Capital of the French territory New Caledonia, Nouméa played an important role in World War II, serving as the headquarters of the United States military in the Pacific. It boasts the most sunshine of any Pacific island capital, and is also the most European-influenced. Called “The Paris of the Pacific,” it features fine French dining, designer boutiques, and cosmopolitan residents. Just off the coast, the longest barrier reef in the world shelters 350 species of coral and 1,500 species of fish.
The following Shore Excursions are available for this port on this cruise, and may be reserved beginning 240 days before the cruise begins for guests receiving Concierge amenities, and 180 days before the cruise begins for all other guests. Guests receiving Concierge amenities will receive a 5% discount off of the prices shown below for Regent Choice tours.
Most Active or Strenuous
Minimal Activity Required
Behold the wonders of New Caledonia's indigenous Kanak culture at the Tjibaou Cultural Center, a complex of galleries and performance spaces that celebrate native life.
From the pier, you'll transfer directly to the Tjibaou Cultural Center. Even from the outside, it's stunning, as the center's collection of sail-like pavilions was patterned after the traditional thatched huts of the native Kanaks. Designed in the late 1990s by Italian architect Renzo Piano (winner of the 1998 Pritzker prize), the center was named for Jean-Marie Tjibaou, the assassinated leader of an independence movement who envisioned a place where the artistic and linguistic heritage of the Kanaks would be celebrated. This is Tjibaou's dream realized.
Your guided tour begins by walking the Kanak path, which tells the story of man's creation through the myths and beliefs of the Kanak society. The path is lined with indigenous medicinal plants cited in the myths, further underlining the importance of the bond between nature and the Kanak people. There are also several gardens representing topics such as rebirth, the duality of men and women, and the spiritual relationship between the visible and invisible worlds.
The exhibits inside the center's three separate villages reveal the Kanak culture through painting, sculpture and traditional music and dance performances. One of the most moving exhibits is devoted to the life and work of Tjibaou.
After approximately two enlightening hours at the center, you'll return to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of moderate walking/standing and there are some stairs and hilly terrain to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
This spectacular excursion appeals to the senses by presenting views of Noumea's natural beauty, followed by a wine and cheese tasting that reveals the area's French influence.
Departing from the pier by coach, you'll make your way to the Notre Dame lookout point, where you'll enjoy sweeping harbor views. En route, you'll pass the Southern Province Government House, Port Plaisance Shopping Center, the Yacht Club and the Marina's housing complex. All the while, you'll be getting a feel for the cosmopolitan city of Noumea, whose atmosphere is decidedly French. But that's only one vantage point that helps to introduce you to the "Paris of the Pacific" as the city is known.
Continuing on south of Noumea, you'll stop at the Ouen Toro scenic lookout, from which you'll see a portion of New Caledonia's barrier reef, which is the world's second longest, only eclipsed by Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The lookout is also home to a memorial honoring the Allied troops that protected the French colony of New Caledonia during World War II.
The island has deep ties to France, best expressed through exquisite French cuisine served in restaurants such as La Coupole. Known for having one of the South Pacific's finest wine cellars, the restaurant offers an ideal setting for your wine and cheese tasting. You'll discover the intricacies of several different vintages and sample a variety of classic cheeses, served with freshly baked baguettes. Afterwards, you'll drive back to the pier via a route that presents yet another scenic perspective of Noumea.
Please note: Walking on this tour is mainly at the guests' discretion during the stops. There are stairs and some hilly terrain to negotiate at the Ouen Toro scenic lookout. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Ideal for nature lovers, this excursion takes you on a walking tour of Parc Forestier, a wonderfully compact botanical park and bird sanctuary.
Begin your tour with a drive through the city center where you'll notice the splendid French architecture and cosmopolitan atmosphere that contributes to Noumea's reputation as the "Paris of the Pacific." You'll enjoy another perspective of the city from a scenic lookout along the way and still another superb vantage point at Parc Forestier, an elevated ever-evolving botanical park that opened in 1972.
While within the city limits, Parc Forestier seems worlds away. Shaded pathways wind through the towering trees, peacocks freely strut around the grounds, iguanas bask nearly motionless in the sun, and the calls of exotic birds can be heard piercing the air. Although you may glimpse a few non-native animals, including deer, monkeys and baboons, native birds are most prevalent.
