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Cruises to Rarotonga

Rarotonga (Photo:wallix/Shutterstock)

About Rarotonga

The island of Rarotonga lies at the heart of New Zealand's Cook Islands, its beautiful lagoon sheltered by an encircling reef system. While narrow sandy beaches ring the island, the center is dominated by dramatic, lush green mountains reminiscent of "Lord of the Rings," which was filmed at least in part in New Zealand (proper; not here).

While most of the ports are in French Polynesia -- and within a few hours of each other by cruise ship (like Moorea and Tahiti) -- it takes a full day to sail to Rarotonga and another day to get back. So why is this out-of-the-way port a mainstay on South Pacific itineraries? For starters, the sea days are a nice benefit for those who consider their ship as much a destination as the ports; plus, we found the day's journey down and another back increased anticipation and whet the appetite for a change of pace from French Polynesia.

The island is also a bit more polished and prosperous than the islands of French Polynesia, and well developed for tourism; this is once place where it's easy to do your own circle island tour on the local bus system. Finally, it's a financial relief for shoppers. While food and goods are expensive throughout French Polynesia, Rarotonga offers lower prices on just about everything from fried fish lunches at roadside stands to souvenirs and jewelry -- mainly because it is closer to main importer New Zealand than, say, Bora Bora is to France or even the mainland U.S.

Verdant Rarotonga is a perfect choice for safaris and hikes, particularly because there are no snakes, wild animals or poisonous insects on the island (just watch out for mosquitoes with the munchies). Watch out for carvings and maraes, or sacred sites. But water babies will find plenty to do in the shimmering lagoon, including windsurfing, diving and glass-bottom boat tours.


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  • 30 Night
    Cruise to Rarotonga

    Leaving:
    San Diego
    Visiting:
    Honolulu, Maui ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    30 Night Cruise to Rarotonga Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      San Diego
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Honolulu
    • Day 8
      Maui
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Kona (Kailua Bay)
    • Day 10
      Hilo
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Christmas Island
    • Day 15
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 16
      Bora Bora
    • Day 17
      Bora Bora
    • Day 18
      Moorea
    • Day 18
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 19
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 20
      Cruising
    • Day 21
      Rarotonga
    • Day 22
      Cruising
    • Day 23
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Cruising
    • Day 25
      Vavau
    • Day 26
      Nuku Alofa
    • Day 27
      Cruising
    • Day 28
      Cruising
    • Day 29
      Norfolk Island
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Cruising
    • Day 32
      Sydney (Australia)
    Ship Details

    Maasdam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Intimate atmosphere pairs well with unique itineraries

    Cons

    Shows signs of age in some areas

    Bottom Line

    Excellent value for those who prefer a mid-sized ship

    Reviews
    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    With its mid-sized capacity and classic styling, Holland America's stately Maasdam is a managea...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    dfriise48
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    Holland America makes the best of COVID outbreak
    Read More
    frontline
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Comically bad
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 50 Night
    Cruise to Rarotonga

    Leaving:
    Vancouver
    Visiting:
    San Francisco, San Diego ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
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    Cruise Itinerary

    50 Night Cruise to Rarotonga Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      Vancouver
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      San Francisco
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      San Diego
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Hilo
    • Day 13
      Honolulu
    • Day 14
      Honolulu
    • Day 15
      Kauai
    • Day 16
      Maui
    • Day 17
      Kona (Kailua Bay)
    • Day 18
      Cruising
    • Day 19
      Cruising
    • Day 20
      Cruising
    • Day 21
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 21
      Cruising
    • Day 21
      Fanning Island
    • Day 22
      Cruising
    • Day 23
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Pago Pago
    • Day 25
      Cruising
    • Day 26
      Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)
    • Day 27
      Cruising
    • Day 28
      Suva
    • Day 29
      Dravuni Island
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Nuku Alofa
    • Day 32
      Cruising
    • Day 32
      Vavau
    • Day 32
      Niue
    • Day 33
      Cruising
    • Day 34
      Rarotonga
    • Day 35
      Cruising
    • Day 36
      Bora Bora
    • Day 37
      Bora Bora
    • Day 38
      Raiatea
    • Day 39
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 40
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 40
      Moorea
    • Day 41
      Rangiroa
    • Day 42
      Cruising
    • Day 43
      Nuku Hiva
    • Day 44
      Cruising
    • Day 45
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 46
      Cruising
    • Day 47
      Cruising
    • Day 48
      Cruising
    • Day 49
      Cruising
    • Day 50
      Cruising
    • Day 51
      San Diego
    Ship Details

    Volendam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Incredibly polished service from friendly, well-trained crew

    Cons

    Does show its age in several areas throughout the ship

    Bottom Line

    Nice variety of activities, amenities and enrichment on a manageable midsize vessel

    Reviews

    Volendam Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.5
    Dining4.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.0

    When it launched in 1999, Volendam had the highest passenger capacity in Holland America's flee...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    djack77494
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    Volendam's Grand South America Voyage 2020
    Read More
    esanesel
    Sail Date Nov 2019
    Our second and last cruise on HAL
    Read More
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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 63 Night
    Cruise to Rarotonga

