This information site is courtesy of Tropical Holiday Deals, the specialists in holiday and honeymoon travel to the Tropics.
Ports Of Call – Vanuatu, Fiji & New Caledonia
Pacific cruising can take you to the exotic tropical destinations of New Caledonia (Isle of Pines, Emerald Bay, which is also known as Poum, Noumea), the Loyalty Islands (Lifou), Vanuatu (Port Vila, Mystery Island, Lamen Bay, Wala, Luganville, Pentecost Island, Champagne Bay) and Fiji (Suva, Dravuni Island, Yasawa-I-Rara).
Following is a thumbnail guide to the various ports of call.
- Port Vila: Vanuatu’s capital, this is a colourful, cosmopolitan port with fine restaurants, duty free shopping, diving, fishing, eco-tours and excursions like Hideaway Island and Mele Cascades waterfall. Weddings can be arranged.
- Champagne Bay (Santo): With a turquoise lagoon and rainforest-fringed beach, the bay is named after the effervescent bubbles that rise from the ocean floor.
- Luganville: Vanuatu’s second largest city on the island of Santo is more like a country town from another era. The wreck diving and snorkelling nearby is superb.
- Mystery Island: Also known as Aneityum, there are no roads, electricity or vehicles – just white sandy beaches, swaying palms and crystal clear lagoons.
- Wala: Known for its natural beauty and brilliant coral gardens, old custom is evident in the local Smol Nambas tribe (‘Small Numbers’ in Bislama, referring to the size of the penis sheathes).
- Lamen Bay: On the island of Epi, the snorkelling here is terrific and the welcome from the locals is warm – you may even encounter the resident dugong.
- Pentecost: Another island where time has stood still. In April and May the daring Naghol (land dive) is performed as part of the yam harvest.
- Noumea: A little piece of France in the Pacific. New Caledonia’s capital combines European boulevards with blue lagoons and white, sandy beaches.
- Isle of Pines: Simply a beautiful island with its white beaches framed by Araucaria pine trees. Snorkel around the big rock at Kanumera Bay but don’t climb as it’s sacred.
- Emerald Bay (Poum): The Bay and the village of Poum are at the tip of the mainland with great beaches. Ideal for mountain biking and hiking.
- Lifou: Lifou is panoramic with a laid-back lifestyle, pristine white sands and a quaint little village.
- Suva: This scenic harbour city has a mixture of British Colonial and traditional Fijian architecture. Good for duty free shopping and a wander around the Handicraft Markets is a must.
- Dravuni Island: The main beach is framed by tall palms with a delightful village beyond.
- Yasawa-I-Rara: The largest of 20 volcanic islands, this remote paradise offers isolated beaches and lagoons, rocky cliffs, vivid coral and marine life.
For more info on Fiji: Fiji A to Z