Frequently asked questions

Solomon Islands

Before Your Trip

Master Liveaboards, partnered with Solomon Islands Dive Expeditions and Taka Limited, are proud members of Pack for a Purpose in the Solomons. You can help support the SI Literacy League program by bringing books, stationery and library supplies with you to Solomon Islands.

You can find further information about the Solomon Islands Literacy League project, our involvement, and specific items that the project needs in our blog: Pack for a Purpose in the Solomons.


Please remove packaging from any products that you choose to bring to reduce the plastic waste in country.

Commencing 28th November 2022, Solomon Island introduced a 3 month trial period for Travel Authorisation to enable visitors to complete Immigration procedures before travelling to the Solomon Islands. 

All travellers to Solomon Islands above 12 years old must present an approved Solomon Travel Authorization (STA) to be allowed to travel to Solomon Islands. An approved STA is adequate proof that the traveller has satisfied all health and immigration requirements for travel to Solomon Islands, such as a valid COVID Vaccination certificate and a valid Visa if one is required.

Travellers can apply up to 72 hours before their departing flight via the official website https://solomons.govtas.com or the mobile app “Solomon Travel Authorization” available on Apple and Google app stores. The normal cost for STA application and processing is 25 USD per person, which has been temporarily waived from 2nd December.

NOTE: During the initial trial period, travellers who have not been able to obtain an STA prior to travelling will still be able to enter the Solomons using previous immigration procedures.

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.

International SIMs will not work in the Solomon Islands so, should you wish to have phone or internet coverage while in the Solomons, you will need to be purchase a local SIM card and data package. However, cell service is very limited throughout the country and there are many areas where the signal is very weak or not available at all.

With this in mind, you should expect to be out of reach for most of the time that you are in the Solomon Islands. 

Local sim cards can be purchased in Honiara at most major hotels and/ or directly at one of the Our Telekom/ BMobile offices. Each provider has their own coverage area which will be available for about 30% of the time on board Solomons Master. When purchasing a local SIM you will need to ensure that you ask for a SIM card that is 'data compatible' and set up you card/phone to test it before leaving Honiara.

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.

Due to the volunteer manned hyperbaric chamber in Honiara being damaged beyond repair, the nearest recompression chamber is currently in Brisbane, Australia.

Guests are strongly urged to ensure their insurance covers emergency air evacuation as well as  recompression treatment costs.

During Your Trip

Water temperatures are 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.
 
3mm full-length wetsuits are available to rent on Solomons 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.

Please note: There is no Wi-Fi on Solomons Master.

International SIMs with data roaming will not work. Additionally, cell service and internet access from local network providers is very limited throughout the Solomon Islands and there are many areas where the signal is very weak or not available at all. With this in mind, you should expect to be out of reach for the majority of your time on board Solomons Master. However, there is a satellite phone on board 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 can only accept cash payments on board Solomons Master in SBD, USD or AUD. 

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 Mastercard for on board payments, including crew tips.

Please note:

  • Card payments will be charged in SBD (converted from USD at the rate listed on Bank of South Pacific website on the day of embarkation)
  • there is an additional 3% fee for credit card payments on board.