Frequently asked questions

Solomon Islands

Before Your Trip

We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose in the Solomon Islands. Help support our Literacy League program by bringing books and library supplies to Solomon Islands. You can find our immediate needs here: www.solomonsdiving.com/pack-for-a-purpose. Please remove packaging from any products that you choose to bring to reduce the plastic waste in country.

Travel

See our COVID-19 Travel Requirements page for the latest COVID-19 travel updates.

The majority of our Solomons liveboard itineraries start and end in Honiara (HIR) which is served by airlines from Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

From Europe: the easiest route is via Brisbane; 
From the US: the easiest option is via Fiji or Brisbane;

  • Via Fiji (NAN) – flights with Fiji Airways (Oneworld alliance member), Solomon Airlines, Air Nuigini
  • Via Brisbane (BNE) – flights with Solomon Airlines (Codeshare with Qantas) or Virgin Australia

  • Via Port Moresby (POM) with Air Nuigini

For itineraries which start or end in MUNDA (MUA) there are daily flights operated by Solomons Airlines from / to Honiara.

For the latest travel advice and flight information provided by Solomon Airlines, please refer to www.flysolomons.com/plan/travel-advice

Visa and Passports
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the period you intend to stay in Solomon Islands and you should carry an onward or return flight ticket.
Citizens of EU countries, the US, Canada, and most other Western countries do not need a visa to enter the Solomon Islands. Upon arrival they will be issued with a visitor’s permit with 3 months validity.
We are happy to provide assistance with Solomon Islands visa applications for guests who need one. However, at least 8 weeks’ notice is required and a handling fee will be charged for this service in addition to the cost of the visa, regardless of the outcome of the application.
Transit via Australia
Guests travelling via Australia may need to apply for a transit or visitor’s visa before travelling, if the time between connecting flights is more than 8 hours, or if they wish to leave the airport during their transit period. To check which visa you may need, please refer to the visa section of the Australian Immigration website: www.immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder/visit.
Australian visa applications can take up to 14 days to process.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the proper entry permits for your travels. We suggest referring to the IATA Travel Centre website for current visa requirements (including transit): www.iatatravelcentre.com/SB-Solomon-Isl.-passport-visa-health-travel-document-requirements.htm.
Proof of onward travel: You should be in possession of printed copy of a return or onward ticket.

No specific  vaccinations are required unless you are coming from or passing through contaminated areas (see details below). However, malaria and other tropical disease are present in the Solomon Islands so preventative measures are advised. Solomon Islands are considered high-risk and anti-malarial should be considered.

Please note: Some malaria prevention medications including mefloquine (brand name Lariam) have side effects which can mimic decompression sickness.

We strongly advise that you ensure standard vaccinations (MMR, Tetanus, Polio, etc.) are up-to-date and that you check with your nearest travel clinic at least 4-6 weeks before your trip for the latest information and recommendations.

We recommend using insect repellent and covering exposed skin to reduce the risk of Dengue Fever and other insect borne diseases, including malaria.

If you are travelling with medication, please bring a copy of your physician’s prescription with you.

Measles immunisation.

All passengers entering the Solomon Islands are required to complete a health declaration form regarding immunisation against/exposure to measles. The forms will be made available at check-in counters and on board your flight.

Visitors arriving in the Solomon Islands from measles-affected countries including Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, American Samoa, Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, and the Philippines are required to provide certified proof of vaccination against measles at least 14 days prior to their date of arrival. Passengers travelling from these countries who are unable to provide proof of vaccination may be required to undergo medical examination by the local authorities.

Travellers who have not been vaccinated, or who do no have proof of vaccination against measles are required to provide a contact address and phone number in the Solomon Islands and report to the local authorities immediately if they develop any symptoms.


Yellow fever certificate requirements
 

A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers arriving from at risk countries in Africa and the Americas.

Country Information

UTC+11

The official language is English. 74 languages are spoken in the country, with Pijin being the binding local language. The religion of Solomon Islanders is mainly Christian (comprising about 92% of the population). The main Christian denominations are: the Anglican Church of Melanesia 35%, Roman Catholic 19%, South Seas Evangelical Church 17%, United Church in Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands 11% and Seventh-day Adventist 10%. Another 5% of the population adhere to aboriginal beliefs.

he local currency is the Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD). Exchange services are available, including at Honiara International Airport. Larger hotels, resorts, shops and restaurants may accept Visa and Master Card for which a charge will likely be levied, but not always so always check first.

The coverage is very limited in Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands have an equatorial climate and weather is roughly divided into two seasons. There is more rainfall from November to April, however, the area is not monsoonal and so poor weather usually blows through very quickly. Temperature changes only very slightly throughout the year with the average daytime temperature being around 27°C (81°F). While evenings are generally also quite warm we would always advise guests to bring warm clothing for the cooler evenings just in case.

Generally, medical care in Solomon Islands is very basic and medical supplies are limited. There are around 8 hospitals, of which the best one is the National Referral Hospital located in Honiara. Moreover, a few church-funded medical facilities, nurse-stations and the like can be found on several islands.

In case of a dive emergency, there is a hyperbaric chamber in Honiara. However, it is manned by volunteers and not always available. The nearest reliable recompression chamber is about 1,500 miles (2,400 km) away in Townsville, Australia.

During Your Trip

Water temperatures are pretty consistently in the comfortable 28ºC - 30ºC (82ºF to 85ºF) range all year round. Most people will be find a 3mm shorty or full-length suit is sufficient although those that are prone to becoming cold easily may prefer a 5mm full wetsuit.
 
PLEASE NOTE: There are NO rental wetsuits on Pacific Master.

Solomons Master power outlets are 110V-60Hz US/ European style sockets; there are a limited number of 220V sockets provided at the camera tables in the dining area. 

European, and most other non-US electrical equipment generally require 220V at 50 Hz so guests are advised to bring power converters and plug adapters with them to avoid potential damage to their equipment and ensure it charges correctly.

On Pacific Master, the power onboard is 220V 50 Hz with Australian plugs. There is a limited number of adapters so we advise your bring you own.

There will be almost no cover during your trip and you should expect to be out of reach for the majority of the trip. There is a satellite phone onboard for emergencies.

In Solomon Islands marine, park and port fees are referred to locally as Kastom Fees which are payable directly to the village chiefs in each location where we dive.

The amount depends on the itinerary duration and is payable on board only. The relevant amount will be added to your invoice as an onboard payment at the time of booking your liveaboard.

Due to local banking restrictions we accept cash payment on board Pacific Master in USD and AUD only. 

If paying in cash, guests are advised to bring enough USD (or equivalent currency) for Kastom fees, equipment rental and other extras that have not been paid in advance, as well as any incidental onboard extras and tips.

We are also able to accept Visa and Master card for on board payments, including crew tips. Please note however that there is an additional 3% fee added for credit card payments.