Please select your home edition
Edition
Spinlock 728x90

Vanuatu ups their welcome to cruising sailors with new approach

by Lee Mylchreest on 6 Jul 2014
Eric photographing volcano from above .. .
What a government does to promote yacht tourism is always vital, causing cruising sailors to arrive in droves or flee to cheaper or more friendly cruising grounds. Recently Greece has taken the prize for deterring would-be visiting yachts, while countries like Russia and Estonia are opening their doors.

Now tropical Vanuatu is taking the game to a whole new level, with one cruising couple spending years researching to make Vanuatu's welcome the very best in the South Pacific.




The Vanuatu Tourism Office, in conjunction with the Department of Tourism, have been, for the last couple of years, developing a new Cruising Vanuatu Guide and supporting website.



The aim is to further promote Vanuatu, a string of 80 volcanic islands spread over 700nm of tropical waterways, as a destination for visiting yachts. But it's not just the main islands, which are pretty well documented anyway, but the wildest, most remote and sometimes uninhabited islands, encouraging more and more yachts to discover this amazing island archipelago.

To do this, New Zealand cruising sailors Eric and Anne Simmons, on Reflection, their 43ft St Francis catamaran, who already know the islands well since the late 1990's, have been documenting the islands one by one during 2013, and now in 2014, since April, they have continued their research and documentation, covering such islands as the Maskelynes, Paama Island, Lamen, Havannah, Epi, Lenakei and Erromango.

By the beginning of the next cruising scene, they tell us, the guide will be out, comprehensive and easily accessible. In the meantime, the first stage of the website www.vanuatucruising.info is live, with comprehensive details of each anchorage to be added by the end of the year.

The Simmons are an ideal cruising couple for the job. 'It’s no secret that we love Vanuatu,' they said recently, 'the people are friendly, natural wonders abound and every island is different – each one is like visiting a different country. Vanuatu is one of the few countries where real 'kustom' and tradition can still be experienced, where there are protected anchorages and welcoming villages enabling yachts to visit in safety. The Ni-Vanuatu people are wonderful, unassuming and always willing to help visitors get the most from their Vanuatu experience'.

Listening to the Simmons, it’s not surprising that Vanuatu has been voted twice the happiest place in the world by the Happy Planet Index and the Lonely Planet.

Anne says, 'Most yachts that visit Vanuatu leave saying they wished they had had more time. They have no idea of the options ahead of them before they arrive. The new Cruising Guide will enable them to plan better and give them more ideas of the amazing places to visit and things to experience.'

For more and developing information on accessing the guide from where you are, go to what has to be the best resource website for cruising sailors www.noonsite.com.

About Anne and Eric:
Anne and Eric Simmons volunteered as photo journalists from May to October 2013, a six months assignment, and then again from the beginning of April this year. In between visits to the islands they have been back in Port Vila ('what a culture shock with bright lights, shops and plenty of traffic' observes Anne) to work with the Department of Tourism and their web manager to bring their new found information to the rest of the cruising world.

They have enjoyed the experience. 'The more we look, the more exciting possibilities arise to make Vanuatu a premiere yachting destination — and as a consequence, a huge increase in direct income to the outer islands who see very few tourists, giving them the opportunity to retain 'kustom' and reduce urban drift.'

Of their experiences, they say, 'We have been honoured to meet so many inspiring Ni-Vanuatu people, so friendly and willing to share what they have with us.

They recently summed up their experiences very articulately on their blog. 'We have seen the most amazing things: 'kustom' dances, weddings and ceremonies, topped off with fantastic scenery. In many cases it has been like stepping into an episode of National Geographic. We have stood on the edge of two vastly different but active volcanoes, soaked in hot springs, traversed river canyons, dived pristine reefs, explored amazing caves, hiked across seemingly endless ash plains and through stunning jungle.

'This country has so much to offer the cruising yachtie, who is one of the fortunate few able to access these areas. With so many safe anchorages and such friendly people, our job of promoting Vanuatu as a cruising destination should be an easy one.'

