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Port Vila
(votes: 1)
Rate:
Type Anchorage
Country Vanuatu
City Port Vila
Available places 20
Max depth 10 m
UHF 16
Facilities:
  • Water
  • Fuel station
  • Repairs
  • Shops
  • Port of entry
Views: 397

For boats

APPROACH
 
Approach to Port Vila is easy and although a daytime enter is always preferred the first time, but you could enter at night with care. There are red/green buoys showing main channel. There are also a leading lights flashing red, but when we visited Port Vila didn’t work.
 
Entrance to the inner harbour is marked by next pair of red/green buoys. The depth between them is 2.1m on LW.
 
An overhead electric cable extends from the eastern side of Iriki Island and Vila. No vessel with a mast exceeding 25 meters height from the waterline may attempt to pass under the cable. The maximum clearance is 28 meters close to the Vila side of the channel. Violation of this restriction is subject to penalties plus costs of any damages.
 
When approaching to the Port Vila try to contact Yachting World on VHF CH16. Tell them your intension and wait for suggests. They will help you with clearance (if needed) and anchoring / mooring.
 
ANCHORAGE
 
If you want to check in or out you should drop the anchor near yellow quarantine buoy. We did it on position:
 
17 44.267’ S and 168 18.618’ E (depth of 12 m)
 
There is sand and broken coral, the bottom depth is pretty erratic and if there is a strong blow you may consider moving onto a mooring in the inner harbour.
 
After clearing in it is advisable to move for the more protected and quiet inner harbour behind Irirki Island. Try to contact Yachting World on VHF CH16 and follow their suggestions. There is a next pair of green/red buoys through the reef. The depth is 2.1m on LW.
 
Inside the inner harbour there is a plenty of mooring buoys, but if you prefer anchoring you will find some places near position:
 
17 44.598’ S and 168 18.745’ E
 
Anchoring after the clearance is possible ahead of the quarantine area and outside of the mooring field. An anchor light must be used between sunset and sunrise. This place could be rougher when S-SW-W-NW wind is blowing.
 
MOORING BUOYS
 
When you enter inner harbour you will see a plenty of mooring buoys. The moorings are for boats up to 28 tons and the charge includes free water from the Yachting World fuel wharf. The staff at Yachting World extend a warm welcome to all cruising yachts and will be happy to assist you pick up moorings. Fees: VT1600 per day for mono hulls, VT2400 per day for Catamarans, VT3000 per day for Motor Vessels.
 
Try to contact Yachting World on VHF CH16 and ask for mooring buoy. If there is no answer pick up one and visit their office ASAP.
 
BERTHING TO THE QUAY
 
There are few places to moor Mediterranean style to the quay. You have to pick up a buoy from your bow and tie two lines from your stern. Contact Yachting World on VHF 16 and they will action your request for a berth on the Yachting World Marina. During the working hours the stuff will help you with berthing.
 
10 amps electricity and potable water on the quay.
 
Berth fees: VT2800 per day for mono hulls, VT3000 per day for Catamarans, VT5000 per day for motor vessels.
 
DINGY LANDING
 
If you dropped the anchor in quarantine area you can tie your dinghy to one of several ladders along the sea wall opposite the main section of the town. That places are used by water taxi as well
 
Much better and more safe place to tie your dinghy is a small wharf located in Yachting World Marina (go where most boats are swinging on the buoys and head right from the restaurant and left from the fuel wharf).
 
YACHTING WORLD MARINA
 
Yachting World
P.O. Box 1507 , Port Vila, Efate
Tel:(+678) 23273
Fax:(+678) 25137
VHF Channel 16
http://www.yachtingworld-vanuatu.com/
welcome@yachtingworld-vanuatu.com
 
Opening hours: 08:00-16:00 (Mon-Fri), 08:00-12:00(Sat). Closed Sun & Public holidays.
 
Yachting World Marina is a fully serviced Marina for yachts up to 23 m. They offer power and portable water, toilets and solar hot water showers. Other facilities include the Waterfront Bar and Grill Restaurant and Connect Café for all your Internet requirements (ASDL & WiFi).
 
FORMALITIES
 
Port Vila is one of the four ports of Entry on Vanuatu. When you arrive in Port Vila, anchor in the quarantine zone near the YELLOW buoy. Hoist your yellow quarantine flag.
 
Try to call Port Vila Harbor Control on Channel 16. They should keep radio watch from 07:30 to 16:30. If they do not answer, try to call Yachting World on Channel 16 (08:00-16:00 Mon-Fri, 08:00-12:00 Sat). Yachting World will arrange a clearance for you, they will contact Customs, Immigration and Quarantine.
 
