Lelepa Island is one of the Vanuatu Islands (South Pacific Ocean) and located in close proximity to Efate Island. The small isle has length 5 km (3 mi / north-south), total land area of just 1,6 km2 ( / 0,6 mi2 / 160 hectares) and highest elevation point 202 m (663 ft). The island's population is under 500. Lelepa 's larger settlement (Natapao) is on the southern coast. The other settlement (Lelo) is on the northern coast. Until 2020, island's facilities included only school, kindergarten, and two Protestant churches (Presbyterian, Seventh-day Adventists).
The three islands (lLelepa, Efate, Moso) form the so-called Havannah Harbour. Lelepa Island's main tourist attraction is the Fels Cave (located on the southwestern side). The cave is popular for its ancient wall drawings (the oldest are ~2000-years-old) of birds, fish, anthropomorphic deities (including of Roi Mata (13th-century chief).
The island features unspoiled rain forest and palm-fringed, white-sand beaches. It is also a well-known snorkeling destination. Lelepa is easily accessed from Port Vila (Efate Island), with total travel time ~1 hour (30 min driving plus 10-min boating). Besides snorkeling, day tours to Lelepa also include beach BBQs.
In mid-October 2019, Vanuatu's Prime Minister (Charlot Salwai) and RCI-Royal Caribbean International (Michael Bayley, RCI's President, and CEO) announced their plans for developing a private island resort named "Perfect Day at Lelepa". The Royal Caribbean's Vanuatu island resort property will be designed as the world's first carbon-neutral private cruise port destination. The project's main designer is the Australian company Cox Architecture. The new RCI private island is scheduled for inauguration sometimes in 2022.
"Perfect Day at Lelepa" will be an exclusive destination to be visited only by RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruise Line)-owned ships. Lelepa is one of Royal Caribbean's "Perfect Day Island Collection" - the third of the company's privately developed land destinations in the regions of the Caribbean (CocoCay Bahamas), Asia, and Australia. RCCL's "Island Collection" project's total budget is USD 200 million.
Lelepa Island cruise terminal
Vanuatu Islands (officially Republic of Vanuatu) is an island nation located in the South Pacific. The islands cover a total area of approx 12190 km2 (4706 mi2) and population around 290,000. Large cruise ships to Vanuatu Islands dock (anchor) either at Luganville or Champagne Bay (near Hog Harbour, in the northeast part of Espiritu Santo Island).
The archipelago is of volcanic origin and is situated some 1750 km (1090 mi) east of northern Australia, east of New Guinea, 540 km (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji and southeast of Solomon Islands.
The tourism industry in Vanuatu is a major revenue source as the archipelago is widely recognised as a premier vacation travel destination - especially for coral reef scuba diving. A unique attraction to scuba divers is the wreck of the US luxury cruise ship President Coolidge (converted troop carrier) on Espiritu Santo Island. Sunk during WW2 (1939-1945), the vessel is among the world's largest shipwrecks accessible for recreational diving.
- Cruise Industry
One of the Vanuatu Islands - Lelepa (South Pacific Ocean) - will become a Royal Caribbean private island destination – "Perfect Day at Lelepa...October 16, 2019
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