It was a unique snorkelling experience for passengers on board The Spirit of Enderby as it sailed through the pristine waters of the South Pacific in October last year.
Expedition leader, Aaron Russ, along with a local guide and expert, would set out early each morning to scout for the best spots, which the snorkelers would reach by zodiac or kayak later that day.
“This is true wilderness snorkelling”, Aaron said, “There have been no snorkelling guide books written for this part of the world”.
Each site was unique taking snorkelers into the unchartered waters off Bipi, Kavieng, and Duke of York Island in Papua New Guinea, as well as Nissan and Arawa in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Spectacular snorkelling sites were also discovered in Choiseul, Kolombangara and Kerihikapa in the Solomon Islands.
With perfect visibility and benign currents, the snorkelers enjoyed bath-warm waters in the spectacular coral reefs. Among the species spotted were Groper, Puffer Fish hosting cleaner wrasse, Blue Starfish, Butterfly Cod or Lionfish, Crown of Thorns starfish, Spider Crayfish, the Nudibracht, Pipefish, the rare Yellow Trumpet fish, giant clams and black tip reef sharks, as well as a myriad of stunning tropical fish and several types of coral.
They were part of a group of travellers on a two-week Melanesia Discover expedition from Heritage Expeditions. The New Zealand-based company, which bases its itineraries on conservation principles, takes intrepid travellers on seas less travelled.
For Heritage Expeditions, snorkelling is not just a fun water sport. Their on-board expert provided passengers with fascinating lectures on Melanesian sea-life, showing snorkelers how to identify the many endemic and sometimes rare species in the region’s unspoilt reefs.
The Spirit of Enderby will be returning to the pristine waters of the South Pacific this October for two voyages, Melanesia Discoverer – sailing from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and Secrets of Melanesia which explores the outlying islands of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Prices start from $6595 USD per person (triple share).
See the best of the South Pacific! Explore the remote tropical islands of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
• Combine this year's Melanesia Discoverer with Secrets of Melanesia and receive 20% off Secrets of Melanesia. Book now - berths are limited! (Valid for new bookings only)
• Or alternatively, book Secrets of Melanesia before the 1st August 2014 and receive a $US 500 flight credit.(Valid for new bookings only)