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New Caledonia cruise itineraries take you to an archipelago in the South Pacific that is home to a collection of islands that are unique due to having a tropical vibe…but with pine trees instead of palm trees, which is what you’ll find on Isle of Pines, one of New Caledonia’s most popular cruise ports. Pine trees right next to sandy beaches and aquamarine waters are a sight to behold.
New Caledonia is a unique collectivity of France and passengers on cruises to New Caledonia will get the opportunity to explore the beauty of the South Pacific while also learning about its vast history. New Caledonia was discovered by Captain James Cook in 1774 and seized by Napoleon in the mid-1800s, but long before that the islands belonged to the Melanesian Kanaks, a native tribe of New Caledonia. Many of the locals on the island are still of Melanesian Kanaks descent, and its culture runs deep within New Caledonia.
A cruise to New Caledonia will take you to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. You’ll also be able to tour ecologically important swamps, snorkel alongside the marine life, and spend the day on private islands.
New Caledonia has exquisitely soft white sand beaches. Lounge on the pristine sand while you watch tiny water ripples in shades of teal and aquamarine shimmer against the horizon and gently lap against the white sand. Many of the beaches in New Caledonia are on secluded bays, making them ideal for swimming.
The mangrove swamps along the western coast of many of the islands of New Caledonia are an important part of the archipelago’s ecosystem. These mangrove forests provide protection for many of the birds, coral, fish, and other creatures that call New Caledonia home.
Turtle Bay is an incredible place to visit where you can find sea turtles swimming around, making for a memorable snorkeling experience. During nesting season, the sea turtles lay their eggs on the shores of Turtle Bay as well. You also might spots sea turtles in other bays around New Caledonia.
The ports of call you’ll visit on a New Caledonia cruise are Noumea, located on the southwestern tip of the main island of Grand Terre; Isle of Pines, a small rugged island located just southeast of Grand Terre; and Mare, located a short distance off the eastern coast of Grand Terre.
Our cruises to New Caledonia are part of our South Pacific Cruise itineraries that depart from Melbourne or Sydney in Australia and also call at ports in Vanuatu and Loyalty Island.
Get your heart racing or soak up some sun during your New Caledonia cruise on one of our unforgettable shore excursions that showcase the scenery and culture of the islands.
New Caledonia is home to island resorts and secluded private island beaches where you can spend a blissful day relaxing. You can even take a guided boat tour that stops in Turtle Bay for some snorkeling and visits picturesque Brush Island Beach.
Do a zipline adventure over thick tree top canopies, take a jet boat ride at thrilling speeds through the water, take a kayak tour down Dumbea River, or do a hike to one of New Caledonia’s important mangrove forests and learn more about how they are so important to the island’s ecosystem.
If you want to get active, but stick with things that aren’t as likely to get your heart racing, you have plenty of options on your New Caledonia cruise. You can go for a bicycle ride along the coast, go stand up paddleboarding, or take a zodiac to a local reef for snorkeling,
Despite being part of France, New Caledonia has its own currency, which is the Pacific Franc. Some businesses may accept the Australian dollar as well, but don’t assume credit cards are accepted everywhere as many of the shops and restaurants you’ll find during your New Caledonia cruise stops are small family run businesses that only take cash.
Don’t plan on arriving and taking public transportation around to explore the island. There isn’t much in terms of public transportation in New Caledonia and even taxis are sparse. Instead, most people get around by scooter or bicycle. You can also take one of the aforementioned shore excursions to have a hassle-free day in port that gives you a wide taste of all that New Caledonia has to offer.
Want to try some local food that isn’t something you can easily find back home? If your New Caledonia cruise stops in Isle of Pines, try the Escargots de l’Ile des Pins. This dish serves up snails that are endemic to Isle of Pines and caught by the locals. You can find this escargot dish (also referred to as bulimes) in most restaurants on the island.