Search entire travel group

Ponant - Revealing the Mysteries of Melanesia - with National Geographic

(11864)
In collaboration with National Geographic Expeditions discover the natural wonders of the Coral Sea in Vanuatu and New Caledonia. From Honiara to Nouméa, set sail aboard Le Soléal on a 12-day expedition cruise into the heart of the South Pacific to discover ancestral tribes and paradisiacal landscapes.
Honiara, Solomon Islands / Noumea, New Caledonia
Cultural
Luxury
Ocean

Highlights

A cruise in collaboration with National Geographic Expeditions offering enrichment with a National Geographic Photographer and an Expert onboard.

Expedition voyage discovering Vanuatu: traditional villages, tropical beaches, coral reefs, active volcanoes.

Discover the arts and traditions of Kanak culture, the tribes of the "Big Nambas" on the island of Malekula and the famous Rom dance of the Ambrym Islanders.

On Tanna Island, walk to the rim of an active volcano and view a fireworks spectacle like no other.

In collaboration with National Geographic Expeditions discover the natural wonders of the Coral Sea in Vanuatu and New Caledonia. From Honiara to Nouméa, set sail aboard Le Soléal on a 12-day expedition cruise into the heart of the South Pacific to discover ancestral tribes and paradisiacal landscapes.

Start your adventure at the Solomon Islands, a real tropical Eden.

Continue to Vanuatu, considered by some as the “happiest country in the world”. With its 83 islands, it unfurls a palette of extremely varied landscapes. Active volcanoes, beaches bordered by palm trees, and tropical forests welcome visitors to this exceptional archipelago located in Melanesia. Le Soléal will also allow you to disembark onto dream beaches. Espiritu Santo, the archipelago’s main island, promises you an unforgettable bathing experience in an idyllic setting. During your cruise, you will have the opportunity to visit several traditional villages, particularly on the islands of Ureparapara, Ambrym and Malekula. Their inhabitants will be happy to share their customs, notable for singing, dancing and art, with you. In Tanna, do not miss out on exploring the imposing Mt Yasur, considered to be the most accessible active volcano in the world.

Le Soléal will then take you to the sublime island of Lifou with its picture-postcard landscapes of white-sand beaches and tropical vegetation, located in the Loyalty archipelago. Then set sail towards Kouaré Island which will reveal all its beauty and the richness of its seabed. Your cruise will come to an end in Nouméa, capital of New Caledonia.

Read more Read less

Included

- A la carte meals at the Gastronomic Restaurant
11 nights onboard Ponant Le Soléal
- Buffet Meals at the Grill Restaurant
- Complimentary 24-hour room service
- Keep fit in the gym
- Nightly entertainment in the Theatre
- Relax in the library with a good book
- Free & Unlimited Wi-Fi
INCLUSIONS ONBOARD PONANT:
All meals included whilst onboard Ponant
- Pillow Menu - select the pillow that best suits you
Regular Zodiac outings & shore visits
Unlimited drinks included whilst onboard Ponant

Honiara, Solomon Islands to Noumea, New Caledonia

Your itinerary

Day 1
Honiara, Guadalcanal Island (Solomon Islands)

Honiara is the capital city of The Solomon Islands, administered as a provincial town on the north-western coast of Guadalcanal Island. Honiara comes from the local Ghari Language “naho-ni-ara” meaning 'facing the ara', the place where the southeast winds meet the land. Discover this city, its beautiful landscape, and the significant role it played in World War II. Particularly The Battle of Henderson Field, the last of the three major land offensives conducted by the Japanese in 1942. 

  • Emarkation: 4pm to 5pm
  • Departure: 6pm

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Dinner
Honiara, Guadalcanal Island (Solomon Islands)
Honiara, Guadalcanal Island | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 2
Owaraha (formerly Santa Ana Island), Solomon Islands

Owaraha (formerly Santa Ana) is located at the eastern end of Makira (San Cristobal) and just north of the smaller Owariki (Santa Catalina). Our ship will navigate through the picturesque channel separating the Islands before dropping anchor just outside Port Mary. The islanders are well known for preserving ancient traditions and producing intricate wooden carvings. Their artefacts include magnificently carved fishing floats and ceremonial bowls intricately inlayed with shells. After a short zodiac ride ashore you will be guided through the village to an open area to witness a number of traditional performances. Afterwards experience life in a traditional Solomon Island village or take a swim in the warm tropical waters of Port Mary.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Owaraha (formerly Santa Ana Island), Solomon Islands
Santa Ana Island | Credit: ©PONANT
Day 3
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
At Sea
At Sea | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 4
Vanikoro Island, Solomon Islands

