Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Australia & New Zealand Cruises

The island of Rarotonga sits like a jewel in the Polynesian Sea, sheltered from the open sea by an encircling reef. There are countless picturesque lagoons which are perfect for swimming or snorkelling. For fun inland, cross-island hiking trails will lead you to some incredibly breathtaking scenery.

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Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • Island Highlights

    Explore the main sights of Rarotonga on this panoramic orientation and learn about the history and culture of the island.

    Island Highlights

    Begin your circular tour of the island by heading towards Cook Island Library and Museum. View the artefacts of ancestors and hear about area’s legends from your local guide as he entertains and educates you along the way.

    Visit Ngatangiia Harbour, the departure point of the Polynesian migration to New Zealand in 1350 AD. Pause briefly at Avana Passage and the Seven Stones Monument built to commemorate the seven canoes that departed from the area and founded New Zealand. See the historical back road – Ara Metua or Road of Toil – built in 1050 AD and maraes (sacred ceremonial sites) such as Arai Te Tonga.

    Pass by Titikaveka Church, the oldest church on the island, before reaching Papaaroa Beach. Here you can enjoy a coconut demonstration and discover the fruit’s lifecycle, the husking of a coconut and how to crack it open.

    Your sightseeing tour continues on to Black Rock, a volcanic boulder on the edge of a lagoon that is traditionally believed to be the departure point of spirits to Avaiki (the afterlife). Old church buildings and plantations of citrus, bananas, tapioca, papaya, taro and other crops line your route.

    This excursion will operate by bus and on foot. There is approximately 30 minutes of walking on this tour. This is primarily a sightseeing tour by bus with minimal walking at each stop, over some uneven ground in places. A bottle of water is included. Guests are reminded to wear comfortable non-slip shoes and to take insect repellent, sunscreen and a hat.

    Tour code

    RAR_001

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    3 hours

  • Highland Paradise Cultural Village

    Explore the culture, traditions and history of the Cook Islands during a visit to the Highland Paradise Cultural Village.

    Highland Paradise Cultural Village

    Highland Paradise is situated 1670 feet above sea level in the rugged mountains of Rarotonga. Spanning approximately 205 acres, it features beautiful transcending gardens and panoramic views of the ocean.

    A traditional warrior guide will accompany you on your drive to the village. An unspoiled site of cultural heritage, the village has been a safe, spiritual and physical haven for families, warriors and chiefs for hundreds of years.

    The ‘Are Kario’ or ‘Hall of Cultural Entertainment’ has been specially designed to take advantage of the spectacular views and to offer time-honoured comfort and shelter for visitors. During your visit, taste local food and experience the exotic and pulsating ‘Ura’ or unique Rarotongan dancing.

    A truly interactive experience will allow you to relive the Polynesian yesteryears. Local guides will lead you on strolls through the lush gardens, historical areas and towering native trees. Your guides are expert in local crafts, legends, local tribal history, flora and fauna, traditional medicines and above all the ‘Rarotongan Way’.

    This tour is the perfect way to view the island and get an insight into the sacred rites and traditions of the Cook Islands’ people.

    This tour will operate by bus and on foot. There is approximately one hour of walking on this tour over mainly grass surfaces with some inclines. Guests are advised to wear comfortable walking shoes, insect repellent, sunscreen, a hat and a bottle of water with them. Cameras cannot be used during the welcome ceremony.

    Tour code

    RAR_002

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    3 hours

  • Te Vara Nui Village Tour

    The cultural attractions at Te Vara Nui Village offer an insightful and hands-on experience of Cook Islands’ heritage.

    Te Vara Nui Village Tour

    Upon arrival at Te Vara Nui Village, you will be greeted with a formal ‘Turou’ (welcome) through the gates of the village. Visit the History Hut to gain an insight and overview of the history of the Cook Islands, covering the owner of the village, the seven canoe migration, ancestral governance, ancient rites and more.

    Follow your knowledgable guide to the ‘Marae’, (sacred meeting place) where a local historian will give an explanation of the role that the island chiefs have, the titles they hold and the associated ceremonies.

    The Traditional Medicine Hut is next followed by the Fishing Hut where teaching of old fishing methods and techniques will be demonstrated.

    Moving through the lush botanical garden, you’ll arrive at the Costume Hut and be entertained with displays and demonstrations of the traditional dress and how it is produced. The Carving Hut is where guides will display ancient carving tools and give you a chance to beat the local ‘pate’, known as the ‘drum of the islands’.

    View the ‘Tree of Life’, which explains and demonstrates everything to do with the coconut, including a full entertaining show of coconut climbing and husking.

    Refreshments will be served at a nearby restaurant, overlooking the stunning water and tropical garden setting.

    This tour will operate by minibus and on foot. There is approximately 30 minutes of walking on this tour, over mainly flat surfaces with some gravel terrain. Guests are reminded to wear comfortable, non-slip shoes, insect repellent, sunscreen and a hat.

