Luganville, Vanuatu cruises
Luganville, the second city of Vanuatu, lies on the largest island in the Vanuatu archipelago, Espiritu Santo. The indescribable beauty of this land of iridescent blue holes and champagne beaches was the perfect inspiration for James A. Michener when he wrote the Tales of the South Pacific.
Santo, as it is called by the locals, is enveloped in dense verdant jungles that creep down the rugged mountain slopes to powdery white beaches. Idyllic swathes of sand, such as the gorgeous Champagne Beach and Lonnoc Beach, then give way to some of the best diving in the world.
The crystal waters and spectacular reefs offer dive sites and attractions for all skill levels. There is plenty of dumped WWII memorabilia to dive over, like Million Dollar Point, and one of the most famous sites, the SS President Coolidge – the largest wreck dive in the world. The ship sank in 1942 after striking a friendly mine. Today, guns and helmets can still be seen lying on the deck of the ship, while deeper down you can see trucks, cannons and “the Lady,” a statue of a lady riding a unicorn.
For a bit of adventure, explore Vanuatu’s largest cave, the Millennium Cave, on an action-packed journey through tropical forest. Scramble over boulders and rocks, cool off in the river, and soak up the pristine beauty of this unspoilt island paradise.
If you prefer something more serene, yet just as spectacular, visit one of the island’s inland blue holes. These stunning blue oases, surrounded by magnificent jungle, get their impressive color from the purity of the water and the minerals they contain. Although they are beautiful to look at, the best way to really appreciate them is to jump in and enjoy them firsthand.