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 Luganville - Profile

Location

The town of Luganville on Espiritu Santo Island has a population of approx. 14,000, mostly indigenous Ni-Vanuatu and is very welcoming to cruisers.

The principal tourism activity is scuba diving the SS President Coolidge, a 200 metre troopship that sank 50 metres from shore in 1942, but there are also many other dive sites such as Million Dollar Point and the wreck of the USS Tucker plus blue holes, caves, beaches and an abundance of cultural activities.

Luganville is a Port of Entry in Vanuatu.

Vanuatu has banned single use plastic bags, straws and takeaway food containers - so make sure you have suitable bags with you before going shopping.

Position 15° 33.3'S, 167° 10'E

Clearance

This is one of the four official clearance ports for Vanuatu. See Vanuatu Formalities for detailed information on Clearance. Tax-free fuel is available here - see fuel for more details.

Remember: 24 hours prior notice of arrival is required by Customs.

On entering the harbour, fly the Q flag and call customs or Santo Port Control on Channel 16 or working Channel 12. Officials might not answer outside of office hours.

Arriving yachts may pick up a mooring off Aore Island Resort on the southern side of the Segond Channel and dinghy or take the shuttle across to the main town wharf to clear in.

Alternatively yachts can anchor off the Beachfront Resort, which has good holding, and get a bus into town to clear with the authorities.

The customs office is inside the commercial port, first building on the right. Customs will contact Quarantine, and in general, both Customs and Quarantine agents will want to visit the yacht to collect fresh fruits, vegetables, and garbage.

The immigration office is located on the first floor of the last building just before the road veers to the right for the wharf from the main road going east from Luganville. The blue and white building is not marked in any way. A taxi or bus driver will know the way.

Last updated August 2018.

Customs and Immigration
Tel:+678 36225
Santo Customs are open Monday to Friday, 07:30-11:30 and 13:15-16:30.

Docking

There is no marina in Luganville.

Anchoring in Luganville

There are two good anchorages convenient to town:

Between the main wharf and BP wharf just north of the no-anchor zone:

Here there is a plateau of sand in 12 to 15 meters with good holding. This spot does get a lot of wind and will be rolly in trade wind conditions. It is also not ideal, when cruise ships visit. Dinghys can be conveniently landed  to the west of the BP wharf at the dock of a big hardware store. Make sure not to tie to the cleats, as they are used for their delivery boats and your dinghy may be moved. Be sure to approach this dock very close to the shore (in particular at low tide) as there is a reef south of the dock that can not be crossed with a dinghy.

Beachfront Resort:

This is the preferred yacht anchorage on the Luganville side of the Segond Channel.

Navigation Hazard: There is a sunken wreck in the yacht anchorage in front of Beachfront Resort. The wreckage is submerged underneath a black tyre mooring buoy (15° 31' 53" S - 167° 09' 53") and is not visible. The anchorage can be accessed safely provided skippers avoid the two moorings close to the shore.

This anchorage along a sandy beach is located just west of the Sarakata River, west of Clemenceau Point and East of the three ruined iron wharf structures from the WWII era. Holding is good in 5-15m in sand. The anchorage is relatively open to the east, and especially at high tide in the afternoon the anchorage can be choppy.

Dinghies may be landed on the beach at the Beachfront Resort. Taxis and buses frequently pass by on the road next to the resort, a ride typically costing 200 Vatu. There is 3G mobile reception available and the resort will allow you to use their WiFi if you buy food and drinks from their restaurant. They have water (ask for the key from reception), will dispose of rubbish for a small fee and you can take jerry cans by taxi to a nearby fuel station. Hot showers and laundry services are also available.

Register at reception and pick up a local cruisers' guide and maps.

Other Anchorages

Palikulo Bay:
The anchorage at Palikulo Bay is well protected and quite beautiful and is approx. 11nm from Luganville. Buses to town only leave in the morning and evening (30 minute journey). Taxis and cars rarely pass this area, so it would be very wise to negotiate a taxi ride in advance or call one via mobile phone. The taxi ride is usually 1.500 Vatu. Hitch hiking is an option, but you may not find a single car passing you for a long time. There is 3G mobile reception available.

Peterson Bay:
This is a very popular anchorage situated approx. 15nms from Luganville near Oyster Island. The anchorage is almost a cyclone hole and many cruisers end up staying here much longer than planned as they enjoy the quiet anchorage and numerous activities in the area (blue holes, snorkeling on WWII plane wrecks, hiking etc.). Transport to Luganville is relatively easy to find.

