Manager's Log

December 5, 2017

Once again Bilikiki is back in Honiara after 10 days (Nov 25-Dec 5, 2017) of diving the Solomons. This time, our 20 guests came from the USA, Denmark, and Japan. read more

November 21, 2017

On our last 10 day cruise (Nov 11-Nov 21, 2017) we were joined by 14 divers from the USA, Canada and the UK. We could not have asked for better weather... read more

November 10, 2017

Bilikiki's latest 10 day cruise (Oct 31-Nov 10, 2017) was all about whales and dolphins. We were joined by 19 nature enthusiasts under the expert guidance... read more

November 1, 2017

November 1st - 4th Bilikiki Cruises is exhibiting at the DEMA show 2017 in Orlando. We are located in booth #2128. Kellie Oldfield and Sam Leeson will... read more

October 31, 2017

Bilikiki's last trip took 16 divers around the Solomon Islands over 14 days (Oct 17-Oct 31, 2017). We were blessed with beautiful weather and calm sea... read more

October 17, 2017

Bilikiki is back in Honiara after a 10 day trip (Oct 7-Oct 17) of a different kind, this time we hosted a group of 19 enthusiastic snorkelers from the... read more

October 6, 2017

On our last 10 day trip (Sep 26 - Oct 6) Bilikiki took a group of 13 divers from Denver Divers in Colorado and an Australian couple around our favourite... read more

September 26, 2017

September 16-26, 2017  During this 10 night trip we had mostly amazing weather, great dive conditions and flat seas for our crossings. We also had... read more

September 16, 2017

September 5-16, 2017   On our last 11 day trip we were joined by 14 photo enthusiasts under the expert guidance of Cathy Church, one of Bilikiki's... read more

September 4, 2017

Bilikiki has returned to Honiara after another exciting 11 days of diving the Solomons. 19 divers from Undersea Expeditions joined us on this trip, and... read more

Frequently Asked Questions
 

How do I get to Solomon Islands?

What's the weather like in the Solomon Islands, and what's the best time of the year to go there?

What's the water temperature and what sort of wet suit do I need?

What's the diving like from your boats?

How many dives can I make a day and what limits do you put on dive depths and duration?

What can I expect to see when I'm diving?

I like to dive, but will I get to see some of the Island people and their lifestyle too?

What else will I get to do during my dive trip?

Solomon Islands was the site of major World War II naval battles and many ships were sunk. Will we get to dive any of those wrecks?

I'm planning my second trip with Bilikiki Cruises. Will we go back to all the same dive sites?

What are the contact numbers and procedures while I am on board?

What is the electricity and type of plug on board?

What is a typical itinerary and what is the difference in the different length trips?

What time do we board the vessel on the first day and what time do we disembark on the last day? Do we need overnights at either end or can we fly in and out on the charter dates?

Can I rent dive equipment on board?

Do you provide shampoo and hairdryers in the cabins?


How do I get to Solomon Islands?

Most travellers from North America fly from Los Angeles through Brisbane, Australia, or Nadi Fiji. There are also flights from Port Moresby, PNG. European travellers often fly into Brisbane via Thailand, Singapore or Hong Kong. Solomon Airlines is the international carrier connecting Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands, to Fiji and Australia. In addition FIJI AIRWAYS (formerly Air Pacific) provides weekly service to and from Nadi, Fiji, and Air Niugini provides service to PNG. Virgin Airlines also has twice weekly flights between Brisbane and Honiara. Flights are limited, one of the reasons the diving is still so pristine. All of our departures coincide with these flights so that unwanted overnights are minimized, although depending on your choice of carrier in some instances an overnight may be required.

Visit our Downloads Page for current airline schedules

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What's the weather like in the Solomon Islands, and what's the best time of the year to go there?

Located just a few degrees below the equator, the Islands enjoy a year-round tropical climate moderated by the sea air. Rainfall averages 10 inches per month year round, ranging from 8 inches in the dryer season to 12 inches in the wet. There is no monsoon season with extensive periods of heavy rainfall, but rain can be expected at any time, although it usually blows over fairly quickly. Humidity is usually high, particularly inland, but is significantly lower on the smaller islands and aboard ship.

