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First South Pacific Cruise Forum an outstanding success

Tourism Minister Jean-Christophe Bouissou with Miss Tahiti at his welcome dinner for delegates (Photo: Helen Hutcheon)
The inaugural South Pacific Cruise Forum in Papeete this month ‘exceeded all expectations’ according to Captain Ollivier Amaru, president of the South Pacific Cruise Alliance which staged the event.

Amaru, who is also chairman of the Tahiti Cruise Club which coordinates cruise shipping in French Polynesia, said it is planned to hold the forum again within two to three years at a different SPCA location.

Representatives of all SPCA members - American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, the kingdom of Tonga, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Samoa and the islands of Tahiti - attended the forum in the Assembly of French Polynesia’s traditional building on the site of a former royal palace. 

Keynote speaker Crystal Morgan, director deployment planning for Princess Cruises, was joined by Mick Fogg (manager marine and operations planning Asia Pacific for Ponant), Michael Mihajlov (Carnival Australia’s destination director), Sheldon Thompson (land operations manager for Royal Caribbean Cruises), Rene Trepanier (executive director of Cruise the Saint Lawrence) and Kevin O’Sullivan (chairman of Cruise New Zealand).

The President of the Assembly of French Polynesia (local parliament) Marcel Tuihani and Tahiti’s Tourism Minister, Jean-Christophe Bouissou, welcomed delegates who enjoyed an entertainment programme that included Tahitian hulu and fire dancers. 

Highlight was an evening at Marae Arahurahu, an ancient Polynesian meeting place that is a centre of Polynesian performing arts.