    Leaving:
    San Diego
    Visiting:
    Honolulu, Maui ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    • Ship Details
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    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    63 Night Cruise to Rarotonga Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      San Diego
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Honolulu
    • Day 8
      Maui
    • Day 9
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Kona (Kailua Bay)
    • Day 10
      Hilo
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Christmas Island
    • Day 15
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 16
      Bora Bora
    • Day 17
      Bora Bora
    • Day 18
      Moorea
    • Day 18
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 19
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 20
      Cruising
    • Day 21
      Rarotonga
    • Day 22
      Cruising
    • Day 23
      Cruising
    • Day 24
      Cruising
    • Day 25
      Vavau
    • Day 26
      Nuku Alofa
    • Day 27
      Cruising
    • Day 28
      Cruising
    • Day 29
      Norfolk Island
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Cruising
    • Day 32
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 33
      Cruising
    • Day 34
      Cruising
    • Day 35
      Townsville
    • Day 36
      Cairns
    • Day 37
      Cooktown
    • Day 38
      Cruising
    • Day 38
      Ribbon Reef
    • Day 39
      Cruising
    • Day 40
      Cruising
    • Day 41
      Darwin
    • Day 42
      Cruising
    • Day 43
      Cruising
    • Day 44
      Bali
    • Day 45
      Cruising
    • Day 46
      Cruising
    • Day 47
      Broome
    • Day 48
      Cruising
    • Day 49
      Exmouth
    • Day 50
      Cruising
    • Day 51
      Geraldton
    • Day 52
      Perth (Fremantle)
    • Day 53
      Perth (Fremantle)
    • Day 54
      Bunbury
    • Day 55
      Albany (Australia)
    • Day 56
      Cruising
    • Day 57
      Cruising
    • Day 58
      Kangaroo Island
    • Day 59
      Adelaide
    • Day 60
      Port Lincoln
    • Day 61
      Cruising
    • Day 62
      Melbourne
    • Day 63
      Burnie
    • Day 64
      Cruising
    • Day 65
      Sydney (Australia)
    Ship Details

    Maasdam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Intimate atmosphere pairs well with unique itineraries

    Cons

    Shows signs of age in some areas

    Bottom Line

    Excellent value for those who prefer a mid-sized ship

    Reviews
    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.0
    Service4.0
    Value4.0

    With its mid-sized capacity and classic styling, Holland America's stately Maasdam is a managea...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    lyndarra
    Sail Date Feb 2020
    A New Winner - HAL
    Read More
    JanDay
    Sail Date Jun 2019
    In-Depth EXC cruise is unique
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 45 Night
    Cruise to Rarotonga

    Leaving:
    San Diego
    Visiting:
    Hilo, Honolulu ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Holland America Line
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
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    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    45 Night Cruise to Rarotonga Route (Holland America Line)
    • Day 1
      San Diego
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Hilo
    • Day 8
      Honolulu
    • Day 9
      Honolulu
    • Day 10
      Kauai
    • Day 11
      Maui
    • Day 12
      Kona (Kailua Bay)
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 16
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Fanning Island
    • Day 17
      Cruising
    • Day 18
      Cruising
    • Day 19
      Cruising
    • Day 19
      Pago Pago
    • Day 20
      Cruising
    • Day 21
      Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)
    • Day 22
      Cruising
    • Day 23
      Suva
    • Day 24
      Dravuni Island
    • Day 25
      Cruising
    • Day 26
      Nuku Alofa
    • Day 27
      Cruising
    • Day 27
      Vavau
    • Day 27
      Niue
    • Day 28
      Cruising
    • Day 29
      Rarotonga
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      Bora Bora
    • Day 32
      Bora Bora
    • Day 33
      Raiatea
    • Day 34
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 35
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 35
      Moorea
    • Day 36
      Rangiroa
    • Day 37
      Cruising
    • Day 38
      Nuku Hiva
    • Day 39
      Cruising
    • Day 40
      Equator (Cruising)
    • Day 41
      Cruising
    • Day 42
      Cruising
    • Day 43
      Cruising
    • Day 44
      Cruising
    • Day 45
      Cruising
    • Day 46
      San Diego
    Ship Details

    Volendam - Holland America Line

    Pros

    Incredibly polished service from friendly, well-trained crew

    Cons

    Does show its age in several areas throughout the ship

    Bottom Line

    Nice variety of activities, amenities and enrichment on a manageable midsize vessel

    Reviews

    Volendam Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins3.5
    Dining4.0
    Service5.0
    Value4.0

    When it launched in 1999, Volendam had the highest passenger capacity in Holland America's flee...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    MischiefNM
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Rollercoaster of highs and lows
    Read More
    rboggia
    Sail Date Nov 2019
    Pleasantly Surprised
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

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    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
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    Fare Includes

    What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

    • Cabin
      Room with bed and private bathroom
    • Port Taxes & Fees
    • Service Gratuities
    • Most Onboard Entertainment
    • Kids Club
    • Shore Excursions
    • Wi-Fi
    • Spa Services
    • Select Dining
      Main dining room and/or buffet
    • Specialty Alternative Dining
    • Room Service
    • Butler Service
    • Basic Drinks
      Still water, coffee, and tea
    • Soft Drinks
      Soda and Juice
    • Alcohol
      Beer, wine, and spirits
    • Specialty Coffee Drinks
      Including smoothies and blended drinks
    • Specialty Fitness Classes

    ** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

  • 117 Night
    Cruise to Rarotonga

    Leaving:
    Rome
    Visiting:
    Genoa, Marseille ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Costa Cruises
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    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    117 Night Cruise to Rarotonga Route (Costa Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    • Day 2
      Genoa
    • Day 3
      Marseille
    • Day 4
      Barcelona
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Malaga
    • Day 7
      Casablanca
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Tenerife
    • Day 10
      Cruising
    • Day 11
      Cruising
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      St. Lucia
    • Day 16
      Cruising
    • Day 17
      Cruising
    • Day 18
      Cartagena (Colombia)
    • Day 19
      Colon (Cristobal)
    • Day 20
      Panama Canal
    • Day 21
      Cruising
    • Day 22
      Manta
    • Day 23
      Manta
    • Day 24
      Cruising
    • Day 25
      Cruising
    • Day 26
      St. Maarten
    • Day 27
      Cruising
    • Day 28
      Arica
    • Day 29
      Cruising
    • Day 30
      Cruising
    • Day 31
      San Antonio (Chile)
    • Day 32
      San Antonio (Chile)
    • Day 33
      Cruising
    • Day 34
      Cruising
    • Day 35
      Cruising
    • Day 36
      Cruising
    • Day 37
      Easter Island
    • Day 38
      Easter Island
    • Day 39
      Cruising
    • Day 40
      Cruising
    • Day 41
      Pitcairn Island
    • Day 42
      Cruising
    • Day 43
      Cruising
    • Day 44
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 45
      Bora Bora
    • Day 46
      Cruising
    • Day 47
      Rarotonga
    • Day 48
      Cruising
    • Day 49
      Cruising
    • Day 50
      Cruising
    • Day 51
      Cruising
    • Day 52
      Cruising
    • Day 53
      Wellington
    • Day 54
      Akaroa
    • Day 55
      Dunedin
    • Day 56
      Cruising
    • Day 57
      Cruising
    • Day 58
      Cruising
    • Day 59
      Hobart
    • Day 60
      Cruising
    • Day 61
      Melbourne
    • Day 62
      Cruising
    • Day 63
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 64
      Sydney (Australia)
    • Day 65
      Cruising
    • Day 66
      Cruising
    • Day 67
      Cairns
    • Day 68
      Cruising
    • Day 69
      Cruising
    • Day 70
      Rabaul
    • Day 71
      Cruising
    • Day 72
      Cruising
    • Day 73
      Cruising
    • Day 74
      Cruising
    • Day 75
      Cruising
    • Day 76
      Kobe
    • Day 77
      Cruising
    • Day 78
      Nagasaki
    • Day 79
      Pusan (Kyongju)
    • Day 80
      Cruising
    • Day 81
      Cruising
    • Day 82
      Taipei (Keelung)
    • Day 83
      Cruising
    • Day 84
      Hong Kong
    • Day 85
      Hong Kong
    • Day 86
      Cruising
    • Day 87
      Da Nang
    • Day 88
      Cruising
    • Day 89
      Phu My
    • Day 90
      Cruising
    • Day 91
      Singapore
    • Day 92
      Singapore
    • Day 93
      Kelang (Kuala Lumpur)
    • Day 94
      Penang
    • Day 95
      Cruising
    • Day 96
      Cruising
    • Day 97
      Colombo
    • Day 98
      Cruising
    • Day 99
      Mormugao (Goa)
    • Day 100
      Mumbai (Bombay)
    • Day 101
      Cruising
    • Day 102
      Cruising
    • Day 103
      Salalah
    • Day 104
      Cruising
    • Day 105
      Cruising
    • Day 106
      Cruising
    • Day 107
      Cruising
    • Day 108
      Aqaba (Petra)
    • Day 109
      Cruising
    • Day 110
      Cruising
    • Day 111
      Cruising
    • Day 112
      Athens (Piraeus)
    • Day 113
      Cruising
    • Day 114
      Naples
    • Day 115
      Cruising
    • Day 116
      Marseille
    • Day 117
      Genoa
    • Day 118
      Rome (Civitavecchia)
    Ship Details

    Costa Deliziosa - Costa Cruises

    Samsara Spa is one of cruising's best

    Smaller design still offers mega-ship features

    Sails annual world cruise with international passenger mix

    Reviews

    Costa Deliziosa Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    3.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining3.0
    Service2.0
    Value4.0

    Costa Deliziosa, a twin to Costa Luminosa, is a warm, whimsical ship with a simple layout that'...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Steen holbek
    Sail Date Jan 2020
    World cruise hit by Corona virus
    Read More
    Craigcruises4u
    Sail Date Nov 2019
    Time to change
    Read More
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  • 126 Night
    Cruise to Rarotonga

    Leaving:
    Venice
    Visiting:
    Dubrovnik, Catania ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Costa Cruises
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