Off the Beaten Path in PeruAlpamayo Circuit TrekView Trip Details

17 Days$11995USD

  • 15 days expedition cruising, optional kayaking
  • 1 night hotel
  • 15 nights aboard Heritage Adventurer
  • 16 Dinners
  • 14 Lunches
  • 16 Breakfasts
Discovery and Cruising

Trip highlights

  • Discover the beauty of the Solomon Islands archipelago
  • Experience traditional Melanesian culture and unique time honoured traditions and dances
  • Wonder at the flora and fauna and spectacular endemic birdlife
  • Snorkel in the pristine waters and coral reefs
  • Cruise the idyllic islands and explore isolated villages

Sail into a world that few have experienced; idyllic islands and isolated villages where unique time honoured traditions and elaborately costumed dancers welcome us into their world. Sail from Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, to discover the beauty of Melanesia. Delve into the culturally rich Trobriand Islands, sometimes called the 'Islands of Love' where indigenous culture continues unchanged for countless generations. Explore the coral-fringed islands of the Louisiade Archipelago and the volcanic wonders of the D'Entrecasteaux Islands. Experience the biological wonderland and rare endemic species on remote Woodlark Island and spend a fascinating day exploring Bougainville Island. Enjoy incredible cultural encounters on Loh Island, join Malaita's Kwaio people in a sacred dance and observe the ancient Rom Dance on Ambrym Island. Discover one of the conservation jewels of the South Pacific on Tetepare Island and snorkel Marovo Lagoon - the largest saltwater lagoon in the world. Malaita is culturally rich and the traditional currency, shell money, is still made on the island and is used for dowries, and worn as a status symbol. Experience a kaleidoscope of cultures as we explore Vanuatu, where more than 100 indigenous languages are spoken. With over 80 habitable islands, islanders have closely guarded their own cultures and languages.

Trip Code: HSS

Arrive in the urban tropical paradise of Cairns, gateway to natural wonders the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest, and transfer to your hotel where our group will spend the first night of the expedition. This evening meet your fellow voyagers and expedition guides over dinner at the hotel.

Meals:  D

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before boarding your flight to Port Moresby, the bustling gateway and capital of Papua New Guinea where village and urban life exist side-by-side. Enjoy a visit to the National Museum and Arts Center, exhibiting one of the finest collections of primitive art in the world before boarding Heritage Adventurer this afternoon. The captain and expedition team will be waiting to greet you on arrival and show you to your cabin. You will have time to settle in and familiarise yourself with the ship; we will also take the opportunity to introduce your expedition team and our voyage plans.

Meals:  B,D

After a morning at sea we arrive during the early afternoon in the Louisiade Archipelago which stretches some 400 kilometres along the northern rim of the Coral Sea and is one of the great island arcs of the South Pacific. Rarely visited by outsiders, this area is a wonderland of literally hundreds of islands, lagoons and extensive barrier reefs and home to the seafaring Dobu people. With two days set aside for exploration there will be opportunities to snorkel, perhaps encounter the Manta Rays that are known to frequent these waters at recognised feeding stations or find a Japanese A6M2 Zero, the main fighter plane of the Imperial Japanese Navy, sitting intact in the shallows. Tagula Island is the largest in the archipelago and where we will focus our attention during the second day in the archipelago, a goldrush in 1889 brought the island to the world’s attention but today it is the rich tropical forest and endemic wildlife which we will seek including the Tagula Honeyeater and Butcherbird plus endemic frogs and lizards.

Meals:  B,L,D

Awake this morning in the volcanic island chain of D’Entrecasteaux Islands. One highlight will be exploring the island’s geothermal area with hot springs and bubbling mud pools surrounded by lush vegetation. Nearby we snorkel among thousands of colourful coral and fish attracted by underwater hot springs flowing through small vents in the ocean floor which send bubbles towards the surface. Described as like “swimming in champagne” the water is incredibly clear and the marine life is renowned for its abundance and the spectacular sizes the coral grows to. We also plan to visit Dobu Island, this small island is a critical link in the Kula Ring which was famously investigated and described by the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski.

