Cruise to South Pacific

Drone shot of Carnival cruise ship docking at one of the South Pacific Islands

South Pacific Cruises: Your guide to sailing through tropical paradise

  • Child on beach looking out at Carnival cruise ship anchored in the distance
  • Lady sitting in shallow water looking out at the ocean/sand island in the distance
  • Lady snorkelling and watching a turtle and fish swim

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Frequently asked questions

New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji are the most popular cruise destinations, though there are 10 countries which regularly welcome cruise ships.

New Caledonia 

The closest South Pacific nation to Australia, blends tropical splendour with French charm in Noumea, Lifou, the Isle of Pines and Maré (part of the Loyalty Islands). 


With over 80 striking volcanic islands, Vanuatu is known for its adventure activities, its vibrant cultural life and pristine beaches like Mystery Bay and Champagne Bay. 


Discover the friendly locals, rich cultures, gorgeous beaches and lush resorts of Fiji from the capital Suva to glitzy Port Denarau and picture-perfect islands like Dravuni.


Explore ancient monuments in the capital Nuku’Alofa and dive into the crystal-clear waters of Vava’u to swim alongside humpback whales. 

Solomon Islands 

The Solomons is part of the Coral Triangle, an area known for its spectacular marine life and corals, making for some of the best diving in the world.  

Samoa & America Samoa 

With almost 20 islands and atolls between them, Samoa and American Samoa share the same wild beauty, magnificent beaches and lush reefs.  

Cook Islands 

A few cruise lines call at the far-flung Cook Islands, with most visiting Rarotonga, where a coral reef creates a calm lagoon that offers exceptional snorkelling.  

French Polynesia 

Vivid green peaks, sparkling turquoise lagoons and volcanic black sands make the 118 islands of French Polynesia a feast for the senses.  

Papua New Guinea 

Explore one of the final frontiers of the South Pacific where you can discover colourful culture and isolated tribes, then relax in paradise at the Conflict Islands.

The South Pacific is a year-round cruise destination and you’re almost guaranteed good weather whenever you sail. The most popular time is between May and October, avoiding the rainy season and cyclones. And because that’s our winter, it makes the South Pacific the perfect escape from the colder months in Australia! November to April can be hot and humid with more wet days, but the storms tend to be short so there’s still plenty of time for fun in the sun.

The South Pacific is the ideal cruise destination for families. Many cruise ships offer kids' clubs and dedicated family activities on board, plus there will be shore excursions that suit all ages. The locals in South Pacific nations are also well known for their love of kids, so you can expect a warm welcome at every port.

Some islands recommend vaccinations, so it's essential to check with health officials or your doctor before you cruise. For information on specific nations, visit As of November 2023, Papua New Guinea is the only nation that still requires travellers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Yes, many cruises offer themed nights, live music, dance performances, and cultural presentations related to the islands. You may also be able to attend informative talks about the South Pacific, its people and wildlife. On shore, many ports will hold special musical performances or displays of traditional rituals like fire dancing.

South Pacific cruises range from seven days to three weeks. On the shorter voyages, you will only visit nations closest to Australia, like New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. To visit some of the more remote destinations, like the Cook Islands and French Polynesia, you will need to fly into their capitals or take a transpacific voyage between Australia and Hawaii, which will take at least two weeks and sometimes up to 30 days.

There’s so much to do in the South Pacific! It’s one of the world’s best places for snorkelling, which you can do straight off the beach in many destinations. Some of the top spots are New Caledonia, the Conflict Islands in Papua New Guinea, Rarotonga in the Cook Islands and American Samoa. There’s excellent scuba diving too in Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands. If you’re looking for something adventurous, swim in brilliant blue freshwater lagoons, shower under waterfalls, ride horses along the beach, kayak through calm bays and hike through the jungle. Discover the islands’ fascinating cultural heritage by visiting villages where you’ll be immersed in music, dance, art and ancient traditions. Or if you prefer to do nothing at all, there are endless glorious beaches for lounging.

Most larger cruise ships will have multiple restaurants on board serving cuisine from all over the world. There’s usually a buffet restaurant as well as a number of a la carte options. Expect a mix of international dishes and local island specialties, often rich in seafood. There may also be theme nights with special menus from the South Pacific.

Most cruise ships offer Wi-Fi, though it may come at an additional cost. You’ll often find free Wi-Fi on shore at cafes and restaurants, resorts, or visitor’s centres. Be careful using your mobile phone on board – international roaming (even while you’re still in Australian waters) and will be very expensive.

Many island nations will accept Australian, New Zealand or US dollars, however most have their own local currency and it's a good idea to have some on hand for small purchases. Exchange facilities will be available on board but options are limited, so you will likely need to exchange money or use an ATM on shore. 

  • New Caledonia – Pacific France (CFP) 

  • Vanuatu – Vatu (VUV) 

  • Fiji – Fijian Dollar (FJD) 

  • Tonga – Tongan Pa’anga (TOP) 

  • Solomon Islands – Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD) 

  • Samoa – Samoan Tala (WST) 

  • American Samoa – American Dollar (USD) 

  • Cook Islands – New Zealand Dollar (NZD) 

  • French Polynesia – Pacific France (CFP) 

  • Papua New Guinea – Papua New Guinean Kina (PGK) 

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*Travel restrictions & conditions apply. Review any specific conditions stated and our general terms at Terms and Conditions. Prices & taxes are correct as at the date of publication & are subject to availability and change without notice. Prices quoted are on sale until the dates specified unless otherwise stated or sold out prior. Prices are per person.