A Vanuatu stop on your cruise takes you to one of the most alluring island chains in the South Pacific. It has beauty reminiscent of Tahiti with the vibe of a peaceful deserted island. Luckily, you don’t have to be lost at sea to get to the gorgeous islands that make up the nation of Vanuatu. You’ll be taken to Vanuatu on one of our luxurious, state-of-the-art ships that sail South Pacific cruise itineraries out of Australia. It’s a fabulous way to visit this corner of the world that few people ever visit.
Along with this island nation, our sailings that visit Vanuatu may also stop at ports in New Caledonia and Loyalty Island before returning to where you started your cruise vacation in Sydney or Melbourne.
All of the things you might expect from a tropical island in the South Pacific can be found in Vanuatu, from gorgeous sandy beaches to coral reefs to laid back beach bars plus some extra surprises you will love experiencing.
Among the calm ocean water surrounding the islands of Vanuatu, you will find vibrant coral reefs that are home to a variety of sea animals, including sea turtles, reef sharks, and an abundance of tropical fish.
The locals who call the islands of Vanuatu home are welcoming to visitors and even have some unique spa and hair salon type activities you can take part in on Mystery Island. This remote island has no city, but locals from a nearby island come over and offer hair braiding and massage services when cruises are in port.
The city life of Vanuatu is not your typical bustling cosmopolitan city. Instead, while in port in the capital of Vila or the second largest city of Luganville, you’ll find relaxed city centers with markets selling local handicrafts and small museums showcasing the history of Vanuatu.
Our South Pacific itineraries visit three different ports of call on the Vanuatu archipelago: Mystery Island, Luganville, and Vila. Each island offers something a bit different, but you’ll find untouched natural beauty and welcoming locals in all three places. The islands you’ll visit depends on the South Pacific itinerary you choose, but generally the shorter 9-night itineraries visit Mystery Island and sometimes also Luganville or Vila, while the longer 14-night itineraries visit all three. Itinerary lengths in between those two lengths will visit either two or three ports of call in Vanuatu.
Whether you prefer adventures on land or in the water – or both – Vanuatu has an active shore excursion perfect for you. You’ll also find cruise excursions that give you an in-depth look at the culture and history of the island nation.
Vanuatu is famous among scuba divers for its colorful coral reefs, shipwrecks, and incredibly clear water. Our scuba excursions include introductory (no certification necessary) and advanced dives that take you to sites like the Twin Bommies, one of the best dive locations in the world.
If scuba diving isn’t your thing, you can experience the blue lagoon surrounding the islands of Vanuatu on other water-based shore excursions. Embark on a glass-bottom boat ride, visit a remote island beach with prime snorkeling, or even do an underwater helmet walk.
The water isn’t the only beautiful part of Vanuatu. The islands are also home to exotic vegetation that includes tropical rainforests, lush coastline, and cascading waterfalls.
Experience the island culture of the people of Vanuatu on a shore excursion that takes you to local villages, some of which are located in the rainforests. While in the village, you’ll meet Melanesian Warriors who will teach you more about the culture and ancient history of the islands.
When searching for a souvenir to remember your Vanuatu cruise by, look for ones that are made locally since there are many artisans who live on the islands and create items such as jewelry, wood carvings, or hand-woven textiles. The best place to find these are at the markets on the islands. While shopping in the markets, be aware that haggling is frowned upon in Vanuatu.
Very few places take credit cards in Vanuatu so be sure to have cash on hand. The places that do accept credit cards will usually charge a transaction fee of 3% to 5%. The official currency of Vanuatu is the Ni-Vanuatu Vatu, but the Australian dollar is often accepted. Just be aware that even if you pay with Australian dollars, your change may still be in Ni-Vanuatu Vatu.
Tipping is not expected in Vanuatu and it is actually preferred that you don’t tip, since the local culture says the recipient will need to return the favor to you in some way due to kastom customs, which are local traditions that help to guide the way of life on Vanuatu.