The Best Sunset Cruises in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands© Taniera - Cook Islands Tourism
The Best Sunset Cruises in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands

The Best Sunset Cruises in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands

© Taniera – Cook Islands Tourism

What You Need to Know About Sunset Cruises in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands

Want to watch the South Pacific sunset over the mountains of Rarotonga or simply need to kill a couple of hours between your last activity and dinner? Well, you’d think that the Cook Islands was teeming with sunset cruises but we’d hate to be the bearer of bad news… Unfortunately, the Cook Islands’ offering of sunset cruises is extremely limited – most only available in Aitutaki! Nevertheless, we’ll show you exactly what those limited options entail in this guide to sunset cruises in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands.

Does Rarotonga Have Sunset Cruises?

Not so much. There is one (maybe two if you ask around the fishing charters) charters on Rarotonga offering sunset cruises, but you won’t find any “cheap” sunset cruises like Captain Tama’s or Koka taking you around the Muri Lagoon at sunset. This is because the sunset side of Rarotonga is where some of the shallowest parts of the lagoon are – not ideal for lagoon cruising. That leaves you with boats that are well suited to the rolling seas beyond the lagoon, like boats used for fishing charters! See our recommended fishing charter that offers sunset cruises in Rarotonga toward the end of this article.

The Best Sunset Cruises in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands©

Kutekute Tours & Transfers Sunset Lagoon Cruise

Location: Aitutaki
How Long? 4 Hours
Price: Approximately NZ$600 per couple

See the lagoon in a whole different light on a private lagoon cruise with Kutekute Tours & Transfers. Departing in the late afternoon (usually around 4pm), their “Sunset Lagoon Cruise” takes you to a mix of exciting snorkelling spots with giant trevally, giant clams and/or the Purple Wall – some of The Best Snorkelling in Aitutaki: Top 10 Places to Snorkel. You have the optional extras of twilight snorkelling and a unique water hammock float down the channel between One Foot Island and Tekopua. You’ll then enjoy a stunningly presented beach picnic platter on the uninhabited Moturakau as you watch the sunset. The tour is the only tour to return to the mainland after dark, allowing you a stargaze on the journey back to Ootu Beach.

This cruise is all about you, so let the team know what you’d like to do. Otherwise, they are happy to show you the highlights. This tour is utterly romantic for couples, but groups of three to six are also welcome to take part, as well as families.

See more experiences like this in the 20 Most Romantic Things to Do in the Cook Islands for Couples.

The Best Sunset Cruises in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands©

Teking Lagoon Tours Sunset Champagne Tour

Location: Aitutaki
How Long? 2-2.5 Hours
Price: Approximately NZ$450 per couple

A private two-hour cruise on the Aitutaki Lagoon, Teking Lagoon Tours takes you to the irresistibly romantic Honeymoon Island at sunset. The “Sunset Champagne Tour” begins by slowly cruising along the butter-flat waters of the Aitutaki Lagoon while you relax with a bottle of New Zealand sparkling wine.

Once on Honeymoon Island, you’ll pose for photos, have a look around, have the opportunity to snorkel and, in the grand finale, watch the sunset!

Learn more about Teking Lagoon Cruises in the 10 Best Lagoon Cruises on Aitutaki. Plus, we talk more about Honeymoon Island in the Sightseeing on Aitutaki: Top 10 Sights on Aitutaki.

The Best Sunset Cruises in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands© Taniera - Cook Islands Tourism

Sakula Charters

Location: Rarotonga
How Long? 4 Hours
Price: Approximately NZ$200 per person (minimum of 4 people) for a shared cruise or NZ$1,200 for a private cruise.

Although primarily a fishing charter on Rarotonga, Sakula Charters happens to have the largest and most comfortable fishing boat in the Avatiu Harbour. With that, they not only offer fishing but fabulous sunset cruises!

Bring your own drinks to keep cool in the fridge and enjoy seeing the jutting mountains of Rarotonga from an alternative perspective as you cruise around the outside of the lagoon.

As a charter company, their sunset cruises are pretty flexible to what the group want to do, so get in touch with them and see how they can cater the perfect sunset cruise for you.

More About Sunset Cruises in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands

We told you that there weren’t that many options for sunset cruises in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands, but what’s there is pretty darn amazing. For all other things “cruisey”, check out the following guides:

Finally, be inspired with more experiences in the 101 Best Things to Do in the Cook Islands: The Ultimate List.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Cook Islands Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as the Cook Islands. She knows the islands inside out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Raro’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also the editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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