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Cruises to Noumea

Noumea (Photo:Joel_420/Shutterstock)
Noumea (Photo:Joel_420/Shutterstock)

About Noumea

With a string of bays and beaches stretching along a peninsula protected by coral reefs, Noumea is a slice of the French Riviera in the South Pacific. The capital of New Caledonia and a territory of France, it's the perfect destination for gastronomes and cultural connoisseurs. Everyone from water sports enthusiasts to nature devotees can find plenty of diversion in and around this "Provencal" city.

The islands of New Caledonia, east of Australia and north of New Zealand, are becoming ever more popular stops for cruises originating in Sydney, Auckland and Brisbane, in addition to transPacific and world itineraries. Stops at Noumea might precede those at more isolated beaches on New Caledonia's islands, including the Isle of Pines, Lifou in the Loyalty Islands, and Poum to the north.

Noumea is the centre of New Caledonia's epicurean and cultural scene, with restaurants serving French, Asian and brousse (bush) cuisine, and museums exhibiting art and Melanesian artefacts. Shoppers will find top wines and other goods imported from France.

Its expansive waterfront is a sports playground for windsurfers and kiteboarders, joggers and sun-worshippers, too.

The city is also a jumping-off point for land tours to spots such as Forest Park and Blue River Park, where you might see a rare cagou bird or flying fox. You can hunt in the bushland or hike the hills that rise above the city and beaches. Other excursions include a host of boating possibilities, from sightseeing to snorkelling and diving to fishing. Noumea also offers a range of sailing options around its archipelago. There are numerous excellent mooring choices for sailors, and many sites still look untouched.

Along with South Pacific's Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands, the islands of New Caledonia all claim to be surrounded by the world's largest lagoon. It doesn't really matter. There are huge, fish-filled bodies of water between the mainland and outer reef. Noumea's unmatched waters and beaches, spans of hills and bush, as well as its vibrant cityscape, make it an enjoyable port of call.

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DAY 1: Melbourne

14 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Melbourne
Visiting:
Noumea, Isle of Pines ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: Sydney

11 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Isle of Pines, Port Vila ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: Sydney

11 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Noumea, Isle of Pines ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: Auckland

43 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Auckland
Visiting:
Tauranga, Napier ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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33 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Honolulu
Visiting:
Hilo, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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18 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Auckland
Visiting:
Whangarei, Noumea ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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28 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Noumea, Mare ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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19 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Honolulu
Visiting:
Hilo, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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18 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Honolulu
Visiting:
Tahiti, Moorea ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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139 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama City ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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17 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Adelaide
Visiting:
Melbourne, Isle of Pines ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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123 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Noumea, Mystery Island ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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18 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Noumea, Mare ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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20 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Hobart, Burnie ...
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Cruise Line:
Cunard Line
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21 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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111 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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9 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Noumea, Mystery Island ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Noumea, Mystery Island ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Honolulu
Visiting:
Maui, Fanning Island ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Isle of Pines, Mystery Island ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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10 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Brisbane
Visiting:
Noumea, Isle of Pines ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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9 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Brisbane
Visiting:
Noumea, Isle of Pines ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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12 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Brisbane
Visiting:
Noumea, Mystery Island ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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10 Night
Cruise to Noumea

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Noumea, Mystery Island ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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Why go to Noumea?

Pros:

The Paris of the Pacific is a dreamscape of turquoise beaches that line the capital.

Cons:

A tour or local transport is needed to explore beyond Noumea.

Bottom Line:

New Caledonia's capital offers a colourful mix of cultures.

Noumea Cruise Port Facilities?

After exiting the terminal, turn right and walk along the water to get to the daily morning market. Or turn left and then right, away from the waterfront, toward the delightful public park and shopping area known as Coconut Square. The square -- actually a series of four squares with a park in the middle -- is a great meeting place, with benches for resting, shops, cafes, the main tourist office and the fascinating Town Museum (see below). The Office de Tourism is at 14, rue Jean-Jaures on Square Olry, the closest block of Coconut Square to the ship terminal. Do not go to the tourism office to enquire about Wi-Fi. Instead, head to the booth that backs onto the cafe in the middle of the park, which is the information point for the square's free Wi-Fi.

Good to Know?

Sunburn. When you're outside for any extended period, wear a good sunscreen, broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses for protection from the powerful South Pacific rays.

Getting Around?

On Foot: The market and main shopping areas are short walks. Other beaches are a longer walk of 30 minutes or more.

By Taxi: Taxis are available at Coconut Square, the cruise terminal and at Anse Vata beach. Rates are regulated, but prices can vary with the density of the traffic.

By Rental Car: Agencies are housed near the cruise terminal. Ask at the tourism office.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

While most of Europe, including France, spends euros, French territories such as New Caledonia (called 'collectives') use the CFP franc. Visit XE.com for current rates. ATMs are plentiful, and they're the cheapest way to acquire local currency in Noumea. You'll find ATMs at the market and outside banks and on the corner of General Gallieni and rue Anatol France, and corner of General Mangin and rue Anatol France.

Credit cards are accepted in shops and restaurants, though not at outside markets. Since many travellers now connect a PIN number to their credit card for protection from thieves, you will be asked for yours at shops and restaurants. If you don't have a PIN, you can simply sign for the charge. Expect a foreign currency transaction fee from a few cents to a few dollars for each ATM and credit card use. No one in New Caledonia is interested in accepting American dollars and most businesses in Noumea only accept the French Pacific Franc (XPF).

Language?

It's French. Yet, due to Noumea's status as a destination for Australia and New Zealand vacationers, many people -- especially in more touristy areas and downtown -- speak some English. Still, a little bonjour (hello) or merci (thank you) wouldn't hurt.

Where You're Docked?

The cruise terminal in Noumea is in a fairly drab commercial section of town on Moselle Bay. The view of warehouse buildings changes substantially within a walk of 10 minutes or less, whether you head for the morning market or Coconut Square in the heart of the city. The cruise terminal has an information booth -- usually staffed when a cruise ship is in town -- with free maps and directions. Across the street is a Casino, which is not a gambling place, but a supermarket. It's a 1.6 km walk to Port Moselle Market, which is conveniently located beside the marina at Port Moselle: it's where you will find an array of fresh foods, souvenirs and handicrafts that fit its stalls. (Port Moselle Harbour, 52 Avenue du Marechal Foch)


Noumea Cruise Reviews

Carnival Spirit
Russell Stephens
Sail Date: Dec 2019
We opted for a short tour in a minivan at Noumea. It is quite an expensive place with its French origins and influence.... Read More
Ovation of the Seas
wheels1000
Sail Date: Feb 2020
Noumea has often been poorly thought of by visitors but the issue of being linked to France has been started for permanent Overseas Territory and passed the first test. A person looking for change can find some... Read More
Majestic Princess
Michaelwalpole
Sail Date: Oct 2019
Noumea has improved as a destination. Much improved on 5 years ago.... Read More
Norwegian Jewel
PiaItalia
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Noumea, Nouvelle Caledonie looks like a tiny example of the French Riviera with its harbors filled with yachts. Everything is extremely pricey, more expensive than NYC, perhaps because they're imported, mostly from... Read More
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