Departures for 2014:
Please note the itinerary is subject to change due to weather/sea conditions.
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 5 pm to relax and use the resort facilities before you are met by a crew member who’ll transfer you by tender to the “Island Passage”. 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 Passage” style. Tonight will be spent at anchor off the pristine beaches of Mavea Island
After enjoying another one of chef’s indulgent breakfasts there's still time for a swim or a walk before we up anchor and make our way north through even more beautiful island, arriving in Hog Harbour in the late afternoon.
For those onboard keen to experience the thrill of fishing "tropical style" this is the first opportunity. Our guides in the fishing tender will shadow the ship up the coast in search of the game fish that the area is known for. On the right day the results can be spectacular with tuna, wahoo, and mahi mahi often landed.
The views as we cruise north are unforgettable. If conditions are right some of our local friends will deliver a basket of local lobster. The evening sunset brings the day to a close with the Captains Dinner.
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 Nelson’. 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 your overnight disembarking at 9.00am. You’re free to use the facilities at Aore Island Resort before you’re transferred to the Hotel we have arranged while the ship is cleaned and provisioned
You’ll have until 4pm to relax and use Aore resort facilities before you are met by a crewmember who will transfer you by tender to the “Island Passage”. Shortly after departure we anchor off Bokissa Island for dinner.
After a relaxed start to the morning, perhaps a swim before an a la carte breakfast, then we head south cruising towards the small but beautiful Wala Island. This remote, densely vegetated island will excite anyone with an interest in anthropology. Cut off from its larger neighbor, Malekula, by a deep channel, Wala is remarkably untouched by modern culture – astounding, considering its welcoming inhabitants, wondrous environs, world-class snorkeling and fascinating ancient traditions. Visit local markets and stores to pick up handicrafts, then cool off with a swim or snorkel off one of the island’s beaches. This evening's dinner, if you desire, can be served under the stars on the aft deck.
Today is a very special day, and as we anchor off Ranon on Ambrym Island you will immediately notice what makes this island so unique. It has two active volcanoes, Mt Marum and Mt Benbow and is sometimes called Black Island because of its black beach sand and its "black magic", steeped in history. Today, the locals have extended us a special invitation to experience the very secretive and mystical Rom spirit dance, a performance rarely seen by outsiders. There will be ample time to spend with these wonderful and very friendly people before returning to the ship. This evening at anchor we witness the amazing glow from the nearby volcanoes.
This afternoon we anchor in the most amazing coral reef complex, the Maskelyne Islands. Participate in the very best in-water activities Vanuatu has to offer, including snorkelling and boat tours or the option of a fishing trip with our guides. This evening as the sun sets, join in the Captain's Cocktails and Dinner while reflecting on this and the previous day’s amazing and unique experiences.
Cruising north we land at South West Bay on Malakula Island where we spend time with the locals and admire their handicrafts and artwork, which are some of the finest in Vanuatu. The island is famous for the complex ceremonies and rituals preserved by two of its remarkable tribes, the Big Nambas and the Small Nambas. The large lagoon behind the village is perfect for exploring the daily life in this village while the waters are full of coral and offer excellent kayak and snorkel opportunities.
We stay for most of the day here in South West Bay. The villagers are very friendly and welcome us to explore further into their lifestyles. Early in the afternoon we sail north, hugging the fascinating coastline. Dinner will be served underway and we will have an evening arrival at Malo Island where we will spend the last night.
A Continental Breakfast is served before you disembark at 9.00am. You’re free to use the facilities at Aore Island Resort before you’re transferred to the airport for your onward flight for guests flying today. We hope to see you onboard again on another of our cruises in Vanuatu or New Zealand.