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31 nights
from £17162

Voyage from Tahiti to Papua New Guinea

An island hopping adventure in the South Pacific aboard the MS Island Sky

  • 21 April 2021
  • Expedition Cruising
  • Efate Island, Vanuatu

This voyage tells the story of the South Pacific and uncovers its history and legends as we visit the captivating islands from Tahiti to Australia by way of Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Melanesia. By wind, wave and star the ancient people of Polynesia ventured to the farthest reaches of the South Pacific. Isolated by miles of ocean over thousands of years, these, the world’s first island cultures, developed a pantheon of gods, myths and legends. The real age of European exploration did not take place until the 18th century and many of the islands we will visit have changed little since that time. Their sheer isolation has been their saving grace and apart from an influx of missionaries in the late 19th century, western culture has made few inroads into most of the islands. We will have the opportunity to visit tribal villages little changed for centuries, see astonishing ceremonial dances, enjoy nature walks inland or swim in the warm waters from isolated palm-fringed beaches.

The region is ideal for exploring by small ship and particularly one as suitable as the MS Island Sky. Her fleet of Zodiac landing craft provides us with the freedom of spontaneity to explore and land in places where relatively few travellers have been before us. With this in mind we have planned our itinerary with visits to many remote and magical islands including the Islands of Kiribati where we hope to visit Millennium Island, the Northern Cook Islands and the little-known French Territory of Wallis and Futuna. We will be joined by a handpicked expedition team, consisting of naturalists, marine biologists and ecologists who will share their knowledge and enthusiasm during forays ashore and whilst on board. This voyage has something for everyone, whether your interest lies in natural history, military history, bird watching, photography, the undersea world or simply just being one of the privileged few who are able to set foot on islands of astonishing richness and beauty. We hope you can join us in this faraway haven, for an unparalleled opportunity to explore one of the most intriguing places on the map.

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  

  • What to Expect

    Flexibility is the key to an expedition cruise; sometimes the whole day’s schedule will be changed to maximise your experience, something that would not be possible on a large cruise ship. Each day holds something new and to provide you with an idea of what to expect, below are extracts from the ship’s log from the MS Island Sky’s most recent visit to the region.

    Taveuni Island, Fiji:

    We set off on our different tours for the day including one to a charming village. Here we experienced demonstrations of earth oven cooking, the results of which we were invited to taste on disposable leaf plates, coconut shredding for milk, basket weaving and fishing. We then joined for the kava ceremony where you could request what amount of kava you wanted in your coconut cup; low, medium, or high-tide. The more adventurous of us requested a tsunami. Next, the Des Voeux birding walk took us high up into the nature reserve where we had stunning vistas across the fringing reef in between the trees. Our trusty 4x4s climbed the steep “road” stopping at intervals to let us explore into the jungle along what could only loosely be described as trails. We were rewarded with sightings of orange-chested pigeons and barking pigeons. Small warblers flitted in the thick foliage overhead. In the afternoon we had a swim and snorkel off the small islet of Korolevu. This island is uninhabited, unless of course you count the hundreds and hundreds of fruit bats. These amazing creatures chattered noisily in the trees and, before long, took to the sky in droves to start their evening feed. The snorkelling was fantastic though the current off the platforms proved challenging; the black-tipped reef shark swimming below us didn’t seem to mind in the slightest.

    Vanikoro, Solomon Islands:

    We had a chance to sleep in this morning as we spent the morning sailing to the furthest reaches of the Solomon Islands. Our guest speaker continued his series of talks with the history of the great French explorer Jean-Francois de Galaup La Perouse. Trusting our Captain to negotiate the reef better than La Perouse, we entered into Tevai Bay in front of Usily village during lunch. Although it was sprinkling lightly, the villagers were out on the beach to greet us as we came ashore. There are only a few houses and families who live here permanently, yet there were several more who came from surrounding islands to help provide us with a big welcome and a dance performance. The dancers wore braided palm leaves, grass skirts, mud and feathers and the band played bamboo pipes and drums - several songs had a beat that was nearly impossible not to dance to. The finale was really magnificent with dancers wearing costumes we had never seen before. In a song and dance borrowed from nearby Vanuatu, we had women stomping back and forth in a line while several men dressed in ten foot costumes resembling a large stack of hay, with a blue and red mask with horns, spinning and running back and forth around each other. It was captivating to watch and was a special send off on our last day in the Solomon Islands. The locals were eager to interact with us and show us around the village. We went further afield into the forest on walks in search of local flora and fauna, seeing fruit-bats and a number of birds while walking through forest festooned with epiphytes such as ferns and orchids. We had another chance to snorkel as well, this time on the sloping reef surrounding the island. The diversity of coral types here was incredible, with table, staghorn, plate and brain corals along with several soft coral species all covering the ocean floor and providing a wonderfully colourful tapestry for reef fish including parrotfish, butterflyfish and even barracuda and a hawksbill turtle. We had our recap and briefing in the evening, with details from Craig about our visit to Vanuatu, an explanation of the dances we saw in Usily this morning from our local agent Chris, and a short history of the Coastwatchers by John. These valuable servicemen and women were islanders from several countries in the South Pacific who helped to pass information and Vanikoro, Solomon Islands.

    More information
  • Charitable Trust Project

    Noble Caledonia Charitable TrustIt is our vision to use the Noble Caledonia framework to improve economic, social and environmental conditions in the areas we work and visit. To this end, in 2013 we established the Noble Caledonia Charitable Trust (NCCT): Registered Charity No. 1153281.

    Noble Caledonia Ltd cover the costs of administering the NCCT so that 100% of your donation will go directly to the beneficiaries. Money is raised from a percentage of Noble Caledonia’s profits and through fundraising by staff and donations from our travellers and business partners.

                                                                                                                                                                                        

    Melanesia Learning Resources for Villages Project

    Visiting the islands of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu is an eye-opening experience for those who visit.  The island-hopping and village visits of an expedition cruise give a unique insight into what 'island life' means for the people that call Melanesia home. 

    Melanesia Learning Resources

    After visiting the region as Cruise Director aboard an expedition ship, Helen Ahern noticed the limited resourcing for schools, with some villages doing without simple items such as paper, pens, and books.  With over twenty years’ experience in education, Helen could see a perfect opportunity to 'make a difference to lives beyond our own".  This phrase has since become the driving vision for the Learning Resources for Villages project which is now in its second year. 

    The Project sources learning resources from New Zealand schools and ships these to isolated villages in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, with the help of expedition cruise vessels, such as the Caledonian Sky. 

    Melanesia Learning Resources

    In talking with the local head teachers and teachers, their common wish is for paper, writing tools, and reading books.  The inside of classrooms vary depending on the isolation, staff and community support – from sparse with no tables or chairs, to rooms with some visual posters on walls.  Sometimes there are no bookshelves, texts, and very limited supplies of paper and pens if there are any at all.   We have seen communities band together to build solid weatherproof structures, such as libraries, utilising funding streams from countries like New Zealand and Australia. 

    Now the schools are hoping to find books for the shelves.  Sometimes the building structure is the easy part with a long wait for resources due to funding, general logistics and/or infrequent shipping!Children are trilingual with their local oral village language, Pidgin and English.  The latter being the teaching medium in schools as it is seen to open opportunities and provide access to further knowledge and learning. 

    Village members are acutely aware that the future of their village ultimately relies upon their young people and although this can be a challenge with such limited resourcing they remain motivated to support their young generation the best way they know how.    

    Melanesia Learning Resources

    Some island villages are infrequently visited by any 'outsiders'.  One village we delivered learning resources to had no recollection of visitors in the living memory of their elders.  Life is basic and survival is through subsistence living.  Not all villages have a primary school and even if they do, attendance is a major issue with children often required to support homelife rather than being in class.

     

    Some schools are at such a distance that it requires children to make the long journey of well over an hour each way independently by dug-out canoe or by foot. The project co-ordinates donations from New Zealand schools, individual teachers and authors of instructional reading texts, journals and library books which are then loaded aboard expedition ships bound for the Pacific Islands and distributed by the ship’s crew to the village schools they visit.  This is a team effort from across the country and donations are given in the spirit of generosity knowing that children are the future of all strong communities.

    Helen continues to visit the islands annually in her role aboard expedition ships. As well as delivering resources, she has found a niche in growing relationships with those working in the village schools.  This has added to both the Project vision as well as providing authentic, meaningful experiences for the visitors to the islands; a symbiotic partnership in action.

    With the support of Noble Caledonia, the Learning Resources for Villages project are able to collect, ship and distribute learning resources to these villages and make a difference to lives beyond our own.

    Website: supportvillages.wixsite.com/booksvillages

    Contact: kiwihels@gmail.com

    Facebook: facebook.com/supportvillages

                                                                                                                                                                                        

    Donating

    If you would like to make a donation by cheque please make it payable to ‘NCCT’ and send it to NCCT, 2 Chester Close, London, SW1X 7BE. If you are eligible for gift aid you can increase your donation by 25% at no extra cost to you by using our Gift Aid Form. Or Click to play video 

                                                                                                                                                                                     

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Island Sky

Island Sky

The MS Island Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Caledonian Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

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Itinerary

  • Bora Bora
  • Efate Island, Vanuatu

Day 1 London to Tahiti.

