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Tahiti’s cruise industry survives pandemic, confident for the future

Bud Gilroy sees potential in the ‘vast triangle’ of Auckland, Nadi and Papeete
'The Islands of Tahiti,’ the destination brand of French Polynesia, maintained cruise activity during the pandemic, with small ships turning around in Papeete and strict health protocols.

Passenger/cargo ship Aranui 5, Ponant’s Paul Gauguin and Windstar’s Wind Spirit sailed from Papeete during 2020 and 2021 and continue to do so this year.

140 round cruises

A total of 140 round cruises from Papeete are scheduled for 2022, including Windstar’s Star Breeze, Lindblad’s National Geographic Orion, Oceania’s Regatta and Insignia, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Spirit and The World, Residences at Sea.

Other regular visitors are Silversea, Princess Cruises, AIDA Cruises, Swan Hellenic, Royal Caribbean International, Viking and Holland America.

Variety launch

Variety Cruises has launched French Polynesia itineraries commencing in May that go through until December 2023.

Bud Gilroy, chairman of the Tahiti Cruise Club, an association of public and private members of the local cruise industry, highlighted the growing interconnection between Auckland, Nadi and Papeete.

Gilroy said ‘this vast triangle’ offers a wide range of itineraries and experiences and is ideally located between the source markets of North America and Australia and South America and Asia.

Seatrade Cruise Global 2022

He said the South Pacific Cruise Alliance, which he also chairs and is made up of Samoa and American Samoa, the Cook Islands, the Kingdom of Tonga, Pitcairn, Wallis & Futuna and French Polynesia and acts in partnership with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation and the New Zealand Cruise Association, will exhibit at Seatrade Cruise Global 2022 in Miami next month.

The Islands of Tahiti will share a common booth.

‘We are going to Seatrade Cruise Global with confidence and determination,’ Gilroy said.

‘We have demonstrated our reliability and commitment to an industry known to be resilient,’ he said.