Civil unrest forces P&O Australia and CCL-Carnival to cancel New Caledonia visits

   May 17, 2024 ,   Accidents

P&O Australia and CCL-Carnival Cruise Line have both canceled scheduled calls to New Caledonia due to ongoing civil unrest in the region.

Carnival Splendor ship was scheduled to depart for New Caledonia tomorrow, while Pacific Adventure ship is a frequent visitor to the area.

In a statement, P&O Australia announced that due to the declared state of emergency arising from the unrest, the Pacific Adventure will no longer visit Lifou or Noumea. Instead, passengers will spend an additional day at Mystery Island. P&O emphasized that they are closely monitoring the situation in Noumea and nearby regions, maintaining contact with relevant authorities. They assured that the safety of guests and crew is their top priority and promised to inform guests promptly if further itinerary changes become necessary. P&O expressed sympathy for the affected communities in New Caledonia and gratitude to their guests for their understanding.

The sister brand CCL-Carnival similarly adjusted the itinerary for Carnival Splendor’s South Pacific voyage departing on May 19th, now including stops at Santo and Vila instead. Affected guests have been informed of the changes and offered either onboard credit or future cruise credit if they choose not to travel. Carnival stated they are in continuous contact with authorities and are prioritizing the safety of guests and crew, thanking everyone for their understanding.

These cancellations are significant, as tourism is crucial for New Caledonia's economy. Lifou, the largest in the Loyalty Islands archipelago, is known for its dramatic landscapes, including white sand beaches, coves, limestone caves, and cliffs. The local economy traditionally relies on copra, the dried meat of coconuts, for oil extraction, but tourism has become increasingly vital.

The unrest in New Caledonia stems from protests against new voting regulations imposed by France, leading to violent demonstrations, looting, and arson attacks. The territory has experienced its worst violence in 30 years, resulting in at least four deaths and hundreds of injuries as protesters clash with security forces.