With the ultimate in secluded ports of call and luxurious destinations, a South Pacific cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime getaway. Unlike the more popular Caribbean ports and bustling cruise routes, these cruise itineraries are leisurely and decadent, with a myriad of memorable shores and islands to visit.
When to Take a South Pacific Cruise
Cruises visiting various parts of the South Pacific sail throughout the year, though not as frequently as with more popular locations. In any given month, prospective passengers are likely to find 2-6 different cruise options from various lines, and consulting a travel agent will help refine travel dates and plans to create the perfect cruise vacation.
Because these exotic voyages are fairly few in number, they tend to be longer voyages that visit multiple ports. The shortest South Pacific cruises are typically 7-10 nights, while longer itineraries that include stops in Hawaii, Australia, or southeast Asia range from two weeks to a month or longer. Many world cruises - well over three months long - also include visits to the South Pacific, though passengers can often choose which portions of the world itinerary they are interested in, and can therefore customize the length of their cruise. Both one-way and roundtrip itineraries are offered.
Ports in the South Pacific are far distant from the most popular destinations, and the only cruise lines that regularly visit them tend to be upscale luxury lines that cater to an exclusive clientele of repeat cruisers. Both Princess and Seven Seas Cruises (now known as Regent Seven Seas Cruises) offer regular visits to the region, while Holland America and Silversea ships also sail the South Pacific on occasion.
The most frequent embarkation port for South Sea Island itineraries is Papeete, Tahiti, where many shorter sailings originate. Depending on the cruise line and other scheduled destinations, passengers may find themselves beginning their South Pacific getaway from Auckland, New Zealand or Sydney, Australia as well. A limited number of lengthy voyages may embark in Hawaii or even western United States ports such as San Diego or Los Angeles, though such sailings are infrequent.
Ports of Call in the South Pacific
With hundreds of islands and secluded destinations available on a south Pacific cruise, every itinerary has the potential to visit unique and isolated ports depending on the ship's ultimate destination, local weather, and other factors. The most popular destinations include:
- Sydney, Australia: Visitors to Sydney can indulge in both historic and modern local culture at the world renowned opera house or through various historical tours.
- French Polynesia: A number of ports in French Polynesia may be included in the itinerary, including Bora Bora, Moorea, or Huahine. Depending on the specific location, passengers can enjoy stunning beaches, exhilarating surfing, visits to native villages, and historical tours of World War II relics. Many cruises also offer scenic cruising through French Polynesia without visiting a specific port of call.
- Fiji: The ultimate tropical destination, Fiji offers both exotic local culture with firewalkers and tribal drumming concerts and modern convenience with exclusive shopping and dining venues.
- Tahiti: The most well known location in French Polynesia, Tahiti is a true South Pacific paradise, with abundant seaside lagoons, exotic jungle foliage, and numerous natural attractions.
- Cook Islands: Originally governed by New Zealand, the Cook Islands are a midpoint stop between Hawaii and New Zealand and offer both history and modern charm to delight cruise passengers.
- Hawaii: A more familiar tropical paradise awaits visitors to Hawaii, allowing them the briefest taste of the exotic destinations that await during the rest of their south Pacific voyage.
A tremendous variety of shore excursions are offered at each port of call, including relaxing beach getaways, snorkeling and diving tours, day trips to untouched native villages, rain forest safaris, lagoon cruises, and glass-bottom boat tours. Regardless of the type of tropical diversion passengers seek, they will be able to indulge themselves on a South Pacific cruise.
Cruising the South Pacific is a more relaxing and decadent tropical getaway than popular Caribbean destinations and it is the perfect alternative for exclusive passengers interested in exotic ports of call. From Fiji to Tahiti to Australia and more, these unique cruises truly immerse guests into a tropical paradise.