Meals:  B,L,D

Positioned in the Solomon Sea and historically known as the ‘Islands of Love’, the Trobriands offer a glimpse of traditional culture largely unspoilt by outside influence. During our visit we will enjoy picture postcard white sand beaches, colourful villages, aquamarine water and enchanting marine life. Meet the Trobriand islanders and experience energetic, time-honoured dances that celebrate fishing and the seasonal yam harvest. Learn about the history of the ‘Kula Ring’, a circular pattern of ceremonial trade relationships that bind the islands of Milne Bay and eastern Papua New Guinea together in a long-established network of friendship. These islanders are also renowned for the exquisite quality of their ebony wood-carvings, often decorated with mother-of-pearl shell inlays. We take to the water and snorkel among kaleidoscopic coral reefs populated by Parrotfish, Neon Damsels and other brilliantly-hued species.

Meals:  B,L,D

Blessed with both biological and mineral treasure troves and more than 2,000 years of human culture, Papua New Guinea’s remote outpost Woodlark Island and its people are caught up in the push and pull of conservation versus mining. Its local community remains one of the few self-sufficient, subsistence-based populations in the world while its flora and fauna, left to evolve in seclusion on this unique rainforest island, include more than 40 species found nowhere else on Earth, with scientists predicting many more still awaiting discovery. Recent discoveries include a new species of frog and lizard. At loggerheads with this Woodlark has also been deemed one of the largest and most profitable gold mine developments of recent years. During our time here we plan to enjoy village visits and look for some of the island’s unique wildlife including the IUCN Red List endangered Woodlark Cuscus, endemic lizards, plants, amphibians and insects, and perhaps even discover new species.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we discover the treasures of Bougainville, long isolated and in a strange way protected due to the conflict which swirled around its shores. High on many travellers’ wish lists, this autonomous region within Papua New Guinea magnificently marries rugged, jungled terrain with amazing coral reefs offshore and is home to some of the greatest biodiversity in the region both above and below the water. Lying to the east of the country’s mainland and north of the Solomon Islands, it comprises two main islands and several outlying islands and atolls making it both remote and hard to reach, but perfect for exploration by expedition ship. Discover Bougainville’s strong ties and connections with the Solomon Islands, which is reflected in their music, culture and language.

Meals:  B,L,D

The volcanic New Georgia Islands are found in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands and are characterised by extensive reefs and lagoons, rugged terrain and an abundance of rivers. Nature enthusiasts will relish landing on Kolombangara Island, where we plan to visit the Imbu Rano Eco Lodge and Conservation Area which protects the islands central peak and search for the rare Roviana Rail along with other endemic bird species. Snorkel the wreck of a US NAVY Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat (carrier version) WWII plane off a nearby tiny island where the surrounding reefs are home to some of the highest fish counts in the world. Stock up on the local currency to purchase the wood or stone carvings the people of the Western Province are so famous for.

Meals:  B,L,D

Uninhabited for 150 years, this rugged island cloaked in rainforest and fringed with coral reefs is home to one of the Solomon Islands’ leading community-driven conservation projects Tetepare Descendants’ Association. Receiving international recognition for its conservation and archaeological significance, three species of turtle, including the endangered leatherback, nest on its beaches while other species inhabiting the island and surrounding waters include dugong, the world’s largest skink, endemic Tetepare White-eye and many more. A highlight of our voyage, this afternoon we plan to explore and snorkel Marovo Lagoon – the largest saltwater lagoon in the world. Breath-catching both above and below the water, Marovo features a unique, double-barrier reef surrounding the extinct volcanoes of the main central islands and lightfilled cave systems teeming with marine life. Globally outstanding marine biodiversity, coral reefs, estuarine and island complexes, mangrove forests, and sea grass beds await exploration.

