Espiritu Santo cruises destination information
|Espiritu Santo itinerary and upcoming sailing dates|
|Dec 16, 2019||Fiji Adventure, 12 nights||from $5489|
|Apr 13, 2020||Pacific Islands, 11 nights||from $3077|
|Dec 17, 2019||Discover Vanuatu Christmas, 10 nights||from $3126|
|Jun 22, 2020||Pacific Islands, 11 nights||from $2836|
|Nov 1, 2020||Pacific Islands, 11 nights||from $3460|
|Dec 13, 2020||Pacific Islands, 7 nights||from $2306|
|Nov 29, 2020||Pacific Islands, 7 nights||from $2210|
|Apr 13, 2021||Discover Vanuatu, 10 nights||from $2647|
|Dec 27, 2020||New Year, 11 nights||from $4277|
|Jan 3, 2021||South Pacific, 11 nights||from $3271|
|Apr 29, 2021||Papua New Guinea and South Pacific, 15 nights||from $4482|
|May 1, 2021||Papua New Guinea and South Pacific, 15 nights||from $4482|
|Dec 14, 2020||Fiji, 14 nights||from $4945|
|Feb 28, 2021||New Caledonia and Vanuatu, 13 nights||from $3697|
|Jan 3, 2020||Pacific Island Adventure, 20 Nights||from $50979|
|Aug 5, 2020||Discover Vanuatu, 10 nights||from $2392|
|Feb 26, 2021||New Caledonia and Vanuatu, 17 nights||from $4768|
|Feb 6, 2022||Pacific Islands, 11 nights||from $2696|
The Stunning Main Port of Espiritu Santo
Champagne Bay is located on the north-eastern coast of the island of Espiritu-Santo; the largest island of Vanuatu. Champagne Bay has a beautiful white sand beach, while the nearby Blue Lagoon is a tranquil spot with crystal clear fresh water.
Natives from a nearby village will visit the bay to sell their goods when a ship calls. There is beach volleyball, swimming or island exploration on offer for visitors.
Tender Port - Wheelchair access limited and some mobility may be required to board tenders.
Cruise Port: What to do in Espiritu Santo
Espiritu Santo is the largest island of the chain that makes up Vanuatu, not home to the capital Port Vila and slightly more off the beaten track for cruise ships. It is ringed with stunning beaches, home to the country's highest mountains and dotted with small villages.
Ships arriving at the island generally call in to either Luganville, Vanuatu's second-largest metropolis, or the famously beautiful Champagne Bay. Wherever you end up on Santo, you'll be treated to a slice of tranquil tropical goodness.
In Luganville, ships dock near the town centre at Main Wharf. From there, taxis and other transport operators wait to take passengers where they want to go. Should your ship be visiting Champagne Bay instead, it will dock offshore and take passengers in tender boats to the very small jetty at the west end of the bay.
If you are visiting Champagne Bay, it is very remote with no money-changing facilities so you will need to obtain your Vatu beforehand - in Port Vila or Luganville if you are stopping there first! The only opportunity to spend money in the bay itself are a few handicrafts, food and cold drinks provided by the locals.
In Luganville, there are banks where you can get money exchanged, as well as ATMs to withdraw cash. Some shops and restaurants will also accept credit cards.
Local life and language
One of the best parts of cruising Vanuatu is the chance to meet the local people, called the Ni-Vanuatu people. The majority of these are warmly welcoming to cruise ship passengers, and make visiting a pleasure. Keep these few things in mind for a smooth social experience onshore!
- Direct and even blunt questions are not really considered rude, so just answer cheerfully, and vaguely if you prefer.
- Do not try to bargain, as prices are fixed everywhere including markets. Tipping is not expected. You may be charged for visiting attractions which are on private land, do not argue against these charges!
- Personal space is not as valued as it can be in western culture - although touching between the genders is not considered appropriate.
- Conservative dress is recommended when away from a beach or pool.
The national language is Bislama, a form of pidgin English which is used in public discourse. French and English are also recognised as official languages, and those working in the tourism industry will likely speak enough English to communicate with you.
What to do in Espiritu Santo
Your choices for Espiritu Santo activities will depend on whether your ship docks in Luganville or Champagne Bay - the former lends itself to more active options and organised touring, while the latter tends more towards sun, sand and relaxation.
Take a peek underwater
Snorkelling, SCUBA diving, glass-bottomed boating and even just swimming are fantastic ways to pass a day on Espiritu Santo, and there are plenty of opportunities. Take a dive tour, hire some snorkelling gear or just put your swimmers on and take a look! The SS President Coolidge is a luxury cruise ship that sank near the island and is now a Marine Reserve with amazing diving scenery.
See some history
The island was a US military base during the Second World War, quite a major one in fact - so there are many war relics to be seen. Locals often offer tours to take these in and can provide information about the Quonset huts, air strips, and the wreck of a bomber aircraft. This is a great option for history buffs!
Walking and hiking
The beautiful landscape of Espiritu Santo can be explored on foot to great effect. The Vatthe Conservation Area covers 2,276 hectares of forest and has plenty of trails, and the Loru Rainforest Protected Area is another great possibility for hiking, with bat caves and home to coconut crabs. If you do venture onto the tracks, keep it short so you have plenty of time to get back.
Found throughout the island, these deep karst-formation springs are spectacularly beautiful. Water bubbles up from holes up to eighteen metres deep, and runs to the ocean in lovely rivers. Find a tour or driver to take you to see one or more of these amazing natural wonders.
There are many tours available in the Espiritu Santo cruise ports, both those sanctioned and offered by the cruise lines and independent operators. These are a great way to get out and about and see more of the island and its delights - the only thing to remember is that a tour sanctioned by your cruise line will offer a guarantee that the ship won't leave without you. However, independent operators are generally well-versed in departure times.
Champagne Bay is quite an isolated spot, and you might find that there are no shore tours available. A visit here is mostly about enjoying the bay itself, the white sand, the beautiful water with champagne-like bubbles and the snorkelling opportunities. The following tours are mostly operated from Luganville.
Cultural and historical encounters
You can sign on for a trip around the aforementioned World War relics, or a visit to the Luganville Cultural Activity Park. Princess offers a â€œFire Walking and Traditionsâ€ tour which gives great insight into the way of life enjoyed by the diverse Ni-Vanuatu peoples, while P&O also has some options for exploring native customs. Come away from Espiritu Santo feeling as though you know this gorgeous part of the South Pacific a little better!
Tours galore uncover the amazing things to be seen below Vanuatu's turquoise waters. Glass Bottomed Boat tours allow cruisers to enjoy the scenes without getting wet, while the most adventurous might like to try a certified dive on the SS President Coolidge. Snorkelling is an ever-popular middle ground, and you can combine it with a kayaking safari on some cruise line tours for an epic day out.
Canoe tours on the island's rivers are also a popular option, and a great way to head inland to get to know Espiritu Santo a little better. Some of these also incorporate a visit to Blue Hole so cruisers can take in the natural wonder of these springs.
For something a little outside the box, you can try one of the many different active and exciting outings on offer. Game fishing is a good one, especially for those who are keen anglers. Horse treks are also available from some cruise lines and independent tour operators.
Whatever the method by which you explore Espiritu Santo's various delights of land and sea, you will likely fall in love with this paradise island. A cruise to Vanuatu is a holiday to remember!Cruises visiting Espiritu Santo
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