Espiritu Santo and it’s nearby islands have Vanuatu’s tallest mountains, the South Pacific’s most delicious beef, the world’s most beautiful beach and arguably some of the world’s most primitive villages. Plus you visit the world famous Pentecost land diving. We will show you these amazing islands of northern Vanuatu on this comprehensive 6-night Vanuatu Adventure Cruise onboard the “Island Passage”. You will visit villages that rarely see cruise ships or western civilization and take home memorable and fun experiences of your cruise and of the wonderful Ni-Vanuatu people. These cruises visit the world famous land diving each Friday morning. A live show not to be missed.
Included in Your Cruise Price
We operate one tender (4-6 guests) with a guide for approximately 2 hours on fishing days.
Vanuatu – Area Information
A living island paradise “lost in time”
Vanuatu – shrouded in lush, tropical jungle…adorned with breath-taking waterfalls… overshadowed by awe-inspiring volcanoes…and surrounded by some of the most pristine tropical seas on earth – a tiny, but beautiful, corner of the world that has been so thankfully ‘lost in time’ forever. Boasting exotic cultures and a colourful history that has enriched the lives of its people for centuries; Vanuatu is surely one of nature’s greatest gifts.
Tales of the South Pacific
While Pulitzer-winning novelist James Michener was stationed in Vanuatu during WWII, he travelled from island to island learning about local culture and hearing stories from the people. Michener developed an idea for a book of short stories and spent his nights tapping it out on an old typewriter, using the backs of letters, old envelopes and official Navy stationery. Tales of the South Pacific, which later became the musical South Pacific, was published in 1947.
Vanuatu is located between 13 and 17 degrees south of the equator. There are two main seasons being the wet and the dry. We operate in the dry season, which runs from April to November, which is well outside the seasonal cyclone season. Daily temperature average is around 28oC (82oF) however this can drop to 24oC (75oF) in July and August.
What to wear
The onboard dress code for the islands is very casual indeed. Usually shorts and tee shirts are perfect for most occasions. A light sweater may be required in the evenings when the trade winds are blowing and smart casual for evening meals.
Land diving on Pentecost
Pentecost Island is famous for an ages-old ritual called the naghol or land- diving, which inspired the extreme sport of bungy jumping. Between May and June every year, men in the southern part of the island jump from tall towers (around 20 to 30 metres high) with vines tied to their feet. The stretchy vines bring their leap to a sudden stop, just inches from the ground. The ritual has two purposes – to ensure a good yam harvest and to mark the passage of boys to manhood. Land diving was first given international exposure when David Attenborough and a BBC crew filmed the ritual during the 1950s. Island Passage visits Pentecost on selected trips during the short land-diving season, so that guests can view this extraordinary spectacle.
Food from heaven
Provisioning Island Passage involves visiting local markets and growers to get the very best of Vanuatu’s local produce. As you can imagine, our menu features lots of tropical fruit and fresh seafood. You can also look forward to local Santo beef – so good, it’s exported to Japan.
Hooked on fishing
Think big when you’re fishing in Vanuatu. Towing a lure from our fishing tender, you can hope for a catch of dogtooth tuna, yellow fin tuna, wahoo, mahi mahi or GT (giant trevally). From a purely scenic perspective, you might also encounter flying fish, sailfish, dolphins and pilot whales.
The warm southeast trade winds prevail over the islands of Vanuatu. Island Passage calls Vanuatu her home from May to September each year. Average daily temperature is 27°C. The sea temperature is usually in the mid 20s, making swimming enjoyable all year round.
Budgeting For Those “Little extras”
The activities outlined in our itinerary are included in the pricing. For the various options available we suggest you budget approximately 6,000 VT for the week (approximately A$80 / NZ$100) for handicrafts offered by the local villages (payable in Vatu directly to the villagers).
On arrival at Espiritu Santo Airport, you’ll be met and transferred to downtown where a ferry will be waiting to take you to Aore Island Resort. Once there, you’ll be greeted with a welcome drink and then given beach towels which you can use for the rest of the day. NB: We suggest you pack a day bag with your swimming togs and anything else you may need for the day. Oh, and if swimming isn’t first and foremost on your things to do list, the resort has an all-day dining menu and bar which you’re more than welcome to use. You’ll have until 4pm to relax and use the resort facilities before you are met by a crew member who will transfer you by tender to the Island Passageâ. Shortly after departure, the ship will head around Million Dollar Point; aptly named for the vast amount of American war machinery under the waves, the coast of Santo beckons. We then anchor off Aese Island for a sundown dinner. Welcome to Our Paradise.
