Friday, January 20
Two cruise ships visited Rarotonga yesterday, the Seabourn Odyssey (the white ship in the video) with 422 passengers and 346 crew and the (Holland America Line) Rotterdam with 1335 passengers and 585 crew.
We get six to ten cruise liner visits a year but it’s three or four years since we last had two here at the same time.
They were lucky with the weather; it was generally fine with just a shower or two in some places, great for trips around the island, shuttle buses to Muri lagoon or just wandering around town and checking out the souvenir vendors who set up stalls in the western marina where the ships’ tenders unloaded visitors. (It rained heavily last night and today it’s overcast but still warm, about 28C.)
Both ships anchored quite a long way from the shore. Maybe they were being extra cautious after the Costa Concordia disaster in Italy. The ocean floor drops away quickly beyond the reef, no rocks out there to hit, so perhaps it was just because of the swell. There are times when the sea is too rough for the tenders to make it to shore but the on-going harbour extensions and a proposed new landing area in Arorangi might resolve this problem.
Let’s hope so, because cruise ships and their passengers are welcome visitors here.