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Blue Planet Odyssey

Description & main attractions

Vanuatu, formerly called the New Hebrides, is a group of over 80 volcanic islands. Espiritu Santo, Malekula, Efate, Erromango, Ambrym and Tanna are the main islands.

Ignored by Europeans for longer than other parts of the Pacific, Vanuatu leapt into the modern age quickly while remaining a place where the rich Melanesian culture is kept very much alive. It is the chance to experience some of this fascinating culture as well as the unspoilt scenery that brings most sailors to this country.

One of the permanent reminders of what happened here in the days of the Second World War is the wreck the ship President Coolidge. The luxurious ocean liner was used as a troop carrier during the war and as it entered the port of Luganville in 1942, the captain not having been informed of the defensive mine fields, it struck two mines and sunk. The wreck is now one of the most frequented dive sites in the Pacific.

A popular stop for boats visiting Northern Vanuatu is the well-protected Double Waterfall Bay near Sasara, on the west coast of Vanua Lava. A local family have made various arrangements in this picturesque spot to make visiting sailors not just welcome and comfortable but to encourage them to stay longer: an airy club house, trips in outrigger canoe or jungle walks, visits to the family burial cave as well as providing meals ashore.

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