This morning, there’s the opportunity to snorkel over a fabulous coral reef only metres from the ship. It’s an unforgettable experience – we’ll take you up current in the tender, so that you can drift over gardens of coral inhabited by a myriad of tropical fishes. On the same day, you’ll venture up the Riri River in a dugout canoe to discover the miraculous blue holes deep, clear freshwater springs that bubble up into the river. You’ve never seen the colour blue quite like this. A refreshing swim is almost compulsory! The rest of your day can include as much activity as you wish: sightseeing from the tenders; exploring the shoreline; perhaps a trip with one of our fishing guides. Or simply relaxing in a steamer chair as you adjust to island time and get pampered Island Passageâ style. Tonight will be spent at anchor off the pristine beaches of Mavea Island
Today, your Vanuatu Cruise Adventure will see you landing on world famous Champagne Beach – said to be the most beautiful beach in the world – which promises the bluest water, whitest sand and greenest jungle – it’s just breathtaking. You can swim, sunbathe, snorkel, kayak and chat with the local pareu sellers. Later today we cross the straits to explore Maewo and Pentecost.
We’re welcomed into the village of Asanvari, which is situated above a beautiful lagoon at the southern end of Maewo. This intriguing settlement has a charismatic leader known simply as Chief Nelsonâ. We’ll say no more about the chief, in case it spoils the surprise! In Asanvarai you’ll get a look at the ni-Vanuatu way of life. You’ll also get to know their sense of humour because smiling and laughing are major pastimes here. You can watch a custom dance, chat with the locals, learn how to cook lap-lap, walk to the village gardens, and visit a beautiful waterfall or snorkel in the protected lagoon. And make sure you check out the Asanvari Yacht Club. When you arrive back on board, it’s time for the Captain’s Cocktail Party. We remain at anchor in this fabulous bay overnight.
After breakfast, the ship gets underway to sail south to Wali. We are greeted by the villagers in traditional wear and led to the edge of the forest where the 60 metre high land diving tower has been constructed from palm trees that are lashed together with flax. The land dive ceremony is preceded by the local women wailing and dancing is a semi-hypnotic trance. There are usually 8 jumpers and the ceremony lasts for around 90 minutes. You will leave in awe. We then move down the coast to Waterfall Village. Our local host will introduce you to the wonderful people of South Pentecost. You’ll be taken into the village as if you were part of it. From the Chief’s heartfelt welcome to your traditional Vanuatu kava farewell, you’ll be enthralled. All our guests agree that this is a very special place. Your last dinner aboard is served as we lie at anchor just off the village. Late in the evening we get underway with the trade winds on our quarter, passing between Bokissa and Aore Islands as we head back towards Santo. This is a day you will remember for years to come.
A Continental Breakfast is served before you disembark at 11.00am. You’re free to use the facilities at Aore Island Resort before you’re transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Transfers to the airport are provided.
You now have nights at your selected hotel in Santo or Port Vila. Built around Vila Bay, Port Vila spreads up steep hillsides that offer stunning views over its beautiful harbour, sculpted with inlets, lagoons and islets. In combination with its faded French atmosphere, rambling streets and cafe scene, it makes Vila one of the South Pacific’s most attractive towns. There are numerous activities available for your stay. The tours that operate throughout the island and villages are always popular. The dining in Port Vila is varied and reasonably priced with selections ranging from Asian, Pacific and French with numerous cafe style restaurants throughout the bay. The shopping is also interesting from the market in town to the numerous duty free opportunities. Either way you will be offered many choices and endless possibilities for your time in Port Vila. At the end of your stay we will collect you and transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
Secrets of Vanuatu Cruise Schedule - 6 Nights
BRIDGE DECK SUITE
|CRUISE ONLY pp||AUD||NZD||AUD||NZD||AUD||NZD|
|12 May 13||2995||3750||3495||4450||3995||4950||LIMITED|
|19 May 13||2995||3750||3495||4450||3995||4950||AVAILABLE|
|26 May 13||2995||3750||3495||4450||3995||4950||AVAILABLE|
|02 Jun 13||2995||3750||3495||4450||3995||4950||LIMITED|
|16 Jun 13||2995||3750||3495||4450||3995||4950||LIMITED|
|07 Jul 13||2995||3750||3495||4450||3995||4950||SOLD OUT|
|21 Jul 13||2995||3750||3495||4450||3995||4950||SOLD OUT|
|CRUISE + RESORT pp
(Cruise 6 + Resort 1)
|7 NIGHTS||7 NIGHTS||7 NIGHTS||7 NIGHTS||7 NIGHTS||7 NIGHTS|
|BREAKAS RESORT||3150||3945||3650||4645||4150||5145||Garden Fare|
|GRAND CASINO||3118||3904||3618||4604||4118||5104||Harbour View|
|HOLIDAY INN RESORT||3161||3957||3661||4657||4161||5157||Resort View|
|AORE RESORT||3153||3948||3653||4648||4153||5148||Beach Studio|
|CRUISE + RESORT pp
(Cruise 6 + Resort 4)
|10 NIGHTS||10 NIGHTS||10 NIGHTS||10 NIGHTS||10 NIGHTS||10 NIGHTS|
|BREAKAS RESORT||3553||4448||4053||5148||4553||5648||Garden Fare
|HOLIDAY INN RESORT||3599||4505||4099||5205||4599||5705||Resort View|
|GRAND CASINO||3425||4288||3925||4988||4425||5488||Harbour View|