When work takes you places- Cruising in South Pacific

Since this is my first post on globetrotting, it has to be special.

There were a lot of “That’s a first” on this work holiday. So, this deserves to be my first post here.

First, let me give you a bit of context.  In July 2017, I started working in a charity which was gearing up for a cruise event in September 2017. It was a 10-day cruise to the South Pacific (24th September-4th October)

A CRUISE! I had never been on a cruise before so, naturally, I was super excited about it.

July went by, August went by, and half of September went by. I was still very excited and super busy in the preparation as we were accompanied by 200 delegates.

On 22nd September, I left work, content, but a little anxious which I think is normal. Did I mention I had never organised an event with 200 people before?! Of course, I had a very very supportive team and they helped me each step of the way but hey?! 200 people on a cruise- in the middle of nowhere- what if I forget to bring something-what if I get seasick- what if everyone in the team got sea sick as well, there were a lot of what if’s.

I had prepared for every “what if” but you know it’s never enough.

By 23rd, I had become so nervous and anxious that I did not want to go to the cruise anymore. I packed my bags and I was ready to sail. On 24th, I saw the boat, and let me confess this, at that moment, I wished I broke my leg or I fainted or something worst happened to me just so I did not have to go on this cruise.

I checked in with my team and we completed the registration process and it all went fine. Exactly how I had expected it to be. Super busy but smooth.

My most favorite part of the evening was the Sailaway Gathering. Sydney had never looked so beautiful before. This is not the best picture but trust me the view was outstanding.

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The next three days were full of events lined up for the delegates on the beautiful Pacific explorer.

Note: Australian dollars are accepted on all the Islands.

We visited 5 ports throughout the cruise. Let’s dive into details about the ports:

Isle of Pines, New Caledonia – This was one of the most beautiful Islands I had ever seen.  The name of the Island is because of the thousands of pine trees on the Island. The water was crystal clear and had so many hues in it.  We were welcomed by a traditional dance by the locals and it was amazing. You could go snorkeling or just sit by the beach and relax. There was a lot of local food available on the Island. I had a locally made cake from the Island and it was one of the best I have had.  For those who love shopping, there was a decent number of shops to shop from and the quality of things was good too. Most of the magical pictures of this Island were on my phone which broke on the holiday but I have few for you to see and enjoy.

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Isle of Pines, New Caledonia

Traditional dance by the locals

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Isle of Pines

2) Mystery Island,Vanuatu: Mystery Island was my favorite of all. It was a tiny Island in the middle of nowhere. It was so tiny that I went across the entire Island in 45 minutes. There was so much to eat and so much to shop. I got my hair braided as well on this Island which was just $10. If you are visiting Mystery Island on your vacation to the  South Pacific, this is the best place to get your hair braided. Trust me on this!  The best moment of my entire trip was on this Island. There was a small shop which was serving tea and cake just in front of the beach. Like right there! Having tea and just looking at the vast ocean was just magical.

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Mystery Island view from the boat

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Danielle & I

3) Port Vila- Port Vila is one of the main Islands of Vanuatu. As you get down the cruise, you are greeted with lanes and lanes of amazing shops. It is a shopping paradise. In Port Villa, I went on a shore excursion tour. The tour included the Blue lagoon, Turtle Bay and the Beach Bar. Blue lagoon stood out amongst all these places. It was a swimming hole and you could jump off the ropes into the hole. Total Tarzan feels!  There is plenty of duty free shopping that you can do at Port Villa. Some of the destinations that my tour did not cover were Hideaway Island and the underwater post office. I am surely going back for these two.

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Blue lagoon

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Turtle Bay 

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My Tourist guide and his daughter

4) Port Lifou, New Caledonia- Lifou was a small Island.  The beach was beautiful and it was one of the best places to snorkel. We walked up to the lighthouse and the view from the top was just outstanding.  Another place that you can visit in Lifou is the Black hole. It is a short trek from the main beach, and the water there was freezing. I do not do well with cold water but my crazy friends jumped into that freezing black water and they loved it. The food and the shops were decent.

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View from the lighthouse

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Lifou Beach

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View from the lighthouse

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The black hole

5) Noumea, New Caledonia: Noumea did not have too much to offer or maybe I went out at the wrong time. The only place I went to in Noumea was the shops in front of the boat. The shops were good but they were a little expensive as compared to the other Islands. There were hardly any people that I saw on the streets. There was no beach nearby. In short, it was pretty boring, to be honest.

So wrapping up now, this was definitely one of the best trips I have ever had and you must go to the South Pacific NOW.

These are my opinions on the best things to do on the following ports:

Isle of Pines – Pretty awesome for photography and snorkeling

Mystery Island– Best for shopping, hair braiding, photos, and eating.

Port Villa– Swimming in Blue Lagoon is a must.

Port Lifou– Beautiful viewpoint and pretty awesome for snorkeling. You must jump into the black hole.

Noumea– It was okay for shopping.

 

Have you been to the South Pacific? Share your views and experiences with me in the comments below. 

Follow Quaintrelle if you love traveling too.

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