Things to Do in Port Vila: COOK

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Last, but absolutely not Least in our Series of Things to Do in Port Vila is COOK. Vanuatu is blessed with stunning beaches and verdant jungle, which make the destination popular with adventure travellers.

But Vanuatu is also popular because of the rich culture and history of the Ni-Van people.  Vanuatu has repeatedly been named the happiest place on earth, and part of this happiness must come from their love of food! [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

“People who love to eat are always the best people”

– Julia Child

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If you are looking for things to do in Port Vila and you want to do something a little different to the standard tourist options and you are a Food Lover, then this experience is for you! [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Things to Do in Port Vila with Go By Sea:


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Away from the Crowds

We will whisk you away from Port Vila; enjoy a 45-minute drive through rural Vanuatu to reach the cooking school. Your destination is a local village restaurant built directly on the sand of a stunning secluded Bay.  You will ease into the day with a fresh lime juice as you take in the serenity and beauty of the location.  Cooking and eating is all done with the back-drop of the ocean and the sound of the waves to accompany you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2488" img_size="medium"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]

Warm Welcome

The Restaurant that is home to your cooking school is run entirely by a local family that live in the adjacent village. You will be welcomed as one of the family for the day, and as you cook together you will learn a little about life in Vanuatu.  Smiles and laughter are an important part of Ni-Van culture so get ready to join in.

Every family member plays an important role in the business, and your visit helps to provide employment opportunities for the village.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2490" img_size="medium"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]

Spend the Day with a Local Chef

You get to spend time with a local Chef and Assistants, learning about the techniques and traditional foods of Vanuatu.  All the food here is produced from scratch and by hand, without the powered tools that we take for granted!  You can roll up your sleeves and join in the cutting, grating, mixing and folding that goes into the preparation of your lunch.  Ask questions, watch as the chef shows you how, then have a go and you might learn a new technique that you can try when you are back home.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2491" img_size="medium"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]

Go Coconuts

The Coconut Tree is an important plant in Vanuatu life.  It is often called the “Tree of a Thousand Uses”, and during your experience you will find out why!

Today your Coconut Milk will not come from a can! You can learn how to open a coconut and turn the flesh into coconut milk, and while you are cooking the local ladies will be weaving the leaves into all sorts of useful (or fun) objects.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2492" img_size="medium"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]

Fresh Local Produce

Think Coconut, Seafood, local Vegetables – watch them transformed from the source to the plate!

You can reach out and touch the Coconut Palms & Pawpaw Trees that your lunch is being prepared from.  Fish is delivered direct from the local fisherman, so you will be eating the best catch of the day.  The vegetables are grown in the village garden, tended to by the villagers and harvested at their peak.  You will be preparing and eating as the locals do, from what the land and sea provide.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2493" img_size="medium"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]

Enjoy the Fruits of your Labour

Once lunch is prepared, sit down to a leisurely buffet of delicious, fresh local produce.

The dishes that you have created turn your lunch into a true Vanuatu Feast, and Chef will also surprise you with a tasty dessert if you can fit any more in!

The restaurant has a licensed bar so feel free to purchase your favourite tipple to take lunch to the next level.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2494" img_size="medium"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]

Perfect for Groups

Our COOK experience is a great day out even if you don’t want to cook!

Those in your group who want to be involved in the cooking class will do so while the others can sit back and enjoy the stunning location and mingle with the village family while they weave and shuck coconuts!

Your whole group will enjoy the wonderful lunch together, and then if you can muster the energy you can choose to walk on the beach or go for a dip in the inviting waters of the bay.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2495" img_size="medium"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]

What Will I need?

All you need to enjoy this experience is a sense of fun and a love of food!

Bring along your togs, sunscreen and reef-shoes if you want to go swimming or walking after lunch.

Cash or credit card are accepted for extra bar purchases.

Your guide will collect you and drop you back at the Cruise-ship, with a stop at the duty-free on the way back if you request it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2496" img_size="medium"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Why We Love it

  • This is an intimate and engaging experience, where you will be welcomed like family and depart with the warm feeling that good food and good company can only produce.
  • We think that one of the best ways to learn about a country is to learn about it’s food. Our COOK experience is the perfect opportunity to do both.
  • If you love cooking and love food, you get to spend the day surrounded by your favourite things in a location that is one of the best kept secrets of Port Vila.