During your guided walking tour, you may see the New Caledonian Imperial Pigeon, an impressively sized bird also known by its nickname: the Goliath Pigeon. All sorts of parakeets, crows and friarbirds endemic to New Caledonian can also be found here. Still, no bird captures the attention of visitors quite like the kagu, a flightless bird whose call is often mistaken for a barking dog. With its pale gray feathers and bright red legs, the kagu is easy to spot, especially since it's the national bird and its likeness is on 1000 Franc note and business logos throughout Noumea.
After your guided walk and a brief refreshment stop, you'll rejoin your coach and transfer back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of moderate walking some of it over natural and hilly surfaces. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
This wonderfully relaxing excursion introduces you to the tropical paradise of Amedee Island, where you'll enjoy beach activities and a glass-bottom boat ride over the barrier reef.
Travel by coach from the pier to Port Moselle where you'll board a high-speed ferry bound for Amedee Island. The island lies due south of Noumea, surrounded by the turquoise Coral Sea. It's the ultimate place to relax because the island is little more than beach, tropical foliage and an historic iron lighthouse that was transported from France and reconstructed here in 1865.
The time spent here is yours to do as you please. You might sunbathe on the sugar-white beach or read a book under the shade of a coconut palm. You can easily walk the length of the island or completely around it, as Amedee is ringed by beach.
Also, being part of a marine reserve in a magnificent lagoon that's a UNESCO World Heritage site, the island offers spectacular snorkeling. However, if you'd prefer to see the underwater world without getting wet, just board the glass-bottom boat, where you'll likely catch sight of turtles, manta rays and other marine life.
Another highlight is lunch, served buffet-style as you watch a traditional dance performance. Later, you might try your hand at sarong tying or, if you're feeling particularly ambitious, learn to climb a coconut palm.
After approximately five hours enjoying all that Amedee Island has to offer, you'll return by ferry to Port Moselle where your coach awaits to transfer you back to the cruise ship pier.
Please note: Walking on this tour is mainly at the guests' discretion on Amedee Island; however, it is over sandy and uneven surfaces. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Those who suffer from motion sickness should take precautionary measures for the ferry ride. Swimwear under a cover-up; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; towel; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
See French-influenced Noumea from several different viewpoints, highlighted by a stop at the Church of La Conception, a hallowed pilgrimage site.
Starting off from the pier, you will first drive through the popular Place des Cocotiers and then on to the FOL lookout point, where you'll enjoy sweeping harbor views. All the while, you'll be getting a feel for the cosmopolitan city of Noumea, whose atmosphere is so decidedly French that it's often referred to as the "Paris of the Pacific."
Before long you'll reach the outlying district of Robinson and the Church of La Conception, which was built by missionaries in 1874. Each year hundreds of pilgrims gather here on August 15 to celebrate the Assumption, many of them leaving plaques to thank the Virgin Mary for favors and miracles. A statue of the Virgin Mary perches atop the church's dome, making the church easily recognizable, even from a distance.
Heading back to Noumea, you'll stop at the Ouen Toro lookout for a different perspective of the city. From this vantage point, you'll see a portion of New Caledonia's barrier reef, which is the world's second longest, only eclipsed by Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The lookout is also home to a memorial in honor of the Allied troops that protected New Caledonia during World War II.
Afterwards, you'll enjoy a beverage and homemade cake at the Bilboquet restaurant and a bit of free time to explore the shops in the Palm Beach Gallery before transferring back to the pier.
Please note: Walking on this tour is mainly at the guests' discretion during the stops and free time at the Palm Beach Gallery. There are stairs and some hilly terrain to negotiate at the Ouen Toro scenic lookout. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Trace New Caledonia’s seafaring past on an enlightening tour of the Museum of Maritime History, followed by a relaxing stop at one of Noumea’s most beautiful beaches.
After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a brief but picturesque drive through New Caledonia’s French-influenced capital of Noumea. Being a somewhat isolated island in the South Pacific, New Caledonia has always had strong ties to the sea.