Meals:  B,L,D

Mountainous Malaita is home to one-third of the Solomon’s total population and features pristine rivers and unexploited tropical forests. This morning we plan to explore the clear and calm waters that surround the island. In the afternoon we have been invited by the world-renowned Kwaio People, led by Chief Esau, to discover their traditional way of life which the community have fiercely guarded alongside their ancestral lands. This invitation represents a rare privilege and is made possible by our ongoing connection with the community and our assistance with the development of innovative community conservation programs. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend time in the company of some of the most authentic, yet innovative, communities in the region.

Meals:  B,L,D

Makira is the most easterly of the main islands in the Solomon’s archipelago. This morning we anchor in the calm waters of Star Harbour. Join the naturalists for a Zodiac exploration of the abundant mangrove forests that line the shores, and take a short walk to Makira’s south coast where the villagers live much as they have for millennia. We spend time with the locals, who share with us their traditional song and dance. If we are lucky, the local boys might be surfing on their hand-carved palm wood boards.

Meals:  B,L,D

Nendö is the largest of the Santa Cruz Islands, which lie to the south-east of the Solomon Islands. The Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira unsuccessfully attempted to establish a colony in 1595. Biologically these islands share more in common with Vanuatu. It is also the home of red feather money, sourced from the Scarlet Honeyeater. Watch the manufacture of red feather money, and join the locals in dances which reverberate through the ages.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we sail to the rarely-visited pacific paradise and culturally rich Torres Islands, Vanuatu’s northernmost islands. A collection of four main islets fringed with white sand beaches, clear azure waters, volcanic rock and cliffs topped with lush tangled jungles our destination is Loh Island. After a warrior escort and welcome from the Chief we will experience the thrilling and rarely witnessed cultural wonder of the leh-temet – vibrant ritual headdresses known as temet (primordial spirits) used during special singing and dancing ceremonial rituals. The colourful headdresses are regarded by the villagers as having the highest of supernatural powers and are destroyed immediately at the end of the dance ceremony. We will then have time to enjoy tours of the village, surrounding island or snorkel Loh’s incredible underwater world.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we explore Vanuatu’s largest Island, Santo; location of James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific. Indulge in a swim in the crystalline waters of Champagne Beach with its famed powdery white sand. This afternoon we will enjoy Zodiac cruises to the iconic blue holes of Santo. For those with an interest in the history of the island, there is a visit to Luganville and Million Dollar Point.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will visit Ambrym, renowned as the island of volcanoes and magic throughout Vanuatu. We plan to head ashore at Ranon on the northern coast where the traditional Rom dance is still practised and custom carving is alive and well. A walk through the forest brings us to the ‘arena’ where masked dancers emerge from the forest. The forests of Ambrym offer some excellent walks to go in search of the local birds and plants, accompanied by our naturalists. This afternoon enjoy a final snorkel excursion.

Meals:  B,L,D

Arrive into Port Vila this morning and disembark. Upon disembarking a transfer to your central city hotel or the airport will conclude your voyage. To allow time for disembarkation procedures we do not recommend booking flights from Port Vila before midday.

Meals:  B


  • 1 night hotel in Cairns, Australia including breakfast
  • Flight from Cairns to Port Moresby on day 2 in economy class
  • All meals onboard the ship
  • Comfortable cabin accommodation on the voyage
  • All shore excursions as outlined in itinerary
  • Services of specialist expedition leaders and staff
  • All activities while on cruise including lectures, slide and film shows, snorkeling equipment
  • Medical services (there is a resident medical officer and infirmary on board)
  • Arrival transfer to ship
  • Departure transfer to the airport or hotel
  • Mandatory Landing Fees

  • International flights
  • Bottled water, aerated and alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc
  • Tips
  • Airport and departure taxes
  • Visa
  • Travel Insurance
  • Optional Kayaking and Birding (additional fees apply)


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Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Superior TripleUSD$12850
  • Superior Deck 4USD$13995
  • Superior Deck 5USD$14995
  • Worsley SuiteUSD$19250
  • Heritage SuiteUSD$26000
  • Birding optionUSD$500
  • Kayaking optionUSD$1450
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Secrets of Melanesia trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

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Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

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Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

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