South Pacific Islands

South Pacific Islands

12/10/22 to 25/10/22
Dates
12/10/22 to 25/10/22
Ship
SH Minerva
Duration
14 Days
Guests
2 Guest
Price From
£ 14,090
Per Cabin
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Trip Details

Nothing can prepare you for the beauty of the South Pacific. Sail on a 14-day cruise visiting Fiji, Tonga, Niue, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia along the way. On this voyage, nearly every day brings a new island and a new adventure. Discover the striking beauty of tropical landscapes and the diverse ecosystems that thrive in the South Pacific. Explore coral reefs, see thriving marine ecosystems, hike on forested volcanic peaks, and learn about local history and cultures on engaging shore excursions.

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Trip Highlights

Nothing can prepare you for the beauty of the South Pacific. Sail on a 14-day cruise visiting Fiji, Tonga, Niue, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia along the way. On this voyage, nearly every day brings a new island and a new adventure. Discover the striking beauty of tropical landscapes and the diverse ecosystems that thrive in the South Pacific. Explore coral reefs, see thriving marine ecosystems, hike on forested volcanic peaks, and learn about local history and cultures on engaging shore excursions.

Discover the cultures of Melanesia and Polynesia
Explore Cobia, “the most perfect crater in the Fijian Archipelago”
Spend a day relaxing on one of the most exquisite beaches in Tonga on Uoleva.
Visit one of the most isolated communities on earth on Palmerston Island
Slip-on your snorkel and dive into the waters at Beveridge Reef
Marvel at Aitutaki’s lagoon and discover why it’s dubbed the Cook Island’s ‘little paradise'
Itinerary Map
Itinerary
Lautoka Day 1

Your luxury cruise around the South Pacific’s Islands starts today in Fiji’s second-largest city. Sometimes known by its other name, Sugar City, Lautoka is a sweet spot, best discovered with sand between your toes. There’s a photogenic esplanade set against the backdrop of Mount Koroyanitu; palm trees shade its wide, colourful boulevards; and you might like to visit the Sugar Mill, Sri Krishna Kaliya Temple or the town’s market.

Nabukera Day 2

The vertiginous, volcanic islands of Yasawa extend in a north-easterly arc from Viti Levu, the main Fijian island. A chain of palm-fringed islands with perfect white sandy beaches, tranquil lagoons and picturesque villages, Yasawa is beautiful and mysterious. Little is known about the early history of the Yasawa people except that they were renowned as warriors and feared by the eastern Fijians. In 1789, Captain William Bligh of the mutiny on the Bounty fame, rowed through the Yasawas having been cast adrift in a small boat. He was chased by several war canoes, but fate intervened when a storm blew in, and the pursuing warriors abandoned their chase. The passage through which he escaped is still known as Bligh Water. This history is at odds with the peaceful and pleasant greeting you’ll receive when you visit the village of Nabukera to meet the islanders. It is customary for visitors to ask permission to enter a town by offering a tangled bundle of kava roots as sevusevu, a gesture of respect and sign of friendly intentions. In this highly ritualised Fijian society, if accepted, guests become part of the village ‘family’.

Cobia Day 3

One of Fiji’s Ringgold Islands which are located 30 kilometres northwest of Taveuni, Cobia (occasionally called Thombia Island) is known as “the most perfect crater in the Fijian Archipelago”. This volcanic isle is so distinctive that it was mentioned in Alexander Agassiz’ 1899 scientific treatise The Islands and Coral Reefs of Fiji. Marvel at its marine beauty by snorkelling, kayaking or scuba diving in the lagoon or on Budd Reef. Cobia’s clear waters are renowned for visibility of approximately 36 metres. Or stay on land, hiking around the crescent moon-shaped island exploring its beach forests.

