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fun ashore 2013-14 south pacific Sailing SeasoN

FUN ASHORE Getting There With Carnival Cruise Lines

2013 -14 SOUTH PACIFIC Sailing Se ason

ISLA FISHER That Girl From Perth

AUSSIE CRUISERS What’s So Special About Them?

HIGH FIVE Best Ways To Holiday At Sea

TRUE-BLUE CREW More Than Just a Job

GUIDE TO THE PORTS

Beaches, Culture And More PLEASE READ, ENJOY AND LEAVE IN STATEROOM AT CRUISE’S END

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CONTENTS 2013-14 SOUTH PACIFIC SAILING SEASON

03 WHAT’S SO SPECIAL 04 ABOUT AUSSIES? WELCOME ABOARD!

 message from Gerry Cahill, president A and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines

HEAPS!

by Brian Crisp And Carnival has learned heaps about us since setting anchor in Sydney in 2012. The company has spent the last year tweaking, tuning and getting it all perfect.

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HIGH FIVE

Best Ways to Holiday at Sea

by Joanna Hall Tucking in at a new restaurant, splurging at the spa, and other new things to try this cruise (or next).

TRUE-BLUE CREW

The Folks Who Bring the Fun by Brian Crisp

Meet a few of the people who put the spirit in Carnival Spirit.

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ALL FOR THE KIDS

How Carnival Makes a Difference by Sally Macmillan

Destinations

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SPOTLIGHT ON NOUMÉA

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PORTS OF CALL

by Louise Goldsbury The history and highlights of the port whose Gallic style inspires the nickname The Pacific Riviera.

Quick guides to the ports of call, including the top shore excursions

34 Map of Australia and the South Pacific

36 Pacific ISLANDS 36 Fiji 40 New Caledonia 46 Vanuatu 52 COASTAL Cruises 53 Melbourne

and Sydney 54 Tasmania

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Carnival lends its support to SIDS and Kids, an organization that has prevented thousands of premature infant deaths and helped bereaved families cope with their loss.

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FAME FIX: ISLA FISHER

That Girl from Perth

by Patricia Godfrey Her star is rising around the world, but Isla Fisher’s heart will always be Down Under. Plus, remembering the fun of filming The Great Gatsby around Sydney.

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1691 michigan avenue, suite 600, Miami Beach, Fl 33139 USA TEL: +1-305-673-0400, fax: +1-305-674-9396 www.onboardmedia.com SARAH BETH RENO president Robin Rosenbaum-andras SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT

CARRIE JULIER VICE PRESIDENT, CRUISE REVENUE and SALES

Norma Vila Vice President, Finance

VIKKI KNUDSEN ASSOCIATE Vice President,

CRUISE Operations EDITORIAL Kate McClare Executive Editor

MaryAnna Estomba Managing Editor

Brigid Cotter COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST Contributing writers BRIAN CRISP, RODERICK EIME, PATRICIA GODFREY, Louise Goldsbury, JOANNA HALL, FIONA HARPER, Sally Macmillan DESIGN

Virginia C. Valls DIRECTOR, Design and Production

DAYANA RAMIREZ Project graphic designer

Christian Rosario Project graphic designer

elizabeth Carlisle Art director

beth wood art director Raquel Figueroa Graphic Designer

PRODUCTION melissa rodriguez Production Manager

james perdomo production coordinator

Gail Abrams Ad Services DIRECtor

Violeta Manco-Rojas Ad services Manager cover photography by associated press advertising Sales

Tasha Riekstins Director, International Sales and Brand Marketing Sasha DeSilva Project Sales Manager

KATHERINE TERC Sales coordinator

cristina viera sales coordinator

Video/film production Todd Hedge Producer/director

Dan Shaw Director of Operations kevin maschke senior editor JUAN CARLOS PEÑA SENIOR VIDEOGRAPHER

Haley Struthers Production Coordinator Port Shopping

Kyle Ronellenfitch Director of Cruise Revenue

Jimmy Marks regional marketing manager

Victoria Rossi regional marketing manager

LEANNE RONELLENFITCH COORDINATOR, CRUISE REVENUE

Rachel castro OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

MARINA CASTILLO ASSISTANT OPERATIONS MANAGER

rina alvarado operations coordinator

nadine winter customer relations manager

Arelys zaldivar customer relations assistant manager

©2013 onboard media. no claim to original works of CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES or advertisers. ship's registry: MALTA All rights reserved. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

All articles, descriptions and suggestions concerning activities, tourist attractions and other vacation opportunities described in this publication are merely expressions of opinions by contributing writers, do not constitute the opinions of OnBoard Media, Inc. or CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES, and under no circumstancesconstitute assurances or guarantees concerning the quality or safety of any such attraction or activity. OnBoard Media, Inc. and CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES specifically disclaim any liability for damages incurred due to the attendance or participation by readers of this publication in any such activity or attraction, and the attendance or participation in any such activity or attraction shall be made solely at the reader’s own risk. We and our content providers (“we”) have tried to make the information in this publication as accurate as possible, but it is provided “as is” and we accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone resulting from this information.

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A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT Welcome aboard! On behalf of all our shipboard and shoreside employees, thank you for choosing Carnival Cruise Lines for your holiday. Whether this is your first cruise with Carnival or you have sailed with us before, our dedicated team will strive to make sure you have a fun, relaxing and memorable experience.

Guest satisfaction is our No. 1 priority, and we at Carnival are committed to providing you with an unforgettable holiday.

Guest satisfaction is our No. 1 priority, and we at Carnival are committed to providing you with an unforgettable holiday. From a wide range of dining options and diverse entertainment choices to friendly and attentive service and fun-filled activities for guests of all ages, a Carnival cruise is the best value on land or at sea. We hope that you enjoy this issue of Fun Ashore, which features informative and entertaining articles written by talented writers, with images by the best photographers in the business. Fun Ashore offers a wealth of information about the many fantastic features aboard our ships, as well as the exciting and beautiful destinations we visit. We hope this publication will serve as a valuable resource for getting the most out of your “Fun Ship� cruise. Wishing you a great holiday. Bon voyage!

Gerry Cahill President and CEO Carnival Cruise LInes

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WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT AUSSIES? Heaps! And Carnival has learned heaps about us since setting down roots in Sydney in 2012. By Brian Crisp Australians, let us all rejoice … that it’s always “five o’clock somewhere” on Carnival Spirit. Our drinking habit — we start early and finish late — is just one of the many things that sets us apart from the rest of the cruising world. The Carnival Spirit team has spent the past 12 months learning the likes — and dislikes — of Australian guests. Along the way, the ship’s onboard offering has been tweaked, tuned and perfected to meet guest expectations. In fact, it can be argued that Australians have made Carnival Spirit the pride of the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet. Because of our input, it now offers delights that cannot be found anywhere else on the sea. Carnival Spirit’s success down under has captured the cruise world’s attention and everyone is now saying that when Australians holiday — we do it RIGHT!

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Aussie Ways. When you ask the ship’s staff what they love about Australians, they always answer the same way. They love our politeness, our easy-going nature and our desire to instantly swing into cruise mode. It’s been a steep learning curve for the Carnival Spirit crew, though, with more than a few surprises. Americans tend not to start drinking until after five o’clock, and they tend to enjoy fruity rum drinks with little umbrellas. Aussies, on the other hand, start drinking early and keep going at a steady pace. And there's not an umbrella to be seen. The truth is, we are certainly doing our bit to put the spirit in Carnival Spirit. Gin-and-tonic sales are 200 percent higher than on U.S.-based cruise ships, and we are three times more likely to order a bottle of wine (most likely Sauvignon Blanc) with our meals than Americans. When it comes to dining, though, we are comparatively healthy eaters, and we also like to dine together as a family. Aussies are keen to be active and get involved, and want to have more family time than Americans. Carnival has added lots of new activities including plenty suited to families, and has also reconfigured dining times so families can eat together. They figured out that if you take care of parents and their kids, it’s good for everyone onboard. Australians are consuming 10 kilograms more salmon per day than the guests on U.S.-based cruises. Lamb (not available on U.S. ships) is our favourite dish at meal times and Australians order more salad, but less dessert, than Americans. We are also more likely to visit the gym, and less likely to get up onstage. And unlike Americans, we know that iced tea is an abomination unless it comes from a bottle. Perhaps the biggest, and most unexpected, challenge for the Carnival Spirit crew has been getting the coffee right. It is the one thing we are fussy — and very particular — about. Carnival rose to the challenge by sending the ship’s baristas to school three times to get everything right. They tested the coffee all around Australia and New Zealand. It took a little time, but eventually they found the perfect blend. It’s certainly a great start to the day — especially when you are standing on the deck sailing into Sydney, one of the world’s great harbours. 

SISTER act:

Second ship for Sydney Australia has been so welcoming for Carnival, the cruise line is bringing in a second ship: Carnival Legend. After a dry-dock makeover to bring her to Aussie standards, she'll begin sailing from Sydney Harbour in September 2014. The upgrade will include the southern hemisphere’s first RedFrog Pub, complete with foosball and live music; Bonsai Sushi, for the many local fans of Japanese cuisine; Cherry on Top “candy store and more”; and, of course, Green Thunder, the steepest and fastest waterslide at sea. Designed and built specifically for Australians, Green Thunder became synonymous with Carnival after being added to Carnival Spirit in 2012. Carnival Legend, like Carnival Spirit, has 1,062 staterooms and accommodates 2,680 passengers. “The decision to bring Carnival Legend to Sydney is a direct result of Carnival Spirit’s stunning first-season success and her ability to deliver exactly what Australians want from a cruise holiday,” says Jennifer Vandekreeke, Carnival Cruise Lines director, Australia and New Zealand. “We fell in love with Carnival Spirit last year. There’s no doubt Carnival Legend will continue the love affair.”

Carnival Legend , at right in photo, will head to dry dock to get ready for her Sydney debut in 2014.

