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Cruising the Pacific: North & South

Cruising the Pacific: North & South

Cruising the Pacific: North & South

20 Jul 2017 Angela Matthews Ocean Cruise, Travel Tips
When the pressure of modern life gets too much, there is nothing like a cruise to chase the blues away. The many stunning destinations in the expansive Pacific have long made it one of the most desirable cruising destinations in the world. Pacific cruising holidays are wonderful choices for honeymooners, families, older couples and travellers who wish to get away from it all. Keep reading to discover some of the great places to explore while cruising the Pacific.

The South

The south Pacific region is famous for its many isles, and isolated countries and communities – think beautiful desert islands. With so many different islands to choose from, it’s difficult to decide where to explore first…

For the tourist in you, one of the must-do activities in the Pacific is to visit the Moai statues on Easter Island. The most iconic site on Easter Island, these giant statues were carved between 1100 - 1680AD, and almost 900 of these incredible works have now been found in Rapa Nui National Park. 

It is less commonly known, that many of the statues actually have complete bodies buried underground. A visit to this World Heritage Site will let you see these statues in all their glory. Don’t forget to also embark on a scuba diving day trip, for some of the most colourful and impressive underwater views in the whole Pacific.

Social butterflies should visit Ypao Beach Park (or Joseph Flores Beach Park) on the island of Guam. Whether you call it a party or fiesta, Guam’s early Spanish influences and strong contemporary American presence (it is part of the US) means this island has great nightlife, and Ypao is the centre of it all!

By day, Ypao’s radiant shores offer exquisite opportunities for picnics, swimming, diving and snorkelling. Elsewhere on the island, kayaking, deep-sea fishing and diving with sharks are all popular activities, but tourists also have a chance to visit local villages, sky dive, visit amusement parks and hike to amazing waterfalls!

If you are in the mood to truly witness the majesty of nature, snorkelling with Humpback whales at Nuku’alofa in Tonga should definitely be on your Pacific wish list. Between June and November every year, pods of Humpbacks migrate to Tongan waters for the mating season. Whether you’re observing mothers and their calves, or hearing the melodic whale songs for the first time, getting up close and personal with these gentle giants will be the experience of a lifetime.

For a splash of natural colour in your cruising holiday, be sure to visit New Caledonia. Boasting the world’s second largest coral reef, New Caledonia is blessed with the good fortune of some of the clearest waters in the Pacific. It’s a popular destination for lovers of snorkelling, but cascading waterfalls and jaw-dropping lagoons are also part of this island’s wonder. Don’t forget to enjoy the vibrant city life and French/Melanesian culture of Noumea too!

Of course, a Pacific cruise holiday isn’t just about the water. On any island in the South Pacific, taking a trek inland will reveal lush rainforests, magnificent waterfalls, towering volcanoes, and warm and friendly local villages. Particularly suited for such personal exploration is Fiji, which contains no less than six national parks preserving some of the most beautiful and unspoilt vistas in the world. Visits to local villages are common here and organised tours are warmly welcomed by local Fijians. 

Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia, and this beautiful area of the Pacific is full of spectacular beaches that will allow cruise ship passengers to find their own secluded spot to enjoy a desert island fantasy. The water of French Polynesia is crystal clear, which makes it perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving, and many other islands are just calling out to be explored including Bora Bora.

 

The North

The north Pacific region offers a wilder travelling experience for those looking to stray from the beaten path. Rugged volcanic mountain ranges, massive glaciers, mysterious northern forests and vibrant communities invite travellers to discover something truly unique… 

For impressive wilderness and adventurous shore excursions, a visit to Glacier Bay in Alaska is a must on your Pacific cruising holiday. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with over three million acres of snow-capped mountain peaks, impressive glaciers, wild fjords, temperate rainforests, which are home to an abundance of wildlife. 

Keep your eyes peeled for whales, seals, otters and bears while enjoying daily activities such as sea kayaking, mountain hiking and salmon fishing. Glacier Bay is also home to some of North America’s earliest residents, so there are plenty of historic towns and cultural sites to explore. 

The Queen Charlotte Islands, known as Haida Gwaii to the local residents, are an extraordinary archipelago made up of over a hundred islands on the west coast of Canada. The coastline is characterised by rugged cliffs dropping straight into the sea and nutrient-rich waters attracting a variety of wildlife species such as Humpback whales, Black bears, dolphins and seabirds. Visitors can explore the traditional and powerful First Nations villages, stroll through the ancient rainforests, and explore wild and secluded beaches.

Dominating the northwest Pacific region is the remote and untamed Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. One could visit this area numerous times and not see everything, as it is truly vast and filled with towering volcanoes, dense forests and scenery unlike anywhere else in the world. The region is renowned for its abundant salmon-rich rivers, which provide a perfect opportunity to spot the infamous Kamchatka brown bears who fish here. 

A tour of the coast affords fantastic views of Western Grey, Humpback and Sperm whales, and provides the opportunity to explore the ghostly remains of Russia’s abandoned military bases and “lost worlds”. This is a unique destination to include on your cruise journey, and summer or autumn are the best times to visit. 

Many cities in Japan are spread out along the coast, so it is an excellent destination for cruise ships to visit. There are many beautiful historical sites to visit in Japan, and the country is also home to lots of modern architecture and technology, as well as delicious food!

If you desire a vibrant culture the Japanese island of Ishigaki is recommended. This picturesque port-of-call is just one of the many great stops along the Japanese coastline, but it is an exciting destination, thanks to the family-friendly beaches, secluded reefs, and the impressive peak of Mt. Nosoko. The abundance of shrines and temples on the island provide a unique cultural experience, while the district of Misakichou offers plenty of entertainment for a night on the town. 

For a warmer north Pacific cruising adventure, consider spending some time in the charming Mexican village of Ensenada, on the Baja California Peninsula. Ensenada is a popular holiday destination on the west coast of Central America, and is filled with souvenir shops, restaurants, hotels, bars and clubs. Lounging on the beach, surfing world-class waves and enjoying the flavours of local vineyards are just some of the fun activities available here.

If you are planning a cruise holiday, view our current cruise deals or contact your local Travellers Choice agent to plan your dream cruise.

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