smiling divers in Vanautu

Vanuatu is still smiling

On this beautiful sunny day in Vanuatu, Port Vila is back in the tourism business. Cyclone Pam has had a huge impact on our small island nation. But Port Vila is cleaning up and getting back to a sense of normality. Aid is getting to the outer islands, which were more affected than our capital and less able to help themselves. Port Vila itself has got back up, dusted herself off and is returning to the tropical holiday destination it was before the storm. The trees are getting new leaves and the rest of the gardens are shooting again.

 

1st time assemblers are allowed off the cruise ship since cyclone Pam

1st time passengers are allowed off the cruise ship since cyclone Pam

As we went to work this morning we saw the Pacific Dawn cruise ship pulling into the port. Tourist are in town, shopping and in the restaurants and the tour operators are back on their feet and a whole range of fun activities are back on offer. The majority of the redVanuatu tours are now back up and running in and around Port Vila.

Coral unaffected by cyclone Pam in Port Vila

Coral near Port Vila unaffected by Cyclone Pam

 

Big Blue diving and snorkeling is fully functional with dives to wrecks and reefs untouched by the cyclone. Have a look a the video they posted showing the reef after Pam. Lelepa Tours are operating a normal schedule for their island tour and their fishing boats were undamaged by the storm. Buggy rides are all going again. The helicopters were involved in the emergency response but are now taking tourist tours again. Ecotours are running walking, cycling and river kayaking tours as usual. Sea kayaking tours are running from the Beach Bar in Mele village. These are just a few of the tours up and running and waiting for tourists to come and have fun in Vanuatu. Vanuatu is still smiling.

smiling divers in Vanautu

Divers out on the Big Blue dive boat

#vanuatustillsmiles.

Bookings accepted after March 22

As a result of the destructive activity of cyclone Pam, bookings for tours will not recommence until at least March 22. There is a massive cleanup happening throughout Vanuatu; and especially in Port Vila.

As soon as we are advised by tour operators they are safe to begin taking bookings again; we will make another post here, updating the situation. You can also like our Facebook page to be advised too.

All Vanuatu airports remain closed — see the Air Vanuatu page on Facebook for updated information:
https://www.facebook.com/airvanuatu

 

Sailing and snorkelling tour on the New Zealand built Catamaran Vagabond

New Sailing Tours offered on red Vanuatu

Havannah Harbour is one of the most picturesque places in Vanuatu and what better way to explore the beautiful bays and warm tropical waters than by sailing boat? Simon and Corinne, brought their 18 meter Catamaran to Vanuatu from New Zealand and for the last few years have been offering sailing trips in Vanuatu waters. redVanautu has just added Havannah Harbour day sail and Snorkel tour to our site. It is a fabulous day out for the whole family. Relax and enjoy the scenery with just the sound of the waves on the bow and snorkel with the tropical fish in a secluded bay.

Sailing and snorkelling tour on the New Zealand built Catamaran Vagabond

Sailing and snorkelling from the catamaran Vagabond

 

sailing tour Port Vila

lunch on board

And if you want the boat all to yourself you can charter her for the day. A fabulous option for groups of all sizes from a couple families travelling together to large wedding parties, Simon and the crew can accommodate you all.

Dolphin seen on sailing day tour port vila

Dolphins seen on Day sail

Best Tours in Vanuatu 2014

Red tours shortlisted for excellence awards

Several of the tour featured on redVanuatu have been announced as finalists for the Vanuatu Tourism Awards for Excellence 2014.

Best Tours in Vanuatu 2014

2014 Vanuatu Tourism Awards for Excellence

Best of luck to Atmosphere Tours, Edge Abseil, Zipline, Vanuatu Helicopters, Ocean Walker and Kayaking Vanuatu. Winners will be announced at the award ceremony on 7th March. The awards will be presented by Steve Jacobs and Miss Vanuatu.

Vanuatu Tourism Awards 2014

Steve Jacobs will MC at the Vanuatu Tourism Awards

 

Bill Weir from CNN comes to Vanuatu

By Christina Shaw, redVanautu

It seems that international journalists can’t get enough of Vanuatu right now. Hot on the heels of the BBC’s Kate Humble’s visit, Bill Weir from CNN’s Wonderlist has discovered the ‘wonders’ of Vanuatu. In an episode that aired last week, Bill is also mesmerised by the volcano on Tanna and who wouldn’t be?. But he is also intrigued by the culture of the Ni-Vanautu people. He talks about eco-ethno-tourism and how it can play a part in the development of these beautiful island without forgoing the traditional “idilic” life.