    Tour code

    RAR_007

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    2 hours

  • Raro 4x4 Safari

    Take an exciting 4x4 adventure to the interior of the island of Rarotonga, visiting some of the island’s hard to get to places.

    Raro 4x4 Safari

    Venture off the beaten track as you head to the heights of Rarotonga to savour the stunning views of the lagoon, valleys and inland villages.

    Your journey begins at the mouth of the Avatiu Valley or Orau O-Uritau, where your guide will explain about the native flora and fauna. Continue into the depths of the rainforest and climb 985 feet above sea level to enjoy some sensational views.

    After heading back down towards the west of the island, you’ll arrive at Hospital Hill Heights, overlooking Arorangi Village and the Avatiu/Nikao Township. Enjoy a photograph stop at Papua Waterfall, also known as Wigmore’s Waterfall, before continuing to Papaaroa Beach for a comfort stop.

    Proceed to the Muri-Ngatangiia Village and head inland up to Aroko Heights, for a great bird’s eye view over the lagoon and the Motus (offshore islands).

    Next, travel along the main road to Avana, to see the departure point of the seven canoes that left the area and founded New Zealand. Finally, stop at the Arai-Te-Tonga Marae, one of the most sacred sites on the island.

    ACTIVITY EXCURSIONS
    You and all those in your party should be aware that, in undertaking activity excursions, you will be involved in a degree of physical exertion and/or activity such as hiking, biking, snorkelling, kayaking, diving etc. By booking the excursion you confirm that you and all those in your party are in good physical and mental condition, with no history of conditions such as seizures, dizziness, fainting, heart condition, respiratory problems or back/neck problems (by way of example only). You should also ensure that no one in your party is taking medicine that carries a warning about impairment of physical or mental abilities. If you are pregnant this type of excursion may not be appropriate for you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and well enough to take part in the activities booked and you are reminded to take care for your own safety. Because of the risks associated with activity excursions, you may be asked by the excursion provider to sign a document which may affect or limit the excursion provider’s liability. Comfortable flat walking shoes are recommended.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This tour will operate by 4x4 truck and on foot. This tour is not suitable for those with injuries or conditions, which may be affected by the bumpy ride. Pregnant women and children under six may not participate. Guests will be seated on padded benches in the 4x4 trucks. This tour is not suitable for those guests that suffer from vertigo.

    Tour code

    RAR_003

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    3 hours

  • Pa’s Eco Tour

    Travel through some of the most unspoilt valleys of Rarotonga on this Eco walking tour.

    Pa’s Eco Tour

    Pa is a well-known traditonal Medicine Man, with a vast knowledge of the Cook Islands’ culture and traditions. His Eco tour delves into the lush interior of the island of Rarotonga, where he will spend time highlighting the many uses of the flora found on the island for local medicine and educate you about the history of this special place.

    Pa will take you through the history of the township of Avarua, the old colonial churches, graveyards and plantations as you head to the east of the island. Continue to the viewpoint where mountain peaks are at their tallest and admire the impressive panoramas. Hear the history of the Marae, which is sacred to the Polynesians, before proceeding to Muri Lagoon, the most renowned location on Rarotonga.

    Visit the Noni Factory, where the modern day ‘miracle fruit’ claimed by some to cure a number of diseases and ailments is processed and exported globally.

    Next, admire the ‘heart of the island’ and Needle Rock where local people once carved the faces of their gods. Continue past the largest hotels on the island and the airport back to town, where you will visit a perfume factory and shop before returning to the pier.

    This tour will operate by bus and on foot. There is approximately 1½ hours of walking on this tour, over some uneven surfaces. It is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties. Comfortable, flat, walking shoes are recommended. Please remember to wear a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and to take a bottle of water with you.

    Tour code

    RAR_005

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    3 hours

  • Tikioki Lagoon Cruise

    Treat yourself to a glass-bottom boat cruise within the Tikioki Marine Reserve area on the crystal clear waters of Muri Lagoon.

    Tikioki Lagoon Cruise

    The Tikioki Marine Reserve has become a focal point for marine protection and is a haven for a vibrant array of colourful tropical fish species, representative of the island’s southern lagoon ecosystem.

    Departing from the pier, enjoy the scenic 20-minute drive to Muri Beach, where you will be greeted by an eight mile long white-sand beach and truly tropical palm and ironwood trees. From here, board your glass-bottom boat and see incredible coral gardens, giant clam enclosures and rainbow coloured tropical fish. Get up close and personal with this underwater world as you will also have the opportunity to snorkel amongst it all.

    Continue on to picturesque Koromiri, an uninhabited island located across from the main island where a fresh fish barbecue luncheon will be served. Time permitting, you can explore the island, enjoy a swim or snorkel or take in a cultural experience with a stunning coconut tree climbing demonstration.