Fly by scheduled indirect flight.

Day 2 Papeete, French Polynesia.

Arrive this morning and transfer to the MS Island Sky. Spend the day at leisure to relax on board or explore independently before we sail this evening.

Day 3 Bora Bora.

One of the most stunning islands on the planet, Bora Bora’s interior is crowned by majestic eroded volcanic formations and a distinctive black basaltic peak. A tour of the island will take you past colourful villages, archaeological sites and World War II relics. Alternatively take the chance to swim from the beach or enjoy our first snorkelling opportunity in the clear waters. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon at sea as we sail north to Kiribati.

Days 4 to 6 Islands of Kiribati.

The thirty-three islands of Kiribati cover a huge area of the Pacific spreading 2,400 miles from east to west and 1,300 miles from north to south. After crossing the international date line (we are now the 25th April), with the benefit of our small ship we will spend two and a half days in the Line Islands in the south eastern corner of the republic. We hope to visit Millennium Island, named in celebration of being the first island to see in the year 2000. Made up of 39 uninhabited islets surrounding a peaceful lagoon, it contains a unique underwater environment with schools of black tail sharks, white sharks and fish playing in the shallow water. We will have the chance to swim or snorkel here and whilst on land we can look for tropical birds including the brown noddy. Flint Island is four kilometres long and less than a kilometre wide and was first spotted by Ferdinand Magellan in 1520. On an island walk we will see the abundant coconut palms, which were planted in the 1870s by farmers wishing to produce copra, and the coconut crabs which can be seen everywhere on the island. Pristine Vostock Island is covered by native forest and surrounded by a coral reef. The island has no lagoon, but we hope to swim and snorkel on the reef which flourishes with many marine species. On land, during nature walks we will search for the eight species of birds including frigatebirds, white terns and noddy as well as skinks and coconut crabs.

Day 7 At Sea.

Crossing back across the International Date line we have a day at sea as we sail to the Cook Islands (date remains the 27th April).

Days 8 to 10 Northern Cook Islands.

Over the next three days we will explore some of the most remote islands in the Cook Islands which are only serviced by irregular flight services and occasional cargo ship visits. Penrhyn, named after the ship “Lady Penrhyn” which sighted the island in 1788, is the largest atoll in the Cook Islands comprising a ring of coral made up of 53 islets, 48 miles around, protecting a huge lagoon. The lagoon is home to abundant marine life including black tip sharks and bonefish, and fishing remains the main source of income for the islanders. We will have the chance to meet the villagers and learn about life in this remote region. Meanwhile Manihiki Island is just four square kilometres in size but home to a number of pearl farms. Meeting the local farmers, we will learn about the cultivation of the pearls, swim in the clear waters or take a stroll around the island. Pukapuka, the most westerly of the Cook Islands is actually closer to Samoa than Rarotonga and has its own distinct customs and culture. We will learn about the harmonious lives of the islanders, swim in the lagoon or search for some of the wildlife on a nature walk.

Day 11 At Sea.

During our day at sea we will cross the International Date Line and lose a day as we head to Samoa. Join our lecture programme or else find a spot to relax on deck.

Day 12 Apia, Samoa.

Arrive this morning in Apia (on the 3rd May), the capital of Samoa which is regarded as the heart of Polynesia and where we will be guaranteed a warm welcome. Leaving the city behind we will make our way to the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum located in the house where the author spent his final years and afterwards we can explore the 12 hectares of Botanical Gardens and possibly take a swim in the freshwater swimming hole. Those feeling active may also wish to walk to his grave, situated on Mount Vaea offering wonderful views over the island. Returning to Apia we can spend some time shopping in the Maketi Fou, visit the museum of Samoa or learn about local traditions at the Cultural Village.

Days 13 & 14 Wallis & Futuna.

Well off the beaten track, Wallis and Futuna are part of the smallest of France’s three South Pacific territories and sit on the threshold of Polynesia and Melanesia. Wallis is isolated from its neighbours geographically, culturally and politically with strong historical connections to Tonga. Here we will explore the interior of the island visiting Mata Utu Cathedral, the crater lakes of Mount Lulu Fakahega and the recently excavated fort at Talietumu. Nearby Futuna has closer links to Samoa and here we will discover the famous Church of Pierre Chanel, a peculiar church with a stepped tower erected to honour Polynesia’s first and only Catholic Saint. Later we will enjoy nature walks on the beaches to take in the amazing scenery and wildlife.

Day 15 Taveuni, Fiji.

Today we visit the ‘Garden Island of Fiji’. The nature lovers can take a four-wheel drive to Dos Voeux Peak where at the summit we will be treated to fantastic views of Taveuni and across to Lake Tagimoucia. Here we will see the tropical plants, palms and rainforest and we hope to spot spectacular birdlife such as orange-breasted doves, silktails, ferntails and parrots. Alternatively, join a walking trip to the Bouma Heritage Park to see some of the waterfalls and enjoy a swim. The view from the highest waterfall is spectacular. Our cultural tour will give the opportunity to witness lifestyles in a traditional Fijian village and see cooking demonstrations. In the afternoon we will head to one of the neighbouring islands for some snorkelling opportunities.

Day 16 Lautoka, Fiji.

Enjoy a day at leisure to relax on board or explore independently.

Day 17 At Sea.

Spend a relaxing day at sea as we make our way across the South Pacific to Vanuatu. Maybe join a lecture, find a spot on deck or read a book in the library.

Day 18 Tanna, Vanuatu.

Over breakfast we arrive on the island of Tanna, which means earth in the local Kwamera language. Captain Cook was the first European to visit the island in 1774, landing at Port Resolution and having been attracted by the glowing light of Mount Yasur. This 361 metre active volcano is situated in the south east of the island and dominates the landscape. The adventurous may wish to join a journey to the crater. We will use local trucks to drive through the rainforest that covers the mountain before walking to the rim. Alternatively, we may have the chance to visit a local village where traditional lifestyles are maintained and the local culture has been largely unaffected by western influences. Here we will learn of customs and also of traditional medicines, crafts and cooking styles.

Day 19 Port Havannah.

Awake this morning as we anchor off Port Havannah, situated on the north coast of Efate Island and our base for today’s activities. There are a number of outer islands that we may be able to explore depending on weather and sea conditions. Lelepa Island is 160 acres of unspoilt tropical rainforest and palm fringed beaches. On a nature walk we will see the herbs used in local medicines before exploring Feles cave, thought to be the resting place of the legendary Polynesian Chief, Roi Mata. Meanwhile on Moso Island we meet the volunteers at the Tasiriki Turtle Sanctuary who will teach us about the rehabilitation of the Hawksbill turtles and the attempts to increase their numbers. If time and weather permit, we will also set up a snorkelling platform or have the chance for a swim.

Day 20 Pentecost Island.

Named after the day on which it was first sighted by Europeans, Pentecost is a mountainous, tropical island. There are no towns on Pentecost and many areas remain relatively untouched by western influences with strong local traditions. The island is also the home of nanggol (land diving) – the original bungee jump – which is known throughout the world. The nanggol ceremony takes place between April and June to celebrate the first yam crop emerging and we hope to coincide our call with one of these events. From tall towers constructed of saplings and branches held together with forest vines, the men leap forward and down to touch the earth below. A good jump helps ensure a bountiful yam harvest.

Day 21 Ureparapara.

Our final call in Vanuatu will be the island of Ureparapara in the Banks Island group. This tiny island community is still off the main tourist routes but the locals are happy to share their culture, stories and ways of life with the visitors that make the journey to their island. From our anchorage point we will Zodiac ashore and see a traditional snake dance, where the men paint themselves black and white as sea snakes, before being welcomed into the village.

Day 22 Vanikoro, Solomon Islands.

Spend the morning on the island of Vanikoro. Situated in the Temotu Province, Vanikoro was where French explorer Jean- Francois de la Perouse became stranded after both his vessels, La Boussole and the Astrolabe, hit the then unknown reefs of the island in 1788. Learn more about the island’s history and the mystery of the lost La Perouse expedition that captured the imagination of the European public. As we land with our Zodiacs, we will be welcomed ashore by the local villagers before choosing to explore the village further or join a nature walk where we can look out for the endemic birds, the Vanikoro monarch and Vanikoro white-eye. Alternatively we also hope to have the chance to swim or snorkel in the clear waters. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon at sea.

Day 23 Santa Ana.

After a morning cruising, over lunch we anchor off Port Mary on Santa Ana Island. We will be welcomed with a stunning dance by the villagers with spears and mud face masks. After the performance we have the opportunity to explore the town further with its plethora of local handicrafts, join a nature walk through the forests or swim from the local beach.

Day 24 Honiara.

Prior to World War II Honiara did not exist, it developed around the site of the US military headquarters. Today, this is a bustling town with lovely hibiscus and palm tree lined avenues. After breakfast we will join a city tour of Honiara including the central market, parliament building and National Museum where we get an insight into the history of the Solomon Islands. Enjoy lunch before continuing to the World War II sites including Henderson Field, the Japanese Peace Park and the US Memorial at Skyline Ridge. This evening we will cruise through Iron Bottom Sound, the site of intense naval battles during World War II and so named for the large numbers of Japanese and American ships and aircraft that sank beneath the sea.

