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Paul Gauguin unable to call to Rarotonga due to bad weather

Thursday 20 April 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in National, Travel, Weather


Paul Gauguin unable to call to Rarotonga due to bad weather
The Paul Gauguin cruise ship sits outside of Avarua Harbour last year. Photo: Matthew Littlewood/22062835

Cruise ship Paul Gauguin was unable to call into Avatiu Port, Rarotonga yesterday due to adverse weather conditions, chief executive officer at Cook Islands Ports Authority Okesene Moananu confirmed.

Cruise Cook Islands spokesman Stuart Henry confirmed yesterday’s weather was not suitable for Paul Gauguin to call to Rarotonga.

Henry said on Tuesday, at Aitutaki, the morning sailings were cancelled, but as the squall cleared in the afternoon, operations were able to start and guests went ashore to enjoy Aitutaki where some went on lagoon excursions and island tours, or just walked about the nearby villages.

“The cruise business has the weather challenge, however in recent years Rarotonga has had a 70 per cent success rate and Aitutaki 90 per cent success rate,” Henry said.

Bad weather has always been a problem for cruise ships in the Cooks as they are unable to disembark passengers, due to the rough seas and high swells.

He said: “Due to the fact we are not fortunate to have deep natural harbours like many Tahiti Islands, the weather will always be a challenge.

“Given the cost to build a purpose platform pier or harbour for cruise ships will be unviable and not a major priority for Rarotonga where the air travel is sufficient to service tourism requirements.”

Meanwhile, a toddler who is understood to have broken his leg a week ago on Palmerston Island had his leg put in a fiberglass cast by a doctor on board the cruise ship MS Silver Explorer on Tuesday.

Henry said the child, who is to turn three around June, had his leg in a splint but it had not healed, according to the doctor on board.

Calls made to Palmerston Island yesterday were impossible due to the adverse weather condition.

Henry said MS Silver Explorer called at Palmerston on Tuesday April 18, however the weather was not favourable, and therefore guests could not go ashore.

He said the ship also gave free passage on board from Rarotonga to Palmerston, to Palmerston locals Metua Marsters and William Rowe, who are understood to have taken some supplies, lamb chops and sausages, which were welcomed by all on Palmerston.

He said MS Silver Explorer called at Rarotonga on Sunday, April 16 with 126 passengers on board.

It went on to Aitutaki on April 17 where guests were welcomed ashore by local dance team Te Aito, flower eis and fresh nu, followed by a lagoon cruise to One Foot Island.

The next cruise ship expected is ARANUI 5, expected to make call at Aitutaki today, Atiu tomorrow and Rarotonga on Saturday.


Arthur Neale on 20/04/2023

Correction - toddler had his accidents 3 weeks ago on Tuesday 4 April 2023.

Arthur Neale on 20/04/2023

The toddler had his accident on Tuesday the 28th March. That's 3 weeks to the day the Silver Explorer ship doctor attended to him using the ships medical facilities. The ships doctor was shocked and dismayed that Ministry of Health doctors did not treat this case as an emergency requiring urgent evacuation to a hospital. The rest of your story of 'chops and sausages' welcomed by all on the island is an exaggeration and embellished reporting.