In the midst of the South Pacific, the Solomon Islands is part of the Coral Triangle and home to some of the best, off-the-beaten track scuba diving in the world. There is an amazing diversity of marine life, and dive site environments - wrecks, pristine reefs, lagoons, caverns, walls - all a short flight from Australia or Fiji. MV Bilikiki has been operating liveaboard cruises in the Solomons for over 25 years and their experienced crew know the best dive sites that the islands have to offer.
The MV Bilikiki is 38 metres long and is steel-hulled. Her large size and stability are 2 main reasons why guests from around the world rate the Bilikiki as one of the most spacious and comfortable vessels that they have travelled on. There is a friendly and attentive crew of 12 plus 2 managers who are responsible for diving and operations. The liveaboard is well maintained and carries all necessary navigation and communication equipment. It maintains regular contact with its ofﬁce in Honiara and there is a satellite phone for emergency or urgent communications.
There are 10 air conditioned deluxe cabins, each with its own en-suite bathroom. There is a large sundeck with loungers, open-air shaded areas, a photography room, and an indoor lounge with large tables, a bar, TV and an extensive library of marine reference and recreational reading books. Meals are served in a shaded area on the main deck and the galley staff produces quality, tasty meals and snacks. The boat also has a bar service with soft drinks, spirits, beer and wine.
Physically the diving will be the easiest you'll find. The immense dive deck give you lots of room for suiting up, and offers individual gear storage, racks and hangers for suits, freshwater showers, and easy access to the aluminium skiffs (called 'tinnies' in the Solomons). And if you're a photographer you'll appreciate the separate rinse tanks for camera gear, and the large carpeted camera tables right on the dive deck, where you need them for last minute adjustments. The crew will load everything in one of the 2 skiffs for you, and are on hand to help you in and out of the water, and wait for you at the site. Bilikiki offers unlimited diving, with the dive day built around 5 dives. The dive staff are always available to give guidance and a pre-dive briefing to outline the dive site and any special factors.
Bilikiki awaits your visit to the Solomon Islands and will be the source of some great scuba diving, new friendships, and exciting and life-long memories.
Dive experience: The diving is usually fairly easy so there is only a minimum requirement of Open Water Diver. However, you will be limited to your experience and training on depth (18m). You can take the advanced course onboard if you are only open water and would like to dive deeper. Bookings for children under 12 years of age are not accepted.
Cruise price per person includes: Hotel or airport transfers (within 3 days of the trip), cabin accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, dives (as detailed in the trips above), 2 experienced dive guides (1 in-water, 1 onboard), tanks, weights and weightbelts.
Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Scuba equipment rental (incl. computer, excl. wetsuit: US$ 180 per week), diving computer (US$ 13 per day), local taxes (US$ 25), dive & evacuation insurance. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit card).
Optional extras: Bar drinks, nitrox fills for enriched air certified divers (US$ 20 per week), torch (US$ 10 per day), 15 litre tank (free, but need to order in advance). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
How to get there: Bilikiki operates from Point Cruz in the capital of Honiara. Honiara has an international airport with flights to/from Nadi in Fiji, Brisbane in Australia, Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, and Port Vila in Vanuatu. The major airlines are Solomon Airlines, Virgin Australia, Fiji AIrways, Air Niugini, and Qantas. All cruises are designed to work with the incoming and outgoing flights so in general overnights are not required. Local airport and hotel transfers are provided.
Boarding time on the first day is normally around 4 pm, and the boat departs at 5-6 pm once everyone is onboard. The boat arrives back at Point Cruz during the final evening and disembarkation is around 8 am on the last day. You will have a few hours to look around town before being transferred back to the airport (many people opt to do one of the interesting World War 2 history tours of Honiara).
There will be 3 planned dives scheduled on the second last day of the trip. Please wait at least 18 hours before flying after diving.
Non-diver rate: None.
Single supplement (if you do not want to share accommodation): This is optional - single travelers may choose to share a cabin or pay a supplement of 50% of the normal published price for their own cabin.
Dive clubs and group discounts: Pay for 7 guests and 1 additional person can join the cruise free of charge, pay for 14 guests and 2 additional persons can join the cruise free of charge (total 16 or more guests).
Whole boat charter rate (per night): Pay for 17 guests and 3 additional persons can join the cruise free of charge.