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This amazing journey gives you the very best of the Solomon Islands diving. You will experience the Florida Islands, Russell Islands, Mary Island and the incredible Marovo Lagoon. We will begin our expedition with a westward cruise out of Honiara. One of our first stops in the Russells' will be the iconic Leru Cut and Mirror Pond. Here you have the opportunity to dive among cuts and caverns and explore the beauty of these amazing volcanic islands.
10 Nights / 36 Dives. WWII Wrecks, walls, cuts, caverns, coral, intense fish - this trip has it all.
This amazing journey gives you the very best of the Solomon Islands diving. You will experience the Florida Islands, Russell Islands, Mary Island and the incredible Marovo Lagoon.
We will begin our expedition with a westward cruise out of Honiara. One of our first stops in the Russells' will be the iconic Leru Cut and Mirror Pond. Here you have the opportunity to dive among cuts and caverns and explore the beauty of these amazing volcanic islands. We continue west to Marovo Lagoon, the world's finest double-barrier lagoon and a World Heritage Site. Known for the some of the world's most biodiverse and healthy reefs, Marovo offers diving among coral gardens and along sheer walls. We loop back to Mary Island, properly known as Mborokua. which is notable for an underwater point that commonly hosts schools of barracuda and jacks. Occasionally divers are lucky enough to hear the rumbling of a nearby underwater volcano, Kavachi. We may spend a bit more time at the Russell islands before we finish our adventure in the Florida Islands with an exploration of Mbike and Sandfly Passage. The currents here mean manta ray sightings are possible. Tulagi, the main port, is also historically significant as a WWII base offers diving among WWII wrecks and artifacts.
Along the way, we stop at some of the smaller islands where you can enjoy some time on the beach or visit remote local villages. Come shop for produce for our meals or check out the local carvings. You might even be able to catch a game of football with the local village children!
Weather depending, this itinerary may also be offered in reverse
Day 1: Join the cruise in Honiara. Air travelers can reach Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands, via Fiji or Australia. Once we have your flight details, we will organize a pick up from the airport or the hotel of your choice.
As the sun sets, you’ll board Taka to begin your epic diving adventure. Meet the crew, mingle with guests and settle into your cabin as you cruise northward overnight to the magnificent Russell Islands, the first stop on your dive odyssey.
Day 2: We begin our diving at the Russell Islands, often starting at White Beach, home to a major American supply base during WWII. At the end of the war, an artificial reef was created by dumping trucks, jeeps, tractors, bulldozers and large amounts of ammunition.
From here we travel to Mane Island and the world famous Mirror Pond. Descend into this cavern and surface in the mangrove forest. Or if you prefer, spend your time cruising along a beautiful wall covered in fans and coral hunting for pygmy seahorse. We'll continue our exploration of Mane Island with a dive or two on the north-east point where the currents bring in the pelagics. On the reef we find oriental sweetlips, clown triggerfish and bumphead parrot fish.
Day 3: We wake up in the morning at beautiful Marovo Lagoon to experience diving in this double barrier reef. In what is said to be the largest salt-water lagoon in the world, life revolves around its waters and swimming is as normal as walking – so from the earliest age Marovians learn about the inhabitants of the lagoon. Reef sharks are found at a number of sites and rather than being feared, they are regarded almost like dogs in that their behavior is generally docile and non-threatening. They are a critical part of the eco system here and each sighting is a celebration of life.
Day 4: Today, we will continue our exploration of Marovo Lagoon with a village visit at Peava, which is known throughout the Solomons for beautiful carvings. At the dive sites, listen for the rumble of Kavachi - an underwater volcano - that has been particularly active this year. We can often hear and feel the cracking and booming of explosions in the distance. Marovo Lagoon offers so many diving opportunities, it is not unusual for us to spend a day simply exploring. We find new sites every trip and are constantly adding to our itinerary.
