The Solomon Islands
Secret of the Solomon Islands -- Solomon Islands is a nation located in the southwest Pacific, 1,500 miles (2,400 km) west of Fiji and 1,200 miles (2,000 km) northeast of Australia. Air travelers can reach Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands, and the home port for the Bilikiki, via Nadi, Fiji; Brisbane, Australia or Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. It was the site of many famous WWII naval battles, such as the Guadalcanal Campaign. The Solomon Islands are also where President John F. Kennedy, as a young naval officer, experienced his PT-109 disaster. Yet in the 21st Century, this rich history is all but forgotten. The result is a scuba divers dream, with superb reef and wreck diving, and yet VERY FEW visitors. The Solomon Islands can be your own private paradise.
M/V Bilikiki is your Key -- MV Bilikiki is 125 ft long, with a 24 foot beam. This ship is large and stable, designed for South Pacific conditions. It offers a spacious sundeck, plenty of covered areas, and air-conditioned accommodations. Bilikiki has 10 guest cabins with a full double bed below and a single above. All cabins have private showers and toilets. Bilikiki is not a luxury ship, but she is a superb diving platform operated by the absolute experts in Solomon Sea diving. The carefully curated diving and topside adventures the Bilikiki team provides is truly unparalled.
Untouched Diving -- The walls, reefs, pinnacles and coral gardens of Solomon Islands support an amazing variety and quantity of sea creatures. The varieties of fish are staggering. Within a few yards of each other, individually or in schools can be seen anemone fish, angel fish, butterfly fish, humphead parrot fish and other reef dwellers while just a short distance away schools of barracuda, big-eye trevally and other pelagics cruise in the blue waters. Popular with underwater photographers and those with a keen eye for the small and unusual critters are offered on "muck dives." The amount and variety of sealife is astounding. Mantis shrimp, ghost pipefish, and pygmy seahorses are only a few examples of what you may find. In many areas, the coral reefs themselves are among the very best in the world...literally swarming with life. In addition to the marine diversity, you will have the opportunity to experience some of the best WWII wreck diving. These historic wrecks are also covered in marine life, offering exceptional diving and underwater photography opportunities.
See more diving images: Solomon Islands Underwater Photo Gallery
Extraordinary Topside Adventures -- Equally as interesting as the diving are the topside cultural opportunities. The daily visits from locals who paddle out in their hand-hewn canoes to trade their fresh vegetables with the liveaboard are fascinating cultural interactions. A visit to a native Solomon Islands village, to be welcomed with flower leis and entertained with singing and dances, can feel like traveling back 1,000 years in time. A stop at one of the carvers and crafts markets will net you a souvenir like none other. These visits are integrated into the dive cruise experience, with no need to miss a dive.
Ken Knezick' Impression -- The Solomon Islands are a superb dive destination that seems to have disappeared from divers' maps and wish lists. Once the dramatic focal point of a ferocious World War, just 70-years later pivotal moments of history are being forgotten. Still plying these waters, the Bilikiki, a live aboard dive boat that helped to set the standards of superior service is now remembered only by old salt cognoscenti. Fortunately, the marine life, coral reefs, and historic ship wrecks are oblivious to our fickle perspectives. Best of all, only a handful of dive operations are in business. The astounding result is that, in this day and age, we were able to cruise widely and dive prodigiously for ten days without seeing a single dive boats other than our own. That's why, if you are serious about experiencing the world's best scuba diving, the Solomon Islands are a hidden gem that you need to experience for yourself.
|M/V Bilikiki - Solomon Islands Dive Cruises|
|Per Person Price
Twin-share in Deluxe Stateroom
|7 night cruise||10 night cruise||11 night cruise||14 night cruise|
|Solomon Islands Tax||$ 175||$ 250||$ 275||$ 350|
|Single Occupancy||Deluxe Cabins are available on a single occupancy basis at a premium of 50% above the twin-share rate.|
Pricing -- All rates are per person, based on twin-share in a double occupancy cabin, quoted in U.S. dollars and subject to change. Taxes are $25 per person per night aboard ship.
Air Travel to Honiara -- Most North American travelers fly from Los Angeles through Brisbane, Australia, or Nadi Fiji. There are also flights from Port Moresby, PNG. SOLOMON AIRLINES is the international carrier connecting Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands, to Fiji and Australia. In addition FIJI AIRWAYS (formerly Air Pacific) provides weekly service to and from Nadi, Fiji, and AIR NIUGINI provides service to PNG. VIRGIN AIRLINES also has twice weekly flights between Brisbane and Honiara. Flights are limited, one of the reasons the diving is still so pristine. Bilikiki departures coincide with flight schedules so that unwanted overnights are minimized, although depending on your choice of carrier in some instances an overnight may be required. Airfare to Honiara, and any hotel overnights, are at the guest's expense. Should you require it, Island Dreams stands ready to assist you with air travel information and flight reservations.