Vanuatu, Ambae Island: Information for cruisers

SY Honey cruised through Vanuatu first in 2015, and again, most recently in April 2017. Since September 2017 this remote island has suffered with volcanic eruptions and now the whole island has been evacuated. See how you can help below SY Honey’s report.

Published 6 years ago, updated 5 years ago

April 2017

Report by SY Honey.

On behalf of Lolowai Village, Ambae island, Vanuatu, we are posting here anchoring details and tourism related, land-based recommendations for cruisers.

We cruised through Vanuatu first in 2015, and again, most recently in April 2017; both visits included the islands of Penama Province, and specifically the less visited Ambae (may read on some charts i.e. OpenCPN as “Aoba”).

We anchored on the North East Coast in Vanihe Bay (15 16.56S 167 58.40E) 7m, good holding in heavy sand. From here we dinghied to the adjacent bay east to the small village of Lolowai and left the dinghy secure tied off above high tide mark.

Ambae Island hosts the head of Penama Province but sees very little of the tourist dollar generated by its sister islands, Pentecost (famous land-diving festival) or even Maewo Islands.

At the Lolowai school supply shop, we were met by local tourism coordinator Shannon Tambelic (local mobile: 564 8231 or 567 2605). Our adventures on Ambae were rich in genuine warmth, unique local cultural events, friendly introductions to village life and humble hospitality. Shannon would like to see more cruisers visit Ambae and believe the island has a lot to offer.

Shannon offers the following services to cruisers;

  • Guided tours to Tahimamavi springs
  • Tours to Lovuintoghi Village including Custom Dancing, local food, Kava preparation and drinking, string band performances, basket and mat weaving demonstrations
  • Transport to the gateway of Manaso Lake
  • Shannon is able to organise transport and tours for small parties and families at prices ranging from 1500-5000 Vatu.

Vanuatu has much more to offer than the well worn “Tourist trail” and we recommend Ambae for a unique experience amongst warm, local villages set in a beautiful, tropical paradise.

Jude and Tim Crowe

SY Honey

August 2018

Island Update – Aid for Ambae Island

As reported by the Down Under Rally

The volcano on Ambae Island has been erupting since September 2017, and the whole population of that island has now been moved to several new settlement sites on the neighbouring islands of Maewo and Pentecost.

This event is creating a hardship on these communities and the people of Ambae Island have lost not only their homes but also the communities they called home.

As a result, the people of Ambae have become refugees and are now living on neighbouring islands

The ash fall from the volcano is destroying many of the above-ground food crops in the neighbouring islands which is further depleting the food supply which was already depleted as a result of the extra demand for food due to the arrival of the Ambae refugees.

How you can help

  • When you visit Vanuatu and are in Port Vila go to Vanuatu Yacht Services and speak to Justin Jenkin or Claire Barkhuizen
  • Tell Justin or Claire that you would like to donate items and ask what is needed.
  • If you are planning to sail to Northern Vanuatu you can contact Justin or Claire at Vanuatu Yacht Services in Port Vila and offer to deliver a Care Package to the people in the affected communities on Maewo and Pentecost.
  • If you are not headed to Vanuatu but you would like to help and you know someone who is headed that way cash donations can be made in Port Vila at Vanuatu Yacht Services. These donations will be used to help pay for transportation of and the purchase of food and other necessities.

Vanuatu Yacht Services

Email: [email protected]

Cell: +678 771 9175 Or +678 771 9174

Woroloa Point | Port Vila| Vanuatu

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  1. August 9, 2018 at 1:54 AM
    Data Entry3 says:

    It sounds beautiful and idyllic. I was just reading about this place in the news recently.

    It seems they were hit hard by a volcanic eruption. BBC article here:

    I hope the island wasn’t too badly damaged. Does anyone have any recent experience cruising here?

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