Pacific Explorer


Pacific Explorer

Style: PioneerGroundbreaking tours to unique destinations
Duration: 27 days
Type: GroupSmall group tours with a maximum of 12 travellers

Notes

Foreign Office Travel Warnings

We constantly monitor the advice posted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At the time of writing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not advise against travel to any of the countries or areas that we visit on this tour.

It should be noted that this information applies to British citizens. Other nationals are asked to check the current position of their respective government.

Accommodation and Meals

Accommodation Rating

On this tour we use mostly comfortable mid-range hotels and resorts. Rooms will be with an en-suite, private bathroom, with the exception of our stay on North Tarawa, Kiribati (see below). Each hotel/resort will offer a restaurant and bar facilities. And at certain properties you will find other facilities including a swimming pool.

Please note that the accommodation on North Tarawa, Kiribati is more basic. At the Tabon Te Keekee Lodge we will stay in traditional style buias (bungalows). Each bungalow is a wooden structure with a thatched roof and raised floor, ideally suited to the island climate with cooling ocean breezes and shade. There is a mix of land based lagoon view buias and overwater buias. Please note bathroom facilities are shared.

We welcome solo travellers and single rooms will be allocated subject to the applicable tour supplement. Please note that on occasions you may not always be allocated a double or twin room, as some hotels have designated single rooms. These may be smaller in size. However, the supplement payable takes this into consideration.

Food & Drink

The daily meal basis is shown in the tour itinerary; breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D). Please note that lunch may be a picnic. Drinks are not included and will be payable locally in cash.

Dietary Requirements

If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.

Budgeting for your Tour

You will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the tour price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature such as laundry.

Food

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Fiji

2 course lunch or dinner – AUD 40

Wallis & Futuna

All meals included

New Caledonia

2 course lunch or dinner – AUD 40

Vanuatu

2 course lunch or dinner – AUD 40

Solomon Islands

2 course lunch or dinner – AUD 40

Kosrae, Micronesia

All meals included

Kiribati

2 course lunch or dinner – AUD40

Samoa

2 course lunch or dinner – AUD 40

Drinks

The prices for drinks can vary greatly depending upon location and the prices detailed below are an average guide. In general you would expect that drinks purchased in a supermarket or local bar to be less expensive, whilst drinks in an upmarket bar or restaurant may be more expensive.

Fiji

Bottle of local beer – AUD 4

Small bottle of water – AUD 2

Wallis & Futuna

Bottle of local beer - AUD 10

Small bottle of water – AUD 4

New Caledonia

Bottle of local beer - AUD 10

Small bottle of water – AUD 4

Vanuatu

Bottle of local beer – AUD 7

Small bottle of water – AUD 3

Solomon Islands

Bottle of local beer – AUD 7

Small bottle of water – AUD 3

Kosrae, Micronesia

Bottle of local beer – USD 5

Small bottle of water – USD 2

Kiribati

Bottle of local beer – AUD 4

Small bottle of water – AUD 2

Samoa

Bottle of local beer – AUD 4

Small bottle of water – AUD 2

Tipping – Guide and Drivers

Tipping is NOT a common practice in the region; however, if you feel that the experience merits a tip then it will be greatly appreciated.

Foreign Exchange

Fiji

ATM Availability: ATM machines are common in most urban areas

Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are widely accepted in hotels, lodges and restaurants

Local Currency: Fiji dollar

Recommended Currency for Exchange: The easiest currency to exchange is the Australian dollar

Where to Exchange: At the airport or your guide will offer advice

Wallis & Futuna

ATM Availability: Not available

Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are generally accepted in the main hotels only

Local Currency: French Pacific franc

Recommended Currency for Exchange: The easiest currency to exchange is the Euro

Where to Exchange: At the airport or your guide will offer advice

New Caledonia

ATM Availability: Available in Noumea and most small towns

Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are generally accepted in the main hotels and higher end restaurants

Local Currency: French Pacific franc

Recommended Currency for Exchange: The easiest currency to exchange is the Australian dollar or the Euro

Where to Exchange: At the airport or your guide will offer advice

Vanuatu

ATM Availability: Available in Port Vila

Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are generally accepted in the main hotels and higher end restaurants

Local Currency: Vatu

Recommended Currency for Exchange: The easiest currency to exchange is the Australian dollar

Where to Exchange: At the airport or your guide will offer advice

Solomon Islands

ATM Availability: Available in Honiara

Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are generally accepted in the main hotels and higher end restaurants

Local Currency: Solomon dollar

Recommended Currency for Exchange: The easiest currency to exchange is the Australian dollar

Where to Exchange: At the airport or your guide will offer advice

Micronesia

ATM Availability: A small number of ATMs can be found in Kosrae

Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are generally accepted in the main hotels and higher end restaurants

Local Currency: US dollar

Recommended Currency for Exchange: It is advisable to travel with US dollars

Where to Exchange: At the airport or your guide will offer advice

Kiribati

ATM Availability: A small number of ATMs are available

Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are generally accepted in the main hotels and higher end restaurants