The French explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse was stranded on Vanikoro after both his vessels, struck the reefs of the island in 1788. The complete disappearance of La Pérouse caught the imagination of the European public. Songs, stories and plays were written about the possible fate of the expedition. It is believed that some of the men were killed by the local inhabitants, while the surviving sailors built a smaller vessel and left the island, but were never seen again. Those that remained on the island died before search parties arrived in 1826. Today guests have the opportunity to head ashore to the infamous location of this historical event. Enjoy a welcome and cultural performance whilst pondering the fate of the expeditioners.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Vanikoro Island, Solomon Islands
Vanikoro Island | Credit: ©PONANT
Day 5
Ureparapara Island, Vanuatu

Ureparapara, also known as Parapara for short, is the third largest island in the Banks group of Northern Vanuatu and formed by an extinct volcano cone that has been breached by the sea on its east coast, forming a spectacular 3km long harbour. During your voyage, your ship will sail into the natural harbour, affording guests spectacular views from the outer decks. You will also have the opportunity to go ashore for a welcome and custom dances. An opportunity to witness life in one of the remotest parts of Vanuatu. Very few vessels visit this part of Vanuatu and the local residents are eager to welcome visitors.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ureparapara Island, Vanuatu
Ureparapara Island | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 6
Espiritu Santo Island, Vanuatu

At the end of the world, in the north of New Caledonia, lies Vanuatu, a little archipelago that subsists mainly from fishing and farming. It is composed of several islands, Espiritu Santo being the largest and one of the most beautiful. You can meet the people here who are very welcoming and who live in harmony with nature. Plus you’ll see unimaginable landscapes formed of volcanic rocks, as well as sandy beaches and lagoons beckoning you to dive into their of turquoise waters. You’ll be surprised to find, in the middle of dense vegetation, brackish water with an amazing ecosystem called “blue holes”. If paradise exists, it must be here.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Espiritu Santo Island, Vanuatu
Espiritu Santo Island | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 7
Ambrym Island, Vanuatu

The island of Ambrym in Vanuatu is often referred to as the "black" island due to its volcanic ash and because of its 'black magic' steeped in mystery. In the villages, the ancient customs play a significant part in day to day living. The "Man blong Majik" are treated with the utmost respect and practice sorcery and magic beyond all imaginings. Ambrym prides itself on some unique characteristics, such as the magnificent tam-tams (or slit gongs) sculpted out of tree trunks, sand-drawing, black-fern masks and local dances. The most striking custom dance is the Rom (or masked) dance – where 9 foot covertly cloaked and masked 'spirits' stomp out ancient rhythms to the beat of the tam tam.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ambrym Island, Vanuatu
Ambrym Island | Credit: ©PONANT
Day 8
Malekula Island, Vanuatu

Malekula is the second largest island in Vanuatu and the most diverse, culturally and linguistically, with over thirty distinct languages spoken. Some of the best custom dances come from the island.  The very friendly villagers will be proud to share with you their cultural heritage. Guests will be transferred ashore for a welcome and cultural performance. Afterwards, you will have an opportunity to witness traditional village life in Malekula, with demonstrations of traditional village practices such as weaving and Kava, and purchase genuine artefacts.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Malekula Island, Vanuatu
Malekula Island | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 9
Tanna Island, Vanuatu

A visit to Vanuatu cannot be complete without viewing the erupting Mount Yasur Volcano on the Island of Tanna. It is regarded as the world’s most accessible active volcano. Known for its spectacular persistent strombolian activity consisting of regular small to violent explosions, it has been in more-or-less continuous activity since Captain James Cook observed ash eruptions in 1774. Often referred to as “the lighthouse of the Pacific”, the glow of the volcano apparently led Captain Cook to Tanna during the first European journey to the island. Today the volcano is considered a sacred area by members of the John Frum cargo cult, who believe their deity resides in the heart of the volcano.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tanna Island, Vanuatu
Tanna Island | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 10
Lifou, New Caledonia

