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“Superb snorkelling”

South Pacific Cruises - Coongoola Day Cruise
Certificate of Excellence
Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
“Superb snorkelling”
Reviewed June 28, 2014

We went on the Coongoola partly because my 9yo son is mad on turtles and this tour includes a visit to a turtle hatchery. The turtles were interesting (my son enjoyed that bit) but for me the highlight was the snorkelling on the other side of Mosu island - absolutely superb.
Trip started with a bus from Port Vila to the boat, then a short trip across to the tranquility eco resort to see the turtles. From there the boat takes you around to the other sider of the island and a lovely little beach. People can either stay at the beach and relax or snorkel around the coral near the beach, or go out in a dinghy to snorkel on one of the deep water reefs. This was superb with crystal clear water and masses of coral and sealife. The best snorkelling in my stay in Vanuatu. After the initial snorkel, back to the bech for a BBQ lunch and then the option to head out for another deepwater reef to snorkel on. I managed to get my wife and 9yo to come on the second trip and they thought it was fantastic. Then back to Port Vila after an excellent day. Highly recommended.

Visited June 2014
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Thank Steve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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233 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Ohio
Level Contributor
169 reviews
86 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
“Decent cruise ship excursion”
Reviewed June 16, 2014

I did this tour off the Paul Gauguin cruise ship. I was a decent excursion for the Port Villa. You were taken by van from the port into the town, In town you got in another van for a 40 minute (or so) drive to the other side of the island, Apparently they have a strong taxi union on the island that requires two drivers get a fare on the excursion (actually three if you count the return trip), etc. Once there, you tendered to the Coongoola boat. The boat takes you across the bay to Tranquillity Island. Both were wet landings (wearing water shoes is a good idea). Both the boat and the island had a restroom. You walk a jungle path to the turtle sanctuary. They had several hundred hawksbill turtles of various sizes in different tanks, i.e. bathtubs, hot tubs, and concrete troughs. There was no filtration system; however, the guide said that they changed the water daily. Apparently kids on the island bring the new hatch-lings to the sanctuary and they feed them for about a year (or so); and then tag them and release them. The year old turtles then have a slightly better chance of survival in the wild than a new hatch-ling. The place is funded by your admission fee and donations, etc. You can actually hold the turtles for a photo op. I believe that for an extra fee you can actually release one to the wild; however, nobody did it in our group. After that we walked along the jungle path (the other way) to a beach area for the barbecue lunch. The ship's description said "picnic box lunch"; however, we had a barbecue lunch that actually included some pretty good steaks. Overall the food was very good. After eating you could be tendered to an off shore reef for snorkeling, snorkel off the beach, stay on the beach, and/or explore the island. The off shore snorkeling was great; however, the beach was not world class. The beach was rocky and there were no loungers, etc The island also had a "primitive hut" hotel and a SCUBA diving operation. The ship had some cut up local fruit for a snack on the return. The return van ride to Port Villa was the same thing in reverse, except we did not switch vans in the city. This driver went straight back to the cruise port. The vans were basically a comfortable 14 (or so) passenger vehicle and the air conditioner worked in all there of them. Note: In case you didn't know, tipping is not a custom in this part of the world and nobody had their hand out. Also, I didn't see a "tip jar" on the ship.

Visited June 2014
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Thank travel1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Little snorkeling time. Water not included in the 10,900 VT pricetag!”
Reviewed June 1, 2014

Day starts early. Travel 40 min or so depending on your posiiton in being picked up on the minibus. Take you to a sailing boat and power-sail to an island where you visit a turtle sanctuary. Travel again by the same boat to a snorkeling area at a reef just off the coast. Lunch is provided as is tea and coffee. Further snorkel prior to returning home in the afternoon.

PRO's - Nice experience on a sailing boat if you have not done this before. Turtles are endangered and is great to see and learn about the conservation process. Snorkeling is OK with a nice reef and plenty of small fish including sub-tropical species.

CON's - they do not supply water. You have to pay for your own drinks (including water) I don't drink tea or coffee and I was told at the start of the trip that this was all inclusive so did not take money. Therefore I had to ask for water from another traveler.
- 2 spots of snorkeling with roughly 20 minutes of water time each session totaling 40 minutes all day. I specifically went on this trip as it offered the greatest snorkeling time compared to the others however we had little time in the water.
NOT value for money from this regard unless you are interested in visiting an island and then having lunch on a beach however I suspect this is why you would come to a pacific island in the first place.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Bandageman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
53 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A Beautiful Day”
Reviewed May 24, 2014

This was a great day out and well worth $120 per head. All-inclusive meant picked up from your hotel, taken to the sailing ship, morning tea then off towards the Turtle Sanctuary; from there over to a secluded beach where you could snorkel off the shore, or go out to the reef.
I just snorkelled offshore and relaxed in the gorgeous clear water whilst my husband went out to deeper waters. BBQ Lunch was good, with plenty of food and then a snooze on a shady patch of sand, for me, before going back to the sailboat to head back.
The highlight was the turtle sanctuary, and the gorgeous colour of the ocean and it's inhabitants.
Really good.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank JodeeBrisbane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Lovely snorkelling”
Reviewed May 22, 2014

I did this tour with about 20 friends and family and everyone enjoyed themselves in the warm rainy weather! Our group ranged from 22 - 86 and while the tour says its for all ages there is a bit of ladder climbing to get in/out of the boat so it wouldn't suit those who aren't mobile. The staff were friendly and the bbq lunch very tasty! The reef was colourful with lots of fish, some of the snorkelling gear needs updating, but there is more than enough to masks to go around to easy enough to find one that works.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Rach123460
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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