RCI-Royal Caribbean restarts cruising to Vanuatu with Ovation OTS ship

   October 12, 2022 ,   Cruise Industry

RCI-Royal Caribbean will restart cruising to Vanuatu during a trial in the summer beginning with the arrival of Ovation of the Seas at Mystery Island (Aneityum) on November 12 followed by an overnight call at Port Vila scheduled for November 19-20.

Further voyages are planned throughout the 2022-2023 cruise season on both Ovation OTS and Quantum OTS, RCI’s newest addition to the region, currently homeporting from Brisbane (Queensland Australia).

Pre-COVID, cruising was a key source of income/employment for Vanuatu, bringing jobs for locals relying on the cruising supply chain, according to the acting director for Vanuatu’s Department of Tourism and current chairperson of the National Cruise Tourism Management Committee, Geraldine Tari.

Tari said it had been more than 2 years since they had welcomed cruises to the islands, and welcomed back their safe return to rebuild the economy and recover the tourism industry.

“We are working actively with key stakeholders across all Ports of Call to ensure that reopening happens in a smooth and safe manner.

“Vanuatu has always been one of the top regional cruise destinations in the South Pacific, which was manifested during the pre-Covid era. Even now, post-pandemic, as Vanuatu reopens to the world, we have noted a strong demand from our international visitors to return for a cruise experience in Vanuatu."

Adela Issachar Aru, CEO of the Vanuatu Tourism Office said they had been "working with various cruise operators locally to ensure that their tourism product experiences are market ready with relevant content and itinerary specials on offer for our cruise visitors to Answer the Call of Vanuatu once again, creating their favourite Vanuatu moments.”

During the past few years, RCI worked with the local community in order to provide solar lighting for the installation in gathering spaces in Port Vila (Efate Island); provided new market stall chairs/wash stations for the Mama’s Markets in Manples; and facilitated school upgrades, providing school resources and food provision.

Mystery Island (Aneityum, Vanuatu)

Image: Mystery Island (Aneityum, Vanuatu)

Gavin Smith (VP of Royal Caribbean Australia & New Zealand) said that their guests loved visiting Vanuatu for its natural beauty and friendly communities, and they were thrilled to be returning in November.

“Throughout our many years sailing to Vanuatu, we’ve always worked closely with the government and people of Vanuatu through our RCL Cares program to champion and support the Vanuatu community.”