There is not strictly rule, where the formalities will be done. Wait for instructions from Harbour Control or Yachting World. All officers will come to your boat or you will go to their offices. Customs Office (1st place to go) and Quarantine Office (2nd to go) are located on main wharf where ships and cruisers berth. It is a bit out of the town. You can get there by taxi (about VT500) or bus (VT 150). Immigration office (3rt to go) is in the town.
 
If you plan to arrive on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday, the boat must remain in the quarantine area until Monday. Do not go ashore without first clearing in or without explicit instructions by radio or telephone from Customs officials instructing you otherwise.
 
Customs, quarantine and immigration are reported to be very helpful, as are the Yachting World crew.
 
INTER-ISLAND VOYAGES
 
If you checked in to Vanuatu and intent to sail to other Vanuatu’s Islands you need special Inter-Island Voyages Clearance. Ask about that at Customs Office
 
CHECK OUT
 
Inform Yachting World that you want to check out. In most cases you have to:
  1. Pay a harbour fee in Port Authority or Customs office
  2. Check out with Immigration
  3. Get a check out clearance in Customs office
 
Do not visit any other islands or places once you got outward international clearance.
 
GENERAL ABOUT CLEARANCE IN VANUATU
 
Ports of Entry
 
The port of Lenakel on the island of Tanna, the port of Port Vila on the island of Efate, the port of Luganville on the island of Santo and the port of Sola on the island of Vanua Lava are the only ports of entry in the Republic of Vanuatu.
 
Arrival in Vanuatu
 
All Crafts on route to Vanuatu must provide a minimum of 24 hours advance notice of arrival to Customs. Notice must be provided by e-mail stating:
 
   (a) the name of the vessel; and
   (b) the voyage (last 3 ports); and
   (c) the estimated date and time of arrival in Vanuatu; and
   (d) the appointed port or other place where the craft will land or berth; and
   (e) the name of the master or skipper of the vessel; and
   (f) the name and contact details of the person providing the information; and
   (g) the names of passengers on board; and
   (h) list of goods to be landed (if any).
 
According to Quarantine laws, the vessel is required to fly the yellow flag as soon as it enters Vanuatu’s exclusive economic zone. Upon arrival at the port vessels can call “Customs” on VHF radio Channel 16 (only at Port Vila and Lenakel at the moment).
 
Master of all yachts entering Vanuatu from a foreign port or place must first report to the Customs, Quarantine and Immigration authorities at either the port of Lenakel or Port Vila or Luganville or Sola.
 
Vessels may not call at Mystery Island (Anietyum) or Port Resolution (Tanna) or any other place in Vanuatu, prior to entering one of the ports nominated above for customs clearance, unless prior written permission is granted by the Director of Customs & Inland Revenue. The Master of vessels who visit these places prior to obtaining customs clearance, being issued with an “Inter-island Cruising Permit”, or obtaining written permission may be subject to fines and/or prosecution.
 
It is an offence to come ashore in Vanuatu unless having undergone customs clearance procedures on arrival.
 
ARMS AND AMMUNITION
 
On arrival all arms and ammunition must be declared and surrendered to the Customs Officer for safe keeping.
 
If Customs are satisfied that firearms and ammunition can be safely secured under seal on board the importing vessel this may be allowed. In cases where no suitably secure sealing arrangements exist, the goods will be detained by Customs throughout the vessel stay in Vanuatu. At least 48 hours notice of intended departure from the finale port of clearance must be given in such cases.
 
 PROHIBITED GOODS
 
The laws of Vanuatu prohibit the importation of narcotics, obscene publications and materials (books, magazines, DVDs, computer stored images and videos, and video cassettes), and certain firearms such as automatic weapons. These have severe penalties for any breach of these prohibitions.
 
 PORT DUES (Ports and Harbour fees)
 
All visiting small crafts are liable for port dues of 7,875 Vatu for a 30 days period or any part thereof. After 30 days from the date of first arrival, the vessel is liable for an additional charge of 100 vatu per day. Port Dues are to be paid at the Ports & Harbour office, or if unavailable, at the Customs office at the final port of departure (Lenakel,  Port Vila, Luganville or Sola).
 
QUARANTINE
 
Live animals, reptiles, birds of any description, fresh meat, fruit or vegetables imported by yachts must not be taken ashore. Additionally, some restriction on whether such goods will be permitted to remain on board after the arrival at a Customs port may be enforced by officers of Bio-security. No foreign garbage may be landed in Vanuatu without permission from Bio-security.
 
