The name gives it away a little: the Pacific Explorer will make the South Pacific ocean her playground, taking passengers to some beautiful and exciting destinations across a number of countries and regions. There are many gorgeous places on the horizon for anyone who gets onboard, and we have highlighted just a few of our favourites.
Just a little farther afield than the usual South Pacific Island destinations, Tonga is in Polynesia and a beautiful tropical destination with all the white sand beaches and sparkling waters one could wish for, along with a fantastic island culture and cultural attractions. Lonely Planet describes it as unpolished - but for an explorer, that’s always a good thing!
The ship visits Nuku’alofa, the country’s capital, where you can do some shopping, discover some history and head out on excursions to the natural delights of Tongatapu, the southernmost island of the group. It also calls in to Vava’u, where myriad small islands provide a playground for visitors - it’s very popular amongst yachties! Get on a snorkel tour here to explore the underwater wonders.
History buffs will also enjoy passing by Tofua Island, where the mutiny on the Bounty took place. It’s a fascinating story and Tonga holds a piece of it.
This one’s close by and it’s no stranger to cruise ship visits, but it is a beautiful, wild and fascinating island and fits well with the exploratory spirit of P&O’s latest vessel. The state is in a league of its own when it comes to outdoor pursuits, so take a look at the shore tours on offer and make sure to do something epic if you’re lucky enough to cruise there.
The Pacific Explorer visits Hobart and Port Arthur, although not always both on the same itinerary. The capital city is not just a gateway into Tasmania’s wonderful wilderness but a bastion for foodies and beer snobs, rife with microbreweries and the famous Salamanca Markets. Nearby Port Arthur is one for the history buffs, once a penitentiary and now home to some fascinating ruins and a morbid mass shooting legacy, all set in stunning coastal grounds.
The Bay of Islands
As New Zealand destinations go, this one flies under the radar a little - but P&O’s explorers on the Pacific Explorer will love it! In true Kiwi naming tradition (fizzy drink, anyone? Chilly bin?) the name is plainly descriptive of the place - it’s a large bay, full of islands, on the northeastern coast of the North Island, not too far above Auckland. It’s a dream destination for leisure boats, and offers cruise visitors plenty to do and see. Transfer onto a smaller vessel and visit the wonders of the myriad islands!
Ships will generally dock offshore and tender passengers into the town of Paihia. From here, you can get on a boat and head out for swimming with dolphins, fishing or a trip through the “Hole in the Rock” formation. On land, you might like to explore the lively little township, head to the nearby historic site where the nation’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed, or just take a walk and enjoy the beautiful New Zealand coastlines.
So, if you’d like to visit these and other stunning destinations, check out our Pacific Explorer cruise deals and dream of the adventures you could experience once you cast off from the shore!