ESPIRITU SANTO SAILING & BOAT CHARTERS
Espiritu Santo is the gateway to the northern islands of Vanuatu. It’s also the largest island in Vanuatu and has over 30 nearby islands surrounding it – in fact Suranda Bay and Turtle Bay on the east coast offer fantastic protected anchorages along with Aore Island and the Segund Channel area. So whether you want to sail your own your own boat, charter a sailing yacht, live aboard a luxury motor-yacht or simply hire out a small speedboat for a snorkelling/island day trip, Espiritu Santo is the ideal launching pad for your next boating adventure. For a comprehensive guide to cruising the Vanuatu islands in your own boat click here.
Paradise Sailing Adventures, based at Paradise Lodge on Aore Island have a beautiful Beneteau Oceanis 50ft yacht called “Divine Wind” which is available for skippered charter/overnight hire. It is a great Vanuatu sailing option and features 4 double ensuited cabins. Paradise Sailing Adventures offer a choice of 1/2 day or day sailing cruises, a sunset sail or extended 4-5 night adventures. They not only sail along the east coast of Espiritu Santo but visit far more exotic locations like the remote and unspoiled Banks Islands, Maewo, Pentecost and Ambrym islands.
South Sea Sailing run by Simon Hamer in Port Vila (Efate) operate an 18m catamaran called South Sea Vagabond. They offer day sails around Efate as well as extended overnight cruising throughout the Vanuatu islands for up to 10 passengers
For the motor-yacht enthusiasts, Island Escape Adventure Cruises , based out of New Zealand, offer two different 6 night luxury escape packages from Espiritu Santo, the Mystery of Vanuatu Cruise and the Secrets of Vanuatu cruise. These operate between the months of May – September.
The Big Sista Company is another motor-yacht option. They offer the only regular cruise service operating between Port Vila and Santo, stopping at Epi Island and Malekula along the way. They leave Port Vila every Monday night and return from Santo every Thursday night. It costs around $130 AUD and you can even upgrade to business class!
If you want to charter a fast boat to do day trips to the islands and reef around Espiritu Santo, either for a picnic, a spot of fishing or some diving and snorkelling, you have a couple of options to choose from.
Santo Dive and Fishing, based in Luganville, offer all of the above and more, Deco Stop Lodge in Luganville have a small, fully equipped fishing boat called Seascape that does fishing charters and snorkelling trips, Island Fishing Santo based in Suranda Bay on the east coast, offers day fishing charters and snorkelling trips to nearby islands, Aore Adventure Sports on Aore Island have a fantastic 8m custom built speedboat affectionately called Full Boar that does fishing, snorkelling and island picnic charters for the day and finally Coral Quays Resort/Absolute Adventures have fast speedboats available for half day and full day charters to nearby islands.
You can also hit up the locals at Port Olry for budget boat trips to nearby islands and local fisherman George Wass, does half day and full day snorkelling and island picnic tours as well as fishing tours out of Lonnoc Beach Bungalows on his small runabout. Prices start from around $75 AUD pp.