snorkeling tour; Solomon Islands; South Pacific; live-aboard yacht;

Snorkeling in the Solomon Islands

A magical underwater realm awaits us as we snorkel the crystal-clear waters of the Solomon Islands from aboard a comfortable live-aboard yacht.

Photo by Ethan Daniels

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Solomon Islands Snorkeling Expedition

Exploring the Wonders of the Coral Triangle
Repertory Trip: No Future Dates Set

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: TBA  
Length: 11 days
Arrive: Honiara, Solomon Islands
Depart: Honiara, Solomon Islands
Lodging: 10 nights aboard chartered yacht
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Snorkeling, Small Boat & Yacht Cruising
Trip Level: Snorkeling, jungle hikes, village visits


  • Amazing habitats, stunning geology, pristine jungles, protected coral gardens
  • World-class snorkeling adventures each day, optional hikes
  • Travel on a comfortable live-aboard ship with air-conditioned cabins

All facets of this trip were exceptional, especially Ethan and Lee. They're great, and together they're fantastic.Nellda R.—Lakeland, FL

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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.


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.

Repertory Trip

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered every two to five years.  Future dates have not been set for this trip, but you can see the “Itinerary at a Glance” and the “Full Detailed Itinerary” below (there may be small changes to the itinerary for the future departures, and prices will be finalized closer to departure). Contact us to receive early notification of the trip dates. These special trips fill very quickly once the exact dates are set!

This incredible snorkeling expedition brings you to the translucent waters of the Solomon Islands, with their amazing coral reefs alive with brilliantly-hued fish, dazzling aquamarine lagoons, and volcanic jungle-clad islands populated by people who maintain a subsistence agricultural and fishing lifestyle unchanged for hundreds of years. With an Expert Trip Leader to unlock the secrets of this incredible underwater realm, you'll delight in at least two and sometimes three snorkeling excursions a day, complemented by intriguing cultural experiences with village visits and jungle hikes on uninhabited islands. Back on board our comfortable live-aboard ship, you'll enjoy fascinating presentations each evening on such topics as the Coral Triangle, habitat diversity, and the ecosystems of coral reefs and their conservation. Join us for this unparalleled expedition to an undiscovered gem of the South Pacific!

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Honiara, Solomon Islands / Russell Islands

After arriving in Honiara and embarking on our vessel, we cruise to the Russell Islands for snorkeling excursions over sloping coral gardens and barrier reefs where adult reef fish such as sweetlips and surgeonfish and larger predators like groupers and sharks can be found. We also explore the Leru Cut, an incredible underwater crevice at the edge of the Russell Islands.

Days 4-7
Mary Island / East Russell Islands

At remote, jungle-clad Mary Island, lying west of the Russell Islands, we snorkel among thousands of colorful damselfish, anthias, and surgeonfish­—a chance to see the “schooling fish” phenomenon. We will also have the opportunity to visit pristine jungles on the uninhabited islands to see and experience these environments in the Solomon Islands. Heading to the East Russell Islands, we examine corals, including unqiue formations called “micro-atolls,” and a variety of fish including exquisitely colored wrasses, which reside exclusively in this habitat. We also visit a traditional village and watch island life in its truest form, snorkel on a forgotten WWII patrol boat base, and snorkel among mangroves, a very important tropical coastal reef habitat.

Days 8-11
Florida Islands (Nggela)

In the Florida Islands group (Nggela), with its amazing protected coral gardens along the convoluted coastline, we find giant clams, ancient coral colonies, and a multitude of fish including juvenile sweetlips and parrotfish. One of our snorkel sites may find us among the largest of rays, the manta ray, and we also drift snorkel at several locations and visit an island village. At several sheltered bays we see a large diversity of juvenile fish, especially cardinal fish and dragonets. Topside, the Florida Islands have some of the most stunning geology in the Solomon Islands: towering cliffs plunge deep into the surrounding water and create a maze of waterways and bays. We arrive back in Honiara on Day 11 and fly home (you may wish to extend your adventure at a beach resort in Fiji, the international gateway to the Solomon Islands).

