Faces of Melanesia

Faces of Melanesia
November 17, 2016
17 Days
Aboard the Caledonian Sky
100 Guests
From $13,980
Faces of Melanesia

Expedition Highlights

  • Visit idyllic islands and isolated villages to witness, time-honored traditions and ceremonies including hypnotic drumming, melodic bamboo panpipes, and elaborately-costumed dancers.
  • Snorkel or dive over pristine coral reefs populated by a variety of tropical fish—neon damsels, clownfish, Moorish idols, butterflyfish, delicate seahorses, and brilliantly hued wrasses.
  • Search for striking endemic birds, including the Solomon Island sea eagle, buff-headed coucal, and Melanesian megapode, amidst the lush, tropical vegetation.
  • Join an optional pre-voyage extension to discover the fascinating cultures of Papua New Guinea.

The staff was outstanding and quite knowledgable, and the remote villages we visited were so unique! 

Connie F.

Expedition Team

Caledonian Sky

The all-suite, 100-guest Caledonian Sky is a spacious, yet intimate, expedition vessel. Refurbished in 2012, her beautifully designed public spaces include a single-seating dining room, a large lounge with piano, elegant bar, enclosed panoramic viewing deck, sun deck, library, and small gym. All suites have an ocean view and feature a sitting room, en suite bathroom, flat screen television, spacious wardrobes, and dressing table. The Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs, available for accessing remote shorelines and islands and is equipped to offer scuba diving.

Additional Exploration

Karawari, Papua New Guinea
Pre-voyage extension:
Papua New Guinea
November 11November 20, 2016
From $6,480

From spectacular lowland rainforests on the coastal plains to 15,000-foot-high peaks, Papua New Guinea is rightly called “the land of the unexpected.” The lush green canopy of the tropical rainforest is home to 38 species of the ornately plumaged bird of paradise and over 2,700 species of orchids. Explore the fascinating culture and villages along the Karawari River, and the spectacular flora, fauna, and unique culture of the highlands from our lodge perched high on Mount Kuta.

Gear Up!

  • HydroSkin Paddling & Snorkeling Gloves
HydroSkin Paddling & Snorkeling Gloves

Even snorkelers need protection from the occasional sharp “stingy things” in tropical waters—these HydroSkin® gloves offer a comfortable, flexible fit and enhance the feel of your underwater camera, making it a snap to photograph the neon damsels, clownfish, and delicate seahorses of Melanesia. Back home, they’re an unbeatable cold-weather glove, as well.

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Beyond the Destination

  • Shirley Campbell, sampling kava

    Kava - The Elixir of Choice

    June 2, 2015

    It is an interesting fact that most human cultures have cultivated and used some kind of stimulant or narcotic. The relationship between psychoactive substances and human consumption stretches back as far as is traceable.

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    Traditional Kula Outrigger Canoe

    The Trobriand Islands and the Art of Kula

    June 2, 2015

    “The islands of love,” as they were known by whalers visiting the Trobriand Islands in the mid-19th century, experienced the worst of Western civilization in their very first encounters! The Trobriand Islands were a favored port of call for reprovisioning ships because of their fairly relaxed view on sexual activity.

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    The Megapodes of Tsoi Lik, Papua New Guinea

    June 4, 2014

    The island and people of Tsoi Lik have always held a special place in the hearts of Zegrahm’s cofounders and travelers.

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  • Santa Ana Island

    Faces of Melanesia 2013 Field Report

    May 10, 2013

    Monday, March 25, 2013 - En Route / Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: We all converged on the city of Port Moresby from distant reaches of the planet for the same reason: to embark on an expedition to experience the culture, wildlife, and landscapes of Melanesia.

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    Huli Men, Tari Gap, New Guinea Highlands

    Trip Report: Papua New Guinea Extension

    January 18, 2011

    Leaving the posh comfort of the Clipper Odyssey behind, our intrepid group struck inland into the great interior of Papua New Guinea; an area that has still been only partially explored by outsiders since its high valleys and ancient populations were first happened-upon in the middle of the last century.

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    Yasawa Islands, Melanesia

    On Location in Melanesia: More Expedition Stops, Please!

    November 22, 2010

    The brochure text for our day simply stated ‘Expedition Stop in Fiji.’ A seemingly ambiguous description that made no promises beyond a day spent within the country’s isles. Little did I know that this term is the key, it is what turns a cruise into an expedition and travelers into explorers.

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  • Ambrym Island

    On Location: The Black Magic of Ambrym

    February 12, 2010

    On our New Zealand to New Guinea expedition, our stop at Ambrym Island prepares the stage for our cultural and discovery experiences to follow in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

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    Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

    On Location: Melanesia’s Colorful Islands Offer Exuberant Hospitality and Incredible Natural Wonders

    May 6, 2008

    Our visits this past week to Rano Island, Vanuatu, and Utupua and Santa Ana in the Solomon Islands were truly memorable, both for the incredible array of colorful sights, and for the warmth of our welcome by the villagers. Here are some brief excerpts from emails we’ve received from our staff on our Faces of Melanesia voyage:

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    Trobriand Islands, Melanesia

    The Best of Melanesia and Micronesia

    October 20, 2003

    When asked to name my favorite part of the world, I invariably single out the islands of Melanesia and Micronesia. These archipelagos, spread across a vast span of the western tropical Pacific, captivated me in the early 1980s when I first encountered them during a voyage aboard the Explorer.

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