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Cruises to Lifou

Lifou (Photo:nitrogenic.com//Shutterstock)

About Lifou

As you approach the New Caledonian island of Lifou, the impossibly turquoise waters almost seem too surreal to believe. But they're certainly real and, in fact, the crystal-clear waters are teeming with marine life, including green sea turtles. There are three main attractions to visit on Lifou: Notre Dame de Lourdes Church at the top of the hill, Jinek Bay and the Grotto Caves. Tickets need to be purchased from the ship before disembarking to snorkel in Jinek Bay. While you can bring your snorkel gear, reef shoes are not permitted (to protect the coral). Foam (pool) noodles are available to use for free while in the bay. There is an abundance of colourful coral and marine life, and the bay is ideal for families to explore.

There is a lovely little church at the top of a hill. The walk is not overly strenuous, but comfortable, closed-toed footwear is recommended, as well as a hat and a bottle of water. There are rugged concrete steps and some parts of the climb are a little steep. There are numerous vantage points to take photos on your way to the top, so make sure you stop to take in the breathtaking scenery. Your efforts will be rewarded as the views are magnificent. The small Catholic church provides a quiet spot for reflection and a cool spot to catch your breath.

You'll find the Grotto Caves in the opposite direction. You can purchase tickets for AUD$10 at the mouth of the bush walk. The walk is challenging as there are knotted tree roots and vines along the path. It is also a steep climb down once you reach the entrance to the caves. Ensure you wear sturdy shoes, as the ground is covered with leaves and other debris. After a steep descent, you'll find a deep, cool pool -- but be careful as it's dark and slippery.


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  • 9 Night
    Cruise to Lifou

    Leaving:
    Noumea
    Visiting:
    Mare, Ile of Pines ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Windstar Cruises
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
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    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
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    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    9 Night Cruise to Lifou Route (Windstar Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Noumea
    • Day 2
      Mare
    • Day 3
      Ile of Pines
    • Day 4
      Lifou
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Port Vila
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Fiji
    • Day 10
      Lautoka
    Ship Details

    Wind Spirit - Windstar Cruises

    Pros

    Small size and stellar service make you feel like you're on your own private yacht

    Cons

    No night life, with exception of a musical duo and a tiny casino

    Bottom Line

    A great fit for its home base of French Polynesia

    Reviews

    Wind Spirit Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    With its dramatic sails and yacht-like feel, the four-masted Wind Spirit is a natural fit for T...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    janetglas
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    Perfect in every way, except the weather!
    Read More
    waggie1856
    Sail Date Dec 2019
    17 Days in Paradise
    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.

  • 24 Night
    Cruise to Lifou

    Leaving:
    Noumea
    Visiting:
    Mare, Ile of Pines ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Windstar Cruises
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    24 Night Cruise to Lifou Route (Windstar Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Noumea
    • Day 2
      Mare
    • Day 3
      Ile of Pines
    • Day 4
      Lifou
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Port Vila
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Cruising
    • Day 9
      Fiji
    • Day 10
      Lautoka
    • Day 11
      Suva
    • Day 12
      Fiji
    • Day 13
      Cruising
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      Tonga
    • Day 16
      Niue
    • Day 17
      Cruising
    • Day 18
      Cruising
    • Day 19
      Cruising
    • Day 20
      Cook Islands
    • Day 21
      Cruising
    • Day 22
      Cruising
    • Day 23
      Bora Bora
    • Day 24
      Moorea
    • Day 24
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    • Day 25
      Tahiti (Papeete)
    Ship Details

    Wind Spirit - Windstar Cruises

    Pros

    Small size and stellar service make you feel like you're on your own private yacht

    Cons

    No night life, with exception of a musical duo and a tiny casino

    Bottom Line

    A great fit for its home base of French Polynesia

    Reviews

    Wind Spirit Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    With its dramatic sails and yacht-like feel, the four-masted Wind Spirit is a natural fit for T...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    elklemi
    Sail Date Sep 2019
    Wonderful
    Read More
    loripars
    Sail Date Sep 2019
    Amazing
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

    No Results Found
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    View All Prices

    Compare Prices

    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
    Loading...
    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.