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Carnival Spirit

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HIGH FIVE: Best Ways to Holiday at Sea Looking for something new on your cruise? Try one — or all — of these five experiences. By Joanna Hall The ship’s whistle has blown, the band’s playing on deck, and you’re heading out to sea. Welcome aboard, and to a chance to step back from the real world, have some fun and do many of the things you always dreamt of. A high-seas holiday is an ideal time to try new things or do something different, whether you’re a kid who wants to have a go at snorkelling or you’re an overworked mum who wants nothing more than to laze in a hammock for an afternoon and read an entire magazine without interruption. Cruising and new pursuits go hand-in-hand, and Carnival Spirit is the perfect ship on which to get adventurous. For kids, nothing can beat the first time down the Twister waterslide. But new experiences are not just for kids. There are plenty of things for grown-ups to try, too, and plenty of ways to enjoy some time alone. For a hardworking couple, it may be a rare treat to spend three hours over dinner, as well as experience a host of new of tastes, flavours and ingredients. With around 40 activities on offer on Carnival Spirit, there’s something new for everyone to try. Here’s our pick of the best.

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HIGH FIVE | Best Ways to Holiday at Sea

You’ve worked hard all year; now’s the time to indulge yourself for a change, Spa Carnival, located on Deck 9 forward, won’t disappoint. Its one-hour Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial is a powerful anti-aging treatment; it resurfaces and smooths the skin to gently peel away the years. Before dressing up in your finest for Elegant Night, introduce your man to Time for Him, a 75-minute indulgence combining massage with ultimate grooming. Something everyone should try at least once is a Thai Herbal Poultice Massage. A traditional full-body massage using warm oil and an aromatic hot Thai herbal poultice on acupressure points, it’s a truly relaxing experience for mind, body and soul, which will melt away your stresses and strains.

Drink Up

Many people enjoy kicking back on a cruise with a glass of wine, but why not try the latest cocktail instead? One of the sweetest new indulgences to enjoy on Carnival Spirit is a Sunburst. Embracing the exotic flavour of many of the ship’s ports of call, it combines vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice and mango purée, and is shaken with ice and served in a souvenir cup. Caffeine lovers have even more reasons to head to the Fountain Café on Deck 2 for a cappuccino or latté. The baristas have fine-tuned their skills in the art of proper coffee making, and here’s the proof: The ship’s specially selected beans received a silver medal at the 2013 Sydney Royal Easter Show. Kids haven’t been forgotten either, with new multi-flavoured frozen smoothies putting smiles of contentment on young faces.

(SPA) SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/Valua Vitaly

Hit the spa

Kids, Get Going Carnival Spirit is ideal for family cruising, not only because of her spacious multi-berth accommodations but also for her quality kid-specific facilities. Besides taking on the ultimate onboard “must-do” — a ride on Green Thunder — junior cruisers will be amused for hours on an organised scavenger hunt, which will take them all over the ship completing tasks and challenges.

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Bonus Fun:

Snorkelling Jinek Bay

(SPA) SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/Valua Vitaly

One of Carnival Spirit’s most popular ports of call is Lifou, an eye-catching coral atoll and the largest of the four Loyalty Islands in New Caledonia.

Tuck In

Cruising and fine dining go hand-in-hand, and Carnival Spirit has plenty of options to satisfy appetites of all kinds. Two of her most popular dining experiences are the Chef’s Table and Nouveau Restaurant; both cost extra, but will leave you, and your taste buds, tingling with happy memories. Chef’s Table is event dining at its best; limited to just 12 guests, it’s hosted by the head chef and offered only once or twice per cruise. It includes an exclusive tour of the galley with tasting plates and sparkling wine to get you in the mood for fine cuisine, and the finale is a private degustation dinner with paired wines in the nightclub. A delectable dinner at Nouveau Restaurant is a romantic choice for couples who enjoy lingering over a meal, and Nouveau’s menu is an expansive selection of steak, fish and seafood choices. Junior cruisers may never get over how much of their favourite casual foods are available at sea, especially the treats available 24 hours: ice cream and made-to-order pizza on the Lido Deck.

Famous for limestone caves, white-sand beaches and diverse marine wildlife, it’s also home to Baie de Jinek, or Jinek Bay, one of the country’s top snorkelling spots. Lifou is just walking distance from where Carnival Spirit anchors, and its sheltered bay is blessed with expansive coral. It also teems with tropical fish including the Picasso triggerfish, easy to identify from their silver-white bodies with flashes of vivid blue and yellow, also Pearlscale angelfish, various species of butterflyfish, brilliant purple and orange Acropora fish, and bright orange-white clownfish. Jinek Bay suits snorkellers from beginners to the experienced, but you need to buy a Jinek Bay Marine Reserve Pass onboard. Snorkel gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. If you prefer staying dry, you can watch all the action from a viewing platform located on the edge of the bay.

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HIGH FIVE | Best Ways to Holiday at Sea

Your 15 minutes of fame begin now, at SuperStar Live in the Versailles Lounge on Deck 1. Take the stage and belt one out, karaoke-style, like the rock star you are. You even get a live band to back you up. Fancy a flutter? Head to the Louis XIV Casino on Deck 2 and try your luck on one of Carnival Spirit’s new Electronic Blackjack tables. And don't go back to your stateroom without professionally shot portraits from one of the ship’s photographers.

Besides taking time out and having fun, the idea of a holiday is to create memories that stay with you for the rest of your life. Try something new, whether it’s a new food, a new drink or a new activity. First times are often the memories that linger the longest. 

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Photos by: (girl singing) YanLev/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; (casino) Andresr/shutterstock.com.

Love the Nightlife

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voted best aboriginal gallery in sydney 2010, 2011, 2012

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TRUE-BLUE CREW All Aboard for Good Times

Maître d’

Dessi Kostova

Adriano Binacchi

She jokes with guests that she is from Rooty Hill, but Kostova is actually from Bulgaria. Kostova brings the Empire Dining Room to life each night with her wicked sense of fun, especially when she announces that it is “Showtime.” She’s been on Carnival Spirit for two years now and promises that one day she will visit the iconic Sydney suburb of Rooty Hill. Please remind her of this.

The man in charge of Carnival Spirit has sailed with Carnival Cruise Lines for more than 18 years. Binacchi was second in charge of Carnival Spirit for four years, from 2005, and took the wheel as captain in 2011.

What’s your favourite place on the ship? The dining room, of course. We have the most fun there. This is my sea. I swim there. I believe many guests feel the same way. We build the atmosphere, starting from the waist up. We deliver happiness from crew to guests.

What do you love about Australians? Honestly, they are the best party guests we have. They have a totally different perception of what the dining room is. They come to spend time together and bond. They enjoy the wine, the food, the whole package. Everywhere else they just come to eat.

What’s the secret to a good cruise? Look for positive things. There are many out there.

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Captain

What is your favourite port? Even though Sydney is Carnival Spirit’s home port, I would choose this as my favourite port. There are plenty of things to do, whether you want to relax by the beach or have an eventful day exploring the city. Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a memorable event. What do you love about Australians? Almost everything. I would have to say that they are quite relaxed. Nothing is too much of a problem. Their warmth towards others is appreciated.

If you could give one tip to guests on how best to enjoy Carnival Spirit, what would it be? You cannot holiday onboard Carnival Spirit without going down the Green Thunder waterslide! This is a must. If I can do it, then so can you. See you in line!

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Meet some of the people who put the spirit in Carnival Spirit.

Head Team Waiter Imade Suardika

He’s the typical Balinese: warm and friendly, with an enchanting smile. Suardika says that everything he does at Carnival is designed to give him a better life when he eventually returns to his homeland. What’s your favourite port? Mystery Island. When snorkeling there, you can get very close with the fish. And the white sandy beach is amazing. Why did you join Carnival? I’m on the ship for many reasons. Firstly I’m here for the experience. I have seen many people from my country who have worked on the ships and they have become very successful. By this I mean they are able to build houses, buy cars and make their families happy. I am able to send most of my money home to help my family.

Why do Balinese get on so well with Australians? Australians are passionate, comfortable and polite. Most of them understand Balinese so well because my country is like a second home for them.

What advice do you give guests? Just follow the Carnival motto. We are the fun ship — just have fun.

CRUISE DIRECTOR Stu Dunn

A born-and-bred “westie” from Sydney, Dunn has been cruise director on Carnival Spirit for the past three-and-a-half-years, which makes him “the Minister for Fun.” When he’s not on the ship, he’s building a house on farmland in southern NSW. What is your favourite port? It would have to be the Isle of Pines. It has the whitest sandy beaches and crystal blue water — it is paradise. I love to do a bit of trail running and climb to the top of this little mountain where you get 360-degree views of the entire island. You can see the ship in the bay below — it’s special. What’s your favorite place on the ship? I’m loving the piano bar. We have some incredible entertainers from Melbourne and they know how to connect with guests. It is a riot every single night. People are lining up waiting for the piano bar to open.

How do guests get the most out of a cruise? You have to read the program. If you miss this or that, it could have been prevented. Everything is listed in the program. Also, step out of your comfort zone. Do something you wouldn’t normally do. And as they say: “What happens on the ship doesn’t stay on the ship. It ends up on Facebook." fun ashore Carnival Cruise Lines

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S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

Prouds Duty Free Rich and bold, a button shape Tahitian South Sea pearl provides a dramatic focal point for a yellow gold ring that features a pair of round brilliant cut diamonds. The ring is featured at Prouds Duty Free in Vanuatu, a store that sparkles with an international assortment of jewellery, including watches, fragrances and sunglasses. Premium brands abound, such as Pandora, Ice-Watch and Thomas Sabo.