Day 25 Marovo Lagoon.

Marovo Lagoon is the largest double barrier lagoon in the world. Thousands of islands scatter the lagoon, from tiny coral islets on the fringing reef to massive 1600 metre volcanic islands. Inside the lagoon, the islands are surrounded by spectacular coral formations and white sand beach, the lagoon waters shimmering in every shade of blue, turquoise and jade green. We have a full day here to explore and will visit one of the outlying villages which produce some of the finest wood carvings in the region. We will also find a suitable spot to snorkel and swim as well as Zodiac cruises to look for local wildlife.

Day 26 At Sea.

Spend a day at sea as we continue our journey towards Papua New Guinea.

Day 27 Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.

Arrive this morning at Rabaul’s dramatic harbour which is ringed by six cone-shaped volcanoes. Our morning tour will include a visit to the Volcanic Observatory, which monitors 14 active and 23 dormant volcanoes in Papua New Guinea, and from where we will enjoy magnificent views over the bay and the volcanoes. Our next stop will be Mount Tavurvur, which violently erupted in 1937 and 1994, and where we will witness the Hot Springs. This afternoon will be at leisure to explore independently before we meet tonight to attend an astonishing performance of the Baining tribe’s fire dance. Tribe members in huge, magnificently crafted masks leap and dance over crackling, red-hot coals in a centuries-old ritual to honour the local deity-spirits.

Day 28 Rabaul to Cairns, Australia.

Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our specially chartered flight to Cairns. On arrival transfer to our hotel, the Hilton Cairns, and the rest of the day and evening is free for independent exploration.

Day 29 Cairns to Singapore.

After breakfast in the hotel transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Singapore. On arrival transfer to our hotel, the Mandarin oriental, for a two night stay and the remainder of the day is free to explore at your own pace.

Day 30 Singapore.

This morning we will enjoy an orientation tour including the National Orchid Garden which houses the largest collection of orchids in the world. Also see the bustling district of little India, the markets of Kampong Glam and the Sri Mariamman temple in Chinatown. Return to the hotel and enjoy a free afternoon and evening to explore at your own pace. You may wish to take a boat ride on the Singapore River, see the lightshow at the Gardens by the Bay, visit the iconic Raffles Hotel or relax at the hotel.

Day 31 Singapore to London.

Enjoy a free morning in Singapore before we meet this afternoon for our transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Day 32 London.

Arrive this morning.

  • Vanikoro Broadbill
  • Rabaul
  • Flower, South Pacific

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER PRICES AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
21 April to 23 May 2021
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Magellan Deck Standard Suites £20190 £17162
Columbus Deck Superior Suites £20790 £17672
Marco Polo Deck Premium Suites £21190 £18012
Marco Polo Deck Corner Suites £21790 £18552
Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony Suites £23790 £20222
Explorer Deck Owner's Balcony Suite £24190 £20562
Explorer Deck Island Suite £25790 £21922
Magellan Deck Standard for sole occupancy £27590 £23452
Columbus Deck Superior for sole occupancy £28190 £23962

Tour Reference Code: SCISKCOMB

PRICE INCLUDES: Economy class scheduled air travel • 26 nights aboard the MS Island Sky on a full board basis • Wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch and dinner • Shore Excursions • Noble Caledonia expedition team • Overnight hotel accommodation in Cairns with breakfast • Two nights hotel accommodation in Singapore with breakfast • Gratuities • Transfers • Port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, Australian ETA visa.

This tour is a combination of Lost Islands of Polynesia and Hidden Treasures of the South Pacific.

  • Deckplan

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Island Sky

The MS Island Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Caledonian Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

 
  • Your Suite

    Your Suite

    On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well-designed suites. All feature a seating area and some have private balconies, whilst those on the Marco Polo Deck feature tinted, sliding glass doors allowing greatly enhanced viewing opportunities from your suite and quick access to the deck when a pod of whales or dolphins is spotted. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass, which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, a large wardrobe, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/ CD player and a telephone in each suite. Refillable water bottles, dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. The suites on each deck have their own colour theme. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be. The comfortable beds in each suite can be configured as either double or twin.

    The impressive Island Suite located on the Explorer Deck features an extra large balcony stretching the length of the suite. Additional features of this marvellous suite include complimentary minibar stocked with your preference of beverages and complimentary laundry.

     

  • Your Space

    Your Space

    The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Island Sky include a large lounge on the Columbus Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings and talks given by the Noble Caledonia onboard team take place in the lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. For your convenience, it is also possible to follow the onboard lectures from the comfort of your suite.

    In addition to the Main Lounge on the Columbus Deck, there is also The Club, located on the Marco Polo Deck which features the main bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Marco Polo Deck is the Library. Well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads, you will not find yourself short of excellent literature on board. A collection of games and devices to access the internet via the ship’s satellite can also be found in the Library. Access to the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi via your own device is complimentary on board (signal strength varies depending on location and demand). Newspapers are also placed in the library depending on local availability. The Dining Room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Magellan Deck and outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Erikson 

    Deck, complete with deck tables and chairs where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Whilst heaters and blankets make dining al fresco comfortable in cooler climates. Further to this on the top Explorer Deck the observation area complete with sun loungers is ideal for sun bathing, relaxing with a book or spotting wildlife. The walk around promenade on the Marco Polo Deck provides a unique circular view of the passing seascapes. There is also a small hairdressers on board offering a selection of beauty treatments. For your comfort, there is a clinic with Doctor on board and a lift which serves all decks. As is the joy of small ship cruising, we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the progress of the vessel (subject to weather or security conditions).

     

  • Your Dining

    Your Dining

     

    It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our Sky vessels when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality that befits such vessels. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well-stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapés take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido Deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice.

    In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like-minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose.

    The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.

     

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     Click on image above to view a sample menu.

  • Life On Board

    Life Onboard

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then our ships are not for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find our flagships the perfect vessels.

    When choosing your next voyage the choice of vessels is astounding. You can select a ship carrying in excess of 4000 passengers with impersonal service or join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky, MS Island Sky or MS Hebridean Sky where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. Instead, the atmosphere is warm and convivial and more akin to a private yacht or country hotel in which you can learn more about the wonders of nature, culture and ancient civilisations in the company of like-minded people. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Expedition Leader or Cruise Director and of course good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make any voyage aboard these wonderful vessels a memorable and joyful experience. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of an exceedingly comfortable ship.

    The daily programme on board is in the capable hands of our Cruise Director or Expedition Leader and staff who coordinate with the Captain and Officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities. Dress on board is casual and relaxed and there will be no ‘black tie’ evenings.

  • For your comfort

    For Your Comfort

    MS Island Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey. You will also find on your suite television a navigation channel showing the routing of the vessel as well as the view from the Bridge. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck.

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    Cabin Plan

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  • Ship Directory

    Ship Directory

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    Please find below further details pertaining to the vessel or click on the booklet to download.

    We are delighted you have chosen the MS Island Sky for your upcoming voyage. The 118-passenger, all-suite vessel is one of the finest small ships in the world and benefits from unusually spacious accommodation, public areas and outside decks.

    You will find the atmosphere on board akin to a private yacht or country hotel with a little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, talks from our onboard team and informative port briefings from your Cruise Director or Expedition Leader. After a day of exploration ashore, you will return to the comfort and peace of a well-run and exceedingly comfortable ship.

    Along with the Captain and officers and the Noble Caledonia team, our crew of 70 are dedicated to offering you the best possible experience during your time on board.

    We hope this information booklet answers any questions you may have pertaining to the vessel and wish you a pleasant voyage.

    VESSEL TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Passengers: 118
    Length: 90.60 metres
    Width: 15.30 metres
    Registered: Bahamas
    Crew/Staff: 70
    Year built: 1992
    Language: English
    Gross Tonnage: 4200 tonnes

    ADAPTORS

    Adaptors for hairdryers, mobile phones etc. can be obtained from Reception. These should be returned to Reception at the end of the cruise and are the property of the MS Island Sky.

    AIR-CONDITIONING

    The entire ship is air-conditioned. All cabins feature individual temperature controls. In order to keep the air-conditioning system working efficiently, please keep doors closed when in use.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The ship uses a public address system to advise guests of all important information and activities during the cruise. Announcements can be heard throughout the public areas of the ship and in all cabins.

    CABINS

    On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well designed cabins. All feature a sitting area, en-suite bathroom with marble topped vanity unit and walk-in shower, spacious wardrobe and dressing table.

    Cabins on Explorer (Deck 6) and Erikson (Deck 5) have private balconies.

    Cabins on Marco Polo Deck (Deck 4) have tinted sliding doors for enhanced views and quick access to the deck if any wildlife is spotted.

    All cabins have the following facilities:

    • Dressing gowns and slippers

    • TV

    • Electrical outlet

    • Hairdryer

    • Heating and air-conditioning (individually controlled)

    • Mini bar & fridge – upon request it can be filled with soft drinks and beer for purchase. The mini bar is stocked on arrival and replenished daily. A price list can be found in the cabin.

    • Safe

    • Molton Brown toiletries: hand soap, shower gel, shampoo, hair conditioner and body lotion

    • Telephone

    Each cabin has two twin beds that can be reconfigured to form a double bed upon request. Please advise the Reservation Department or the Reception if you want a double bed. Cabins are serviced each morning by your cabin attendant and again in the evening when the beds are turned down. Please note that on MS Island Sky, all cabins have a shower but none have baths.

