Dive Australia & Vanuatu [ST-DiveVAN2]

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Vanuatu, Spirit of Freedom, Australia 15 Days / 13 Nights

Australia - Great Barrier Reef & Live-Aboard Diving Expedition - Vanuatu - Wreck Diving,

Cairns, Live-Aboard Diving Expedition (4 Days/ 4 Nights) - Vanuatu, 3 days Wreck Diving

This itinerary departs from the USA on Saturday evening with arrival into Australia on Monday.

Cairns the colourful, sophisticated capital of the tropical north is alive with life and charm. Experience the majesty of this underwater playground which is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and is known as the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Here, warm northern hospitality and enthusiasm are the order of the day. With many unique attractions and activities such as a cruise to the reef or islands, trek into the rainforest or see it from the rainforest cableway above its green canopy on your way to or from Kuranda. These year round natural attractions are truly memorable and inspiring.

Australia's north eastern town of tropical Cairns is the gateway for two of the world's greatest diving icons, the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea. It is also the base for the awesome Spirit of Freedom 120ft Liveaboard.

Stay in Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu for 5 nights, Vanuatu is an archipelago of 83 islands with a unique blend of intact tribal communities, resorts, beaches and geography ranging from accessible volcanoes to pristine underwater environments, offering unique and memorable experiences. Home of the SS President Coolidge, a 22,000 ton luxury liner turned troopship which sunk during World War II just of shore, since has become world renowned dive site. Divers and snorkelers can explore ship wrecks and sites like Million Dollar Point where thousands of tons of war surplus were dumped in the ocean , as well as amazing coral reefs and blue holes joined by underground caverns.

Travel Package Features

[ST-DiveVAN2] Dive Australia & Vanuatu
  • Accommodation - Cairns (3 Night), Live-Aboard Diving Vessel (4 Nights), Cairns (1 Night), Vanuatu (5 Nights), Brisbane (1 Night)
  • Shuttle Transfers - Cairns & Brisbane: Airport to Accommodation (return)
  • Live-Aboard Shuttle Transfers: Cairns: Accommodation to Live-Aboard
  • Live-Aboard Diving Expedition includes: Opportunity for 24 to 27 dives, En-suite cabin with daily service, Chef prepared meals, Australian wines & soft drinks with evening meal
  • Day Tours - 3 Days of Wreck Diving in Vanuatu
  • International Flights - Los Angeles to Cairns, Brisbane to Espiritu Santo Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo to Brisbane, Brisbane to Los Angeles
  • Australian Domestic Flights - Brisbane to Cairns, Cairns to Brisbane
  • US Domestic Flights (Not Included) - Hometown to Los Angeles (Return)
  • Visa only required for some South Pacific countries; $15 visa fee per person where applicable.
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel) - i.e. Not an Organized Group Tour
  • All Other Day Tours are Optional and Not Included (Is an additional cost)

Travel Package Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 (Sat) - International Flight from Los Angeles to Cairns (via Brisbane)
From USA to Australia Shortly after departing Los Angeles you will be served dinner and you will be given breakfast before landing.

Relax, watch some movies, and try to get some sleep!


Please confirm with the airlines at Check-in that they have all your Frequent Flyer information on record.
Day 2 (Sun) - Shuttle Transfer from Cairns Airport to the Accommodation
Cairns, Australia Travel by shuttle from the Cairns Airport to your vacation accommodation in Cairns, Australia.

Luggage restrictions apply as per standard economy Australian domestic flights of 2 standard bags under 30kg (66 lbs) per passenger. If traveling with excess baggage please advise the shuttle company upon reservation confirmation so appropriate trailer size is available.

Departures occur approximately 30 minutes after aircraft arrival-time for domestic flights. For international flights this will be considerably longer because of customs and other formalities.
Days 2 - 5 (Mon to Thur) - 3 Nights Accommodation in Cairns
Travel to your accommodation Cairns, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 3 nights.


Your 4.5 star accommodation combines contemporary decor with a tropical ambience. The magnificent location of this 176 room hotel is perfect for exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest or Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands. Other nearby highlights include: Cairns Casino, Marlin Jetty, the Esplanade and the Night Markets. Unwind with a cocktail by the pool or bar followed by a sumptuous meal at the award winning Bushfire Flame Grill.

All rooms and suites have individual balconies, individually controlled air conditioning, refrigerator, television, broadband internet access, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, along with tea and coffee making facilities. Facilities include: 24 hr reception, tour desk, wireless internet, Bushfire
Flame Grill, bar, pool, business services on request, coin operated laundry on four floors, room service, laundry & dry cleaning.
Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Cairns Night Zoo
Enjoy a great Australian night out at the Cairns Night Zoo!

