The Exotic Ports of call in the South Pacific
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South Pacific Cruise

Breathtaking sunsets and a magnificent underwater world make the South Pacific a fabulous destination for those of you seeking something different.

Explore the islands during the day and leave the evenings open to enjoy your time onboard. A cruise holiday is a wonderful way to see these locations and utilising the ship’s tour desk will help set up the must sees.

As the song says from South Pacific, “”Here am I, your special island! Come to me, come to me!”

Bora Bora

Start off your South Pacific cruise holiday with a trip to Bora Bora. Although it is the smallest of the islands, the amount of possibilities it offers are endless. Begin the trip by going to one of the many enormous beaches and try swimming or snorkelling in the crystal clear waters.

The island is also well known for it’s mountains, which you can see with an amazing 4×4 tour that takes you throughout the island. Enjoy a drink in the Bloody Mary restaurant, named after a famous character in the classic musical South Pacific. It has served many celebrities over the years yet its charm has remained unchanged from when it first opened.

Bora Bora

Fiji

Fiji is perhaps the best known of the South Pacific islands and as such, it has so many attractions that you can’t possibly do them all in one day. Start off with a trip to the Fiji Museum, an extensive area that details not only the history but the wildlife of the area. See a religious icon in the form of the Sri Siva Subramaniya temple, one of the few Hindu temples outside of India with Dravidian architecture.

Nature lovers of all kinds will enjoy the sights at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, which are about 20 metres high. The dunes are famous not only for their beauty but for the rich archaeological treasures within. There are also traditional Polynesian performances such as fire dancing to be seen.

Fiji Iguana

Tahiti

Tahiti may be the best island of them all. It is well known for its authentic feel, far away from the tourist shops and modern amenities, virtually everything here is independently owned. This gives Tahiti a unique feeling that’s hard to find anywhere else, its unspoiled beauty serving as a wonderful backdrop. Take a tour to see the waterfalls, located at Trois Cascades Te Fa’auruma’i.

There are 3 waterfalls in total and the path is very clear. See the water cascade down from miles above for a great photo opportunity. The history museum Musée de Tahiti et des Iles details the vibrant history of the island. See ancient artefacts, some items from Captain Cook’s ship and even a demonstration on turning a log into a canoe.

Tahiti

Moorea

Moorea served as inspiration for the island “Bali Hay” in South Pacific and it’s easy to see why. The ideal location, filled with soft sandy beaches, blue water and stunning weather makes it seem as though you are being featured in a travel brochure! Apart from snorkelling and feeding the manta rays, a good activity is to take the Circle Island tour bus.

Here, you can see exciting areas such as Cook’s and Opunohu Bays; check out the ancient Tahitian temples and visit several colonial pineapple and vanilla plantations. This day trip is the best way to get the most out of your time here.

Papua New Guinea

Culturally and geographically rich, step into a journey of the unknown in the relatively untouched Papua New Guinea. Walk along the infamous Kokoda Trail. Although impossible to trek the entire 37 miles, it does offer a chance to discover its historical use. The National Museum & Art Gallery is notable for the indigenous tribal culture of its inhabitants. PNG offers great snorkelling among gorgeous reefs teeming with unique marine life.

Papua New Guinea

Many cruise holidays begin in Australia and New Zealand but some will start out of the Port of Papeete in Tahiti.

Cruise lines including Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America and Princess amongst others offer holidays to the South Pacific. The number of days of each sailing and months sailed in varies.

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Have you cruised around the South Pacific? Let us know below!

Set Sail to Paradise on a South Pacific Cruise
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There is a legend that after the gods created earth, they created the isles of the South Pacific and claimed it as their home.

Lush green mountain ranges filled with an abundance of flora and fauna, beautiful sand beaches, coral reefs and an occasional tiki monument have long been enticing visitors for years. A South Pacific cruise holiday opens up not just one destination but many in the chain of tropical paradises.

