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Cruise Cook Islands wraps up ‘positive season’ despite cancellations

Thursday 23 May 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in National, Travel

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Cruise Cook Islands wraps up ‘positive season’ despite cancellations
Cruise ship Paul Gauguin outside the Avatiu Port in Rarotonga on May 22, 2024. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU / 24052128 / 24052129

The Cruise Cook Islands’ 2023/24 season ended on a positive note with Paul Gauguin making a visit to Aitutaki and Rarotonga on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Yesterday, 172 cruise ship passengers disembarked in Rarotonga to explore the island, while 180 guests in Aitutaki enjoyed various tours.

Cruise Cook Islands’ Stuart Henry said: “It’s been awesome that we’ve had fine weather today (yesterday) and although only a small ship, though it is a regular to the Cook Islands, it’s great we could do (visit) both islands in May.”


Tourists onboard the Paul Gauguin tender docks at the Avatiu Harbour, Rarotonga on May 22, 2024. LOSIRENE LACANIVLU / 24052130 / 24052131

Henry said on April 9, Hanseatic Spirit was redirected to Palmerston Island due to unfavourable weather conditions in Rarotonga.

He said Palmerston Island was not a normal route and it was added as an extra after Aitutaki.

On April 16, Paul Gauguin visited Aitutaki as planned, but due to unfavourable weather in Rarotonga, the cruise ship was forced to bypass the island and return to Tahiti. Cruise ship Seabourn Pursuit made a solo visit to Aitutaki on April 17 followed by the Paul Gauguin on Tuesday.

Henry said Cruise Cook Islands’ 2024/25 season begins on October 1, 2024, with Paul Gauguin scheduled to visit Rarotonga and Aitutaki followed by a number of ships in December.

Despite a few cancellations in Rarotonga, Henry said that it was a positive season for Cruise Cook Islands.

Henry said the cruise ship captains predicted the weather in Rarotonga well in advance and based on weather reports and forecasts, they made cancellations to try to maintain the itinerary as much as possible.