Sailing on the high seas, enjoying all the amenities and luxuries a cruise has to offer, is an ideal way to travel. When the destination is the Pacific Islands, you can rest assured the cruise is going to be something special.
One of the most delightful Pacific locations is Vanuatu – an archipelago consisting of 83 islands. The island of Malekula gives visitors the chance to view something of its ancient culture. The island has beautiful beaches for the tourist to soak up the sun, while the sea offers some the world’s best conditions for snorkelling and diving.
The Vanuatu islands also delivers some incredible sights; some natural, others man-made. Tanna is home to the most accessible active volcano on the planet. While off the shores of Espiritu Santo is the wreck of the SS President Coolidge, sunk by enemy action during the Second World War. This wreck is now a favourite among recreational divers who swim among the submerged cannons, jeeps and other military artefacts, along with ‘The Lady’ porcelain statue, which remain scattered on the ocean floor.
Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila, is the heart of the local tourist industry, located on the island of Etafe. It has all the facilities expected by the modern tourist, plus more. Etafe is a haven for those who seek more extreme activity based holiday action, such as abseiling, river rafting or parasailing.
For those who like to have their Pacific Island cruise infused with a French flavour, then a stopover in New Caledonia will fit the bill. Dubbed in English ‘The Pebble’, New Caledonia has much to offer the visitor. The islands, surrounded by beautifully clear waters, are a mecca for divers. Giving the islands a real French feel is the capital Noumea, with its pavement cafes and luxury boutiques. For beachgoers and sunbathers, the local beaches are shaded by palm trees.
For a more ‘Pacific atmosphere’, the Isle of Pines to the south of Noumea offers real peace and tranquillity. Here is the perfect place to relax and really appreciate the beauty of the region.
The richly mixed cultures are also reflected in the food the cruise visitor will experience in New Caledonia. Due to a period of French colonial history, restaurants are most likely to provide French cuisine, although elsewhere local dishes will be on offer, such as bougna – a meal wrapped in banana leaves.
Another popular island destination is Tonga. To the north of the Tongan islands is Niuafo'ou, a circular atoll dominated by an 800ft peak which is actually the tip of a volcano. For anyone who likes activity holidays with a difference, Nuku'alofa – on the main island of Tonga – offers the opportunity to swim with hunchback whales. The National Centre also gives tourists the opportunity to become acquainted with local crafts and culture.
A wide range of Pacific Island cruises is available with many reputable cruise lines, packaged with airfares included from the UK.