Day 5: We head eastward again to Mary Island, properly known as Mborokua, notable for an underwater point that commonly hosts schools of barracuda and jacks. Explore the cuts and caverns behind Jack Point or the coral gardens right below the boat. Conditions allowing, we open the dive deck so you can spend the day choosing your dives.
Day 6 & 7: We'll continue our journey back towards the Russell Islands to Ta Island where we begin our day along the wall. We are greeted by white and black tip reef sharks starting their day pacing along the wall. White spotted eagle rays can also be found heading out to deep water. Later in the day, we will dive Custom Caves and Leru Cut. These volcanic caverns provide amazing photography opportunities as the sun beams through the rocks. Lobster, eels are rays can often be found inside the caverns while the entrance is covered in soft corals and fans.
During our trip, we will organize at least one village to meet the local families and see how Solomon Islanders live. The children come out to play and love our gifts of school supplies. Check out our Pack for a Purpose program to see how you can help. This is a great opportunity to pick up a local carving or go for a beach walk.
Day 8 & 9: We are heading directly east to the Florida Islands where we begin our day of diving at near Tulaghi. WWII wrecks and artifacts can be found at these dive sites. We continue our travels to Twin Tunnels where you can explore one or both of the two large tunnels which drill vertically into the reef. Exit onto the deep reef wall and watch the action drift by. As you head back up the wall - see if you can identify the 9 different species of anemone fish which call the reef home. We'll end the day with a night dive at Maravagi Village where we often spot octopus and cuttlefish hunting on the reef.
Day 10: Today we continue our circumnavigation of the Florida Islands. We'll stop at Ed's Wall for a dive or two with the sleek unicornfish, barracuda and rainbow runners. Stopping at Tanavula Point, we'll find innumerable variety of corals on this amazingly healthy reef where the attentive diver can spot hundreds of nudibranchs. We'll travel through Sandfly Passage on our final afternoon. The villagers come out to see us as they fish in their outrigger canoes. This is a great afternoon for a picnic on the beach.
Day 11: As the sunrises, we arrive back in Honiara for your morning flights or wherever your travels may take you. We'll miss you on board Taka but we know you will already be planning your next visit back to us.
We want to ensure you experience the best diving available in Solomon Islands. As such, we customize our itinerary each week to ensure you experience the best visibility, water conditions, wildlife, dive sites and weather available. Below is a sample of what you might expect on a 10 night adventure. Specific dive sites are always chosen with conditions, visibility and guest safety in mind. If you have specific dive site/local requests - be sure to let us know and we will do our utmost to include them.
Other useful travel information:
Price: is based on per person sharing in lowest cabin category Lower Deck (Quad share).
Upgrades on cabins: Lower Deck (twin share) add $495, Upper Deck (Deluxe) $1238, Upper Deck (Master Suite) $1733
Single supplement: add 50%
Best time to travel to this destination: Best time would be between May-December (dry season). May is good for Eagle Rays and fish spawning while between June and sep you can see plenty of juvenile grey reef sharks. Scalloped and great hammerhead sharks are common between May and Nov.
What can you expect to see: Solomon Islands is known, not only for its biodiversity, but also the dive site diversity. We have walls, wrecks, bommies, coral gardens, shipwrecks, dumpsites, macro sites, wide angle sites and more.
Water Temperature: Water temperature will be in the 28º C - 30º C (82ºF to 85ºF ) range. Plan your exposure gear appropriately. Many divers find they need a bit more than they expect, only because they are spending so long in the water every day. Our staff wear 5mm full suits but many of our guests find 3mm full suits, shorties or even board shorts plenty warm!
Visibility: Visibility will range from 25 to 40m+, with occasional sites with much better visibility, and yes, you will have dives with visibility less than 75 feet. The Solomon Island waters are very nutrient rich. They support the entire food chain from microscopic creatures to major predators. Because of this, visibility may be less than that of some other world famous dive sites, but for this same reason you will find a multitude of large and small critters to observe and photograph. In some cases visibility may only be 10 or 15 feet, because of all the fish blocking your view!
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