Cruise lines P&O Australia and Carnival have both cancelled calls to Lifou and Noumea due to New Caledonia riots.

Carnival Splendor was leaving for the destination tomorrow, and Pacific Adventure is a regular visitor.

A statement from P&O said: ” Due to the state of emergency declared because of civil unrest in New Caledonia, Pacific Adventure will no longer call to Lifou or Noumea. Instead, our guests will spend an additional day at Mystery Island.

“We continue to closely monitor the situation in Noumea and surrounding areas and are in contact with the relevant authorities. The safety of our guests and crew is paramount and should we need to make any further changes to upcoming itineraries due to the current situation, we will let our guests know as soon as possible.
“Our thoughts are with the communities of New Caledonia at this challenging time and we thank our guests for their understanding.”

Pacific Adventure ship cancalled due to New Caledonia riots

Carnival added: “Carnival Cruise Line has revised the itinerary for Carnival Splendor’s South Pacific voyage departing 19 May 2024. The voyage will instead include stops at Santo and Vila. 

“Guests booked on the impacted voyage have been notified of the changes and offered the option of an on-board credit or future cruise credit, should they decide not to travel. We are closely monitoring the situation and remain in contact with the relevant authorities. The safety of our guests and crew is our priority and we thank them for their understanding.”

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What the Federal Government has said about New Caledonia riots

The Federal Government’s site, Smartraveller, has also warned of the situation.

“We’ve increased the level of advice for New Caledonia and now advise exercise a high degree of caution overall due to protests and travel disruptions,” it says. 

“We’ve also increased the level of advice for the Noumea metropolitan area and now advise reconsider your need to travel due to civil unrest, travel disruptions and limited essential services.

“Political demonstrations and protests are occurring and may turn violent at short notice. A curfew is in place for the Noumea metropolitan area between 6pm and 6am, and local authorities have advised individuals to shelter in place throughout the day. This may be extended as necessary.

“There’s potential for demonstrations in other locations. Essential services are impacted. The La Tontouta International Airport has closed, and flights have been cancelled until at least Friday 17 May. Avoid demonstrations, public gatherings and roadblocks. Minimise movement, monitor the media and follow the advice of local authorities (see ‘Safety’).”

The move will be a big blow to the economy since tourism is a mainstay.

Lifou is the largest island in the archipelago of coral atolls known as the Loyalty Islands. Long stretches of white sand beach, small coves, limestone caves, grottos and imposing cliffs give the island one of the most dramatic landscapes in the pacific.

The islands earn money from copra, the dried meat of coconuts, from which oil is extracted. Increasingly, tourism is becoming an important part of the local economy.

The New Caledonia riots are against new voting rules imposed by France. Looting and arson attacks have rocked the French Pacific Islands territory causing the deaths of at least four people, with hundreds more injured as demonstrators clash with security forces.

The New Caledonia riots are the worst the country has seen in 30 years.

For more see P&O’s website and Carnival Cruise Lines website about the New Caledonia riots.