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3 of the best remote destinations to visit by superyacht

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“Located in the very heart of Melanesia, Vanuatu’s 80-plus islands combine to provide the most diverse and scenic island chain in the Pacific,” says Rob McCallum, an EYOS Expeditions founding partner who grew up in Melanesia and has led dozens of expeditions there. “Every island is different — culturally, anthropologically, scenically and biologically. The people of Vanuatu, with their gentle smiles and warm welcomes, will be a highlight of your journey. It’s the perfect destination for expedition-style island hopping, with world-class diving, volcano hikes and a seemingly endless variety of unspoiled beaches.”

Plan to spend at least two weeks here, recommends McCallum. Join your yacht in capital Port Vila, situated around a natural harbor on Efate island. Sample a local Tusker beer at the Vanuatu Cruising Yacht Club in Pontoon Bay; savor fresh seafood, world-class organic beef and fresh fruits and vegetables at a few of the 40 restaurants; and submerge to investigate the 295-foot sailing ship Star of Russia shipwreck.

When you’ve had your fill of metropolitan life, cruise southeast to Tanna, home to 1,184-foot Mount Yasur, an active volcano with continuous eruptions. “Dusk on its rim is unforgettable,” says McCallum. “You require clear skies, a steady breeze and a good level of volcanic activity.”

For further fiery action, head north to Ambrym, known as the “black island” due to its volcanic ash and black magic. Here, tackle the strenuous trek to the island’s twin active volcanoes, Mount Benbow and Mount Marum, and peer into a boiling lava lake.

Other must-see islands include Espiritu Santo, with its wreck diving, blue holes and famed Champagne Beach; Ureparapara, where you cruise into the vast caldera of an extinct volcano; and the Reef (Rowa) Islands, coral cays enclosed by a horseshoe-shaped reef, which, says McCallum, “is paradise found.”

When to go

“The best cruising months are generally considered to be May to October (outside of cyclone season),” says Rob McCallum.

Take a flying leap

You may be courageous enough to bungee jump, but would you plunge from a 20- to 30-meter rickety manmade tower with just a couple vines attached to your legs? On Vanuatu’s Pentecost Island, local men and boys do just that every Saturday between April and June as part of a land diving ritual (Nagol or N’gol), which is both a fertility rite and yam harvest celebration.

Must dive On the morning of October 26, 1942, the SS President Coolidge, a 653-foot luxury cruise liner-turned-U.S. military vessel, was blasted by mines and sank just outside Luganville (Espiritu Santo) in the Segond Channel. Only two of the more than 5,000 troops on board died. Today, the ill-fated vessel is considered one of the world’s most accessible wreck dives, ranging in depth from 66 to 231 feet. Marvel at the ghostly gathering of jeeps, tanks and guns as you salute turtles, fish and other marine life.

Picture courtesy of Janelle Lugge/Shutterstock.com

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