Heralding a long-awaited return to dedicated Solomon Islands small-ship cruise programs, newly formed Solomon Islands Discovery Cruises (SIDC) has announced its plans to operate six adventure itineraries in 2018 and 2019.
Operating out of Honiara and timed to dovetail with Solomon Airlines’ Brisbane-Honiara services, SIDC has employed the 30-meter/98-foot MV Taka to operate the six- and seven-day cruises, each of which have been designed to highlight two of the South Pacific’s truly unspoiled and culturally rich regions — the Florida and Russell Islands archipelagos.
Passengers will have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in both regions’ distinctive cultures and environments.
The cruise itineraries feature visits to remote villages along with plentiful opportunity to discover the region’s amazing coral pastures and abundant marine life with daily dive and snorkel options.
Both areas are also rich in World War II history, giving passengers insight into the infamous Guadalcanal campaign in 1942 via the many wrecked U.S. and Japanese aircraft, warships and relics which litter the seabed.
Congratulating SIDC on its initiative, Tourism Solomons CEO Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto said the very nature of the Solomon Islands archipelago of 992 islands lends itself to dedicated small ship adventure itineraries:
“Lindblad Expeditions left a big hole when it decided to redeploy its small ship operation to the Galapagos two years ago. And while we regularly welcome Expedition Cruises’ vessels, these itineraries are always in conjunction with other destinations, such as Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, and passengers only get a very small taste of what we have to offer.
"Having a dedicated niche adventure cruise program, operated by a local company with local experts and one that offers insight into our unique culture, history and environment plus the opportunity to experience our amazing underwater world is a huge build on our existing tourism product. Add to this the amazing benefits our local people will accrue from this environmentally oriented program are immeasurable. This product is long overdue and one that I see as being highly successful going forward.”
Prices for the inaugural seven-day/six-night cruise — beginning on August 24th — lead in at AUD2499 (~US$1835/~1594 Euros) per person in quad-share accommodation inclusive of all meals and all activities.
A daily per person AUD30.00 (~$22/~19 Euros) “kastom” fee applies. Scuba diving gear is available to rent.
For more info, go to sidcruises.com.au