Luganville, Vanuatu cruises

Champagne beaches. Tropical hiking trails. Sparkling seas. A cruise to Luganville offers a chance to explore world-renowned landscapes while uncovering the island’s rich military history.

Luganville port guide

Luganville is the second largest city on Espiritu Santo, the largest of the islands in the Vanuatu archipelago. Once a strategic base for Allied powers during World War II, today it offers a place to adventure against a landscape decorated by rugged mountain slopes and powdery soft beaches.

Inspired by the crystal waters and white sands, Luganville was also the source of inspiration behind James A. Michener’s book, Tales of the South Pacific. Diving and hiking are popular activities for those vacationing in this part of the world, while coffee, cacao, and tuna are among the local exports Luganville is famed for.

Top landmarks and sights in Luganville

SS President Coolidge

If exploring the wreck of a military ship sounds appealing, a visit to the SS President Coolidge is sure to excite. This World War II transport ship – along with its cargo – sank off the shores of Espiritu Santo in 1942. Uncommonly for shipwrecks, the SS President Coolidge can be explored from shore, making it one of the most accessible shipwrecks to dive to. If you do decide to venture down, expect to see artefacts including weapons, helmets, and munitions.

Euart’s Memorial

This memorial stands in honor of Elwood J. Euart, Captain of the SS President Coolidge, who sacrificed his life in an attempt to save two men when his ship sank in Espiritu Santo. A poignant reminder of his bravery and heroism, you’ll find the memorial located on the shoreline, marking the site where the shipwreck went down.

Million Dollar Point

One of the most famous landmarks in Luganville is Million Dollar Point. It was here that American soldiers dumped goods into the ocean at the end of WWII to prevent the British and French from taking them. Rumor has it that a fortune’s worth of vehicles, food, clothing, and other equipment now rests just beneath the waves. Unsurprisingly, this wreckage site is hugely popular among divers.

The Blue Holes

A visit to one of the Espiritu Santo’s blue holes is another spectacular experience you can enjoy on a cruise to Luganville. Surrounded by jungle, these striking holes get their iconic color from the purity of the water and the minerals they contain. Beautiful to look at, the best way to really appreciate them is to jump right in!

Things to do in Luganville

South Pacific WWII Museum

If you have a penchant for military history, you might want to seek out Luganville’s South Pacific WWII Museum while in port. Showcasing the history of World War II in the region, the displays and exhibits preserve the memory of former WWII servicemen and women who risked their lives to protect their liberty.

The Millennium Cave

For an adventure you can enjoy on foot, pay a visit to Vanuatu’s largest cave, the Millennium Cave. An excursion here immerses you into an action-packed journey through tropical forest. If you get a little toasty, there is plenty of river to cool off in as you soak-up this unspoilt island paradise.

Champagne Beach

Famous for its clear water and white sand, Champagne Beach in Luganville is considered to be one of the best in the South Pacific. It’s also a gateway to some of the world’s best diving spots and regularly attracts visitors who come to soak-up the sunshine on this picture-perfect slice of sand.

Eating and drinking in Luganville

Over the years, the dining scene in Vanuatu has become increasingly influenced by international visitors. As a consequence, you’ll now find traditional restaurants serving much-loved island staples alongside a more multinational offering of Chinese, Korean, Italian, European, and French cuisines.

For an authentic taste of island life in Luganville, seek out national dishes such as ‘lap lap’ (a baked pudding made up of grated yam, banana, and taro mixed with coconut milk and salt).

Kava, the national drink of Vanuatu, also offers a chance to try a locally consumed favorite. Traditionally drunk at dusk and on ceremonial occasions, today there are dedicated bars serving this regional speciality all over the island.

Getting around, Luganville transport

Luganville port is handily located just a short walk from the town center. The walk brings you past craft stalls selling local handmade wares and the remnants of buildings from WWII.

If walking in the summer heat is too challenging, you’ll find taxis and local bus services outside the port terminal. If you do decide to travel in this way, remember to negotiate the fare upfront before setting off.

If you’re embarking on one of our Luganville Shore Experiences in port, transportation will be included. Just be sure to exit your ship in plenty of time to meet your tour group at the time indicated on your ticket.

Luganville port facilities

The port facilities at Luganville Port are limited. Internet access is available from nearby cafes (with a purchase) and a further selection of shops is located in the town center.

Luganville quick tips


The local currency in Luganville is the Vatu. Card payments are widely accepted in many shops and restaurants, however you may be charged a foreign transaction fee when paying for purchases this way. Smaller shops and family-owned businesses will usually only accept cash. While ATMs are easy to come by in Luganville, we recommend changing currency on board your Cunard Queen before disembarking your ship to explore.


Tipping is not expected in Luganville, nor is haggling or bargaining. A simple ‘thank you’ is often enough to express your gratitude for good service received.


Luganville has a tropical climate that swings from wetter to drier months. Temperatures usually reach highs of 30°C during the summer and lows of 21°C in winter.