Solomon Islands Discovery Cruises

Solomon Islands Discovery Cruises (SIDC) offers a dedicated, small ship adventure cruise programme designed to highlight two of the South Pacific’s truly unspoiled and culturally-rich regions – the Florida and Russell Islands archipelagos.

Operating ex-Honiara, SIDC has employed the 30-metre MV Taka to operate 7 night cruises, with local experts offering insight into the areas unique culture, history and environment plus the opportunity to experience the amazing underwater world.

Guests will have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in both region’s distinctive cultures, land and sea scapes. 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 WWII history giving passengers insight into the infamous Guadalcanal campaign in 1942 via the many wrecked US and Japanese aircraft, warships and relics which literally litter the seabed.

 

MV Taka

The 30 metre MV Taka liveaboard vessel accommodates up to 30 guests in 12 onboard cabins. She offers plenty of space for lounging, sunbathing and socialising. Watch a movie with friends, or read a book in a comfortable lounge chair in the roomy air-conditioned salon and dining area. Lay back and watch the islands go or find an intimate space to enjoy an evening cocktail under the stars on the large covered sundeck and huge observation deck fitted with lounge chairs and hammocks.

The friendly, attentive 12-person crew including a trip director, skipper, boat crew, wait staff and chefs are there to help turn your adventure cruise into the trip of a lifetime. A stay onboard MV Taka includes all meals, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. The menu has been designed to showcase the best of local and international cuisine. Fresh, local and abundant are the key themes in of the galley.

MV Taka Cabins and Suites

Taka features 6 upper deck cabins all with ensuite facilities and 6 lower deck cabins with shared bathrooms. All cabins are fully air conditioned and come with reading lights, towels, bedding and charging stations.  Hair dryers are available on request.

Master Suite (Cabin 2)

The Master Suite is the largest cabin and comes with air conditioning, a double bed, private sitting area, lots of storage and a full ensuite bathroom.

Deluxe Cabin (Cabins 1, 3, 4, 5, 6)

These spacious rooms feature a double bed with a twin bunk above. Each cabin has air conditioning, a small seating area, ample storage and a full ensuite bathroom.

Lower Deck Standard Cabin (Cabins 9A, 9B, 10A, 10B)

These comfortable air-conditioned rooms each have two twin bunks and a storage cabinet. Five shared bathrooms equipped with toilet, sink and shower are located on the nearby mid deck.

Lower Deck Quad Cabins (Cabins 8, 11)

Two air-conditioned lower deck cabins are also available on a quad share basis. They’re served by nearby shared bathrooms on the mid deck, all equipped with toilet, sink and shower.

8 Days 7 Nights MV Taka Discovery Cruise

Tours depart Honiara and include the following:

– Return Honiara airport/hotel transfers  to and from MV Taka on embarkation/disembarkation day

– 7 nights accommodation on board

– All on-board meals, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages

– All tour activities and excursions

– Use of sporting equipment including stand up paddleboards and snorkelling gear

– Services of expert local guides

– Opportunity to scuba dive including an introductory dive with fully qualified instructors

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to the Solomon Islands! On arrival, you’ll be greeted by the crew for your transfer to the MV Taka. Begin with a visit to a local resort where you can grab a drink or two and have a cooling dip in the pool before driving through Honiara. Once on board your home- away-from-home, you’ll enjoy a gourmet dinner with your fellow guests before relaxing on board as we steam overnight to the Florida Islands.

Day 2: After breakfast,visit Gavutu Wharf, which has a small reef, abundant marine life and a tiny WW2 wreck – a great spot for snorkeling. If you’re keen, this is the spot to learn scuba-diving. Next,  head to the former capital of Tulagi for a historical tour and a refreshing beer. Cruising north to the tiny island of Kovahika, take a guided snorkel along the coastline to check out the reef, turtles and coral gardens, or just enjoy relaxing on the pristine beach. Then it’s back to Taka for dinner and sunset cocktails.

Day 3: Visit the village of Olevuga for a sample of daily life. Meet a local schoolteacher and her pupils. In the afternoon, snorkel Maravagi and Devil’s Highway. If the conditions are just right, you may even get to swim with manta rays. Explore the warm shallow waters and photograph giant clams, cuttlefish and anemones. As evening draws in, enjoy a BBQ feast on the roof of the boat as you admire the stunning scenery.

Day 4: After an overnight steam from the Florida’s, arrive at White Beach in the Russell Islands. Explore the old WW2 wreckage in the shallows on either a stand up paddleboard, or with your dive/snorkel gear. See if you can find an old WW2 Coca Cola bottle! After lunch, the vessel makes a quick trip to the stunning Hanasivi Beach. Sunbathe on this pristine island beach, or swim in the secluded crystal-clear waters. In the late afternoon, sample a cocktail or beer while relaxing in tranquil, ankle-deep water. Before dinner, the chefs will be topping up supplies at the back-deck market as the villagers arrive in their canoes with produce grown especially for you. Come watch the negotiations and maybe pick out a papaya or fresh coconut for an afternoon snack.

