In Port Vila, Vanuatu's energetic capital, you'll be greeted by friendly Bislama-speaking locals and street-side markets. Walk around the centre of town – you'll see a touch of French influence still remains in the form of bistros and murals. Cruise to Port Vila to explore the hidden waterfalls of the Mele Cascades, tucked away in the Mele village rainforest with plenty of gently sloping hiking trails. Check out Mama's Market, the cultural hub of Vanuatu, where you can sample local bananas or shop for traditional island handicrafts. Or take the 10-minute boat ride out to Pele Island: Here, you'll find picturesque beaches shaded by palm trees overlooking turquoise waters that are prime for snorkelling.
Things To Do*
- One For The History Books - The history of Port Vila alone is impressive – add that to the story of the entire South Pacific, and you've got the Vanuatu Cultural Centre. It houses one of the most extensive collections of South Pacific artifacts on the planet. Outrigger canoes, photos, videos and traditional sand drawing exhibitions await.
- Natural Heat Remedy - It gets pretty hot and sticky on a tropical island. Do like the locals do and cool down at the Mele Cascades Waterfall. At 45 metres high, the spray alone is refreshing. A bus ride and a brief walk up the valley gets you to this spectacular feat of nature.
- Find The Perfect Hideaway - A quick drive and a water taxi trip will bring you to the tiny Hideaway Island. Jump right in and snorkel in crystal clear waters teeming with rainbows of fish. Jump onboard a Port Vila, Vanuatu cruise to swim to the world's only underwater post office, and post a waterproof postcard to your friends back home.
- Local Cuisine - For cheap eats, go to Mama's Market, where you can sample taro root pancakes, Vanuatu French fries – delicious flakes of coconut deep fried and salted to perfection – or traditional lap lap, grated yam and banana cooked with coconut cream in an earthen oven. Or dine al fresco along the waterfront: Modern eateries serve up French-inspired takes on local fish and grass-fed beef, which is some of the world's best.
- Shopping - Along Wharf Road in the centre of town, you'll see the charming Vanuatu Handicraft Market. Here, local vendors sell authentic Vanuatu wooden carvings, as well as prints and other crafts. If you're looking for something a bit more tailored during your cruise, pop in at the nearby Pandanus shop, which supports local creators.
*Shore Activities are optional extras not included in your fare which can be booked onboard.
Arrive: 10:30 Depart: 20:00