Cruising New Caledonia & Vanuatu

We flew from Tonga, via Fiji (spending the night there), to Sydney.

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Guess what?! I have a mountain in Fiji named after my thumb… And it’s on a currency! How cool’s that? 🙂

We’d both already visited Sydney before, Jos as recent as last year, but we still did some touristy things anyways!

So why are we here? Well, we booked our very first cruise! Departing tomorrow, we’ll be pampered on board for the next 10 days with good food, awesome entertainment, and a comfy bed! On top of that, we’ll be visiting 5 ports in New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

It will be nice to stay in the same room for a while, really relax, and still be able to see different places! (Or at least, that was the rationale to go on this cruise. Let’s see…)

But first, our day in Sydney.

We started with Toronga Zoo, where we both hadn’t been before. From the zoo you have a great view on Sydney’s CBD, which lies across the water.

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View from the cable car at Toronga Zoo
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Sharing an intimate moment
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A wallaby and a kangaroo
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Great views on Sydney while watching the zoo’s bird show
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Taking the ferry back to the city centre, going right past the Opera House

Back in the city, we walked around the harbour, and ate crepe dinner at Jos’ favorite place: the Creperie!

The next morning, we made a quick pitstop at H&M for some warm clothes (man, is it cold here after being in the tropics), and then did some sight-seeing around Darling Harbour.

Before we knew it, it was already cruise-time!

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Ready, set, go!

Over the next 3 days, we discovered the ship, chilled at sea, and ate surprisingly good food! We also got a nice sauna & champagne package (Jenk has his birthday on the cruise), so time flew by. Before we knew it, we arrived in New Caledonia. Our first port was Noumea, the capital.

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Not the most beautiful place to disembark… Tee military boat in the background “stole” our spot.

Noumea feels like you’re back in Cote d’Azur (including the high prices unfortunately), so it was nice to walk around there and enjoy the French atmosphere. The photo at the top is from Noumea, at Lemon Beach! We also snorkelled there, and even though it’s not deep at all, the coral and fish are really healthy. We even saw some sea snakes (and then got the hell out of there)…

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Fresh fish market (everything’s so expensive here!)
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Fruit & veg market
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How can you tell New Caledonia is a part of France? Well, here you go!
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Joanne d’Arc statue with a double rainbow!

The next day, we went to Lifou island. Due to the rain, we could only disembark in the afternoon. But as Lifou is a tiny island, this was no problem.

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Show of local culture on Lifou

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Climbed to the top of Lifou island for some nice panorama views!
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Our ship
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Old vs new: living in a traditional hut, but WITH satellite tv!

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Jenk is so enjoying being another year older and wiser…

At the same time, there’s also a sweet life on deck:

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Feeding time!
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And amazing evening entertainment shows!

The next day, we arrived in Vanuatu. We went ashore in Port Vila, and met another couple and decided to take a tour of the island together. It was nice to see more of an island for once, not just the sights in walking distance of the ship.

We spent quite some time jumping in the water of the Blue Lagoon:

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Jumping in the salty Blue Lagoon in Vanuatu
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Local life. Some locals have blond hair in these parts of the Pacific, which is really interesting to see!

After doing some serious shopping, we went back on board.

Unfortunately, our stop at Mystery Island (an uninhabited small island good for snorkeling) was cancelled due to bad weather. Another sea day it was!

Our final stop was in New Caledonia again, at Isle of Pines. This place is magic! Perfect beaches, calm waters, and great snorkeling:)

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All the good snorkeling is around the holy rock in the water behind me.

The snorkeling was great around the rock. We saw all kinds of fish, coral, stingrays, and even a banded seacrate (venomous seasnake);

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Hello Nemo!
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A batfish with pretty red fan coral
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Awesome leaf-like fishie we discovered!

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Our last days at sea were spent relaxing at the pool, recharging for the months of travel still ahead.

And then, before we knew it, it was already over…

We had a great time, and can truly recommend going on a cruise to anyone. It’s a good way to see many places while not having to pay for flights, or move from hotel to hotel every day.

Up next; discovering more of Australia!

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