Some of the ports of call and things to do include:

Bora Bora

Bora Bora was placed on the map by world renowned traveler James Michener who claimed was “the most beautiful spot on the planet”.

Matira Beach is the place to wind surf, scuba dive, swim, jet-ski or simply rest on the sands and soak up the sun. The shimmering lagoon provides great scuba diving opportunities with its many tropical fish and stunning coral reefs.  If getting wet is out of the question, then go on a glass bottom boat to witness all the creatures that reside under the sea.

A stand out is the two enormous black-rock peaks that dominate the centre of the island. Go on a hiking excursion around the island or take a helicopter excursion for a tour of the terrain and peaks.

Bora Bora

Moorea

Moorea is definitely known as the place to relax with its many picturesque lagoons and mountains. Created from an erupting volcano thousands of years ago, this unique and beautiful heart shaped island has been featured in countless Hollywood films.

Belvedere Lookout at the summit of Mt. Rotui offers memorable views of Opunohu Bay and Cook’s Bay, which is shaped like two giant fingers. These lagoons offer boating, jet and water skiing, paragliding, scuba diving an even shark feeding.

Tiki Village Theatre is a cultural treat where one can view traditional dance performances and tour a pearl farm. Authentic carvings by native artisans, as well as weavings, leis and quilts are available for purchase.

Quench your thirst when visiting the Moorea Juice Factory. Sample a variety of island favourites including papaya, pineapple and coconut amongst others, along with fruit brandies and liqueurs. Moorea educates the visitor about the cultivation of vanilla and pineapples as well. Visiting the ruins of a Polynesian temple will finish the day in port.

Moorea Tiahura Beach

Papeete

Tahiti is the largest and arguably most famous island in the entire French Polynesia region. It has been a popular tourist attraction and has been attracting millions of people for almost 200 years.

The first visit to the islands was by the explorers and included Samuel Wallis in 1767 and James Cook in 1769. The explorers brought back tales of beautiful islands filled with natives that made the world interested in this area.

Papeete contains several interesting sights and gives a personal look into the Polynesian culture. Close to the waterfront esplanade is the yellow hue Cathedral of Notre Dame de Papeete. The cathedral is situated in the centre of town and is designed in a gothic style. It was consecrated in the late 19th century. Another sight is the colourful Protestant Temple de Paofai which was built in 1873. The exterior is pink, the timber filigree work is white and the steeple is green.

For some underwater fun, try diving along “The Wreck” to see colourful groups of fish as well as a long sunk shipwreck (hence the name) with a Catalina flying boat airplane.

However, the best place to get the ‘real’ feel of everyday life is Marche du Papeete. This main marketplace of Tahiti contains everything from fresh flowers to hand crafted gifts to locally caught fish.

Sunset in Papeete

Raiatea

Considered the most sacred of the Polynesian island, Raiatea contains many archaeological ruins in what is known as ‘maraes’. The most important one on the island is Taputapuatea which once was the central temple and religious centre of Polynesia.

When arriving in port, take note of Mount Temahani a volcano that once destroyed the island. Legend has it that Oro, the god of fertility and war, was born on Mount Temahani and controls the volcanic activity which has remained dormant for years. Locals believe by worshipping Oro, as they had for centuries, the volcano will never rage again. Explore the interior of the island with a 4WD safari and come across its canyons, trails and waterfalls.

Considered as a symbol of purity to the Polynesians, the black pearl hails from the island’s waters. On Raiatea, passengers can visit a pearl farm. Another commodity is vanilla and the Vanilla Plantation is in order for a visit.

Raiatea

The South Pacific Islands offer  a treasure trove that is not found anywhere else. The chance to visit these South Pacific Islands from various ports can be found with Cunard, Crystal Cruises, Paul Gauguin, Holland America, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Silversea and Windstar Cruises. The cruises usually range from seven-day sailings all the way to being a segment on a world cruise.

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