carrying dried pandanus leaves used for mat-weaving.

Day 12
At Sea

Join the lectures and hear fascinating tales of adventure and learn more about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Our knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields.

Day 13
Kennedy Island, Solomon Islands

Kennedy Island (colloquially known as Plum Pudding Island, though the correct local name is Kasolo Island) was named after John F. Kennedy. The island is known as the area where Lt. John F. Kennedy aided his injured crew after his boat, the PT-109, was rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri in World War II.

Day 14
Lumalihe Island, Morovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands

James A. Michener once described Marovo Lagoon as the eighth wonder of the world. One of the world's largest double-barrier-reef enclosed lagoons, this isolated spot has been proposed for UNESCO World Heritage listing. Marovo is famous for its extensive coral reef ecosystems, teeming tropical fish, and exceptional dive sites. Just as fabulous is the snorkeling—feather stars and nudibranches, vase sponges and gorgonian fans, lion fish and octopus, morays and pygmy manta rays are all part of this truly remarkable marine environment. Birders can look for osprey, Brahmany kite, and kingfisher, while hikers might venture into the forests on one of the many islands of the Marovo Lagoon.

Day 15
Honiara, Solomon Islands

Arriving in Honiara, we disembark the Silver Discoverer and fly home.

Note: This cruise is not an exclusive Wilderness Travel departure. The itinerary, lecturers, and other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the ship operator.

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 1, Easiest, and is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active. Zodiac landing crafts are used to explore the coastline and transport passengers ashore for walks to scenic nature areas and local towns and tribal villages. There are also ample opportunities for swimming and snorkeling. Some agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures

2014
Oct 6-20, 2014
2015
Feb 21-Mar 10, 2015
*A number of similar itineraries are available in this region. Please call for more information.

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

CategoriesCruise Price
Explorer Suite - waitlist* $9,850
View Suite $11,050
Vista Suite $16,550
Veranda Suite $19,850
Medallion Suite - waitlist* $24,250

Prices are for 2015

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

CategoriesCruise Price
Explorer Suite - waitlist* $12,150
View Suite $13,550
Vista Suite $20,250
Veranda Suite $24,350
Medallion Suite - waitlist* $29,750

Deck Plan

Cabin Descriptions

All suites feature butler service, champagne on request, refrigerator and bar setup stocked with your preferences, European bath amenities, luxury Pratesi bed linen and down duvet covers, premium mattresses, iPod docking station, plush robe and slippers, umbrella, hairdryer, WiFi internet access (fees apply), flat-screen television with on-demand movies, music and satellite news programming and daily suite service with evening turndown.

Medallion Suite
Expertly designed and exquisitely appointed, the Medallion Suite is Silver Discoverer's most spacious with overall size of 408 sq. ft. (including Veranda 27 sq. ft.). The ideal suite for entertaining friends or enjoying quiet time alone on your private veranda.

Veranda Suite
Stylish, sophisticated and welcoming, Veranda Suites are a favourite of returning Silversea guests. The private veranda surrounds you with panoramic views. Each suite has an overall size of 280 sq. ft. (including Veranda 35.5 sq. ft.), and several Veranda Suites can accommodate three guests.

Vista Suite
A quiet sanctuary. Enough living space to roam and relax. Two large view windows provide ocean views (partially obstructed). Each suite has an overall size of 269 sq. ft.

View Suite
The perfect backdrop for breakfast in bed. Even guests who plan to spend only sleeping hours in their suite will appreciate the distinctive touches of this cosy Silversea accommodation. Each suite has a view window and overall size of 181 sq. ft.

Explorer Suites
With preferred midship location and as spacious as a View Suite, enjoy the passing scenery through two porthole windows. Each suite has an overall size of 186 sq. ft.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Suite accommodations aboard the Silver Discoverer
  • All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore, including house wine, beer or soft drinks with lunch and dinner onboard
  • Complimentary beverages aboard ship (including select wines, champagnes, and spirits)
  • Shore excursions as noted
  • Services of the expedition staff
  • Shipboard entertainment
  • Gratuities aboard ship (except spa)

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

Airfare, pre- and post-cruise hotel accommodations, luggage handling, arrival and departure transfers (unless purchasing airfare package), immigration fees, fuel surcharges, laundry or valet services, purchases from the ship boutiques or any item or service of a personal nature such as medical care, massages, spa treatments, hair styling, and manicures. Some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes, and cigars are not included in your fare and may not be available at all times.

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: 25%
130 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

More than 121 days prior to departure: $200 per person
121-91 days prior to departure: 15% of cruise cost
90–46 days prior to departure: 50% of cruise cost
45–31 days prior to departure: 75% of cruise cost
30 days or less prior to departure: 100% of cruise cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Silver Discoverer

The small size and shallow draft of the 120-guest Silver Discoverer grants close-up access to rugged coasts well beyond the reach of ordinary vessels. A fleet of Zodiacs allows exploration from the water or remote landings anywhere nature or curiosity dictate. While on board, every creature comfort awaits: an ocean-view suite, in-suite bar, and the head-to-toe pampering of a butler; panoramic lounges and open bar where fellow travelers gather to swap tales about their day’s adventures; and imaginative cuisine. Additional amenities include a sun-catching pool deck, an internet café, a fitness center, and a beauty and massage center—particularly inviting after an adventurous day ashore. Members of an outstanding Expedition Team, composed of experts in the culture, history, and wildlife of the destinations, present informal talks, guide Zodiac outings, and lead small-group explorations ashore.