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Dive Review of Aore Island Resort and Tranquility Dive, Moso Isla in
Vanuatu and New Caledonia

November, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Stanley Zuk, NY, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 5316
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Curacao, Bonaire, Caymans, Fiji, Zanzibar, Mauritius, Seychelles,
Bora Bora, Rangiroa, Fakarava, Toau, Cook Islands, Palau, Yap, Sipadan,
Layang Layang, Hawaii, many others... 
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
77   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
20   to 30    Meters  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
no  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
safety stop, decompression  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
N/A  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
5 stars  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
Beginners
3 stars   
Advanced
2 stars    
Comments  
Republic of Vanuatu is a wonderful vacation spot in the South Pacific,
situated between Solomon Islands and Fiji. I flew from NYC on Emirates to
Dubai, Melbourne, and finally Auckland. From Auckland I embarked on Air
Vanuatu to Port Vila, which is Vanuatu's capital. When staying for a week
on Efate Island I dove with Tranquility Island Diving on Moso Island north
of Efate, which was a pleasant experience. I was the only person on their
boat, and dove reefs around Moso Island. Coral there is in excellent shape,
very similar to the one of Fiji, tropical fish life was not bad, however,
it lacked big pelagics. Tranquility Dive is a really good operation, they
are nice and very helpful, and they have a few cottages on Moso Island, if
someone would like to stay in a secluded tranquil environment away from
anything. Moso Island has one of the most beautiful beaches in Vanuatu,
great snorkeling and tracking, plus you can visit surrounding islands, like
Lelepa, and Enea, which I enjoyed very much. I chose to stay in Le Meridien
in Port Vila, and rented a car to visit all possible interesting places
Efate Island had to offer. 
Air Vanuatu offers good packages with the variety of accommodation around
Espiritu Santo Island, and I chose to stay and dive with Aore Island Resort
across the channel from Luganville, the capital of Espiritu Santo Island.
They have their own dive operation connected to Santo Dive Tours operation.
My main purpose was to dive President's Coolidge wreck, of course, and they
were very good, and knew the wreck left and right, following every possible
deco stops and decompression, when diving different parts of the wreck.
Their boats are very small, but the staff is very good, and there was never
more then two divers on the boat, and most of the time I was by myself. It
is funny that President Coolidge is situated so close to the beach, that
the easiest way to dive it is shore diving. 
There was always something new each dive around President Coolidge,
sometimes interesting shrimp, a turtle, or something, but over all most
dives around Espiritu Santo had no large fish, no sharks, or no large
pelagics. Coral looks great, particularly around Aore and Bokissa islands,
but fish life was not the best. Only one time we were surprised by a very
large crocodile fish waiting for a pray. 
Diving in Vanuatu is not the best, but I just wanted to dive the biggest
wreck and enjoy unique culture of these islands. Million Dollar Point shore
dive is just the thing to do on Espiritu Santo, but it is kind of boring,
with not much fish life. 
Aore Island Resort is a wonderful place. My bungalow was situated right on
the small beach and snorkeling there was really good. Service and food were
very good, and management and staff would do anything to please you and
organize your diving and tours. All of them deserve to be mentioned, but I
unfortunately don't remember all their names, only Ann, who was so
wonderful and greeted you in person upon arrival on the resort's pier. If
you  do come to dive President Coolidge in Vanuatu, make sure you'll stay
in Aore Resort. They organized my tours to Champagne and Lommock beaches,
Blu Hole spring, and world famous Millenium Cave on Espiritu Santo Island,
which was extraordinary. Divers, who would like to do some tracking in
order to take a break from diving through the marvelous Millenium Cave must
know, that it is a very difficult track, and rocks are dangerous and
slippery. 
When you are in Northern Vanuatu, you will be in almost completely
untouched by tourists territory, interacting with local villagers, and
enjoying spectacular beaches just by yourself, cause it's all uncrowded and
untouched for the most part.   
Republic of Vanuatu has about 83 islands, most of them untouched by divers,
and my last week there I spent on Tanna Island, with spectacular rocky
reefs going down 25-30 meters straight to the sandy bottom, where fish life
was abundant, and there was not a single snorkeling without a few turtles
each time. Tanna has an active Mt. Yasur volcano, which is a spectacular
sight, and all trips to local villages, kava nights, and Melanesian dances
were extraordinary. On Tanna I stayed in White Grass Resort which was just
fabulous. It was a fantastic trip, but there is a little warning to all
this. Vanuatu is not cheap, and be prepared to spend money there. I
organized everything by myself in Port Vila at Air Vanuatu office when I
landed there, which offers good packages and much better deals, than any
dive tours operator abroad, and they do everything swiftly and
professionally.   
    
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