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Ultra luxury cruise ship passengers visit Rarotonga, Aitutaki

Tuesday 28 March 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Economy, National


Ultra luxury cruise ship passengers visit Rarotonga, Aitutaki
The ultra-luxury cruise ship Hanesatic Nature anchored outside the Avatiu Port on Sunday. RASHNEEL KUMAR/23032740

Rarotonga hosted close to 200 guests from an ultra-luxury cruise ship that visited the island over the weekend.

On Sunday, the Hanesatic Nature anchored outside the Avatiu Port to allow 190 guests to spend a day sightseeing and enjoy various activities in Rarotonga.

Despite it being a quiet day, visitors took part in various activities that were available.

Cruise Cook Islands Stuart Henry said it may have been a quiet day for vendors but guests who got off the ship took part in activities such as Raro Safari tour, Takitumu Conservation Kakerori Bird watching, Circle Island Tour, Muri lagoon snorkel tour, and private Ariki Adventures sea scooter tour.

The visitors also hired private rental vehicles and taxis while some explored Avarua and nearby places on foot.

“We always recommend ships not to come on Sunday but this is how it fits in their itinerary, for most Europeans every day is a normal working day,” Henry told Cook Islands News.

The ultra-luxury cruise ship with 230 passengers onboard left Bora Bora on Thursday, March 23, and arrived in Aitutaki on Saturday with 203 passengers disembarking the ship.

The cruise ship departed Rarotonga on Sunday for Neiafu, Tonga as its next port.

Passengers onboard cruise ship Hanesatic Nature disembark at Avatiu Port to enjoy a day of activities and sightseeing in Rarotonga. RASHNEEL KUMAR/23032741

Henry said the Hanseatic Nature was built in 2019, adding the expedition ship could go to the Antarctic and many remote islands in the world.

It is a six-star luxury vessel with all cabins having a private balcony and the restaurant is silver service.

The next cruise ship being looked after at Cruise Cook Islands is the Silver Explorer (144 capacity guests) arriving in Rarotonga on April 16, Aitutaki on April 17 and Palmerston on April 18.

The Paul Gauguin will arrive in Aitutaki on April 18 followed by Rarotonga on April 19.

The Aranui 5 with a guest capacity of 256 will arrive in Aitutaki on April 20, Atiu on April 21 and Rarotonga on April 22.

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation’s director of destination and development Brad Kirner said the Cook Islands was “better set up” for smaller cruise ships than they were for larger vessels.

“They’re better for the visitor, better for our tourism industry and better for our community in general,” Kirner said.