When the night closes in, the team of Okeanos Vanuatu sets sail from Port Vila, heading towords the Shepherd Islands. Twice a week, depending on the demand, the Vaka arrives at several islands of the Shepherd Group, with a typical route seeing the Vaka stop in Mataso, Makura, Émaé, Tongariki, Buninga and Tongoa before returning back to Port Vila, usually arriving back by midnight the following day.
For local farmers on many of the islands, the Vaka is the only cargo ship transporting their crops for sale to the market in Port Vila. A routine delivery route that supports sustainable, local agriculture and a shift from the dependency of unhealthy, imported canned food.
Plus: The Vaka is also the first cargo Vessel in Vanuatu operating on sustainable energy. The service receives very positive feedback from locals: All produce is handled carefully and the Vaka returns quickly back to Port Vila which means the produce is still fresh when it arrives and gets sold at the daily market. Up to 3t of cargo can be transported with each trip, and sometimes passengers, too, use the welcome opportunity for inter-island transfer.
Picture credit: Tommy Malep / Okeanos Vanuatu