Day 5: Pacific Island Hopper: Vanuatu

Port Vila, Vanuatu

The last port of call of this cruises’ 8 day South Pacific island-hopping adventure was the idyllic coastal paradise of Vanuatu. It was here where we had the most amount of fun and variation.

Fog lingers between the mountains in Port Vila, Vanuatu
Fog lingers between the mountains
Cliffs of Vanuatu
Manoeuvering past beautiful cliffs.

Popping a ride over to the Sea Wall from the port was a fun, quick and cheap way to get to the heart of Port Vila, where all the action was happening. Although speeding by the numerous wrecks of various watercraft that had been damaged in the wake of Cyclone Pam in 2015 was a visual feast, it was sad to see that the effects of that storm are still present four years on.

Water Taxi, Vanuatu
Water Taxi
Shipwrecks in Port Vila
Shipwrecked vessels from Cyclone Pam

Arriving at the sea wall, we were greeted by a friendly local looking to take us to see the sights. While he was freaking velvety smooth, we’d already had plans made up the wazoo.

Phase One: A Taste of Port Vila ride in a helicopter.

While the very short trip on the glass-bottom boat to the floating, pontoon helicopter pad happened so fast you couldn’t enjoy it, the 7-minute chopper ride across Mele Bay was absolutely breathtaking.

Helicopter Flight Over Port Vila, Vanuatu
Vila Bay

Glittery blues ocean tides, aquamarine coral cays, paradise resort islands with our ship in the background and a stunning waterfall were just spectacular to witness from the air.

Vila Bay, Vanuatu
Helicopter Views Over Vila Bay
Hideaway Island, Vanuatu
Hideaway Island
Evergreen Cascades Waterfall, Vanuatu
Evergreen Cascades Waterfalls

Phase Two: Ziplining

After landing at the Vanuatu Jungle Ziplining and getting suited up for a different round of flying. Mom and Dad were a bit scared doing the first three, which were very short and are really only test flights, but they did awesomely on the latter 3, slicing through the air like a razor. I was really proud of them for completing it.

Me for, this is the kind of thing I love to do, and to get to do it in a place so wonderfully beautiful was really special, especially the 2 final ones where you get to zip past the breathtaking views over Mele Bay.

Vanuatu Jungle Zipline
Vanuatu Jungle Zipline

Bumpy Goings

The ride back down the mountain was certainly one to remember. The last remaining stragglers of this group of zipliners were all piled into the back of a 4WD. A minute later, we met up with another company vehicle who was taking some folks back into town and were told to hop into that one. Barely a metre down the road, we were stopped again and piled back into the first car.

The owner from the first car then asked us where we were going. Telling him that we had to meet back up at the Sea Wall to complete phase three of the adventure package we bought. Dude was confused and told us that the jetboat was out of action and made some calls. Yep, still a no-go. This is the first we’re hearing about it… After umming and ahhing as to who was going to take us down, we all eventually climbed back into the first car and down we finally went.

That road was crazy! Meandering and bumpy as hell, the drive was like being in a packet of tic-tacs in someone’s back pocket. Just one butt-clenching jerk after another. That’s not a complaint. I thought it was great, like an extreme version of the old River Rapids ride at Dreamworld. I just wasn’t expected to go four-wheel driving today.

Phase 3: There Zego.

Back at the Sea Wall, we got a refund for the jetboating portion of the tour package (Turns out the engine kept blowing out) and grabbed ourselves some lunch from the shops around the corner of the helicopter place. Downing the Asian food my parents had and the pizza I opted for, we then hit up the Zego the helicopter pilot directed us towards.

Whoo!!! The Zego was a riot!!! Similar to a jetski, the Zego ride blasts around the water going at high speeds and I for one could not contain my excitement. The wind in my hair and the water splashing up in my face as the tour guide took us around in doughnuts was so much fun. Sure the sea spray was stinging my eyes, but I didn’t care. I was having an absolute blast! Unlike a jetboat that we had already done before elsewhere, this one was a self-drive tour and such a fun and exhilarating way to experience these stunning waters. I was so glad that the jetboat wasn’t operational today because then we would have never gotten to experience this epicness that turned out to be my favourite thing.


Such an incredible day we had at the absolutely breathtaking Port Vila. Of all the places we’d visited on this trip, Vanuatu was the hardest to say goodbye.

Aboard The Pacific Dawn
Glorious Sunset

Dawn Signage Experience

Back aboard the ship, I did the Edge Card activity, the Dawn Signage Experience which was where you defy gravity by leaning out past the normal tilt a humanoid can do over the… Dawn Sign… It was fun to experience but over very quickly…

Showcasing The Crew

Lastly for the day, Mom and I attended the Crew Talent Show, where some of the crew get to unwind and show off some of their talents. Most of them were musically inclined, a couple liked to get physical. One of the ladies had a very curious and very open reinterpretation of Madonna’s “Like A Virgin”. Brain stabbing imagery of that routine aside, I really enjoyed the show and that the ship allowed them to have a break and have some fun. While they’re not likely to win awards, they were still solid performers and I found it thoroughly enjoyable.

Crew Talent Show
Crew Talent Show

Pacific Island Hopper

Pacific Dawn Sign on a gloomy day.
Ferry docked in city infront of high-rises.
Pacific island reef and bay
Woman standing on ocean liner at sunset.
Top deck of a cruise ship at sunset
View of pacific island headland cliffs with church perched on top.
Person ziplining in front of a cruise ship smoke stack.
Pacific Island Hopper - Day 8/ Pacific Dawn Review

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