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The beautiful sounds from a flute band greeted our ears as we made our way alongside Port Cruz Wharf in Honiara.

Day 12: Honaira, Solomon Islands – Reaching the final destination is bitter sweet.

Part of you can’t wait to return home and share all your new tales. The other half really doesn’t want to say goodbye to the ship, the people and the holiday.

But as we arrived in Honiara in the Solomon Islands we all suppressed the sombre side.

The beautiful sounds from a flute band greeted our ears as we made our way alongside Port Cruz Wharf in Honiara.

It was to be a very busy day with lots on offer including World War II tours and various village tours. Sadly some of us were disembarking the ship to join onward flights home.

Historically Honiara has a somewhat sombre past with various wars that have heavily impacted on its people and its landscape.

The Guadalcanal Campaign in 1942 between the United States and the Japanese brought fierce battles to the shores of Guadalcanal.

Most of these battles took place at Henderson airfield which is now home to the Honiara International Airport.

“Part of you can’t wait to return home and share all your new tales.
The other half really doesn’t want to say goodbye to the ship, the people and the holiday.”

Those flying home today reflected on the airport’s peaceful surrounds that now hide the airstrip’s murky past.

The World War II theme was increasingly evident with some of us visiting the American War memorial at Skyline Ridge.

The memorial sits high, proudly overlooking the now peaceful city of Honiara. For many of us it was a time to reflect on the many men and women who lost their lives fighting for the freedom we now often take for granted.

This afternoon the National Geographic Orion cruised into Rodrick Bay to see traditional life in the Solomon Islands.

Dolphins, flying fish, and fisherman in dugout canoes provided great subjects for photography along the way.

It was finally time to head home.

Cultures_of_the_South_Pacific_New_Zealand_to_the_Solomons

National Geographic Orion’s inaugural route.

If you’re looking for more information on the ship or to see more itineraries visit: www.expeditions.com

Otherwise click on the links below for previous blog entries.

Day Eleven – Solomon Islands
Day Ten – Lo Island

Day Nine – Espirito Santo
Day Eight – Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Day Seven – Ifira Island and Lelepa Island
Day Six – Tanna Island
Day Five – Experiencing National Geographic Orion’s delicacies

Day Four – Norfolk Island
Day Three – Captain Mike Taylor shares love of cruising
Day Two – Bay of Islands
Day One – The Christening

jeremyWORDS: Jeremy Lindblad