Things to Do in Port Vila – Do you want to experience COOK?

Click the link to go to the tour page and book this experience for your next Port Day in Port Vila!


Things to Do in Port Vila: PADDLE


We understand that everyone has different ideas on what constitutes a great day out, so at Go By Sea we have 4 different experiences in Port Vila to suit a variety of interests. What you will always find with our Things to Do in Port Vila are Unique Experiences away from the crowds, with small groups going off-the-beaten-path!


Things to Do in Port Vila with Go By Sea


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  • Far from the Crowds

On this Port Vila Day Tour, you will experience a couple of hours of quiet enjoyment and easy paddling along a picturesque river in the Countryside of Vanuatu.

This is a perfect escape from the hustle of a cruise ship – after a 20 minute drive you will arrive at a veritable Garden of Eden where you will embark onto the river.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2389" img_size="medium" alignment="right" onclick="img_link_large" img_link_target="_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]

  • Water Therapy

The quiet splashes as you dip your paddle into the still clear water, gliding along the river – ahhh the serenity!

You will feel at one with nature as you kayak along this stunning river, feel the rhythm of the river unwind your soul and soothe your senses!

Watch out for the wild-life too. Herons and Eagles may be feeding from the river as you paddle past, and fish-life is prolific. It’s amazing what you can see from the quiet of the waterway.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2390" img_size="medium" alignment="right" onclick="img_link_large" img_link_target="_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]

  • Anyone can Paddle

Even a novice will have no trouble with this easy paddle.  It really doesn’t matter if you have never tried kayaking before; this is the perfect quiet water opportunity to give it a go.

Both single and double kayaks are available, and your very experienced guide will keep a close eye on you throughout your journey.

The pace is easy and the kayaks are stable so you can relax and let the river carry you along.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2391" img_size="medium" alignment="right" onclick="img_link_large" img_link_target="_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]

  • Take a look into Local Life

As you glide quietly along the river you get to glimpse into the lives of the local Vanuatu people – ladies washing, kids swimming, and men fishing are all scenes that you may encounter. This is just a normal day for the locals that live along the river, but a special opportunity for you to witness life in another country.

Your guides are born story-tellers and love to share snippets of life in Vanuatu with you during your journey up-river, so as you watch life go by you will also learn about it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2393" img_size="medium" alignment="right" onclick="img_link_large" img_link_target="_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]

  • And a Little Extra

Although the pace is easy, you will be ready for a swim after your kayaking experience.  This is the perfect way to end your paddle; the water is deep, blue, clear and invigorating.

For the adventurous, entry to the river can be via the rope swing if you dare!

Then you can spend some time in the magnificent garden by the river bank and your guide may find some fresh seasonal fruits to share with you (depending on the season).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2394" img_size="medium" alignment="right" onclick="img_link_large" img_link_target="_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

  • Half Day Tour

Our PADDLE experience is from 9am-1pm, giving you plenty of time for shopping at the markets or going to the duty free in Port Vila afterwards if you want to.

Your guide will pick you up from the Wharf, and you can be dropped back at the wharf or in town if you prefer.

After a morning paddling you will have earned yourself a Cold Tusker Beer overlooking the harbour… Ask your guide to drop you at a good spot if this idea appeals![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]

  • What will I Need?

Although the kayaking is on a gentle river, you will still get wet so bring a towel and a change of clothes if you don’t want to go back to the ship wet.  There is a change room and toilet (island style) that you can use in the garden by the river.

The sun can be brutal in Vanuatu and at times you will be exposed so make sure you slip, slop, slap!

This experience is possible due to the generosity of local land owners, allowing us access to the river via their land.  Your guide collects $25 AUD per couple that he pays directly to the land-owner for this privilege.

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Why We Love It

Nothing beats time on the Water, and being in a Kayak you really feel a part of the natural environment.

Vanuatu can be hot and humid all year round, but being on the water in a kayak you avoid the worst of the sticky heat so this is a perfect experience for those that don’t handle the heat well.

