Clearing in and out of the Solomon Islands

Clearance, anchorage and travel tips provided by Michael Foote.

Published 6 years ago, updated 4 years ago

Some young villagers looking to trade

We traveled north from Lugainville in Vanuatu and were told there we could check in to the Solomons at Ndendo, but this is not the case. They do fly officers down from Honiara to meet cruise ships on a charging basis. It hasn’t been possible to clear in here for three years now.

We also tried the provincial town of Kirakira and although the police were pleased to see us and took our details, we were told that Honiara, the capital, is the only port of entry going north.

Photo showing the anchorage at Honiara.


There was no customs charge here, but we had to pay about £200 for quarantine who didn’t even visit the boat. If you’re only staying on the islands for a short time, you may be able to negotiate a lower charge.

The Point Cruz Yacht Club in Honiara were incredibly helpful and allowed us free use of showers, toilets even chilled our white wine and provided ice as our fridge and freezer had packed in. A large jug of beer is a very reasonable £5.00. Be careful when landing on the beach there as there are numerous rusting tins and broken beer bottles, no one seems interested in clearing it up.

Photo showing the anchorage at Noro.


We cleared out of the Solomons at Noro on the northwestern side of New Georgia, it’s no longer possible to do so in Ghizo as the lady officer there died quite recently and isn’t being replaced.

You can get water and fuel on the main wharf at Noro and we weren’t charged for coming alongside.

There is an overnight anchorage 300 metres away, but ask the port to show you the entrance as it’s quite narrow and only marked with a stick. We just squeaked in over the reef with our 2.2m draft, inside it’s quite sheltered in an otherwise windy bay.

Cruising the Solomons

We enjoyed our cruise in the Solomons where the people are very friendly and welcoming, in contrast to Papua New Guinea (see our report linked to at bottom of this one). We didn’t see another boat in all our travels, except in Honiara. Very few people cruise here and in PNG, where we didn’t see anyone else in one month of travels.

Take lots of goods to trade for fresh fruit and veg – we found fish hooks, line and sinkers were popular as well as sugar, rice and flour, and blank writing books and biros or crayons for the children. We also had hair bands for girls and small footballs for boys, nothing went to waste. We were asked for second-hand children’s clothes everywhere, so if you’re near a charity shop before you leave, load up! They know cruisers are keen to trade so expect lots of canoes when you anchor off villages. One chap paddled 10 miles to trade with us as he had seen us passing by.

Photo of the north end of Guadalcanal on our way to the Russel Islands.

There is very little in the shops except in Honiara where provisioning is at a basic level. Outside Honiara, the shops are limited to spam, corned beef and slushy tuna in oil. You can buy pasta and rice only in some of the villages, so stock up before you come. We had a particular problem because our fridge and freezer failed between Lugainville and the Solomons.

Here are some of our spam meals which gives you some idea of our diet in the Solomons and PNG!

  • Fried spam sandwiches – not bad actually
  • Sweet and sour spam fried rice
  • Spam Curry
  • Spam fritters
  • Spam egg and chips
  • Spam in coleslaw
  • Spam and onion omelets
  • Spam on toast with beans

Michael Foote

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