Vanuatu to New Caledonia - South Pacific 2014
Island Cruising: 10 nights, Pt Vila to Noumea.
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See the contrasting cultures of two tropical island nations, sailing from Vila to Erromango in southern Vanuatu to the culturally fascinating Tanna island (home of Brit TV's Meet the Natives series) and its awesome active volcano of Yasur for a dramatic start to this Pacific adventure. A short trade wind passage SW will give you a taste of ocean life. French chic and South Sea beauty combine at New Caledonia's capital and outer lagoon.
Departing : Port Vila - 24 Sep 2014 (To be confirmed)
Arriving : Noumea - 04 Oct 2014 (To be confirmed)
Joining & departure times: 10 am at each port
Included in this package:
- Accommodation in a 2 berth or 4 berth cabin
- All meals for the duration of the trip, prepared by your on-board cook
- All drinks, including an open bar: Wine, beer, bubbly, soft drinks
- Life Time VIP Membership to the Søren Larsen Family
- A free, all inclusive, 4 days 3 night cruise on the tall ship Coral Trekker, in the Whitsunday Islands, Australia
This voyage offers the chance to experience the contrasting island cultures of Vanuatu and New Caledonia and a blue water sailing passage at sea. Pt Vila is the capital of the Vanuatu islands and in complete contrast to the rest of the islands, is a large modern town with every tourist facility, a good range of shops and restaurants and well organised luxury resorts.
Sailing from Pt Vila we will sail past the south islands of the Vanuatu chain. If the prevailing tradewinds are not too strong we hope to call at Erromango and then Tanna Island 110 miles to the SE, about total of 30 hours motor sail in normal weather.
A visit to Tanna relies on Customs officials being available there and is quite weather dependent and the decision on whether we go there will be made by the Master in Port Vila.
At Tanna we will anchor at Pt Resolution bay. The village has a small 'resort & yacht club' built in traditional thatched hut style, and the community there is very welcoming of visitors. We can organise for a local feast to be prepared by the village and eaten under the palm trees by the light of the hut's hurricane lamps if sufficient people onboard are keen. Tanna itself is steeped in ritual and custom and is centre of the John Frum cargo cult.
It is Yasur, the highly active volcano on Tanna that will leave the most profound impression, seeing red lava being thrown hundreds of feet into the night sky is an awesome display of nature's power. It is impossible to exaggerate the scale of the spectacle. Yasur volcano is often very active and conditions sometimes made it too danderous to approach the crater top, yet it is one of the most accessible volcanos in world.
The prevailing tradewinds blow from the south east so from Tanna we should have ideal square rig sailing condition with the winds aft of the beam for the sea passage to New Caledonia.
At a conservative estimate we shall make 100 miles a day on the sail down to the Loyalty Islands which we will reach within 2 or 3 days but we shall sail onwards to the capital Noumea, to clear customs before exploring the nearby islands. Transiting passage between the mainland and the Isles des Pines we may spot humpback whales which are known to frequent here on their migration to the Australian coast.
We aim to have 3 nights cruising the waters off Noumea. Here the outlying atolls have beautiful white sand beaches low lying palm groves quite unlike the volcanic, jungle covered islands of Vanuatu. In the shelter of the mainland we will enjoy quite anchorages where the sunsets are often quite spectacular.
Anchoring off the uninhabited atolls within the main lagoon that protects the southern coast of New Caledonia will allow us time to roam the deserted beaches or snorkel from the ship's inflatable boat. Favourite places include the lighthouse island of Amedee and Ilot Maitre.
Vanuatu is a Malaria Risk Area so insect repellent is vital and it is recommended that malarial pills be taken before/after your visit - but check with your own doctor for the requirements this area. Pt Vila is relatively mosquito free but this is relevant if you are spending any time in Vanuatu before you join the ship.
During the short sea passage from Vanuatu to New Caledonia the ship is sailing 24 hours a day and as voyage crew you will stand deck watches and work within a normal 4 hours on / 8 hours off watch system. Our sailing between anchorages in the island groups may involve some motoring but also some quite intense sail handling. However this allows those who would rather relish the amazing scenery to stand back and let the keener sailors get involved in handling the ship under sail.
There are 13 permanent crew who maintain and sail the ship who are there to assist and help you enjoy your time aboard. Once we drop anchor the deck watch is undertaken by the permanent crew and you the Voyage Crew are free to explore ashore.