While Bilikiki Cruises used to offer trips year round, we have now decided to use the mid January to early March period, which is slightly wetter, for maintenance and well deserved crew holidays. This ensures that our boats are always in top notch condition, that the crew is relaxed and efficient, and that the customers will be guaranteed to be diving in the best seasons possible.

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What's the water temperature and what sort of wet suit do I need?

Water and Air temperature are pretty much constant, and vary only 2 - 3 degrees all year long. Water temperature is normally 82 - 85F although it may get as low as a chilly 80, and as high as a balmy 87, but this is unusual. Most divers are comfortable in a 2mm wet suit, or a combination lycra and shorty suit. Please keep in mind that although the water and air is warm, if you are doing 4 - 5 dives a day some thermal protection is recommended.

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What's the diving like from your boats?

The answer to that one could fill many pages, so let's first just consider the dive part, not what you'll see or do. Physically the diving will be the easiest you'll find anywhere. Our immense dive decks give you lots of room for suiting up, and if you're a photographer you'll appreciate the large carpeted camera tables, right on the dive deck, where you need them for last minute adjustments. Our crew will load everything you need in the skiff for you (we call the skiffs 'tinnies'), and help you into your gear when the tinnie gets on site. Then you just roll over the side and enjoy the riches of the sea. When you finish your dive the tinnie will be right there, with the crew ready to take your gear. Then you just walk up the ladder and the tinnie whisks you back to your ship.There are two tinnies and one is always on site so there is no need to wait for other divers before heading back to the mothership which is standing off only a couple of hundred yards away. For some vivid imagery of what you can expect to see visit our Photo Gallery and Video Galleryand view photos and videos that divers like yourselves have submitted, or Download our DVD

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How many dives can I make a day and what limits do you put on dive depths and duration?

We offer unlimited diving, with the dive day built around five daily dives. If your computer and past dive activities permit it we can schedule additional dives. We know you've come to dive and we try not to hinder you with a lot of restrictions, so within the bounds of common sense and safe dive practices, divers are permitted to set their own dive profiles. Our dive professionals are always available for those that want or need the guidance, and of course a pre-dive briefing will always be offered to outline the dive-site and any special factors.

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What can I expect to see when I'm diving?

The Solomon Island waters are very nutrient rich, and they support the entire food chain from microscopic creatures to major predators. You'll have a good opportunity to see a variety of sharks, mantas, dolphins, and turtles, and barracuda in uncountable numbers. In shallower waters you'll see almost every tropical imaginable, and some that will stretch your imagination. Cuttlefish, octopus, schooling lionfish, and amazing numbers and varieties of anemonefish, not to mention amazing varieties of anemones. You'll see more varieties of coral than almost anywhere, and all this in 82 - 85ºF waters. Underwater terrain varies from walls to reefs, to passages to "bommies". You'll visit caverns with shafts of sunlight illuminating the interior. You'll swim 200 feet into a split in an island, and when you surface you'll be under a jungle canopy listening to the parrots and cockatoos. You'll enter a tunnel on a pinnacle and exit minutes later in the deep blue ocean. In the shallows around almost every island you'll find channels, cracks and fissures stocked with an unbelievable variety of shells, fish, plants and corals that you could explore for hours. Visit our Photo Gallery and Video galleryfor some images and videos of what you might expect to see,or Download our DVD

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I like to dive, but will I get to see some of the Island people and their lifestyle too?

Yes. We arrange a village visit at least once on every trip. You'll have a chance to meet the Islanders, see and purchase carvings and baskets and visit their schools and churches. If we're anchored off a village the Islanders will come out in their canoes to market produce and carvings, or just watch what's going on. The children are a real delight. They are naturals in the water swimming, or on it in their dugout canoes. Our Photo GallerY and Video gallerydisplays many images and videos of the people and their country, or you may wish to Download our DVD

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What else will I get to do during my dive trip?

If you like fishing, the crew will gladly take you out for some early morning or evening hand-lining for tuna and other pelagics. Plan on having your catch for sashimi that evening. The Bilikiki also carries a stand up paddle board for guest to use. 

