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Friday, 11 July 2008

Cruise to South Pacific's Rarest Islands





One of the South Pacific’s most beautiful yet uninhabited islands – and another that’s famous for its extraordinary cultural heritage involving sorcery, spell-casting and the original Bungy Jump – are amongst ports of call by super-liner Pacific Dawn to Vanuatu and New Caledonia in May 2009.

Tiny Mystery Island in Vanuatu’s south is less than a kilometre long and just half as wide, but has one of the South Pacific’s most spectacular beaches; officially called Inyeug it was dubbed “Mystery Island” many years ago when cruise ship Fairstar decided to call there – but found that with tides, currents and winds it was a “mystery” whether she could drop anchor or not each visit.

Today passengers aboard the few cruise ships that do call there for its beautiful beach swimming, are also greeted by villagers from nearby islands selling fresh fruits and drinks, carvings, curios, shells and bead jewellery.

Another call is at Pentecost Island that’s home to the famous “Land Dive” – the South Pacific’s answer to the Bungy Jump, but from bamboo towers six-storeys high, not bridges, and with vine ropes not rubber and elastic ones.

Pentecost, that has no towns, is also famous for its sorcery and spell-casting and its extraordinarily rugged beauty; the 70,000 tonne Pacific Dawn that sails 11-nights return from Sydney on May 5 2009 will also visit Luganville in Vanuatu’s north, capital Port Vila, and the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia.

Prices through ecruising.travel start from just $1899pp twin-share with $100 per adult onboard spending credits for select cabin categories; book through 1300 369 848 or www.ecruising.travel

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