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All for the KIDS Showing its heart as a company that’s strong for parents and children, Carnival has supported one of Australia’s most important charities for families. By Sally Macmillan

When Carnival Spirit sailed into Sydney Harbour one day in June 2013, she had one important new feature: a gigantic, illuminated red nose. The seven-metre schnoz didn’t just light the early morning darkness, but also shone attention on a charity that holds a very special place in the hearts of Australian families: SIDS and Kids. For the past 26 years, SIDS and Kids has helped families cope with the loss of infants from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. It offers free bereavement services 24 hours a day throughout the country in its offices and during home visits, and takes thousands of phone calls on its support line. Its biggest annual fund-raising event is Red Nose Day, with which it has raised more than $16 million for research and education

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programs. Carnival Spirit’s giant red nose was part of Carnival Cruise Lines’ support of the charity. SIDS and Kids CEO Leanne Raven said she is delighted with Carnival’s involvement. The cruise line organized fund-raising and awareness activities for SIDS and Kids, from onboard activities to corporate events, and offered cruises as prizes. “The Red Nose Day mantra — ‘get silly for a serious cause’ — resonates strongly with Carnival Cruise Lines because we are serious about providing playful (and sometimes even silly) experiences for our guests,” says Jennifer Vanderkreeke, Carnival’s director for Australia and New Zealand. “Therefore it’s only fitting that we support this great Australian charity.”

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ABOVE, FROM LEFT: Crew members and the ship itself got into the spirit of Red Nose Day for SIDS and Kids. Easing the pain. Every year, some 3,500 babies are stillborn or die in infancy. SIDS and Kids was founded in 1997 by parents who had suffered this loss; they sought to fund research into the causes of stillbirth and sudden infant death, and to provide much-needed support for the affected families. One mother, whose baby was stillborn after she’d experienced a perfectly healthy pregnancy, said, “I truly don’t know where I would be without the support of SIDS and Kids. They have been there for our family at every step along the way, and counselling helped my husband and I talk about our experience.” Guests and crew who were onboard Carnival Spirit’s Pacific Islands cruise in the lead-up to 2013 Red Nose Day were happy to get silly for the serious cause, said Stu Dunn, the ship’s popular cruise director. The event raised more than $5,000 for the cause. Kids joined colouringin competitions and find-a-word games, guests took fundraising walks around the ship’s decks, and the crew, including Captain Adriano Binacchi, all joined in the fun. “They even served special Red Nose Day desserts to guests, while sporting their red noses, of course,” Dunn said. When the ship disembarked at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, red noses were spotted on everyone from guests to ground crew and security staff. Despite the mid-winter rain, Circular Quay displayed a joyful atmosphere created by clowns, face-painters, a fire-eater and a unicyclist. Since Carnival Spirit arrived in Australian waters in October 2012, she has proved to be a big hit with family cruisers. “By supporting SIDS and Kids we hope to give back to Australian families,” Vanderkreeke says.

Get into the spirit To join Carnival in supporting this important organisation, visit www.rednoseme.com.

About SIDS and Kids Every day in Australia, nine children under the age of four die unexpectedly from causes including SIDS. The charitable organisation SIDS and Kids was founded in 1977 by parents who had experienced this loss and sought to help others cope with the pain. The organisation provides bereavement support to other families, creates awareness of the problem and funds research into the causes. The charity offers nationwide support services and education programs such as the Safe Sleeping Program, which it estimates has saved the lives of 7,500 babies. However, the causes of SIDS are still unknown and the charity relies on the generosity of the Australian public to maintain its vital services. For more information or to donate to the group, visit www.sidsandkids.org.

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FISHER: Just a Girl from Perth Her international star is rising, but she hasn’t strayed far from her Aussie roots. By Patricia Godfrey

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associated press

There’s no doubt that meeting the hugely successful — yet often controversial — British actor Sacha Baron Cohen changed Isla Fisher’s life. Fisher, the former star of Home and Away, met the creator of comic characters Borat and Bruno at a party in Australia in 2002 and went on to marry and have two daughters, Olive and Elula, with him. Fisher’s own Hollywood career has flourished since she met her husband, but it would be disingenuous to think Cohen played much of a role in her success. She says Cohen urged her into the comic roles that have made her name (“It took Sacha saying, ‘You’re really funny, you should be doing comedy’ for me to move my career in that direction,” she told Stylist magazine), but she insists she has had no helping hand at all. In fact, quite the opposite, as she reveals she was once rejected by Cohen’s agent. “The one time I did ask for help was after my agent in L.A. fired me,” she told British Cosmopolitan. “I was auditioning for all sorts of things but kept getting told no, so she just fired me! So, anyway, I said to Sacha, who was my boyfriend at the time, ‘Can you ask your agent if they’ll represent me?’ And his agent said, ‘No way.’ It was the only favour I’d ever asked, and I was like ‘OK, great.’ But it spurred me on.” And spur her on it did. Since her hilarious breakout performance alongside Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in 2005’s Wedding Crashers, Fisher has carved out a successful career in comedies such as Confessions of a Shopaholic and Bachelorette. You could almost call her that decade’s Goldie Hawn, which is apt, seeing as Hawn is Fisher’s heroine. “I just think she is incredibly funny and I love her in every movie. I can’t help it,” the flame-haired actress told Fashion magazine. “I think she is fabulous. [Once] on a dance floor, she was dancing next to me so I sidled up to her doing some moves pretending it was just a natural progression in my dance moves and I kind of shimmied my shoulder at her for a smile and then shimmied away.”

“I’m definitely attracted to other Australians, I have a laid-back attitude to life that I feel is very Australian, and I love a good barbie!” — Isla Fisher

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ISLA FISHER | Just a Girl from Perth

When Baz Luhrmann announced he was going to direct a lavish adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby, in Sydney — his first film since 2008’s Australia — it caused much excitement at home. And that excitement was only heightened when Luhrmann announced his cast, which, besides Australians Isla Fisher and Joel Edgerton, included international stars Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire and one of the highest-paid actors in the world, Leonardo DiCaprio. As shooting started in locations all over Sydney — including Centennial Park, the Sydney Polo Club, Waverley Cemetery and White Bay Power Station — locals kept an eye out for any glimpses of the Hollywood royalty who had temporarily made Sydney home. DiCaprio, who last worked with Luhrmann on 1996’s Romeo + Juliet, tried to keep a low profile during his four-month stay, splitting his time between a five-bedroom waterfront mansion in Vaucluse and a suite at The Star entertainment complex, where he reportedly had his own butler, driver, limo and access to the casino’s luxury jet. He also enjoyed frequenting fine Sydney restaurants like French bistro Felix, and other popular spots such as Otto and Aria. He often dined with Maguire, a close friend for 20 years. DiCaprio, Maguire and Mulligan also took in a Sydney Swans game, but the jury’s still out as to whether they enjoyed — or had the faintest clue what was happening — on the field. It was to be another 18 months before the film was finally released but Australians proved their love affair with Luhrmann is still strong: As of July 2013, The Great Gatsby held the record for biggest-grossing opening weekend of any Australia-made film.

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Coming Home. Shooting Baz Luhrmann’s highly anticipated The Great Gatsby in Sydney in 2011 gave Fisher a chance to spend some more time at “home”, even if she found working with a director of Luhrmann’s calibre — plus stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire — both “thrilling and terrifying.” “I did feel like I was going to be called out and sent home at some point — you always feel insecure, at least I do,” she told Gotham magazine. “But I got to eat Vegemite on toast for breakfast and swim at Bondi Beach!” Playing a dramatic character like Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby also gave her the desire to take on more serious roles in the future. “The good thing about

associated press

Great Scott

Aussie Heart. Fisher says she honed her comedic talents as a child whose family was often on the move. She was born in Oman, where her Scottish banker father then worked for the United Nations. Fisher has four brothers and attended six different schools by the age of 12; she says she learnt to be funny in order to make new friends. The family moved to Perth when she was six. She now splits her time between London — home base for her and Cohen — and Los Angeles, where the couple rent a house when projects dictate. But Fisher says she will forever call Australia home, even if she doesn’t physically live there anymore. “I still have a lot of my school friends in Perth and I feel hugely homesick for WA, but I don’t get the opportunity to go back as much as I’d like to,” she told Brisbane’s Courier-Mail. “I like to be in Europe a lot because that’s where my family [now] is. But definitely my sensibility is Australian and I probably feel that more than ever. “I’m definitely attracted to other Australians, I have a laid-back attitude to life that I feel is very Australian, and I love a good barbie!” she joked.

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a drama is that everyone takes it seriously so you do feel you can lose yourself in a scene,” she told Stylist magazine. “With comedy I can never do that because I’m always thinking what’s something funny I can do now, how can I make people laugh?” Finding Her Way. Fisher started her career at nine, when she appeared in Australian TV ads. At the age of 16, she moved from Perth to Queensland to film the TV series Paradise Beach. She says she wouldn’t be so happy if one of her own daughters wanted to leave home at the same age for work. “No. Way. I do remember my parents were supportive and they still are now,” she told Australian InStyle. “With hindsight, I wish I hadn’t started my career so young, it would have been nice to have gone to university or have had more of a normal experience growing up. But I wouldn’t change anything.” And, as much as Fisher loves her career, it now takes a firm second place to what she considers her greatest role — being a mother. She picks projects that fit around her family and says that being a working mum is a juggling act that she’s not particularly good at. “The balls are in the air,” she told UK Cosmopolitan. “But my priority is always my family. Motherhood boils everything down to the essentials.” Fisher and Cohen have a firm rule not to talk about their children — or each other — in the media, for privacy reasons. But the woman who converted to Judaism to marry Cohen has said that she’s been incredibly lucky to find her soul mate. “Choosing to be together every day is incredibly romantic,” she told Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph. “I love marriage. I think it’s a wonderful institution and the most important decision you make. “Life is filled with highs and lows, and you have a best friend to share it with you. It’s amazing. It’s like winning the lottery, having a good partner.”

At the premiere of The Great Gatsby in New York

Career Highlights Home and Away The long-running hit soap opera that (1994-1997) first brought her fame. Wedding Crashers Her breakout role, in a hit comedy (2005) that she almost stole from headliners Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Confessions of a Shopaholic Another attention-getter, based on (2009) the popular novels about a young woman and her shopping addiction. Bachelorette Top billing in a comedy about (2012) bridesmaids and a bride’s revenge. Now You See Me Solid screen time in a stylish caper (2013) film about a team of illusionists who rob banks and give away the money. The Great Gatsby A small but pivotal role in Baz (2013) Luhrmann’s version of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.

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fun finds

Carnival’s shopping programME helps you find the best deals, the best styles and the best times on your HOLIDAY

Great deals…the latest looks…stunning values onboard and ashore. It all begins right here!