    COMMUNICATIONS

    Telephone

    If you wish to contact the ship, please call +1 954 67266785. This is a US number so calls will be charged at an international rate. There is a phone in your cabin which has access to an outside line. Outgoing call costs will be advised on board. You can make cabin to cabin calls free of charge. The ship can be contacted by email at rec@is.salenship.com. Please indicate the passenger name and cabin number in the subject field.

    Satellite Internet & Wi-Fi

    Connectivity is now an important feature in our lives and we do our best to bring this service to you on board. There are facilities in the Library to access the Internet and Noble Caledonia also offers complimentary satellite Wi-Fi access on board. Wi-Fi is available in the public areas and passenger cabins. You will need to bring your own device to connect in these areas. Wi-Fi cards, with your unique log in and instructions, are available at Reception. The service provided on board uses direct satellite technology and has a certain amount of bandwidth available. The same level of connectivity and speed that we enjoy at home through cable or fibre-optic based infrastructures cannot be expected on board.

    As you traverse the seas and ports, the ship’s antennae have to re-establish connection with the transmission satellites. Signal may also be blocked by mountains, buildings or even local radio frequency regulations. Remote locations out of satellite range, weather on earth or in space can also affect signal strength. Please also bear in mind that the network is shared by everyone on board so congestion can be anticipated which will slow down speeds especially at peak times. The bandwidth available to the ship means that connectivity is best served using text-based communications and simple social media. Some applications which involve downloading large files may not be available on board.

    Here are some tips for using satellite Wi-Fi on board:

    • Avoid peak times such as the return to the ship after an excursion.

    • Always log off the system when not in use to free up bandwidth space for other passengers.

    • Work offline.

    • Download any apps you need before leaving home.

    • Turn off or disable background app data services and updates – apps that sync in the background can quickly eat up data without your knowledge.

    • Disable push notifications as these use a lot of data.

    • Remember to bring any charging or data cables required

    • Your Network provider may offer a cruise package but be careful, once the land signal is lost, this will transfer to the satellite signal which will incur greater costs.

    • Cruise Terminals ashore often have good land based internet to supplement your connectivity.

    • Put your phone on Airplane Mode when not in use to avoid roaming charges from your Network Provider.

    • Be careful not to access private accounts such as bank accounts on public Wi-Fi systems. 

    DAILY PROGRAMME

    A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced on board and delivered to your cabin daily.

    DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

    If you have any dietary requirements such as vegetarian, low salt, gluten free and low cholesterol, please notify the Reservations Department. We regret that not all dietary requirements can be guaranteed. If you have any specific or special foods that you require we recommend that you take some with you although we will endeavour to accommodate your needs. Once on board, please speak to the Chef or the Maitre D’ at dinner on your first night on board to reconfirm your needs.

    DINING AND DRINKING

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the Restaurant. During good weather, early riser’s coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner may also be served on The Lido Deck. Afternoon tea is served in The Club or in The Lounge depending on activities. Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits are available self-service 24 hours a day in The Club. House wine, beer and soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner. MS Island Sky operates an open seating policy which greatly enhances the convivial atmosphere on board. The Restaurant has table configurations of 8, 6, 4 and some 2’s. Room service is not available on board. As we operate an open seating policy, we regret that reservations cannot be made. Please note that passengers are not permitted to consume their own supplies of alcohol on board. Water is safe to drink on board and is treated with chlorine. An eco-friendly, reusable water bottle is available in the cabin for your use throughout the cruise.

    DISABLED FACILITIES

    There is a lift, but the ship does not have facilities for disabled or wheelchair dependent passengers. Additionally, most shore excursions involve some walking and some excursions are walking tours only. There is no chair lift on board and access to the ship is by gangway.

    DISEMBARKATION

    Your Cruise Director / Expedition Leader will provide you with detailed disembarkation information prior to the end of your cruise. This will include transfer information (where applicable). If you should have any specific queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Cruise Director / Expedition Leader as soon as possible after embarkation.

    DRESS CODE 

    The dress code on board is defined as casual. During the day, comfortable and casual attire is appropriate. The evenings are smart casual. Jackets and ties are not required. However, we kindly ask you to refrain from wearing shorts during evening meals in the Restaurant. You may wish to wear something a little dressier for the Welcome and Farewell Dinners, for example, a jacket and tie for gentlemen and a dress for ladies. No “black tie” is necessary. It is recommended to wear footwear at all times whilst on board.

    ELECTRICITY

    Voltage is 110v/60Hz (American standard) and a 220v razor socket. This is only suitable for low voltage electrical appliances, e.g. mobile phone or camera charger. We recommend that you bring a two-pin American adaptor for the 110v plug. Please note that the use of personal hairdryers, clothing irons, coffee makers, curling tongs, etc. in the cabins is strictly forbidden as they may damage the ship’s electrical system. If you require electrical medical equipment, please notify the Reservation Department as soon as possible.

    GOING ASHORE

    Wait in public areas or in your suite until an announcement is made with instructions to disembark. Sailing times for each port are listed in the Daily Programme. Please note sailing times and ensure that you return back to the vessel at least 30 minutes prior to departure. In some ports a passport or port landing card must be carried when going ashore. This will be announced over the PA System if required. If the ship is in a remote area and you hear a continuous blast of the ship’s horn then please return immediately to the landing site. When leaving the ship at any time while in port always ensure you have checked IN/OUT at the gangway.

    HAIR & BEAUTY SALON

    MS Island Sky has a hairdresser providing haircuts and hairstyling. Some beauty treatments and massage are also available. Appointments for hair styling can be made on board at the Reception Desk. Fees for all treatments are available at Reception and will be charged to your onboard account. Each cabin is equipped with a hairdryer which can be found in the right hand top drawer of the dresser.

    HEALTH & HYGIENE

    In order to maintain health standards you will find hand sanitizers at key positions around the ship particularly at the entrance to restaurants and near the gangway. We kindly ask you to use these regularly.

    LAUNDRY SERVICE

    A laundry service is available on board. Laundry bags and a price list can be found in the wardrobe in your cabin. Please complete the laundry list and leave it together with the bag of itmes to be laundered on your bed. Your laundered items will be returned within 24 hours. There are no public launderette or ironing facilities on board. In the interest of safety we ask that you do not use an electric iron in your suite. An ironing service is available at reasonable cost. Dry cleaning facilities are not available on board. In the interest of the environment, towels will not be automatically changed every day. We ask that you put used towels on the bathroom floor if you wish them to be changed for fresh towels. Towels left hanging on the towel rack will not be changed.

    LIFT

    All passenger decks can be reached by lift. Please do not use the lift in the case of a fire or an emergency.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Before you disembark the ship, please check your cabin to ensure you do not leave anything behind. On board the ship, any liquids, cosmetics, paper(s) and perishable items left behind will be disposed of immediately. Any books left on board the ship will be incorporated into the ship’s library or donated to charity. Other items left behind on the ship will be kept on board for 1 month or 2 cruises (whichever is the longer period), and after this time, any unclaimed items will be given to a local charity at the next main port the ship visits. If you discover you have left any items behind, please contact Noble Caledonia within 21 days of disembarking. If we are able to recover your item(s) we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection, and any costs incurred will be at your own expense.

    MAIL

    Although reception staff are happy to post letters on your behalf, they may not be able to do so straightaway or at the port of call at which you make such a request. Some postal services are unreliable and many letters or postcards that you ask to be delivered on your behalf may be delayed or even lost en route. Under no circumstances can we be held liable for such occurrences.

    MEDICAL FACILITIES

    Medical services are available 24 hours a day. There is a Doctor on board and crew members are trained in first aid. Cabin visits by the ship’s Doctor are available. Please note that all consultations and services are charged for. To arrange an appointment with the ship’s Doctor please contact Reception by dialing 9/301* or in an emergency 500. It takes some people longer to find their sea legs. Sea sickness tablets are available from Reception, and should be taken at least one hour prior to departure.

    MINI BAR

    For your convenience a mini bar facility has been set up in your suite on a chargeable basis. Items consumed during the cruise will be charged to your onboard account. Your Steward/ess will restock your mini bar on a daily basis and replenish consumed items. The mini bar price list is placed in the cabinet of your mini bar. The final statement will be delivered to your cabin in the early morning of your disembarkation.

    NEWS

    News channels are available on your cabin TV and in addition daily news bulletins can be found at Reception and in The Library.

    NOBLE CALEDONIA TEAM

    Throughout your cruise you will be accompanied by your Noble Caledonia team who will be happy to assist you with any queries or requests you may have.

    ONBOARD ACCOUNT

    All passengers will have their own “ship account” which allows you to sign a receipt for any expenses and then settle your bill at the Reception Desk at the end of the cruise. You will need to register your card at Reception shortly after sailing. If you are sharing a suite with a friend and would like separate bills, please inform Reception. Prices on board are shown in British Pounds. All final accounts will be presented in British Pounds.

    Your ship’s account can be paid by:

    • Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express).

    • Cash (British Pounds, Euros or US Dollars).

