Ancient Cultures and Landscapes of Vanuatu (12 Days)

Cruise Line: PONANT Yacht Cruises & Expeditions
Ship: L'Austral  |  3 Reviews
Honiara, Solomon Islands to Lautoka, Fiji
Dates: 13 Sep 2018 - 24 Sep 2018

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13 Sep 2018
Honiara, Solomon Islands
11:00 PM
14 Sep 2018
15 Sep 2018
Vanikoro, Solomon Islands

The French explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse was stranded on Vanikoro after both his vessels struck the reefs of the island in 1788. The complete disappearance of La Pérouse caught the imagination of the European public. Songs, stories, and plays were written about the possible fate of the expedition. It is believed that some of the men were killed by the local inhabitants, while the surviving sailors built a smaller vessel and left the island, but were never seen again. Those that remained on the island died before search parties arrived in 1826. Today guests have the opportunity to head ashore to the infamous location of this historical event. Enjoy a welcome and cultural performance while pondering the fate of the expeditioners.

16 Sep 2018
Ureparapara, Vanuatu
Sana Island, Vanuatu
17 Sep 2018
Mota Lava, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
18 Sep 2018
Espiritu Santo Island, Vanuatu

The majestic beauty of Espiritu Santo is what inspired James A. Michener to write his classic "Tales of the South Pacific". Michener would gaze across the sea and dream of "Bali Hai". Santo, as the island is colloquially known, abounds with natural beauty that remains largely unspoilt. From palm-fringed beaches with powdery white sand, freshwater blue holes surrounded by natural rainforest, to idyllic islands surrounded by azure seas. Today guests will have the opportunity to take a tour by bus to visit one of the famous blue holes, enjoy a traditional performance, and learn about the important role the island played in WWII. There will also be ample time to swim and snorkel in the clear waters of Paradise Lagoon.

19 Sep 2018
South West Bay, Vanuatu
20 Sep 2018
Ambrym Island, Vanuatu

The island of Ambrym in Vanuatu is often referred to as the "black island" due to its volcanic ash and because of its "black magic" steeped in mystery. In the villages, the ancient customs play a significant part in day to day living. The "man blong majik" are treated with the utmost respect and practice sorcery and magic beyond all imaginings. Ambrym prides itself on some unique characteristics, such as the magnificent tam-tams (or slit gongs) sculpted out of tree trunks, sand-drawing, black-fern masks, and local dances. The most striking custom dance is the Rom (or masked) dance – where 9-foot covertly cloaked and masked 'spirits' stomp out ancient rhythms to the beat of the tam tam.

21 Sep 2018
Lamen Island, Vanuatu
Lopevi Island, Vanuatu
DAY 10
22 Sep 2018
Tanna Island, Vanuatu

A visit to Vanuatu cannot be complete without viewing the erupting Mount Yasur Volcano on the island of Tanna. It is regarded as the world's most accessible active volcano. Known for its spectacular persistent strombolian activity consisting of regular small to violent explosions, it has been in more-or-less continuous activity since Captain James Cook observed ash eruptions in 1774. Often referred to as "the lighthouse of the Pacific", the glow of the volcano apparently led Captain Cook to Tanna during the first European journey to the island. Today the volcano is considered a sacred area by members of the John Frum cargo cult, who believe their deity resides in the heart of the volcano.

DAY 11
23 Sep 2018
DAY 12
24 Sep 2018
Lautoka, Fiji
8:30 AM
Ancient Cultures and Landscapes of Vanuatu map

Virtuoso Voyages Benefits


$200 USD Shipboard Credit per Stateroom

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Restrictions may apply, please see Terms & Conditions for details.

What's Included


  • • All outside staterooms and suites

    • Attentive, discreet service from a bilingual (French-English) crew (2 to 1 ratio)

    • 1 gourmet dining room; 1 casual dining room

    • French-inspired and regionally-sourced gourmet cuisine

    • 24/7 Open bar and stocked mini-bar

    • Traditional afternoon tea

    • Evening entertainment, production shows, etc.

    • State-of-the-art fitness center

    • SothysTM spa, hammam and beauty salon

    • Theater

    • Luggage handling at embarkation and disembarkation

    • 24 hour room service

    • Fleet of Zodiacs

    • Gratuities

    • Port and safety taxes and fees

Not Included

  • • Air & ground transportation

    • Optional shore excursions

    • Phone, internet and fax use

    • Laundry

    • Travel or other Insurance

About Us

The world’s only French-flagged cruise line and top cruise line worldwide in polar expeditions, PONANT Yacht Cruises & Expeditions currently has four distinctive and intimate vessels, embodying the essence of a private luxury yacht: the three-masted LE PONANT, an elegant sailing yacht accommodating 64 guests and three luxury yachts of 264-guests LE BORÉAL, L’AUSTRAL and LE SOLÉAL. The luxury cruise line will launch its fifth ship in Spring 2015, LE LYRIAL. These luxurious ships sail to the unexplored corners of the world including the Poles, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand on cruises ranging from three to 21 nights and including many ports and islands not accessible to large cruise ships. From Five Star Expeditions to themed cruises, the engaging itineraries offer a wealth of fascinating shore excursion programs to ensure that every voyage is a unique and exceptional experience. The latest eco-friendly technologies, attentive service, bilingual crew, luxurious staterooms and suites, an elegant, sophisticated cuisine and a chic, yet informal atmosphere offer a cruise experience unlike any other. In addition to the best available tours, our 1:2 staff to guest ratio also guarantees the best in personalized service. Explore your destinations at an unhurried pace and let the beauty that surrounds you, stir your senses. No matter where you wish to travel, our cruises will take you off the beaten path to a whole new world of adventure. Welcome aboard!

Insider Tip

PONANT is the only luxury cruise line to feature three brand new ships sailing to Antarctica and the Arctic each season with 46% market share, making us #1 in luxury expedition cruising.

Terms & Conditions

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Not combinable with other shipboard credit offers. Valid on all sailings booked June 1, 2016 - December 31, 2016.

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