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. We will show you these amazing islands of northern Vanuatu on this comprehensive 6-night luxury Vanuatu Cruise onboard the “Island Passage”.
You will visit villages that rarely see cruise ships or western civilization and take home memorable experiences of your cruise and of the wonderful Ni-Vanuatu people. Our cruises are all inclusive with luxury accommodation, all onboard chef prepared meals, juices, water, espresso coffee, tea, shore excursions, snorkel equipment, kayaks and small boat exploration, onboard leader, fishing equipment and guides. A full bar service is provided.
Secrets of Vanuatu itinerary:
Day 1 Sunday - Dinner
Your Vanuatu Cruise is a fun-filled adventure from the moment you land in Vanuatu. 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'll transfer you by tender to the “Island Passage”. This won't take long because the "Island Passage" will be anchored less than 100 metres from the resort. NB: If you're staying in Santo prior to the cruise departure, you'll need to ensure that you're at the BP wharf by 4pm to meet your transfer. Boarding is from 4.30pm for a sailing at 5pm.
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 Vanuatu Island Paradise.
Day 2 Monday - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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.
Day 3 Tuesday - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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 islands, arriving in Hog Harbour in the late afternoon.
For those aboard, 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 caught.
The views as we cruise north are unforgettable. If conditions are right and a little bit of luck prevails, some of our local friends will deliver a basket of local lobster.
The evening sunset brings the day to a splendid close with the Captain’s Dinner.
Day 4 Wednesday - Breakfast, Lunch, 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 to the local pareu sellers.
Tonight, we cross the straits to explore Maewo and Pentecost.
Day 5 Thursday - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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
Day 6 Friday - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After breakfast, the ship gets underway to sail south to Waterfall Village on Pentecost Island. 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.
Note. During the short land-diving season (May and June) we make a special visit each Friday to the rare land-diving spectacle on each of our Vanuatu Cruises.
Day 7 Saturday - Breakfast
A Continental Breakfast is served before you disembark at 9.00 am. 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.
PLEASE NOTE THE ITINERARY IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO WEATHER/SEA CONDITIONS.
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