    • Travellers’ Cheques (British Pounds, US Dollars or Euros). Debit Cards and pre-paid credit card may not automatically be accepted. Please let us know in advance if you plan to use one.

    PASSPORTS

    All Passports are collected by the Purser upon embarkation. Passports are necessary to facilitate immigration formalities at each port of call and are returned at the end of the cruise.

    PUBLIC AREAS

    The Club – Located on Deck 4 aft, The Club features the main bar and a 24 hour tea and coffee station. A quiet place to meet friends or relax during the day. In the evening our onboard resident pianist plays before and after dinner.

    The Library – Located on Deck 4 aft. In The Library you can find a well stocked selection of reference books pertaining to the destinations. Fiction books, games and playing cards are also available for your pleasure. Novels brought on board may be exchanged with other books in the paperback library. Should you wish to donate any books which you may have brought with you, we will be happy to add these for the pleasure of future guests. Reference books may not be removed from the ship. In addition, a selection of DVDs are available to play on your cabin TV. Please take the empty DVD box to Reception to collect the DVD disk. Please return all borrowed materials as soon as you have finished using them.

    The Lounge – Located on Deck 3 aft. Daily Briefings by the Cruise Director or Expedition Leader are given in The Lounge which is fitted with multiple screens and presentation equipment. Informative talks from the Guest Speaker or expedition team are also given here.

    Observation Deck  – On the Explorer Deck, Deck 6, there is an area for sun loungers which is ideal for sunbathing as well as a forward facing observation platform.

    Promenade Deck – MS Island Sky has a walk around Promenade Deck, on Deck 4. We kindly ask for your consideration to those guests whose cabins are located on and beneath the Promenade Deck. Please use the deck for walking / jogging between 8.30 am and 9.00 pm.

    QUESTIONNAIRE

    Your comments are important to us therefore before your cruise ends, you will receive a questionnaire. We are always looking for ways to improve your holiday experience and appreciate the time you take to complete the questionnaire. Kindly hand your completed questionnaire in at Reception.

    SAFE

    There is a safe in every suite located in the closet. The safe can be programmed with your own code, instructions can be found inside the closet door and cabin staff will be available to assist upon embarkation.. We recommend that you leave money and other valuables in the safe. Kindly remember to remove all items from the safe before disembarking the ship at the end of your cruise.

    SAFETY DRILL & SAFETY

    International Maritime Law requires a lifeboat safety drill to take place prior to sailing. All guests must attend this compulsory and important exercise. Please listen for the announcements. During the drill, all ships services will be suspended. Your assigned lifeboat station, location of your life jacket and the signal for lifeboat and fire drills are clearly explained on the emergency card posted on the back of your suite’s door. Life jackets are located in your suite. During the safety drill you will be shown how to wear the life jacket.

    It is essential that you take certain safety precautions while on board:

    • Walk, never run and be especially careful on wet and slippery decks.

    • Ladies are advised to wear low heeled shoes especially on deck.

    • Footwear should be worn at all times.

    • Hold on to the handrails in passageways and stairways.

    SHIP’S ID CARD

    These personal ID cards with essential information are issued to each guest during embarkation. Please ensure you remember to check in and out at the gangway with the crew member on duty in order to ensure that you are on board prior to sailing.

    SMOKING POLICY

    The MS Island Sky offers a smoke-free cruise environment. Smoking is not permitted inside the ship, including the balcony areas. Smoking is only permitted in the designated area outside on Deck 4 aft. Please never throw any cigarette ends overboard – the breeze could carry the smouldering end back on board and start a fire. We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

    TELEPHONE CALLS

    Calls to other cabins can be made free of charge by dialing the cabin number. Lift the handset and dial the cabin number. If you wish to make an outside call, please check at Reception to purchase a prepaid telephone card and instructions. Costs are available from Reception and charges are automatically billed to your onboard account.

    TELEVISION

    All suites are equipped with a flat screen television with a built-in DVD player which can also play CD’s. There will be a selection of channels available including news and documentaries. DVD’s are available to borrow from The Library, please take the empty DVD box to Reception to collect the DVD disk. DVDs are configured to Region 2.

    TOILETRIES

    Molton Brown shampoo, conditioner, hand soap and shower gel are provided in your bathroom. If you have forgotten anything ie. toothpaste, please ask Reception, who have a selection of items available for purchase.

    VISITORS

    For the safety and security of all passengers no visitors are allowed on board the ship.

    VISITING THE BRIDGE

    At times Bridge visits may be possible. If visiting the Bridge, please note this is a working area and access may sometimes be restricted.

    WAKE UP CALL

    Wake up calls can be requested through the Reception Desk.

    WATER

    Previously the MS Island Sky used 54,000 bottles of water a year. In order to reduce the damage caused to the environment by waste plastic, we replaced plastic bottled water where possible with eco-friendly, reusable water bottles and water carafes. These are for your use during the cruise and we kindly ask you to leave them in your cabin at the end of the cruise. The bottles and carafes can be filled from the tap – the tap water is safe to drink – or from the water station in The Club. Alternatively your cabin steward can refill your carafe daily. Should you prefer to use plastic bottled water then please just let your cabin steward know.

    ZODIAC OR LOCAL BOATS TO TENDER ASHORE

    Some destinations may require the use of the ship’s Zodiacs or local tender boats to go ashore. Guests will be advised where and when to meet the Zodiac or local tender boat to go ashore. Please ensure that your hands are free at all times and accept the assistance given by the crew on board the MS Island Sky when boarding tenders / Zodiacs. A Zodiac safety briefing will be given.

    Please note: These details should be used as a guideline only. Information is subject to change.

    V.5 March 2020

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  • Your Suite

    Your Suite

    On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well-designed suites. All feature a seating area and some have private balconies, whilst those on the Marco Polo Deck feature tinted, sliding glass doors allowing greatly enhanced viewing opportunities from your suite and quick access to the deck when a pod of whales or dolphins is spotted. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass, which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, a large wardrobe, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/ CD player and a telephone in each suite. Refillable water bottles, dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. The suites on each deck have their own colour theme. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be. The comfortable beds in each suite can be configured as either double or twin.

    The impressive Island Suite located on the Explorer Deck features an extra large balcony stretching the length of the suite. Additional features of this marvellous suite include complimentary minibar stocked with your preference of beverages and complimentary laundry.

     

  • Your Space

    Your Space

    The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Island Sky include a large lounge on the Columbus Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings and talks given by the Noble Caledonia onboard team take place in the lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. For your convenience, it is also possible to follow the onboard lectures from the comfort of your suite.

    In addition to the Main Lounge on the Columbus Deck, there is also The Club, located on the Marco Polo Deck which features the main bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Marco Polo Deck is the Library. Well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads, you will not find yourself short of excellent literature on board. A collection of games and devices to access the internet via the ship’s satellite can also be found in the Library. Access to the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi via your own device is complimentary on board (signal strength varies depending on location and demand). Newspapers are also placed in the library depending on local availability. The Dining Room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Magellan Deck and outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Erikson 

    Deck, complete with deck tables and chairs where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Whilst heaters and blankets make dining al fresco comfortable in cooler climates. Further to this on the top Explorer Deck the observation area complete with sun loungers is ideal for sun bathing, relaxing with a book or spotting wildlife. The walk around promenade on the Marco Polo Deck provides a unique circular view of the passing seascapes. There is also a small hairdressers on board offering a selection of beauty treatments. For your comfort, there is a clinic with Doctor on board and a lift which serves all decks. As is the joy of small ship cruising, we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the progress of the vessel (subject to weather or security conditions).

     

  • Your Dining

    Your Dining

     

    It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our Sky vessels when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality that befits such vessels. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well-stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapés take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido Deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice.

    In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like-minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose.

    The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.

     

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     Click on image above to view a sample menu.

  • Life On Board

    Life Onboard

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then our ships are not for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find our flagships the perfect vessels.

    When choosing your next voyage the choice of vessels is astounding. You can select a ship carrying in excess of 4000 passengers with impersonal service or join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky, MS Island Sky or MS Hebridean Sky where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. Instead, the atmosphere is warm and convivial and more akin to a private yacht or country hotel in which you can learn more about the wonders of nature, culture and ancient civilisations in the company of like-minded people. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Expedition Leader or Cruise Director and of course good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make any voyage aboard these wonderful vessels a memorable and joyful experience. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of an exceedingly comfortable ship.

    The daily programme on board is in the capable hands of our Cruise Director or Expedition Leader and staff who coordinate with the Captain and Officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities. Dress on board is casual and relaxed and there will be no ‘black tie’ evenings.

  • For your comfort

    For Your Comfort

    MS Island Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey. You will also find on your suite television a navigation channel showing the routing of the vessel as well as the view from the Bridge. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck.

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  • Ship Directory

    Ship Directory

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    Please find below further details pertaining to the vessel or click on the booklet to download.

    We are delighted you have chosen the MS Island Sky for your upcoming voyage. The 118-passenger, all-suite vessel is one of the finest small ships in the world and benefits from unusually spacious accommodation, public areas and outside decks.

    You will find the atmosphere on board akin to a private yacht or country hotel with a little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, talks from our onboard team and informative port briefings from your Cruise Director or Expedition Leader. After a day of exploration ashore, you will return to the comfort and peace of a well-run and exceedingly comfortable ship.

