Making the most of your time & interest

This expedition offers an in-depth opportunity to discover the rich wildlife of these remote islands and interact with the intriguing, friendly people who live here. Relax on secluded beaches and snorkel above or near some of the world’s finest coral reefs. 

IMPORTANT: Your expedition may be traveling over the International Date Line, so please confirm departure and arrival dates with an Expedition Specialist before booking your flights.


  • DAY 1-3: Depart U.S./Brisbane, Australia

    Depart the U.S. and arrive in Brisbane, Australia, where we check in to our hotel. Join us for a welcome briefing this evening to meet your fellow travelers.

  • DAY 4: Brisbane/Fly to Honiara, Solomon Islands/Embark

    Have breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for a flight to Honiara, a former U.S. supply depot and a strategic WWII battleground. Tour around the outskirts of the city to see sites well known from the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942-43. See the shores of Red Beach and the vital airbase at Henderson Field. Visit the hills above Honiara where some of the fiercest battles took places. Then, embark National Geographic Orion in the late afternoon. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 5: Owaraha Island

    On the tiny isle of Owaraha (formerly known as Santa Ana), we’re greeted with a traditional dance performed by villagers in elaborate costumes, body paint, and masks. Walk across the small island to Nafinotoga to see Spirit Houses containing the skulls and bones of ancient chiefs of the Snake Clan and the Turtle Clan. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 6: At Sea

    Take advantage of a full day at sea to settle into the relaxed pace of life on board. Watch for marine life from the deck, study our route on the navigational charts, and attend talks by our experts. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 7: Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

    Captain James Cook named the islands of Vanuatu the “New Hebrides” because they reminded him of the rugged isles off Scotland’s coast. On the main island of Espiritu Santo, experience one of the best wreck dives in the world: the S.S. President Coolidge, a luxury cruise liner used as a troop carrier during World War II. Alternatively, enjoy a serene canoe paddle to the Riri Blue Hole, a jewel-blue freshwater source surrounded by jungle. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 8: Ambrym

    Ambyrm is known for its active volcanoes, black sand beaches, and mystery and magic. Arrive ashore to witness the striking Rom dance, traditionally a secret event. Involving incredible masks and elaborate outfits that represent spirits, this is a cultural experience specific only to this island. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 9: Lelepa, Vanuatu

    Ride Zodiacs to Lelepa to visit Vanuatu’s first and only UNESCO World Heritage site, the final residence and burial site of 17th-century Chief Roi Mata. Here, we’ll be welcomed with traditional songs and dance, and enter the impressive Fels Cave. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 10: Tanna

    On Tanna Island, visit the friendly community in Port Resolution in the shadow of Mt. Yasur. Experience some of the local traditions and dances, as well as locally made handicrafts. Sample the strong, local kava made for special celebrations. (B,L,D) 

  • DAY 11: At Sea

    Relax on deck as we make our passage from Vanuatu to Fiji or attend talks by our expert expedition and photo teams. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 12: Beqa, Fiji

    More than 300 islands make up the remote volcanic archipelago of Fiji and we will be exploring here for three days. After entering the large lagoon of Beqa, come ashore at the lovely Lawaki Beach Resort, a rustic and beautiful place to spend the day. Take a boat ride and hike through across the island to a local village. Taste local fruits and snorkel off the beach in the beautiful Beqa Lagoon. Beqa is considered the traditional “home” of the Fijian firewalker. Witness this dramatic ceremony and the incredible strength and discipline required to perform it. (B,L,D)

Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

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