Day 5: Today begins with a snorkel through the majestic underwater gardens of Karamulon Reef, followed by a visit to a local village, hosted by our friend Chief Raymond. Watch a traditional dance, with a special appearance by a bamboo band, then splash around in canoes with the local kids. After lunch, cruise to beautiful Mane Island, and along the way, watch dolphins play on the bow. On arrival at Mane, drop in for a snorkel or dive.

Day 6: Wake for a sunrise paddleboard trip across the turquoise waters of Mane. After a hearty breakfast, snorkel or dive the reef and explore the beautiful Mirror Pond, which is encircled by rainforest. As you glide through the crystal clear waters, encounter huge schools of fish on the outer reef wall. In the afternoon swim, dive and explore the remarkable Mane Bay, where rainforest meets reef. This is a truly breath-taking spot. An evening croc-spotting adventure rounds off this fun-packed day.

Day 7: Rise and get ready to explore the island’s famous crevasse, known as Leru Cut. Snorkel through the stunning inlet, teeming with anemones and fish, and surrounded by rainforest and shimmering sun-dappled sand. This unforgettable moment is always one of the trip’s major highlights. Then spend the afternoon on the gorgeous beach at Loun Island. Ride a sea biscuit, or just relax on the sand with a cold beer or glass of wine.

Day 8: Arrive back in Honiara in the morning for an early departure from the boat. There is time before your flight for an optional tour to explore Honiara and also the American War Memorial, to take in the stunning views.

Following a final stop at a local coffee shop, it’s time to bid these incredible islands a fond farewell, until next time.

* SIDC wish to ensure you experience the best of what the Solomon Islands has to offer. As such, itineraries are customised to ensure you experience the best of everything with the weather conditions available. The above is a sample of what you might expect on a 7 night cruise, which may be altered with conditions, visibility and guest safety in mind. Weather depending, this itinerary may also be offered in reverse.

For departure dates, availability or to book your cruise, please contact Island Adventures

Activities on a MV Taka Discovery Cruise

Diving and Snorkelling

Experience a free discovery dive with a fully qualified PADI dive instructor. This is an opportunity to try scuba diving for those whom have never dived before. These one-off guided shallow dives are offered daily, and led by dive instructors. To sign up for a PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience, you must be at least 10 years old. No prior experience with scuba diving is necessary, but you need to be in reasonable physical health. Certified divers are offered dives at various locations throughout the trip. The diving is simply the best in the world, so don’t forget your certification card. Snorkelling gear is provided, and guided tours of the pristine underwater environment are offered each day. When filling in your booking form, don’t forget to mark down your fin size.

Fishing

The crew can help you trail a line behind the boat as MV Taka steams along, in the hope of catching a nice tuna or wahoo for your evening meal. Hand lines and fishing rods are both freely available.

Watersports

Stand up paddleboards are available onboard and can be used at every location. Inflatable sea biscuit are also available for fun rides during most of the beach stops.

The Vessel

MV Taka

The 30 metre MV Taka liveaboard vessel accommodates up to 30 guests in 12 onboard cabins. She offers plenty of space for lounging, sunbathing and socialising. Watch a movie with friends, or read a book in a comfortable lounge chair in the roomy air-conditioned salon and dining area. Lay back and watch the islands go or find an intimate space to enjoy an evening cocktail under the stars on the large covered sundeck and huge observation deck fitted with lounge chairs and hammocks.

The friendly, attentive 12-person crew including a trip director, skipper, boat crew, wait staff and chefs are there to help turn your adventure cruise into the trip of a lifetime. A stay onboard MV Taka includes all meals, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. The menu has been designed to showcase the best of local and international cuisine. Fresh, local and abundant are the key themes in of the galley.

Cabins

MV Taka Cabins and Suites

Taka features 6 upper deck cabins all with ensuite facilities and 6 lower deck cabins with shared bathrooms. All cabins are fully air conditioned and come with reading lights, towels, bedding and charging stations.  Hair dryers are available on request.

Master Suite (Cabin 2)

The Master Suite is the largest cabin and comes with air conditioning, a double bed, private sitting area, lots of storage and a full ensuite bathroom.

Deluxe Cabin (Cabins 1, 3, 4, 5, 6)

These spacious rooms feature a double bed with a twin bunk above. Each cabin has air conditioning, a small seating area, ample storage and a full ensuite bathroom.

Lower Deck Standard Cabin (Cabins 9A, 9B, 10A, 10B)

These comfortable air-conditioned rooms each have two twin bunks and a storage cabinet. Five shared bathrooms equipped with toilet, sink and shower are located on the nearby mid deck.

Lower Deck Quad Cabins (Cabins 8, 11)

Two air-conditioned lower deck cabins are also available on a quad share basis. They’re served by nearby shared bathrooms on the mid deck, all equipped with toilet, sink and shower.

