VANUATU – Must do day trip: Coongoola cruise from Port Vila

Coongoola in front of Moso Island - VANUATU - Must do: Coongoola day cruise from Port Vila

A Coongoola day cruise is something I recommend everyone to do if visiting Vanuatu. You’ll visit secluded beaches on Moso island, learn about turtles at the turtle sanctuary, have a BBQ on the beach, go snorkeling and see dolphins play. It’s a great day out on the water and a must do Vanuatu cruise. Do note that this day trip isn’t suitable for day trips if you’re onboard a cruise ship as the times don’t match. It’s easily added in a Vanuatu itinerary which is exactly what I did.

Coongoola - VANUATU - Must do: Coongoola day cruise from Port Vila

Booking a Coongoola cruise

I highly recommend booking a Coongoola day cruise in advance through their website. In low season they do not sail everyday and in high season the cruise can be fully booked. Alternatively, you can go to their office in Port Vila or have your hotel book it for you. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort Port Vila and they took care of my booking.

Pickup usually is around 8AM from your hotel and the 30-45-minute transfer to Havannah Harbor is included in the price. You then board the 23 meter timber sailing ketch for a full day cruise. In the afternoon you’ll be transferred back to your hotel in time for dinner.

 

Moso island coastline - VANUATU - Must do: Coongoola day cruise from Port Vila

Coongoola cruise – Moso island visit

My Coongoola day cruise started with a relaxing sail towards Moso island. Dolphins were showing the way playing around the yacht. On Moso island you visit Tranquility Island Resort and its Turtle Conservation Center. I was looking forward to this as it has been some years ago when I saw turtles in Oman. You’ll directly understand why plastic straws are banned in Vanuatu as these hurt the turtles. The staff will explain how they help conserve turtles by growing them until strong enough to go into the open waters. They have a much higher chance of survival if released bigger which helps grow the turtle population.

After learning about the turtles it’s time to visit a secluded beach to relax or go snorkeling while the staff prepares lunch. The BBQ lunch is delicious! After lunch you can choose to relax on the beach, sail to snorkeling spots or relax on deck. One thing is sure it’s enjoyable!

 

Tranquility resort beach - VANUATU - Must do: Coongoola day cruise from Port Vila

Coongoola cruise – Snorkeling

While on a Coongoola day cruise you have plenty of opportunities to go snorkeling. Snorkeling gear is provided by the staff and included in the package. I went out in the water three times but must say the afternoon swim wasn’t good. Thick clouds blocked the sunrays needed for good visibility and it started to rain heavily. Normal visibility on sunny days is 30 up to 40 meters!

You’ll see plenty of fish everywhere and corals are in good condition. Just watch out a bit for the lionfish to not accidently get stung as that hurts like hell. You can get close to make underwater pictures without problems as seen below. I had fun snorkeling and testing my underwater camera!

Snorkeling - VANUATU - Must do: Coongoola day cruise from Port Vila

In the afternoon the crew decided we would head back an hour early as it was pouring heavy rain and we couldn’t do much anymore. They served fresh fruit and drinks while we sailed back to Savannah Harbor. It was the final day of my Vanuatu itinerary, but I had a week more island fun planned in the Solomon Islands. Check my Solomon Island itinerary what I did there. Island hopping in the Pacific is a real treat and I hope to return but I have plans for Caribbean island hopping as well! There is so much to see and each island is different. Happy hopping!

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Did you visit Vanuatu and made a Coongoola cruise too or do you have questions? Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Love to hear from you!

Gallery Coongoola cruise

Check the gallery for more photos taken during this trip. If you like to use any photo for commercial, private or editorial use please contact first for permission and/or pricing.

Moso island beach - VANUATU - Must do: Coongoola day cruise from Port Vila

Coongoola Deck - VANUATU - Must do: Coongoola day cruise from Port Vila

Rain and thunder - VANUATU - Must do: Coongoola day cruise from Port Vila

Turtle sanctuary resort - VANUATU - Must do: Coongoola day cruise from Port Vila

Snorkeling - VANUATU - Must do: Coongoola day cruise from Port Vila

Snorkeling - VANUATU - Must do: Coongoola day cruise from Port Vila

Snorkeling - VANUATU - Must do: Coongoola day cruise from Port Vila

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