Where are the Pacific Islands?
Scattered across the Pacific Ocean lie around 7,500 tropical islands comprising the regions of Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia. Often described as heavens on Earth, the islands of the Pacific attract tourists from all over the world, mesmerising them with their beautiful blue lagoons, lush vegetation, out-of-this-world beaches and diverse culture. Cruising around the Pacific is certainly one of the most authentic ways to explore the beauties of the captivating Pacific Islands.
While the Pacific Ocean features a great number of beautiful islands, only 500 of them are inhabited. No two islands in the Pacific are the same, offering plenty of attractions and activities. However, several Pacific Islands have caught the attention of world travellers and have become inevitable destinations on numerous bucket-lists.
French Polynesia, a dreamy archipelago consisting of 118 islands, is home to some of the most popular and breath-taking islands in the world. While Tahiti is known for its laidback lifestyle, Bora Bora is considered to be the world’s most romantic island and Moorea is just around the corner. Of course, French Polynesia has even more hidden beauties, each one with a unique flair.
The Samoan Islands, Tonga and Cook Islands are also popular destinations in Polynesia, offering endless stretches of soft sand, blue horizons and diverse flora and fauna.
The islands of New Caledonia, Fiji, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are tropical havens of Melanesia that will charm you with their diversity and authenticity. New Caledonia has a unique cosmopolitan flair, Fiji is a popular destination among families and backpackers, while the jungles and volcanoes of Vanuatu inspire adventure.
Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Since Australia and New Zealand are quite far from the Pacific Islands, if you decide to go on a cruise, you should get ready for lots of open ocean. The South Pacific features beautiful tropical weather conditions, so it’s usually suitable for cruising all year round. However, the best weather is from May to October during the dry season.
Popular Pacific island cruises
Depending on a specific cruise you pick, you can choose from a range of itineraries and visit different destinations. Some of the most popular cruise lines include the Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, P&O and Holland America.
French Polynesian cruises typically begin in Papeete, the capital city of Tahiti, exploring the wonders of Bora Bora’s lagoons, the towering peaks of Moorea and different attractions of the less-known islands of Raiatea and Tahaa. Some of the most amazing Pacific island cruises for 2017 offer you the opportunity to visit Nouméa, the vibrant capital city of New Caledonia, the iconic Isle of Pines and Vanuatu’s Mystery Island, and then continue to Fiji and its lively capital Suva, as well as the authentic Sawani Village.
As for Melanesian cruises, they also offer plenty of adventures, visiting Fiji and a number of smaller islands of the Yasawas archipelago which are known for their sandy beaches and blue lagoons. For a smaller expedition journey, you can opt for one of the Micronesian cruises that typically include stops in Melanesia.
The highlights of the Pacific Island cruises
The islands of the Pacific feature beautiful and contrasting scenery of white sandy beaches, lush rainforest, majestic towering mountains, captivating volcanoes, dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear turquoise and deep blue waters. While cruising the Pacific Ocean, you’ll have an opportunity to explore plenty of beautiful regions and natural wonders and engage in different activities. New Caledonia will delight you with its out-of-this-world Isle of Pines, while Papeete will charm you with its vibrant atmosphere. Cruising the Aitutaki lagoon of the Cook Islands will provide you with an opportunity to explore one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. Fiji is a perfect place to go diving or on a jetboat safari and you can also visit its lovely, diverse, and famous city of Nadi.
Is it for me?
Rarely do you have an opportunity to experience the true glory and vastness of the Pacific Ocean other than on a ship. It’s like nothing you have imagined – endless blue horizons, golden sun, breathtaking sunsets and a strange sense of freedom. You can really gain a different perspective on life. The Pacific Ocean is rich in beautiful islands, each one unique in its own way. It would be a shame to limit your options just to one when you can visit several. Even if you opt for a single country, you can still explore different destinations and attractions.
While cruising is a great way to explore and test multiple destinations, you might not have a lot of time to soak in the unique atmosphere of all of them. Just when you’ve fallen in love with one place (and when it comes to the islands of the Pacific, it would be in all of them), you have to move to the next one. Oh well, you can always go back (and you will!).
Emma says: Thanks for this Marie! It sounds (and looks) absolutely incredible. The Pacific islands are a part of the world that I have never considered visiting, not because I don’t want to.. but because they are just SO far from me here in the UK.
Definitely a bucket list destination for me, I hope I will visit one day (preferably when I have a few months off work 😉 )
Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. She spends most of her free time at home walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.