    Along with the Captain and officers and the Noble Caledonia team, our crew of 70 are dedicated to offering you the best possible experience during your time on board.

    We hope this information booklet answers any questions you may have pertaining to the vessel and wish you a pleasant voyage.

    VESSEL TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Passengers: 118
    Length: 90.60 metres
    Width: 15.30 metres
    Registered: Bahamas
    Crew/Staff: 70
    Year built: 1992
    Language: English
    Gross Tonnage: 4200 tonnes

    ADAPTORS

    Adaptors for hairdryers, mobile phones etc. can be obtained from Reception. These should be returned to Reception at the end of the cruise and are the property of the MS Island Sky.

    AIR-CONDITIONING

    The entire ship is air-conditioned. All cabins feature individual temperature controls. In order to keep the air-conditioning system working efficiently, please keep doors closed when in use.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The ship uses a public address system to advise guests of all important information and activities during the cruise. Announcements can be heard throughout the public areas of the ship and in all cabins.

    CABINS

    On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well designed cabins. All feature a sitting area, en-suite bathroom with marble topped vanity unit and walk-in shower, spacious wardrobe and dressing table.

    Cabins on Explorer (Deck 6) and Erikson (Deck 5) have private balconies.

    Cabins on Marco Polo Deck (Deck 4) have tinted sliding doors for enhanced views and quick access to the deck if any wildlife is spotted.

    All cabins have the following facilities:

    • Dressing gowns and slippers

    • TV

    • Electrical outlet

    • Hairdryer

    • Heating and air-conditioning (individually controlled)

    • Mini bar & fridge – upon request it can be filled with soft drinks and beer for purchase. The mini bar is stocked on arrival and replenished daily. A price list can be found in the cabin.

    • Safe

    • Molton Brown toiletries: hand soap, shower gel, shampoo, hair conditioner and body lotion

    • Telephone

    Each cabin has two twin beds that can be reconfigured to form a double bed upon request. Please advise the Reservation Department or the Reception if you want a double bed. Cabins are serviced each morning by your cabin attendant and again in the evening when the beds are turned down. Please note that on MS Island Sky, all cabins have a shower but none have baths.

    COMMUNICATIONS

    Telephone

    If you wish to contact the ship, please call +1 954 67266785. This is a US number so calls will be charged at an international rate. There is a phone in your cabin which has access to an outside line. Outgoing call costs will be advised on board. You can make cabin to cabin calls free of charge. The ship can be contacted by email at rec@is.salenship.com. Please indicate the passenger name and cabin number in the subject field.

    Satellite Internet & Wi-Fi

    Connectivity is now an important feature in our lives and we do our best to bring this service to you on board. There are facilities in the Library to access the Internet and Noble Caledonia also offers complimentary satellite Wi-Fi access on board. Wi-Fi is available in the public areas and passenger cabins. You will need to bring your own device to connect in these areas. Wi-Fi cards, with your unique log in and instructions, are available at Reception. The service provided on board uses direct satellite technology and has a certain amount of bandwidth available. The same level of connectivity and speed that we enjoy at home through cable or fibre-optic based infrastructures cannot be expected on board.

    As you traverse the seas and ports, the ship’s antennae have to re-establish connection with the transmission satellites. Signal may also be blocked by mountains, buildings or even local radio frequency regulations. Remote locations out of satellite range, weather on earth or in space can also affect signal strength. Please also bear in mind that the network is shared by everyone on board so congestion can be anticipated which will slow down speeds especially at peak times. The bandwidth available to the ship means that connectivity is best served using text-based communications and simple social media. Some applications which involve downloading large files may not be available on board.

    Here are some tips for using satellite Wi-Fi on board:

    • Avoid peak times such as the return to the ship after an excursion.

    • Always log off the system when not in use to free up bandwidth space for other passengers.

    • Work offline.

    • Download any apps you need before leaving home.

    • Turn off or disable background app data services and updates – apps that sync in the background can quickly eat up data without your knowledge.

    • Disable push notifications as these use a lot of data.

    • Remember to bring any charging or data cables required

    • Your Network provider may offer a cruise package but be careful, once the land signal is lost, this will transfer to the satellite signal which will incur greater costs.

    • Cruise Terminals ashore often have good land based internet to supplement your connectivity.

    • Put your phone on Airplane Mode when not in use to avoid roaming charges from your Network Provider.

    • Be careful not to access private accounts such as bank accounts on public Wi-Fi systems. 

    DAILY PROGRAMME

    A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced on board and delivered to your cabin daily.

    DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

    If you have any dietary requirements such as vegetarian, low salt, gluten free and low cholesterol, please notify the Reservations Department. We regret that not all dietary requirements can be guaranteed. If you have any specific or special foods that you require we recommend that you take some with you although we will endeavour to accommodate your needs. Once on board, please speak to the Chef or the Maitre D’ at dinner on your first night on board to reconfirm your needs.

    DINING AND DRINKING

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the Restaurant. During good weather, early riser’s coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner may also be served on The Lido Deck. Afternoon tea is served in The Club or in The Lounge depending on activities. Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits are available self-service 24 hours a day in The Club. House wine, beer and soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner. MS Island Sky operates an open seating policy which greatly enhances the convivial atmosphere on board. The Restaurant has table configurations of 8, 6, 4 and some 2’s. Room service is not available on board. As we operate an open seating policy, we regret that reservations cannot be made. Please note that passengers are not permitted to consume their own supplies of alcohol on board. Water is safe to drink on board and is treated with chlorine. An eco-friendly, reusable water bottle is available in the cabin for your use throughout the cruise.

    DISABLED FACILITIES

    There is a lift, but the ship does not have facilities for disabled or wheelchair dependent passengers. Additionally, most shore excursions involve some walking and some excursions are walking tours only. There is no chair lift on board and access to the ship is by gangway.

    DISEMBARKATION

    Your Cruise Director / Expedition Leader will provide you with detailed disembarkation information prior to the end of your cruise. This will include transfer information (where applicable). If you should have any specific queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Cruise Director / Expedition Leader as soon as possible after embarkation.

    DRESS CODE 

    The dress code on board is defined as casual. During the day, comfortable and casual attire is appropriate. The evenings are smart casual. Jackets and ties are not required. However, we kindly ask you to refrain from wearing shorts during evening meals in the Restaurant. You may wish to wear something a little dressier for the Welcome and Farewell Dinners, for example, a jacket and tie for gentlemen and a dress for ladies. No “black tie” is necessary. It is recommended to wear footwear at all times whilst on board.

    ELECTRICITY

    Voltage is 110v/60Hz (American standard) and a 220v razor socket. This is only suitable for low voltage electrical appliances, e.g. mobile phone or camera charger. We recommend that you bring a two-pin American adaptor for the 110v plug. Please note that the use of personal hairdryers, clothing irons, coffee makers, curling tongs, etc. in the cabins is strictly forbidden as they may damage the ship’s electrical system. If you require electrical medical equipment, please notify the Reservation Department as soon as possible.

    GOING ASHORE

    Wait in public areas or in your suite until an announcement is made with instructions to disembark. Sailing times for each port are listed in the Daily Programme. Please note sailing times and ensure that you return back to the vessel at least 30 minutes prior to departure. In some ports a passport or port landing card must be carried when going ashore. This will be announced over the PA System if required. If the ship is in a remote area and you hear a continuous blast of the ship’s horn then please return immediately to the landing site. When leaving the ship at any time while in port always ensure you have checked IN/OUT at the gangway.

    HAIR & BEAUTY SALON

    MS Island Sky has a hairdresser providing haircuts and hairstyling. Some beauty treatments and massage are also available. Appointments for hair styling can be made on board at the Reception Desk. Fees for all treatments are available at Reception and will be charged to your onboard account. Each cabin is equipped with a hairdryer which can be found in the right hand top drawer of the dresser.

    HEALTH & HYGIENE

    In order to maintain health standards you will find hand sanitizers at key positions around the ship particularly at the entrance to restaurants and near the gangway. We kindly ask you to use these regularly.

    LAUNDRY SERVICE

    A laundry service is available on board. Laundry bags and a price list can be found in the wardrobe in your cabin. Please complete the laundry list and leave it together with the bag of itmes to be laundered on your bed. Your laundered items will be returned within 24 hours. There are no public launderette or ironing facilities on board. In the interest of safety we ask that you do not use an electric iron in your suite. An ironing service is available at reasonable cost. Dry cleaning facilities are not available on board. In the interest of the environment, towels will not be automatically changed every day. We ask that you put used towels on the bathroom floor if you wish them to be changed for fresh towels. Towels left hanging on the towel rack will not be changed.

    LIFT

    All passenger decks can be reached by lift. Please do not use the lift in the case of a fire or an emergency.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Before you disembark the ship, please check your cabin to ensure you do not leave anything behind. On board the ship, any liquids, cosmetics, paper(s) and perishable items left behind will be disposed of immediately. Any books left on board the ship will be incorporated into the ship’s library or donated to charity. Other items left behind on the ship will be kept on board for 1 month or 2 cruises (whichever is the longer period), and after this time, any unclaimed items will be given to a local charity at the next main port the ship visits. If you discover you have left any items behind, please contact Noble Caledonia within 21 days of disembarking. If we are able to recover your item(s) we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection, and any costs incurred will be at your own expense.