Lomaloma Day 4

Disembark today in Vanua Balavu, the main island in the Lau Group, also called the Eastern Group, an archipelago of volcanic atolls and islets in Fiji. You’re alighting on this 20-kilometre-long mountainous strip of lush green to visit the charming village of Lomaloma, from which the Tongan chief Ma’afu launched his unsuccessful 1855 power-grab of control of Fiji. Ties to Tonga are strong here, so expect to encounter traditions that reflect a mixture of Polynesia and Melanesian cultures in this place which promises an old-world South Pacific experience. The large lagoon here is as pristine as it’s possible to get: a turquoise paradise teeming with marine life. Another gem on Vanua Balavu is the Qilaqila Marine Reserve: 160 mushroom-shaped coral karst, topped with jungle, dotted in a milky blue lagoon.

At Sea Day 5

When Ferdinand Magellan crossed the world’s largest body of water some 500 years ago, he dubbed it Mar Pacífico, meaning ‘peaceful sea’. Cruise the Pacific Ocean as you depart from Lomaloma in Fiji towards Uoleva in Tonga. Perhaps attend an onboard talk or simply take in the magnificent seascapes.

Uoleva Island Day 6

For many travellers, a day on a perfect beach is a holiday’s zenith. Today, arrive at Uoleva Island, the site of arguably the most exquisite beaches in Tonga. A group of more than 170 islands spread over an area of the South Pacific roughly the size of Japan, Tonga is the last Polynesian monarchy. A former British protectorate, Tonga is a tropical kingdom which maintains its traditions. Tourism is vital for these rainforest-covered, sand-lined islands and outlanders have been visiting since Captain Cook first came ashore. Uoleva is an unfathomably beautiful spot with blindingly white, soft-sand beaches, lapped by crystalline waters. Odds are you’ll have this place entirely to yourself – the island is mostly permanently uninhabited.

Nuku Day 7

Tongatapu is Tonga’s main island, and it’s where you’ll find the capital Nuku’alofa, the seat of government and home of the royal family and most of Tonga’s inhabitants. Say ‘malo e lelei’ (hello) and immerse yourself in this sleepy place. Tongans are unfailingly hospitable and friendly, and you can get to know them today. You’ll be very welcome. In the Tongan National Centre, traditional dance shows, local handicraft workshops and mythical ceremonies are staged. Elsewhere in town, there’s a broad main street and waterfront that offers impressive views. Enjoy perusing stalls at the Talamahu Market. See the exterior of the white weatherboard Victorian-style royal palace. The Centenary Chapel is a towering white church – a reminder that while Tonga was never colonised, missionaries held sway here.

Niue Day 8

Disembark on the lush coral island of Niue, known as ‘The Rock’ or ‘The Rock of Polynesia’. Lying between Tonga and the Cook Islands, Niue was settled by Samoans in the tenth century AD. The island was sighted by Captain Cook in 1774, who named it ‘Savage Island’ due to the perceived appearance of the islanders who refused to grant him permission to land, and British missionaries arrived in the 19th century. Nowadays Niue is a self-governing state in a free association with New Zealand, set up in 1974. More of a hiking-boot place, rather than a flip-flop spot, there are stunning coastal walks, numerous caves, scenic cliffs, opportunities to see humpback whales and plenty of swimming holes.

Beveridge Reef Day 9

Located some 222 kilometres southeast of Niue is Beveridge Reef. This atoll – a narrow ring of coral developed over millions of years of coral growth – has benefited from Niue’s long traditions of trying to keep their waters as pristine as possible. As a result, the shallow lagoon’s ecosystem is thriving. It resonates with the sound calving humpback whales and is busy with grey reef sharks, huge groupers, octopus, moray eels, wrasse, pufferfish and multi-coloured coral in excellent condition. Slip-on fins and a snorkel and slip into these waters for a delightful dip you’ll never forget.