    ACTIVITY EXCURSIONS
    You and all those in your party should be aware that, in undertaking activity excursions, you will be involved in a degree of physical exertion and/or activity such as hiking, biking, snorkelling, kayaking, diving etc. By booking the excursion you confirm that you and all those in your party are in good physical and mental condition, with no history of conditions such as seizures, dizziness, fainting, heart condition, respiratory problems or back/neck problems (by way of example only). You should also ensure that no one in your party is taking medicine that carries a warning about impairment of physical or mental abilities. If you are pregnant this type of excursion may not be appropriate for you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and well enough to take part in the activities booked and you are reminded to take care for your own safety. Because of the risks associated with activity excursions, you may be asked by the excursion provider to sign a document which may affect or limit the excursion provider’s liability. Comfortable flat walking shoes are recommended.

    BEACH/WATER RELATED EXCURSIONS
    For any excursion involving water, guests are reminded to exercise particular care. Alcohol and eating a full meal should be avoided before swimming. If buoyancy aids are provided for an activity they must be worn at all times. You should bear in mind that the sea is unpredictable. Lifeguards are unlikely to be present and there may not be a flag system to indicate whether or not it is safe to go in the water. In addition, beach activities may not be supervised or accompanied and so you should take care to satisfy yourself as to the safety of the beach and/or the sea at the time of your excursion. Please exercise caution when entering the sea as the seabed and aquatic environment is capable of springing surprises and we have not inspected the beach or seabed for its safety. Children must be supervised by you at all times near water. All activities on the beach, water and in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. You’ll need to take swimwear, a towel, sunscreen and flat shoes that can be worn in the water.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This tour will operate by bus, glass-bottom boat and on foot. This tour is subject to suitable weather conditions. Please remember to wear your swimwear, sunscreen, a hat and bring a towel. All participants must be competent swimmers. Reef shoes are recommended and snorkelling equipment is available on the boat.

    Tour code

    RAR_004

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Family

      Especially suitable for families

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Muri Lagoon Cruise

    Cruise across the crystal clear waters of the Muri Lagoon in a glass-bottom boat, while being entertained by a local string band.

    Muri Lagoon Cruise

    Muri Beach is by far the most popular beach in Rarotonga, not only for its sweeping shoreline, but for its incredible lagoon. Enjoy a few sun-filled hours onboard a glass-bottom cruise boat and find out what makes this area so special.

    Departing from the pier, a scenic drive of approximately 20 minutes will take you to the eastern side of Rarotonga to board a Captain Tama’s lagoon cruise boat. Enjoy a glass-bottom boat ride across the Muri Lagoon and see coral formations, giant clams and schools of tropical fish from the boat. Drop anchor and have the opportunity to swim or snorkel among the colourful tropical fish and other marine life.

    Your experience will be topped off with a cruise to the pristine Koromiri, an uninhabited island within the lagoon, where you can explore safely at your leisure or continue snorkelling and swimming. Dine on a tasty barbecued fresh fish luncheon, before your local guide treats you to coconut tree climbing show and a coconut demonstration.

    A great way to experience all that Rarotonga has to offer, this tour is perfect for the whole family.

    ACTIVITY EXCURSIONS
    You and all those in your party should be aware that, in undertaking activity excursions, you will be involved in a degree of physical exertion and/or activity such as hiking, biking, snorkelling, kayaking, diving etc. By booking the excursion you confirm that you and all those in your party are in good physical and mental condition, with no history of conditions such as seizures, dizziness, fainting, heart condition, respiratory problems or back/neck problems (by way of example only). You should also ensure that no one in your party is taking medicine that carries a warning about impairment of physical or mental abilities. If you are pregnant this type of excursion may not be appropriate for you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and well enough to take part in the activities booked and you are reminded to take care for your own safety. Because of the risks associated with activity excursions, you may be asked by the excursion provider to sign a document which may affect or limit the excursion provider’s liability. Comfortable flat walking shoes are recommended.

    BEACH/WATER RELATED EXCURSIONS
    For any excursion involving water, guests are reminded to exercise particular care. Alcohol and eating a full meal should be avoided before swimming. If buoyancy aids are provided for an activity they must be worn at all times. You should bear in mind that the sea is unpredictable. Lifeguards are unlikely to be present and there may not be a flag system to indicate whether or not it is safe to go in the water. In addition, beach activities may not be supervised or accompanied and so you should take care to satisfy yourself as to the safety of the beach and/or the sea at the time of your excursion. Please exercise caution when entering the sea as the seabed and aquatic environment is capable of springing surprises and we have not inspected the beach or seabed for its safety. Children must be supervised by you at all times near water. All activities on the beach, water and in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. You’ll need to take swimwear, a towel, sunscreen and flat shoes that can be worn in the water.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This tour will operate by bus, glass-bottom boat and on foot. This tour is subject to suitable weather conditions on the day. Please remember to wear your swimwear, sunscreen, hat and bring a towel. All participants must be competent swimmers. Reef shoes are recommended and snorkelling equipment is available on the boat.

    Tour code

    RAR_006

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Family

      Especially suitable for families

    Duration

    4 hours

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