Bora Bora photo by Paul Gauguin Cruises

South Pacific Cruise Planning Guide

South Pacific Cruise Information


According to Wikipedia, there the Pacific Islands comprise 20,000 to 30,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean. For most cruise passengers, the Pacific Island cruise destinations will focus on the following three geographical regions:

  • Polynesia is the area of ocean between New Zealand, Easter Island, and Hawaii.  The following locations are in Polynesia:  American Samoa, Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, and French Polynesia. French Polynesia is probably the most familiar area to North American cruisers. There are five archipelagos in French Polynesian:  Society Islands (Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, and Huahine);  Austral, Tuamotu, Gambier and Marquesas islands.
  • Melanesia is comprised of the Western Pacific islands of New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, and Fiji.
  • Micronesia is north of the equator and is comprised of eight nation-states. Cruises will call on the Marshall Islands, Chuuk, Yap, and Palau.

Although the weather in the region can accommodate ships year-round,  high season runs from October to April.

The amount of cruise ship calls is increasing to the region. Some World Cruise itineraries call on the area while some cruise lines have dedicated year-round product to meet the demands of cruises. Some of the cruise lines sending ships to this part of the world include Paul Gauguin, Crystal Cruises, Silversea, Holland America, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival, Seabourn, and Royal Caribbean.

South Pacific Island Cruise Destinations

  • Alotau, Papua New Guinea
  • Avatiu, Cook Islands
  • Palmerston Atoll, Cook Islands
  • Rarotonga, Cook Islands
  • Fulanga, Fiji
  • Lautoka, Fiji
  • Savusavu, Fiji
  • Suva, Fiji
  • Christmas Island, Kiribati
  • Fanning Island, Kiribati
  • Majuro, Marshall Islands
  • Ile des Pins, New Caledonia
  • Lifou, New Caledonia
  • Noumea, New Caledonia
  • Fergusson Island, Papua New Guinea
  • Kwato Island,  Papua New Guinea
  • Madang, Papua New Guinea
  • Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  • Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
  • Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea
  • Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea
  • Tufi Harbour, Papua New Guinea
  • Urbanisi Island, Papua New Guinea
  • Pago Pago, Samoa
  • Santa Ana Island, Solomons
  • Utupua Island, Solomons
  • Neiafu, Tonga
  • Nuku’alofa, Tonga
  • Tonga, Tonga
  • Kitava Island, Trobriands
  • Saipan, N. Marianas Islands, U.S. Territory
  • Pitcairn Island, UK Territory
  • Guam, USA
  • Ambrym Island, Vanuatu
  • Luganville, Vanuatu
  • Malakula, Vanuatu
  • Tanna Island, Vanuatu
  • Vanuatu, Vanuatu
  • Gaferut Atoll, Yap
  • Papua New Guinea

 Tahiti/French Polynesia Islands

Tender surfing
Tender surfing: extreme canoe training thanks to the Paul Gauguin life boat’s wake. Photo by Carrie Finley.
  • Atuona, Marquesas Islands
  • Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands
  • Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands
  • Omoa, Marquesas Islands
  • Bora Bora, Society Islands
  • Huahine, Society Islands
  • Moorea, Society Islands
  • Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands
  • Rangiroa, Society Islands
  • Tahaa/Motu Mahana, Society Islands
  • Fakarava, Tuamotu Islands

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