FUN FINDS SHOPPING EXPERT One of our highly trained, experienced professionals will guide you in the fun of shopping and saving. Besides hosting a highenergy show at the start of each voyage, the Shopping Expert shares insights at seminars on watches, jewellery and gemstones. Be sure to stop by the Shopping Desk for even more valuable guidance; see your daily Fun Times for hours.

Look for the FUN FINDS Wheel at the FUN FINDS Shopping Show

FUN FINDS Shopping SHOW

Smooth sailing to value begins with this preview of all the fun ahead. A spin of the Fun Finds Wheel can pay off in prizes that’ll make this holiday even more special. You’ll also learn of exclusive deals on the best shopping to be found on your cruise.

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FIJI

FUN FINDS SHOPPING TV

Miss some of the excitement? No worries! Just tune in to your stateroom TV for replays of the live shopping show and other inside information.

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Shopping for

A Fun Day in port

Here’s how to bring home the deals as you explore the ports of call during your holiday

1 Meet

Meet your Fun Finds Shopping Expert. Visit one of our highly trained professionals during desk hours to get firsthand shopping information.

2 Ask

Ask your Shopping Expert for a Fun Finds VIP Card. This is your ticket to the best deals of all. When you’re looking for something specific in port, the Fun Finds VIP Card will tell you which store to visit for the best selection and price — and often includes a special discount!

4 SHOP

Shop at the stores listed on the Fun Finds Map and discover your heart’s desire.

3 Bring Bring your Fun Finds Map into port. Tuck it into your handbag or pocket — so you’ll always be headed to great values.

See it? Like it? Buy it!

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Tahitian Pearls What woman’s beauty cannot be enhanced by the allure of a South Sea pearl?

PENDANTS | EARRINGS | RINGS | STRANDS Prouds Duty Free has over 20 years of experience selling Tahitian black pearls and is the exclusive retail agent for Allure South Sea Pearls. We are located next to the Post Office on Lini Highway in Port Vila Vanautu.

VANUATU’SFINEST FINEST DUTY VANUATU’S DUTYFREE FREE

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photoS by: (Koe plain old view, near Noumea, New Caledonia.) Antonio Abrignani/shutterstock.com

SPOTLIGHT | NoumĂŠa

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NOUMÉA:

Paradise with a French Flair The capital of New Caledonia is a delightful destination rich with history and a certain je ne sais quoi. By Louise Goldsbury

photoS by: (Koe plain old view, near Noumea, New Caledonia.) Antonio Abrignani/shutterstock.com

What’s a French city doing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Nouméa, capital of New Caledonia, is a semi-tropical outpost with all the hallmarks of a South Pacific island: in particular, a massive reef and the world’s largest lagoon. Yet its culture, cuisine and lifestyle have a decidedly French accent. Added to this mix are Polynesian, southeast Asian and the indigenous Kanak cultures. It is this exotic blend that attracts many travellers, as much as the coral-rich bays. In the past few years, lots of fun new attractions have also been developed for visitors to enjoy this easy piece of France in our own backyard. Although some may call Nouméa the Paris of the Pacific, that’s not quite right. Its official sister cities are the Gold Coast, in Australia, and Nice, the unofficial capital of the French Riviera, which gives a better idea of what to expect. These three destinations have plenty in common: crystal-clear waters, year-round sunshine and a laidback vibe. What sets Nouméa apart is its fusion of French and islander lifestyles, set in the natural haven of a remote archipelago. This idyllic combination is evident everywhere, from the scent of frangipani mingling with freshly baked baguettes to the palm trees casting shadows over pâtisseries and crêperies.

HOW IT BEGAN Nouméa was claimed as a French colony in the 19th century, although it had been visited in 1774 by the famed British explorer, Captain James Cook. Before the Europeans arrived, in about 3000 b.c., Melanesians (known as the Kanak) set up camp on the site. Thousands of years later, the traditions of these indigenous people can still be seen and experienced, often alongside the French way of life.

A farm near Nouméa, in the island's days as a French colony.

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SPOTLIGHT | Nouméa

ATTRACTIONS Jean-Marie Tjiboau Cultural Centre At first glance, you might think these amazing curved buildings are still under construction, but the unfinished appearance is deliberate — architect Renzo Piano wanted to reflect the continually evolving Kanak culture. The wooden pavilions, shaped like the native people’s grand huts, majestically rise from the surrounding landscaped bush. Inside are traditional artworks and handicrafts, a museum, performance space and library. This masterpiece is a must-see to learn more about the original inhabitants of New Caledonia. The Church of La Conception The other side of Nouméa’s history is the settlements by missionaries of Anglican Protestants and Catholic Marist. This impressive Marist church was built in 1847 and is one of the city’s oldest buildings. A popular pilgrimage destination, it contains plaques left to thank the Virgin Mary for favours and miracles. You can also look around the cemetery where many prominent politicians are buried. Ouen Toro Lookout For the best panoramic views in town, head south to the Ouen Toro peninsula. This vantage point encompasses the bays and beaches, across the harbour to small islands fringed by coral reefs. The centerpiece is a World War II memorial in honour of the American, Australian and New Zealander troops who were stationed in New Caledonia and protected the precious archipelago. The two large guns belonged to an Aussie artillery unit that was based at the site.

A view of Nouméa's harbour.

Best of

Without doubt, the most appealing side of Nouméa lies beyond its rather uninspiring portside area: over the hills, around the bays, at historical sites and the surrounding small islands. These highlights can be explored by bus, kayak or catamaran, or by snorkelling, swimming, hiking or climbing aboard the famous Tchou Tchou Train. To see it all from above, choose one of many scenic viewing areas: a hilltop next to the chapel of Notre Dame de Pacific; the Fédération des Œuvres Laiques (FOL) look-out, where the countryside meets the harbour; or the summit of the Ouen Toro peninsula, at the end of several walking tracks. The city is also home to some interesting exhibitions, such as the collection of tribal artifacts at the Museum of New Caledonia and the wartime displays at the Town Museum. The well-maintained Aquarium des Lagons provides a close-up encounter with local marine life, while the zoo showcases native animals and plants in a pleasant forest setting. 28

About 25 kilometres away, on Amédée Island, is one of the region’s most renowned sights. The Amédée Lighthouse was constructed in Paris in 1862 and then disassembled and shipped across the globe. One of the tallest in the world, it was also the first metallic lighthouse built in France. Its light signals the entrance to Boulari passage, which extends to the New Caledonian Barrier Reef. The islet is also a great spot for snorkelling and taking glassbottom boat tours. A Francophile’s Paradise The modern city centre is perfect for short-distance Francophiles. People speak French, kiss hello on both cheeks and drive on “the other side” of the road (on the right), as if they were in Europe. The streets have French names, the locals drink coffee and Champagne as much as water, and they really do cycle home with baguettes in their baskets — just like in all those French films.

photoS by: (View of Noumea, New Caledonia) Flash-ka/shutterstock.com

NOUMÉA

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photoS by: (View of Noumea, New Caledonia) Flash-ka/shutterstock.com

French-style architecture can be found in many buildings, such as Saint Joseph Cathedral and Célière House, the last home of a well-known Caledonian family. In the oldest districts, wooden houses with colourful façades evoke the charm of the colonial era. The two most popular beaches are reminiscent of the south of France. Baie des Citrons (Lemon Bay) is lined with classy restaurants and bars and with men playing boules, a kind of lawn bowling, at sunset. Anse Vata Bay has water sports galore and a more casual promenade of cafés, brasseries and shops. This trendy duo are within a 10-minute stroll of each other, so both can be enjoyed in one day. The currency, by the way, is not the French franc but the South Pacific franc or Cour de Franc Pacifique, abbreviated as XFP or CFP. If you plan to shop at the outdoor markets, withdraw some notes from an ATM as only cash is accepted there. You’ll be tempted to buy juicy fruit, fresh seafood, handmade jewellery, T-shirts, art and other souvenirs.

Shop, Sun and Stroll Credit cards are just fine in Nouméa’s luxury boutiques for purchases of designer clothes, shoes, perfume and leather goods. The shopping district is four or five blocks north of the port, on Rue Georges Clemenceau, Rue de l’Alma and Rue Jean Jaures. For international fashion, the Port Plaisance gallery houses several stores stocked with French and Italian brands. Despite this European aspect, Nouméa certainly follows the leisurely pace of its South Pacific neighbours. Residents live by ‘island time’ and retailers take a siesta from about midday to 2 p.m. (To take advantage of duty-free pricing on some products, remember to bring your passport ashore.) Best of all, the city’s greatest feature — the beautiful lagoon — is free. Boasting 1,600 km of coral reef, New Caledonia has exceptional snorkelling, swimming and sailing. At the breezier bays, kite-surfers and windsurfers skim the sparkling waves like dragonflies, while families play under the sun. Islands in the natural marine reserve can also be reached via shore excursions to assure more secluded sunbathing.