The River is the lifeblood of the people who live along it and during this experience you enjoy a front-row seat into daily life along the river.

You can’t get more off-the-beaten path than our PADDLE experience – if you can imagine yourself as an intrepid adventurer exploring the wilds of Vanuatu, this experience is for you!


Things to Do in Port Vila – Do you want to PADDLE?

Click the link to go to the tour page and book this experience for your next Port Day in Port Vila!


Things to Do in Port Vila: WALK

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Welcome to our “Things to Do in Port Vila” Series – where we introduce you to what we think are the best ways to spend your Port Days while on a Cruise Holiday. 

We have scoured the lands from top to toe, searching out off-the-beaten path experiences for you to enjoy.  Our clients have returned from their cruises telling us their Go By Sea Experience has been the highlight of their holiday! So come on Board with Go By Sea and we will help you to make the most of your day in Port with one of our Unique Shore Experiences!

Over the coming weeks we will cover all the experiences we offer in both Port Vila and Noumea. We will outline the features of each tour and tell you why we love them, and why we think you will too!

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Things to do in Port Vila

Port Vila is the capital city of Vanuatu, but to really appreciate the beauty of this country you need to get out of town, and away from the crowds. Port Vila is always full of tourists (not just from the cruise ships), and many of the popular attractions can be disappointing when you have to share them with hundreds of other people. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="1672" img_size="medium" alignment="right"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Things to do in Port Vila with Go By Sea:


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Stretch Your Legs

What better way to explore a new destination than by foot – if you have been on a cruise ship for a few days, this is a fantastic way to stretch your legs.

Your guide will choose a walking trail to suit the fitness of the group.  Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can join in; the walking is at an easy pace giving you time to really soak up your surroundings.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2343" img_size="full" onclick="img_link_large" img_link_target="_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Local Guide

You are in good hands with a local guide who will share his life and his country with you. One-on-One time with a local is a sure way to immerse yourself into a destination in a short time.

As you walk there are frequent stops where the guide will entertain you with tales of life in Vanuatu. He loves to share his culture so ask as many questions as you like.  The people of Vanuatu are known as the friendliest people on earth, and you will get to see this first-hand during your walk.

Natural Beauty and Rural Life

You will be driven to a rural location and then you will spend a few hours far from any evidence of modern life.  Touch, smell, feel and experience the unique countryside and the lives of the local people.

Your guide will lead you through a myriad of paths and trails far from the towns, crowds and noise - here you will learn about living on the land – Vanuatu style![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Off-the-Beaten-Path

Every walk is unique – you never know what will be revealed around the next corner – there could be a garden with exotic vegetables to be unearthed, a tranquil bay overlooking distant islands, ladies preparing their daily meal, local produce for sale, tropical rainforest grottos, children playing with homemade toys, interesting plants, flowers, insects and fruits to be discovered.

In season, your guide may even pluck ripe fruits from the trees for you to enjoy.

Perfect for Families

Our WALK experience is the perfect family activity!  Not only do you get quality time together, but our guide will impart his love of the land onto your children, and they will get to see how other people live - such a rewarding experience for all ages! You will find the local people you encounter will be just as interested in you, as you are of them, such a wonderful opportunity to broaden your family’s horizons![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2333" img_size="medium" alignment="right" onclick="img_link_large" img_link_target="_blank"][vc_single_image image="2348" img_size="medium" alignment="right" onclick="img_link_large" img_link_target="_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Half Day Tour

Our WALK experience is from 9am-1pm, so you will have plenty of time for shopping at the markets, or going to the duty free in Port Vila afterwards if you want.

Your guide will pick you up from the Wharf, but you can be dropped back at the wharf or in town if you prefer.

Want to Swim?

Let your guide know at the beginning of the day if you would like to include a swimming stop during your WALK experience.

If you don’t like the idea of changing into your bathers behind a Palm tree, wear them on the walk – remember this is the real country-side!

What will I need?

Good Walking Shoes are a must!  You will be walking through a varied natural landscape – don’t expect paved walkways where we will take you.