Palmerston Island Day 10

Your port of call today is one of the most isolated island communities on earth. It’s so remote that until 1969, its position was based on Captain Cook’s charts from 195 years earlier. A coral reef connects Palmerston Island to neighbouring uninhabited islands, which surrounds a calm central lagoon. Palmerston, or ‘Home’ as the residents call it, is a fascinating place, where all but a handful of the 60-odd residents are related and the descendants of one British man, William Marsters. Your trip’s highlight will undoubtedly be how you’ll be welcomed onto the island and adopted into the community. The heart of the community is the main street, the site of all community celebrations – one of which was for the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, who visited here in the early 1970s. The area of lagoon in which he swam is now known as ‘Duke’s Pool’.

Aitutaki Day 11

Disembark today in Aitutaki, the Cook Island’s ‘little paradise’ and the archipelago’s second most-visited place. It’s famed for its lagoon, a beguiling whirl of numerous and nuanced blues, all the way from azure to ultramarine. Sprinkled around this huge sunlit lagoon are 15 sandy-edged, secluded motus (islets) from which you can watch the waves break on the perimeter reef. Reminiscent of the shape of an Oceanic fish hook, Aituktaki’s main town with its pretty whitewashed church and an arts centre, Arutanga, is located on its west coast, while on the east coast, there are a few small villages.

At Sea Day 12

Days at sea are the perfect chance to relax, unwind and do whatever takes your fancy. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, trying to spot a whale from the deck, reading a chapter or two, or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to the green days spent exploring on land.

Bora Bora Day 13

Make landfall today on an island today that is synonymous with romance and a South Pacific dream come to life. Located just northwest of Tahiti, Bora Bora is sited in the leeward region of French Polynesia’s Society Islands. Volcanic, vertiginous and ringed by a reef, on the island’s west coast is a lagoon in which the two small islands of Toopua and Toopua Iti shelter a popular harbour. Disembark to enjoy the island’s pristine palm-lined beaches scented by tiare flowers, views of iconic Mounts Pahia and Otemanu, and electric-blue lagoons. When you have your fill of diving, snorkelling or touring the bay, hiking amongst the island’s rainforest-covered basalt peaks is a tonic.

Pape'ete Day 14

Your 14-day cruise ends today in the archipelago’s capital city, Pape’ete. Located on Tahiti, you’ve reached the island that famously entranced Paul Gauguin, Robert Louis Stevenson, Marlon Brando and others. It was first labelled a ‘utopia’ in 1768 by Philibert Commerson, a naturalist on the voyage of the French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville. Since then, many others have fallen for Tahiti’s charms. While it’s true that Pape’ete is too urban to be called utopic, it pulses with joyous, enjoyable energy. If time allows before your homebound flight, set out to explore this compact, colourful and sometimes chaotic town. The vibrant market is a must-experience. Enjoy an ice-cold coconut, fresh juice or some takeaway ma’a Tahiti (traditional food) while shopping for souvenirs – anything from pearls to pareu (sarongs).

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Rates Include
One night pre-cruise hotel accommodation with breakfast
Transfer from the airport to the hotel on the day prior to embarkation
Transfer from the hotel to the port for embarkation
Transfer from the port to the airport on return
Onboard accommodation
All meals onboard including room service 24 hours a day
Coffee, tea, soft drinks & select alcoholic beverages 24 hours a day
Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
On shore transfer per port of call
Basic WIFI inclusion (Premium WIFI available)
Onboard gratuities & port taxes
*Itineraries & prices are subject to change*
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Itinerary Map
Cabins
Number of Guests
Oceanview
19 m2 Sleeps 2
Oceanview cabins features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
Price From
£ 14,090
Balcony
28 m2 Sleeps 2
Features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room, a luxurious ensuite bathroom and your own private 6 sq.m. balcony.
Price From
£ 19,990
Suite
44 m2 Sleeps 2
Our Suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom and a 12 sq.m. private balcony.
Price From
£ 31,790
Premium Suite
49 m2 Sleeps 2
Our grandest suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, spacious walk in wardrobe and a 12 sq.m private balcony.
Price From
£ 34,590
Other Available Dates
If you really like this cruise but the date is not suitable for you, we are glad to offer other dates for the itinerary.
Please find below all our date offerings.
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