CUSTOMS ALLOWANCE
 
In the case of each crew member:-
 
i) All baggage consisting of wearing apparel, toilet requisites, articles of personal adornment and similar personal effects, being apparel, articles and effects possessed and used abroad by such passenger and which are not intended for gift, sale or disposal to any other person;
 
ii) 250 cigarettes, or 100 cigarillos, or 50 cigars, or 250 grams of tobacco, 2 litres of wine and 1.5 litres of spirits, ¼ litres of toilet water and 10 centilitres of perfume, these allowance being  granted per person and applicable only for persons aged over 18 years;
 
iii) Any other item (other than prohibited goods) up to a value of 50,000 vatu per person aged over 15 years.
 
INTER-ISLAND VOYAGES
 
On completion of Customs Quarantine and Immigration arrival formalities at the port of entry, master of any vessel wishing to visit other islands in the group, may only be allowed to do so after first declaring their intended movements to the Customs authorities and obtaining formal approval.
 
 
CUSTOMS OUTWARD CLEARANCE
 
All yachts leaving Vanuatu for a foreign port or place are required to obtain an outward clearance from Customs at the final port of departure (i.e.Lenakel, Port Vila, Luganville or Sola). Unless approved by the Director, a vessel having granted a certificate of clearance must depart for overseas within 24 hours of its issue and must not go to any place in Vanuatu. Vessel wishing to obtain a certificate of clearance at places other than Lenakel, Port Vila, Luganville or Sola should obtain permission for Customs and Immigration in advance and if such a request is granted may be required to pay for official attendance and travel.
 
Alternatively, certificate of clearance from undeclared places can be issued from the last declared port in Vanuatu, provided that a request is made via email or a note to Customs at least 24hrs prior to departure from the declared port. Once the approval is granted, the certificate of clearance will be issued with the ETD from the undeclared location. Port dues will be calculated and paid up to the ETD from Vanuatu while fuel exemptions will only be granted for the outward journey as per current practices.
 
Interactive Outward Reporting forms are available on the Customs website under Forms. To facilitate clearance, filled out forms can be emailed to the address provided on the form prior to departure.
 
OPERATING HOURS
 
All attempts will be made to board vessels arriving from overseas as soon as possible after their actual arrival. Outwards clearance may be obtained within 24 hours prior to the actual departure. Customs normal operating hours are listed below.
 
MONDAY TO FRIDAY
MORNING 07.30 Hours-12.00 Hours
AFTERNOON 13.00 Hours -16.30 Hours
 
Any attendances by customs outside these hours for either arriving or departing vessels will be subject to overtime attendance fees. The charges for these are as follows:
 
MONDAY TO FRIDAY
06:00 to 07:30 and 16:30 to 18:00 Vt1000 per hour per officer with a 3 hour minimum payable
18:00 to 06:00 VT1500 per hour per officer with a 3 hour minimum.
 
SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
 
VT2000 per hour per officer with a 3 hour minimum.
 
WATER
 
On the quay (if you berth to the quay) and on the fuel dock. Ask for arrangements in the marina office, than moor o the fuel dock (2.3m at LW, 4m at HW) for fill up tanks. Fee: no fee if you stay on mooring, VT1000 if not (at anchor).
 
FUEL
 
There is a diesel dock in the marina. The depth is 4m at HW and 2.3 at LW. Do not stay there after purchase.
 
Duty Free Diesel is available there, but you need to collect Request Forms from Customs Department for Duty – Free Diesel.
 
There is Shell station across the street from the north end of the marina and a Mobile Station in the center of Port Vila. Own containers needed.
 
GAS
 
Gas bottles can be refilled at Origin Energy depot (by dinghy). Need more information, ask in marina office.
 
WiFi
 
Connect Café in the Marina has a paid WiFi.
Good option is buying a sim card with internet data. There are 2 operators. I bought DIGICEL 1GB for VT1000. You can easily top up more data later.
 
I got opinions that second operator TVL is a bit more expensive but has better coverage on other islands. Check both offers, they are changing all the time.
 
 
PRROVISION
 
There a three supermarkets, numerous Chinese shops and a large local market with vegetables and fruits. Prices are higher than in Fiji, but less than in New Caledonia.
 
LAUNDRY
 
Service available in the marina. Washed, dried and folded. VT 1000 per load.
 
TRANSPORT
 
Taxis are abundant and cost about 500 vatu for most destinations in the center of the town. Taxi to airport cost about 1500 vatu
 
Mini buses are much better deal. They cost 100 vatu and will take you to any destination on request. Just stop one (hold up your hand) and tell the driver your destination. The price rises if you want to go out of the town center.
 
BANKS / ATMs
 
There are few Banks (Westpac, ANZ, Bred, BOV) with own ATMs. Easy to find in town’s center.

For crews

Port Vila is a capital of the Vanuatu. On the main roads you will find all typical tourist needs like groceries, shops, souvenirs, cafes, restaurants.  
Market
 
Always bustling & colorful the Port Vila marketplace is a hive of activity from the early hours of Monday morning 24/7 until midday Saturday.  The mamas come in from their villages complete with the freshest produce. Everyone is always friendly & willing to answer your questions on "what fruit is that?" or "How do I cook this?"
 