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 3, Moderate. Because the primary focus of the trip is snorkeling, we require that trip members know how to swim, and we strongly recommend you bring your own good quality, well-fitted equipment with you, including mask, snorkel, and fins. Try out your gear in a swimming pool before you go to make sure that it works for you and is comfortable. There is ample time for both scheduled snorkels and free snorkeling, and for the most part the water time is “at your own pace.” We will have a “refresher” snorkel in calm waters at the beginning of the trip, and there will be several drift snorkels (with some current) during the trip. We usually have two to three snorkeling adventures each day, and we also have shore excursions on various islands with optional hikes. Our landings will be via Zodiac and right onto the beaches; snorkeling is also done via the Zodiacs, which have ladders to aid in getting on and off. Keep in mind that on any trip of this nature, it is impossible to predict what the weather will have in store and activities often vary with each day.

Explanation of Trip Levels

Our Solomon Islands Live-Aboard Yacht

Solomon Islands

Our live-aboard ship is a large, steel hulled 125-foot-long vessel designed for cruising the South Pacific seas in total comfort. Ten air-conditioned, wood-paneled cabins offer a double bed with a single bunk above and feature private bathrooms with showers. Common areas include two dining areas, both indoor and outdoor, and ample sundecks that offer a variety of places to relax and take in the views. The ship is usually reserved for diving trips, but we have chartered this excellent vessel for our special snorkeling expedition.

Power throughout the ship is 240 V 50 cycle, using Australian-style 3-prong outlets. There are also plenty of American-style 110 V 60 cycle outlets for charging cameras. These outlets are only for charging purposes so if you intend to use hairdryers, shavers, etc. you will need to bring adapters.

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Ethan Daniels

Ethan Daniels came by his interest in marine biology and conservation during the summers of his youth in Cape Cod, and earned his MSc studying the behavioral ecology of reef fish at the University of Guam Marine Lab. Finding a home away from home in the tropical paradise of Palau, Ethan worked there as a biologist, dive instructor, photographer and Trip Leader for close to a decade, also guiding for film crews including National Geographic, Disney, and the Discovery Channel. Globe-hopping, Ethan joined the US Antarctic Marine Living Resources program for a research project in a completely different region, Antarctica, studying zooplankton in the Southern Ocean. Ethan has been the exceptionally popular leader of our snorkeling and kayaking journeys in Raja Ampat, the Mergui Archipelago, the Solomon Islands, the Dominican Republic, and Palau, and the expert lecturer for four WT eclipse programs. A remarkable teacher, Ethan shares his incredible level of expertise with ease—traveling with him is like being on the most awesome field trip imaginable! “Snorkeling in the Coral Triangle gives one the feeling of flying above a forest of colorful and bizarre life, all competing to survive,” Ethan says, “and in the Silver Bank, the experience of being in the water with North Atlantic humpback whales, one of the largest animals on Earth, goes beyond anything I have ever encountered underwater— above all, the sensation of whale song rippling through my bones." Ethan is author of several books, including Under Cape Cod Waters (published by Union Park Press), Coral Triangle Seascapes (published by Asian Geographic), and a co-author of Palau: Dive Sites, History, and Culture. His award-winning photography and natural history articles can be found regularly in periodicals such as Sport Diver, Scuba Diving, and Ocean Geographic. When Ethan comes up for air, he makes his home in northern California.