You’ll land around 100km east of Grande-Terre. An ancient coral atoll atop a collapsed volcano, Lifou is today the largest and highest of the Loyalty Islands. This is an outstanding natural site, waiting to be explored: to the north, the coastline ends abruptly in sheer cliffs, while to the south lie expanses of long white sand beaches. Lovers of wild plantlife may well be tempted by a walk further inland, where the rich and authentic Kanak culture is proudly upheld by the local community.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lifou, New Caledonia
Lifou | Credit: ©PONANT
Day 11
Kouare Island, New Caledonia

Aboard your Zodiac® dinghy, you will sail along the turquoise waters of New Caledonia’s coral reef, the second largest in the world. When you land on Kouare Island, in the heart of the southern lagoon, you will discover an idyllic environment. On this small tract of uninhabited land, in a marine area listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, the animals rule supreme. From the white-sand beaches where marine turtles and sea snakes like to lay their eggs, take off with your mask and snorkel to discover an abundant underwater world that is home to multicoloured fish, beautiful coral, and marine reptiles. Look up to the sky and admire the incessant ballet of terns and black noddies that appear to be jealously guarding their island.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kouare Island, New Caledonia
Kouare Island | Credit: ©PONANT
Day 12
Noumea, New Caledonia

Perched on a peninsula between bays and hills, on the south-west coast of Grande Terre, Noumea enjoys a magnificent natural setting. The town shelters some exceptional biodiversity, thanks especially to the coastal mangroves. To feel the town’s heartbeat, you can mosey in the place des Cocotiers, where Noumeans love to gather. The Tjibaou cultural centre unveils the secrets of the kanak culture. As for the Hagen castle or the maison Célières, these are precious witnesses of a colonial past. But Noumea is also about sumptuous beaches.

  • Arrival: early morning
  • Disembarkation: 7am
Breakfast

Additional information

Official language
English, French and Bislama
Local currency
Vatu
Ocean Cruising

Redefine your sense of comfort and luxury with our carefully selected expedition cruises. Don't miss these ultimate experiences!

11 nights
from AUD10,260
per person, twin share
Vanuatu, New Caledonia
Honiara, Solomon Islands
Noumea, New Caledonia
Cultural, Luxury
November 2022

Hotel options

Ponant Le Soléal
Ponant Le Soléal

An elegant appearance and refined interior design combine with cutting-edge technology to offer a new type of cruising: adventure in a luxury setting. Le Soléal further reaffirms PONANT's signature approach: to take passengers to the farthest reaches of the planet onboard five-star ships offering top-of-the-range services.The interior design of the 132 staterooms and suites of the Le Soléal features a range of entirely soft and gentle colours, with greys and whites combining with natural wood. The Le Soléal thus brings to mind the looks and styles of the world of yachting, whilst at the same time adding a touch of sophistication.

Maximum 264 guests, 132 staterooms & suites, 140 crew members, spa and 2 restaurants.

Stateroom facilities:

  • Individually-controlled air conditioning
  • Stateroom layout: king-size bed, or twin beds, interconnecting staterooms available (Children welcome)
  • Minibar
  • Flat screen satellite TV
  • Bose™ Bluetooth speaker
  • Desk with stationery
  • Safe
  • Hermès® bath products
  • Dressing table, bath robes, hairdryer
  • Direct line telephone
  • 110V American (two flat pins) /220V European (round sockets with two round pins)
  • 24hr room service
  • WIFI internet access

Image ©Studio PONANT/Nathalie Michel

Important notes

  • Please note that this product is not part of our flexible booking policy as the supplier terms and conditions apply. Our team will advise of the exact booking conditions at the time of booking.
  • The scheduled itinerary is subject to delay, modification, or port-of-call cancellation due to weather and other causes beyond the control of the ship captain, the ship manager or Ponant Cruises. If necessary or appropriate, as determined in the discretion of the captain, the ship manager or Ponant Cruises, the ports of call and itineraries may be changed.
  • Pricing is based on a from price for the Superior Stateroom onboard Le Soleal 11 Nov 2022 departure and is subject to change. Please contact our team for an exact quote.

 

Open Bar

From the moment you board and throughout your cruise, unlimited drinks are included*, at any time of the day. A drink with friends at the bar, refreshments on your return from an excursion or in the serenity of your Stateroom’s balcony: enjoy a large selection of beverages (mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee, tea). A selection of premium alcoholic drinks are also available à la carte.

*Does not include top shelf premium alcoholic drinks indicated on the Bar Menu. Valid only for individual personal consumption, without limitations.

Please note prices and availability are subject to change, please contact our team for an exact quote.

 

 

Blackout dates may apply during festive season. 

FAQs

Who are Entire Travel Group?

