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: Next Offered July 18-28, 2015

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $7295  
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
3

Highlights

  • Expert marine biologist Trip Leaders Lee Goldman and Ethan Daniels
  • 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


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

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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.

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.

Repertory Trip

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered every two to five years.  It will be several years before this journey is offered again. Now is the time to go!

This incredible snorkeling expedition brings us 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. Veteran Trip Leaders and marine biologists Lee Goldman and Ethan Daniels, whose expertise is in the Coral Triangle, team up once again on this unique snorkeling expedition to unlock the secrets of this incredible underwater realm. We’ll enjoy 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, Lee and Ethan will give 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

 

Departures & Leaders

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered only every two to five years. This journey will not be offered again for several years. Now is the Time to Go!

2015
Jul 18-28, 2015

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$7295 (15-18 members)
$7995 (12-14 members)
Single supplement: $1995 very limited availability
more on pricing

Deck Plan

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of 2 Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders and local guides
  • Accommodations aboard the yacht
  • gratuities to boat crew
  • All meals included
  • PFDs (life jackets), and boat safety gear

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare to/from the trip, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, optional gratuities to leaders, additional hotel nights made necessary by airline schedule or other factors, expenses such as immunizations (if any), travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $500
180 days prior to departure: 50%
90 days prior to departure: Balance

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

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $500 per person
91-180 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
90 days or less: 100% of trip cost

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

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.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Ethan Daniels

Departure Dates: July 18-28, 2015

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 ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Lee Goldman

Departure Dates: July 18-28, 2015

Lee Goldman grew up in Philadelphia and got his first taste of the underwater world on a SCUBA trip to Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles. A year after his return from the warm waters of the Caribbean, he left for the Pacific Northwest, where he earned a degree in Marine Biology from Western ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Client Comments

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