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SPOTLIGHT | Nouméa

A Taste

As the capital of a French territory, Nouméa is full of fabulous fresh produce and wonderful wines from the motherland. With such easy access to French cheeses, meats, pâté, foie gras, cakes and pastries made with flour shipped from France, why go all the way to Europe to indulge in such delicacies when these local purveyors and shopkeepers have done the importing for you? Walk the streets and you will see an astounding array of boulangeries, boucheries, pâtisseries, crêperies, chocolatiers and charcuteries. This is because the locals uphold the Parisian preference for buying food from separate specialty stores. If you’re on a budget, grab a buttery croissant or a croque monsieur (toasted ham and cheese sandwich). Another inexpensive treat is a salted caramel crêpe with vanilla ice cream. For a Kanak custom, go to the morning markets near Port Moselle Marina, where women in flowery muumuus sell fresh fruit while the men at seafood stalls haggle over the catch of the day. For lunch, the city offers more than 150 restaurants ranging from casual cafés to sophisticated gourmet venues. Many of the top

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chefs have trained in France’s most highly rated establishments and are now sharing their knowledge with younger local chefs. The Latin Quarter has plenty of classic French three-course set menus. Afterwards, don’t miss the fantastic coffee and desserts. French-Asian fusion is popular, and you can also expect to see Indonesian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and Indian restaurants. A smaller number of restaurants specialise in brousse (bush) Kanak meals. Among the Kanak favourites is bougna, a hearty dish that contains taro, yam, sweet potato, banana and pieces of chicken, fish, crab, prawns or lobster marinated in coconut milk. It’s all wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in an underground oven. Ultimately, the city’s range of cuisines reflects the diversity of this destination, which caters to many tastes. Like a good recipe, Nouméa effortlessly combines its assorted ingredients into a delightful dish — a slice of paradise to be slowly savoured and shared.

photoS by: (Variety of bread) Netfalls - Remy Musser/shutterstock.com; (Assorted Cured Meats) Lisovskaya Natalia/Shutterstock.com.

of France

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BAYS

Baie des Citrons Translates as ‘bay of lemons’, but there’s nothing sour about this sweet spot. Most likely to be sheltered from the wind, Baie des Citrons is best for more upmarket beachside dining. Côte Blanche Also a good option for watching the parade of sailboards or trying your hand at water sports, this coastal stretch is ideal for walking and jogging. Amédée Island This is the place to go for white-sand beaches. Glass-bottom boat rides uncover New Caledonia’s amazing double-barrier coral reef — the secondlongest in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

photoS by: (Variety of bread) Netfalls - Remy Musser/shutterstock.com; (Assorted Cured Meats) Lisovskaya Natalia/Shutterstock.com.

Duck Island If you love snorkelling, Ile aux Canards (Duck Island) will have you quacking with joy. This tiny island has a stunning selection of colourful fish and coral. Don’t forget your reef shoes as the sand is rocky.

Nouméa's Gallic heritage means the best of French cuisine is within easy reach, from crusty breads to savory meats and cheese.

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Martin Valigursky/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Ports of Call Australia and South Pacific

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Ports of Call

Stunning landscapes and top-notch food and wine in New Zealand. French culture in New Caledonia. Firewalking in Fiji. The beaches of Vanuatu. It’s all waiting for you — time to go out and get it.

PACIFIC ISLANDS 36 Fiji 40 New Caledonia 46 Vanuatu

COASTAL CRUISES 53 Melbourne and Sydney

Martin Valigursky/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

54 Tasmania

Palm trees guard the stunning lagoon under a blue sky in Fiji.

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Ports of Call AUSTRALIA 1 Sydney 2 Melbourne

Tasmania 3 Hobart 4 Port Arthur

FIJI 5 Port Denarau 6 Suva

NEW CALEDONIA 7 Isle of Pines 8 Lifou Island 9 NoumĂŠa

VANUATU 10 11 12 13

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Mystery Island Port Vila Santo Wala

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All are welcome. This message is conveyed by the smiling faces of Fiji’s people and in the official welcome song, “Bula Maleya,” which you may hear throughout your stay.

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photoS by: (sunrise beach) Pawel Papis/shutterstock.com; (Plumeria) anery/Shutterstock.com.

FIJI

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Good to Know Tuck In: The Fijian spin on ceviche, kokonda (ko-KON-da) makes a refreshing snack. Raw white coral trout is marinated overnight in lemon juice, which is replaced the next morning with the fresh white juice of a coconut. It’s topped off with sliced onion, tomato, chili and a pinch of salt. Eat it on the beach for added “Wow” factor. Cheers: Try an ice-cold schooner of Fiji Bitter or Fiji Gold. Give it a Go: For a thoroughly Fijian experience, visit Naililili Cathedral outside of Suva. The 100-year-old church was built from coral by early French Catholic missionaries. Today, local children from the nearby school knock visitors’ socks off with renditions of traditional welcome songs. Get Wet: Want to fish, snorkel, dive or swim? Port Denarau is the spot. (Even for you lazy types who just want to lounge about and listen to the strains of the locals’ guitars.)

Who Knew?

Fijians say they live in the happiest place on earth, but they're not the only ones: Condé Nast Traveler magazine named them the friendliest people in the world. photoS by: (sunrise beach) Pawel Papis/shutterstock.com; (Plumeria) anery/Shutterstock.com.

For details on activities and attractions you can enjoy while visiting Fiji, see the onboard shore-excursions team.

TOP: Sunrise on Nanuya Island, Fiji. LEFT: Beautiful pink plumeria.

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Ports of Call Fiji

Port Denarau When the first cruises began arriving in Fiji in the mid-20th century, Port Denarau didn’t exist. Now it’s a lavish haven for well-heeled visitors and the Fijian well-to-do, with a modern retail complex, marina and golf club. Port Denarau is a short tender ride from your ship, and there’s plenty to choose from once you’re ashore. This is your chance to experience authentic Fijian culture and hospitality, with shore excursions ranging from leisurely beach relaxation to active watersports and exciting Fijian dances starring the country’s famed firewalkers. Some of the more unusual attractions are located just out of town. Some 2,000 varieties of orchids are in bloom at Raymond Burr’s popular Garden of the Sleeping Giant, while Fiji’s ancient history is on view in the archaeological digs at the 1,600-acre Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park. Boaters can choose from heaps of small craft at the marina, which head out to tiny islands such as Beachcomber or Tivua. Here, visitors can dive, snorkel, sail Hobie Cats, swim, luxuriate with a massage, or just laze on the beach. After all that sun, one of the best ways to cool off — and squeeze in a little retail therapy — is to pay a visit to the marina mall. — Roderick Eime

FUNTREKS

Top Shore Excursions Here are some of the tours you can experience during your visit. See your onboard shore-excursion specialist to book today. Please ask about age requirements, physical considerations, proper dress and other details, especially regarding cultural sensitivities when touring native villages.

Oolala Savala Island Day Cruise Guests board MV Oolala in Denarau and cruise to Savala, where they can take a guided snorkelling trip, a glass-bottom boat ride or a kayak trip or simply relax on the beach. Morning and afternoon tea are served on the ride to and from Savala, and guests can enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch on the island.

Oolooloo Snorkel Day Cruise A day in paradise begins aboard the sailing catamaran Oolooloo, where the crew welcomes guests with Fiji’s customary Bula song. Guests learn some local history as they sail to the snorkelling spot in Nadi Bay. After about 90 minutes of viewing the colourful fish and coral, guests are offered light refreshments back onboard.

Firewalking and Cultural Show The legends and history of the South Seas come to life at this stirring performance at The Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa. A Fijian Meke performer tells stories of love, legend and history through song and dance. The audience is then taken to a firewalking demonstration by Sawau tribesmen, who perform the mysterious and amazing ritual. A great day of fun in the sun begins with a warm Fijian welcome as visitors step ashore, and continues with snorkelling, swimming, kayaking or a ride along the reef in a semisubmersible vessel. Guests also can opt for a soothing massage or just laze around on the beach. A traditional Fijian Meke performance takes place during lunch.

Fiji Natural Thermal Mud Pools Participants are welcomed with fresh flower leis, serenades and a Kava ceremony with the tribal chief, and then partake of the pools’ natural spa therapy. Thermal mud is rubbed into the skin and allowed to dry; after a dip in the hot pool to wash away the mud, the skin is smooth and exfoliated. Guests can purchase local handicrafts before returning to the ship. 38

Photos by: (Fire dance) Deborah Kolb/shutterstock.com; (Spices and herbs) Krzysztof Slusarczyk/shutterstock.com.

South Sea Island Day Cruise

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FUNTREKS

Top Shore Excursions Here are some of the tours you can experience during your visit. See your onboard shore-excursion specialist to book today. Please ask about age requirements, physical considerations, proper dress and other details, especially regarding cultural sensitivities when touring native villages.

The Pearl South Pacific Day Trip Carnival guests visit the 4-star Pearl South Pacific Resort, where a day of total relaxation includes use of the resort's facilities: an all-tide swimming beach, a freshwater swimming pool, four restaurants, six bars, a volleyball court, kayaks and snorkelling gear. The experience includes a gourmet barbecue buffet and a Meke (Fijian) performance.

The Jewel of Fiji Guests cruise on Navua River past rainforested mountains, home to some of Suva's most spectacular flora and fauna. The journey leads to the village of Koromakawa, which offers a traditional Fijian welcome, a kava ceremony and spectacular cultural entertainment. If time permits, the tour includes a swim in one of the waterfall pools. OPPOSITE PAGE: A fire dancer. ABOVE: Colorfull spices found on the island.

Photos by: (Fire dance) Deborah Kolb/shutterstock.com; (Spices and herbs) Krzysztof Slusarczyk/shutterstock.com.

Suva

The bustling capital of Fiji reminds you that the world is still turning even while you’re on holiday. Historic colonial buildings mix with modern architecture in a multicultural city that is full of the sights, sounds and smells of the South Seas. Window shoppers can ogle everything from spices and local produce to Indian saris and electronics. Be sure to book early for the popular shore tours. These can take you to the steamy jungle for a hike or zip-line thrill ride, or to a Fijian village for dancing and a kava ceremony. Molituva Village offers the opportunity to take photos of the warriors as they perform a traditional meke dance — or to venture to Pacific Harbour for the traditional firewalking performed by the legendary Beqa warriors. If you’re on foot downtown, swing by the colourful Municipal Market just beyond the wharf in Usher Street and get amongst the vibrant hurly-burly of commerce, island style. Mornings are best. — Roderick Eime

Naililili Historical Village by Long Boat Guests board longboats and travel down-river to Naililili Village, where they are serenaded with a traditional Fijian welcome song. After observing a kava ceremony, they are invited to visit the beautiful Naililili Church, built by Catholic missionaries in the early 1800s. A guided walk leads to the village’s historic school. (Please note that the village is closed to tours on Sundays and Good Fridays and if there's been a death in the village.)

Suva Snapshot This guided tour of Suva’s historic monuments begins at the Bilo Gun Battery, built to guard the entrance to the harbour in the early 1920s. Other sites include the Boron mansion, the newly built Great Council of Chiefs complex and Parliament house, and the Museum of Fiji, which includes cannibal-era exhibits and the rudder from HMS Bounty.

