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Cruise ships cancel calls as state of emergency declared in New Caledonia

PHOTO: MICHAEL BARAGWANATH/PIXABAY CRUISE_New_Caledonia_Photo_Pixabay.jpg
Cruise ships are steering clear of New Caledonia, where a state of emergency was declared following riots
P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Adventure, currently on a 10-day round cruise from Sydney to the South Pacific, will no longer call at New Caledonia following a state of emergency declared Thursday after deadly riots.

Pacific Adventure was due to visit Lifou May 19 and Noumea May 20, before returning to Sydney on May 23.

The company said its passengers will now spend an additional day at Vanuatu’s Mystery Island.

The riots in New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France, were sparked by moves to introduce new voting laws that independence supporters say discriminate against indigenous Kanaks who make up around 40% of the population.

Monitoring the situation

‘We continue to closely monitor the situation in Noumea and surrounding areas and are in contact with the relevant authorities,’ a P&O Cruises Australia statement said.

‘The safety of our guests and crew is paramount and should we need to make any further changes to upcoming itineraries due to the current situation we will let our guests know as soon as possible.

‘Our thoughts are with the communities of New Caledonia at this challenging time and we thank our guests for their understanding.’

Carnival avoids Noumea

Carnival Cruise Line also revised the itinerary for Carnival Splendor’s nine-night round South Pacific voyage due to depart Sydney Sunday.

The cruise will now stop at Santo and Port Vila in Vanuatu instead of its scheduled call at Noumea.