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Tonga Travel Guide

Port of Refuge Harbor
Port of Refuge Harbor, Neiafu, Vava'u

Yacht Charters

Vava'u is one of the Pacific's top cruising grounds, with more than 50 "world class" anchorages. Florida-based The Moorings has a variety of charter vessels based here, from two-cabin yachts to four-cabin catamarans.

Prices are higher in the peak season (July and August). Provisioning, security insurance, a starter it, and 15 percent tax are additional. "Split provisioning" includes free resupply of food if you return to the base to pick it up and a Tongan feast at a village.

If you're new to sailing (they check you out) you'll need to hire a skipper. Additional crew might include a cook and a guide. To have a kayak aboard is extra. These charges soon add up--a party of four can expect to spend over US$5,000 a week to rent a small, uncrewed bareboat yacht, meals included. Tipping is extra.

The service-minded staff at The Moorings are laid back and easy to deal with. They'll send out a team to deal with any maintenance issues right away. It's not cheap, but The Moorings' boats are newer and better kept than those of their competitors.

Sunsail, down by the water on the east side of The Moorings, has a half dozen charter yachts based here in the off season (Jan.-March), a dozen in the full season (April-Dec.). It's cheaper than The Moorings because their prices are based on New Zealand dollars. Rates are higher during the full season and insurance, fuel, and tax are charged extra.

Sailing Safaris on the waterfront is an independent boat charter company and marine center. Some of their yachts are smaller than those offered by The Moorings and Sunsail, allowing couples to experience bareboat chartering without the high costs associated with the larger charter yachts. The minimum bareboat charter is three days. Speedboats are also for hire. Aside from chartering, they also do whale-watching and snorkeling trips. Their marine services facility offers fuel, water, slipway, engineering and fiberglass repairs and laundry to visiting yachties.

A three-cabin yacht, the 15-meter Impetuous, is available for overnight charters. Daytrips to snorkeling spots and whale watching are also possible.

Manu-O-Ku Sailing Charters offers cruising around the Vava'u Group on the 11-meter trimaran Manu-O-Ku.

Continue to   Neiafu Transport: Day Cruises   »