FAQ's

Where are the Solomons and how do I get there?

The Solomon Islands are in the South Pacific just south of the equator and not too far from Fiji and Australia. Our Solomon Islands page has more information. Most of our guests arrive via Nadi, Fiji or Brisbane, Australia, there is lots of information on this on our flights page.

Is there internet access onboard?

The short answer to that questions is not really. It is possible to access the internet by the local mobile towers in a few locations on the trip but it is quite unreliable and slow. It is best to check with your provider on whether roaming in the Solomons will be possible, whatever they tell you it probably won't be but buying a local SIM in Honiara is possible. There is internet access in Honiara before and after the trip otherwise the Solomon Island's remote nature and low population density make internet availability rare.

How can I pay for onboard expenses?

We accept all major currencies, Solomon dollars and credit cards (Mastercard and Visa). There is no fee for using credit cards but they are processed in Solomon dollars so may be subject to exchange rates and fees from your credit card company.

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 hairdryers, if you require one for the trip please ask the managers onboard and they will provide one for you.

What is the electricity and type of plug on board?

Power throughout the ship 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, dive lights, etc. These outlets are only for charging purposes so if you intend to use hairdryers, shavers, etc. you will need to bring adapters.

If my friends or family need to contact me while onboard, can they?

Not directly but if there is an emergency then they can send our office an email or give us a call. We will then pass a message onto them, the details for that are below. We have a satellite phone onboard if you need to call home (charged per minute). Mobile towers are becoming more common but are still not in most places and quite unreliable. Check with your mobile provider but roaming with most companies does not work. Email: [email protected] Phone: 1800 663 5363 (US and Canada)

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 4PM. Disembarkation is around 8AM 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, many people opt to do one of the interesting World War 2 history tours of Honiara. 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. 

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 climate is tropical year round although it is moderated by the sea air. Being tropical it is generally sunny with frequent but short bursts of rain. Humidity is usually high, particularly inland, but is significantly lower on the smaller islands and aboard ship. We do not operate in January and February when it tends to rain the most, instead we use this time 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.

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

We visit villages to see local singing and dancing as well as see the amazing carvings in the Marovo Lagoon area (on trips 10 days or longer). We also have a standup paddle board for guests to use and if you are keen we can arrange a try in a local dug out canoe. If you like fishing, the crew will gladly take you out for some early morning or evening hand-lining for tuna, plan on having your catch for sashimi that evening.

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. If we're anchored off a village the islanders will come out in their canoes to sell us fruit and vegetables, or just to check out what's going on. The children are a real delight, they are naturals playing about in the water or in their dugout canoes. On a 10 night or longer trip we will also visit some villages to see the famous wood carvings of the Marovo Lagoon area.

Can I snorkel on your trips?

Yes, there is great snorkelling on nearly every dive site and snorkellers are more than welcome to join our regular dive trips. Please check out our page on The Diving for more information.

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 equipment for the full trip it is best to book in advance by emailing us direct or through your agent. For current rates check out our rental gear rates. Weights, weight belts and tanks are all included in the price of the trip.

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. The water temperatures range between 28-30° C (80-86° F) all year with the "cooler" time of year from June to August. Most divers are comfortable in a 3mm wet suit or just a lycra but it really depends on how much you feel the cold. 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.

How are the dives run?

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 dive. 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 Bilikiki which is standing off only a couple of hundred metres away.

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. 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.

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

The diving in the Solomon Islands is spectacular and amazingly varied. Please check out our page on the diving and our gallery for a better idea of all the amazing things to see.

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), Japanese transports in Marovo Lagoon, the Japanese Mavis Seaplane and the famous WW2 dump site called White Beach.

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

Our 7 night trips go the Russell and Florida Islands and Mary Island. Trips of 10 days and longer also go to Marovo Lagoon. We do not have a fixed itinerary in terms of the dive sites but go to the best places possible depending on the conditions and group. For more information please see the itinerary page.

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

Very unlikely. There are some favourite spots that we do nearly every trip but with hundreds of dive sites to choose from you'll get to experience new and different dive sites too.

Is there special rates for group bookings?

Yes, for groups of 10 or more we have special rates, please just contact us for more information.

What our guests say

"My bucket list trip. Outstanding crew and service. Superb diving. Stable and comfortable vessel and accommodations. The chefs do a marvellous job, eve... Read More"

Fred Catella

"Second time and still finding new sights to see! Wonderful trip well worth the effort....."

Reed Nescher

"If I could rate them 6 stars I would!!! Amazing boat, crew, food and diving."

Brett Lobwein

"Just got back from a 10 day trip on Bilikiki with Tina and Oli. The whole Bilikiki team made our trip a memorable one, despite the temperamental weath... Read More"

Jonathan Rose

"Always a great time on the Bilikiki. Spectacular diving, excellent food and an amazing crew. One of the best laid out boats I've been diving on."

Mike Aitken

"Bilikiki is much more than a great dive boat with a fantastic crew sailing the remote Solomon Islands and discovering new and beautiful dive sites; it... Read More"

Thane Kreiner

"I had an amazing 10 nights onboard the Bilikiki! The dive sites were so diverse and so beautiful, we had some amazing encounters with wildlife, the cr... Read More"

Lauren Thomas