Lahaina, Maui. Bora Bora. Moorea. Tahiti. The names conjure images of tall, swaying palm trees, balmy breezes, impossibly blue water, and perhaps Gauguin paintings; and yes, you can see all that and so much more when you book Transpacific shore excursions as you cruise on a South Pacific route. When cruising to the Hawaiian island of Maui, some of the Transpacific shore excursions you can schedule include: An incredible trip up to Haleakala Crater Mountain through Haleakala National Park, located over 10,000 feet above sea level and known for its dramatic volcanic landscapes or relaxing with a tropical cocktail at a luau, complete with fire-and-knife dancers. If you’re an active adventurer, enjoy a hike through a rainforest, stopping for a photo-op at a spectacular waterfall or play a round of golf on a par-72 course that offers panoramic views of the Pacific.
The French Polynesia islands of Bora Bora and Moorea offer stunningly beautiful white beaches with unobstructed views of the South Pacific, and you can schedule Transpacific cruise excursions to swim, snorkel, and sunbathe on private motus (coral reef islets). Adventure seekers can book a 4x4 off-road expedition to drive up Mount Otemanu, Bora Bora, the island’s tallest peak that rises up from the center of the island; experience the dense jungle, see archeological relics, and enjoy panoramic views. On Moorea, take a picnic cruise through a lagoon and learn about the history and legends of the island thought to be the inspiration for the mythical Bali Hai in James Michener’s Pulitzer Prize-winning short story collection, “Tales of the South Pacific”. A guided tour of the west coast of Tahiti takes you to Arahurahu Marae, a sacred site of pre-Christian Polynesian society, then for a stroll through the island’s most beautiful flora at Vaipahi Gardens. On a guided all-island tour, watch the spectacular waves that crash over the black-sand beach at Papara Surf Beach and enjoy refreshments at Restaurant Gauguin.
Transpacific shore excursions when cruising to the port city of Otaru, on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, include a day of touring the modern and picturesque city of Sapporo, famous for its beer and for hosting the 1972 Winter Olympics.
As you cruise to Australia, the “land down under”, shore excursions in Sydney, one of Australia’s largest cities, range from a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House, with its iconic sail-like design to an idyllic day a Bondi Beach or a thrilling climb along the catwalks and ladders to the peak of the Sydney Harbor Bridge.