You will be walking through locally owned private properties (with the landowners permission of course) so our guide will collect $25 AUD from each couple as a tribute that is made direct to the landowner.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="2331" img_size="large" alignment="center" onclick="img_link_large" img_link_target="_blank"][vc_single_image image="1550" img_size="large" onclick="img_link_large" img_link_target="_blank"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Why We Love it

You get to be IN this experience, not just witness it from the sidelines.

This is the REAL Vanuatu; you get to experience local life as it is lived every day. We guarantee you will come away with a new appreciation for what you have in life, and we think this is one of the true rewards of travel.

This is not a tourist activity! You will not see other tourists on your walk, and you get to share this intimate experience in a small group making it all the more special.


5 Good Things To Know Before you Go – Port Vila Vanuatu.

Port Vila is a popular tourist town and not just for Cruise Ship Passengers.  On any given Port Day, you will find that there will be as many land-based tourists as Cruise Passengers sharing this little South Pacific Paradise.

Port Vila Sign



To help you make the most of your day in Port Vila here are 5 things that are good to know before you go:

ONE - Temperature:

  • It WILL BE HOT! Pretty much year-round!  Yah for the tropics! If you’re cruising from Australia during winter this will be bliss.  During the summer be prepared to sweat!
  • Port Vila has a typical tropical climate with 2 seasons.
  • Wet season is from November to March when you will have higher humidity and chance of heavy (but short) showers. During this time it will be hot & sticky and you will more than likely want to have a swim somewhere along the way.
  • Dry season is from April to October with warm days averaging max 26deg. During this time, it will feel warm to hot depending on your activity level, but it is highly unlikely to ever feel cold!


TWO – The Great Outdoors:

  • No matter the season remember the sun will burn you if you are exposed – don’t forget to Slip/Slop/Slap during the day – holidays are not fun when you are sun-burned!
  • The sea temperature is lovely for swimming all year round. The rivers and waterfalls are always cooler, but very refreshing on a hot day.


Be aware you must pay entry fees directly to the land-owner for many swimming spots – prices start at 500 Vatu/$5 AUD. A good local guide will know what is charged at each location.

  • Carry Insect repellent if you are prone to bites – you will find mosquitoes in some areas of Port Vila.
  • Vanuatu is relatively free of dangerous animals – centipedes being the only thing that may give you a nasty bite. There are some impressive bugs and spiders to be seen, none of which are venomous. In the water stonefish, sea-snakes and sharks are possible. Sea-snakes may be common, but their mouths are so tiny it is almost impossible to be bitten by them.
  • There are local dogs everywhere you go – they do tend to carry fleas, so best not to get too friendly with them. As they live amongst the locals they are seldom aggressive towards people.

Port Vila DogVanuatu Spider

THREE - Language:

  • There are 3 official languages in Vanuatu: English, French & Bislama.
  • Most of the Ni-Van (Vanuatu people) speak Bislama as their first language. In addition, there are hundreds of sub-dialects of the local language.
  • Bislama is a form of Pidgin-English and it is great fun to learn a few words to use on your day in Port. (Watch for a blog post coming soon to learn some Bislama)
  • English is widely spoken, just remember it is a second language – so listen carefully and speak slowly – & don’t be afraid to ask again if you didn’t understand.
  • The Ni-Van are incredibly inquisitive and friendly people, but they can be quite shy at first. They love to ask all about you and where you come from, and if you take the time to ask questions you will learn so much about them too.  Getting to know local people can be one of the most rewarding parts of any journey!



FOUR - Money:

  • Whether you are exploring independently, or taking part in a tour it is nice to have some cash money to spend on a souvenir or cold drink along the way.
  • In Port Vila, you will often be dealing with small businesses who only take payments in cash. Larger resort hotels and duty free stores will have card facilities for payment.
  • The official currency in Port Vila is the VATU.
  • The currency comes in coins (5, 10, 20, 50, 100 vatu coins) and notes (200, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000 vatu notes)

Vanuatu Money




  • Some operators will take Australian currency (Notes Only) – you will need to check this before you pay for something.
  • We prefer to deal in the currency of the country we are visiting – it makes for a more authentic experience – so convert some AUD for VATU and live like a local for the day!
  • You can use your Australian ATM card to withdraw VATU from ATM machines in the town.
  • The exchange rate will vary from week to week. Don’t worry too much about the exchange rate – there’s not much you can do about it anyway!




