A group of Australian cruise ship passengers have been seriously injured in a fatal bus crash in Vanuatu.

P&O says 12 tourists, who'd been travelling on the Brisbane-based Pacific Dawn, were injured in a bus crash in the capital, Port Vila, on Monday.

Ten of them received "significant injuries", a spokesman for the cruise company told AAP.

Two locals died in the crash. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says no New Zealanders were believed involved.


Air ambulances have been arranged to take the most badly injured to hospitals in Brisbane and Noumea.

The P&O spokesman said most of the injured were likely to be Australian, given the Pacific Dawn was based in Brisbane.

"The injuries are significant - the sort of injuries you'd expect in road trauma," he said.

"We've made the decision to airlift them to take the pressure of health services in Port Vila."

P&O said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was aware of the crash, and was providing consular assistance.

"The vast majority, if not all of the passengers, would be Australian from around that Brisbane area," the company's spokesman said. He could not provided ages or genders for the injured, nor confirm if any children were involved.