The warm and welcoming South Pacific has long served as the escape of choice for Australians seeking a relaxing holiday spot. It’s affordable and family-friendly, and with more beautiful beaches, remote islands and sun, sand and surf than you can shake a stick at, it’s a no-brainer getaway destination.
Just because it’s an ideal spot for a bit of rest and relaxation, however, doesn’t mean it’s not full of thrilling surprises for adventure-seekers. If you want to get your heart racing on a South Pacific cruise, you’re in luck: there are some amazing shore excursions that will provide a hefty dose of adrenaline. Check them out - if you dare.
Swimming with the sharks
Not all sharks are as terrifying as the ones that grace our screens in movies like Jaws. Many of their species have no interest in humans as prey and are simply curious about what the strange creatures with big colourful flippers are doing in the water. Regardless, it does take a healthy dose of courage to dive into shark-filled waters. Think you’re up for the challenge? Cruise with Seabourn to French Polynesia and the charming islands of Bora Bora for a ‘Shark and Ray Encounter and Coral Garden Snorkel’ excursion. Your guide will supervise you as you don your mask and snorkel and enter the water with graceful stingrays and friendly black-tip sharks. Watch in awe as the gentle creatures dart after fish amongst colourful coral formations. While you’re down there, you’ll encounter much more than shark thrills - Bora Bora is home to an array of underwater species. Butterfly fish, clown fish, parrot fish, turtles, lobsters, crabs and eels are just some of what you may discover submerged in French Polynesia’s underwater world.
Reach great heights
Nervous around heights? Want to conquer your fears and have an awesome story to tell? Cruise to Fiji for untold opportunities for adventure and to get a fresh perspective on this dazzling island nation by seeing it from above. The ‘Sleeping Giant Zipline’ shore excursion is available on P&O Cruises and is the white-knuckle ride you’re looking for. Drive by coach from the bustling Port Denarau to the picturesque Sabeto Valley and its five-stage zip line course that will give you a one-of-a-kind view of Fiji from its canopy. Feel the rush as you race over lush tropical rainforest from 80-160 metres high, taking in panoramic views of streams and waterfalls. Once your heart rate’s back to normal you can splash around in the streams you zoomed over just moments before. What’s more, this activity is fun for the whole family - kids over the age of 8 are welcome to take part, so you can make a host of new memories together.
Diving at the reef
Always loved the idea of diving but never got round to getting qualified? In many Pacific countries, you can undertake an introductory dive and get closer to sea life than ever before. Breathing under water takes some getting used to, but it’s well worth the effort - Pacific waters are home to some of the most unique wildlife imaginable. On a Royal Caribbean cruise to Vanuatu, you can slip into a wetsuit and undertake an introductory dive in the Konanda Reef. As you take a scenic cruise to the dive site, your experienced guide and qualified diving instructor will teach you the basics and provide all the gear you need for your first dive. You’ll venture into the depths to a shipwreck that attracts a plethora of local wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for lionfish, batfish, moray eels, octopi and other ocean-dwelling critters. Don’t forget to bring along an underwater camera - you’ll want to relive this adventure over and over.
Feeling the thirst for adventure yet? Your beautiful - and thrilling - South Pacific cruise awaits. Which brave feat will you embark upon first? Let us know in the comments.