Upcoming Trips:

Snorkeling with the Humpbacks of the Silver Bank, March 19-26, 2016
Snorkeling with the Humpbacks of the Silver Bank, March 11-18, 2017

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Client Testimonials:

Ethan shared his scientific knowledge generously, and also shared an excellent photographic postcard of the journey. Linda L., San Antonio, TX
Snorkeling with the Humpbacks of the Silver Bank
Ethan is amazing! A great trip leader, very knowledgeable, energetic, and strove to make sure everyone was getting the experience they wanted. Kevin F., Arlington, VA
Snorkeling with the Humpbacks of the Silver Bank
What a great trip leader Ethan is! Not only does he know tons about the area, the fish, the coral, and the geology, he's a delight to be around. Lyn S., Las Vegas, NV
Raja Ampat: The Waigeo Islands
Ethan's evening slide shows were fascinating, his photos of coral and fish were spectacular, and he can and did speak to the myriad of environmental issues with tremendous sensitivity and a clear love for the area. Carol M., Lafayette, CA
Raja Ampat: The Misool Islands
Ethan was excellent! So informed, helpful, tactful, and humorous. He is uniquely talented as a trip leader. Michael K., Roanoke, VA
Raja Ampat: The Misool Islands
Ethan's knowledge of marine biology is formidable and his enthusiasm to share that information was a delight. Patrick T., Danville, CA
Raja Ampat: The Waigeo Islands
Ethan's enthusiasm is infectious, and his knowledge vast. He personifies the ideal trip leader. Rachel M., Arroyo Seco, NM
Raja Ampat: The Misool Islands
Superlatives are not enough to describe him. Tom B., Lexington, SC
Raja Ampat: The Misool Islands
Ethan was terrific in all ways, a quintessential leader—mellow, respectful,solicitous, knowledgeable, and fun. Judith P., Concord, MA
Raja Ampat: The Misool Islands
Ethan's knowledge of the area was over the top and his willingness to share was incredible. I hope you can clone him. Tom F., Sarasota, FL
Raja Ampat: The Waigeo Islands
Ethan was great: incredibly knowledgeable about the marine life and natural history of the region, a really expert free diver, a tireless teacher, a sympathetic coach. Thomas L., San Francisco, CA
Raja Ampat: The Waigeo Islands
Ethan was a very special and wonderful leader. His knowledge made the trip outstanding. Mary T., San Francisco CA
Kayaking and Snorkeling in Burma
Ethan was essential to the enjoyment and learning experience when we were looking at the multitude of marine life. Carol B., San Francisco CA
Kayaking and Snorkeling in Burma.
Ethan Daniels is superb. I would travel with him anytime. His knowledge, enthusiasm energy, and professionalism are tops of any trip leader I’ve traveled with. Cory S., Portland, OR Ethan Daniels is without a doubt one of the very best Trip Leaders we have had the pleasure of being with. Rud and Mary Ellen B.
Bloomfield Hills, MI
Ethan introduced me to wonder of the reefs then brought it all to life with is intense knowledge of the area. Clair H., Austin TX
Raja Ampat Snorkeling Expedition
Ethan's enthusiasm was amazing, as was his knowledge and his personality was warm and easy going. He's the best! Nellda R., Lakeland FL
Raja Ampat Snorkeling Expedition
Ethan Daniels was awesome. Extremely knowledgeable, kind, patient, and fun. David D., Chicago IL
Raja Ampat Snorkeling Expedition
Ethan makes learning fun! Seriously, my head is bursting with new knowledge and I can't believe I had such a good time. Cheryl O., Santa Fe, NM
Snorkeling the Misool Archipelago
Ethan is a terrific leader, very knowledgeable, professional, likeable. Vicki O., Boulder CO
Raja Ampat
Ethan’s evening lectures were great. He always explained very carefully what each snorkel would be like. Vicki G., Oakland Ca
Raja Ampat

Client Comments

All facets of this trip were exceptional, especially Ethan and Lee. They're great, and together they're fantastic. Nellda R., Lakeland, FL This was a great trip! Our guides were excellent and beyond helpful. I learned so much and would recommend this trip to anyone who is a beginner or an advanced snorkeler. Sally S., Delafield, WI
Definitely a unique experience for an avid snorkeler. I saw things that you only expect to see in pictures and on nature specials. Chris L., San Mateo, CA