No facilities are available for yachts on Oyster Island but Turtle Bay Lodge at the northern end of the anchorage welcomes cruisers and can usually arrange water, laundry, transport etc.

Oyster Island Resort is undergoing redevelopment and rumours abound that they will build a bridge across from the mainland, preventing access to the anchorage. With this in mind, a full hydrographic survey is intended of the northern entrance to the lagoon with a view to placing proper navigation marks in 2019. For permission to go ashore and explore Oyster Island (before construction begins), simply ask anyone on the beach by the remains of the old resort.

Velit Bay Plantation (Shark Bay), north of Peterson Bay, has new owners who no longer welcome tourists.

Rubbish Disposal

Luganville rubbish disposal is handled using pre-paid bags, if rubbish is not in these bags it will not be collected. Be sure to ask once ashore where the  bins are located to help keep Luganville clean.
Note: These bins are for small bags only. Stacking big bags around the bins is both unsightly and unhygenic.

Last updated:  October 2018

Aore Island Resort
Across Segond Channel from Luganville
Tel:+678 36444 Fax:+678 36703 ,VHF Channel 68
One or two moorings for visiting yachts at 15°32.269 S, 167° 10.790 E. Be sure to check first for quality of mooring (see comments below). Water here is very deep for anchoring (28 meters). Services for visiting yachts now limited. The resort welcomes visiting yachts as long as their presence does not interfere with the resort guests. Free cold-water showers; also hot showers for a charge. Internet.There is a ferry service across to Luganville at 250VT pp return.
Beachfront Resort
1.6km West of Luganville
Tel:+678 36911 / Cell +678 7743911 ,VHF Channel 16
The Beachfront Resort offers a safe anchorage in the Segond Channel, 5 minutes from town, with excellent holding. Can be choppy in strong trades. Facilities include WiFi, showers, laundry, swimming pool, fresh water FOC, book swap and rubbish disposal. Cruisers are welcome..

Yacht Clubs

There are no yacht clubs, per se, in Luganville although both the Beachfront Resort and Aore Resort welcome visiting sailors and offer various services that sailors can appreciate ( WiFi, showers, laundry, water, bar and restaurant).

fountai2
fountai2 says:
Aug 24, 2017 06:49 AM

We cleared into Luganville last week and would absolutely recommend anchoring out the front of beachfront resort (on the luganville side). The staff and owner are extremely accommodating to yachties and if you buy delicious food/drinks from the restaurant, they give you the wifi password and you can spend the day on the clean pool deck in the shade catching up on business while looking down the well kept grassy knoll to your yacht bobbing in the anchorage. The beach is brown sand and the water is not very clear, but it is a great spot to refill water from the tap (access turnkey at reception), they take rubbish for a small fee then you can grab a taxi to the nearby petrol station if you need to fill up jerry cans. Our laundry came back extra fresh and it's been a great week with only one really rolly day. I think this anchorage is much better than picking up a mooring on the inconvenient Aore side if you have things to do in town. LCM supermarket delivers apparently if you need to do a big shop before heading to the Banks. (They bring the stuff quite close to your dinghy in a wheelbarrow actually)

mfleury
mfleury says:
May 24, 2017 01:15 AM

There is a new "Aore Art Café" right in front of the immigration building, on the seashore. You can land your dinghy there (just left from the pilot boat wreck). They welcome cruisers, and can keep the dinghy, make laundry, water, print id pictures, free wifi, and of course, serve very good food and drinks. A very nice stop in Luganville.

maunie
maunie says:
Oct 23, 2016 03:20 AM

Update Oct 2016 - the Aore resort has new (Australian) owners. Whilst there are still 3 moorings available at 1500VT per night (plus 3 more owned by neighbour Paul who runs a dive operation) the new owners are less friendly / accommodating to yachties so now there's no water, rubbish or laundry facilities and the ferry to Luganville is 250VT pp return.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 11, 2016 12:18 PM

An update to fvberswordt's comment below:
Concerning my original comment (moorings on Aore): The name of the
resort's neighbour to the east is Paul (a very nice Australian guy).
Price for all morings (resort and Paul) was 1.500 vatu / night.

fvberswordt
fvberswordt says:
Sep 15, 2015 07:21 PM

As of September 15th 2015 there are only four mooring balls in front of the Aore Resort and their neighbour to the east (each has two working moorings). At least one of the mooring balls only marks a concrete anchor with a very weak rope and is not suited for mooring. You can identify these ball(s) by their missing pick up line.

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