Pacific Harbour Firewalk Extravaganza Drumbeats by a Fijian warrior, the blowing of a conch shell and a serenade by islanders greet visitors to the Arts Village of Fiji at Pacific Harbour, where the Fijian Firewalkers perform. After the show, guests can stroll among the exotic tropical gardens or join a guided walking tour around the Arts Village complex. fun ashore Carnival Cruise Lines

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New Caledonia

Pace yourself. The breathtaking sight of this archipelago glinting in the Pacific is just the opening act.

Good to Know Tuck In: In Nouméa, it’s all about French fare: bread, cheese and wine; pâté, pâtisseries, and foie gras. For something a little different, try the traditional Melanesian dish called bougna. It’s a mix of local veggies, meat and seafood, marinated in coconut milk, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked for hours in an underground Kanak oven. (Think of it as Mother Nature’s own crockpot.) Cheers: The most popular local beer has a name that’s hard to forget: Number One. Give it a Go: On Amédée Lighthouse Island, you can climb the steps to the top of the lighthouse or get busy doing very little at all on the white-sand beach. Get Wet: Nouméa’s Bay of Anse Vata and Côte Blanche boast perfect conditions for wind-surfing, whether you want to have a go yourself or just sit back and watch the locals.

Who Knew?

New Caledonian crows are flying geniuses. Researchers say that their advanced use of tools — sticks, leaves and other objects they figure out how to use to get their food — make them some of the smartest animals in the world, perhaps even brainier than chimpanzees. For details on activities and attractions you can enjoy while visiting New Caledonia, see the onboard shore-excursions team.

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PRZEMYSLAW SKIBINSKI/shutterstock.com; DUCANDAS/NCTPS; DUCANDAS/NCTPS; JAYTURBO/shutterstock.com

FUNTREKS

Top Shore Excursions Here are two tours you can experience during your visit. See your onboard shoreexcursion specialist to book today. Please ask about age requirements, physical considerations, proper dress and other details, especially regarding cultural sensitivities when touring native villages.

Island Discovery This tour demonstrates why Isle of Pines is called “the Jewel of the Pacific.” A local guide shows and talks about landmarks including Notre Dame de l‘Assomption Church in the centre of Vao Village, the Statue of Saint Maurice in Saint Maurice Bay and the natural Grotto of Queen Hortense.

Snorkel at the Natural Aquarium

isle of pines

Nicknamed “the closest island to paradise”, Isle of Pines is just as beautiful above water as it is below. The famed New Caledonia Barrier Reef is favoured by divers and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is surpassed in size only by its more famous Aussie cousin, the Great Barrier Reef. Fish sightings are guaranteed at Piscine Naturelle — the Natural Aquarium — a fish reserve that has become a popular snorkelling spot. It’s located at Oro Bay and is protected from the ocean waves by a pine forest, which also makes it tops among those who prefer dry land. Beach time is ridiculously picturesque here: The bays are framed by bottle-green Araucaria pines, and the sand has the texture of talcum powder. Kuto Bay in particular is perfect for long, leisurely strolls or extended naps in the shade. But it’s not all about the beach here. Historic sites include Notre Dame de l’Assomption Church in the centre of Vao Village, and the monument to St. Maurice, commemorating the first Catholic worship service on the island. — Fiona Harper

A visit to one of the island’s top attractions begins with a guided walk through the shallows of Oro Bay. The Natural Aquarium, also known as Priscine Naturelle, offers excellent snorkelling in crystal-clear turquoise waters. After an hour in the water, guests are served a refreshing drink.

OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: A beach on Ouvéa Island, New Caledonia; a Kanak dancer; a traditional island hut. THIS PAGE: St. Maurice Monument, Isle of Pines.

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Ports of Call New Caledonia

photoS by: (clownfish around a coral) Richard Whitcombe/shutterstock.com; DUCANDAS/NCTPS

For more views like this, see your onboard shore-excursion specialist.

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FUNTREKS

Top Shore Excursions Here are some of the tours you can experience during your visit. See your onboard shore-excursion specialist to book today. Please ask about age requirements, physical considerations, proper dress and other details, especially regarding cultural sensitivities when touring native villages.

Melanesian Encounter Visitors gain insight into the life of Melanesians with a stop in the village of Hnathalo. The tour brings guests inside the circular, thatched Chief’s Hut, one of the largest of its kind in New Caledonia. Participants have time to stroll around the village; guides explain the method of cooking the traditional bougna, a traditional Kanak feast. The tour also features a church built by missionaries in 1883.

Cliffs of Jokin Guests take a scenic drive across Lifou to the rugged north coast. In the small village of Jokin, they’re treated to spectacular views of cliffs largely made up of layer upon layer of ancient, compressed coral stone. Free time is allowed for a stroll around Jokin, followed by a short guided walk at a vanilla plantation.

photoS by: (clownfish around a coral) Richard Whitcombe/shutterstock.com; DUCANDAS/NCTPS

OPPOSITE PAGE: A colourful coral reef. ABOVE: A serene beach in the Loyalty Islands.

LIFOU ISLAND

Oozing charisma and warmth so typical of Kanak culture, Lifou Island is the kind of place that charms the soul. Dramatically sheer cliffs created by fossilised coral are topped with towering pines, and beneath them lies the beguiling turquoise Coral Sea. Caves carved by erosion create a sense of island mythology, while dense forest is not only pretty, but also provides essential compost required for taro, yam and banana crops. The coconuts you see are more than just the perfect postcard props; their kernels drive a copra industry that brings in much-needed funds to this isolated community in New Caledonia’s Loyalty Islands. A huge part of Lifou’s allure is its welcoming locals. The Kanak culture has tendrils that reach back a few thousand years, creating a charming combination of Austronesian, Melanesian and, more recently, French influence. (“Kanak” comes from the Hawaiian word kanaka, meaning “human being”.) Remnants of the past can be seen in the traditional circular huts constructed from wood and straw that can still be found here, an art form that has all but disappeared elsewhere. — Fiona Harper

Luecila Beach and Scenic Drive Varying landscapes come into view on a ride from Santal Bay to Luecila Beach on Lifou's east coast. Luecila Beach is not fringed by resorts, shops or bars, but is a pristine, picture-perfect curve of white sand with a fine swimming lagoon framed by palms and shade trees.

Forest and Secret Grotto Visitors enjoy a guided walk amongst native flora to view the different plant species in the forest, as a guide explains how Melanesians use the plants for medicinal purposes. Inside the grottos are different formations of stalagmites and stalactites, which can be viewed by torchlight. The tour concludes with a demonstration of traditional techniques for hunting wild pigs and coconut crabs.

Lifou’s Vanilla House Participants pass through the settlements of Xépénéhé and Kumo, where traditional houses boast magnificent flowering gardens and tropical palm trees. At The Vanilla House (Maison de la vanilla), they hear the history of the plantation and learn about the cultivation of the Loyalty Islands’ vanilla pods. At the vanilla processing plant, guests learn about the process of drying and exporting vanilla beans, and can then purchase souvenirs at the onsite shop.

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Ports of Call New Caledonia

nouméA

FUNTREKS

A little bit of France on the other side of the world makes for one of the most interesting ports in the whole South Pacific. Quite unlike any other port in the region, Nouméa has a distinctive “Euro” feel: cars on the “wrong” side of the road, strange money and signs in Français. This isn’t Paris, though, so don’t be afraid to try out your rusty French when shopping for knick-knacks. Nouméa was once a bit grotty, but a major facelift, especially around the city centre, transformed this Gallic colonial outpost. Highlights of any visit include the Amédée Island Lighhouse (don’t mind the snakes, they’re harmless) or a spin through the stunning Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre for a dose of Kanak arts and craft — as well as striking architecture by Renzo Piano. The locals enjoy a hedonistic beach culture, so there’s plenty to do out on the water — jet skiing, windsurfing, snorkelling — or if you just feel like lazing around. The quaint Tchou Tchou Train might look like kids’ stuff, but it’s a fun and easy way to see the town or get to the sexy beaches at Anse Vata or Baie des Citrons (Bay of Lemons — named, we’re told, for crates of lemons that mysteriously washed up on its sands one day). — Roderick Eime

La Maison de la Perle Dazzle your digits with an 18-carat yellow gold ring embellished with pearls — 16 Tahitian pearls that exude a rich multihued luster. The spectacular ring is among the selection of gorgeous jewellery at La Maison de la Perle in Nouméa.

Top Shore Excursions Here are some of the tours you can experience during your visit. See your onboard shore-excursion specialist to book today. Please ask about age requirements, physical considerations, proper dress and other details, especially regarding cultural sensitivities when touring native villages.

The Tchou Tchou Train The famous Tchou Tchou Train takes guests on a guided tour of Nouméa. From the city centre, the train chugs up to the Notre Dame de Pacific lookout point, continues to Faubourg Blanchot and then takes riders to Onto Cote Blanche, a favourite spot for walking and jogging. The train passes through the new residential areas and marinas at Anse Vata and Lemon Bay before returning to the city.

Nouméa in a Nutshell This comprehensive tour gives an easy paced, guided overview of Nouméa's city, hills, bays, beaches and countryside. It begins with a stop at the FOL lookout and continues to the outlying district of Robinson, where guests visit the little Church of La Conception. Further stops include Ouen Toro Lookout and its World War II memorial. The trip wraps up with tea at the Bilboquet restaurant and shopping in the Palm Beach Gallery.

Sail the Bays of Nouméa Guests sail the crystal-clear waters of New Caledonia onboard a 20m x 10m catamaran. Nouméa’s bays are world-famous, and this tour is the perfect chance to discover the magical Islands and their panoramic backdrops off the coast.

Amédée Island Marine Reserve Guests are transported to white sandy beaches of Amédée Island. Its many diversions include a glass-bottom boat ride over the multitude of coral reef systems surrounding the island. Visitors also enjoy a sumptuous luncheon buffet while watching a traditional folkloric island dance and indulge in a banquet fit for a king. Lunch is followed by a coconuttree climbing demonstration and climb to the top of the famous Amédée lighthouse.