Much of this seafaring past is beautifully displayed in the Museum of Maritime History, which appropriately is located on James Cook Avenue. Cook, the famed British cartographer, explorer and captain, visited New Caledonia during a voyage in the 1770s. However, Melanesians settled the island thousands of years earlier, followed by a second wave of Polynesians 900 years later, and both groups are well represented in the museum.
The museum contains approximately 4,000 items, many of them from shipwrecks in the area. The most famous is that of the French explorer La Perouse, who in 1788 was lost at sea in the Solomon Islands northeast of Australia. His two sunken frigates weren’t found until 2005, when his sextant was discovered, which confirmed that the ships were La Perouse’s.
After browsing the museum, you will continue on to lovely crescent-shaped Kuendu Bay. During free time here, you might stretch your legs, take photos of the azure sea or simply relax in the incredibly peaceful setting. Afterwards, you will return to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 45-minutes of easy walking, plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. There will be sandy surfaces to negotiate at the beach. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; strong sunscreen; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. There is a small snack shop at the beach which requires local currency.
This enlightening excursion presents the natural beauty of Noumea before focusing on its colorful marine life, beautifully displayed in the impressive city aquarium.
Traveling from the pier you will first enjoy a brief but scenic drive past Noumea's most popular park, the lovely Place des Cocotiers, and then on to the Ouen Toro lookout. From this elevated vantage point at the tip of a peninsula, you'll be treated to a wonderful view of the sparkling harbor, lagoon and a cluster of islands fringed with coral reefs. While certainly a magnificent sight, more than anything, it piques the curiosity of what lies below the surface. New Caledonia boasts a barrier reef second in size only to Australia's Great Barrier Reef and has the world's largest lagoon.
You'll explore New Caledonia's underwater world at the Noumea Aquarium, which was founded in 1956. At the time, it was the world's only aquarium that exhibited live marine organisms in their natural habitat, a feat painstakingly accomplished by continuously circulating open seawater into the displays. While no longer in the original building, the Noumea Aquarium still exhibits marine life in the most natural way possible, using water pumped from the nearby lagoon. You may see dainty sea horses, oddly hump-headed Napoleons, brightly colored angelfish, reef sharks and live nautiluses, a species that has survived relatively unchanged for millions of years. There's even a room illuminated by black lights that intensifies the coral's natural fluorescence.
Leaving the aquarium behind, you will make your way back to the pier, passing Lemon Bay - the local's favorite sheltered beach, the yacht marina, Orphelinat Bay and the Southern Governmental building along the way.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 45-minutes of moderate walking/standing and there are some stairs and hilly terrain to negotiate at the Ouen Toro lookout. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Walk through a coastal forest of mangroves for a glimpse of Noumea’s rich biodiversity and then get a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding landscape from atop a once-fortified lookout.
After departing from the pier, you will drive past the bays and beaches of French-influenced Noumea to the Ouemo Peninsula. A forest of mangroves, whose aerial roots are intricately intertwined for support, covers much of the peninsula.
As you walk along a raised wooden boardwalk, you will learn about these ingenious plants and how they have adapted to their environment. For instance, mangroves thrive in saltwater that would kill other plants, hoard fresh water in their waxy leaves, and breathe air through “snorkel-like” roots when the tide rolls out. The plants also prevent erosion, filter toxins, and provide protection for a variety of marine animals and seabirds.
You many spot some of these specialized creatures such as the mangrove crab, whose claws are so powerful that they can crack the shells of crustaceans, and the mudskipper, an amphibious fish that uses its pectoral fins to walk on land. Aquatic birds such as egrets and rails should also be in abundance in the roots of the mangroves.
Following your walk, you will drive to a nearby lookout that presents a panoramic view across the bay to Mount Dore. Two cannons perch atop the lookout. While they once provided protection, they were never fired in battle.
After descending from the lookout, you will return to the pier via a route that passes several beautiful 19th-century colonial homes.
Please note: This tour includes just over 1-hour of moderate walking; although the optional climb to the top of the look-out is uphill and may be strenuous for some. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; strong sunscreen; insect repellant; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Discover the vital role Allied troops played while stationed in Noumea during World War II by visiting a museum and passing some reminders of the wartime effort.