Itineraries

8 Days 7 Nights MV Taka Discovery Cruise

Tours depart Honiara and include the following:

– Return Honiara airport/hotel transfers  to and from MV Taka on embarkation/disembarkation day

– 7 nights accommodation on board

– All on-board meals, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages

– All tour activities and excursions

– Use of sporting equipment including stand up paddleboards and snorkelling gear

– Services of expert local guides

– Opportunity to scuba dive including an introductory dive with fully qualified instructors

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to the Solomon Islands! On arrival, you’ll be greeted by the crew for your transfer to the MV Taka. Begin with a visit to a local resort where you can grab a drink or two and have a cooling dip in the pool before driving through Honiara. Once on board your home- away-from-home, you’ll enjoy a gourmet dinner with your fellow guests before relaxing on board as we steam overnight to the Florida Islands.

Day 2: After breakfast,visit Gavutu Wharf, which has a small reef, abundant marine life and a tiny WW2 wreck – a great spot for snorkeling. If you’re keen, this is the spot to learn scuba-diving. Next,  head to the former capital of Tulagi for a historical tour and a refreshing beer. Cruising north to the tiny island of Kovahika, take a guided snorkel along the coastline to check out the reef, turtles and coral gardens, or just enjoy relaxing on the pristine beach. Then it’s back to Taka for dinner and sunset cocktails.

Day 3: Visit the village of Olevuga for a sample of daily life. Meet a local schoolteacher and her pupils. In the afternoon, snorkel Maravagi and Devil’s Highway. If the conditions are just right, you may even get to swim with manta rays. Explore the warm shallow waters and photograph giant clams, cuttlefish and anemones. As evening draws in, enjoy a BBQ feast on the roof of the boat as you admire the stunning scenery.

Day 4: After an overnight steam from the Florida’s, arrive at White Beach in the Russell Islands. Explore the old WW2 wreckage in the shallows on either a stand up paddleboard, or with your dive/snorkel gear. See if you can find an old WW2 Coca Cola bottle! After lunch, the vessel makes a quick trip to the stunning Hanasivi Beach. Sunbathe on this pristine island beach, or swim in the secluded crystal-clear waters. In the late afternoon, sample a cocktail or beer while relaxing in tranquil, ankle-deep water. Before dinner, the chefs will be topping up supplies at the back-deck market as the villagers arrive in their canoes with produce grown especially for you. Come watch the negotiations and maybe pick out a papaya or fresh coconut for an afternoon snack.

Day 5: Today begins with a snorkel through the majestic underwater gardens of Karamulon Reef, followed by a visit to a local village, hosted by our friend Chief Raymond. Watch a traditional dance, with a special appearance by a bamboo band, then splash around in canoes with the local kids. After lunch, cruise to beautiful Mane Island, and along the way, watch dolphins play on the bow. On arrival at Mane, drop in for a snorkel or dive.

Day 6: Wake for a sunrise paddleboard trip across the turquoise waters of Mane. After a hearty breakfast, snorkel or dive the reef and explore the beautiful Mirror Pond, which is encircled by rainforest. As you glide through the crystal clear waters, encounter huge schools of fish on the outer reef wall. In the afternoon swim, dive and explore the remarkable Mane Bay, where rainforest meets reef. This is a truly breath-taking spot. An evening croc-spotting adventure rounds off this fun-packed day.

Day 7: Rise and get ready to explore the island’s famous crevasse, known as Leru Cut. Snorkel through the stunning inlet, teeming with anemones and fish, and surrounded by rainforest and shimmering sun-dappled sand. This unforgettable moment is always one of the trip’s major highlights. Then spend the afternoon on the gorgeous beach at Loun Island. Ride a sea biscuit, or just relax on the sand with a cold beer or glass of wine.

Day 8: Arrive back in Honiara in the morning for an early departure from the boat. There is time before your flight for an optional tour to explore Honiara and also the American War Memorial, to take in the stunning views.

Following a final stop at a local coffee shop, it’s time to bid these incredible islands a fond farewell, until next time.

* SIDC wish to ensure you experience the best of what the Solomon Islands has to offer. As such, itineraries are customised to ensure you experience the best of everything with the weather conditions available. The above is a sample of what you might expect on a 7 night cruise, which may be altered with conditions, visibility and guest safety in mind. Weather depending, this itinerary may also be offered in reverse.

For departure dates, availability or to book your cruise, please contact Island Adventures

Activities

Activities on a MV Taka Discovery Cruise

Diving and Snorkelling

Experience a free discovery dive with a fully qualified PADI dive instructor. This is an opportunity to try scuba diving for those whom have never dived before. These one-off guided shallow dives are offered daily, and led by dive instructors. To sign up for a PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience, you must be at least 10 years old. No prior experience with scuba diving is necessary, but you need to be in reasonable physical health. Certified divers are offered dives at various locations throughout the trip. The diving is simply the best in the world, so don’t forget your certification card. Snorkelling gear is provided, and guided tours of the pristine underwater environment are offered each day. When filling in your booking form, don’t forget to mark down your fin size.

Fishing

The crew can help you trail a line behind the boat as MV Taka steams along, in the hope of catching a nice tuna or wahoo for your evening meal. Hand lines and fishing rods are both freely available.

Watersports

Stand up paddleboards are available onboard and can be used at every location. Inflatable sea biscuit are also available for fun rides during most of the beach stops.