Local Currency: Australian dollar

Recommended Currency for Exchange: It is advisable to travel with Australian dollars

Where to Exchange: At the airport or your guide will offer advice

Samoa

ATM Availability: A small number of ATMs are available in Apia

Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are generally accepted in the main hotels and higher end restaurants

Local Currency: Samoa Tala

Recommended Currency for Exchange: Australian dollar or US dollar

Where to Exchange: At the airport or your guide will offer advice

Joining your Tour

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

Joining Your Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive an airport transfer, both on arrival and departure include in the tour price. In order that the transfer can be arranged please ensure that you advise us of your flight information once available. Please advise the date, time and flight number for your arrival/departure. If we have not been advised of this information at least 2 weeks before travel, then you will be required to make your own way to the hotel on Day 1 of your tour.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Undiscovered Destinations that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip.

Visa Information

Fiji

UK, US, Canadian, Australian and most EU citizens do not require a visa for a stay of up to 4 months.

New Caledonia

UK, US, Canadian, Australian and most EU citizens do not require a visa for a stay of up to 3 months.

Vanuatu

UK, US, Canadian, Australian and most EU citizens do not require a visa for a stay of up to 30 days.

Solomon Islands

UK, US, Canadian, Australian and most EU citizens do not require a visa for a stay of up to 3 months.

Federated States of Micronesia

UK, US, Canadian, Australian and most EU citizens do not require a visa for a stay of up to 30 days.

Kiribati

UK, US, Canadian, Australian and most EU citizens do not require a visa for a stay of up to one month.

Samoa

UK, US, Canadian, Australian and most EU citizens do not require a visa for a stay of up to 60 days.

Please note that you may be asked to produce a return or onward ticket as a condition of entry to most of the countries covered on this tour. We recommend that you have proof of your travel arrangements and a copy of this tour dossier to hand, ready to produce to the immigration authorities.

Regulations do frequently change though, so we advise all nationalities that you check the current requirements with your nearest embassy for up to date advice.

Passports

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, valid for at least six months beyond the end date of this tour.

We strongly advise that your passport contains a minimum of one blank page per country to be visited.

For specific information about the requirements for each destination please check with the nearest embassy or consulate. Alternatively UK citizens can visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Vaccinations & Protection

We strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery or a specialist travel clinic for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations.

For a visit of less than one month, almost certainly you will be advised to have immunisations against the following: Diphtheria and Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Meningitis. Anti-malaria medication may also be required for some of the countries visited on this tour, including Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands and the use of a DEET-containing insect repellent is highly recommended.

Under International Health Regulations, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Preparing for your tour

Climate

Covering such a wide area across the Pacific Ocean, the islands we visit on this tour have a variety of weather. In general we schedule the tours at a time of year when we can be reasonably sure of avoiding any significant rainfall. The climate can generally be described as tropical in this part of the world, but the cooling sea breezes prevent really extreme temperatures and humidity. In most cases temperatures of around 25ºc to 30ºc can be expected.

Although local weather patterns have changed in the past 20 years, making conditions less predictable, local residents recognise a cooler and more comfortable dry season during the austral winter, from May to October. The winter trade wind blows fairly steadily during these months, bringing generally fine tropical weather throughout most of the region. The austral summer from November through April is the warmer and more humid wet season. Low-pressure troughs and tropical depressions can bring several days of rain at a time, especially from December to February, when we would advise against travel. However, usually heavy rain showers are followed by periods of intense sunshine. This is also the season for tropical cyclones (hurricanes), which can be devastating and should never be taken lightly.

Clothing

When it comes to clothing it is usually recommended that lighter clothes are worn through the day, and warmer ones at night. A hat is also advised to be worn through the day to protect from the sun, along with at least one piece of waterproof clothing for any days that the weather may be wet or windy.

Equipment

The first thing on your list should be a first aid kit. Whilst there is no undue cause for alarm, travellers are best advised to travel well-prepared: adequately immunized, with sufficient supplies of prescription drugs, along with a medical kit. Suncream/sunblock is a must. Insect repellent, including a bite spray is essential for parts of this tour.

Footwear

Comfortable footwear is a must but there is no need for boots, as any hiking will be limited.

Luggage on tour

Your luggage should not exceed 20kgs (44lbs). One large suitcase/rucksack, and one small hand luggage rucksack is acceptable.

Electric Supply & Plugs

Most of the countries which we visit on this tour use a plug that has two flat pins in a V-shape as well as a grounding pin. This is the same as used in Australia. In Micronesia you will find that an American style two flat parallel pinned plug is used. You should travel with the appropriate adaptors.

Tour Itinerary Versions

Please ensure that you have an up-to-date copy of these tour notes immediately before you travel, as from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. You will be informed of any major changes to your tour but small changes may just be added to these tour notes. These notes were updated 02/11/16