    MAIL

    Although reception staff are happy to post letters on your behalf, they may not be able to do so straightaway or at the port of call at which you make such a request. Some postal services are unreliable and many letters or postcards that you ask to be delivered on your behalf may be delayed or even lost en route. Under no circumstances can we be held liable for such occurrences.

    MEDICAL FACILITIES

    Medical services are available 24 hours a day. There is a Doctor on board and crew members are trained in first aid. Cabin visits by the ship’s Doctor are available. Please note that all consultations and services are charged for. To arrange an appointment with the ship’s Doctor please contact Reception by dialing 9/301* or in an emergency 500. It takes some people longer to find their sea legs. Sea sickness tablets are available from Reception, and should be taken at least one hour prior to departure.

    MINI BAR

    For your convenience a mini bar facility has been set up in your suite on a chargeable basis. Items consumed during the cruise will be charged to your onboard account. Your Steward/ess will restock your mini bar on a daily basis and replenish consumed items. The mini bar price list is placed in the cabinet of your mini bar. The final statement will be delivered to your cabin in the early morning of your disembarkation.

    NEWS

    News channels are available on your cabin TV and in addition daily news bulletins can be found at Reception and in The Library.

    NOBLE CALEDONIA TEAM

    Throughout your cruise you will be accompanied by your Noble Caledonia team who will be happy to assist you with any queries or requests you may have.

    ONBOARD ACCOUNT

    All passengers will have their own “ship account” which allows you to sign a receipt for any expenses and then settle your bill at the Reception Desk at the end of the cruise. You will need to register your card at Reception shortly after sailing. If you are sharing a suite with a friend and would like separate bills, please inform Reception. Prices on board are shown in British Pounds. All final accounts will be presented in British Pounds.

    Your ship’s account can be paid by:

    • Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express).

    • Cash (British Pounds, Euros or US Dollars).

    • Travellers’ Cheques (British Pounds, US Dollars or Euros). Debit Cards and pre-paid credit card may not automatically be accepted. Please let us know in advance if you plan to use one.

    PASSPORTS

    All Passports are collected by the Purser upon embarkation. Passports are necessary to facilitate immigration formalities at each port of call and are returned at the end of the cruise.

    PUBLIC AREAS

    The Club – Located on Deck 4 aft, The Club features the main bar and a 24 hour tea and coffee station. A quiet place to meet friends or relax during the day. In the evening our onboard resident pianist plays before and after dinner.

    The Library – Located on Deck 4 aft. In The Library you can find a well stocked selection of reference books pertaining to the destinations. Fiction books, games and playing cards are also available for your pleasure. Novels brought on board may be exchanged with other books in the paperback library. Should you wish to donate any books which you may have brought with you, we will be happy to add these for the pleasure of future guests. Reference books may not be removed from the ship. In addition, a selection of DVDs are available to play on your cabin TV. Please take the empty DVD box to Reception to collect the DVD disk. Please return all borrowed materials as soon as you have finished using them.

    The Lounge – Located on Deck 3 aft. Daily Briefings by the Cruise Director or Expedition Leader are given in The Lounge which is fitted with multiple screens and presentation equipment. Informative talks from the Guest Speaker or expedition team are also given here.

    Observation Deck  – On the Explorer Deck, Deck 6, there is an area for sun loungers which is ideal for sunbathing as well as a forward facing observation platform.

    Promenade Deck – MS Island Sky has a walk around Promenade Deck, on Deck 4. We kindly ask for your consideration to those guests whose cabins are located on and beneath the Promenade Deck. Please use the deck for walking / jogging between 8.30 am and 9.00 pm.

    QUESTIONNAIRE

    Your comments are important to us therefore before your cruise ends, you will receive a questionnaire. We are always looking for ways to improve your holiday experience and appreciate the time you take to complete the questionnaire. Kindly hand your completed questionnaire in at Reception.

    SAFE

    There is a safe in every suite located in the closet. The safe can be programmed with your own code, instructions can be found inside the closet door and cabin staff will be available to assist upon embarkation.. We recommend that you leave money and other valuables in the safe. Kindly remember to remove all items from the safe before disembarking the ship at the end of your cruise.

    SAFETY DRILL & SAFETY

    International Maritime Law requires a lifeboat safety drill to take place prior to sailing. All guests must attend this compulsory and important exercise. Please listen for the announcements. During the drill, all ships services will be suspended. Your assigned lifeboat station, location of your life jacket and the signal for lifeboat and fire drills are clearly explained on the emergency card posted on the back of your suite’s door. Life jackets are located in your suite. During the safety drill you will be shown how to wear the life jacket.

    It is essential that you take certain safety precautions while on board:

    • Walk, never run and be especially careful on wet and slippery decks.

    • Ladies are advised to wear low heeled shoes especially on deck.

    • Footwear should be worn at all times.

    • Hold on to the handrails in passageways and stairways.

    SHIP’S ID CARD

    These personal ID cards with essential information are issued to each guest during embarkation. Please ensure you remember to check in and out at the gangway with the crew member on duty in order to ensure that you are on board prior to sailing.

    SMOKING POLICY

    The MS Island Sky offers a smoke-free cruise environment. Smoking is not permitted inside the ship, including the balcony areas. Smoking is only permitted in the designated area outside on Deck 4 aft. Please never throw any cigarette ends overboard – the breeze could carry the smouldering end back on board and start a fire. We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

    TELEPHONE CALLS

    Calls to other cabins can be made free of charge by dialing the cabin number. Lift the handset and dial the cabin number. If you wish to make an outside call, please check at Reception to purchase a prepaid telephone card and instructions. Costs are available from Reception and charges are automatically billed to your onboard account.

    TELEVISION

    All suites are equipped with a flat screen television with a built-in DVD player which can also play CD’s. There will be a selection of channels available including news and documentaries. DVD’s are available to borrow from The Library, please take the empty DVD box to Reception to collect the DVD disk. DVDs are configured to Region 2.

    TOILETRIES

    Molton Brown shampoo, conditioner, hand soap and shower gel are provided in your bathroom. If you have forgotten anything ie. toothpaste, please ask Reception, who have a selection of items available for purchase.

    VISITORS

    For the safety and security of all passengers no visitors are allowed on board the ship.

    VISITING THE BRIDGE

    At times Bridge visits may be possible. If visiting the Bridge, please note this is a working area and access may sometimes be restricted.

    WAKE UP CALL

    Wake up calls can be requested through the Reception Desk.

    WATER

    Previously the MS Island Sky used 54,000 bottles of water a year. In order to reduce the damage caused to the environment by waste plastic, we replaced plastic bottled water where possible with eco-friendly, reusable water bottles and water carafes. These are for your use during the cruise and we kindly ask you to leave them in your cabin at the end of the cruise. The bottles and carafes can be filled from the tap – the tap water is safe to drink – or from the water station in The Club. Alternatively your cabin steward can refill your carafe daily. Should you prefer to use plastic bottled water then please just let your cabin steward know.

    ZODIAC OR LOCAL BOATS TO TENDER ASHORE

    Some destinations may require the use of the ship’s Zodiacs or local tender boats to go ashore. Guests will be advised where and when to meet the Zodiac or local tender boat to go ashore. Please ensure that your hands are free at all times and accept the assistance given by the crew on board the MS Island Sky when boarding tenders / Zodiacs. A Zodiac safety briefing will be given.

    Please note: These details should be used as a guideline only. Information is subject to change.

    V.5 March 2020

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What to Expect

Flexibility is the key to an expedition cruise; sometimes the whole day’s schedule will be changed to maximise your experience, something that would not be possible on a large cruise ship. Each day holds something new and to provide you with an idea of what to expect, below are extracts from the ship’s log from the MS Island Sky’s most recent visit to the region.

Taveuni Island, Fiji:

We set off on our different tours for the day including one to a charming village. Here we experienced demonstrations of earth oven cooking, the results of which we were invited to taste on disposable leaf plates, coconut shredding for milk, basket weaving and fishing. We then joined for the kava ceremony where you could request what amount of kava you wanted in your coconut cup; low, medium, or high-tide. The more adventurous of us requested a tsunami. Next, the Des Voeux birding walk took us high up into the nature reserve where we had stunning vistas across the fringing reef in between the trees. Our trusty 4x4s climbed the steep “road” stopping at intervals to let us explore into the jungle along what could only loosely be described as trails. We were rewarded with sightings of orange-chested pigeons and barking pigeons. Small warblers flitted in the thick foliage overhead. In the afternoon we had a swim and snorkel off the small islet of Korolevu. This island is uninhabited, unless of course you count the hundreds and hundreds of fruit bats. These amazing creatures chattered noisily in the trees and, before long, took to the sky in droves to start their evening feed. The snorkelling was fantastic though the current off the platforms proved challenging; the black-tipped reef shark swimming below us didn’t seem to mind in the slightest.