BEFORE you travel, advise your bank that you will be in Vanuatu. If you try to withdraw money from an account while overseas most banks will block the transaction if you haven’t registered your travel with them.

  • Here is an exchange rate example for a day that we were in Port.

At the exchange tent on the dock: $100 AUD = 7800 Vatu

At the exchange in town $100 AUD = 8200Vatu

The difference is 400 Vatu which is about $5.00

For the convenience of exchanging your money at the dock, we think it’s worth the $5.

                                                 If you are on a Cruise Port Day your time will be precious!


FIVE - Cost of Things

  • Expect to pay much the same as you would at home in Australia for food and drinks.
  • Lunch and a drink for a couple will be about 5000Vatu ($60-65 AUD).
  • Around 300-500 Vatu for a soft drink or juice
  • Around 800 Vatu for a Cold Local Beer (*edit* depending on where you buy it and size - may be as little as 450Vatu)
  • Shopping for Duty Free alcohol? Port Vila is the best place to do this on a South Pacific Cruise.


Try the local Tusker Beer.        Port Vila Beer

Top Tips for your Day in Port Vila - a Guide for Cruise Passengers Part 2

Welcome to Port Vila!

I hope you enjoyed my blog post about arriving into Port Vila by Cruise Ship. Following on from last week, here are some things that may be useful to know for your day in Port Vila.

Before you leave your ship to explore for the day:

• Go to the toilet! (Loos are not always easy to find, or to the standards you would expect so best to start your day with an empty bladder)! • Buy a big bottle of water or fill your own water bottle on-board. It is hot and steamy almost year-round and you don’t want to be stuck without water. • Check you have everything in your day-bag so you don’t have to return to the ship – sunscreen, money, cruise-card, photo ID, camera, togs/towel (if you plan to swim), insect repellent if you are prone to bites, sun-hat, sunglasses. • Have an easy to carry day-bag that fits everything inside with space for some souvenirs too. You don’t want to be juggling multiple bags, water bottle, and camera – much easier to have a bag that will fit everything! • Double check your departure time (photograph the boarding info as discussed last week). • Check the correct time! Sounds silly, but remember that Port Vila is in a different time-zone to Australia and you need to make sure your watch and/or phone is set to the appropriate time before you leave the ship!

If you want to head into town you have 3 options:

1. Walk - about 40mins + free (but a very hot and sticky way to start the day!) 2. Take a Water Taxi (small speedboat that will deposit you in town) – 5mins + $5AUDpp 3. Take the local transport (usually called a “bus” this is actually a local mini-van driven by the local owner) – 10 mins + $5AUDpp

Local Transport:









  • There are literally hundreds of private vehicles (usually mini-vans) that are owned and operated by locals as public transport. These vehicles will have a red B or red PT sticker on their number plates – you can flag one down on the street. On a Cruise Ship day you will find many will slow down and ask if you want a ride or a tour.
  • These drivers will be available in multitudes at the exit gates of the Cruise Docks.
  • The local transport comes in all sizes, shapes and degrees of road-worthiness... These vehicles will be a different standard to what you are used to. Just remember the roads are very dusty and pot-holed so don’t ever expect a brand-new vehicle!
  • There are no set routes for these drivers. If you want to visit a certain place and have them wait for you, make sure you have them agree to this before you depart. Otherwise they may leave you stranded!
  • Always agree to the price (and currency) before you get into the vehicle.
  • Do not pay the driver until your trip is complete.
  • Usually on a Cruise-Ship day the driver will ask you to use him for either a half-day or a full-day. He is likely to suggest places that he can take you – these will be the most popular tourist attractions around Port Vila.

