Today was a special day for our National Geographic Orion guests. We were able to visit two of Vanuatu’s most iconic islands, known for their deep cultural rituals and ceremonies.

Our morning visit was to the Island of Ambrym, known as the Black Magic Island of Vanuatu, an island where black magic was practiced in ancient times. We were privileged to watch the ancient dance ritual of the Masked ROM dancers of Ambrym. A ceremony only practiced here on this island, chiefs and warriors perform with evil spirits, dressed in conical masks and elaborate banana leaf cloaks.

After lunch we visited another island of Vanuatu, Pentecost Island. It is renowned for the invention of the bungy jump, a ritual called N’gol (land diving) where young men dive from a 15–20-meter scaffold platform with natural vines tied to their ankles. Our guests were mesmerized by the bravery of the young men as they leapt off the platform, down into the softened earth below.

It was a day of unique, once in a lifetime Vanuatu rituals, ceremonies, and fanfare; a day our guests will never forget.