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Enjoy a sumptuous Australian barbeque dinner including steak, sausages, chicken, and seafood with salads and delicious desserts then perhaps enjoy a drink from the licensed bar (not included). After your savory dinner, explore the creatures of the night by torchlight as you journey into the darkness. Learn how owls hunt, touch a possum, pat a koala and see the glowing eyes of the crocodiles in your torchlight as you enter their lair. If you have a clear night, look up towards the skies and star gaze to see the Southern Cross, the Big Dipper and other well known constellations. Cross paths with a "Swaggie" (an original Australian bushman), and join them for billy tea and damper with him by the campfire. Their friends, the kangaroos, will come down and maybe even share a bite to eat! After complimentary cold beer or wine, join in the fun as you lear
Insiders Tip: Visit The Esplanade
Experience the leisure atmosphere at the playground for locals and tourists alike at The Esplanade in Cairns!

With so many activities available The Esplanade has always been a focal point for this city. This is a place that literally has everything! Take a stroll and do some bird watching on the boardwalk but as you enjoy the views don't forget to stop off at Foreshore Promenade for a bite to eat at the many available restaurants. Access to The Lagoon is easy here which is set overlooking the Barrier Reef and Trinity inlet and features all year free swimming where you can take a dip in this filtered saltwater lagoon. Let the kids can play in the sandy edges and in the shallow waters while you lounge on the semi-shaded timber decks. For the kids, don't miss out on the Trinity Bay foreshore playground "Muddy" with equipment for all ages. For the older kids, stop off at the Skate Park to see some skaters and BMXers in action! Whether you decide to take a morning jog, fly a kite or just relax in the large grassy areas for some lunch you will surely enjoy the tropical lifestyle!

If you happen to be in Cairns on a Saturday be sure to check out the Weekend Markets which feature only locally made arts and crafts, clothing and much more. While you're there listen out for the live music and fun street characters. The market gets into full swing on the promenade (just by the lagoon) every Saturday between 8am - 4pm.

Lagoon Hours:
All Year, 6am-9pm
Closed Wednesdays until midday for maintenance
Days 5 - 9 (Thur to Mon) - 4 Nights Live-Aboard Diving Expedition of the Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef Diving, Australia For Live-Aboard diving enthusiasts this live aboard dive trip represents the ultimate dive vacation. Dives include Osprey Reef, on the Coral Sea with other sites such as Cod Hole, Dynamite Pass, North Horn, Bougainville Reef, Steve's Bommie, Temple of Doom and Flare Point. With Gourmet Meals and the Outstanding Level of Service you will feel like you are aboard your own private yacht.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Scenic Flight to Live-Aboard Dive Boat

Transfer from Cairns Accommodation to Cairns airport to catch your twin-engine light aircraft for your amazing scenic flight over the reef to Lizard Island. You will be greeted on arrival and transferred to the Sleek and Stylish dive vessel to depart for the reef. This afternoon you will have the opportunity for two dives before departing in the late evening for Osprey Reef, in the Coral Sea. The dives may be at sites such as the famous Cod Hole and turquoise waters of the Ribbon Reefs.

Day 2 & 3: Diving Osprey Reef

Australia's Coral Sea reefs are renowned for crystal clear water with an average visibility in excess of 100 feet. Two days can be spent diving at remote Osprey Reef, including North Horn for an unforgettable Shark Dive. You can expect to see grey whalers, silvertips, reef sharks, occasional hammerheads, schooling barracuda, trevally, and other pelagics are common. The landscape is amazing with sheer walls laced with gorgonians, sea whips, and bright yellow soft corals rising from thousands of feet below.

Day 4: Dive Bougainville Reef or in the Ribbon Reefs

Depending on the weather and sea conditions you will dive the spectacular Bougainville Reef or perhaps return to the Ribbon Reefs to dive the sensational Steve's Bommie, Temple of Doom, Flare Point, and other spectacular dive sites. After dinner on Sunday evening we will cruise overnight back to Cairns.

Day 5: Arrive into Cairns

Arrive Cairns early morning. A fabulous Breakfast will be served on board and transfers will be arranged. You will have the day free to explore Cairns.

Please note that above itinerary is a sample only and sites may vary or the sequence may change. Access to the Cod Hole and the Coral Sea is weather conditional and while every attempt will be made to keep to the advertised itinerary, the Coral Sea and specific sites on the Great Barrier Reef are not guaranteed. Cabin types available: Quad, Double/Twin, Ocean View Standard, Ocean View Deluxe & Stateroom.

Not-included (payable on board): Fuel & Marine Park Levies
Days 9 -10 (Mon to Tue) - 1 Night Accommodation in Cairns
Travel to your accommodation Cairns, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.


Your 4.5 star accommodation combines contemporary decor with a tropical ambience. The magnificent location of this 176 room hotel is perfect for exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest or Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands. Other nearby highlights include: Cairns Casino, Marlin Jetty, the Esplanade and the Night Markets. Unwind with a cocktail by the pool or bar followed by a sumptuous meal at the award winning Bushfire Flame Grill.

All rooms and suites have individual balconies, individually controlled air conditioning, refrigerator, television, broadband internet access, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, along with tea and coffee making facilities. Facilities include: 24 hr reception, tour desk, wireless internet, Bushfire
Flame Grill, bar, pool, business services on request, coin operated laundry on four floors, room service, laundry & dry cleaning.
Day 10 (Tue) - Shuttle Transfer from the Accommodation to Cairns Airport
Cairns, Australia Travel by shuttle from your Cairns vacation accommodation to the Airport in Cairns, Australia.