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Solomon Islands was the site of major World War II naval battles and many ships were sunk. Will we get to dive any of those wrecks?

Wreck dives are offered on every cruise, and the number we do depends on the interests of the people on board. We don't have that many wrecks to choose from, as most of them are far too deep, even for well experienced divers. Those we do dive include The Ann in the Russell Islands (a more recent wreck, not W.W.II) and Japanese transports in Marovo Lagoon. Divers still find ample evidence of the war action that sunk these vessels, lots of ammunition and machinery in the holds, as well as dishes, bottles and other evidence of ship board activities.

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I'm planning my second trip with Bilikiki Cruises. Will we go back to all the same dive sites?

Not likely. We'll probably return to some of the favorite spots, but with hundreds of dive sites to choose from in the Florida and Russell Island groups, and Marovo Lagoon, you'll get to experience new and different dive sites too. We try not to return too frequently to any one site to reduce the impact on the marine life.

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What are the contact numbers and procedures while I am on board?

The ships are well maintained and carry all necessary navigation and communication equipment. The ships maintain regular radio contact with the Bilikiki Cruises Ltd. office in Honiara, and limited message capabilities, for emergency or urgent communications, can be made available.Solomon Islands is a remote area and cell phone coverage and internet access are not available on board ship. There is a satellite phone available for outgoing calls, and calls are charged by the minute. In case of emergency have your family or friends contact our office in Honiara.

Phone: 011 677 20412
Fax: 011 677 23897
Email: bilikiki@solomon.com.sb 

Please keep incoming messages brief as they will need to be transcribed and read out over the radio. If you wish to reply you may then make an outgoing call via Satellite phone.

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What is the electricity and type of plug on board?

Power throughout the ships is 240 V 50 cycle, using Australia style 3-prong outlets. There are also plenty of American style 110 V 60 cycle outlets for charging cameras, strobes, divelights, etc. These outlets are only for charging purposes so if you intend to use hairdryers, shavers, etc. you will need to bring adapters. These are generally readily available from Radio Shack and other electronic supply stores.

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What is a typical itinerary and what is the difference in the different length trips?

Solomon Islands consists of hundreds of islands and groups of islands. There are 3 main island groups that we dive: Florida Islands, Russell Islands, and Marovo Lagoon in the New Georgia Group. Each of these island groups consists of dozens of islands and a vast array of dive sites. We also dive an isolated island known as Mary Island. Our 7  night trips will generally dive Florida Islands, Russell Islands and Mary Island, while 14 night and longer trips will also travel to Marovo Lagoon. 10 night trips may or may not go to Marovo depending on conditions. We do not have set itineraries. There are so many dive sites in each area that we are able to go where the best diving is at any given time, and also cater to the type of diving that the guests on board prefer. In all cases rest assured that we will do our utmost to offer you the best diving available at the time.

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What time do we board the vessel on the first day and what time do we disembark on the last day? Do we need overnights at either end or can we fly in and out on the charter dates?

Boarding time on the first day is normally around 4 - 5 PM. Disembarkation is around 8 AM on the last day.

All of our departures are designed to work with the incoming and outgoing flights so in general overnights are not required. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the vessel, or if your flight is earlier than the boarding time to a nearby hotel where you can relax. On the last day you generally have a few hours to look around town before we transfer you back to the airport.

Of course not all flights from all ports of entry arrive and depart on our charter dates so depending on when you choose to fly overnights may be required.

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Can I rent dive equipment on board?

Yes. We have a selection of rental equipment on board. It is available to rent for the whole trip or on a daily basis. If you'd like to rent equpment for the full trip it is best to book in advance, by emailing us direct or through your agent.

Weights, weight belts and tanks are all included in the price of the trip.

For current prices check out our RENTAL EQUIPMENT RATES page.

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Do you provide shampoo and hairdryers in the cabins?

Yes there is shampoo and soap provided in all the cabins and also on the dive deck showers. We also have 5 hairdryers onboard if you require one for the trip please ask the managers onboard and they will provide one for you. 

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Check out our recently updated Photo Gallery and Video gallery And be sure to submit some of your favourite Solomon Island photos and vdeos!