At redVanuatu we believe that tourism plays a huge part in improving lives here and aspire to promote tourism projects which belong to Ni-Vanuatu entrepreneurs. Atmosphere Tours (Around Island Tour, Lololima cascade tour and the Cultural Tour), Lelepa Island Tours (Lelepa Island Day tour and Half and full day fishing Tours) and Bellevue Horse ranch (Tropical trail ride) are a few examples of local people running tours to showcase local customs and life.  And of course if you would like the volcano experience we have a day tour to the Tanna volcano or a spectacular helicopter trip to the Ambrym volcanoes.

Bill visited the island of Ra in the far north of Vanuatu in the the Banks group of islands, inspired to go there by a photo of men standing on the rock of Ra. I too have been inspired by that same view from the rock of Ra as you can see from my own photo at the top – I must admit, it doesn’t have quite the same impact as Jimmy Nelson’s! But even my photos of Reef island, with such great subjects didn’t turn out too bad.

Wacht the Vanuatu episode of Wonderlist here: http://edition.cnn.com/shows/wonder-list/?sr=about_the_wonder_list

Looking into Volcano on Tour in Vanuatu

Into the volcano Episode 2

The second program in the BBC series “Kate Humble: Into the Volcano” features Marum volcano on the island of Ambrym, in Vanuatu. In Kate Humble’s words it is “one of the most dynamic and exciting volcanoes in the world”. There are only 5 volcanoes with open larva lakes inside them and Marum is one. In fact it is quite unique as it has more than one larva lake – something you will not see anywhere else in the world.

Looking into Volcano on Tour in Vanuatu

Looking into the volcano at the larva lake in the bottom of Marum

 

Did you know that redVanuatu’s Active Volcano Helicopter Tour flies to the very same volcano. And it is run by the same company that took Kate and her team to film the documentary? That amazing footage looking down into the creator was shot from their helicopter. You too can experience the “astonishing energy, this boiling seething energy that looks like it wants to leap up out of the mountain”. You can stand on the rim of the volcano and look into the fiery belly.

standing on the edge of Marum volcano in Vanuatu

Looking down into Marum volcano on Ambrum, Vanuatu

 

The helicopter Active Volcano Tour is one of the most amazing day trips you can do anywhere in the world. The flight up to Ambrym is spectacular enough – flying over islands and coral reef. But standing up on the top of the volcano is truly unforgettable.

Helicopter flight to Active Volcano .. great activity in Vanuatu

Standing of the rim of active volcano Marum

 

Needs some inspiration to visit Marum? Watch the BBC program via this link

Tanna volcano in Vanuatu

Follow in the BBC’s Kate Humble’s footsteps to the vanuatu volcano

Have you seen the great new BBC TV program about Vanuatu’s volcanoes: Kate Humble: Into the Volcano? Quite spectacular footage!

 

Trips to see the volcanoes top a lot of peoples’ Vanuatu bucket list, both residents and visitors alike. It is a truly uniquely Vanuatu experience. In the first episode of this documentary Kate visits a volcano on the island of Tanna. She says as she stands on the rim of Mt Yasur for the first time “It’s like a fantastic firework display…It’s so beautiful…being in the presence of, just, this extraordinary energy. And you feel it, you do actually feel it”.

Tanna volcano in Vanuatu

Mount Yasur volcano on Tannis island in Vanuatu

 

 

Photographing the volcano in Tanna, Vanuatu

Standing on the rim of a Vanuatu volcano

You too can experience the majesty of that same volcano. redVanuatu offers a day trip Tanna to see the volcano, stand on the rim and watch it erupt. Air Taxi takes you on the one-hour flight from Port Vila to the island of Tanna. You then continue your journey to Mt Yasur on the other side of the island by car, passing through villages and Vanuatu bush and emerging out onto the ash plain where you can take in the magnitude of the volcano. The short walk up to the rim from the car park is not strenuous and only takes 10 or so minutes. And there you are, standing on the rim of a volcano looking down in the belly of fire below. Exhilarating!

