French Polynesia Forecasts 140 Cruises and Over 1,100 Calls in 2022

Paul Gauguin

The five archipelagos of the French Polynesia are expecting more than 1,100 cruise calls in 2022, the Tahiti Cruise Club said in a press statement.  

According to the cruise association, the number confirms “a vigorous and ambitious recovery of activity,” with not only small capacity and luxury vessels, but also expedition and mixed cargo-passenger ships scheduled to visit the region.

A total of 140 roundtrip cruises are expected for the year, involving ships with passenger capacities ranging from 100 to 2,000.

The itineraries will reach 36 Polynesian islands while departing from Papeete, where, the cruise association noted, all provisions and equipment are supplied, and passenger turnarounds are handled.

The Tahiti Cruise Club also highlighted the region’s ability to maintain its cruise business active despite the “hazards and constraints” caused by the pandemic over the past two years.

During that time, both the cargo-passenger Aranui 5 and Ponant’s Paul Gauguin continued to sail in Polynesia, the association said, adding that the vessels also have effective schedules for 2022.

In addition, other companies are planning to return or have already resumed service in the region, including Windstar Cruises with the Star Breeze; Lindblad Expeditions with the National Geographic Orion; Oceania Cruises with the Regatta and the Insignia; and Norwegian Cruise Line with the Norwegian Spirit.

Silversea, Princess, AIDA, Swan Hellenic, Royal Caribbean, Viking and Holland America are also planning occasional operations in the region in 2022.

The year will also mark the arrival of a new player, as Variety Cruises starts year-round operations in Tahiti next May.

“Even if the forecast occupancy rates are below the 2019 figures, all the islands, their population, tourism stakeholders and authorities are delighted and impatient to be able to interact again with the companies, the crew members and passengers,” said Jean-Marc Mocellin, general manager of Tahiti Tourisme.

“Resilience in the restart of the industry recovery is well underway in French Polynesia. We believe in this economic model, which has been ours for the past 10 years for the cruise industry,” he added.

The Tahiti Cruise Club held its first annual general meeting in mid-February to inform all its members of the forecasts and the evolution of the situation.

The recovery is also underway in the South Pacific region, the association said, where Fiji, New Zealand and Australia recently announced cruise-related developments.

"We are ideally positioned between the source markets of North America and Australia, or South America and Asia. This vast triangle offers a wide range of itineraries and experiences among more than a hundred authentic and secluded islands,” said the President of the Tahiti Cruise Club, Bud Gilroy, who also serves as the Chairman of the South Pacific Cruise Alliance.

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