After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a brief drive through New Caledonia’s capital of Noumea, which served as a headquarters for the United States military during World War II. Before the war, New Caledonia was known for little more than being a French penal colony. But in World War II, the island’s strategic location played a key role.
From 1942 until the end of the war, more than one million U.S. and Australian soldiers were stationed on the island, and their presence left a lasting impact. To better understand the important role Noumea played, you will tour a museum filled with World War II artifacts.
After browsing the museum, you will drive to a nearby lookout that presents a panoramic view across the bay to Mount Dore. An Australian coastal artillery unit installed two cannons atop the lookout, which still remain. Although the cannons provided protection, they were never fired because the Japanese advance was stopped at Guadalcanal.
Continuing on, you will see more reminders of the soldiers’ influence during World War II, as you drive through neighborhoods that the military named. They include Motor Pool and Receiving. While returning to the pier, you will also pass a memorial dedicated to the American soldiers that served on New Caledonia during the war.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1-hour of moderate walking; although the optional climb to the top of the look-out is uphill and may be strenuous for some. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; strong sunscreen; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Climb aboard a wide-open catamaran and sail to the spectacular New Caledonia Lagoon. Put on your snorkeling gear and hit the water to experience in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After a short walk from the ship, you will board a sleek catamaran for a relaxing cruise through the crystal-clear waters off Noumea. Your snorkeling destination will depend on the wind and water conditions. The captain will select the best location in the surrounding lagoons from favorites such as Signal Island, Laregnere Islet and Master Island.
The lagoons off New Caledonia contain one of the most extensive reef systems in the world. Beside the lagoons’ natural beauty, they support an exceptional diversity of coral and fish species and a variety of aquatic habitats. As a result, the lagoons have been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and their ecosystems are legally protected.
Much of that beauty lies beneath the surface, which snorkeling makes easily accessible. During your approximately one hour spent in the water, you may see curious turtles, yellow sea perch, spotted sweetlips, feather starfish or even lumbering dugongs. New Caledonia is the eastern limit of these slow-moving sea cows, which may be spotted in shallow water, feeding on sea grass.
Back on the catamaran, refreshments will be served as you retrace your scenic route back to the pier.
Please note: Participants must be in good physical condition, be strong swimmers, under the age of 71, older than 6 and under 286 lbs. of weight. Guests should be able to make their own way on and off the boat with limited assistance. Getting on/off boat during snorkeling stop requires the use of a boat ladder. Swimwear worn under clothing or cover-up; proper sun protection, a towel from the ship; and flat, rubber-soled shoes are recommended. Guests who participate in any water activities do so at their own risk and responsibility. Participants are required to sign a waiver.
Terms & Conditions:
Free Unlimited Shore Excursions are for full fare guests only, capacity controlled and subject to availability. Requested excursions may not be available at time of booking. Supplement will apply on Regent Choice excursions (indicated by the above) and excludes Private Arrangements and all Adventures Ashore programs. Concierge benefits do not apply to Executive Collection private cars or other private arrangements. In order to ensure quality guides and sufficient transportation, we must provide the tour operator with passenger counts at least 36 hours in advance. Therefore no refunds will be given within 36 hours of tour departure for cancellations or no-shows. Please pay special attention to scheduling and tour lengths when booking your shore excursions. In many cases, it is not possible to participate in more than one tour per day in a given port. Tour Departure times are subject to change so please reference your actual tour ticket for the correct departure time. Tours operate rain or shine. Minor children 17 years and under must be accompanied by a an adult 18 years or older on all shore excursions. Tours require minimum participation levels to operate so please sign up as early as possible. Tours may be cancelled if minimum participation levels are not met. Prices, Itineraries and General Information shore excursion prices are subject to change to meet unexpected cost increases or currency fluctuations. Please consult the Destination Services Desk onboard for information. During local or national holidays, access to certain facilities (such as museums or archaeological sites) may be limited or denied. In such instances, adjustments will be made to minimize inconvenience to guests. Some tours have limited availability. Tours are generally available for reserving 180 days prior to the beginning of a cruise. Please sign up early to avoid disappointment. Regent Seven Seas Cruises reserves the right to require guests to complete a liability waiver for select shore excursions. For more information, please visit the Destination Services Desk onboard.