Port Vila – around Town:


• The town is built along the foreshore of the harbour, and extensive redevelopment of this Waterfront precinct has just been completed. There are a number of nice cafes and bars from where you can sit and enjoy watching the activity on the harbour. • There is a large produce market (“Mama’s Markets”) on the main drag that is worth a look around if you are interested in fresh local food. Be aware that you cannot take any fresh food back onto the cruise ship, so anything you purchase will need to be eaten before you re-board your ship. • For currency exchange, the well-known and trusted “Goodies” is directly opposite the Mama’s Market. We found this had the best exchange rate in Port Vila, if that is important to you. • Like most towns in the South Pacific, Port Vila is crowded, dusty and a little rough around the edges. If you really want to experience Vanuatu you need to avoid the town and get out into the surrounding countryside.


Driving is on the Right-Hand Side of the road. Take care when crossing the road – vehicles will be coming from the opposite direction than you are used to!

Duty Free:

There are several duty-free shops in Port Vila but the one most commonly voted the “best” by cruise passengers is Fung Kuei – housed in a large yellow building at the far end of town. They have a vast range of liquor products and the prices are excellent. You can pay with your Australian credit/debit cards and they will deliver your order to the ship for you so you don’t have to carry it around all day.



Tipping and Bargaining:

• Neither of these are customary or expected behaviour in Vanuatu.

Tune in next week to learn about Currency, Language and the Weather in Port Vila – as well as about the rest of the island of Efate.

Arriving at Port Vila: A Guide for Cruise Passengers.

Port Vila is one of the most popular cruise stops in the South Pacific.

Did you know that over 100 cruise ships visit Port Vila every year!  Carnival, P&O, Royal Caribbean and Princess Ships (amongst others) all call there.

I hope you are lucky enough to be a passenger on a cruise ship stopover in Port Vila.  If so this Blog Post is for you!


Where is Port Vila?                  Port Vila is in Vanuatu

Vanuatu is made up of a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, around 2000km North/East of Australia.

Port Vila is the Capital of Vanuatu, and it is located on the Island of Efate.


   So When you visit Port Vila, you will be visiting the Island of Efate.

When cruising, Port Vila will be 2 sea-days from Brisbane, or 3 sea-days from Sydney.

When you visit Port Vila, remember this saying

This is so often true of the towns of the South Pacific – a small dusty, dirty commercial centre will not teach you a thing of the beauty of Vanuatu.  Please make the most of your day in Port and GET OUT OF TOWN!!

First things first:

Your ship will cruise into the Bay past several small islands, it’s a pretty sight so spend some time on deck to enjoy the scenery as you arrive.  Your ship will dock at the Commercial Ship Pier just outside the main township, if you gaze to your left you will just make out the buildings of the town.

As the ship arrives, you will see the local markets that have been laid out on the docks below you.

Exit from the ship is easy via the gang-plank straight onto the docks.


**TIP** Take a quick photo (on your phone) of the final boarding-time information the ship will have posted as you leave the ship.

If you do this you will have absolutely no confusion of when you need to be back on board.  You don’t want to miss your ship because you mixed up the departure time!!



If you have booked a Shore Tour from the Ship, you will have instructions of when to meet your tour group, and as you leave the ship you will turn right toward the pre-arranged ship tour area.

If you are not going on a ship-arranged tour you will turn left as you exit the ship and you will walk the labyrinth of market stalls to exit the dock area – the stalls are set up all day so you will have time to browse & buy either before your day ashore, or when you return to the ship.

**TIP** There is a money-exchange tent set up at the beginning of the market stalls, which is a good place to get some local currency if you don’t want to waste time doing it in town.  Yes, the exchange rate is a little worse than in town, but for the amount you are likely to want for the day it is worth doing here for the convenience.

(For more information on currency and exchange rates read Part 2 – coming next week).

Once you have negotiated the market stalls you will come to the exit where you will be met by the Vanuatu Taxi Welcoming Party!


At this point, don’t be put off and run back to the ship!

If you are reading this post before your trip to Port Vila I would recommend the next thing you do is take a look at our Unique Experiences in Port Vila – Book with Go By Sea and you will have a great local guide ready beyond the exit to show you what Port Vila is really all about!

You will be whisked away from the Port with a small group of like-minded travellers, away from the crowds to WALK, PADDLE, COOK or experience LIFE in the villages.