Day trip to Mt Yasur in Tanna, Vanuatu

One of the most amazing day trips you can do in Vanuatu.

All visitors are accompanied by local guides who know their volcano well: They have been living in it’s shadow all of their lives! They know its moods and will ensure everyone is standing in a safe place to watch the fire show. Active volcanoes in Vanuatu are also monitored closely for their activity level by the geo-hazards department of the Vanuatu government. Currently the volcanoes on Tanna and Ambrym are at a low level of activity and safe to visit. So it’s a good time to follow in Kate’s footsteps and see one of nature’s most impressive sculptures first hand.

Activity in Vanuatu's volcanoes

Status of the volcanoes in Vanuatu from today’s report on the geohazzards website

In the documentary Kate also visited traditional Vanuatu villages and sampled traditional island food. redVanuatu has several tours here on Efate where you can experience the traditional way of life in a Vanuatu village. The Vanuatu cultural tour is a popular choice. Many of the other tours available, such as the walking and cycling tours, will also take you through villages and most have local guides, so where ever you decide to go and whatever you decide to do you can experience the natural warmth and welcoming nature of the Ni-Vanuatu people.

 

Watch the documentary here and be inspired to visit Mt Yasur

Flight specials to Vanuatu

Air Vanuatu announces specials on airfares for teenagers

Now is the perfect time to book a holiday to Vanuatu if you have teenage kids. Air Vanuatu have just announced special “teen” fares.

Return fares to either Port Vila or direct to Santo (including taxes and charges):

Brisbane from $414,

Sydney from $460

Melbourne from $479.

Book by 27th February to take up this offer. See the Air Vanuatu website for more details.

Kids specials are also on sale until 27th March

Once you have booked your flight, why not book tours via redVanuatu to keep them entertained while you are here (and save on credit card and foreign exchange fees). The Zipline, buggy tours and cascade abseil always get a good rap from teenagers. Watersport lovers can choose from jet skis, parasailing and snorkelling or even give scuba diving a go.

Fun buggy tours in Vanuatu

Awesome fun tour as you drive buggies through the bush tracks

teaching diving, port Vila, Vanuatu

learning to dive with Big Blue, Port Vila, Vanuatu

coral reef diving in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Vanuatu is one of Lonely Planet’s top learn to dive destinations

The Lonely Planet has listed Port Vila as one of the best places in the world to learn to scuba dive. We couldn’t agree more! The amazing coral and accessible wrecks are a great backdrop to your scuba lessons. redVanuatu’s preferred scuba diving company Big Blue is specifically mentioned in the article. redVanuatu offers a Discover Scuba Dive (DSD) with Big Blue for those that want to give diving a go. Did you know that the DSD ocean dive can count as the first dive on an open water course? So you can book your DSD with redVanuatu.com and if you like it upgrade to do the whole course once you have done the dive.

Have a read of the full article here: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/gili-trawangan/travel-tips-and-articles/77736?affil=CSRSS

Scuba diving lesson in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Learning to dive in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Underwater tour

Underwater tour, with dry hair

As strange as it sounds to go on an underwater tour without ever getting your hair wet; with the help of latest technology this is what is offered by Oceanwalker Vanuatu.

Your tour underwater starts when you walk down the ramp into the water and then have your helmet lowered onto your shoulders. Air is supplied by a hose connected to the rear of the helmet, so that your view is never obstructed. With helmet resting on your shoulders you enter the world of colourful fish and coral for an underwater tour you will never forget.

Colourful fish and coral While walking along (instead of swimming) underwater you are assisted by 2 trained PADI divers. You can spend up to 20 minutes walking along the sea floor to a maximum depth of 4 meters. This patented helmet designed in Australia will never fog up; meaning you will be able to see everything underwater clearly.

Remember to bring your waterproof camera with you on this walking tour with a difference; underwater. You are bound to get some amazing photographs.

You will be picked up from your Port Vila resort approximately 15 minutes before the time you have booked to go on the tour. There is no change room onboard, so wear what you want to go underwater with and remember a towel. Reef shoes are also a good idea if you have them. They can be used on other tours while in Vanuatu.

If you have been on this underwater tour with Edge Vanuatu, we would love to hear your experience; leave a comment and share some of your best pictures with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/redVanuatu/