Beautiful one day, perfect the next – now australiancruisingnews.com wonders how long it will be before Vanuatu is ready to welcome back tourists.
Past visitors to beautiful Vanuatu – more often than not on cruise ships – usually vow to return to those sun-kissed islands with swaying palms, powder fine white sand beaches, and sparkling aquamarine waters.
All that changed at the weekend when damaging winds of tropical Cyclone Pam wrecked devastation on the South Pacific islands.
While a full picture of the damage is still emerging cruise line schedules are being revised to avoid the worst hit disaster areas.
There was a time when Australian-based P&O cruise ships were the only ones sailing to the South Pacific islands on a regular basis, but of late Vanuatu and the neighbouring islands of New Caledonia, Vanuatu, and Fiji have been enjoying huge popularity.
Recently, Cunard’s ultra swish Queen Victoria (cunard.com) called into ports in Fiji and Vanuatu en route to Australia, as did Silversea’s luxe Silver Spirit (silversea.com). Holland America’s Ms Oosterdam (hollandamerica.com.au), Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas (royalcaribbean.com.au), Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend (carnival.com.au), and P&O’s Pacific Dawn and Pacific Pearl (pocruises.com.au) have been also cruising amid South Pacific islands. They still are, but staying away from the worst affected areas.
Meanwhile,Carnival Australia (P&O’s parent company), which has strong ties with aid projects in Vanuatu in recent years, has announced an immediate donation of $150,000 to assist in the islands recovery.