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Sprinkled through the heart of the beautiful Pacific Ocean are tiny tokens of paradise waiting to make your South Pacific holiday a dream come true.
Whether you want to sink into blissful relaxation, explore new cultures or are channelling James Cook and have a thirst for adventure, the answer lies in a South Pacific cruise. Imagine floating leisurely by these colourful shores, taking in the scenery and stopping off at vibrant ports, all the while enjoying the delights onboard a cruise… dreaming yet?
Snorkelling the depths in Rarotonga, shopping in a bustling Vanuatu market or chilling in low-key Tonga? Enjoy thrilling cultural encounters in Samoa or the blissful solitude of Niue? It can be tough choosing just one Pacific Island to holiday in, so why should you? A cruise offers a delectable sampling of Pacific splendour.
You can experience the ports of multiple lush island nations and go so much further with your dollar than you could with a land-based holiday. Perfect for a short escape or a longer, languid holiday, there's an itinerary to suit everyone, from foodies and adventurers to those interested in culture and getting back to nature.
Where to cruise
Take your pick of elegant cruises that grace the waters of alluring islands such as Vanuatu, the Loyalty Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Tonga, Western and American Samoa, the Cook Islands and Tahiti.
But why the South Pacific?
From towering green mountain peaks and valleys, ethereal waterfalls and gorgeous lagoons to song and dance, and even daring displays of fire dancing, there is a whole new world for you to delight in and discover. Take that first step onboard one of the many ships that travel through this region, relax and let the high calibre staff take care of your journey.
What to see & do
Nothing can prepare you for the striking beauty of the South Pacific's emerald isles, where you'll find breathtaking views in every direction, discover a whole host of cultural wonders and explore some captivating natural attractions.
Some of your options include visiting an island from Fiji's Port Denarau, where you can plunge below the surface of crystal-clear water and snorkel amongst the colourful marine life. Witness inspiring displays of cultural performances from the locals and settle into the relaxed island way of life. Or get your adrenalin pumping with a visit to Pentecost Island in Vanuatu, where young men partake in a daring rite of passage known as Land Diving. This involves them climbing a perilously high tower and jumping from the top attached only to a thin vine – scary stuff! Today's modern bungy jumping was inspired by this act.
For foodies & Francophiles
Satisfy your sweet tooth exploring the smörgåsbord of flavours on offer in Noumea, New Caledonia, which offers up all of your favourite sweet French pastries and treats along with traditional tropical fare. Peruse the markets and soak in the seaside views.
Then there is Lifou, the largest coral atoll in the Loyalty Islands archipelago, part of New Caledonia. Here, you can visit Jinek Bay, a thriving, bright and colourful reef, or explore mysterious limestone caves, picturesque beaches and lush forest life.
Tonga Tonga Tonga!
Tonga is renowned for its rugged beauty and incredible wildlife spotting, including some truly unparalleled whale watching opportunities. The northern island group of Vava'u is ideal for spotting these gentle giants, and also getting the chance to swim with them! You could also explore the teeming underwater world with a leisurely snorkel or adventurous dive.
If you’re after something with a remarkably local and untouched flavour, exploring French Polynesia's Marquesas Islands is truly a unique experience. Be taken on a voyage from Tahiti onboard a working cargo ship, dipping in between the breathtaking beauty of untouched islands, including Ua Pou, Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa and more.
Your ship is the lifeline to the outside world for the inhabitants of these remote islands. Observe the exchange of copra, dried coconut and fruit, then be whisked away by local guides to meet traditional local artists, take you on hikes to hidden jungle ruins, whizz over mountains on a Jeep safari, visit sacred ritual sites and other extraordinary excursions.
Cruises = choice
This is just a small fraction of what is available to explore on a cruise through the South Pacific. There are plenty of other destinations peppered throughout the idyllic region that will leave you utterly enchanted. Whether you want to make the most of your time seeing as many of the sights as possible, or would rather relax beachside with a tropical cocktail in hand, you have all the freedom to decide how to spend your time at these lush locales.
When to go
Whether it's the whole family or a couple looking for romance at sea, the South Pacific is waiting with open arms to accommodate. It’s a delight any time of the year thanks to a temperate climate, however the most ideal time to take the leap, very timely for us Kiwis, is between May and October (YAY to a winter escape!). This is the dry season, so it offers up the clearest waters for the keen snorkeller or diver in you.
One thing's for sure − no matter what the time of year, the South Pacific is full of alluring destinations you're sure to fall in love with. Floating between exotic destinations, you'll be treated to your ship's expansive facilities and atmosphere as you travel in ultimate comfort. Experience the holiday you've always dreamed of and do it in style in the sumptuous region of the South Pacific.
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