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Saturday, 21 December 2019

Melanesia reveals its secrets to filmmaker

#expeditioncruising .



Filmmaker Neil Nightingale has worked and travelled throughout Melanesia for the last 30 years but this voyage with Heritage Expeditions took him to remote locations even he had not visited before.


Nightingale is the former creative
director of BBC Earth
The dancers appeared in huge costumes of grass, topped by bright red and white masks with long spikes. Completely swathed and barely able to see, they rushed back and forth across the sandy ground time and again, narrowly missing each other. This was the spectacular Temate spirit dance, unique to Vanikoro in the Solomon Islands. It was just one of many fascinating performances we experienced on Heritage Expedition’s Secrets Of Melanesia voyage to the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Melanesia is a string of beautiful green islands curving through the tropical Pacific, to the north east of Australia. It’s one of the most culturally diverse places on earth. The people speak over 1000 different languages, with as many other amazing cultural traditions. Yet many of the most traditional communities live on islands so remote they are rarely visited. This is what made the Secrets of Melanesia voyage so special – along with the wonderfully lush landscapes, unique birds and colourful coral reefs teeming with marine life.

A ship such as Heritage’s Spirit of Enderby, with less than 50 passengers, is ideal for exploring this stunning part of the Pacific Ocean. Travelling in a relatively small group meant we were able to experience these beautiful islands and rarely visited communities on a personal level. As we chatted to islanders about their lives, so different from our own, they treated us not so much as tourists as welcome guests. These were wonderfully intimate experiences, something increasingly rare in our crowded, modern world.



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