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Departing on 8 Sep 2024 from aboard the Seabourn Pursuit - Cruise No: 2044948
The Solomon Islands is a sovereign nation consisting of multiple island groups, scattered in the South Pacific east of Papua New Guinea. Its capital is Honiara, on the island of Guadalcanal. Many of the outlying islands in the nation are relatively untouched, but Honiara is a busier hub of international commerce. The islands’ recent history is scarred by the desperate battles fought between the Japanese and American forces during World War II. In 1942, the Japanese launched their last great land offensive in the islands, which culminated in the Battle of Henderson Field fought at Honiara. Of the estimated 36,000 Japanese troops on Guadalcanal at the beginning, only 1,000 survived, the rest having either been killed directly, or succumbed to disease and starvation. Ghostly evidence of this horrific warfare dots the island, and it is memorialized at the American Memorial overlooking the town and at a smaller Solomons Peace Memorial erected by the Japanese outside the city. On a lighter note, traditional arts and crafts are on display at the National Museum, which also boasts a display of eight traditional Melanesian houses from various parts of the country. Behind the museum is a cultural center. Above town there is a pleasant botanical garden, and the bustling Central Market is a great place to get a feel for everyday life in Honiara. Although English is the official language, only a small percentage of Solomonese speak it. The common language is Pijin.
On the north shore of Vanuatu’s large island of Espiritu Santo is a beautiful pink-tinged sand beach ringing a clear warm lagoon. A freshwater spring bubbles up through the volcanic rock substrate beneath the bay, and at low tide this phenomenon creates tingling bubbles like a geothermal spa. Thus the name. Your ship will anchor offshore, and you can take a tender ashore to bask and swim or snorkel in the bay or follow one of the short trails into the surrounding forest. Local craftspeople will be there to offer handwoven mats or other crafts, and perhaps cold drinks. The site is one from a South Pacific dream, and sufficient unto itself.
The islands of French Polynesia are acclaimed as the most beautiful in the South Pacific. Tahiti is the largest of the Polynesian islands and home to the capital city of Papeete, a delightful blend of cultures. Papeete, meaning the “water basket,” was once a gathering place where Tahitians came to fill their calabashes with fresh water. Today, it is the gateway to the country, and boasts romantic resorts, fine dining, vibrant markets, pearl shops, and boutiques. Tahiti’s mountainous interior is adorned with deep valleys and scenic waterfalls, while the rugged coastal lands are home to fields of tropical flowers, and glorious white and black sand beaches.
Construction for Seabourn Pursuit began in fall 2020 during a ceremony in San Giorgo di Nogare, Italy, and the build process is well underway. The ship is scheduled for delivery in 2023, with its sister ship, Seabourn Venture, slated for delivery in 2022.
Seabourn Pursuit is the second Seabourn expedition ship slated to launch in 2023. Both Seabourn Pursuit and sister ship Seabourn Venture are designed and built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and include modern hardware and technology that will extend the ships’ global deployment and capabilities. Each will carry two custom-built submarines, 24 Zodiacs, kayaks, and a 26-person expert expedition team whose role is to engage guests throughout each voyage.
The ship then continues onward by exploring the waters and landscapes of Greenland, Iceland and Norway throughout the spring and early summer, in some instances retracing the path of the Vikings to the frontier town of Tromsø while carving its way through the inside passage of the Norwegian fjords along the way. A sure highlight for August 2023 is the ship’s Northwest Passage journey through some of the most remote areas in the Northern Hemisphere from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to Nome, Alaska.
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