From the vast range of whatever fruit & vegetables happen to be in season, live crabs & chickens, jams & juices, weaving & shells the market is always a myriad of lively colour, especially early on Saturday mornings when its flower day.
 
Check out the food stalls at the rear of the markethouse, from the line of laplap stalls to the "cook as you wait" meals you wont get the freshness, quantity or value for money anywhere else - plus the interesting conversation alongside.
 
Vanua Fire Show (must see)
 
Whatever else you do in Port Vila make sure you don’t miss seeing the fantastic Vanua Fire group, they have shows around town nearly every evening. The original Fire Show started at the Beach Bar in Mele Bay, where they still perform every Friday night.
This band of talented young fire dancers from Wan Smolbag perform to a range of traditional & contemporary music putting on a spectacular display of fire twirling styles using a repetoire of fans, pois, ropes & fire breathing. The enthusiasium & passion of the dancers keeps you enthralled throughout the show.
 
Check out the current weekly schedule (either at the VTO Office, tourist office, tours operators offices or on www.VanuaFire) to see where they are performing & make sure you get along to experience the show. It usually only costs a drink at whichever resort they are performing, plus maybe a tip to the firedancers. Make sure you are early to get a front row seat!    
 
Mele Cascades (must see)
              
Grab a mini-bus from Port Vila to the Mele Cascades (about 200-300 vatu per person). A 500 vatu entrance fee allows you access to beautiful tropical gardens and a trail following up the river to the main falls. The water has a blue/green tinge due to the dissolved lime within, with travertine deposits forming smaller cascades that grow in size as you head upwards. Plenty of opportunity to cool down in the numerous bush lined pools on the way. It’s an easy walk and at the base of the final cascade the trail takes you directly up through the river so be prepared to get wet. The footing is non slippery and steps have been formed over the years with a rope to hang onto, as you near the base of the 35m high falls the noise and spray add to the adventure. Awesome photo opportunities, with refreshments available back down at the entrance. Take a towel, some cash and your camera!
 
The Vanuatu Cultural Centre
 
The Vanuatu Cultural Centre (Vanuatu Kulja Senta), the National Cultural Institution of Vanuatu, is a worthwhile place to visit before leaving Port Vila to start sailing through the islands. Here you start to realize the vast range of differing cultures you are about to see on your sailing adventures in Vanuatu.
 
While the museum does need some TLC the displays are authentic & very interesting, the guides who work in the museum are eager to help you get the most of your visit. The sand drawing demonstrations are fun & interesting to watch, while the interactive displays, such as the various pipe music routines will leave you asking for more.
 
The Vanuatu Cultural Centre is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm & 9am to 11.30 on Saturday. You can get there by waving down a bus or walking up the hill from The Waterfront Bar & Grill, taking the first turn left & then left again, the centre is 100 metres on your right. Ph (+678) 22-129
 
Vanuatu handicraft center
 
Just opened in September 2014 the covered complex that houses the new complex on Wharf Rd, with over 140 stalls promoting Vanuatu handicrafts is definitely worth a visit. Open 7 days from 9am–5pm the Vanuatu Handicraft Market is a great place to go on a rainy day, here you can wander from stall to stall talking to the stall owners displaying a huge range of local handicraft including pottery, carving, painting, mats, sculpture, jewellery, weaving & much more. Downstairs are more boutiques, a café & bar, an island kaekae food court, massage, braiding & beauty salons so there is something for everyone.
 
Vanuatu Helicopters
 
Book a short flight over the Port Vila and neighborhood. You will enjoy the flight and see many scenic views. Do not forget your camera. They operate close to quarantine area but ask in any tour operator’s office. Really easy to find.

Fees

Note: 100VT is around 1 USD (2017)  
Berthing in Marina: VT2800 per day for mono hulls, VT3000 per day for Catamarans.
Mooring buoy in marina: VT1600 per day for mono hulls, VT2400 per day for Catamarans.
Anchoring: free
 
Port dues – VT 7875 for a 30 days period or any part thereof. After 30 days from the date of first arrival, the vessel is liable for an additional charge of VT100 per day.
 
Quarantine: about VT 4500
 
Garbage disposal: if on Yachting World mooring free, if not VT500 per bag
Water: on Yachting World mooring: free, if not VT1000 per use
 
Using marina facilities when at anchor (dinghy wharf, shower, water, etc.): VT500 per day
 
Laundry – 1000 per load
WiFi Sim Card + 1GB data – 1000 VT
 
Bus ride – from 1000 VT
Taxi – from 500 VT
 
Mele Cascades entrance: 500 VT
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