Set sail to picturesque tropical islands during these months for the best weather.
If there were a picture next to the definition of paradise in the dictionary, you’d probably find yourself looking at a South Pacific island.
To make that picture-perfect image a reality, these are the best times of the year to set sail on a cruise to Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and more of the region’s islands.
Best time to cruise the South Pacific
August to October.
August to October sees the least amount of rainfall in popular South Pacific cruise destinations like Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu and is also outside the cyclone season, which is from November to April.
Within a day or two’s reach by ship from the east coast of Australia (where many cruises to the area depart from), the South Pacific is a popular destination for cruises with major cruise lines offering sailings from Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. Its tropical beaches, colourful coral reefs and tropical rainforests are perfect to explore during visits to ports. Longer South Pacific journeys also depart from Hawaii or Los Angeles.
Most sailings only offer one day to explore each port, and you’ll want to make the most of it, especially if you have your heart set on outdoor activities that won’t be enjoyable – or may be cancelled altogether – if it rains.
It’s also important to remember you’ll cross open water for at least one full day at sea between your ports of call and the coast, so travelling during these months will get you the sunniest days to catch some rays on the cruise deck and experience calmer seas.
While you may be able to catch a better deal if you cruise during cyclone season, keep in mind that bad weather could affect your itinerary and destinations may need to be missed or swapped for somewhere where the weather is better.
Weather and prices
Best time to cruise the South Pacific, weather-wise: August to October tend to be the driest months in the South Pacific, are before the busy Christmas/New Year period and are outside cyclone season.
Cheapest time to cruise the South Pacific: January to March tend to have the cheapest cruises available, but are subject to poorer weather. That said, unlike a resort vacation, cruises have the luxury of changing locations and course if needed to steer clear of storms. Plus, if you get the right cruise travel insurance you can get cover for any missed ports on your cruise due to unforeseen circumstances like storms.
Best time to cruise the South Pacific islands and visit…
South Pacific cruises visit a range of islands, each one with different wet and dry seasons. Here’s the best time to cruise to specific islands:
- Fiji: May to September are the sunniest and driest months. If you’re hoping to go on a snorkelling or diving shore excursion, July to December has the best visibility.
- New Caledonia: August to October are the sunniest and driest months. If you’re hoping to swim at Ile Des Pins’ Natural Pool during your port of call, check the tide times as it’s best to visit during high tide.
- Vanuatu: April to October are the sunniest and driest months. However, if you’re planning on visiting the island’s waterfalls, the wet season is the better time to visit.