The island group where we cruise is decorated with small tropical islands; each surrounded by soft white sand beaches and coral reefs and inhabited by people for whom time is an abundant commodity.
If you like discovering nature, pacific cuisine, taking long walks, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, meeting local people or simply lying on these magnificent, deserted, white sand beaches, then this will be the cruise for you.
Our luxury cruises are all inclusive with spacious en-suite accommodation, all onboard chef prepared meals, juices, water, espresso coffee, tea, exciting shore excursions, snorkel equipment, kayaks and small boat exploration, onboard cruise leader, fishing equipment and guides. A full bar service is provided.
Islands of Discovery Vanuatu itinerary:
Day 1 Sunday - Dinner
At 4 pm on Sunday we all meet at the charming waterfront Cafe du Village on Port Vila Harbour. The crew will transfer you by tender to "Island Passage" waiting at anchor in the Bay. Enjoy a welcome aboard cocktail and let your crew introduce you to the onboard delights of your home for the next 6 nights. During a scrumptious welcome dinner we leisurely cruise to our overnight anchorage across the lagoon.
Day 2 Monday - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After a relaxed start to the morning, a swim and an a la carte breakfast we head north cruising towards our first destination, the beautiful Havannah Harbour. The spectacular narrow entrance at the Hilliard Channel provides great photo opportunities, and we anchor off our favourite pristine sandy beach at Lelepo Island. Experience the stunning snorkelling over the coral; a voyage of discovery in one of the tenders with the Bosun or beach combing as the sun goes down. This evening's dinner will be served under the stars on the aft deck.
Day 3 Tuesday - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Another glorious day at Havannah Harbour and the chance to join one of our talented fishing guides who will do his utmost to ensure the catch of your dreams ... amazing tropical Tuna, Wahoo or Mahi Mahi which our chefs will prepare for you. Lunch is served underway as we cruise the lengths of the lagoon and get up close and personal to the beaches surrounded by dense tropical jungle and dramatic volcanic cliffs. Within the lagoon there are numerous atolls fringed by coral-encrusted shallows. Swimming, snorkeling and fishing will beckon or join the shore parties to explore the nearby villages. "Island Passage" will overnight in the harbour and we enjoy the crew night with a superb BBQ buffet on the aft deck to celebrate a perfect day in paradise.
Day 4 Wednesday - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We bid farewell to Havannah Harbour this morning. Guests that are "hooked" on the tropical fishing can have another chance today as the fishing tenders can follow the ship on this morning's cruise. Our destination today is Pele Island, however if the conditions permit then the Captain will make a detour north to Mataso Island. Totally untouched and remote, this tiny island and reef with its azure waters and thick tropical forestation is a destination few travellers ever experience.
Day 5 Thursday - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today is spent immersed in the true cultural experience of Vanuatu. The people of Pele will dance, sing and welcome you into their traditional village life. During the day the tenders run a shuttle between the ship and the shore so you can explore this remote village and get to know the friendly Chief and the people at your leisure. As the sun goes down a farewell Kava ceremony and more "kustom dance' will provide an amazing end to the day on Pele and Kakula Islands. These islands are typical of the South Seas by having white sand beaches fringed with tropical rainforest. Snorkeling, swimming and visits to the villages will make this a memorable and most relaxing day in paradise.
Day 6 Friday - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Another leisurely start to the day, the landing craft will make trips to the amazing coral gardens off Pele. This area is known as one of the best snorkeling spots in Vanuatu. The ship's tenders will be the perfect for exploring such a large area and underwater highlights will include spectacular drop-offs and stunning coral gardens. Turtles nest on the islands' volcanic sand beaches. Jungle walks will reveal the island's birdlife - and the afternoon snorkelers are likely to encounter turtles. Fishing is available, or perhaps swim or walk ashore, or just relax with a book on the top deck and enjoy the stunning vista. In the early afternoon we make our way back outside Havannah Harbour and South to Mele. Tonight the Island Passage crew farewell you at the Captain's cocktail party. The last night aboard is traditionally a fun affair with the guests enjoying a great night with all their new acquaintances.
Day 7 Saturday - Breakfast
You wake to the aromas of your last meal aboard being prepared. "Island Passage" anchors close to the Port Vila waterfront that has many small shops and a local market located next to the waterfront - perhaps the perfect opportunity to purchase local art and craft or just soak up the vibrant atmosphere. Make sure you swap addresses with your fellow adventurers and say your last goodbyes to the crew. We will transfer you ashore in the tenders at 0930.
If you have traveled with the big ship cruise lines in the past, it's time to start rethinking everything you thought you knew about cruising. Furthermore if you have been avoiding cruising because you imagined it would be like traveling in a shopping mall, it's time to think again. We offer something else altogether.
The ‘Island Passage’ is our beautifully appointed small ship. Her workboat exterior camouflages a stunning interior. Weighing in at almost 500 tonnes, she’s equipped to travel to inaccessible areas while delivering the highest level of passenger comfort. On board you’ll find 10 spacious en-suite cabins, a large dining room and saloon lounge, a library and generous outdoor living spaces. In the galley, our chef works with the freshest local ingredients and delicacies to create memorable meals that reflect the day’s adventures.
For entertainment and exploration, Island Passage carries purpose-built landing craft, three large tenders, sea kayaks, a five-seat helicopter, fish and snorkel equipment. Never a dull moment, although lazing in a deckchair is always an acceptable option. During each journey, our eight-person crew is on hand to share their knowledge of the ocean and local landscapes.
Our expedition boats are designed to provide fast and efficient transport to and from the 'Island Passage' and are well suited for exploring the local bays, islands, and rivers that are right on your doorstep. All boats are manned with guides, two-way radios and safety equipment for your peace of mind.
Our fishing has no rigid daily schedule. Different areas will be covered according to what the Captain and guides believe will be best in that specific day or week. Several levels are available during the cruises to suit the novice to the more experienced angler.
When the ship was designed, the instructions were to provide a luxurious layout, uncrowded and comfortable for a maximum of 24 guests. This has been well achieved. You will encounter the spacious saloon and dining area on the promenade deck, a large aft teak deck with steamers chairs and ease of access to the tenders, oversized cabins and ensuites, wide side teak decks for strolling the ship and an overwhelming feeling of being onboard a small private yacht.
The ‘Island Passage’ is perfect for a leisurely break from a hectic lifestyle. We only have accommodation onboard for 24 passengers. The ten spacious individually designed cabins, with rich timber panelling and New Zealand Kauri furniture, fitted with DVD, audio and TV, and are all air-conditioned. Most with doors opening on to the outer deck, each cabin has its own private ensuite. Our suites are amongst the largest for any ship of it's size.
Located on the main deck, our Expedition cabins give you a choice of a queen-size bed or two singles. Suites with single beds have a pullman berth for a third guest. Individual air conditioning, TV, DVD/CD, movies. Sea view from the portholes.
On the same level as the saloon, bar and dining room, the Staterooms have large picture windows and doors opening directly onto the promenade deck. Each cabin has individual air-conditioning, TV, DVD/CD, movies, writing desk and either queen or twin single beds.
Bridge Deck Suites
Offering the best views on the ship, the two Bridge Deck Suites open directly onto the teak bridge deck. Each cabin is individually air-conditioned with SKY TV, DVD/CD, movies on demand, writing desk, easy chair, super king bed and extra-large bathroom