Try the new site now: www.vanuatucruising.info

Musto 2016 660x82 2Gold Coast Marine Expo 2017 660x82BandG AUS Triton2 660x82

Related Articles

A rare opportunity to sail in Canada!
Sail the fabulous Vancouver Island, Georgia Straights and The Desolation Sound. Sail the fabulous Vancouver Island, Georgia Straights and The Desolation Sound. This area regarded as the greatest wilderness and picturesque area in the world is open to a 16 day cruise with Sailing Adventures.
Posted today at 5:35 am
Eleventh Blog from on board Perie Banou II
'Perie Banou II' with me, are tracking well. Going north west to the British Island of Saint Helena Jon Sanders is well into his historic, record setting tenth circumnavigation and continues to see the wry in almost all the things he gets up to. St Helena is the next stop and the conditions are always a changing. Reason on for more of Jon's unique perspective of the world.
Posted on 25 Feb
2017 Jeanneau Rendezvous at the inaugural Sail Peninsula Regatta
Some photos taken by LaFoto at the 2017 Jeanneau Rendezvous which was part of the inaugural Sail Peninsula Regatta. The 2017 Jeanneau Rendezvous was part of the inaugural Sail Peninsula Regatta from Martha Cove on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. It was a great regatta with a stern chaser race held on the Friday night, followed by a long distance race to Blairgowrie on Saturday in a glamorous five to ten knots, then finally an awesome medium distance race off Safety Beach in 25-35 knots...
Posted on 21 Feb
Super Series Sailing Spectacular
News arrived of at least one Australian outfit going for a new build 52. Someone had to entertain Beau Geste and SMB During the week, news arrived of at least one Australian outfit going for a new build 52. Someone had to keep Beau Geste and SMB entertained at the sharp end of the 52 bracket. Two other camps were linked to other former 52 Super Series craft, Phoenix and Spookie, but the one touted as going after Phoenix has denied it, saying that Hasso (SAP) Plattner of Germany has bought her.
Posted on 20 Feb
More marina space and exciting firsts for GC Boat Show and Marine Expo
More marina space and exciting additions to an impressive Fleet of Firsts have set scene for a colossal marine showcase More marina space and even more exciting additions to an already impressive Fleet of Firsts have set the scene for a colossal marine showcase both on water and on land on Queensland’s Gold Coast from 17-19 March.
Posted on 17 Feb
Tenth blog from on board Perie Banou II
The irrepressible, charismatic and yarn-spinning record-breaker known as Jon Sanders is back sailing the oceans The sailor who cannot garden; the irrepressible, charismatic and yarn-spinning record-breaker known as Jon Sanders is back sailing the oceans he knows so well. After his ribs episode on the quay in Cape Town, and making more friends everywhere he goes, Jon is now making for St Helena. So here, in his typical rapid-fire style are his latest exploits...
Posted on 17 Feb
B&G adds enhanced Navionic functionality to Zeus and Vulcan range
B&G® announces the latest updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range. B&G®, the world’s leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, is pleased to announce the latest in its software updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to its Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range.
Posted on 16 Feb
Beneteau Open Day at Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
The Beneteau Team will be exhibiting three new Beneteau models at the CYCA this Saturday. The Beneteau Team will be exhibiting three new Beneteau models at the CYCA this Saturday.
Posted on 16 Feb
Lisa Blair enjoys a sunrise crossing of International Date Line
At sea for 20 days, Lisa Blair, 32 reached a key milestone in her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica solo At sea for 20 days, 13 hours, 4 minutes and 39 seconds, sailor and adventurer Lisa Blair, 32 reached a key milestone in her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica solo and unassisted crossing the International Dateline at 16:25:39 UTC (05:25:39 local time) on 11 February 2017.
Posted on 11 Feb
Six weeks to go to 2017’s Gold Coast International Boat Show
Come and see over 600 boats for sale on water and on the land as well as engines, accessories and electronics. Come and see over 600 boats for sale on water and on the land as well as engines, accessories and electronics, live entertainment and boating education every 15 minutes across a giant 3km display circuit.
Posted on 10 Feb