Discover groups of tiny, hidden islands set far away from the mainland, offering a distinctly different experience to anywhere else in the world.
Take a step back from the big cities, and cruise to a part of the world that gives you a sense of freedom and exploration. As you glide through deep blue seas up to beautiful emerald isles boasting picture perfect crystal lagoons, you are sure to experience the many miracles these islands have to offer. Enjoy the natural beauty found in the high peaks, head for the dramatic and historical harbours, and relax under warm and sunny azure skies. The South Pacific is a destination that is full of adventure, opulence, and opportunity.
Whether you are walking barefoot on the untouched, deserted sands, feeling the flow of the grains between your toes, or foraging through the lush rainforests, abundant with fascinating and vibrant wildlife, these subtropical islands present an enchanted, almost mystical atmosphere that appeals to anyone with a love of travel and expedition.
One of the most popular ports in the South Pacific is Papeete - the capital city of the luxurious islands of French Polynesia. The true beauty of Papeete, and the reason why many cruise lines choose to include this city on their South Pacific itineraries, is because it’s one of the few places in this part of the world that is a true blend of island paradise and a real working community spirit. Despite being particularly beautiful, Papeete is also one of the most important trading ports in the South Pacific, exporting items such as fresh fish, flowers, pearls, and newly grown vanilla pods around the world.
Papeete gives a unique insight into the lives of real people in the South Pacific, while also appealing to those who want to marvel at the stunning landscape of the region. Weather-wise, there’s really no bad time to visit Papeete and the South Pacific. The temperature varies very little, ranging between 27 and 29 degrees Celsius on average all year round.
Many cruises to Papeete leave from Australia or New Zealand, taking in many fascinating ports along the way, whereas others leave directly from Papeete itself, sailing around the beautiful Tahitian islands before heading back towards the city.
Le Marche, Papeete’s local marketplace is the perfect place for you to not only pick local souvenirs but sample local cuisine. You’ll find various vendors selling fresh and colourful local fruits that are great for snacking on if you’re peckish, handcrafted trinkets made from natural materials, and you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to sample and purchase Monoi - an oil native to Tahiti that’s renowned for its great moisturising properties.
Tahitian cuisine is tasty and varied, taking influences from both Asia and North America. With Papeete being located roughly halfway between California and Australia, there is a definite blend of Australasian ingredients and North American methods.
Fish is a major component of the cuisine, as it is in many coastal regions, but the fish is served as fresh as possible. For example, rather than frying or poaching, as it common in Europe, fish is merely marinated in citrus which essentially cooks it to perfection.
Grabbing lunch on shore is definitely recommended when you’re visiting Papeete. Wash it all down with the local Tahitian beer - Hinano - known for its somewhat bitter taste that the locals simply can’t resist.
On a South Pacific cruise it will become clear that these islands are as perfect as they appear in pictures. From the deep lagoons of Tahiti, to the spectacular sights of Fiji, these isles show Mother Nature's decorative skills in all their glory. Friendly locals singing and dancing to traditional songs will welcome you; their friendly, respectful reputation is not a myth.
The magnificent wildlife this region has to offer is truly a delight to see, and we’re confident a South Pacific cruise will be an unforgettable experience.