Dumbea River Kayak & Swim

Special Advertising Feature

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The perfect blend of adventure and eco-tourism awaits on this tour of the Dumbea River. Eucalyptus forests and indigenous flora contrast with the predominantly red soil and deep green hues of the river. The tour begins with a short introduction to the art of kayaking. Once afloat, the tranquility of the river setting is only disrupted by the swish of paddles on a journey through one of the prettiest valleys in New Caledonia. Participants have time for a swim before turning back downstream.

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VANUATU

The islands immortalised in the musical South Pacific do not disappoint. Vanuatu is a land — or many lands; there are 83 islands in total — of peaceful, uninhabited beaches, age-old traditions and a rich, if rocky, history.

Tuck In: Don’t mind the name; laplap is a Vanuatu specialty. The pudding-type dish is made of mashed bananas, root vegetables and creamy coconut milk. It’s combined with meat or fish, wrapped in leaves and cooked in an earth oven. Cheers: The local beer is Tusker Lager, brewed in Port Vila. Kava, the alcoholic drink of choice for many South Pacific nations, is considered especially potent in Vanuatu. Give it a Go: Where else do you need to put flippers on before heading to the post office? The world’s one and only underwater post office is located off of Port Vila. Divers and snorkellers can also explore Million Dollar Point, where the SS President Coolidge and other World War II remains now serve as an underwater playground. Get Wet: Set foot on Mystery Island’s stunning beaches and you may never want to leave. Not even the locals live there, it’s so pristine. The friendly faces you’ll meet in port commute to the uninhabited Mystery Island from the neighbouring island of Anatom each day to sell their handicrafts.

Who Knew?

Long before bungy jumping fever took hold in New Zealand, Vanuatu tribes were doing their own version — jumping from wooden towers with vines wrapped around their legs and landing in layers of vines spread on the ground. The tradition began around 1,500 years ago in the southern villages of Pentecost Island. The jumps still take place every year during the Naghol festival, which is held to bless the yam harvest. For details on activities and attractions you can enjoy while visiting Vanuatu, see the onboard shoreexcursions team.

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photoS by: (Shark Bay) Karin Wassmer/shutterstock.com; (coral reef and Masked Butterfly Fish) frantisekhojdysz/shutterstock.com

Good to Know

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MYSTERY ISLAND

photoS by: (Shark Bay) Karin Wassmer/shutterstock.com; (coral reef and Masked Butterfly Fish) frantisekhojdysz/shutterstock.com

This teeny crescent-shaped islet circled by a fringe of reef barely rises above the ocean at the southern tip of Vanuatu’s island chain — the jewel at the end of a necklace, you might say. The castaway island of your imagination, Mystery Island is the sort of far-flung paradise Robinson Crusoe may well have chosen to be marooned upon: all emeraldhued palms, crushed coral sand and sparkling aquamarine sea. Don’t be surprised if you feel your heart rate slow down a notch as you step ashore; it’s simply readjusting to “island time”. Here, your day revolves around the path of the sun and the falling of the tide, much as it does for the locals who live across the channel on Anatom (or Aneityum) Island. Mystery Island is uninhabited except for a couple of bungalows that are rented out to modern-day castaways. It takes less than an hour to amble around the entire island, though it will take much longer if you linger and savour each step falling into the sand. Longer still if you opt to snorkel and take the opportunity to explore the shallow waters peppered with coral reef and absurdly colourful tropical fish. As for the mystery in its name, the only real mystery is why it’s taken you so long to discover paradise. — Fiona Harper

OPPOSITE PAGE: The Jetty, Vanuatu; Shark Bay off Tanna Island, Vanuatu. LEFT: Visitors to a coral reef include masked butterfly fish, the large yellow creatures.

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Ports of Call Vanuatu

PORT VILA

This compact and busy little city is a fascinating port offering great opportunities to do some shopping and check out the colourful downtown boutiques, cafés and pubs — all an easy walk from where the ship docks. If you’re hanging out to get in the water — or under it — Vila offers great diving, snorkelling and watersports for all abilities. Excellent for scuba diving, the area has famously warm and clear waters teeming with marine life living on the numerous wrecks in the harbour. The MV Konanda wreck is a perfect introduction to this exciting sport, and you may even see a turtle or dugong while exploring. Onshore activities are many and varied. Culture and history buffs will want to visit the ethnological displays at the superb National Museum of Vanuatu or take in the re-created village life at Ekasup Village. A more peaceful way to spend a few hours would be a trip to the Secret Garden, a lush, private 8000 square metre botanical reserve. Nature lovers should seek out one of the area’s Hawksbill turtle sanctuaries, where the rare animals are nurtured before release. Then there are rainforest hikes, which reward the active trekker with a refreshing dip at the Mele Cascades falls. Want to see it all? It’s possible to traverse the entire island of Efate; all you have to do is choose whether to do it by bus or boat. — Roderick Eime

FUNTREKS

Top Shore Excursions Here are some of the tours you can experience during your visit. See your onboard shore-excursion specialist to book today. Please ask about age requirements, physical considerations, proper dress and other details, especially regarding cultural sensitivities when touring native villages.

Ultimate Vila Discovery Participants explore the length and breadth of Port Vila, from Pango Point to Mele Bay. They first visit the National Museum and then view the art and cultural collection of the Nicholai Michoutouchkine and Aloi Pilioko Foundation. The day concludes with a visit to The Secret Garden, where displays include the former home of a cannibal!

Buggy Off-Road Adventure Guests get an alternative view of Port Vila while travelling by open-air buggy along the off-road tracks of Tagabe. A guide leads the way through bush and farmland, showing some of the natural untouched part of the island that not many people see. Riders take a quick break at the halfway mark and return to the depot.

Cascade Waterfalls The Cascade is an accessible, 50-metre-high waterfall with naturally eroded rock swimming ponds, set amidst jungle-like rainforest. A sure-footed guide leads a rainforest walk to the falls and its swimming pools. The pathway can be muddy and slippery, but it ends in a majestic experience of natural beauty.

Paradise Kayaking and Snorkelling Experience Experienced local guides lead a relaxing kayak trek to a small sand Island. Guests snorkel and swim in crystal-clear water; they can hand-feed friendly tropical fish and may even be joined by resident dolphins and turtles. The idyll ends with fresh tropical fruit on the beach before the return to Vanuatu.

Tranquility Island and Turtle Sanctuary Guests sail across the beautiful azure blue waters of Havannah Harbour, where spinner dolphins are often seen. On tranquility Island, they visit the turtle conservatory and then head to Jade Beach for a picnic lunch and a tour of the solar-power facility. The day ends with swimming off the beach or snorkelling on the outer reef.

Zego Sea Safari

A rocky beach in Efate, Vanuatu

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A personal Zego Aqua Quad takes each guest on a water adventure to Ifira Island, home of the indigenous owners of Port Vila Bay. After snacking on tropical fruit and taking a quick swim, guests reboard their Zegos and head to Paradise Cove. They return to Port Vila via Malapoa Peninsula and Fatmaru Bay.

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EstablishEd sincE 1950 largEst duty frEE storE 8:00 am - 5:30 pm most popular items for cruise guests: largest spirits & liqueurs (range with the most competitive prices). perfumes, aftershave, handbags, wallets & nike sport shoes. rolex and tag heuer watches. We accept australian dollars and credit cards (credit cards will be charged in australian dollars).

thE duty frEE placE in port vila!

Located downtown next to BRed Bank | Phone: 22556 fungkuei@vanuatu.com.vu

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Ports of Call Vanuatu

FUNTREKS

Top Shore Excursions Here are some of the tours you can experience during your visit. See your onboard shore-excursion specialist to book today. Please ask about age requirements, physical considerations, proper dress and other details, especially regarding cultural sensitivities when touring native villages.

Magical Gaua Water Music Experience Visitors experience several cultural activities at a village of the people from the Banks and Torres Islands, the northern extremities of Vanuatu. The highlight is the Gaua ladies’ water-music performance, which is unique to the isolated Banks and Torres region. The magical event is punctuated by the women’s gleeful shouts.

Cultural Activity Park Island culture is showcased in many ways during this visit. The local Lysepsep children perform, and visitors can see traditional food and kava preparations. Art and craft demonstrations include weaving, woodcarving, sand drawing and even face and body painting. Guides are available to answer questions.

SANTO

Anyone familiar with the writings of James A. Michener will be eager to visit the port of Luganville on the island of Espiritu Santo. The best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer put Santo on the map with his romantic and tragic Tales of the South Pacific. Wide boulevards and Quonset huts (in the unmistakably military Nissen style) remind you that Luganville was built from scratch by the U.S. Armed Forces in World War II as a forward supply base. Military buffs will be spoiled for choice of World War II sites, which include the wreck of a B-17 Flying Fortress and the astonishing Million Dollar Point, where tons of surplus equipment and machinery were dumped into the sea. Divers will be in their element, too, and a visit to the worldfamous SS President Coolidge wreck is an absolute must. Back on shore, highlights include visits to villages for cultural experiences and trips to the mystical “blue holes”, where the crystal-clear water makes your canoe look like it’s floating in space. You may be surprised to learn that this part of the world exports beef to Japan, Australia and the rest of the South Pacific; out in the verdant backcountry you can ride a horse through the prehistoric-looking jungle and see where the renowned Santo beef cattle reside. — Roderick Eime

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Certified Dive: The President Coolidge Qualified divers can explore the world-famous President Coolidge, the largest, most intact and most accessible shipwreck in the world. A passenger liner turned U.S. Army transport ship in World War II, she sank in 1942. Divers worldwide come to explore the wreck, which has been declared a national park.

Canoe the Riri River The serene, picturesque Riri River passes through lush jungle, and guests experience its magic on a guided journey by traditional wooden dugout canoe. The trip ends at the stunning Blue Hole, where there is time to enjoy a refreshing swim before embarking on the return journey.

Northern Seaside and The Blue Hole A half-day guided exploration of Espirito Santo’s northeastern coast includes a stop at the Blue Hole, where there is time to swim and enjoy the magnificent crystal-clear blue water amidst tropical trees and plants. The excursion continues to a pretty white-sand beach. The return takes guests through dense jungle, with sweeping ocean vistas.

