Which Cruises Visit Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands?
Dreaming of a South Pacific voyage that absolutely has to have one (or several) of the Cook Islands on the itinerary? We don’t blame you. The bustling South Seas hub of Rarotonga, the azure lagoon of Aitutaki and even, in rare instances, the rarely visited atoll of Palmerston are breathtaking to behold. Each island is small enough to make the most of in a day, making ideal ports of call on your cruising vacation. But which cruise liners actually visit the Cook Islands? Find out in this list of the best cruises to Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands!
While you’re here, don’t forget to learn more about the Cook Islands’ cruise ports in The Complete Guide to the Ports of Call in the Cook Islands, as well as plan the best time to visit with The Best Time to Go on a Cruise to the Cook Islands.
1. Paul Gauguin Cruises
One of the best island-hopping cruises between the Cook Islands and the Society Islands of French Polynesia, Paul Gauguin Cruises‘ offers a dedicated “Cook Islands & Society Islands” round-trip from Papeete (Tahiti). The trip spends two days in the Cook Islands, one on Aitutaki and the other on Rarotonga between days at sea. There is also an extended version of this trip lasting 14 to 16 nights sailing also to Tonga and Fiji.
See more ways to island-hop around the Cook Islands in the 10 Best Island-Hopping Tours in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
2. Silversea Cruises
Included on Silversea Cruises‘ voyages from Papeete (Tahiti), Rarotonga and Aitutaki are highlights of these luxury cruises. The selection of cruises varies from 13-day cruises between Papeete and Lautoka (Fiji), 16 days between Papeete and Auckland, and 36 days between Valparaiso (Chile) and Auckland (New Zealand) and more. Cruises are all-inclusive with airport transfers and hotels included at either end of the voyage.
3. Aranui Cruises
Specialising in Polynesian cruises right down to the Polynesian crew employed, Aranui Cruises is well worth considering for your cruise to the Cook Islands. While their main focus is the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia, some cruises also include Rarotonga and Aitutaki in the itinerary. The cruise ship couples as a cargo ship, delivering supplies to remote communities.
Boasting Rarotonga, Aitutaki and even Palmerston on the agendas of their South Pacific cruises, Seabourn is a worthy cruise choice for exploring more of the Cook Islands. The cruise line giant has a dizzying array of tours ranging from 20 days South Pacific voyages to 140 days round-the-world trips. Despite their giant selection of trips, Seabourn’s ships are relatively intimate for a more luxurious small-ship cruise experience.
5. Holland America Line
If you’re looking for grand Pacific voyages – we’re talking 34-94 days – then Holland America Line offers several long-term cruises that visit Rarotonga mid-way through the trip. Most cruises depart from San Diego (US), Sydney (Australia), Auckland (New Zealand) or Vancouver (Canada) and end vice versa. Ships from Holland America are design-driven, each ensuing an individual style whether it’s classic art or garden-inspired patterns, while onboard activities include regional cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, a spa, fitness classes and more.
6. MSC Cruises
Included on MSC Cruises‘ large-ship around-the-world cruises, Rarotonga and sometimes Aitutaki hold a solid position on their mammoth 74 to 117-day itineraries. Departing from Italy, their world cruises travel to four continents and could be your best option for cruising the South Pacific from Europe.
7. Costa Cruises
Another world tour starting from Europe, Costa Cruises boasts 114 to 126-day cruises soaking up the sights of Rarotonga as one of the limited South Pacific destinations on their itinerary. Their ships are lavish and expansive, with the most regular ship to Rarotonga boasting seven swimming pools and hot tubs, 12 bars and five restaurants.
More About Cruises to Rarotonga and the Cook Islands
That’s it for our list of the best cruises that visit Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands. For more information about your cruise to the Cook Islands, check out the following guides:
- The Best Time to Go on a Cruise to Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
- The Complete Guide to the Ports of Call in the Cook Islands
- 10 Best Lagoon Cruises in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
Finally, find more ways of getting to the Cook Islands in Getting Here: How to Get to Rarotonga & the Cook Islands? and our Cook Islands Transport Guide.