Luggage restrictions apply as per standard economy Australian domestic flights of 2 standard bags under 30kg (66 lbs) per passenger. Excess baggage is AUD$5.00 per bag payable on board. If traveling with excess baggage please advise the shuttle company upon reservation confirmation so appropriate trailer size is available.
Day 10 cont (Tue) - Australian Domestic Flight from Cairns to Brisbane
Travel within Australia by domestic air from Cairns to Brisbane.

Day 10 cont (Tue) - International Flight from Brisbane to Espiritu Santo Vanuatu
From Australia to Espiritu Santo Vanuatu International flight to Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Your International flight will take you to Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu direct from Brisbane.
Day 10 - 15 (Tue to Sun) - 5 Nights Accommodation Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Vanuatu, Accommodation Your Vanuatu Accommodation offers a friendly and lively environment popular with dive groups and singles. Their outdoor dining area and partially-shaded pool have stunning views of Santo and its nearby islands.

Amenities include: private showers and toilets, fridge and fans in each room, secure dive gear washing and storage facilities, continental breakfast, rec room/lounge, island nights, bar/restaurant and tour bookings. 10 minute walk to/from town.
Day 11-13 (Wed to Fri) - 3 Days of Wreck Diving in Vanuatu
Three days of diving on the SS Coolidge, Million Dollar Point and surrounding reef areas.

SS PRESIDENT COOLIDGE DIVING:
Considered by many divers to be the best wreck dive in the world, the SS President Coolidge was a luxury passenger liner converted to a troop carrier during WWII. While entering the Santo harbor she was hit by friendly mines, providing divers with a remarkable underwater playground.

Almost completely intact, you can swim through the numerous holds and decks viewing the reminders of her glorious days as a cruise liner and the remnants of her days as a troop ship. There are guns, cannons, jeeps, helmets, trucks and personal supplies left by some of the soldiers, as well as the beautiful porcelain statue of "The Lady," chandeliers and a mosaic tile fountain. The wreck is covered in coral and is home to a plethora of sea life including turtles, barracuda, lion fish, and a host of reef fish.

If you want to see the whole wreck, you'll need at least 10 to 15 dives - she's 200 metres in length and rests in 20 to 72 metres of water! - But you can certainly get a feel for her magnitude and majesty on even a few dives.


MILLION DOLLAR POINT DIVING:
After World War 2, the American's forces based in Santo were ordered not to leave any military equipment and supplies on the island (to avoid them getting into the wrong hands). The solution was the establishment of an underwater dump site, now known as Million Dollar Point. It is an easy dive from the shore where you can see two ship wrecks, and numerous amounts of military hardware and supplies - including bulldozers, cranes, trucks etc. A great diversity of marine life has made this their home with some unusual coral growth amongst the wreckage.
Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Champange Beach Tour
Great Barrier Reef Diving, Cairns, Australia The guide will take you to the most magnificent beach in the South Pacific 'Champagne Beach' and to the mysterious and crystal clear blue hole "Jacquie" through some of Vanuatu's large cattle farm and coconut plantations. Champagne Beach was named because fresh spring water bubbles up from the sea floor, like champagne. (Full Day Tour)

Day 15 (Sun) - International Flight from Espiritu Santo Vanuatu to Brisbane Australia
From Australia to Espiritu Santo Vanuatu International flight to Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Your International flight will take you to Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu direct from Brisbane.
Day 15 (Sun) - Shuttle Transfer, Brisbane Airport to Hotel
Brisbane, Australia Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Brisbane, Australia.

Luggage is limited to 2 suitcases per person. Excess luggage, surfboards & bicycles will be carried at a rate of $10.00 AUD per item. All luggage must be clearly labelled by the passenger, including name and full address.
Day 15 - 16 (Sun & Mon) - 1 Night Accommodation in Brisbane
Travel to your accommodation in Brisbane, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Your 3 Star vacation accommodation is conveniently located in Brisbane's city centre. It is within walking distance to the Queen Street Mall shopping precinct, Treasury Casino, South Bank Parklands, Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Recently, the hotel went through a major refurbishment. Its rooms are equipped with free coffee/tea making facility, fridge, air conditioning, and hair dryer.
Day 16 (Mon) - Shuttle Transfer, Brisbane Hotel to Airport
Brisbane, Australia Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Brisbane, Australia, to the Airport.

Luggage is limited to 2 suitcases per person. Excess luggage, surfboards & bicycles will be carried at a rate of $10.00 AUD per item. All luggage must be clearly labelled by the passenger, including name and full address.
Day 16 cont'd (Mon) - International Flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles
From Australia to USA Mid-day Departure from Brisbane, In-flight Dinner and Movie with arrival in the USA. Note: You will be traveling back across the International Date line so you will gain a day. You actually arrive in the USA on the same day you leave Australia.

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[ST-DiveVAN2] Dive Australia & Vanuatu

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