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Don't miss the boat for a taste of the exotic with a glittering cruise to the Pacific Islands. For a real Polynesian adventure, sail through the mighty Pacific Ocean and enjoy the coral reefs, atolls and volcanic islands which decorate the southern Pacific. Drift past the colourful reefs and spectacular lagoons, and while away your days on desert island, palm-fringed beaches.
It's not difficult to see why this wonderfully lush backdrop served as an inspiration to the outstanding works of the Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin. This quieter, more relaxed corner of the globe reveals its hidden treasures to all fortunate visitors, who are in search of a remote, entirely different experience. Either fly from London to your point of embarkation to dive straight into the refreshing waters of the paradise island of Tahiti to start your cruising experience or sail directly from Southampton as part of a glamorous world cruise and enjoy comparing and contrasting this stunning part of the world with many other fascinating attractions around the globe. You will also have to do your best to not be tempted to jump ship with the superb enticing shore excursions on offer!
Although cruises to the South Pacific run all year round thanks to the warm climate, if you're looking to explore the likes of Fiji, Bora Bora and Tahiti in uninterrupted sun, the best time is the dry season from May to October when you won't have to worry about rainfall.
If you want to experience the diverse cultures and ancient traditions of the Pacific islands, while delighting in the infectious warm and friendly welcome that awaits you at each port, then have a look at the huge variety of shore excursions available from your ship during your South Pacific cruise. See our list of favourite ports of call for a cruise around the Pacific Islands.
The verdant landscape of Western Samoa, peppered with beautiful waterfalls, provides a stunning backdrop to the many attractions on offer on this enticing island. Visit Vailima, renowned for its connection with Robert Louis Stevenson of Treasure Island fame, who spent the last five years of his life there. Here you will see an interesting collection of historic churches and monuments mixed with modern government buildings set beside bustling fish and antique markets.
This truly is the perfect setting for your South Pacific adventure. Enjoy the tropical scenery from the beautiful sundrenched local beach or taste the local delicacies after watching a fascinating "umu" cooking demonstration using hot river rocks. However you choose to spend your time here, it's a real taste of life on the Pacific Islands.
After dropping anchor, take a sure excursion to Tonga to enjoy the fascinating handicraft markets, cultural centres, historic places of interest and the amazing ocean blow holes. Tonga is the place to visit if you are looking for the thrill of exciting adventure sports like kiteboarding, sea kayaking and scuba diving. The colourful, warm waters will invite you to jump in and swim with other interesting sea life including playful humpback whales and dolphins.
You really are spoilt for choice with the almost pristine picture postcard islands around Fiji. Visit the Fiji Museum in the capital, Suva, and learn about the island's rich history with its inhabitants, who lived here as long as 3,500 years ago. Alternatively, if you are looking for the ultimate in relaxation, simply step ashore and stretch out on one of the incredible sun drenched beaches.
Due north of New Zealand lies the stunning collection of islands that make up Vanuatu. The waterfalls, jungles and volcanoes on these islands enhance the authentic experience of South Pacific life. White sand beaches meet coral reefs and volcanic basalt enrich these islands' natural beauty, making your cruise to the Pacific Islands truly something special.
New Caledonia's population speaks mainly French, but they have ties to Australia's aborigines. Try a local dish known as bougna , a mouthwatering mixture of taro, yam, sweet potato, banana, and pieces of chicken, lobster, or crab baked in a ground oven and served in banana leaves, before soaking up the sun on the beautiful stretches of beach.
See the refreshing Papua Falls up close and personal and then take to the hills for a scenic drive along the Avatiu Valley. The Cook Islands play host to some of the most stunning snorkelling in the crystal clear waters and shallow coral lagoons with tropical fish of all varieties and colours. Enjoy the magnificent beaches and dramatic rugged coastlines before you board your ship again to discover even more of the South Pacific.
Make landfall at the vibrant port of Papeete. With its ebony peaks rising from the azure seas, miles of pristine beaches and its lush tropical lagoons, this, simply put, is an island paradise. Make sure you get to the shops before you leave for a spot of souvenir hunting as this busy capital city is renowned for its stunning black pearls, colourful beachwear and designer fragrances.