P&O Cruises and local Isle of Pines tribal clans joined together this week for a full day of festivities to celebrate 30 years of cruising to the beautiful island.
The cruise line has shared the island’s highlights with hundreds of thousands of travellers over the years, including the 1800 Pacific Pearl guests onboard for the milestone visit.
Many of the Australians and New Zealanders who have visited Isle of Pines and enjoyed the local community’s warm welcome since 1984 sailed on board P&O Cruises’ ships – more than 200,000 of them in the past year alone.
This week’s celebration with all Isle of Pines’ eight tribal clans was led by the island’s paramount chief, Hilarion Vendégou, who for the past 30 years has supported cruise ship visits to his community and the economic contribution that they make.
Pacific Pearl Captain Roger Bilton and his colleagues, Hotel Director Roland Ringwald and Chief Engineer Simon Jewell, were welcomed ashore where there was a customary exchange of gifts with the community at the Kuto Beach landing area.
“Isle of Pines is known as the ‘Jewel of the Pacific’ and it is one of the most popular island destinations with our passengers,” P&O Cruises Destination Director Michael Mihajlov said.
“Over the past 30 years, millions of cruise passengers have visited Isle of Pines to be treated to a unique cultural experience and some of the most magnificent scenery in the South Pacific,” Mr Mihajlov said.
“It was an honour for P&O Cruises to be involved in this week’s celebration of cruise tourism to Isle of Pines and it is rewarding to know that the festival was initiated by the local community.”