  • 16 Night
    Cruise to Lifou

    Leaving:
    Cairns
    Visiting:
    Noumea, Mare ... see more
    Cruise Line:
    Windstar Cruises
    View Deal
    View Cruise Info
    Hide Cruise Info
    • Itinerary
    • Ship Details
    • Reviews
    • Cabin Comparison
    • View All Prices
    • Fare Includes
    Itinerary

    Cruise Itinerary

    16 Night Cruise to Lifou Route (Windstar Cruises)
    • Day 1
      Cairns
    • Day 2
      Cruising
    • Day 3
      Cruising
    • Day 4
      Cruising
    • Day 5
      Cruising
    • Day 6
      Cruising
    • Day 7
      Cruising
    • Day 8
      Noumea
    • Day 9
      Mare
    • Day 10
      Ile of Pines
    • Day 11
      Lifou
    • Day 12
      Cruising
    • Day 13
      Port Vila
    • Day 14
      Cruising
    • Day 15
      Cruising
    • Day 16
      Fiji
    • Day 17
      Lautoka
    Ship Details

    Wind Spirit - Windstar Cruises

    Pros

    Small size and stellar service make you feel like you're on your own private yacht

    Cons

    No night life, with exception of a musical duo and a tiny casino

    Bottom Line

    A great fit for its home base of French Polynesia

    Reviews

    Wind Spirit Reviews

    Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
    Overall
    4.0/5
    Cabins4.0
    Dining4.0
    Service4.5
    Value4.0

    With its dramatic sails and yacht-like feel, the four-masted Wind Spirit is a natural fit for T...

    Cruise Critic Member Ratings
    Ditsyblitzy
    Sail Date Aug 2019
    Faultless! A wonderful cruise!
    Read More
    cortbaker
    Sail Date May 2019
    Magical French Polynesia cruise
    Read More
    Cabin Comparison

    Compare Cabin Prices

    No Results Found
    Loading...
    View All Prices

    Compare Prices

    Call to plan your cruise 866-501-1694 866-501-1694
    Loading...
    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.

More about Lifou

Why go to Lifou?

Pros: Great snorkelling in Jinek Bay, picturesque walks and cool caves to explore.

Cons: Not many shaded areas; snorkelling access tickets need to be bought onboard your ship.

Bottom Line: A beautiful island where cruisers can enjoy a relaxing day exploring its natural wonders.

Lifou Cruise Port Facilities

Lifou is a tender port, meaning you will be transported to the island via cruise tender to Sandalwood Bay. The pier is modern and well-maintained and only a short walk to the town of Easo. Here's a tip: look out for green sea turtles as you might spot a few swimming close to the pier. Once ashore, it's an easy walk to the market stalls where you'll find souvenirs and food vendors.

Good to Know

Australian dollars are accepted, but take small notes as the local vendors may not be able to give change. Learning a few phrases in French would be advantageous for directions and purchasing food and souvenirs. Be mindful when walking on the main road as it can be quite busy with cars, vans and other vehicles. Push bikes can be hired to explore the island.

Getting Around

On Foot: Exploring Lifou by foot is the best way to see all the main attractions. There is a sealed road to walk on (but no footpath), which leads to the church, snorkelling spots, caves and traditional villages.

By Bike: Pushbikes, both adult and children sizes, are available for hire.

By Taxi: There are no taxis available, but private tours can be organized.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

Australian dollars and Central Pacific Franc (CFP) are accepted. There are no ATM facilities nor credit card facilities on the island, so it's best to exchange currency and bring cash before leaving for your cruise.

Language

French is the official language of New Caledonia, however Drehu, the Indigenous language is also spoken on Lifou. Some locals speak English, however not fluently. Learning a few phrases in French, such as 'please', 'thank you', 'how are you?' and 'how much?' would be helpful. Greeting market stall vendors and other locals with a cheery bonjour is always warmly welcomed.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2017 Top-Rated South Pacific Destinations

Lifou Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Jewel
PiaItalia
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Lifou, Nouvelle Caledonie is mostly beach area. Perfect for sunbathers. The ship was docked away from the island, away from the reefs, thus, we took a tender boat from the Jewel to Lifou....Read More
Majestic Princess
TedSand
Sail Date: Jan 2020
Lifou is a beautiful island accessed by tender boats. It's very hot so take water with you and money for drink (coconut or soft drinks available). They take AUS$ and NC Franc....Read More
Majestic Princess
buddyjj
Sail Date: Jan 2020
this is a beautiful spot and if you have the energy ( you need to do it once in your lifetime) take the walk up to the church on the cliff top - along a bitumen road for around 500 metres and then up the side of the...Read More
Carnival Splendor
Dmcg10
Sail Date: Jan 2020
Coral all smashed as people stand all over it . Market way too expensive . take reef shoes...Read More
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