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Pacific Encounter Returns to Lifou on South Pacific Cruise

P&O Australia’s Pacific Encounter became the first ship to return to Lifou on November 8, while on a seven-night South Pacific Cruise itinerary, according to a media release.

The Pacific Encounter’s return to Lifou marks the comeback of the Noumea, Lifou, and Vila itinerary that has been a mainstay in the region.

Marguerite Fitzgerald, the president of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia, joined local officials for a welcome ceremony after the Pacific Encounter’s arrival in Lifou on November 8. 

She thanked the Loyalty island leaders and the community for their support and dedication to reopening maritime frontiers, which were closed in 2020. 

“Lifou has been an incredibly popular destination in our itineraries for more than 25 years, so we’re thrilled that our guests can once again experience this beautiful slice of paradise,” said Fitzgerald.

The cruise line first visited the island of Lifou back in 1995. 

“We deeply value our relationships with the local community in Lifou and look forward to renewing our partnership following the return of cruising,” Fitzgerald added.

The Pacific Encounter is currently en route to Port Vila and is expected to arrive at Brisbane, Queensland Australia on November 12. 

“Cruise ship visits are an important contributor to Tasmania’s visitor economy and many Tasmanian businesses are celebrating today’s arrival of the Pacific Explorer and the start of the 2022-23 cruise season,” Tasmania Premier Jeremy Rockliff said.

The return to the Loyalty Islands and New Caledonia completes a series of comebacks of Pacific destinations including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu. 

“Irrespective of the destination, each of our ship visits to newly reopened destinations has been an emotional moment with guests able to reconnect with island communities,” Fitzgerald added.

 “Lifou has a special place in the hearts of our guests who enjoy the beauty of the Loyalty Islands and the meaningful cultural experiences they can share.

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