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Your guide to cruising the South Pacific

Published January 21st, 2016

If you think cruises are for retirees and the uninspired, think again. Today’s cruises are for the adventurous and those seeking unique experiences, and with so many incredible tropical destinations on our doorstep, Australia is a great place to cruise from. If you’re up for a travel experience with a difference, complete with a fun parties and entertainment along the way, it’s time to get your cruise on with some of these amazing cruise destinations...

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New Caledonia

The Paris of the Pacific combines French colonial culture with tropical island chic. Surrounded by islets and a world heritage listed spectacular lagoon, you’ll think you’ve arrived in paradise. Stock up on some arts and crafts and taste the local delicacies at the Noumea markets, or wander along the pristine sandy beaches before stopping off at one of the cosmopolitan cafes and restaurants along the beachfront. If you’re feeling active there’s plenty of ways to discover the warm surrounding waters of the island either by kayak, snorkelling or sailing. On your cruise you’ll also visit the dark but alluring Isle of Pines with its turquoise bays, sandy beaches, and hidden caves.

Chilling in Cale(donia). Image credit: Emma Lucey

Lifou Island

Part of the archipelago of New Caledonia known as the Loyalty Islands, the pristine Lifou Island has some of the most dramatic landscapes in the South Pacific. With white sandy beaches, limestone caves and imposing cliffs, this small but spectacular island is a popular stop off for South Pacific cruises. Head off on an organised shore tour to discover the Virgin Forest and secret grotto, or see the island from the cliff tops on a cliffs tour.


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Under the sea! Image: Emma Lucey

Mystery Island

If you’ve ever dreamt of visiting a tropical island inhabited only by palm trees and white sand, you’ll love the idyllic Mystery Island in Vanuatu’s Tafea Province. If you’re into nature, you’ll be blown away by the diverse range of coral and marine life here, rated amongst the best in the world. Canoe down the spectacular Riri River, or take a dive to discover the incredible underwater world at this tiny island paradise.

Explore the hidden secrets of the South Pacific. Image: Emma Lucey

Vanuatu

Gorgeous Vanuafijitu is the place to get your adventure on. Stopping off here on your cruise, you’ll be able to sun yourself on picture perfect beaches, hike to pounding waterfalls, see an active volcano complete with spitting lava, dive in world class conditions, and discover an ancient culture complete with fascinating ceremonies. Not surprisingly, Vanuatu is a prime stop on South Pacific cruises, offering fun and adventurous experiences for all.

Cruise lyfe. Image: Emma Lucey

Fiji

Cruise to the rugged landscape of blue lagoons and hundreds of tropical islands fringed with white sand beaches and sweeping coconut palms. Fiji is another of the South Pacific’s masterpieces, and a stopover here offers some magical and unforgettable experiences. Spend your time swaying in a hammock on some of Fiji’s impossibly perfect beaches, meet friendly locals and discover village life, and bask in the warm waters of the inviting ocean. Fiji is the ultimate dreamy island getaway.

Rachel Surgeoner

A self-confessed 'food-tourist', I take hunting for the world's greatest sandwich very seriously, my quest has taken me from Berlin to Hoboken. Stopping off only for vintage shopping, craft beers and Mediterranean sunsets.