The South Pacific covers a massive area, making it hard to visit a large portion of the region in one vacation – unless, that is, you’re on a South Pacific cruise. When we cruise to the South Pacific, our itineraries are jam-packed with tropical island ports of call and exotic adventures.
First, where exactly is the South Pacific? This gorgeous region of the world is located in the Pacific Ocean, in the southern hemisphere. The South Pacific stretches between Australia and South America and encompasses Australia and New Zealand in the southwest of the Pacific all the way to Hawaii. When it comes to South Pacific cruises, most people think of the honeymoon-worthy destinations of Bora Bora and Fiji, but there is so much more to the South Pacific than just those popular islands.
For most travelers, the highlights of a cruise to the Pacific Islands are centered on the salty water surrounding the islands that comes in a rainbow of blues. On land, you’ll find rainforests, historic sites, and white sand beaches to explore.
Some of the most famous islands of the South Pacific are the ones located in French Polynesia, an island collective of France. Of these, Bora Bora and Tahiti are the most famous; Bora Bora for its serene and vibrantly blue lagoon, and Tahiti for its capital of Pape'ete and shopping and beach resorts.
Keeping with the island allure of the South Pacific, but in a different way that is more rugged and less tropical, is the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. Located off the northern coast of New Zealand’s North Island, the Bay of Islands is a popular stop on South Pacific cruises.
The Kingdom of Tonga is a Polynesian nation that lets visitors experience beauty, culture, and history all at once. While there, learn about the monarchy and its importance to the nation plus the history between Captain James Cook and Tonga.
The ports you can visit on South Pacific Cruises take you to some of the most exotic island locales in the world. From adventure and mountain landscapes in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands to the remarkably blue lagoons of French Polynesia to the intricate cultures of the island nations, you’ll experience an array of sights that will astound you and have you reaching for your camera again and again.
Since the South Pacific is largely comprised of small islands, it probably comes as no surprise that many of the top shore excursions to do there are related to water. The South Pacific in particular is beloved for its sea activities due to the bright turquoise and teal colors that shimmer through the incredibly clear water. While getting up close and personal with the surrounding sea and lagoons of these islands is a must, there are numerous land adventures you can also do, whether it’s a leisurely nap on a beach or a hands-on cultural activity to learn more about the people of the region you’re visiting.
Part of what makes the islands of the South Pacific so special are the lagoons that surround them. On a lagoon shore excursion during a South Pacific cruise you’ll be taken right out onto the aquamarine water for an up close look at its beautiful hue and the creatures beneath the surface.
From coral reefs to wreck dives to shark encounters, scuba diving in the South Pacific is an amazing way to see the underwater world this region is famous for. Scuba diving in the South Pacific isn’t just for experienced divers. There are dive shore excursions for beginners, too.
Something that makes the islands of the South Pacific so special are the many smaller pieces of land that dot the water around the larger islands. Choose a shore excursion that visits a Motu (small Polynesian reef islet) or Atoll (ring-shaped chain of islands) for a lovely day surrounded by nature.
When planning your South Pacific cruise, research the different islands you can visit before choosing an itinerary so you pick one that’s best for you depending if you’d rather be beach bound or try more adventurous activities.
In addition to Australia and New Zealand cruise ports of call in the South Pacific, Celebrity Cruises visits the islands of Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Bora Bora, Mo'orea, Tahiti, Loyalty Island, Samoa, American Samoa, and Tonga.
The number of South Pacific islands you’ll visit and the combination of them depends on the itinerary you choose and the length of your cruise.
For a focus on the islands that are situated a short distance from the lower tip of southeast Asia, and easily accessible from Australia or New Zealand embarkation points, opt for one of our 13-night South Pacific, Fiji, and Tonga itineraries. For ports of call that travel farther from Australia and New Zealand and visit the lovely shores of French Polynesia, choose a Transpacific cruise or one of our Tahitian Treasures cruise itineraries that sail between Australia and Hawaii. If you’re short on time, our 9-night South Pacific cruises sail roundtrip from Sydney and visit Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Loyalty Island.
When visiting the South Pacific, expect a tropical climate that may see bursts of rain showers and high humidity while you’re there. To stay comfortable, pack light layers in breathable fabrics, walking or hiking sandals, sunhats and sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen. You also may want to bring multiple swimsuits in order to give one time to dry, or to have different styles for different activities.