Entire Travel Group is celebrating 50 years of passionately delivering unique and memorable travel experiences. We are an Australian, family owned, award winning business, with a friendly team ready to match your expectations to the perfect holiday package.

Entire Travel Group used to be known by the individual brands shown in the footer of the website. The company has not changed, but we have amalgamated under one brand - Entire Travel Group.

For more details please visit - About Us | Entire Travel Group

What are Entire Travel Group famous for?

Well, put simply - we’re famous for building things. We offer an exclusive range of pre-designed, purpose-built, independent holiday packages full of unique and memorable experiences. The packages are delivered by our global network of handpicked suppliers, who also provide on ground travel support to our clients.

Is Entire Travel Group Australian owned and operated?

Entire Travel Group is proudly Australian family owned and operated and as it stands today represents 50 years of experience, progress, and evolution. We proudly support the community with our long-term commitment to many important charity organisations. We were awarded the best operator in our class at the most recent National Travel Industry Awards.

Is Entire Travel Group industry accredited?

Entire Travel Group is ATAS Accredited. ATAS, which stands for AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme is administered by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA). AFTA is the industry body for the Australian retail travel industry. We are also a registered member of the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO).

Does Entire Travel Group have industry awards?

Entire Travel Group was awarded “Best Specialty Wholesaler” at the 2019 National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA), which are held annually by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA).

The awards recognise quality and excellence in the Australian travel industry. We were extremely honoured to receive this recognition and we will continue to deliver the best service and value to our customers.

Are the Entire Travel Group holiday packages exclusive?

In some cases, we are the sole representative in Australia for the overseas travel operator. In other circumstances the product developed has been exclusively built for Entire Travel Group and can’t be found elsewhere.

What’s unique about Entire Travel Group Holiday Packages?
  • They are not group tours with set departures - they are pre-designed, purpose built, independent holiday packages full of unique and memorable experiences.
  • Our holiday packages have been exclusively built for us in collaboration with our handpicked suppliers, who also offer full on-ground support for the clients.
  • We are offering unique travel experiences which cannot be found elsewhere.
  • Many packages include our “Freedom of Choice” options which allow you to tailor the holiday experience. Like a sommelier matching wine to a meal, we have used our experience to carefully select and offer the right experiences in each location.
  • They include our Peace of Mind Booking Plan.
  • A wide selection of our packages are compliant with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Covid Safe Travels.
What is an independent holiday package?

Our motto for Independent Holiday Packages is start your holiday when and with who you want!

Our Independent Holiday Packages are NOT group tours with set departure dates. Group Tours have specific set departure dates, and of course, you are travelling with unknown passengers in a coach. These tours are great for certain travellers and there are many reputable tour operators providing a wide range of options around the world.

At Entire Travel Group, our focus is Independent Holiday Packages. Available daily, they are pre-designed, purpose built, packaged itineraries full of memorable experiences delivered by our hand-picked local partners.

Our holidays suit every demographic, from couples to singles, to retirees to families and everyone else in between.

Why travel with Entire Travel Group?

Of all the attributes Entire Travel Group offer - we have settled on “Experience” as the one quality we believe adds the most value to our customers. That’s how our tagline “When Experience Matters” came to life and encapsulates our business in three words, as experience does matter!

We have been operating for many years and have the experience to determine what sightseeing, duration and accommodation style makes a great itinerary. Our technology is continually enhanced, giving our team the ability to provide a great customer service experience. Our relationship with our operators is extremely strong, which ensures we are confident of the travel experience and on ground support for our clients.

For more details please visit - About Us | Entire Travel Group

How does the Peace of Mind Booking Plan work?

Our Peace of Mind Booking Plan allows you to book with confidence in the new international travel environment. With low deposits, a cooling off period and a flexibility period where you can cancel and rebook later, we really do have you covered.

For more details please visit - Peace of Mind Booking Plan | Entire Travel Group

Is there a cooling-off period?

Look for packages with our Peace of Mind Booking Plan logo on the website.

  • We understand that occasionally plans may change, so we give you the confidence to proceed with a cooling off period.
  • You may cancel for any reason within 7 days, where you will receive a 100% refund of your $100 per person deposit.

For more details please visit - Peace of Mind Booking Plan | Entire Travel Group

What is Entire Flex?

Looking for more flexibility? Entire Flex is an optional extra on certain packages. It allows you to change your mind right up to 35 days before departure with no change fees. Receive a 100% travel credit with up to 18 months to depart on another Peace of Mind package to any destination on our website.