Santo Village & Fire Walking Villagers at picturesque Runsuc Village demonstrate several traditional practices, including the ancient art of sand drawing, the preparation of Pentecost custom mats, and the secrets of making snake laplap in an underground oven. Guests are then invited to join a ceremonial kava tasting and witness the firewalking ceremony, a rite of passage into manhood.

Photos by: (Nanda Blue Hole) Karin Wassmer/shutterstock.com; (Dugout Canoe) Karin Wassmer/shutterstock.com; (signal drum) mark higgins/shutterstock.com; (Wooden carving) John Sones/shutterstock.com

Nanda Blue Hole in Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

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Photos by: (Nanda Blue Hole) Karin Wassmer/shutterstock.com; (Dugout Canoe) Karin Wassmer/shutterstock.com; (signal drum) mark higgins/shutterstock.com; (Wooden carving) John Sones/shutterstock.com

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Traditional dugout canoe; Vanuatu signal drum, c. 1920, from Cooranbong Missionary Museum; a wooden carving on the shore.

WALA

One of two “twin” islands off the northeast coast of Malekula (the second-largest island in Vanuatu), Wala is a simple place where life is uncomplicated by computers, mobile phones and cars. The 400 or so residents walk everywhere, unless they’re going to the “mainland” of Malekula about a kilometre and a half away. Then they take a dugout canoe. Once upon a time inhabited by a tribe of fearsome warriors and cannibals, this outer island of Vanuatu has become a sort of living museum, frozen in time. The locals are considerably friendlier these days, with warm smiles and a gentle nature.

Island traditions and customs involving superstitions and initiation traditions are beautifully illustrated in ceremonial dances, with men proudly adorned with groin sheaths and women swishing around in grass skirts. The village is only a short walk from the beach, and offers centuries-old customs and rhythmic beating drums announcing visitors’ arrivals. If all that dancing makes you sweat, a refreshing swim is just a short stroll away. The water in Wala is crystal-clear, merging into an inky, cobalt blue, thanks to a deep-water channel not far from the crisp, white beach. — Fiona Harper

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COASTAL CRUISES If the sight of Sydney Harbour (or the port of Melbourne) slipping out of view didn’t convince you, let us remind you: Maybe you're just taking a short jaunt from Sydney to Melbourne or down to Tasmania, but a holiday is a holiday whether it's three days or three weeks. No matter how well you think you know this beautiful country, there's always something new around the corner. Welcome to your getaway.

TOP: The 12 Apostles rock formation, Victoria. BELOW FROM LEFT: Charming Flinders Street Station, Melbourne; a waratah flower, native to NSW. 52

photoS by: (rock formations) Ekaterina Kamenetsky/shutterstock.com; (Flinders Street Station) Neale Cousland/shutterstock.com; (Waratah flower) David Lade/shutterstock.com; (Bathing boxes) Perig/shutterstock.com; (Sydney Ferry) Gordon Bell/shutterstock.com

Your holiday is finally here!

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photoS by: (rock formations) Ekaterina Kamenetsky/shutterstock.com; (Flinders Street Station) Neale Cousland/shutterstock.com; (Waratah flower) David Lade/shutterstock.com; (Bathing boxes) Perig/shutterstock.com; (Sydney Ferry) Gordon Bell/shutterstock.com

MELBOURNE It’s been dubbed the “most European” of Australian cities, which seems to be shorthand for a food-crazy city full of stylish urbanites who are serious about their espresso. Melburnians probably wouldn’t argue with that description. They don’t often gloat about their hometown, but they could. Melbourne really does have it all: great shopping, the best coffee, a wealth of food from across the globe, a glitzy casino and adorable cobblestoned alleys made for stumbling across hidden gems. For all its urban cred, Melbourne is a city of nature, too. The Treasury and Fitzroy gardens provide quiet escapes, and the Royal Botanic Gardens takes the Burke’s Backyard concept to the max. The city is prone to the proverbial four seasons in one day, but if a beach day at St. Kilda gets rained out, there’s plenty to explore indoors at museums and markets galore. Two multi-purpose precincts in particular provide an antidote to boredom, each packing shopping, dining, entertainment and culture into in one convenient location: Federation Square, adjacent to Flinders Street Station; and swanky Southbank, alongside the Yarra River. Getting around is a cinch, thanks to wide, tree-lined boulevards and the city’s distinctive, widespread tram system.

SYDNEY

FROM TOP: Bathing boxes on Brighton Beach, Melbourne; a ferry in Sydney Harbour.

Ah, Sydney. Is there a place in the world that can match its show-stopping, scene-stealing beauty? (Nope, didn’t think so.) The city is brimming with iconic encounters, so if you’ve already done the Bridge Climb, it may be time for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Opera House. Other classic ways to see the city — experiences even locals love to do over and over again — include jumping on a ferry to Manly, doing the Bronte-to-Bondi coastal walk or exploring Taronga Zoo, where the giraffes have views of the city skyline and the hidden coves of Sydney Harbour. There’s lots to see in Sydney’s other nooks and crannies, too. A short hop to the west is the Sydney Fish Market, where the best of the catch includes Sydney Rock Oysters and Balmain Bugs. At the southern end of Darling Harbour, there’s Chinatown, worth exploring for both authentic, piping hot dishes and unique shopping options, often at bargain prices. Whether you see the city from the water or from great heights, from inside its shops and museums or from a perch at one of its historic pubs, Sydney will do her best to woo you. We challenge you to resist her charms.

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Ports of Call Coastal Cruises

TASMANIA

"Australia's natural state" is indeed full of nature and unspoiled countryside, and it has some of our best food and wine.

Good to Know Tuck In: All that cool air makes Tasmanian food pretty darn tasty. Stroll through Salamanca Market in Hobart to sample the best berries, apples, stone fruits and honey. Burnie is famous for its full-flavoured cheeses, and you can get delicious seafood from the Southern Ocean across the state. Cheers: Tasmanian beer is known for its crispness, a clean flavour you might already know from your local, if it serves a brew from James Boag’s or Cascade. The latter has been made in Hobart since 1824, when a man named Peter Degraves dreamt up designs for the Cascade Brewery while serving time in the Old Hobart Gaol. These days, Tasmanian wines are also making a bit of a name for themselves. Give it a Go: Make time to meet the local wildlife. Burnie is home to a colony of fairy penguins, while seals and dolphins are common sights from Bruny Island, near Hobart. The waters around Port Arthur have Get Wet: Beaches never seem to get crowded in Tassie. But for something different, get your paddle on and see the unspoiled coastline from a kayak. The waters around Hobart are almost as calm as your bathtub back home.

Who Knew?

Just past Burnie, on the northwestern tip of the island, is the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station, which monitors atmospheric changes. According to scientists, Tasmania lays claim to some of the purest air and water in the world — and who are we to argue? For details on attractions and activities you can enjoy while visiting Tasmania, see the onboard shoreexcursions team.

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photoS by: KWEST/shutterstock.com; TOURISM TASMANIA & RICHARD EASTWOOD; Tourism Tasmania & Stuart Crossett

abundant bird and sea life.

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The waterfront with Mount Wellington in the background. OPPOSITE PAGE: A field in Tasmania.

photoS by: KWEST/shutterstock.com; TOURISM TASMANIA & RICHARD EASTWOOD; Tourism Tasmania & Stuart Crossett

HOBART The first arrivals to the nation’s second oldest capital city began in 1804, close to where cruise ships now berth in Sullivans Cove. Most were convicts or soldiers, and many of the convicts met their end on the gallows nearby. Today, Hobart is a much happier place — a harbourside city where friendly locals are delighted to share all that their home has to offer. A great way to soak it in is to take the leisurely one-kilometre stroll from the ship around Hobart’s historic harbour and explore its cafés, dockside pubs, museums, art and craft galleries and bookshops.

Echoes of the past are all around, from the grand sandstone warehouses in Salamanca Place to heritage sailing ships. This is where the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen stepped ashore to announce to the world that he had reached the North Pole. It is also where Douglas Mawson sailed south on his own epic explorations. Fueling your own Hobart discoveries is one of the highlights of a visit. Seafood is a specialty, and it’s hard to beat an outdoor lunch of fish and chips from one of the city’s fishing fleet. Another stop, especially for the thirsty, should be the Lark Distillery, where the malt whisky is so good it’s exported to Scotland.

fun ashore Carnival Cruise Lines

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Pawel Papis/shutterstock.com

Ports of Call Coastal Cruises

Ruins of the hospital in Port Arthur's historic jail

PORT ARTHUR Port Arthur was once the end of the world for the thousands of men and boys shipped there from England as convicts. Solitary confinement, the lash and hard labour in harsh conditions was their punishment for oftentrivial crimes. But what was horror is now heritage, with the tranquil 40-hectare site recognised as the best-preserved convict settlement in the nation, and one of the most significant in the world. The approach by sea is stunning, with soaring cliffs and dense native forests, although the 12,500 convicts who helped build the settlement between 1830 and 1877 are unlikely to have appreciated their surroundings. Come ashore these days and it’s a fascinating

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experience. There are more than 30 historic buildings and ruins, plus convict-era gardens that have been beautifully restored. It’s a reminder that Port Arthur was both a prison and a self-sufficient community. Perhaps the most chilling activity today is to opt for a moment or two in a solitaryconfinement cell. There’s even more fuel for the imagination inside the visitor centre, where you can play the “Lottery of Life” to discover the personal story of one of the many convicts. And if you have ever wondered whether you have a convict ancestor, take a look at the convict index and the various reference works to find your answer.

Carnival Cruise Lines fun ashore

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Sydney Visitor Centres

The Rocks Cnr of Playfair and Argvle Streets Darling Harbour

33 Wheat road (behind IMAX)

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Your Sydney Experts for: - Quality Australian Gifts - Attraction Passes - Tourist Information - Experiences

- Dining - Shopping - Overnight & Extended Tours

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13-14 CCL Fun Ashore Australia  

This is the Port of Call magazine for Carnival Cruise Line ships along the Australia region.