Vanikoro, Solomon Islands:

We had a chance to sleep in this morning as we spent the morning sailing to the furthest reaches of the Solomon Islands. Our guest speaker continued his series of talks with the history of the great French explorer Jean-Francois de Galaup La Perouse. Trusting our Captain to negotiate the reef better than La Perouse, we entered into Tevai Bay in front of Usily village during lunch. Although it was sprinkling lightly, the villagers were out on the beach to greet us as we came ashore. There are only a few houses and families who live here permanently, yet there were several more who came from surrounding islands to help provide us with a big welcome and a dance performance. The dancers wore braided palm leaves, grass skirts, mud and feathers and the band played bamboo pipes and drums - several songs had a beat that was nearly impossible not to dance to. The finale was really magnificent with dancers wearing costumes we had never seen before. In a song and dance borrowed from nearby Vanuatu, we had women stomping back and forth in a line while several men dressed in ten foot costumes resembling a large stack of hay, with a blue and red mask with horns, spinning and running back and forth around each other. It was captivating to watch and was a special send off on our last day in the Solomon Islands. The locals were eager to interact with us and show us around the village. We went further afield into the forest on walks in search of local flora and fauna, seeing fruit-bats and a number of birds while walking through forest festooned with epiphytes such as ferns and orchids. We had another chance to snorkel as well, this time on the sloping reef surrounding the island. The diversity of coral types here was incredible, with table, staghorn, plate and brain corals along with several soft coral species all covering the ocean floor and providing a wonderfully colourful tapestry for reef fish including parrotfish, butterflyfish and even barracuda and a hawksbill turtle. We had our recap and briefing in the evening, with details from Craig about our visit to Vanuatu, an explanation of the dances we saw in Usily this morning from our local agent Chris, and a short history of the Coastwatchers by John. These valuable servicemen and women were islanders from several countries in the South Pacific who helped to pass information and Vanikoro, Solomon Islands.

Charitable Trust Project

Noble Caledonia Charitable TrustIt is our vision to use the Noble Caledonia framework to improve economic, social and environmental conditions in the areas we work and visit. To this end, in 2013 we established the Noble Caledonia Charitable Trust (NCCT): Registered Charity No. 1153281.

Noble Caledonia Ltd cover the costs of administering the NCCT so that 100% of your donation will go directly to the beneficiaries. Money is raised from a percentage of Noble Caledonia’s profits and through fundraising by staff and donations from our travellers and business partners.

                                                                                                                                                                                    

Melanesia Learning Resources for Villages Project

Visiting the islands of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu is an eye-opening experience for those who visit.  The island-hopping and village visits of an expedition cruise give a unique insight into what 'island life' means for the people that call Melanesia home. 

Melanesia Learning Resources

After visiting the region as Cruise Director aboard an expedition ship, Helen Ahern noticed the limited resourcing for schools, with some villages doing without simple items such as paper, pens, and books.  With over twenty years’ experience in education, Helen could see a perfect opportunity to 'make a difference to lives beyond our own".  This phrase has since become the driving vision for the Learning Resources for Villages project which is now in its second year. 

The Project sources learning resources from New Zealand schools and ships these to isolated villages in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, with the help of expedition cruise vessels, such as the Caledonian Sky. 

Melanesia Learning Resources

In talking with the local head teachers and teachers, their common wish is for paper, writing tools, and reading books.  The inside of classrooms vary depending on the isolation, staff and community support – from sparse with no tables or chairs, to rooms with some visual posters on walls.  Sometimes there are no bookshelves, texts, and very limited supplies of paper and pens if there are any at all.   We have seen communities band together to build solid weatherproof structures, such as libraries, utilising funding streams from countries like New Zealand and Australia. 

Now the schools are hoping to find books for the shelves.  Sometimes the building structure is the easy part with a long wait for resources due to funding, general logistics and/or infrequent shipping!Children are trilingual with their local oral village language, Pidgin and English.  The latter being the teaching medium in schools as it is seen to open opportunities and provide access to further knowledge and learning. 

Village members are acutely aware that the future of their village ultimately relies upon their young people and although this can be a challenge with such limited resourcing they remain motivated to support their young generation the best way they know how.    

Melanesia Learning Resources

Some island villages are infrequently visited by any 'outsiders'.  One village we delivered learning resources to had no recollection of visitors in the living memory of their elders.  Life is basic and survival is through subsistence living.  Not all villages have a primary school and even if they do, attendance is a major issue with children often required to support homelife rather than being in class.

 

Some schools are at such a distance that it requires children to make the long journey of well over an hour each way independently by dug-out canoe or by foot. The project co-ordinates donations from New Zealand schools, individual teachers and authors of instructional reading texts, journals and library books which are then loaded aboard expedition ships bound for the Pacific Islands and distributed by the ship’s crew to the village schools they visit.  This is a team effort from across the country and donations are given in the spirit of generosity knowing that children are the future of all strong communities.

Helen continues to visit the islands annually in her role aboard expedition ships. As well as delivering resources, she has found a niche in growing relationships with those working in the village schools.  This has added to both the Project vision as well as providing authentic, meaningful experiences for the visitors to the islands; a symbiotic partnership in action.

With the support of Noble Caledonia, the Learning Resources for Villages project are able to collect, ship and distribute learning resources to these villages and make a difference to lives beyond our own.

Website: supportvillages.wixsite.com/booksvillages

Contact: kiwihels@gmail.com

Facebook: facebook.com/supportvillages

                                                                                                                                                                                    

Donating

If you would like to make a donation by cheque please make it payable to ‘NCCT’ and send it to NCCT, 2 Chester Close, London, SW1X 7BE. If you are eligible for gift aid you can increase your donation by 25% at no extra cost to you by using our Gift Aid Form. Or Click to play video 

                                                                                                                                                                                 

Tour Extensions

    • Extend your time in Tahiti with our two night stay on the island of Moorea; this heart shaped island is situated close to the main island of Tahiti and is renowned as one of the most beautiful in the world. We will be based at the Sofitel Moorea La Ora Beach Resort from where there will be opportunities to enjoy water sports or you may wish to explore the island seeing the plantations of cotton, coffee, sugarcane and pineapples and the majestic mountains with views over the island and wonderful waterfalls. Upon check-out on 22nd April, transfer to the main island and continue with the main itinerary from day 2.

      Moorea Island Moorea Island
    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      19 to 22 April 2021
      CategoryPrice
      Deluxe Garden Bungalow Twin £775
      Deluxe Garden Bungalow Single £1025
      Superior Lagoon View Bungalow Twin £825
      Superior Lagoon View Bungalow Single £1095

      Price Includes: Two nights hotel accommodation in Moorea with breakfast, transfers from airport to hotel and from hotel to the MS Island Sky using local boats and vehicles, half day island tour, gratuities.

      Not Included: Travel insurance.

    • Upon disembarking the MS Island Sky in Cairns, we are offering the opportunity to extend your time there including a full day tour to the Great Barrier Reef.

      Great Barrier Reef Great Barrier Reef

      The Itinerary

      Day 1 Cairns, Australia.

      After breakfast at the hotel enjoy a full day tour exploring the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. Local boats will take us to the outer reef where we can enjoy snorkelling, swimming or use of the glass bottom boat in the clear waters. Return to the hotel this afternoon and enjoy a free evening.

      Day 2 Cairns.

      Today is at leisure for independent exploration. Either enjoy the hotel facilities or join one of the many optional excursions offered at the hotel.

      Day 3 Cairns to Singapore.

      After breakfast in the hotel transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Singapore. On arrival transfer to our hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, for a two night stay and the remainder of the day is free to explore at your own pace.

      Day 4 Singapore.

      This morning we will enjoy an orientation tour including the National Orchid Garden which houses the largest collection of orchids in the world. Also see the bustling district of little India, the markets of Kampong Glam and the Sri Mariamman temple in Chinatown. Return to the hotel and enjoy a free afternoon and evening to explore at your own pace.

      Day 5 Singapore to London.

      Enjoy a free morning in Singapore before we meet this afternoon for our transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

      Day 6 London.

      Arrive this morning.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      20 to 25 May 2021
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £545
      Single £695

      Price Includes: Two nights hotel accommodation in Cairns with breakfast, full day tour to Great Barrier Reef on day 1, gratuities, transfers.

      Not Included: Travel insurance, Australian ETA visa, excursion on day 2.

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Hidden Treasures of the South Pacific

A voyage from Fiji to Papua New Guinea including Vanuatu & the Solomon Islands aboard the MS Island Sky

SPECIAL OFFER PRICES AVAILABLE
Island Sky
Island Sky

Itinerary at a glance

  • Hong Kong / Fiji / Lautika / Tanna / Port Havannah / Pentecost Island / Ureparapara / Vanikoro / Santa Ana / Honiara / Marovo Lagoon / Rabaul / Cairns / Singapore
19 nights from £9995
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Next Departure 4 May 2021
Hidden Treasures of the South Pacific

Papua New Guinea - The Last Frontier

Discover the wonders of Papua New Guinea aboard the MS Island Sky with Guest Speaker Dr Shirley Campbell

SPECIAL OFFER - SAVE £300 PERSON
Island Sky
Island Sky

Itinerary at a glance

  • Brisbane / Port Moresby / Bonarua Island / Fergusson & Dobu Islands / Tufi / Tami Islands / Madang / Sepik River / Alim Island / Tingwon Island / Rabaul / Cairns
17 nights from £8695
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Next Departure 2 September 2021
Papua New Guinea - The Last Frontier

Book with Confidence

Speak to one of our advisors on 020 7752 0000