What is Freedom of Choice?

At Entire Travel Group we understand that our customers have their own personal tastes and interests - so throughout our packages look for “Freedom of Choice” which gives you the ability to tailor your holiday from the various experiences offered on selected days. Like a sommelier matching wine to a meal, we have used our experience to carefully select and offer the right experiences in each location.

The Freedom of Choice options are included in the package price, and the price remains the same regardless of the choice you make on each day.

For more details please visit - Freedom of Choice | Entire Travel Group

Do Freedom of Choice options cost extra?

Our Freedom of Choice program offers flexibility, by allowing you to choose from different options on pre-selected days in the itinerary.

  • Our per person price includes one tour on each Freedom of Choice day in the itinerary.
  • The price of the package remains the same regardless of the choice you make on each day.
What is the Safe Travels program?

This specially designed program allows travellers to recognise governments and companies around the world who have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols, so consumers can experience “Safe Travels”.

For more details please visit - Safe Travels Stamp | Entire Travel Group

What is Book Now?

Book Now offers you the ability to make a reservation on our website for Holiday Packages that include our Peace of Mind Booking Plan. But it’s not just a static offer – you have complete flexibility from travel dates, passenger numbers, single supplements, room upgrades, optional extras, flexible booking terms and more.

What happens after Book Now?
  • Our team will contact our overseas suppliers and confirm all arrangements.
  • A Confirmation from our reservation system will be sent in the coming days.
  • The Booking Number on this confirmation supersedes the website reference.
How secure is the Entire Travel Group's on-line payment portal?
  • Entire Travel Group have partnered with TravelPay to ensure secure on-line credit card payments.
  • TravelPay is a level 1 PCI DSS compliant, which gives you peace of mind that your payment card data is in safe hands.
  • Entire Travel Group does not store any credit card information.

For more details please visit - Security and Compliance - TravelPay

What forms of payment can be used at Entire Travel Group?
  • To confirm a booking using our on-line Book Now process, a credit card must be used to pay the refundable deposit.
  • For additional payments on the booking, Entire Travel Group supports bank transfer, credit card, TravelPay B2B, PaymentGate.
  • For further details please visit our Payments page.
Why do some packages not offer the ability to Book Now on the website?

If a package on our website does not include our Peace of Mind Booking Plan, it will not be available to Book Now.

Due to the boutique nature and limited capacity of some travel experiences offered, they have strict payment and cancellation policies. (e.g., a remote bear lodge in Canada with only a few cabins).

Although technically possible, we have decided that it is impractical for us to try and sell these type of travel services on-line. We believe it is important that such product is discussed, so that we can ensure these strict payment and cancellation policies are understood before we proceed with a booking.

For such product we may act as an agent only for the principal suppliers. Where we act as agent, your contract for the delivery of travel arrangements will be with the principal supplier and will be subject to their Booking Conditions.

We will advise you prior to confirming your booking if we are acting as agent and we will confirm the details of the principal supplier. Our responsibility to you where we sell travel arrangements as agent for the supplier is specified in the ‘Responsibility’ section of our Booking Conditions.

Can you book my international airfares?

Following customer feedback, we do not include international flights in our holiday packages.

We found that many customers may prefer:

  • To travel on specific airlines
  • Have the flexibility to book flights with Frequent Flyer points
  • Select flight dates that may be different to the package start/end dates
  • Use their travel agent for this service

However, we are able to assist, so please just notify us during the Book Now process or contact our team.

Should I take travel insurance?

Travel insurance is strongly recommended. During the Book Now process please confirm you require assistance, and our team will be in contact with you.

What should I do before travelling?

Before you travel it is your responsibility to ensure you have the appropriate documentation including visas. If you are travelling on a passport other than Australian or New Zealand, you will require a permit to re-enter Australia.

For more information please visit - Before you travel | Entire Travel Group

How does a Travel Agent make a booking?

Please visit the Entire Travel Group's Agent Portal. We are here to support our industry partners with a range of informative updates, marketing collateral for campaigns and a reward & recognition program.

How do I start a Booking?

  • On any page that has Book Now simply follow the booking process.
  • You must select the Travel Agent tick box and provide correct details.
  • To confirm a booking only the refundable deposit is required.
  • An agency credit card must be used for this initial payment.
How do I contact Entire Travel Group?

For more information please visit - Contact us | Entire Travel Group